May 8, 2018

Wow!! Lots of fun things have been happening in our building since Spring has decided to come out and shine down on us!! We have a high school mentor student, Miss Julia, who will be with us for the next two weeks. She is interested in working with children as either a guidance counselor or psychologist. The kids seem to really adore her! We are wrapping up Measurement in math the kids are engaged in creating a picture book about the US Capacity measurements. They are using their creative minds to combine math, reading, writing, and art! I look forward to seeing their final creations. We just finished our Historical Fiction novel groups and the culmination project was creating their own Historical Newspaper using the events from their books during their time period. All books either centered around the Underground Railroad or the Civil Rights movement. We read fascinating books like Freedom Crossing, Stella by Starlight, and Freedom’s Wings. We just passed out our new book group novel- Heroes of the Environment. While all the kids will be reading the same book, they will be in small groups. Each chapter follows an everyday person who do extraordinary things for our environment. We picture walked through the book and found the chapters that spoke to them and which they want to read. This will help shape our book groups!! We will continue with our Weekly Letters this week and next week. We will NOT have any weekly letters due the last week of school.

Don’t forget– Field Day is May 16th. The Blue Group is wearing Blue and the White is going to wear white. Also, the local 4H groups are collecting food for the Harvest for Hunger food drive. Dr. Kellis, a local eye doctor, will once again match any food or monetary donation. Last year, he matched $20,000 to make a total of $40,000 donation to the Harvest for Hunger Food Banks in our local area!!! It’s a worthy cause and we are proud to help!!

Tonight’s Homework:

Reading- READ at least 20 minutes. Weekly Letters due tomorrow for #10-14

Math- Practice Math Fact Fluency

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March 19, 2018

It’s the last week before Spring Break and we are not ready here in Room 113!! I’m fairly certain the kids are ready but we have so many important things to get done and started!! We officially finished our research papers today and I will start the task of grading them. Since I have almost 50 of them, it takes me a long time. I don’t send any rubrics home without having all the papers graded. I do like to spend time with my family over the break, so I will not be grading over Spring Break.  (much….) Look for them in about 2.5 weeks or so. We are reading our Revolutionary War novels or short stories this week. We have a couple different groups going with Mrs. McFadden and myself. The kids are eyeball deep in their books and are loving them already!! We will finish by Friday since the goal is to Read, Read, and Read!! This is Right to Read week, All parents received an email from Mr. Fender about Right to Read Week. It gave out suggestions of how to incorporate reading into your family this week and beyond. Please look back to that one. Flashlight Reading is a fan favorite and we will be doing that this week in class as well. Kids will bed actual flashlights on Friday’s class- no phones or ipod flashlight- good ole fashion flashlights!!

Also, an email went out from Mr. Fender about the PEAK trait Family writing project. I am giving anyone who completes it with their families 5 extra credit points if they turn it in this FRIDAY!! Dig through the emails. There is an attachment to fill out as a family about your values. It really is a nice activity to do with your kids. My son, in middle school, was doing a similar thing last week.

In Math, we are multiplying fractions, which seems easy but it actually kind of bites us in the tookus when we now add and multiply fractions. We must have the same denominators to add and subtract since we are trying to keep the same size piece. But in multiplying fractions, we are actually looking for a SMALLER size piece and our answer will be smaller than the two factors. This is opposite to the kids than multiplying whole numbers. We watched this video to help. It is a good review:

 

Tonight’s Homework:

Reading- Weekly Letters for Tuesday- last week for weekly letter until after the break!. Read 20 minutes. Lucky Listener is due tomorrow- No Late ones will be accepted

Science- prototype sketch is due tomorrow

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March 16, 2018

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It’s still chilly here during recess, even though it’s sunny out. Please make sure your child has warm coats and boots. This is the time of year that boots are most important- when it starts to thaw and gets muddy!! Tonight is Family Fun Night here at KIS. A lot of the kids said their families were coming. It’s always a blast! This week, we finished our Science landform paper. We have a few finishing up Monday but for the most, we are all wrapped up. We quickly move on to Ecosystems and Fossils next week. It’s a fan favorite amongst the kids as we learn how fossils can tell us about the past and present animals and plants. In Math, we are multiplying fractions. Please keep practicing the math facts as it is slowing kids down in the classroom. We will be wrapping up our Revolutionary War unit in Social Studies and our Read Aloud in ELA. The kids will be reading short novels next week. Also, next week is the last week for Weekly Letters. There will be NO weekly letters written over break. We will write down the next exact date that the letters will be due. They will be the two paragraph letters following the rubric and practice letters in their Reader’s Notebooks we did this week.

