October 27, 2015

Let the WILD Rumpus Begin!!

Library was today and I must tell you library day is a BIG deal for us teachers!!  We have more planning time and I copy and prep like crazy for the upcoming week.  Today, though, I got distracted and decided to decorate our door.  Oh yes, multi-tasking at it's best.  By the time I had to meet them for computer lab the majority of the work was done.

I wrote, Where the Wild Things Are and Enter if You Dare on the door.

I think this is how the rest of our week is going to look!!  The rest of the pics will be posted tomorrow.  But for now, enjoy these WILD THINGS (click the pic to enlarge).

They didn't even need to practice their Wild Thing look.


After reading, I Need My Monster, we drew and painted our very own monsters.

October 26, 2015

Good Readers Visualize

I always begin teaching visualizing by using poems because they're short and sweet.

After we read it a couple of times we use highlighters to underline words that helped to paint a picture in our mind.

Here are the two we worked with last week.  Students LOVED checking out each others pictures and how they illustrated each one.


What's Your Favorite Kind of Candy?

Alright, so we just had to write about candy!!  Who doesn't enjoy a piece, occasionally or even once a day?  With Halloween approaching we wrote our opinions.

Kids illustrated and labeled their favorite candy.  They added it to a large pumpkin bucket I made (which I don't have a picture of).

Here are a few examples of their writing.

Love his illustration and how he labeled!




Pumpkin Jack

Another pumpkin went home!!


We also had to say goodbye to Pumpkin Jack.  He was getting pretty nasty!!  These two were ready and willing to toss him outside.

Red Ribbon Week

We're celebrating Red Ribbon Week.  We decorated our door with a ribbon, wrote, and illustrated how we keep our bodies healthy and safe.


Monday: Wear Red
Tuesday: PJ Day
Wednesday: Team Jersey
Thursday: Hat Day (Donate a $1)
Friday: Community Color

Newsletter for the Week of Oct. 26th


October 18, 2015

Newsletter for the Week of the 19th

What's Your Favorite Fall Activity?

What's your favorite fall activity?  We brainstormed a list of fall activities on a leaf and then wrote our opinions.

Students listed collecting leaves, riding their bikes through the leaves, playing in them, finding acorns, climbing trees, jumping in the leaves, making leaf piles, running through them, and some celebrate their birthdays in the fall.

Notice NO ONE said the colder weather!!

Of course I modeled and then they were off.  We completed this cute writing activity and created the acorns to go with them.  They look adorable in the hall.

Narrative Writing

This week we focused on Narrative Writing.  I have now introduced students to the 3 forms of writing.

I always begin with the read aloud, Wilfrid Gordon McDonald Partridge. It's such a great way to introduce memories and how they make you feel.

We quickly listed some feelings and memories (from the book) that could fit into each category.  Sorry for the messy board and writing but kids quickly picked up on writing about something they know well. I even shared some of my memories.  Some were happy, while others were sad.


Students created their own Heart Maps to use later which has drawings and labels of topics they can write about.

I always begin by writing about what we know.  I find students have a difficult time making up a story that has a beginning, middle, and end. SO we write about what we know.

This week we read books about mom and dad.  We brainstormed a list of what we do with our moms and dads and then began writing.

After Quiet 10 (illustrating), I model and show them the expectations. We're currently working on writing 3 sentences, an opening, middle, and wrap up sentence.  Some students can do more and I'm all for it!!

Once they're done, they go back and reread their work and check for conventions.  I meet with them and if they're all done I stamp/write the date at the bottom.  Then students go back to finish their illustration.

Here are the pieces I modeled.

Can YOU Making a Connection to Scaredy Squirrel

If you haven't read the Scaredy Squirrel books you need to!  I absolutely love them and wish I had come up with such a brilliant idea for a book.

We made connections to Scaredy.  Everyone has a fear!!  Once we shared our fears students filled in the connection paper.  It's a FREE download at my TpT Store (Scaredy Squirrel Connections).

Once the students filled in the worksheet I showed them how to draw their very own Scaredy Squirrel.  I wish I had taken pictures!!  They came out great and are hanging in the hall.  Students made their very own Emergency Kit using their connection worksheet to help them.

