Room 9 Updates

Monday, February 24, 2020

Dear Parents,

Another beautiful weekend in the books!

This week the class will wrap up our Opinion writing and Mystery Units in ELA.  Kids can continue to read mystery books at home, but in class we will be shifting to a biography unit. I have a lot of biographies in class, and I will be encouraging student to read chapter books and picture books about people that interest and engage them.

The class has earned a party through their good behavior. The kids have chosen a "Market Party", which is something Mr. Avey has done many times, successfully, but is new to me. I am sending home a paper letter with details, but the gist is that kids may craft items to sell in a shop, or bring "garage sale" items to resell. The money exchanged is our class moola. I am not included any food items, as Mr. Avey tells me that gets out of control, with an excess of baked goods. The date for our market party is March 6th. Kids do not have to bring items to sell if they don't wish to, but many kids enjoy crafting bracelets, tech decks, key chains, etc.

Thanks to all of you who were able to support our aquarium field trip by driving and chaperoning. It was a great success! "The most engaging field trip I've ever been on," said one parent.  And guess what, we have a lot of field trips coming up over the next 1-2 months! Please consider driving for one or more of them. These trips are all by grade level.

For Third:

March 26, 2020--Neary Lagoon  (With Mrs. Checkouras)
April 9, 2020-- Agricultural History Museum (With Mrs. Nosky)
May 26, 2020--SC Museum of Art and History (With Mrs. Maraldo)

For Fourth:

March 5, 2020--SC Symphony (With Mr. McMillan & Mr. Avey)
April 17, 2020--Cabrillo College (With Mr. McMillan & Mr. Avey)

As you can see, the symphony field trip for 4th Grade is coming up very soon! Please connect with me if you are a 4th Grade parent and able to drive on that day. (It is in the morning, at the SC Civic. I am not sure of the exact times yet.)

Other than field trips, please remind your child to sustain their focus and energy for school work. We have a lot more to learn during this last third of the year. (The second trimester ends March 6th, and report cards go home March 20th.)

Have a great week!

Carroll Mayer

Tuesday, February 18, 2020

Dear Parents,

I hope you enjoyed our last (February) 3-day weekend! We had some beautiful weather.

This week our class, along with the two 4th Grade classes, will be heading to the Monterey Bay Aquarium. I have enough chaperons, and we actually exceed their number of volunteers by one. Kids need to arrive at school on time, and we will be leaving Rio del Mar right as the bell rings. We are expected at the aquarium at 8:45. Kids should bring lunches with water or a drink, wear comfortable shoes, and have an appropriate jacket. We will be in a lab/classroom for part of the time, and walking around the aquarium for another portion of the trip. We will eat in their picnic area. Please do not send money, as no kids will be shopping.

Both grades have also begun new units in math: 3rd Graders are studying geometry, including perimeter and area, and 4th Graders are working with fractions. We are winding up on our Opinion Writing, and should have that project finished in about a week. We are also wrapping up our Mystery Unit in reading. At the beginning of the term, kids met with me to set an AR reading goals, and must have taken the tests on books completed by March 6th. Most of the class have done a great job working on their goal, but it's a good idea to check in with your child to be sure they've made good progress. This is a new way of measuring reading for some of the kids, and they may need reminders. (I am also checking in with kids at school.)

The second trimester ends on March 6th, and report cards will go home on Friday, March 20th.

Finally, the kids have earned a class party, and have decided to have a Market Day  Guidelines are attached in the link. The kids and I are excited about this activity, but it will be a first time for all of us. Feel free to contact me to clarify your understanding of the activity.

Have a great week!

Carroll Mayer

Monday, February 3, 2020

Hi All,

Hurray!  Another 5-day week!  While it may be counter-intuitive, the 4-day weeks generally seem longer are definitely more hectic at school than the 5-day ones.

Last week, Third Graders attended a fantastic field trip at the Santa Cruz Museum of Natural History. The kids got some additional hands-on work with replica artifacts of the Ohlone people. Thank you to the parents that were able to chaperon!

I have enough volunteers for the next field trip, to the aquarium. Thanks to those of you that have contacted me. If you have not yet returned your child's permission slip, please do so ASAP.

This week, we have another exciting event: the Math Festival. Our class will be attending the Math Festival in the cafeteria on Thursday afternoon. Like other years, kids will have the opportunity to explore various math applications by engaging in math in fun, hands-on ways. There will not be a family night this year.

Kids are bringing home information about the flu, as this year appears to be a challenging one. I have been emphasizing hand-washing after nose blowing, and before eating; please double up on this message at home.

Have a great week!


Monday, January 27, 2020

Hi All,

It's a five-day week... but a full one!

This week, students participating in the Science Fair are bringing in their projects. Bring the projects and all displays/ notebooks to school on Wednesday to set up in the cafeteria. Judges will meet with kids to discuss their projects (upper grades). There is a parent Science Fair Open House on Thursday night, and then classes will go see the projects on Friday.

On Friday, Third Graders from our class will be heading off on a field trip to the SC Museum of Natural History. At this point, I am still missing 6 student permission slips, and may need one more driver. Fourth Graders will remain at Rio with a sub in the morning. We will all have a chance to see the science fair in the afternoon.

This Wednesday's Spirit Day is Pajama Day!

