Showing posts from October, 2013

Halloween Homework

Halloween Homework
Tonight or tomorrow, before you begin eating your hard-earned candy, your assignment is to count and classify all your goodies for some fun math work that we will do on Friday and Monday.  You may classify your goodies in any way (brand name, flavor, size, etc) and record the quantity of each using the empty data table on the other side.  (Just fill out the first two fields of information:  “Type of Candy” and “Quantity”
In class, we will work on inputting data into a NCES website called Create-a-Graph in order to find the data for the remaining fields and present the information in a bar graph or pie graph format. (  You are welcome to try it out at home if you dare! J

Keep checking our website to see pictures from our big presentation day!  We are so proud of all the hard work from each student in our room.  There is not a single student who did not show tremendous growth! J

Please Come to see our Biography Presentations!

It is hard to believe the big day is approaching tomorrow!  It was so satisfying to see everyone working so hard on their reports and presentation boards.  Everyone has come so far as a writer, reader, and researcher, that I cannot wait to see the fruits of their labors in the morning. 

Some Final Announcements:
Most students have finished their reports and most of their boards.  Some have printed up their photos at school and will assemble at home, while others made their photos at home and assembled the board at school.  Students were allowed to bring home scrapbook paper, poster board and other materials to finish their presentations.  Some may need help typing their final copy, while others may need some help with their costume.

Students may arrive as early as 8:00am in room 102 without incurring a daycare charge.  We have colored hairspray and facepaint available for use to help students with their costumes.  Parents are invited to drop in any time between 10am and 11am.  Students w…

BDA Homework Guidelines

Dear Parents,
Some children may bring the Buckle Down Aims (BDA)  books home for homework to either catch up or work ahead.  I wanted to make sure that every parent realizes the purpose for the BDA books and how they can support their children at home for school success.  

First of all, the BDA books are designed for test preparation that is aligned to mastery of the state standards.  I always provide lessons prior to having students work in their BDA books, unless the material has been previously mastered.  If your child is unable to complete any portions of the BDA, I encourage them to skip those problems so that a followup lesson can be given in the classroom.   I may also give more simplified work to help build important pre-skills before moving on to the next portion of the BDA.

Please remember that I do not expect parents to spend time teaching these lessons at home.  You can support your child best by helping them find an appropriate time to begin and end their homework and superv…

How Smart can we Get?

Yesterday, I enjoyed watching a Nova Science Gem that my son found about how every person's brain is developed.  It also looked at Albert Einstein's Brain and how the connections he formed from experiences helped him to learn what he discovered.  And if you didn't know already, learning to juggle, or play music, or other new experiences really help build your brain!Click here to watch online

Finding Reliable Online Resources

By fourth grade, most students feel pretty comfortable using the internet to find answers to questions, what they may not realize is that not everything found on the internet is completely reliable.  This week, students will learn how to use the internet to find scholarly resources.  This means resources that are considered reliable enough to use for publication.  When we first had a talk about using the internet, students insisted that Wikipedia was the best place to go.  While even adults use Wikipedia for fast answers (myself included), using it to support facts being presented is not considered a valid source for published research because anyone with a computer can go in and change the information presented without fully backing up their facts.

One of the first search engines that can be used to find scholarly research is Google Scholar.  click here Using Scholar, you will have access to many scholarly journal articles and online books.  The downside of using Google Scholar is tha…

6th Grade Math Work

The last month we have been working on ordering fractions, adding and subtraction fractions with unlike denominators and multiplying and dividing fractions.  Students may work on their BDA books at home or give themselves additional problems for practice. Those who are still working on long division and long multiplication, or those working beyond the standards being covered may give themselves practice to do at home.  Everyone should describe the practice in detail note the time spent on their homework log. (IE, long division, or +- Fractions) We want to make sure that each student is doing work to challenge themselves without reaching frustration level.  Please email if you have any questions!
Ms. Liza and Ms. Kathy

Homework Logs

Starting tonight, all students are required to make an accounting of the time spent doing homework on a homework log. This will help us understand which students may need more targeted support in order to achieve mastery in all the state standards.  They must fill out the activity, and time spent on each activity by themselves and get a parent signature.  Please send me an email if you have any questions!

Ms. Liza and Ms. Kathy

5th Grade Advertising Project Homework

This week, the fifth graders had a lesson on bias in persuasive writing.  We talked about using loaded words, exaggeration and euphemisms.  We also talked about tricks that advertisers use, such as the bandwagon effect, peer pressure, loaded words, stereotyping and repetition.

The homework for this week is to choose at least 3 print advertisements that may be an example of one or more of these terms.  They are to cut out or print out these ads and bring them to class. We will discuss and share our findings on Thursday afternoon.

Biography Research Project

This was sent home the last week of September.  If you did not recieve it from your child, please feel free to send me an email.
September 26, 2013 Dear Parents,                                                              
            During the month of October, the upper elementary will be researching important historical figures and will create a living wax museum on the morning of Halloween.  This research project will take place during class time where the students learn how to use print resources such as biographies and autobiographies as well as scholarly internet resources to gather information.  Students will need 3-5 resources, two of which must be books.              We are planning to visit the library in small groups next Tuesday or Thursday to gather our resources.  Students must have a valid library card in their name or their parent’s name in order to participate. 
Here is a brief overview of how you can support your student during each step of this research project: vRe…

Practical Life

I began my journey as a Montessorian when my 17 year old was a little one in primary.  It was amazing to me, an experienced teacher, to see a classroom of thirty 3-6 year-olds choosing work independently, working with great concentration, and cleaning up their works on their own.  At his school, I was allowed to observe a complete morning work cycle as well as lunch.  It delighted me to see this hyper little son of mine beg his teacher to mop the floor.  It amazed me to see him take such delight in cleaning tables and polishing furniture at school, but puzzled me as to why he did not clean up so readily at home.  So I asked his teacher. My question was answered with a question of her own. "What sort of prepared environment are you creating at home?"

I realized then, that I did not expect my son to do any cleaning at home, nor did I invite him to work alongside me. Soon after, I found ways to incorporate his help with meal preparation, including packing his lunch, as well as …