Here are a few pictures of students working.

Pumpkins and More Pumpkins

We finished up pumpkins last week so let me share what we've done!

During Computer Lab, students wrote a pumpkin fact and made an illustration.  They also created a diagram where once again they couldn't use scissors.  Let me just say, they're getting pretty good at ripping paper!!

We also wrote the steps on "How to Carve a Pumpkin" and we actually carved a pumpkin.  His name is Pumpkin Jack and we're making observations each day on how he looks.  He wasn't looking so good Friday and the kids even noticed the beginning stages of mold.  They went around the room plugging their noises and saying, "Pee-yew!"  I think on Monday we'll have to part ways with him.


We finished up by creating some silly looking pumpkins.  This is one of my FAVORITE activities because it involves PAINT and ART!!  We began by tracing the shape of a pumpkin with white oil pastels on orange paper.  Then with yellow, orange, and red paint we painted and blended the colors together.


Once dry, they created their very own silly pumpkins.  Notice our sign though.  They liked the sound of "Crazy Pumpkins" instead.


A closer look...



We've already received SO many compliments on how great they look in the lobby.  They make everyone smile!

October 6, 2015

Another Pumpkin Goes Home

Ayva had the closest estimate today and won our class pumpkin!

World Teachers' Day...Say What?!

Did you know Monday was World Teacher Day?  No...well I didn't either.

We were called to the lobby for a special surprise.  As the kids sat along the lobby hall our principal announced it was World Teachers' Day.

Usually we're the ones cheering and motivating our students but on this morning we were the ones being cheered on as we walked down the hall by grade level.  At the end, Ms. Tuell, gave us flowers. How sweet!!

Grades 3-5 were treated to homemade treats and Dunkin Donuts coffee.


It was fantastic and we were even on the news.  OH MY!!

Check out the link (Old Town Celebrates World Teachers' Day).

Fire Prevention Week

This week we had firefighters come in to talk to our class about fire safety.  We were even lucky enough to see the fire truck.



A HUGE thank you for taking the time out of your busy day to come talk to us!

Meet Kolton

Meet Kolton!!

Meet Autumn

Meet Autumn!!

October 3, 2015

A Glimpse into Opinion Writing

For our first trimester we focus on Opinion Writing.  We've been working slowly at getting into the routine and expectations of Writer's Workshop.  I've focused in on conventions and writing a complete thought.

I use notebooks that I found at Walmart and section them off into 3 parts (Opinion, Narrative, and Informational).


Here are some of the opinion pieces we've worked on.

Do you like your name?
Would you be friends with Mean Jean?
Do you like apples?
What's your favorite season?
What was your favorite activity at the apple orchard?



I model like CRAZY, talking through the process as I write.  We also brainstorm a list of words they might like to have on the board.  

Before they conference with me they need to reread, check over conventions, and that sight words are spelled correctly.  My goal is to have them write about something meaningful, make them feel like they are all GOOD writers, and that they are successful.

Next week we're going to try some narrative writing so check back!

Torrential Rain and a Pumpkin Winner

We had torrential rain this week.  As buses were being called I popped into the office to see this!  As we watched from the window we continued to say, "Whatever it takes!"


Not even a rain jacket, rain boots, or umbrella helped.  By the time our principal, Ms. Tuell, came back into the building she was SOAKED! And to think she had a meeting right after this.

Thank you for making sure our students got to their buses and cars safely.

Marcus was our first pumpkin winner.  He had the closest estimate for the circumference around the ghost pumpkin.


Congrats Marcus!!

Scavenger Hunt and Squirrels

We've been learning about squirrels this week.  We've been reading informational and fictional books.  Students wrote their own informational book.  They wrote an opening, 3 facts, and a wrap up. In computer lab they created a Squirrel Diagram.

On Friday, we went on a scavenger hunt on the bike path.  They were looking for fall items to use when they made their squirrel homes.  Did you know a squirrel's home is called a drey?

Here they are hanging up in the hall.


I've also uploaded the scavenger list I used for free in case you'd like a copy (FREE Scavenger Hunt Checklist)!

Meet Colby

Meet Colby!!

Newsletter for the Week of October 5th