Thursday, April 29, 2010

More Practice, More Perfection

Today we had two big practice sessions for our CDI performance. One took up much of the morning before recess, and the other occupied the last hour of the day, right up to the dismissal bell. The more practice, the more perfect. Right?

Our room 19 students are looking pretty good, and I definitely invite any parents who are available to come to the show tomorrow at 8:30 in the auditorium.

We did a few other things. We took our spelling test, and the results are on the gradebook. We did reading, we checked homework, and we read a chapter in the History book about California during the Second World War. We also worked on an art project related to the idea of formal balance (symmetrical and near-symmetrical designs). I’ll have a few of them to add to this post tomorrow.

Homework:  (1) Finish the tree house picture and write a two page description of your tree house. Skip lines and write on the front side of the paper only. (2) Do the World War II study sheet. (3) Do Lesson 15.8 in the Math book and the Test Prep pages. There will be a test tomorrow.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Making Perfect

Practice, they say, makes perfect, so we are heading towards perfection in room 19. We practiced reading and responding to literature today, we practiced long division, we practiced hitting a baseball with some kind of accuracy, and, above all, we practiced our play.

Charlie Brown is coming along, and I am feeling quite confident about our June 9th performance. Further times will be forthcoming…..

HomeworkMrs. Mark had to leave early for a doctor’s appointment, so I gave the students a couple math assignments and told them that if they finished them they should have no homework. These were Lesson 15.7 in the math book and a division worksheet. Most finished both.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Y’all Would Have Had a Good Time

Today we spoke with a Texas twang in room 19. This week’s story in our reader is called “Josh McBroom and the Big Wind.” It is a tall tale about surviving the winds of the southern prairies. It’s a great story fun of lots of silly exaggerations. And, best of all, it sound best read with a bit of an accent. And we had a wonderful time readin’ and talkin’ about it. Y’all would have thought it funny.

We also did some math, and we checked and discussed our homework.

Our California native plant garden is doing quite well. Another big thank you to Alysoun Higgins and Laura Salwet for helping us with this project. I just noticed a new blossom this morning. Isn’t it pretty?


Homework: (1) Do spelling words 11-20. Some of these words may unfamiliar to some students, so feel free to use a dictionary or talk to an adult. (2) Do the “McBroom” study questions. Use the page numbers to help find the correct answer. (3) Do the “Tall Tales” and “Author’s Purpose” study sheets. (4) Do “Same Perimeter, Different Areas,” Math, pages 368-369. (5) Do the double digit division worksheet.

Monday, April 26, 2010


We had a pleasant day in room 19 today. The students spent much of the early part of the morning, after our independent reading time, exploring metaphor and hyperbole. We did this for a couple reasons. One, it identifying figurative language and hyperbole is a standard which will be tested on next month’s test. Two, and probably more important for me, it helps get the students ready for reading “McBroom and The Big Wind,” a tall tale which is this week’s story in the reader. To do this, we created some very simple Thinking Maps.

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After recess, we talked about the Great Depression, the Dust Bowl, and other problems California and the United States had during the 1930’s. I shared some of the stories my parents had told me about growing up during this time. As we come into these more modern times in our state’s history, it is a great idea to share some of your family stories with the students to help make all this more real to them.

We had a great time in PE today. We are still using the tees for batting, but this time the students actually got to hit an untethered ball. They had a good time with that! In math, we looked at trying to figure the areas of L-shaped figures and other things which are not perfect rectangles.

Homework: (1) Do sentences for spelling words 1-10. (2) Write a paragraph summary of last week’s “Nachito’s Teaching” story. (3) Do the History study sheet. (4) Do “Irregular Areas,” Math pages 365-366. (5) Do the Division worksheet.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

On the Home Stretch

This is one of our last banked-time Tuesdays. I will not miss them when they are over; I would so much rather be with the students than sit through a faculty meeting….

It was definitely a quiet day in room 19. We had our independent reading, and then we went over homework. We read some more of “Matthew Henson,” though we are still not quite finished with the selection. We had our History Test. Some students finished before lunch, but others took the extra time I gave them after lunch.

Instead of our usual reading buddies, we had play buddies with the kindergarteners. After sitting quietly through the tests, they were ready to run around and have some fun.

Homework: (1) Do the spelling jumble.  (2) Write a long paragraph explaining how the Inuit survive in the harsh arctic conditions. Include Tree Map for prewriting. (3) Do the Double Digit Divisors worksheet. Be sure to do the check step, too. (4) Do “Ordering Integers,” envision Math pages 340-341.

Monday, April 12, 2010


Today went pretty smoothly. I admit I was not happy after learning about the approval of the shortened school year, but we will make the best of it. I shudder when I think about the hundreds of dollars that will be missing from each of my next three checks.

We started off with Independent Reading. It’s a chore reading and responding to all the journals, but I am really impressed by the growth I see in reading comprehension and the use of reading strategies. We then went on to our next Open Court Reading story:  “Arctic Explorer:  The Story of Matthew Henson.” This is not a real thriller, but it does have some icky details in it that fourth graders like. We will take a couple days to finish it.

After recess, we did another Science experiment. This one, like the last couple we did, deals with tolerance, specifically saline tolerance. But here we are using brine shrimp rather than plants to check for response to salt levels. The students were fascinated by the tiny brine shrimp eggs.

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We are doing Physical Education with Mrs. Caruso’s and Mr. Pratt’s class. This is going really, really well, and I really appreciate the generosity of the parents which has made it possible for us to have such great equipment. One of our rotation areas has been hitting, and the students have been practicing their swings with tees. This has been a lot of fun!

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We concluded by looking at negative numbers in math, specifically comparing and ordering positive and negative integers. The students seem to get this without much problem.

Homework:  (1) Sort the spelling words into two tree maps. One tree map should focus on prefixes, the other on plurals. Since all the plurals end in –es, focus on the letters before this.  (2) Do the “Adventure Tale” worksheet. (3) Do the Double Digit Divisors worksheet. We went over this in class and they had some time to get started. This is a new skill, and they will be working on it all week. (4) Do “Comparing Integers,” envision Math pages 338-339. The enrichment page on the back is a little tricky, but figuring out the missing numbers on the table should be fun.