Thank you for stopping by to see what your child has been up to. You will find useful resources and information updated here frequently.

Friday, March 17, 2017

March is BUSY!


We have been reading machines this month! March has given us the kick of excitement and competition we needed to get ourselves back on track and completing more books! I have noticed the increase in reading at home as well. Keep it up.


This week we worked on several note-taking strategies as we venture into our nonfiction unit for both reading and writing. We will be working on writing pieces that reflect a personal expertise as well as researching new information. Students will begin to learn how to site sources and synthesize information!


Next Tuesday (or Wednesday) students will be taking their Unit 3 math test. This test will cover two and three digit addition and subtraction, as well as rounding, one and two step word problems and graphing. Although I am giving this test next week, I do not expect complete mastery of all these skills as some students are only just beginning to understand three digit subtraction (this one has been tricky). I plan on giving this test or a similar version at the end of the year to see growth with these concepts. Students are bringing home some formative assessments and quizzes that we have used to see our strengths. They can use these to study and try making some of their own problems as well. I have also included three Troll word problems they can practice before Tuesday.

This week we really focused on graphing, picto-charts, and picto-graphs.


We continue to discuss early settlers of Michigan. We also began to touch on the Underground Railroad, what it was, and some of the key vocabulary associated with this escape plan. Students are bringing home the Part One test of this social studies unit.

I will be updating the snack calendar tab on the blog's main page soon to reflect April, May, and June. Remember, you can check your child's snack day anytime on the website!

Friday, February 24, 2017

Almost March


In reading this week the class reviewed how to write summaries of text. We also talked about our reading "identity" and what we look for when choosing books. I will be checking bookmarks every day next week. Please make sure your child is reading most evenings for 20 or more minutes. Initials on the bookmark are still not mandatory, however, if I see there are few pages recorded on the bookmark this may become a requirement for some children. As always, if you prefer to sign the bookmark, you are more than welcome to do so.


This week in writing, we reviewed when and where to elaborate in our stories. We had to back up a bit and draft one more realistic fiction story before we can begin Information writing.

We also talked a lot about complex sentences and ways to consolidate shorter sentences. 


Subtraction has been our focus this week as we reviewed all the strategies we have learned for both addition and subtraction. Many students were utilizing what they know about addition. This is a great connection to make, however, several were making errors. I think we cleared up the confusion this week. Here is one example:



Students also brought home a new game today, How Far From 100. Be sure to check it out this weekend. Digit cards can easily be made with scrap paper at home or a deck of cards can be used as well.


Information for conference schedules came home today. Please review the document your child brought home and respond if necessary. I'm looking forward to reviewing your child's report card together and discussing progress and steps forward.

Friday, February 10, 2017

Reminders and Valentine's Day Activities


Mileage Club

Feelin' Good Mileage Club is here! Don't forget to sign up your child for Mileage Club. The deadline to register is March 6, 2017.

Rising Writers Club only has a few spots left! Register today!

In case you still need the names of students in our class, here is a list below. Please note, we welcomed a new student this week! Welcome, Nathanyl. :)

Maddy Jane

As your child probably mentioned, we will be exchanging valentines next Tuesday and doing some fun activities in the afternoon. I will be providing a little treat and ask that you please refrain from sending in any candy (unless you provide the ingredients list--required). Also, please do not send in cupcakes, cookies or treats. As I have mentioned in the past, all the students in our classroom have special needs of one sort or the other and some of those include allergies. Please respect my request to not send in additional treats. You have all been amazing parents to work with on this so far this year and I appreciate your continuous support.

Activities will include:

  • Root Beer Floats
  • Decorating a gift bag for card collecting
  • Games
  • Crafts

Friday, February 3, 2017

It's February!

I have a lot of updates for you in this post. Please read all the way to the end! As always, if you have any questions send them my way. :)

Mileage Club

Feelin' Good Mileage Club is here! Don't forget to sign up your child for Mileage Club. The deadline to register is March 6, 2017. The opportunity to run/walk will be offered during recess and gym class from early April through May. Information is coming home today in your child's STAR Binder. You can also check out the info on their website and register your child online. Click here.

Book Fair

Book fair will be starting up on February 27th-March 10th. Family nights are Mon Feb 27th and March 7th from 5:30-8:00 in the FPE library.

Rising Writers Club

Your child has an opportunity to join the Rising Writers Club! We talked about some of the details today. If your child is interested in joining there is a lot in store. Take a look at the registration form (click here) and watch the video at the bottom of the electronic form as well as below. Paper registration forms were also sent home today! If you are unable to use the electronic version, please fill it out and return it early next week.

