We had an amazing first day of school! I can’t believe how fast it went by. It was so much fun getting to know your children better and starting to build our classroom community. I had a blast eating lunch with the class



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8/29/11
First Day!

We had an amazing first day of school! I can’t believe how fast it went by. It was so much fun getting to know your children better and starting to build our classroom community. I had a blast eating lunch with the class. I’m so happy to be at Carderock Springs and I’m looking forward to a wonderful, productive year!
Today the students filled out a questionnaire all about themselves for me to read over and they wrote down their goals for this year. We visited the library to check out books after reviewing how to pick out a book that’s “just right” for us. We reviewed some of our classroom routines, expectations for behavior, and positive consequences (ask them about tickets!). We got to know each other (our fellow classmates and our fellow third graders) better by playing some games. We also began to unpack and organize our supplies. We were able to organize/label the dividers in our binders and label our homework folder.
Tomorrow we will continue doing community building activities to learn more about each other. We will also talk more about behavioral expectations and work as a class to develop a set of classroom rules. We will finish sorting through our supplies and will label our folders and composition/spiral notebooks. I do have extra folders and composition/spiral notebooks, but would greatly appreciate if your child had 4 of each. Thank you!

8/30/11
Today we had another busy and fun-filled day! Our community building activities helped us to learn more about each other and helped to create a positive, welcoming classroom environment for everyone. After reading a book called How to Behave and Why, we talked more about behavioral expectations and worked as a class to develop a set of classroom rules (posted below). Tomorrow we will review the rules and finalize them before signing them to show that we agree with the rules and will follow them. We finished sorting through our supplies and labeled our folders and composition/spiral notebooks. Thank you for sending in supplies!!  We also had a fire drill today. Our class did amazing!! Prior to the drill we reviewed how important drills are and talked about where to go and how to act during fire drills, code blues (now called Shelter in Place) and code red (now called Lockdown). I was so proud of how mature they were!!  

 

  



 Classroom Rules 

 1.      Show good listening at ALL times 

 2.      Do YOUR best 

 3.      Respect others and their things by treating them the way you want to be treated 

 4.      Follow directions and behave appropriately at all times 

 5.      Have fun! 

8/31/11

Today we started the day by decorating blank paper puzzle pieces. Then, the students cut out pictures I took of them on the first day of school and glued them to their decorated puzzle piece. After that, we put all of the pieces together at the front of the room to show how we all are important members or "pieces" of our classroom community. Tomorrow we will glue the pieces together on a big piece of paper and hang it in our classroom for all to see! We also reviewed and finalized our classroom rules/agreements before each student signed them. Take a look:  

   

    

 

 



 

 

 Even though we don't switch for math until tomorrow (a letter will come home tomorrow to let you know whose math class your child is in), we warmed up our brains and practiced our critical thinking skills by solving riddles/logic puzzles using the hundreds chart. We practiced reading the problem carefully and taking it step-by-step to solve it. The students did a great job working together in groups! I'm very proud of each student for participating and for treating each other with respect. You can see what we worked on by clicking here: http://www.mathwire.com/problemsolving/hblogic.pdf 



 Later, during reading, we talked about making connections to texts we are reading in order to help us to better understand what we are reading. I started off the lesson by explaining to students that they make connections all the time and might not even realize it. I gave some examples of how they make connections to what people are saying and what they are reading in books. Then, I modeled how to make connections to text while reading part of the first chapter of Ramona Quimby Age 8 by Beverly Cleary. I emphasized how important it is to not only be able to tell me their connection, but to explain how their connection helped them to understand the story better. Tomorrow we will read another story and students will practice making their own connections and explaining how their connection helped them to better understand the story.  

 

 I sent the binders home with the students today. Please take a look at it with them. Here is the order of the items I want in the binder from front to back: 

 

 1. Pencil bag (the kind that clips into the binder rings)-This should hold a few necessary items  (i.e. 2 pencils, a blue or black pen, a red correcting pen or pencil, etc). Remember, we are trying to keep the binder as light as possible.  Please remind your child that there is no need for them to carry unnecessary or bulky supplies (crayon boxes, markers, colored pencils, glue sticks, etc) in their pencil holder because those can be stored in the student's desk or will be provided by their teacher.  

