TECH TIP by Guest Blogger Jeff from the Woburn Technology Department

Technology Tip of the day.   

If you are coming across a message on your Promethean Board that reads, "Please clean filter," this is what to do:

1. Select the menu button on the remote. 

2. Hit the clear filter usage icon. 


Author Matt Tavares Visits the Goodyear School!

Here is a picture of author, Matt Tavares, holding up the copy of his first book, Zachary's Ball.  Matt told us how this was the first book he had ever written, and it started out as "Sebastian's Ball" - a project he did in college.  After sending the rough draft to seven publishers, one publisher  - Candlewick Press - responded with interest. The publication of this book was the start of a brilliant writing and illustrating career for this fine author.

Matt explained to the students how he has to write and rewrite each page several times.  When his editors ask for him to rewrite something, he has learned to do this without complaining.  I hope my class was listening to this valuable piece of advice.

Matt's newest book is a biography about Babe Ruth.  We learned that Babe Ruth went to a reform school as a young child due to behavior issues.  While at this reform school, one of the teachers taught him how to play baseball and hit the ball - and, the baseball career of one of the best baseball players was launched.

After reviewing the writing/illustrating process, Matt had a third grade student model a hitting stance for him while using a pencil as a bat.  Here is the finished drawing.

He then dedicated the drawing to the students at the Goodyear School and autographed it.

If you would like to learn more about Matt Tavares and his many books, he has his very own web site at: 

After the author demonstration, the third grade students were exceptionally lucky when Mrs. Johnson read her very own autographed by the author copy of Zachary's Ball to all three third grade classes.  Here is Mrs. Johnson reading the book.

Finally, our very own third grade teacher, Ms. Aufiero went to elementary school with Matt Tavares all those years ago, and here is a picture of the two of them:

Having author, Matt Tavares visit our school was an amazing opportunity that was sponsored by our very generous and dedicated Goodyear PTO - thank you for arranging this experience for all of us!

Poetry by Douglas Florian

Poetry Ideas

Since April is officially Poetry Month, we have been reading several books by Douglas Florian who uses words creatively and cleverly to write his amazing poems.  Today I showed several of his poems - Bactrian Camel and The Bear (just to give some examples) - and had the kids identify how the poet used language to write his poetry.  Then I turned it over to the kids and had them write some poems.  Here is one example that I absolutely loved:
I love how the student described the furry, fuzzy and fluffy ears, but the best part was how the panda dresses in Bamboo for Halloween.  Amazing and creative!  I'll be posting more examples over the weekend, but I was so inspired by this student's poem that I had to share it right away.

Additionally, Douglas Florian has his very own blog that you can check out for more examples of his work at:

Happy Friday!

Area and Perimeter Zoo!

Area/Perimeter Zoo (an idea courtesy of Hootyshomeroom)

As soon as I saw this on Hooty's Homeroom's blog, I knew I had to do this Area and Perimeter Zoo.  Luckily, I had some large chart paper with the lines drawn in.  I cut the paper into random sizes and gave each student a piece of paper.

These were the directions:

1.  Draw a zoo animal.

2.  Include the area and perimeter in a visible place in your drawing.

And, voila, here are an example of the students' finished product:

I will add more pictures later, but this gives you the idea.  Also, please check out the examples at:


Colonial Village

Colonial Village

When we were studying John Winthrop and the Puritans, the kids made colonial homes out of clean milk cartons and brown construction paper.  Each student added a window and door.  On their own initiative, the kids used tissue boxes to make a meetinghouse, a barn and a school.  They even made a stockade, trees, farm animals.  They did a lot of this extra work during indoor recess this winter when we had a lot of snow.

Interestingly, I just read a quote that John Winthrop said in 1630: 

     We must consider that we shall be as a city upon a hill.
      The eyes of all people are upon us.

This quote was in the Boston Globe in reference to the recent Boston Marathon tragedy.  It's amazing how true this quote is so many years later.

Here are pictures of our village:
These two pictures show an overview of the whole village.  It is glued and taped onto a large piece of cardboard.

This picture shows the detail of the vegetable garden and the barn.  Notice the meetinghouse in the background.

This is a very engaging and fun project. 


Types of Lines Anchor Chart

Here is an example of one of my favorite anchor charts.  I often refer the kids back to this information, especially for parallel lines and perpendicuLar lines.  I show the kids that the clues are right in the words, specifically the "l"'s. 

What's Happening North of Boston

Today has been a stay-at-home day.  We're all waiting anxiously for news of the at-large suspect.  My hope is that he is found soon so we can all go back to our new sense of normal.  Every time I check in at the TV, I find myself transfixed even though the news has been the same since early this morning.

I went to my classroom today to clean my desk - a most necessary task that gets put on the backburner.  I also took some pictures which I will be posting shortly when I can figure out how to do this.

I've been blog stalking - there are some tremendous blogs out there.  I love the creativity.  I also check out the blog designer - what a great job for someone. 
Boston Marathon Bombing:  How devastating and tragic.  My heart aches for the people who died and who were injured.  You just never know what will happen.

Bonnie Cabbage Plants

This year the third graders each got a giant cabbage plant.  These plants can grow to be the size of a basketball and weigh up to 14 pounds.  They love the cold and can be planted at any time now.  If the temperature is going below 32 degrees, cover the plant with a bucket.
Additionally, one student from each state has the opportunity to earn a $1,000 scholarship from Bonnie's Plant if they submit a picture of themselves with their cabbage plant in September. 
I'm also trying to grow some cabbage plants at my house.  I have noticed that the plants need a LOT of water.


It's Patriots' Day - a holiday here in Massachusetts.  I love all the history that is around here.  Last week we have a colonial reenactor - Joe Brown - come talk to our third graders.  In his real life, he's a photographer, and his hobby is colonial life.  He told us all about the night of April 18, 1775 when Paul Revere rode.  He loves to ask what Paul Revere really said - "The Regulars are coming!"  This is because everyone was still British then, and the colonists called British soldiers "Regulars."  Then Mr. Brown told us about the battle on Lexington Green and the events of April 19th.  This year he had to bring a wooden replica of his musket - no more real looking guns in schools - and rightly so.  He also brought a canteen, a case for his ammunition, his hat.  It's always amazing to me that there are people who actually make these colonial clothes from hand so that they look authentic.  Of course, the kids immediately had to point out that his pants were ripped, but that was how people dressed back then. 
Happy Patriots' Day!
I'm trying to fine tune my template search to templates with watermelons.  How cute is this watermelon!  Now my daughter says she can design a template for me - for free!  In the meantime, I have looked at so many blog design sites, my head is spinning.

Blog Templates

Now I have a new addiction - other than TPT.  It's looking for a blog template.  The one I have now is a freebie from blogspot.  I am realizing that there is an enormous selection of templates with an enormous price range from $300 to $10.  How to pick one?  I had no idea what an amazing business this could be for someone.  If any of you have any recommendations, I would love to hear from you.  Thanks, Susan

Welcome to my new blog!

Hello!  Thanks to my friend, Kaylee, I have actually made a blog!  I have wanted to do this forever, and I am so excited to finally be part of the blogging world!  This is a milestone for me!  Every day I hope to practice and improve.
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