I am sending home permission slips for the next field trip, scheduled for February 21st at the Monterey Bay Aquarium. Both grades are attending, and I am looking for parent drivers/chaperons. This trip includes lab time, as well as time to eat lunch and wander the aquarium. Please contact me if you are able to support the class in this way.

Finally, Scholastic Book orders went home last week. If you wish to submit an order, do so digitally, using our class code H6KT4, or you may do it the "old school" way, by sending in an order with name and payment. Make checks out to Scholastic, or send cash please. I will be submitting the order on Friday, as I get bonus points for doing it by the 31st!

Have a great week,

Carroll Mayer

Tuesday, January 21, 2020

Hi All,

I hope you enjoyed your weekend.  I'm not sure how we'll cope with next Monday, as we are completely out of practice!

The new Reading and Writing Units are underway. The kids very much enjoyed finding and beginning mystery novels. As an introduction to Opinion Writing, the class looked over some student examples from other years, and we also had a "debate" about whether sweet treats should be allowed in schools for parties.

In math, both grades are working hard on multiplication and division. Third Graders are building their fluency with math facts in these areas, while Fourth Graders are applying their knowledge of the facts to bigger and more complex problems. Both grades are "warming up" with 100 Second Math, which is a practice sheet that lists the products of factors 3-9, with the student naming the factors. So for example, a student sees 24, and names 4 x 6 and 3 x 8.  This is a great way to practice multiplication/division facts, and also comes in handy as they move toward fractions and look for ways to simplify them. 100 Second Multiplication

I have sent home the permission slip for the Museum of Natural History. This is a Third Grade field trip. Fourth Graders will remain at school with a sub for the morning. I am in need of 3-5 drivers/chaperons.  Please contact me if you are a Third Grade parent, have volunteer clearance, and are able to drive.

Have a great week!

Carroll Mayer

Tuesday, January 14, 2020

Dear All,

Welcome back!

First of all, a huge thank you to our Room Parents, Jena and Grace. Once again, they designed an active and fun party, with the emphasis on games and crafts. Thank you so much for a great time! In addition, huge appreciation goes out to the many parents that came out and ran games, directed crafts, and or donated materials/ finances to the party. Finally, thanks to you all for my "Gift of Cozy". I love the blanket, mug and Bookshop Santa Cruz gift card, and I have used them all--already!

This week the class is starting new units in both reading and writing; hopefully your kid will come home and tell you about them with enthusiasm. Our Reading unit will be a Mystery Unit. We'll be exploring the genre, as well as reflecting on big ideas in literature such as theme and character development. From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler is our Read Aloud/mentor text, but every child will also be selecting and reading their own mystery books during the 3-4 weeks of the unit. In writing, the kids will be working on opinion pieces, after we have read some examples and practiced expressing our opinions in some "mini" debates.

I'll be sending home permission slips for 2 upcoming field trips in the next week or two. One field trip--Museum of Natural History-- is for 3rd grade alone, and the other to the Monterey Bay Aquarium is for the entire class. If you would like to drive on either, or both, please update your driver info in the office and let me know of your interest.

  • Museum trip (3rd Grade)-- Friday, January 31, 2020 from 8:30-11:30
  • Aquarium (3rd/4th Grade)--Friday, February 21, 2020 from 8-1:30

I'm looking forward to a spectacular second half year with this great class!

Carroll Mayer

Sunday, December 15, 2019

HI All,

As predicated, the month of December has been a roller coaster of activity!  First of all, thank you so much to parents who drove and chaperoned 4th Graders on their field trip to the mission. I heard from Mr. McMillan that things went very smoothly. Third Grade Parents, you will have the opportunity to drive on our field trip to the Museum of Natural History in January, and the entire class will be attending the field trip to the Monterey Aquarium in February.

This week, along with a holiday Sing-Along and a Book Swap, we will have "Stick it to Hunger" to raise money for Second Harvest. Please send in donations by Thursday, if you haven't already. Finally, our Room Parents have been planning a holiday party for Thursday afternoon. Get in touch with them to give support, or let me know if you are missing direct communication from them. Thanks to all who are able to help!

Academically, one big thing is that we wrap up our information writing unit. Most of the class has completed a typed draft, and are working independently and with peers to edit based on grade level expectations. I'll be collecting their work on Thursday and will return it after the break. Kids have also been reading/researching about Native Americans for the last couple of weeks, and will share their information with each other on Wednesday. In Math, both grades are working on multiplication and division, including story applications. At this point in the year, Third Graders should be memorizing facts to gain fluency, although they are learning additional strategies to multiply efficiently when they encounter facts they don't know. Fourth Graders should be multiplying fluently, and are using this skill to multiply and divide bigger numbers.

Over break, I encourage kids to practice math facts using Moby Max, and to explore bigger ideas using Khan Accelerator. Remember, the kids have to log in using their PVUSD gmail accounts to access these programs.  ( as a log in, and their birthday password, which they should know how to format.) Many kids may forget the part, as it is filled in when they work from school. This is also a great time for kids to read and to engage in independent, self-selected writing activities. I'm always so impressed when I see what kids do in writing on their own,  and with friends!

Have a wonderful holiday season and Winter Break. For those of you that I see at school, and those that I don't, thanks for all you do! I'm grateful for the wonderful Rio del Mar community: kids, staff, parents. Rest up, and get ready for an amazing new year!

Take care,

Carroll Mayer