  


 2. Homework Agenda-This is where the students write down their homework everyday and it must stay in their binder so they don't lose it or forget it. I expect it here at school everyday!   

   

 3. Five dividers in this order from top to bottom: Math, Reading, Language Arts/Daily Oral Language, Science, Social Studies. We abbreviated the longer subjects, so you might see LA/DOL, Sci, SS.  

    

 4. Loose-leaf notebook paper right-side up (with red margin line on the left)-Students should have their loose-leaf paper at the very back of their binder. A couple of students wanted to divide up the paper and put some in each section of their binder, which I said was ok too. Students do not need more than one package of paper in their binder. Any extra paper packages they have should be kept at home so they can refill their binder as their paper supply is depleted.  

    


 This took a lot of time to organize over the past three days, so it will be something that will need to be reinforced at school and at home.  I really appreciate your support. Thank you! 

 

 Your children have been earning a lot of tickets in my class! I am so impressed with their behavior in our classroom and in the hallways. YAY Mrs. Talvac's class! :-) 



Homework

 Please look in your child's blue homework folder tonight.  Don't forget to send in the Parent Surveys, Emergency Dismissal Form, Emergency Information Form, and Computer Use Form. I posted a checklist below so you can see what forms I have received and what forms I'm missing from you. I used the first three letters of your child's last name.  An X means I have received it and a blank space means that I'm missing it. I can send home additional copies if needed! Just email me and let me know. Some forms might have gotten lost in translation between home and school or might still be sitting in your child's homework folder, so please check their folder. Talvac Forms Check List  

 

 Please don't forget to pack a healthy mid-morning snack for your child!  

 
 

 Wednesday's Homework: Students need to complete questions 7, 8, 9, and 10 in their Who Are You and What Makes You Tick? packet. This should be returned to school tomorrow so I can check their progress. Students also need to continue thinking about 5 different objects that represent their personality, their interests, and/or what's important to them to put in their Artifact Bag. Remember, the objects cannot have their name on it and should not contain pictures of them. The 5 objects should be put in a plain brown paper bag (like the ones used for lunch) and brought to school this Friday 9/2. Their name should not be on the bag either!  On Friday I will collect all of the bags and then distribute them randomly throughout the class. The students will then look through the bag and use the objects as clues to try to figure out whose Artifact Bag it is. After that, students will share out the objects in their bag. This is a great way to learn more about each other and to see our common interests!  As always, this should be written down in their agenda book and the packet/Artifact Bag assignment sheet should be in their blue homework folder.  

9/1/11
Today we started the day by gluing our decorated puzzle pieces to a big piece of p

aper. I'm going to hang it in our classroom this afternoon! We all are important members or "pieces" of our classroom community. After that, we switched for math for the first time! Students are bringing home a letter with them today to let you know who their math teacher will be for this year.  

  

 In my math class, we did some community building activities to help get to know each other better and to learn each other's names. For the rest of class we worked on a math inventory so I can see what math skills/concepts each student already has/knows. We will finish this up tomorrow and will review our classroom rules.   

  

 Once the students got back from math we had our mid-morning snack break. Everyone said they had a good time in math class. After our snack break, we talked about what the MAP-R is, why students take it, and how to take it. Then we went to the computer lab to take the assessment. The Measures of Academic Progress in Reading (MAP-R) is a formative assessment that all students in Grades 3, 4, and 5 take on the computer to measure reading progress. It is given in the fall, in the winter, and in the spring so we can monitor how each student is improving in reading throughout the year. 

 

 In writing, we did an activator called Round Robin Writing in our table groups. The purpose of this activity is to have the students participate and work together as a table to write a creative story sentence by sentence. Each table was given a piece of chart paper with the following story starter at the top,"It was a normal day at recess. The sun was shining brightly and everyone was running around playing. But then I looked off into the distance and saw....." One person at each table group finished that sentence and then passed the marker to the next person at their table group who wrote the next sentence. This continued on around and around the table group with each person only writing one sentence before passing on the marker. We had a lot of fun! Some of the topics from the stories include: monsters, flying pigs, zombies, fairies, giant pickles, clowns,  and finding a million dollars which is then eaten by a bunny. Such creative ideas! Later in writing we talked about how many writers keep a collection of things they know or care about to refer to whenever they want to write so that they never suffer writer’s block. We talked about how writers use the people, places, things, experiences, and ideas that are important to them as a person to help them write. Then, we did an activity called Heart Mapping. I did an example for the students and mapped my heart. After that, everyone received a blank heart on a piece of paper to start mapping their own heart. Starting from the center of the heart, the students wrote the most important people/place/thing/experience/idea and worked their way outward-filling their heart with things that mean something to them (this included things that upset them or scare them).  We will finish Heart Mapping tomorrow!  

