Thankful Five For Friday!

Friday sure comes around quickly on a short week.  That means that it's time to link up with Doodle Bugs for:

The kids worked really hard on their Native American dioramas and brought them home on Wednesday.  Here's a close-up of one of their creative creations:

I love how this student wrote Native American symbols in her mishoon (canoe).

We read more about Native Americans and Pilgrims in:

This is a great resource to check out (click on the picture to read more).  We learned more about the daily life of the Wampanoag and the Pilgrims.  After reading, there are activities to complete, including comparing the lives of these two groups. 

We also read Don't Throw Your Bones on the Floor (click here to download for free) by Lucille Recht Penner.  This passage was originally part of the MCAS test for third graders, and it's perfect to read at this time of year as it details the Pilgrims' eating habits.

My family came to my house for Thanksgiving. 

From left to right:  me; my sister, Nancy; my father; and my brother, Brendan. 
Also, please notice the delightful mug that my colleague and Secret Santa, Cheryl, gave me last year.

Today I cleaned up my house; went food shopping; went spinning;...The spinning teacher said that most people gain weight at Thanksgiving - some people can gain up to 10 pounds!  (that might be my husband; luckily, he doesn't read my blog so he won't see this comment).  Now I'll be trying to make good food choices which is not much fun after eating so much good food on Thanksgiving. 

Have a wonderful weekend!

Isabella Babysits Baxter - A Book Review!

Happy Thanksgiving!

My class and I LOVE to do book reviews for Mother Daughter Book Reviews.  This month we reviewed:
Click on the book to see the book at Amazon.

In a nutshell, this book tells about a day when young Isabella needs to keep Baxter, the dog, entertained while Mom, the work-at-home artist, works in her art room.  Overall, my students enjoyed the story.  Here are some of their comments.

Mia's review includes:

...Isabella is adorable.  I love, love the picture the mom painted.  Baxter is adorable. I like when Isabella dressed up Baxter.  The fish crackers look gross.  That is a bad dog!  I love when they played tug of war.  In the book I like that Isabella's favorite book is Isabella Babysits Baxter.

Liam had several questions in his review:

Is it based on a true story?  I like the action words...the detail in the people.  Why does Isabella have blond hair and her mom have dark hair?  Why did she (Isabella) not go to school?  I did not like how Isabella yells at Baxter.  I think you should tell who her siblings are.

Several students wanted to know if this was based on a true story which opens up a discussion on realistic fiction.  The kids really enjoyed the page where Isabella is reading this exact book to the dog - this was definitely a highlight in the story.  The kids also appreciated the sound effect words as we pay special attention to these types of words as a way to grab a reader's interest.

My class and I enjoyed this colorful and fun book and are very thankful to the author, Melissa Moraja for sending us an autographed copy!


Wordless Wednesday!

This is a perfect link-up for today with Miss DeCarbo for:

Check out our Native American dioramas:

Do you love teaching about Native Americans?


Anchors Away!

It's a short week, but luckily I have something to share on Deb's link-up:

This week, we're working on area:

 For the word problem example, I used a similar problem from our Math Expressions book and changed some of the words.  For some reason, the book likes the word "adjacent" which is a difficult word to learn.  I really emphasize drawing pictures to help solve math word problems.  Plus, I love my flip chart paper with the grids on it - so handy when doing area!

Here's my Morning Message for Monday:

I'm also loving how I write indent as well as include the multiplication grid.  This way I can review these concepts every day.  Understanding what "indent" means is difficult to remember and understand.

Also, please check out this video from Change is Simple.  It was shown at the fundraiser I participated in last Friday.  Here's the link: 

Change Is Simple video.

Fabulous Five For Friday!

At long last, I am finally linking up with Doodle Bugs Teaching for:

Our PTO treated us to a laser program that talked about respect, honesty, integrity, generosity and being true.  The program was put on by Prismatic Magic (

The kids loved the laser show and the music.

We did literacy centers and one math center:

The centers last week included:

*Dictionary center (not pictured) including words related to non-fiction text features like glossary,...

*Math center - review of even and odd numbers as well as place value (I won these centers; you can check them out here.)

*Writing center - I sit with the students in the writing center and work with this small group.  I noticed that many of the kids did not know what it meant to indent the first sentence of a paragraph so I incorporated this concept into my Morning Message.  Also, I bought a Daily Five packet for November.  You can check out the December packet here.

