Five For A Fabulous Friday!

Here are 5 exciting events that happened in class last week:

1.  We had our very first mystery reader of the year!  Mrs. Baker, Savannah's mom, came in on Monday to read to the boys and girls.  Here is a picture of her at the rug:

Special thanks to Mrs. Baker for coming in to read to our class!  She did a great job!

By the way, if you would like to be a mystery reader or come in to speak about your job or hobby, please let me know.  We would love for you to come for a visit!

2.  We finished our Science chapter on plants.  On top of that, we observed dry lima beans, soaked them overnight, and then we split them open the next day.  It's always amazing to see the seedling inside the seed and to see the stored food as well as the seed coat. 

Here are two new anchor charts about seeds and photosynthesis:

Next week, we'll be having a quiz on Tuesday and the chapter test on Friday on this material.


3.  We had a class meeting today (Friday), and we talked about some of the  issues the kids are having at lunch.  I guess the new thing is to ask someone if they are cool, and if they say yes, the other person responds in a mean way using words that start with C, O, O, L.  Needless to say, the kids are rather upset, and I am hoping that the meeting will stop this behavior.


4.  In Math, we reviewed equivalent fractions and reducing fractions.  Of course, I emphasized to the kids how important it is TO MEMORIZE THEIR MATH FACTS!  This is the perfect time to really know your math facts inside out while the math is manageable.  In fourth grade and beyond, the math gets much more difficult, but if you have memorized your math facts, solving the harder math problems will be that much easier.  I HOPE WITH ALL MY HEART THAT MY STUDENTS WILL CONTINUE TO REVIEW THEIR MATH FACTS ALL SUMMER, TOO!


5.  To end the week, the weather turned exceptionally and unusually hot and humid with temperatures in the 90's.  We are so lucky in school to have air conditioning. 

That's it for this week.  Tomorrow is my son, Derek's, graduation party.  He has requested Harrow's chicken pot pie for lunch.  Luckily, they will cook the pot pies at the store so the house won't get too roasty-toasty (we already put the air conditioner in the window any way).  My job is to peel and prepare ten pounds of mashed potatoes.  Peeling potatoes is not one of my favorite jobs, but mashed potatoes is one of my few specialties when it comes to cooking - there's another interesting tidbit about me - I also LOVE TO EAT mashed potatoes.

Happy weekend!

Check out this watermelon planter!

Tomorrow the Goodyear School is having a fundraiser.  Part of the fundraiser involves raffling off items decorated by each class.  The third grade classes had to decorate a window box.  Here is what it looked like before any decorating:

Plain and white planter - a blank canvas
Next I decided to go with the watermelon theme to go along with my blog.  Each student made a red thumbprint; wrote their name in Sharpie next to their thumbprint; when the thumbprint was dry, each student added the seeds and watermelon rind.  (I bought the Sharpies that have paint in them because you can use them on wood.  We used these to make the rinds.)

Here is Side #1:

I think this came out great!

This morning, I consulted with my colleague, Bonnie Johnson, to ask what should go on the back of the planter, if anything.  She definitely thought we should decorate the back.  So, I talked to the kids on the rug.  I only had a red stamp pad so we could only make red thumbprints.  The kids decided on these 4 fruits to make:  apple, strawberry, cherry or another watermelon.

Now presenting, Side #2:

The kids did a stand-up job!  I'm so proud of our planter!


Clara Barton Visits the Goodyear School!

Today our school was extraordinarily lucky to see a performance by Clara Barton.  The actress did an amazing job of sharing the life story of Clara Barton who was born right here in Massachusetts and went on to start the American Red Cross.  Before Clara became a nurse, she was a teacher; she even started a school in New Jersey.  She was the principal of the New Jersey school until a man replaced her because a woman principal was "unladylike."  It was an educational and enjoyable performance.

Here's a picture of the very talented Sheryl Faye as Clara Barton.

After the performance (I love this plaid jacket and skirt!)
Thanks go to the very generous Goodyear PTO for sponsoring this educational and entertaining performance.

Upcoming Field Trip to Woburn Public Library

On Wednesday, June 12th, the third graders will be going to visit the mayor and the Woburn Public Library.  The Woburn Public Library was designed by a famous architecture - H.H. Richardson - who also designed other famous buildings such as the Trinity Church in Boston.

The Woburn Library also has its own museum up on the top floor.  In the museum, there are many artifacts from the past to look at, like clothes, dolls, a spinning wheel, etc.  When we go on our field trip, I'll take plenty of pictures to post on my blog.

