September 19, 2017

Today we started discussing how to add and subtract multiple digit numbers using Mental Math. This is harder than it looks. While, many kids and adults struggle to borrow correctly, alternative strategies are extremely useful. We are so much better at adding numbers, so if we can add to subtract, why not?? We are learning that we can Break Apart larger numbers into their expanded form values and add those smaller pieces up to make the actual sum. We are also learning to Count or Add Up from a smaller number to a larger number instead of subtracting. The Pearson site has a lot of different activities to help your child out at home. Really, these strategies are common sense. We are also looking at Compensation. I really tone that down to compensation as we all use it. For example, when I need to add 67 + 8, I really add 67 + 10 and then adjust the answer down 2. Or, when in the food store, I don’t actually add 5.99 + 1.02 + 2.99. I add 6.00 + 1.00 + 3.00 and then adjust the final answer to make it correct. In Reading, we are waist deep into Dear Mr. Henshaw. I look forward to finishing it early next week. We are working on the skills of Character Traits and finding text evidence for our answers. We will be adding Theme soon.

Tonight is the Homecoming Parade so I haven’t assigned any Math homework- unless your child didn’t do their homework last night- and we had 4 kids who didn’t. I will check tomorrow and those who didn’t take advantage of an extra night, will spend their own time eating lunch and doing their homework at that time.

Tonight’s Homework:

Reading- Read 20 minutes

S.S.- Map Skills test Thursday

Wear BLUE on Thursday for International Peace Day. We are taking a school wide picture. 

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September 18, 2017

We led our afternoon off with a double period of Social Studies discussing our Nation’s Constitution. Both classes enjoyed being together! We read a book by David Catrow, called We the People, were it pairs our Preamble words to a real life camping story line. We watched a video outlining the struggles the founding fathers had in trying to just gather the delegates together due to the extreme heat and the long distances they all had to travel. Almost 4 months and many many arguments later,  thirty nine delegates signed the United States Constitution on September 17, 1787. We discussed how it is a living and breathing document that can be changed by We, the People. We did some word searches and then worked on our State Poster. That is due Friday in Social Studies.  We have a test coming up in Social Studies about Map Skills . The kids are bringing home their textbooks as the maps and resources in the back of the book is extremely helpful in practicing those tricky directional questions. For example, Cleveland is _______ of Columbus. Since we read left to right, most kids want to go directly to Cleveland and then move their finger to Columbus and declare that South West is the answer. Where, in fact, they are completely backwards. They need to use the strategy of circling the directional word of TO or FROM and then drawing an arrow to the location directly after it. That is where you go on the map. So, go to Columbus. Now, use your finger to move towards Cleveland. What direction are you going? North East!!

Tonight’s Homework:

Reading- Read 20 minutes

S.S.- Map Skills Test on Thursday

Math- “Review what you Know worksheet.

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September 14, 2017

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Tomorrow is International Dot Day! Today, during Enrichment, we joined Miss Monroe’s class to read the book, The Dot, by Peter Reynolds. It’s about a girl who simply can’t find something to draw in Art class. The teacher asks her just put a dot on the page, to make her mark- and then to sign it! She gives the young girl great advice- just make your mark and see where it takes you!!!  The next day, the teacher has the dot framed on the wall. The girl goes from feeling like a failure to feeling proud of herself.  After that, the girl starts to cover everything with dots and it becomes her signature style with her Art. At the end of the book, the young girl is approached by a young boy who says he could never make fantastic Art like her. And, do you know what the girl tells him??? Well, ask your child!!!!

So, in honor of International Dot Day tomorrow, we are asking students to wear a dot or two or a hundred! The kids should think outside the box with this as the young girl did in the book.

In Math, we created our very own quizzes with Answer Key and then gave them to each other to take. It is a great way to study with the kids not really thinking it’s studying!!! Don’t freak out if your child comes home tonight and writes you a quiz and asks you to take it!!!

