Thursday, October 30, 2014

Slime Fun!

As part of the wrap up of our science unit of study on matter, we made slime today (and noted how it's a chemical change)!  What a wonderfully, messy, fun time the kids had!  :)  Here's the recipe we used.  If you try it at home, and don't want it runny, it takes A LOT more Borax than the recipe calls for. I used about a box and a half for the four groups, with all of the other ingredient amounts staying the same.

Friday, October 24, 2014

New Photos!

Lots of new photos have been added to our class photo album. Check them out here!

Weekly Update

Have you heard the news about handwriting? We started cursive recently! You should be a fly on the wall to see how hard your child is working, and the level of intense concentration. You can see a copy of our Handwriting Without Tears program cursive alphabet on the back cover of your child’s Jungle Book. In some cases the letters are formed and/or connected rather differently from what we all learned in school. I’ve told the students that there are different ways to make and connect letters, and that I’ll show them both the way the book does it, and the way most adults learned to do it. I’ve also told them that they can do it either way. Once the children have learned all the letters I let them choose what, if anything, they want to write in cursive.

Next week we finish up our study of addition and subtraction as your child learns to do what is called, “three digit subtraction across zeros with regrouping.” What this means is learning how to do subtraction problems like 400-214. I’ll be teaching it through the use of base ten blocks on the computer, which allows the students to drag and drop the blocks to help them see the regrouping needed. If you have an iPad there’s a great free app called Number Pieces (by Math Learning Center) that your child might find helpful when doing their homework. If you have another type of device, you might want to search wherever you find apps to see if there’s a similar app. Also, your child can always rewatch the video that goes with lesson 3-9, or use the eTools in enVision, found in the student tools section of the enVision website when your child logs into it.

Thursday we are making slime in class! It’s a VERY messy activity. Your child is very likely to get it on their clothes. Please don’t send them to school in good clothes that day.

Friday is our field trip to Indian Rock. Your child must be at school on time that day, we leave at 9:00! Please keep an eye on the weather forecast, and dress your child for a day spent mostly outside in nature. Also, remember that lunches need to be in disposable bags, and clearly marked with your child’s first and last name. Drinks must also be disposable. No lunch boxes or other items that have to be carried back on the bus will be allowed.

Finally, here's what we'll be learning about next week:
Reader’s Workshop: Creating a book talk video or writing a book talk blog entry
Writer’s Workshop: Typing/publishing small moment stories
Spelling: Unit 8 - Words home on Monday, test on THURSDAY due to field trip
Math: Finish up addition and subtraction with regrouping
Science: Matter
Please remember that my door is always open if you have any questions or concerns. Together we are partners in your child’s education! 

Wheel of Wow!

Our class saved up enough Tiger Tickets to spin the Wheel of Wow again!  This time we earned Fun Monday!  We'll enjoy that on November 3rd!  :)

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Weekly Update

Are you looking for new ways for your child to study his/her spelling words? The Spelling City website, where all of our spelling lists for the year are posted, has a variety of free activities to go with the weekly lists. You can find the website linked off the spelling page of our class website, or go directly to it here.  

Any time your child has a special event in his/her life, such as a sporting event, music or dance recital, trip, etc… feel free to send in a picture or email it to me. Short videos are okay too. I’ll put it up on the SmartBoard so your child can share his/her big events with the class. No show and tell tickets are required for this!  :)

Here's what's coming up the week of Oct. 20:
Reader’s Workshop: Using text evidence to make inferences about characters
Writer’s Workshop: Writing the heart of a small moment story
Spelling: Unit 7 - Words home on Monday, test on Friday. 
Math: Topic 3 - 3 digit addition and subtraction with regrouping (including regrouping in more than one place)
Science: Matter

Please remember that my door is always open if you have any questions or concerns. Together we are partners in your child’s education! 

Collaborative Writing Project In Progress!