My favorite part of going to this library is the opportunity to see an original copy of the Declaration of Independence.  Wow, we are so lucky to be able to be in the presence of this amazing document!  The library keeps the Declaration in a special climate-controlled space, and they only take it out on special occasions.  Just think, the third graders at the Goodyear are so special that they are taking out this original copy just for us.  The first time I saw the Declaration of Independence in the library, it brought tears to my eyes because I felt so honored to see such an old and sacred document.  Here's what an original copy looks like:

According to historians, there were, at most, 200 original copies made back in 1776.  Today only 26 of those original copies are left, and one of them is right here in Woburn, Massachusetts!  We are so fortunate to be able to see an original copy of this document.



This is a monumental day in the history of my blog.  I have my first follower! 

Kathy, you will always have a special place in my blog and in my heart forever.

Now I can say that I'm as happy as a hippo with a watermelon blog!

p.s. That doesn't really look like a hippo, does it?


Linking Up With Other "Budding Blogs"

May Budding Blog: Linky

I found this wonderful blog: 
This blogger started a linky party for "budding bloggers" - bloggers with less than 200 followers (at least, I have some followers now).  Any way, please check out these new bloggers at the link above.  My goal is check as many of the new blogs as possible and leave comments.  When you're starting off with your blog, it means so much to get comments  (thank you, Cheryl, for all the comments.).

Here are the questions along with my answers. 

1. Why did you start blogging?

For years, I have wanted to make a professional web site or blog.  Last summer I kept trying to create a blog, but I couldn't figure it out.  Finally, with the help of my son's girlfriend, Kaylee, I got my blog up and running during April school vacation.  My blog gives me the opportunity to share what I do in class with parents and other teachers.  I love being able to share my ideas because I love to be inspired by what other teachers are doing.  Plus, my blog lets me reflect on what I'm doing in class so I can become an even better teacher.

2. What is your favorite subject to teach and why?

I love to teach Math.  Math can actually be very creative because there are always more than one way to solve a problem, and I like to be able to show these different ways, and then see that student(s) finally click with a way of solving the problem. 

3. Describe your teaching style.

 I would have to say that my style is nurturing and challenging.  I have high expectations for behavior and school work, but I often work one on one with the kids who need that extra boost.  I believe that kids learn by doing so I'll teach a new lesson, do some of the questions together, then I let the kids try on their own so I can see who got what. 

4. Give three interesting facts about you.

*I love to read and do crossword puzzles - mostly in the summer when I have time.

*I spent my Junior year of college in Paris.

*I go spinning four times a week.

5. Do you have a TpT store? If yes, post the link :)

I do have a TpT store, and everything is free.  Here is the link.


Five Fabulous Finds For Friday!!! Happy Memorial Day!

Finally, it's Five For Friday!

1.  This week the kids have been working on Science ABC Vocabulary books.  They have been looking in the glossary and index of their Science books to find words for each letter of the alphabet.  Then they write the word, define the work and draw an illustration.  Here are some sensational work samples:

If you want to download this project from TeachersPay Teachers FOR FREE, here is the link:

Here are some comments from my students about their Science Vocab. books:  "This is fun."  "I like doing this."  This project is a winner so please consider downloading it.

2.  We read this book that has a perfect message:  You Get What You Get by Julie A. Gassman.  In class, some of the kids like to voice disgruntled opinions about certain work or situations, and this book has the answer:  You get what you get, and you don't throw a fit.  Personally, I prefer this way:  You get what you get, and you don't get upset.  Either way, it's a message worth repeating as necessary.

3.  In our Reading books, we read More than Anything Else by Marie Bradby.  This book gives insight into the childhood of Booker T. Washington who was an influential African American educator.  The important message of this book is the value of being able to read.  As a child, Booker was released from slavery, but he had to take the responsibility for finding someone to teach him how to read.  Amazingly, he finds a newspaper man - the face of hope.  This man teaches Booker the alphabet and how to write his name for the first time.  This is an all-around inspiring book.

4.  On Thursday, we went to the dress rehearsal of our Memorial Day concert performed by our very talented kindergarden, first grade and second grade students.  Our Music teacher, Ms. Bethany Newman, does an amazing job of coordinating these performances.  She even wrote one of the songs herself - now that is true talent.

5.  On that note, I'll wrap up this post by wishing everyone a very Happy Memorial Day and a very relaxing long weekend.  Remember:  eat a lot of watermelon - it's healthy and delicious!