Tonight’s Homework:

Reading- Read 20 minutes

Social Studies- Map Skills test next Thursday 9/21. Use Study Guide given! 

Math- Topic 1 Place Value test tomorrow!!


Bonus Point Opportunity: Bring in Brown Paper Bags- get up to 5 points each quarter to put in Math, ELA, or Science. Each bag is worth 1 point. Bring up to 5 bags!

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September 13, 2017

It’s Wednesday!!! The middle of the week is upon us! We took our first topic Science test today. It was like a baby test as it was small. Usually this is very successful for the kids. We have our first math topic test on Friday. We spent today doing reteaching activities in small groups. Tomorrow, the kids will make their own quiz and answer key. They then will switch quizzes and take someone elses. This is always fun!!

Tonight’s Homework:

Reading- Read 20 minutes

Social Studies- Bordering States quiz tomorrow.

Math- Topic 1 test Friday- use study guide

Bonus Points opportunity!!!- student council is collecting brown paper grocery size bags to help with recycling. The kids can get up to 5 bonus points for bringing in 5 bags. They can put it towards Reading, Math or Science.  

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September 11, 2017

We celebrated Patriot’s Day by discussing and viewing a video about the building of the 9/11 Memorial. We watched as curators and historians collected artifacts and interviews from those families affected by the tragedy. It was a very moving discussion and video. I reminded the kids that any other interest in 9/11 would need to be directed towards you, the parents, as the content is sensitive. There are many credible websites that are available with teaching students about the events in a age appropriate manner if you choose to go further.

In Science, we wrapped up the Gummy Bear Challenge. We saw the gummy bears change in different ways in all 4 solutions. We saw that all the gummy bears had less mass today than 5 days ago but some bears became longer while others shrank. We looked at the relationship between mass and density, which is a very difficult concept. We continually look at this through out the year so it becomes more familiar. Wednesday is the quiz over scientific method. Use the study guide and review the notes just a little bit each day!

In Reading, the kids have a new Scholastic News to complete independently during small groups through out the week. We are working on Reading Genres and Character Traits. We begin reading our class novel Dear Mr. Henshaw tomorrow. Today, we listened to an interview with Mrs. Cleary. She talked candidly about her characters and how she didn’t like to read in school because she always had to write lengthy reports or themes on the book. She also didn’t like many books because the characters weren’t like ‘real’ kids. They weren’t exasperating or troublemakers like kids can be. Her characters are more like regular kids!!

Tonight’s Homework:

Reading- Read 20 minutes. 

Science- Scientific Method Quiz Wednesday- use study guide

Social Studies- Finish Directions worksheet for tonight. It’s in HW section of binder. There is a baby Bordering States to Ohio quiz Thursday. The kids will be given a map with Ohio and it’s bordering states. The kids need to stick the correct names on the correct lines. That’s it!

Math- Topic 1 Place Value Test on Friday- use study guide. There won’t be HW this week so the kids can study for test!!

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September 8, 2017

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If only Happy Feet was a chicken!!!! I am at the end of our chicken adventure. It was great and we will be doing it again next summer for Junior Fair as well. You never know- I may get layers this coming spring and so we will have more chicken discussions in class!!

Getting back to school though- we have our very first Math Topic test NEXT Friday. We spent 45 minutes of class reviewing our study guides and organizing our notes. I taught the kids how we organize our notes in the same order as the study guide. We paper clipped them all together and we gave examples of all topics that will be on the test. I also included a sample schedule to use when studying with two days off between now and the test. The kids should be good to go!

In Science, we are on DAY TWO of the gummy bear experiment. We saw that the bear in Salt Water shrunk and is becoming hard. We also noted that the bear in vinegar is getting porky and gross. We also observed that just because something may be getting larger in size, that doesn’t always mean heavier in weight. The vinegar bear is bigger in size but weighs less today than yesterday. I wonder what they will look like Monday?

