Friday, December 14, 2007

We're Cooking!

Well, sometimes you learn to be flexible. One of our room parents and I had planned a baking Christmas cookie activity for our last day before break. She was going to bring in all the stuff and lead the children through creating delicious confections. But a few minutes before 8 o'clock I received a call from the office saying that her son was sick and she needed to stay home with him. She did send, however, all the stuff with another mother. I had never seen the recipes but they arrived a little later by email.

Thanks to some other mothers and to the ever helpful Jan Worthy were somehow managed and a few of the batches even came out OK!

Home Studies: Enjoy Christmas Break!

Thursday, December 13, 2007


We had a good time at today's performance. I was surprised by how all the compositions the children had worked on and practiced came together. I heard from several people at school that they thought that the students from room 19 were the best.... I could hardly disagree!

A big thank you to Mr. Lawton for all the wonderful things he has done in music with our class.

Home Studies: Take a night off!

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Checks and Balances

Some of the Dance for Heart festivities.

Learning Algebra using Hands-on Equations.

Today was a quiet pleasant day with one with noisy and wild moment.

We have begun our Open Court Unit 2 testing. We did a good deal of preparation for it last night, and we took the Comprehension and Spelling subsections today. A few of the students took the fluency test as well.

But then we all went out to the yard and did "Dance for Heart." Ms. Toby Smith, our LAUSD dance teacher, developed this to show children that some kinds of dance can provide aerobic benefits just like running or playing certain sports. We learned a dance based on basketball moves, and the children came up in large groups to practice and perform. They had a great time, and it was just nice being outside in the sun and the fresh air for the teachers.

After we came back we did the "check" part of our day. We checked almost all of last night's homework - no easy chore! We did the "balance" part after lunch. We did the first lesson in the Hands-on Equations program, a special math system designed to introduce algebraic thinking to elementary and middle-school children using manipulatives. You can see an example of this above. We'll be continuing with the program throughout the year.

Home Studies: (1) Do the three Open Court papers - "Prefixes and Suffixes," "Commas" and "Dear Mr. President". (2) In the Math book, do "Find a Rule," p 173, and "Work Backwards," p 175. Do all problems.

Monday, December 10, 2007

After Conferences

It's strange, but a full day feels less exhausting than a half day. I guess that's because we as teachers have our breaks for recess and lunch and there are no conferences to worry about.

Not that conferences did not go well. I enjoyed meeting the parents; well, 24 of 27 with a couple yet to come. I learned some good things from them about the children, and I hope they learned some things from me, too. In a couple cases I really surprised them with good news!

It was a very pleasant day. We did some follow-up work for the "Salt" story in Open Court as well as doing our Independent Reading and Writer's Workshop. We watched a sweet performance of How the Grinch Stole Christmas done by the third graders in room 17 (Mrs. Caruso). We practiced a bit for the music assembly on Thursday. We also worked on learning a dance that we will do tomorrow as part of the Dance for Heart assembly on the yard. A few of the boys were embarrassed by this, but they relented after I showed them how it is partly based on basketball moves (and threatened them with the loss of every privilege under the sun).

Homework is a little heavy today, but will be lighter tomorrow.

Home Studies: (1) Do "Expressions with variables," Math, pp 168-169. (2) Do "Equations with variables," Math, pp 170-171. (3) Do the Unit Two Spelling Review wordsearch. (4) Do the Unit Two Vocabulary Review crossword. (5) Do the "Explorers" and "Historical Maps" worksheet. (6) Do the "Settling Alta California" study guide.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

A Few Pictures

I guess I've been so busy getting ready for conferences I've forgotten to post some stuff. Above are some pictures from Thursday's fabulous field trip.

A really pleasant day today. Here's the homework. Now I'm getting back to conferences....

Home Studies
: (1) Do the "Birth of a Baby Food" study sheet. Be sure to answer the questions in complete sentences. (2) Make a Tree Map of the six biomes. Be sure to include a color picture of each biome and at least bulleted facts about each one. (3) DO "Multiply 3 factors," Math, pp 150-151 and " Choose the Operation," Math, pp 152-153.