Monday, September 28, 2009

Fall has Arrived!

I am so excited for fall: the changing leaves, cool weather, and holidays!
The book order date has been extended to Sept. 30th so please get your orders in!

Math: Students are amazing at algebra and will be testing on Wednesday. They will then go into decimals: adding, subtracting, (should be review) then multiplying and dividing them as well.

Science: We are finishing up seasons and the students will be tested on this next week and we will move on to the properties of sound. For extra science credit this week students can take a Seasons UTIPS test.
From the blog: Link on the Mrs. Birds UEN page link
Click on the Tests link under “My Bookmarks”
Take the Seasons test—you can take it as many times as you want to help you learn the information

Social Studies: We looked at a map of Ancient Egypt and talked about all the students background knowledge. This week they will learn about their class system and start reports.

Reading: We were so excited to start guided reading last week! I love every book that the groups are doing and look forward to our conversations.

Writing: Students continue to work through the writing process with their personal narratives.

**The students will be tested on their past 25 vocabulary words this week instead of a spelling test.

Mrs. Davis is back!! She teaches during the morning and Mrs. Bird is the afternoon teacher. Feel free to email us:

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Scholastic Book Orders

Reminder: Book Orders are due by Sept. 28. You can order on line or send them back to school with your student.

To Order Online:
User Name: doubletrouble
Password: books

Some Top Picks:
Timeless Treasures: Fun for whole Family
56. The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane-For everyone
28. Gary Paulsen Pack-Outside Adventure
79. 39 Clues-Mysteries
45. Junie B. Jones-first and second graders
55. Max Lucado Pack-great for goodnight read alouds
83. Wayside School Pack-Timeless books, I remember reading

Arrow: Great for Sixth Grade
98. The Witches-only $1
78. Smiles to Go-new book by well known author Jerry Spinelli
48. Inkdeath-last book in the series
8. The Big Field-for sports lovers
48. Bill Wallace Pack-for animal lovers
67. Percy Jackson & Olympians Boxed Set-Great books but if bought I ask you not to read until we have finished the first book in the series as a class.

Tab: Higher Levels
36. The Graveyard Book-2009 Newbeary Medal
43. The Hunger Games-great books for mature readers
3. Among the Hidden-$1 special
8. Best of TAB Pack-5 great books
84. Uglies Trilogy-also great reading for more mature readers
35. Giver-classic

There are so many good books it was hard for me to choose what to put on here but I included books I thought you might not be familiar with and ones I love!

Monday, September 21, 2009

Last Week Alone

This is Mrs. Bird's last full week and Mrs. Davis' last week of maternity leave. It is bitter sweet for the both of us!

Math: Students are doing a wonderful job learning algebra. They are all catching on so well and really seeing the joy in math. Mrs. Bird and Mrs. Davis have such a love for math to pass on to these students!

Writing: Students are working on writing their personal narratives. They have made sure their story has all the components it needs and everyone has begun their draft.

Social Studies: We have been through all of Ancient Mesopotamia. Last week we learned about the battles between the Assyrians and Babylonians. After many years of wars the Babylonians finally defeated the Assyrians once and for all. The brains out smarted the muscles.

Science: Students have been learning the reasons for seasons. We measured pictures of the sun and noticed that in the summer the sun appears to be smaller: the class concluded that this means the sun is actually further away in the summer. The difference in the distance is so small that it does not affect our seasons.

Reading: Students are wonderful at thinking about their thinking while reading. We have begun working on "Monitoring for Meaning." This means that the students know when something doesn't make sense in their reading and they use appropriate strategies to figure it out. We are starting our reading groups this week.

I was very impressed with President Obama's speech. He talked about how he has talked with teachers and parents about their responsibilities for educating the children but this speech was specifically on how it is the students' responsibility to be educated and learn at school. He talked about trying over and over again until you get it, Never giving up, and that what and how much you learn is ultimately up to you.

Thanks for all those who donated to our basket, and to Emily Flake for putting it together. It looked absolutely delicious!

Monday, September 7, 2009

Movin' and Groovin'

It always amazes me how fast each week goes by. We are having so much fun in school as we move through the curriculum.
Math: The students worked with place value, estimation, rounding, and learned about exponents. We saw huge numbers like a googol and googolplex, also saw how quickly numbers grow exponentially and were amazed as we tried to make towers that grew exponentially by 2. The students will be tested on Wednesday.

Reading: We continued in Zlata's Diary and asked many questions about the war she faced and Sarajevo where she lived. We compared her life to ours and her war to the ones we know about. The students wrote long journal entries about their thinking and the discussion we had as a class. Wow! These students sure can write.

Writing: We continue to learn about the writer's process and collect ideas for stories in our idea's notebook.

Social Studies: It was fun to compare the hunter/gatherer society with the society that started agriculture. We learned that as their farms became more productive city members had a chance to do other things besides worry about food and the first real civilization is born.

Science: We began learning about the seasons. This week we will combine all the students survey answers to see what the majority of people think about seasons. A similar survey was given to Harvard students at graduation and most of them got the answers wrong. In a few short weeks your students will be smarter than college graduates!!

Please make sure that when you sign your child's homework you check it for completion and make sure it is legible.

I look forward to another great week!