Donations/Food Drive

We will be collecting food donations next week for the Good Shepherd program. Below is the donation schedule. There was also a form sent home today in your child's STAR Binder.
Monday- Mac/Cheese   Tuesday-Canned Pasta   Wednesday-Canned Fruit/Veggie   Thursday-Snacks (applesauce, granola bars, etc.)   Friday-Peanut Butter and Jelly (Please send in plastic jars only)


Students created a 1,000 chart this week and used it solve addition problems with two-three digit numbers. We have talked about several strategies for solving addition/subtraction problems using different tools and mental math. You should have received three games in the past three weeks. They are: Capture 5, Close to 100, and Go Collecting (Go Collecting was sent today). Continue to use websites like Greg Tang Math, Math Salamander, and TenMarks!


This week we spent time talking about point of view and perspective. The class learned that there are different things to look for when determining who is telling the story and that each narrator (inside or outside of the story) has their own perspective of a situation. We will begin talking about our own perspective in relationship to characters' perspectives next week. The purpose of lessons like this is to encourage students to think more deeply about text. Why did the author use that word? Why did that character say or do that? When we ask questions about character motives and the tone of a story we begin to understand the main idea as well as the theme or message of a book. These are complex ways of thinking and allow us, as readers, to better understand the story and it's parallels to life.


We also explored point of view and perspective in relationship to writing this week. Students each wrote short stories from the perspective of an object, animal, or person other than themselves. Below is an example of one student's story, written from the perspective of a pen.

Social Studies

This week and last we talked about French Explorers and their relationship with the Native Americans. Ask your child about the fur trade and what was the most popular item traded here in Michigan. Also, ask them what life as a voyageur was like long ago.

I hope you all have a great weekend! We accomplished a lot. 

Friday, January 6, 2017

Math Talk!

A math talk with one team from our workshop today. 

We had a great few days settling back into our school day. A few students have begun some book clubs. We wrote and published some success stories as we reviewed what a growth mindset means. Students engaged in great math conversations. We finished our read-aloud and will begin a new one next week, it will be a surprise. We finished our conversation about The Three Fires and compared the tribes.

I posted a math update earlier this week, be sure to look back to read.

Snack helpers next week:
Monday: Presten
Tuesday: Graci
Wednesday: Trent
Thursday: Aliyah
Friday: Emmalee

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Math Game Idea!

I am going to work really hard to help students become more flexible and fluent with their understanding of numbers. This starts with fewer flash card and speed-based assessments and more practice, work, and fun with numbers.
It amazes me how smart your children are but how unsure they are of what they know. It is common for us to have a math conversation and they often say, "well, I think" or "maybe its..." They are so unsure of themselves and I really want to build their confidence.
Many of them have a really good base of knowledge. I hope to build on that but we need to build their confidence in what they know and rote memorization of steps and facts won't get them there. There is a place for some memorization but often times this can come in different ways. Below is an excerpt from an article:

"People with number sense are those who can use numbers flexibly. When asked to solve 7 x 8 someone with number sense may have memorized 56 but they would also be able to work out that 7 x 7 is 49 and then add 7 to make 56, or they may work out ten 7’s and subtract two 7’s (70-14). They would not have to rely on a distant memory. Math facts, themselves, are a small part of mathematics and they are best learned through the use of numbers in different ways and situations. " ~ Jo Boaler

If you'd like to read more of this article, click here.

Here is a link to a game we learned today that is fun, easy, and builds fact fluency.
Pepperoni Pizza Multiplication

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Highlights as We Approach 2017!

We had a great day! Kids have a few little gifts wrapped up for families so be sure to get those out of backpacks and under the tree! Also, we did a locker clean out today. Kids are bringing home as much as they could. :)

I have updated the snack information with calendars for January, February and March. Please take a peek. I will try to keep you reminded on your child's day but you can check back here anytime by clicking on the snack information tab and clicking the images. This really helps me out. I often have to provide a snack 1-2 times per week. As much as I love your children it does get challenging for me to always have a full cupboard. I do REALLY appreciate how thoughtful families have been when it comes to the allergies we have in our classroom. All your cooperation and care has been amazing. 

Here is January!

Click image to enlarge.

Take a look at the past few weeks!

Our door decoration completely kid created using imagination and creativity!

Emmalee, Graci, Jordyn, and Kristen (not pictured) created the letters for our door decoration. 

We won the "Golden Note" award!

Sydney was our super star reader this time around!

Graci--Our top Kind and Caring student!
Also, Kristen was our student of the month for third grade! (not pictured)