The report cards went home for quarter 3. This is historically the lowest quarter due to many factors. Many kids get in a slump and sometimes not give their best effort. I am seeing this in our Weekly Letters and Scholastic News in ELA. As parents, you should be looking at their Weekly Letters and my comments and grade. I find myself writing the same advice each week. I do start to take points off for that as it tells me the kids are not reading and taking my advice to heart. My advice is how I grade so if kids wish to have a higher score, they should take my advice!! Please look at your child’s letters and see their effort and my comments. Spending more time and effort has a direct consequence of a higher grade and more practice in putting forth effort. Both are great results!!

Tonight’s Homework:

Reading- Read at least 20 minutes each night. Lucky Listeners are due TUESDAY and I will not take them late- unless someone is absent on Tuesday. Weekly Letters are due for Monday #1-5

Science- Prototype sketches are due Tuesday morning

Math- practice math facts

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March 7, 2018

Happy Wednesday!!!

Friday was a surprise Snow Day for us all here at KIS! I hope the kids enjoyed it as much as I did! Today, we received our next Lucky Listener activity. It starts tonight and is due Tuesday, March 20th. Each night, the kids will asking a lucky listener listen to them read their poem. We talked about how kids can Fact Time Grandparents or Aunts and Uncles and then have mom or dad write down their constructive responses on the sheet for them since they are far away! This is a wonderful opportunity for the entire family to listen to creative poetry! The kids are busy studying for their Social Studies test on Friday. We clarified the Study Guide today and added some details. The kids do NOT have any paperwork on Secondary and Primary Source because they have it in the book on pages 34-35. We wrote those pages on their study guide. Also, the common theme running through the last two units have been how the settlers and the Native Americans have interacted. There has been conflict as well as cooperation. Kids need to be able to identify an example for each stemming from events before the French and Indian War all the way through the Revolutionary War. We wrote down some examples on our Study Guide. This is a broad and general question but it is very important. In Math, we organized our notes into one folder that the small quiz will cover. It will be about adding and subtracting fractions with like denominators, decomposing fractions, improper fractions and mixed numbers (converting them) and WHY you can’t change the denominator when you add/subtract. What does it do to the answer? We are starting to add and subtract mixed numbers soon.

Here is a video that will help review:

Mixed Numbers into Improper Fractions:

Mixed Numbers:

Adding Mixed Numbers:

Subtracting Mixed Numbers:

Hope these help!!

Tonight’s Homework:

Reading- Weekly Letters for Thursday due tomorrow. Read 20 minutes at least. Lucky Listener is due Tuesday March 20th- see above

Social Studies- French and Indian War/Rev. War test Friday- use yellow study guide and notes which are organized in HW folder- see above

Math- small fractions quiz Friday- see above and watch videos to review!!

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February 22, 2018

Wow! This has been a long ‘short’ week already. Miss Monroe and I had conferences for some students on Tuesday after school and yesterday, we had our early morning meeting and I was in meetings all day. The kids were great for our sub and learning continued as if I was in the room! We had some excitement on Tuesday when we took a little field trip back to Timmons to use the restrooms after our power went out. I know my house in Auburn has been having difficulties with internet and TV reception all weekend long. Not that I watch a lot of TV, but I lost Channel 3 during the National Anthem of the Super Bowl so I was unable to watch that and the Olympics!! That’s a bummer! The kids always are amazed that I grew up with out TV and that I didn’t miss it! The kids took their Topic 8 Fractions Quiz yesterday and most did very well. I had a small group at the back table today doing a reteaching lesson while the others were doing a Fraction Challenge at their seat. If your child comes home with a quiz to sign and correct this weekend, please continue to work on fractions. Most of the issues stem from not being fluent on their facts and not truly understanding what the numerators and denominators of a fraction tell us. They can work with me in a guided group and are very successful but not all kids are successful on their own. We will move quickly through Topic 9 as the first part is review of adding and subtracting fractions with like denominators. We will go slower through the new material, of course. We will be tackling adding and subtracting fractions with unlike denominators, decomposing fractions, and mixed numbers! In Reading, we are ending our novel study small group book groups on Inventors and will be quickly moving into reading about the American Revolution in new book groups! In Science, we have started our rough drafts and are learning how to take phrases from our graphic organizer notes and creating our original sentences. The first paragraph has been done already and the kids are ready to take it away themselves.