 

9/2/11
In my math class we discussed our classroom rules and agreements. Then, we did a community building activity to get to know each other better.  After that, I distributed Student Reference Books and Student Math Journals. I reviewed some of the important features of each. These should both be brought to class each day and should stay in the students locker unless they are needed for homework, in which case they should be brought home. Later, students did an activity to familiarize themselves with both the reference book and the math journal. This included exploring the Table of Contents, the index, and the glossary. At the end of class each student received an Introduction Letter about me for you to read and a Student Contact Information card. Please fill the Student Contact Information card out and return it to school as soon as you can. Thank you for filling out the surveys about your child and getting them back to me! I appreciate it. 

  

 Once the students got back from math we had our mid-morning snack break. Then I distributed the Artifact Bags randomly throughout the class. The students looked through the bags and used the 5 objects as clues to try to figure out whose Artifact Bag it was. Most of our students guessed correctly! We had so much fun sharing out all of the cool objects we brought in. From this activity we were able to learn even more about each other and realized our common interests!   

 

 In reading, we reviewed what we had learned on Wednesday about making connections. We talked about  how important it is to not only be able to make a connection, but to explain how the connection helps us to understand the story better. We read two different books. The first book was The Pain and the Great One by Judy Blume and the second book was A Bad Case of Stripes by David Shannon. On our follow-up work, the students did a great job making connections to the story, but they had some difficulty explaining how their connection helped them to better understand the story. You can help your child at home by asking them questions about books they are reading.  Include questions about if they can relate to a character in the story and make a connection to something the character is feeling or thinking. Discuss with them how it is easier to understand a story when you have felt the way the character is feeling or have experienced something they are experiencing.  



  

 In Science, we completed a KWL chart on plants(K=What we already know about plants, W=What we want to know about plants, and L=What we learned about plants by the end of the unit). Our first unit is Plant Growth and Development! After we completed our KWL chart, we went outside on a Nature Walk to search for seeds. We talked about observing our surroundings and using what we already know about plants/seeds to decide whether or not an item we were picking up might or might not be a seed. By the end of our walk my bag was completely full of items! We will look at the items on Tuesday and try to sort them into categories by their characteristics. Take a look at our KWL chart below: 

  

  

 

 I sent the binders home with the students for the first time on Wednesday. If you haven't already done so, please take a look at it with them. Here is the order of the items I want in the binder from front to back: 

 

 1. Pencil bag (the kind that clips into the binder rings)-This should hold a few necessary items  (i.e. 2 pencils, a blue or black pen, a red correcting pen or pencil, etc). Remember, we are trying to keep the binder as light as possible.  Please remind your child that there is no need for them to carry unnecessary or bulky supplies (crayon boxes, markers, colored pencils, glue sticks, etc) in their pencil holder because those can be stored in the student's desk or will be provided by their teacher.  

  


 2. Homework Agenda-This is where the students write down their homework everyday and it must stay in their binder so they don't lose it or forget it. I expect it here at school everyday!   

   

 3. Five dividers in this order from top to bottom: Math, Reading, Language Arts/Daily Oral Language, Science, Social Studies. We abbreviated the longer subjects, so you might see LA/DOL, Sci, SS.  

    

 4. Loose-leaf notebook paper right-side up (with red margin line on the left)-Students should have their loose-leaf paper at the very back of their binder. A couple of students wanted to divide up the paper and put some in each section of their binder, which I said was ok too. Students do not need more than one package of paper in their binder. Any extra paper packages they have should be kept at home so they can refill their binder as their paper supply is depleted.  

    


 This took a lot of time to organize over the past three days, so it will be something that will need to be reinforced at school and at home.  I really appreciate your support. Thank you! 

 

 It's been an amazing week!  Thank you for everything you do to help support your child and our class! I'm so happy to be at Carderock Springs!   


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