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Friday, February 26, 2010

A Big Bite

This week was a fantastic week! It started strong and ended strong! Everyone worked very hard and put forth great effort after having a week off!
We finished Chapter 7 in math and took the unit test. Mrs. Y came in on Friday to practice MCAS questions. In science, we finished a unit of study on humidity and precipitation. We played ring that bell and took the test on Friday. We started learning about the Southeast United States and watched the National Geographic CDs about this very interesting region.
We began writing another essay about our "best time ever." This should be finished next week. During Reader's Workshop, we had more visitors! Mrs. Williams said this should be the end of our visitors for a while. The teachers from Davis Thayer and Parmenter were very impressed with us! We finished Snow Treasure and it was AWESOME! We loved all of the cliffhangers that McSwigan used, especially at the end. Mrs. Williams said that we did a great job on summarizing the chapters and learned so much about figurative language. Our book count is 785 books read as of 2/26/10. We will be starting a unit of study on Mythology next week in addition to practicing for the ELA MCAS. The Lightning Thief book group is making good progress. What will happen to Percy, Annabeth and Grover? Keep reading to find out!
On Thursday we had an assembly about Bullying. Afterwards, we had a BIG Open Circle to discuss some of the ideas presented. Mrs. Williams will be sending home some information about bullying next week.
On Friday, we celebrated earning 30 parrots for good effort and behavior in Specials with Gameday. The Twister fans were tied up in knots! Check out the video!
We want to send a friendly shout out to our new follower in Queensland, Australia! We hope you like what you see and look forward to any comments you have for us from Down Under! What books are your favorites and what do your students like to read? We sure wish we had your warm weather because it has been snowing and raining here for the past week!
Until next week!
Jack, Jake, Matt, Bryan, Ellie, Gracie, Kiran and Jules.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Bookworm Buzz

Dear Reader,
I have just been to see a showing of The Lightning Thief at the movies. The theater was packed and the air was "electric with excitement." I know that many of you have starting reading this book and may be tempted to see the movie to help you with the story. BE WARNED!!! The movie is VERY different from the book, and dare I say, a disappointment. I am glad that I saw this movie, but I am much happier that I have read the book. The book is SO much better. As a teacher, I know that any student who tries to say that they have read the book, when in fact they have only seen the movie, will EASILY be discovered. Do yourself a favor, stick with the book!
Read on readers!
Mrs. W

Friday, February 12, 2010

A Big Bite

Making President's Day Dioramas!
Gracie's lollipop flowers!

To celebrate Valentine's Day, teachers and students participated in another round of the Cupid Shuffle! Click here to see a video of us on You Tube posted by Mrs. Merten! Jolie and Kristen say that of all the teachers', I "owned" that dance. High Praise indeed! Thanks ladies!
On Monday, Mr. Goguen came to our classroom to videotape us participating in Reader's Workshop. It was a lot of fun and Mrs. W says that we all did a fantastic job! We continued to read Snow Treasure, and were left with a cliffhanger on Friday. As a class, we have read 754 books so far this year. Mrs. W has started a Lightning Thief book club. There is an assignment for vacation. Mrs. W has said that it is o.k. to abandon this book if it is too hard, it is probably a someday book for many of us. Due to the fact that the movie version opens today, and there is so much excitement surrounding this book, she thought we could give it a try and see how it goes. Remember readers, sometimes the movie can be VERY different from the book. Everyone has to have a plan for how they are going to participate in this book club, whether a student reads it independently, listens to it on tape, partner reads with a parent, or is read to, the plan will determine whether or not a student will experience the maximum success with this book. We will be starting a unit of study on mythology when we return from vacation.
In writing, we all finished our helpful essays, and will start a new prompt when we return from vacation. We have also started to write Diamante poems. These poems are in the shape of a diamond and compare two opposite nouns.
There were many funny coincidences this week regarding our studies in Science and Social Studies. IN science, we talked about precipitation and make Geo-snowflakes. We will be writing haiku and free verse poems about them. This seems to coincide with our snow day! Also, we finished our tour of Washington D.C., and thought it humorous that the people living there have record breaking snowfall. The D.C. brochures look great and everyone should feel awesome about the effort that they have put into this project. I love when the stars and the curriculum align! Ah, education bliss!
Our Valentine's celebration was a lot of fun. Thanks for all of the wonderful cards and treats! We even got to celebrate Matt's birthday with cupcakes. Thanks Matt, and Happy Birthday!
MCAS reading practice will kick into high gear when we return from vacation, and believe it or not, we are going to have more visitors! Our reputation as an awesome class is spreading!
Have a wonderful and relaxing vacation!
Mrs. W