In Reading, we are under way in our Reading Genre topic and we finished our Scholastic News group magazine. Next week, the kids will attempt their first one independently. Mrs. McFadden is able to come into our Reading class each and every day. We are so fortunate to have another teacher in the room. We will be starting Dear Mr. Henshaw soon and our book groups soon after that!!!

Tonight’s Homework: 

Reading- Read 20 minutes

Science- Scientific Method final quiz WEDNESDAY 9/13. Use Study Guide

Math- Place Value Topic 1 Test 9/15- use study guide and see above for further details

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September 7, 2017

It feels like forever since I last updated the blog!! The Great Geauga County Fair was AMAZING!!! Bowen and I spent our time camping out and working with the chickens and rabbits. He placed firsts and seconds with his rabbits and his pen of 3 market chickens went for a great price of $21 a pound!!!  We are continuing our experiments in Science with the Gummy Bear Lab!! It sounds fun and it is but we can definitely not enjoy the gummy bears at the end. We are learning about controlled variables and the Scientific Method by placing our 4 gummy bears into different solutions and observing and analyzing the results over the next few days. We do have our first topic assessment in Science next Wednesday. I have given out the study guide and it will be the easiest unit assessment all year!! In Reading, we are completing our very first Scholastic News as a class and we are going over the expectations for our weekly task and going over exactly how to tackle this task. The kids will be completing the Scholastic News in class while we are in the midst of small group work. They will be given out on Mondays and collected and graded on Fridays. They will have one most weeks. We are also rummaging through Book Order lists to review Book Genres. The kids will be assessment over Book Genres next week. I won’t put it on the HW board since it is a super simple assessment and if the kids pay attention in class, they will do great! I will tell the kids when it is though so you can always ask them!! In Math, we are working on Rounding whole numbers. We have a cheat sheet in our binders about how to round to a certain place value. The trick is for the kids to understand that they need to underline the digit in the place they are rounding to and then make an arrow to the digit behind it to the right. THAT DIGIT is the digit that you apply the rule to. The kids understand the rule well, but many still are applying the rule to the digit in the place that we are rounding to. For example: in 45,678  if we are rounding to the thousands place, we would underline the 5 but make an arrow to the 6. The 6 is the digit we look at to follow the rule!! The pearson video online for Topic 1-4 is a great resource!

Tonight’s Homework:

Reading- read 20 minutes

Science- Scientific Method Quiz next Wednesday- use study guide

Math- Topic 1-4 Homework Section EVENS ONLY page 27-28

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August 28, 2017

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So, this is kind of how we all felt this morning. I had an extremely busy weekend getting ready for the Great Geauga County Fair. There’s nothing like giving 10 chickens a bath!! It was more like 10 chickens and one teacher! Just a reminder that I will be at the fair Wednesday afternoon and all day Thursday. There are many kids who also will be showing their animals and will be out as well. I encourage all of the students and families to come to the fair. I will be in the Rabbit and Chicken Barn with my son for like 90% of the time. I will sneak out to work the milkshake booth and walk around. The kids can earn ONE bonus point if they attend the fair and either come see me or bring back a Schedule or their wrist band or hand stamp, etc..  to prove they were there. It is a great opportunity for the kids to see our agriculture world in action. While you are in the Junior Fair barns (and we have cooking and lego projects and flowers…) check to see if you can find some friendly names!!

We completed our first lab in Science- Can You Save Fred? Fred is a gummy worm and not that bright of one either. He lives on a lake but never learned to swim and he hates to wear his life jacket. Well, Fred has found himself on a sinking boat and the kids must work together to save him. Of course, there are a few rules and a very short list of materials. The kids will finish analyzing their lab results tomorrow. The hardest part for the kids was not eating FRED!!!

In Math, we all successfully logged into Pearson and took our first Quick Check online. We are using a paper pencil sheet as well which I will grade until we get used to the online format. The paper copy will be going home in their Friday Folders until the second quarter when they will be doing it 100% online.