Readers' Theatre

Right now we are currently preparing to perform three plays from this book:  Busy Ben Franklin, The Truth About George Washington, and Betsy Ross and the American Flag.  During the afternoons we practice our plays, and next week, we're going to take our plays on the road to other classrooms in the school.  The kids are really excited about these plays; they have made props and pictures. 

If you get out of school toward the end of June, this is an amazing activity.  It helps the kids with reading fluency and social studies.  If you are interested in buying this book, here is the link:


Great Read - Judy Moody Declares Independence and Sybil Ludington!

At this time of year, I'm always looking for an engaging chapter book.  I would like to recommend Judy Moody Declares Independence.  In this book, Judy and her family travel from their home in Virginia to Boston, Massachusetts.  When in Boston, the family visits many popular tourist attractions:  the Freedom Trail, Mother Goose's grave, Paul Revere's house, the Boston Tea Party ship, etc.   The book offers an opportunity to review Social Studies and proper behavior.  For example, Judy tries to declare her independence by not combing her hair, while Stink counters with not brushing his teeth.  Judy also writes her own "Declaration of Independence"  and tries to gain more freedoms in the process.

The chapter about the "Boston Tub Party" is especially funny.  Judy, Stink and a neighbor reenact the Boston Tea Party in the comfort of the Moody's home bathroom.  What an ingenious idea - as long as it's not in your own bath tub!

Additionally, Judy's teacher recommends a book about Sybil Ludington.  Judy refers to this real life heroine as the "girl Paul Revere."  I read this book to my class, too, because it is true that there are few women in social studies book, and it is a true story.

Here are 2 editions of the book.  I read the top book by Karen Winnick.


If you want more Judy Moody, she has her own web site:

To learn more about Sybil Ludington, check this out:

Derek is an official Stonehill Graduate - Class of 2013

Here's a picture of my father with Derek after the graduation ceremony. 

Today - May 18th - has been a very busy day.  The graduation started at ten o'clock sharp and was over by noon.  The speaker was a Stonehill graduate who is now the president of Avon Cosmetics, and she gave a fine speech - which means it was just the right length and covered just the right points for a graduation speech. 

Derek graduated magna cum laude (that means he got excellent grades), and he majored in Political Science and International Studies.  Now he will be moving back home and looking for a job.

I'm very proud of Derek for doing an outstanding job in college, and I'm hoping his job search will go well because he wants to get an apartment with a friend in Boston. 

Here's something that I took away from the book Teach Like A Champion by Doug Lemov.  He encourages students to answer all questions - out loud and in writing - by using COMPLETE SENTENCES.  Why?  When students go to college and/or to work, they will need to be well spoken, and that means speaking in complete sentences. 

One of my goals for the rest of this school year is to ensure my students answer ALL questions in COMPLETE SENTENCES so that they will one day be successful in life.


Five For Friday!

Hello!  It's time for Five Fabulous Activities from last week.

1.  We completed the two-part section of the Math MCAS test!  We worked and prepared very diligently for this test.  Additionally, the kids get to chew a piece of gum during the test - according to "research," chewing gum helps students focus (although I cannot cite the source of this claim, the kids love chewing the gum during the test).  Plus, I give each student a sprinkle of "magic glitter" on their desk.  The "magic glitter" makes them magically smarter and better able to tackle any and all test questions.

2.  We started a new chapter in Science about plants.  Check out these anchor charts that cover the information studied so far.  I love anchor charts!  To review for the quiz that the kids have this Wednesday, I use a web site called Quizlet that allows you to generate review questions for any material, and it's FREE!  Check out this link to learn more:

3.  On the rug, the kids are sharing stories about a memorable time when they lost a tooth.  A few weeks ago, we read the book:  Throw Your Tooth on the Roof:  Traditions from Around the World by Selby B. Beeler.
  This book is very informative - I know that I learned quite a lot about different tooth traditions.  In some countries, people bury their teeth, use their teeth to make jewelry, and yes, some people actually do throw their teeth on their roof.  Here are some student work samples:

 I have to give credit for this idea to a third grade teacher in Whitman, MA who posted the idea on Teachers Pay Teachers.  Here is the link so you can download her lesson:  Also, I have added a link to Third Grade Cupcakes so you can visit this talented teacher's blog to get more of her creative ideas.

