Room 9 Updates

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Hello Families,
I hope you enjoyed the beautiful weekend. Sadly, no more holidays for a while.

This week the kid will continue with the homework packet that we sent last week. Hopefully, they are pacing themselves, as there was plenty to do on the packet. Tomorrow we begin fractions in math. Instead of the HM text we've been using for the last several years, we are going to test curriculum developed in Georgia to meet the Common Core standards. Because of this shift, the nightly math homework will vary from day to day. I will work with the kids daily to make sure they understand what's expected each day, including some days without math homework.

In RTI, we are reading my favorite story in the anthology, Nights of the Pufflings. The skill associated with this story is Fact and Opinion. This week the kids will begin note taking on their Famous Americans, so if you've purchased books, they are welcome to bring them in. Each child will also be working from at least one article found online, which we will print at school. Kids are also bringing home copies of their "Little Red" stories, which they are typing on Google Docs. Whatever support and access you can give your child with this is much appreciated. Common Core places an even greater emphasis on technological know-how for the kids, as the year-end assessments will be done on the computer.

Take care, and have a great week,
Carroll Mayer

Monday, February 17, 2014

Hi All,
I hope you are enjoying the second of our February holiday weekends!

Last week went very quickly, with a very busy Friday. Thanks so much to the parents who came in to help with the Valentine's Day party, especially Amy and Kristin.  They have also been busy working on our class Auction Item, as we didn't have a coordinator for this project.  Above and beyond!

As well as the party, the kids also recited their poems, which went very well.  Almost every child was well-rehearsed, and they now appear much more comfortable speaking in front of the class than the first   couple times.  They were also a very respectful, patient audience!

As many of you may have noticed, the Homework Packet sent on Friday is for 2 weeks.  Because of this, the packet contains 2 Reading Logs, as well as an additional assignment: writing sentences for each of the 20 spelling words.  Our purpose in assigning the sentences was twofold: first, to give the kids additional practice with writing strong, complete sentences; and second, to give the kids the opportunity to clearly connect the meaning of each homophone with its spelling.  This is an especially hard list for many kids because they must be clear about the meaning associated with each spelling.  In addition, please be certain to have your child fill out both Reading Logs completely; they have 2 weeks to do 8 entries.

You may also be wondering what's going on with the Famous American project. The answer: we've been working on finishing up some other writing assignments prior to fully focusing on the biographies. In the mean time, I've noticed many students continuing to read additional biographies of other interesting people, as well as a many other informational books.  This is a great way for the kids to practice their reading, and build background knowledge about the world.

I will be having a substitute several times over the next few weeks. With implementation of  the Common Core standards, many additional meetings and training sessions have been scheduled for all the teachers. Fortunately, we have some terrific subs at this school, and I'm confident the kids will be flexible and respectful.

Take care,
Carroll Mayer

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Hi All,
I hope you're enjoying this rainy day. This week I will be out on Monday at a Common Core training. Mrs. McCraw will be subbing. On Tuesday we will be going on our field trip to the MAH. Drivers, please arrive at the school at 9:25 to leave at 9:30. Kids will eat lunch at school, but should have a good snack as it will be later than usual.

If you would like to order from Scholastic, please send in an order form and check made to Scholastic by Wednesday, or order online.

I have an opening for a Parent volunteer on alternate Fridays, from 8:00-9:00, correcting and checking in Homework Packets. Please let me know if this works for your schedule.

In math we will continue to work on the concept of division. On Friday, the kids will have a multiplication facts quiz, as we have learned all the Rhymes 'n Times rhymes. Students are expected to continue reviewing multiplication facts until they have achieved fluency. In RTI we will continue with the story, The Mysterious Giant of Barletta, supplementing it with an informational article about Italy, the story's setting. The kids continue working on their "Little Red"stories, with many approaching final draft. We will be working in the class and computer lab to type them and save them as Google Docs. We are also continuing a Social Studies unit on Government, as further background for many students' Famous American reports.

Take care, and have a great week,
Carroll Mayer