Tonight’s Homework:

Reading- Read 20 minutes

Science- Scientific Method Quiz this Thursday

SS- Oceans and Continents Quiz this Wednesday

Math- Place and Value worksheet- that side only! Don’t do the Digit Value side!!


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August 25, 2017

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Happy Friday!!! We made it- finally!! There will be a lot of tired children and teachers coming home today. It is difficult to get right back into a 5 day week- for sure!

CONGRATULATIONS to our two new student council representatives-

Josie  and Will!!

All of the students who gave a speech did a marvelous job and I am so proud of them. We actually had to do a vote off since we had a tie at the end. Just a reminder to these two students that there is a reminder slip in their Friday Folders for our first meeting. Starting Monday, those students who do not have their books covered will be spending some time at lunch/recess covering their books with me with a paper bag. It is important that we take care of our school belongings. Also, many students are not writing their assignments down in the morning. That is their only job to do besides move their lunch clip in the twenty minutes of homeroom before announcements. On Monday, those students who do not write them down, will spend their own time during lunch/recess writing them down. There is more than enough time during homeroom, they need to utilize it. It won’t take long for the kids to realize that homeroom time is a better time than their own social time to do this task!! Next week is a short week. I will be out on Wednesday afternoon and Thursday since I will be at the Great Geauga County Fair with my son who has chickens and rabbits. That is their Junior 4H day to show their projects. We have a wonderful retired Timmons teacher to come in to be our guest teacher. The kids will know who she is as she substituted for Timmons all the time last year.

Tonight’s Homework: 

Reading- Read 20 minutes. Those who didn’t get their last Summer Reading Project activity done (Writing their review question) will need to finish their final copy over the weekend. We had 30 minutes yesterday to write the rough draft and over 60 minutes today to edit and then write final. It is only a paragraph so there was more than enough time. There were some absences but many students just need time at home to finish. 

Science- Scientific Method quiz next Thursday- use packet and cards to study

S.S.- Oceans and Continents Quiz next Wednesday. Use materials in their SS folder

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August 24, 2017

Congratulations to our very own Shelly McDonough!!!!!

If you have the privilege of knowing Shelly than you already know that she is a wonderful person who runs the KMS PTO Bomber Hangar.  My boys are her children’s ages and we have spent many a soccer game, High School Drama practice, music concert or open house sitting next to each other. Well, Shelly has earned the much deserved title of Ohio’s PTO volunteer of the Year!!!! If you have every bought any Kenston spirit wear, thank Shelly!! She makes it all possible. I just wanted to let everyone know and if you should meet her, congratulate her!!!!

It’s almost Friday!! This is one long week for the kiddos and the teachers alike! We are just trying to get back in the swing of this school thing and now we are doing a 5 day week!! We are looking forward to the weekend! Today, we started to learn about the Scientific Method in Science. We cut our vocab cards up and will be working more with them tomorrow. We do have a quick quiz next Thursday on them. The packet and cards in their Science folder will help them prepare. In Math, we played Numero after working in small groups on problem solving questions. Numero is a great way to create numbers to fit requirements. For example, I spin the number spinner and call out the digits. The kids need to place the digits in a blank 8 digit number to make either the largest number, smallest number, largest even number, etc…. It is a game of change since they have to place the numbers before hearing the next one but there is strategy involved as well. We are wrapping up our Summer Reading Project and today the last student did their reading assessment!! Yeah!! Next week, we will get to a more normal routine in Reading.


It was lovely seeing all the parents last night at Open House. If you were not able to attend or just want to relive the moment, I have posted the Slideshow on my website along with both the WHITE and BLUE team schedules. You will see it listed across the bottom of the photo.

Tonight’s Homework:

Reading- Read 20 minutes

Science- Scientific Method quiz next Thursday- see above for details

Social Studies- Oceans and Continents Quiz next Wednesday

Math- Missing Information worksheet- the back side helps kids complete the front side!

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