4.  I started reading a new chapter book - The New Kid by Mavis Jukes - while the kids eat snack.  One of the extra projects the teacher in the book assigns is to make a list of 75 onomatopoeia words and put the words in alphabetical order.  As a reward, the student can earn a homework pass.  Consequently, I offered to do the same because I honestly thought that the assignment would be much too challenging.  Well, I stand corrected - several of my students are compiling a list of these words, and I will very gladly award them a homework pass for their hard work.

5.  My laptop is back after being fixed by our outstanding Technology Department.  Somehow my laptop caught some serious viruses which prevented the computer from working correctly.  I was so upset when they had to take my laptop away for several days to fix it.  I'm hoping one of the computer experts will guest blog here to offer some tips so you can avoid catching these serious viruses on your computer.


Health Walks on Wednesday at the Goodyear School

For many years now, Mr. Kessaris, a former Physical Education teacher who is now the principal of our school, and I have been taking students on Health Walks.  We do these walks on Wednesday morning at 7:55, and we walk for about 15 minutes through the neighborhood.  It's very relaxing and invigorating.  In addition, it gets the kids out for some exercise.  Here's a picture of Mr. Kessaris and some of the students out for our Health Walk.

In addition to these walks, the Goodyear School offers plenty of free exercise opportunities.  The school has three stories, and the 3rd, 4th and 5th graders are on the third floor - I like to call it the Penthouse.  Any way, we go up and down the stairs all day long so we get plenty of "free" exercise. 
 I like to think that the more exercise I get, the healthier I'll be.  Plus you can never get enough fresh air - that's why these Health Walks are such a great opportunity.  All students and teachers are invited to join us on these Health Walks so please try to join us any Wednesday at 7:55 a.m.

Five For Friday - My Own Version

On a lot of other blogs, I notice that other teachers write five ideas/lessons that they used the week before.  I'm going to do this on my own since I am looking for another teacher who might like to link up with me.

Here are five things we did last week in class:

1.  On Monday, we read about Cinco de Mayo and watched a video with the other two third grade classes.

2.  In keeping with the Cinco de Mayo theme, we read a story, The Pinata Maker, in our Reading books.  This story details how Tio Rico makes a swan pinata.

3.  We did a tremendous amount of math to prepare for our MCAS tests which are next Monday and Tuesday (May 13 and 14).

4.  The students shared the stories of their names.  This was a homework assignment that I got off of TPT in which students ask their parents to tell them how they decided on their children's names.  I found this assignment to be very useful because many of the kids were not aware of how their names were chosen.  Here is a link to the assignment:

5.  We wrote a rough draft for a Portrait Poem.  The students will type these poems at Computer Lab next week, and I will put them all together to make a class book that each student will keep to remember their third grade classmates.  Here's the link to this project:

That's my first Five for Friday.  We have another fun-filled week coming up next week so I'll keep you posted.


Teacher Appreciation Lunch - Part 2

Here is the second part of the Teacher Appreciation Lunch post that I made earlier this week.

For lunch, we had delicious sandwiches and salads provided by the PTO who got the food from Panera Bread Catering.  Panera Bread packages their sandwiches very neatly and compactly.  Check out the sandwich display.
I love how Panera boxes the sandwiches which must make for an easy set-up.  You can check out their catering menu at their web site:

Many parents from the Goodyear sent in delicious desserts, and I want to take this opportunity to thank all the parents who sent in treats.  Another day, the parents sent in some loaves from Gingerbread Construction Company which is always an enormous treat.  I feel very lucky to work in a school where the parents are so caring to send in treats for the teachers.  We love the treats - that's for sure.

Here is a picture of the creative cupcake display.

Finally, here is a picture of two of our three beautiful kindergarden teachers.  On the left is Mrs. Murphy - we do Book Buddies with her class; and on the right is Mrs. Cedrone.  As you can see, they were very happy to pose for a picture for my blog, and I hope some of my other coworkers will agree to appear here, too.


Terrific Teacher Appreciation Luncheon!

Today the teachers at our school were treated to an amazing lunch sponsored by our very generous and caring PTO.  The lunch food was catered by Panera Bread; and there was a variety of salads and sandwiches.  The highlight of the lunch was this amazing and creative cake made by one of the parents.  Here are some pictures of the cake - yes, it really is a cake!

You can email this amazing baker at this address:

And, I want to send an enormous thank you to the Goodyear PTO for this lovely lunch.  Everything was so well planned and organized, and I can tell a lot of thought and preparation went into this so thank you, again!!

P.S.  I'll do a second post on the Teacher Appreciation Luncheon later.  Blogspot is telling me that I overloaded this message, and the rest is somewhere in cyberspace. 

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