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Bookworm Buzz

Last night, I had the great pleasure of meeting Rebecca Stead, the 2010 Newberry Winner. She read from her book, When You Reach Me, and took questions from the audience for about one hour. She was thoughtful in her responses and very gracious. During the signing, she took time to speak to each person individually and even posed for pictures (that's Liv and Luke with her)! Rebecca Stead is one of the most sincere and delightful children's authors I have ever met. The story is amazing and in my opinion she is most deserving of the Newberry Award.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Juicy Nibble

Today we talked about how to make ice-cream using some simple ingredients and a lot of elbow grease. Here are the directions:
You will need 2 Ziploc bags -1 large and 1 small
1 cup of milk or chocolate milk
vanilla for flavoring
ice cubes
table salt.
*you can add anything to the ingredients that you like, nuts, sprinkles, small candies, etc.
Place the ingredients in the small bag and seal tightly-you can wrap tape around it to keep it closed.
Place the small ingredient filled bag into the large Ziploc bag, fill with ice.
Pour 1 cup of salt over the ice, seal the bag tightly-you can wrap tape around it to keep it closed.
Shake the bag continuously for a minimum of 20 minutes. The consistency of the ice-cream will be determined by the amount of time that the bag is shaken. Remember, the ice-cream will be soft.
Have fun!

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Bookworm Buzz

Henry Aaron's Dream, by Matt Tavares, tells the story of Hank Aaron with moving pictures and rich text. I LOVED THIS BOOK! I made sure to take my time studying the illustrations because they speak as loud as the words on the page. I would recommend reading this book with a parent because there are two occasions when an offensive word that is sometimes used to refer to African Americans appears in the text. Mrs. Perry and I read both read this book, had a great discussion about the pictures, and how to handle that offensive word when reading this book with children. She told me about how she connected to the pictures, one in particular. Readers talk about their reading. If you read this book, talk to her about it. I know that she would love to talk about reading with you!

Friday, February 5, 2010

A Big Bite

We started the week with Will's birthday, what a great way to start the week. In math, we used pattern blocks to solve fraction problems. We are also making connections with fractions and decimals. We spent time in the tech lab taking our timed math quiz on multiplication and division facts. Several of us have mastered the multiplication facts with greater than 90% accuracy in under three minutes. Icebergs were the topic of the week in Science and we read an issue of National Geographic which was very interesting and had awesome photographs. We viewed a power point presentation about Washington D.C. and spent time in the computer lab taking a virtual tour of the National Mall. Check out the new gadget on the right where you can sign up to be a web ranger! Everyone had a chance to take notes for their project. We will learn more about immigration next week. We took the chapter 11 English test and the mid year test in English. Our focus in writing has been completing a five paragraph essay about a time that we were helpful. We should start and finish the final copies next week and hopefully have some time for more poetry writing. Snow Treasure, our interactive read aloud in Reader's Workshop, has left us "cliff hanging" for the weekend. It was another busy week for visitors as 6 4th grade teachers from the Keller School came to watch us in action. Everyone is so excited because we are going to be videotaped on Monday! Mrs. Williams was able to get several free books with the last book order and we can't wait to dive into them. Our new book count for this week is 730 books read so far this year!On Friday we will celebrate Valentine's Day with, "party in a bag," which will take place at snack time. Everyone is invited to share Valentine's with all of their classmates. On Friday we earned an extra recess because we won the Penny count! We are going to wait until the spring when the weather is warmer to use it. Can you believe that there is only one week until February vacation? We can't.
By the Friday afternoon bus bloggers,
Jack, Bryan, Ellie, Jake, Nick, Kiran, Gracie, Julia &Matt