Tonight’s Homework: 

Reading- Read 20 minutes at least. Friday Weekly Letters for #19-23 due tomorrow. All kids need to finish their Inventor’s Poster they started yesterday and worked on today if they didn’t finish in class. 

Math- Review what you know worksheet in Homework Folder

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February 15, 2018

Happy Thursday!! It definitely felt like a Friday today. Since we have had so many students out ill, I decided to have a wrap up day to catch up on all the things people had out incomplete. We made a list on the board and organized all of our papers in priority order. Based on how long the student was out and what they actually missed, determines how long they have. But, since I gave from 9:30-11:05 and 2:20-3:02 on catch up work, almost all students got everything in. I have spoken with a few and we have made arrangements to come in for recess next week to finish. The Science papers are coming along nicely. I am grading the Graphic Organizers this weekend and we are ready to start our rough drafts. Every student has been seen and conferenced with one on one a few times and they have had many opportunities to revamp work based on teacher suggestions and conversations. We do have students who are still struggling with using class time wisely. We can not work on this outside of class and students so not get any more time than what we do in class except if they are absent and they make up time at recess. Using time wisely is a skill and we kids are working hard at it. Please encourage them at home!! We have our topics 8 quiz on Tuesday. We reviewed again today and in their Homework folder is a Practice test that should be 100% correct since we did it together. They also have stapled to it a practice page to help them study this weekend.

Tonight’s Homework:

Reading- Read at least 20 minutes. The more the merrier! Weekly Letters for Friday, Monday and Tuesday are due Tuesday (#19-23 and #1-9)That’s a lot of grading for me Tuesday. 

Social Studies- Absent students taking vocab quiz on Tuesday. 

Math- Practice Math facts and Topic 8 quiz on Tuesday- see above

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February 8, 2018

We finished the last round of Cogat testing today. The kids did a great job and pacing it out was definitely easier for us all. We finished comparing and contrasting TOm Brady and Julio Jones and we turned in our multi paragraph on the two. Since we have been writing multi paragraphs for awhile now, practicing using a hook statement and topic and conclusion sentences along with transition words, I am expecting great things from the kids. We are also moving ahead in Math and comparing fractions. See yesterday’s blog for video links to watch how to do it. We are using the “work smarter, not harder” motto as explained yesterday. This has been a long week with testing and sicknesses. I think we all need an early night tonight!!

Tonight’s Homework:

Reading- Read 20 minutes. Weekly Letters due for Friday people #19-23. Inventors quiz on Wednesday. Use large pink paper with inventors packet in HW folder. 

Social Studies- Vocabulary Quiz on yellow cards on Tuesday. Use yellow vocabulary cards in HW folder

Math- Practice Math Facts. No other Mat HW tonight since we are studying for 2 quizzes

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February 7, 2018

Well, we have had a very interesting week in regards to illnesses. Many students are out and we are plugging away. Remember- health comes first and there is nothing done here at school, in 4th grade, that can’t be made up. I don’t want there to be any stress or anxiety about missing content or working on our science paper. While Miss Monroe and I miss all of the kids out, we also like to keep all the kiddos here (and ourselves) nice and healthy.  We will both meet with any students who have missed school and catch them back up. Cogats wil be made up either on Friday or during next week. We will not marathon it- they will make things up gradually- no worries!

In Math, we are comparing fractions and working on our motto- “Work Smarter, Not Harder!” Instead of jumping right into converting fractions to have the same denominator, we can do some very simple things first- much like what we automatically do with whole numbers. How do we know that 2 is less than 44? Because 2 has one digit while 44 have two digits. How do we know that 54 is more than 50 even though they have the same amount of digits? Because we look at the digit in the ones place. How do we know that 1,398 is less than 1,498? They have the same amount of digits and the last digit is the same. We know because we start comparing the ones place and moving to the left until we find a digit that is different. This is automatic at this point as we hope that fractions will be soon! Here are a few videos to help you and your child out:

In Reading, we are learning more about the Winter Olympics of 2018. We listened on our Chromebooks as it read to us our cover story in our Scholastic News. We will continue to talk more about the Olympics and the history of the medals and how the location is chosen, etc. We will be writing a narrative in our Reader’s Notebooks about what sport we could choose to do in the Winter Olympics if we had the chance!