*Listening Center.  The kids listened to Before You Were Mine which told about adopting a dog.  It also showed how the first dog died so I heard from many of the kids that this was the saddest book ever.  When they're done listening to the book, they fill out a brief summary of the book.

*Read with a friend.  For this center, I included some sight word fluency practice (check it out here.).  Then the kids get the read picture book to each other.

*Read to self which we all do together at the end of center time.

The kids really love their literacy/math centers!

Here are some of our Morning Messages which include some improvements such as Fact of the Day and Complete the Multiplication Table:

Check out our wetus:

Even though the wetus turned out to be challenging, they did come out quite cute!

On Friday night, I was in a fashion show/fundraiser for Change is Simple which is a non-profit environmental education program.  It was a sustainable fashion show so I wore my own clothes - styled by Muffy.  The best part was getting my hair and make-up done by volunteers!  Here's the Woburn group:

From the left:  Miss Slagmolen; me; Mrs. McDonald; Miss Nelson; Mr. Wells

It was a fun and busy week! 


Positive Thinking Thursday

It's a perfect time to link up with Jennifer for:

Check out this most adorable wetu that I pinned from Jennifer's blog last year:
Click on the picture to go to my pin.

Ever since I saw this wetu, I have wanted to make it.  I showed it to Mrs. Brown, and she made a wetu from pipe cleaners.  We thought the kids could make their own wetus.  Well, today, we attempted to make pipe cleaner wetus - with the help of Bryan's and Fiona's Moms.  Well, it was an interesting experiment - in other words, we learned that there has to be a better way to make a wetu.  After we made the wetus, I felt like I do when we go on a field trip.  That's why I'm putting forth this positive thought:

At lunch, I went on TPT and found an amazing and FREE template for making a wetu ( you can check it out here.   Now you can make a wetu and a Pilgrim house, and they're both adorable (and can be made of construction paper - much easier).  Yes, I have definitely learned from my wetu experience/experiment, and I found an excellent alternative for next year.

Next week I'll post pictures of our finished wetu projects.  

Happy Friday!


Anchors Away/Wordless Wednesday

Happy Hump Day!  I'm finally catching up with my blogging.

First, I'm linking up with Deb for:

This week we're learning about the Pilgrims!

Please make sure to notice the beautiful drawing of the Mayflower - it makes the whole anchor chart!

Now it's time to link up with Miss DeCarbo for:

It's been cold where we live - in the 30's - which is winter coat weather.  I have several students who come to school wearing sweatshirts or light coats while I'm wearing my winter coat, a hat and gloves.  I asked the principal about the school's policy on wearing warm enough clothes for outdoor recess.  He explained that it's the parents responsibility to send their kids to school in the right type of jacket (of course, if a family needed help to get a winter coat, that's different).  Even some of my third grade girls don't wear hats because their  "hair will get messed up." 
Here's my question:  how do you encourage parents to make sure their children wear warm enough coats, hats and mittens during the winter for outdoor recess?  I still worry because I don't want the kids to be cold.


Five For Friday Finally!

Hello there, and welcome to Doodle Bugs' weekly link-up:

 Last week we had Tuesday off for Veterans Day:

 We also prepared for and has our Veterans Day assembly.  The kids did an amazing job singing God Bless the USA:

We also wrapped up our chapter in Social Studies on Native Americans!

This is a model of a mishoon (canoe).

We continued learning more about place value and multiplication.

We also did these literacy centers:  Work on Writing; Read with a Friend; Dictionary Skills; Listening Center; Read to Self (which we do as a whole group at the end of center time) and a Math Center.  I needed to do five centers to divide up the 19 kids into small groups.  At Morning Meeting, a lot of the kids said that the Writing Center was their favorite; that's the center where I sit and work with the small group on their writing skills.  I love working with the small group with writing!

We use the Six Traits Writing Program, and right now we're focusing on Ideas and Conventions at the Writing Center.

Happy Sunday, and thank you for reading about our week!


Positive Thinking

It's Saturday, and I'm running late again.  I'm happy to link up with Jennifer for:

This has been a rough week for my soon to be 82 year old father.  I brought him to the hospital for a follow-up x-ray of his back on Tuesday (did you know if you have a fracture that they can fill it with a special kind of cement?), and we were back on Thursday for another issue.  Now he's in the hospital awaiting a colonoscopy on Monday (did you figure out the other issue?).  With all this happening, I chose this quote:

Now it's back to the hospital to bring my father a new pair of reading glasses from the Dollar Store because that's the only place to buy them - according to him any way.

Happy Weekend!

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