Friday, November 30, 2007

The Vocabulary Parade

Hi Everyone!

I just wanted to post pictures from the Vocabulary Parade. It was so nice to see so many parents able to attend. I know the kids had a wonderful time and walked with pride from classroom to classroom. The costumes were fantastic representations of words. This year was also the first time that Mrs. Zia, Mrs. Villaflor, and I also joined in the fun! We look forward to having it again next year. Thank you for helping to make it such a success.

Check out our great words...























Social Studies & Read Aloud: We read a great book to support our study of the Northeast. Did you know that there was a molasses explosion in Boston? Ask your child to tell you the tale of:

We also welcome a new student to our classroom from Lincoln Street School. Welcome Caitlynne! We are thrilled to have you in our class.


  • 12/3- School House Rocks will visit us with perfomances by students from Algonquin

  • 12/5- Wednesday: Multiplication Test

  • 12/14-Friday: Field Trip to the Harvard Museum of Natural History

Thanks and have a great week!


Sunday, November 25, 2007

On My Mind...

Hi Everyone!

I hope this post finds everyone well rested and ready for last few weeks of 2007! I had a wonderful Thanksgiving in my new house and even got the plumber to come to hook up the new stove...just in time to cook the turkey! I am looking foward to a great December with the kids. It will be busy, but we will do our best to keep it interesting with creative projects and fun science activities. We will also begin to prepare to say goodbye to Mrs. Brush, who will finish student teaching with us at the end of the month.

Here is a quick update from Room 5:

Winter Weather...

Well, it was quite a surprise last Tuesday to see snowflakes falling from the sky! It was very exciting for us as it was our first chance to go out and play in the snow this year. Please encourage your child to dress appropriately for winter in Massachusetts. We do go outside most days for 30 minutes, even in winter. Once the snow pack arrives to stay, you child must have on both boots and snowpants to play in the snow. Hats, mittens/gloves, and scarves are also greatly appreciated by the children (when they are shivering on the field or playground.) not that they would ever admit that they were cold! Also, consider labeling your child's gear so that it does not wind up in the Lost and Found. Thank you for your help with this.

Fun with Friends

Warm and Cozy

Toasty Hands or...

Chilly Fingers!

Study Hall
We have begun to have Study Hall at the end of the day. After the children pack up for dismissal, they are allowed to work on projects, get a jump on homework, or read. This gives Mrs. Brush and I the opportunity to help kids with homework or "field" any questions about projects. The children have been really receptive to the idea so far and we plan to continue. Remind them to ask for help if they need it!

Math: Tabulate-A-Turkey
Just before the break, the students were given a "pretend" $1.50 to create a turkey. They could purchase paper strips, google eyes, confetti, feathers, and pompoms. We provided the glue and paperplates "free" of charge. The students had a great time planning their supply purchase and creating their turkeys.

Gobble, Gobble!

Proud of her work!

Crafts & Math...what a great day!

Math: Mad Minutes
Will this be the week that someone hits 60 facts in 2 minutes? I finally got my 60 last week!
I am proud to say that many students have gotten to at least 30 facts in 2 minutes, so we are half way there. Please keep practicing!

Social Studies
We have finished with Canada and have moved into the Northeast Region. We made maps of the region and foldables to help us organize our new vocabulary words. Some students have opted to take part in an enrichment project. They will be making an ABC Book of the Northeast Region. They will select various points of interest, geographic and historical features, and will write a paragraph about each for every letter A-Z. (Example: A is for Appalachian Mountains, B is for Boston Tea Party) They will also create an illustration for each page. Some work will be completed in class, but your child must do work at home as well in order to meet the December 20th due date. Please have your child ask me for help if they need guidance!

We will be wrapping up Earth Science this week and Mrs. Brush will be starting her unit on Matter. We have cooked up some great activities for this unit and we know the children are really going to enjoy it!

Vocabulary Parade:
Costumes are due on Thursday and the Parade is at 1:45 PM on Friday. Don't forget your camera and feel free to dress up as a word too!

On a closing note, I took a really great field trip with my family on Saturday night. We went to see Zoolights at the Stone Zoo in Stoneham, MA. The whole zoo is covered in holiday lights and you can walk around and see the animals. Emma loved it as did the rest of my family. You should check it out, if you are looking for a fun family activity. Be sure to dress warmly as it is all outdoors. Here is the link for more information:

Have a great week!

Friday, November 16, 2007


Hi Everyone!
I just want to say thank you for taking the time to come in and meet with Mrs. Brush and me. The class is truly a delightful group of students to work with. We enjoyed sharing stories and making plans to help your child to do his/her best. I am also pleased to report that this is the first time in my 10 years of teaching that I have had 100% attendence at parent conferences.
I also want to send out a special thank you to the Zeh P.T.O. for approving a recent grant to benefit our classroom. They generously funded new educational board games for our class to use as the weather turns colder. We look forward to playing Scrabble, Boggle Jr., Apples to Apples, and a few more that I can't remember right now. Thank you, P.T.O.!
Here is a quick update from Room 5:
Social Studies: Mrs. Brush led a lesson where the child were inspired to make Native American masks that represent their individual families. This connects with our study of Canada and the Inuit people. See the creative student work below.