Tonight’s Homework:

Reading- Read at least 20 minutes. Thursday Weekly Letters are due tomorrow.

Math- Comparing fractions sheet- use the notes attached to help. Practice your math facts!

Breakfast and Books is tomorrow before school for 4th graders and family!! Wear your favorite color tomorrow!!! Student Council is selling Valentine’s Day Grams as a fundraiser for our school. They are 25 cents each!

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February 2, 2018

Happy Groundhog’s Day! It’s no surprise to me that Phil saw his shadow and that we have 6 more weeks of winter! In preparation for the Super Bowl, we read two nonfiction articles on Tom Brady and Julio Jones (football players) and answered questions comparing them. On Monday, we will write an extended response, totally independently, on a few similarities and differences. The kids will be expected to use topic sentences, transition words, concluding sentences and paragraph format. They should be experts by now!!! Next week, our first Weekly Letters (done at home!) are due. Your child has been coming home with their Reader’s Notebooks each night this week and will continue to do so until May is over! Please sit down with your child and look over all the model letters, rubric, letters which are coded, question prompts, etc to see what is expected of the students. The biggest area of difficulty is having the kids read enough each night for a quality letter that represents the entire week. The kids need to be using extremely specific examples from the book with a detailed explanation in their responses. Their letters should reflect the depth of their understanding and enjoyment of their book. The kids must read at least 20 minutes of quality reading each night for 7 nights! I look forward to reading them. The kids have their class newpaper in their Friday Folders. They have decided and engineered a class newspaper. It tells all about the comings and goings and special interests of the kids. It’s super great. Please look at the PEAK letter and the VALENTINE’s DAY information in today’s Friday Folder. There is a lot of important things in there!

Tonight’s Homework:

Reading- Read at LEAST 20 minutes. 

Math- practice facts! 

Wednesday- Wear GREEN for Sandy Hook Promise

Thursday- Wear your favorite color!

Bring Recorders in if you have one!

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January 31, 2018

Watch the Super Blue Blood Moon tonight (this morning) !!! 

https://www.nasa.gov/feature/super-blue-blood-moon-coming-jan-3

The above link will take you to a quick tutorial of what a Super Blue Blood Moon is and why no one on this Earth, who is alive today,  has ever seen it!! The last time it has been seen on Earth was about 150 years ago. It need incorporates three special things – a Blue Moon, A Super Moon, and a lunar eclipse. We had a lovely conversation about it today and watched videos about it. Here is the link if you would like to watch it live:

In Math, we are identifying and finding equivalent fractions. We have used our Fraction Tiles to see equivalent fractions and then made the jump into using Math to find equivalent fractions. We also used cross multiplication to see if two given fractions are equal. Here is a neat video to help both parents and students alike to refresh our memories ab out fractions in general:

In Reading, we are wrapping up learning about Famous Inventors and the kids will be having a small assessment on that which will be a Social Studies grade. We are also starting our Big Head Inventor Book Groups where students will be reading leveled books and then working in small groups on skills and strategies. Next week, the Weekly Letters are due. This is the beginning of a weekly letter done as homework each week for the rest of the year. We have done them all in school as of yet. They are now going home. Just a reminder- I DO NOT accept any late weekly letters unless a student is not physically here to turn it in. I do expect students to turn in letters a day early if they know there will be an absence the day their letter is due. For example, if Anthony Chapman (our class friend) turns his letter in every Tuesday but he knows he will be out getting his braces on, he should turn it in on Monday. I will grade it on Monday and give it back to him that day so that he will have an entire week to complete the next. Unexpected absences due to illness or emergencies can not be seen in advance, so I look for the letter to be turned in the very next day the child is at school.

Tonight’s Homework:

Reading- Read 20 minutes. Weekly Letters are due next week!! 

Math- practice your facts!

Science- watch the videos above and see if you can see the Super Blue Blood Moon tomorrow morning!!!

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