Our class is working with Mrs. Hitt’s third grade class at Wheeler to write a collaborative story on a wiki!  We started the story, and worked to incorporate some of the elements of writing learned during Writing Workshop time. Mrs. Hitt’s class just added some to the story, and now it’s our turn to add more to the story next week. We’ll keep taking turns adding more onto the story until it’s done. It gives us a fun way to expand our writing skills, and collaborate with another class. Mrs. Hitt and I are hoping to get our classes together through Skype or a Google Hangout (run by the teachers) at the end of the project. If your child hasn’t already shown the wiki to you, go visit the Write On Project.  

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Weekly Update

Sorry for the delay in posting the newsletter to the blog, as well as this week's spelling words to our class website I was out of town over the long weekend, and the place I was staying didn't have working Internet!  It ended up being a little forced relaxation time.   :)

October is Fire Safety Month. We read an article about it on Friday, and talked about it. Ask your child what he/she learned (not including “stop, drop, and roll”). Does your family have a fire escape plan? If not, you can find information on how to make one from the National Safety Council’s website. Your child might also like the Sparky the Fire Dog safety website.

Did you hear that the children blogged again? They did, sharing their thoughts on whether or not the Fire Island dunes should be rebuilt after being destroyed in 2012 by Hurricane Sandy. A judge will decide on the issue this month. Drop by our class KidBlog, see what the kids had to say, and leave us a comment to share your thoughts on the subject. You could even have your child’s older siblings, grandparents or other relatives share their thoughts in the comments. The kids were so excited to see that others stopped by and left comments on our plastic bag blog entry. 

It’s important that the children know their math facts with immediate recall. This means no longer than about 2 seconds per fact! As fast as a child knows that 1+1=2, they need to know that 15-9=6. Third grade students are asked to solve 100 subtraction problems (0-20) in 4 minutes, and 100 addition problems (0-20) in 4 minutes (multiplication starts in November or December, and division in January).  In school your child practices daily through the use of, other websites, and flash cards. I know at home they are practicing thanks the recording on math logs. Next week I will begin adding another layer to their in school practice with the use of daily addition or subtraction timed fact tests at the beginning of math. It will be a short, 2 mn addition or subtraction test with 50 problems. Once a child is able to get a score of 90 or higher three times in a row, they will no longer have to take the daily quizzes for that operation (addition/subtraction, etc...), unless the score on their monthly 100 question test falls below 80. Thanks for making sure your child is practicing those math facts at home each night, and look for him/her to be able to recall each fact within 2 seconds.

Here's what we'll be learning about this week:
Reader’s Workshop: Using text evidence to make inferences about characters
Writer’s Workshop: Editing and revising small moment stories
Spelling: Unit 6 - Words home on Tuesday, test on Friday. 
Math: Solving problems while using rounding and estimation
Science: Matter
Please remember that my door is always open if you have any questions or concerns. Together we are partners in your child’s education!

Friday, October 3, 2014

From the Kids...

This week the kids take over the newsletter! You’ve heard a lot from me lately, so I thought it was time to let the kids do the talking, and tell you about things from their point of view. Please remember that my door is always open if you have any questions or concerns. Together we are partners in your child’s education!

Now... the kids:

Geno says, “We started T-Math. It’s a game where you have to race to do math questions.”!
Emily says, “We did a spelling pretest on Monday and test on Friday.”!
Brianna says, “We put our inventions on our blog.” (Mrs. Carnevale says she still has to approve and publish them.)!
Faith says, “We get ten extra minutes of Fun Friday today because we got two compliments at morning recess today.”!
Chaz says, “We watched a bike stunt rider who taught us to be kind and respectful.”!
Ben B. says, “We do xtra math every day. It helps us learn adding and subtracting.”!
Gianna says, “We had fun writing today.”!
Amelia says, “In reading we write down the teaching point and then we have to answer it when we read our book. Today we talked about how our thinking about characters can change.”!
Sami says, “If everyone stays on green for a week we get pajama day, popcorn, and a movie!” (Mrs. Carnevale says it’s a behavior incentive.)!
Lola says, “We started science this week.”!
Jonathan says, “The stunt bike rider jumped over Mr. Pitcher and Mr. Hayn!”!
Penley says, “We are learning how to read cursive when Mrs. Carnevale writes things on the board.”! Ben C., Thomas, Richie, Marissa, Sonia, Adriana, Michael, and Alan say, “Have a great weekend!”