Our Native Family Masks

Writing: We are working on our Northeast Sensory Poems as well as our Disgusting Foods essays. Our bulletin boards have been updated and we are very proud of our beautiful work. Please stop by to see our "sparkling" Super Monkey bulletin board outside of Room 5. Here are just a few pictures from our boards...

Our Fall V & V pictures

Our Favorite Hero- Super Monkey

Mathematics: Well the challenge is out there for "Mad Minutes Master of the Day". Interestingly, we have had a new "master" each day. I am pleased to say that I have made it (finally) to 60/60 correct in 2 minutes. We continue to emphasize "personal best" and growth over time. We will keep on it!
Reading: Some students in Mrs. Brush's group completed independent projects to supplement their study of The War with Grandpa. They started presentations today and should be commended for excellent work. I am so proud of their effort!

Two War with Grandpa Games

A Map of Peter's House
Vocabulary Parade: Please encourage your child to keep on top of this project. They should use their project calendar to stay on track and they should be working on their costume. Remember, the costume is due on 11/29 (Thursday) and the Parade is on 11/30 (Friday) at 1:45 PM. Parents and cameras are WELCOME!

Field Trip: Thank you for the many offers we've received to chaperone our trip to the Harvard Museum of Natural History. Our four chaperones are: Mrs. Alessi, Mrs. Kelley, Mrs. English, and Mrs. Thompson. I will be sending home the "extra" checks on Monday or Tuesday. If you were not selected, don't despair...we hope to go on a spring field trip as well!

  • 11/20 (Tuesday) Quiz on Canada
  • 11/21 (Wednesday) 11:30 Dismissal for Thanksgiving Break
  • 11/22 Happy Thanksgiving
  • 11/26 Professional Development for Teachers
I hope eveyone has a wonderful Thanksgiving. Rest and enjoy time with your families if you can!

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Busy Week...

Hi Everyone!

My home office is slowly coming together and Mr. Gorham set up the card reader for the digital camera today. I have been snapping pictures of all the fun activities we have been working on in room 5. Thank you also to everyone who was able to make it to Read-Aloud Night last Thursday. We had a great turnout and it was nice to hear Mrs. Zia share some of her writing with us.
Here is the update:

Mathematics: We are now into multiplication. We have begun "Mad Minutes" are working toward completing 60 facts in 2 minutes. We will do this daily to build not only accuracy, but automaticity. I am not expecting everyone to complete 60/60, but I am looking for improvement over time. We are graphing our progess as well. (I am still trying to beat my personal best of 59/60...I keep leaving one blank!) Please use the websites or standard flash cards to practice. It will make division that much easier for your child if they know their facts.

Welcome to Canada! The zebra has switched from his sombrero to a "Mountie" Hat!
A rousing game of Jeopardy!

Wow! That was easy, right?!?

Social Studies: We have been learning all about Canada and are working on province reports with partners. Mrs. Brush created an exciting Jeopardy game for us to review with. She has also been teaching us French.

Science with Mrs. Guitard

Science: Mrs. Guitard (our field study student from FSC) has shared a lesson on hot air balloons with us. We have also continued to test our minerals. So far, we have tested for luster, streak, cleavage, fracture, and specific gravity (density). We will also test for hardness this week. Thanks again to Mrs. Thompson (Mrs. Villaflor's student teacher) for helping us!
Testing Minerals
It must be fun if everyone is smiling!

This group is dedicated to their scientific work!
Writing: We are busily writing our five paragraph essays on disgusting foods. Revising and editing using "interesting" vocabulary continues to be a primary focus. We will also begin a sensory poetry project to help kick off our study of the Northeast Region in social studies. Thank you for sending in pictures with your child!
Reading: We are continuing with realistic fiction. The War with Grandpa group made authentic looking "War Declarations" using a tea stain process. The Because of Winn Dixie Group has been working on charater development and finding evidence in the story to support answers to comprehension questions.
Read-Aloud: We have begun to read "More Tales from the Classroom at the End of the Hall," the sequel to the first book we read in room 5. Ask your child what their favorite chapter has been so far.

Vocabulary Parade: Please keep track of your project using the calendar that was provided. Four creative words are due on Tuesday. We will select one word together and then you are free to begin costume construction. Parents are welcome to "parade" with us around Zeh on Friday, November 30th at 1:45 PM. Bring your camera. This is a fantastic fourth grade activity and we will all have the opportunity to increase our vocabulary. I can't wait to see everyone in costume!

We have a busy week coming up. Here are just a few reminders:
  • 11/12 Monday- No School Veteran's Day
  • 11/13 Tuesday- 11:30 Dismissal for Parent Conferences/Vocab Parade Words are due at School
  • 11/15 Thursday- 11:30 Dismissal for Parent Conferences
  • 11/16 Friday- Field trip $$ due to school for our trip to the Harvard Museum of Natural History
  • 11/17 Saturday- Pancake Breakfast and Shop 'til You Drop

(And For My Planners...) A Look Ahead:

  • 11/21 Wednesday- 11:30 Dismissal
  • 11/22 Thursday- Happy Thanksgiving (No School)
  • 11/23 Friday- No School
  • 11/26 Monday- Professional Development for Teachers (No School)
  • 11/30 Friday- Vocabulary Parade begins at 1:45 PM

I look forward to seeing you all at Parent Conferences. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!