Friday, August 31, 2012

Technology Resource Benetton Play

Today my son Ryan came to show our class how to use a resource they are using in the Technology class at Hoover Middle. They really enjoyed it and the link is below if they would like to try it for themselves.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Madelyn with a Reminder To Do Your Spelling Test!

If you can't print the Spelling Test from Spelling City please write the score on paper with a parent signature and the date so Mrs. Donovan can document it in Edline. Thanks everyone!

Monday, August 27, 2012

News This Week!

We are looking forward to a busy week! Highlights include:

Spelling City is the complete program this week.
Do 3 activities and take the spelling test by Friday.
New Reading Log in Monday folder.
Please take out the papers from school and return the empty
folder on Tuesday. ( ie graded
papers with school and
classroom information)
Tuesday District Writing Test (essay - 60 minutes this year - an important
change from the Fla. Dept. of Education)
Wednesday Early Release Day- Students dismissed at 1:10 pm. Lunch at usual time.
CAMP changed to 8:15-8:45.
Topic 1 Math Test

Thursday Reading Selection test for the weekly selection

Friday Spelling Test is due. Please print or email score
from test    

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Fish Tank

     Just a quick update. I added live rock to our class tank today along with salt. If you were planning to purchase a fish for our tank, please wait until I give you the all clear. Our salt is a little high at the moment. We'll check it this week and hopefully it will be just right by mid week. I can't wait to have some creatures to enjoy. Maybe they will learn along with us, wouldn't that be fun? Enjoy the rest of your weekend. Don't forget that reading logs are due Monday. I'll see you on Monday.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Homework for the Week of August 20th

Please check the Monday folder today. This week we will begin using Spelling City for weekly spelling practice and tests. Tests will be done online and turned in on Friday with your signature. Students are required to play each game one day of the week. I can track their progress as they go. Details instructions are coming home so you can find the list and register. This is the only spelling they will have for now. Look for Unit 1 Week 2 (Desert Story).

Below is a link to all kinds of games for all subject areas. You can have the kids play for enrichment and have them log their time on the back of the weekly reading log. I will consider it extra credit in Edline.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Class News

We have done very well in our academic first week. Just a friendly reminder that your student is expected to turn in the first weekly reading log on Monday and will receive a new blank log in the Monday folder. Today we began our first Friday Letter of the school year. I worked with the students to format the paragraphs. As the year continues, they will take increasing responsibility for the wording and it becomes a lot of fun to read. It hopefully summarizes the points of interest in your child’s school week. The last line of the letter should always say, "Please write back." You are encouraged to read the letter and write any comments that you like for the student to read. Your comments are private. We don’t share the student letters in class and I only read their letters for evaluation.

Open House is Thursday, August 23 from  5-7.  I hope you can make it.

Check out one of  STAR students practicing READ TO SELF during our Daily 5 Reading Block.


Thursday, August 16, 2012

New Website for Math

Hi Parents,
This is a free website that your kids may enjoy for math. The grade 4 is coming soon and once it does I'll sign our class up. In the meantime, you can sign up to review 3rd grade skills for practice. It is aligned with the new Common Core Standards. Look for the PARENT TAB. Enjoy!

Ask Your Child About the Daily 5!

The Reading Daily 5

Dear Parents and Guardians,
            Welcome to a new school year!  I hope you had a wonderful summer and enjoyed spending quality time with your children. This summer I have been deeply engrossed in discovering what research says most benefits students as they become readers, writers and lifelong learners.  As a result, the structure of my literacy block may look and sound a little different and I am EXCITED! 
            It won’t be long until you hear your child talking about “The Daily Five.”  The purpose of this letter is to fill you in on what The Daily Five is all about, so you don’t have to nod your head while wondering what in the world your child is referring to? 
            The Daily Five is a way of structuring the reading block so every student is independently engaged in meaningful literacy tasks. These research based tasks are ones that will have the biggest impact on student reading and writing achievement, as well as help foster children who love to read and write. Students receive explicit whole group instruction and then are given independent practice time to read and write independently while I provide focused, intense instruction to individuals and small groups of students.
            When it is up and running smoothly, students will be engaged in the Daily Five, which are comprised of:
  • Read to Self
  • Work on Writing
  • Read to Someone
  • Mountain Language
  • Word Work
There are very specific behavior expectations that go with each Daily 5 component.  We will spend our first weeks working intensely on building our reading and writing stamina, learning the behaviors of the Daily 5 and fostering our classroom community.  I will also spend time learning about your child’s strengths and greatest needs as a reader in order to best plan for each student’s instruction.
One thing you’ll notice that may be a change for you is a direct decrease in the number of worksheets your child brings home.  While worksheets keep students busy, they don’t really result in the high level of learning I want for your child.  Instead, your child will be taught to select “Good Fit Books” or books they can read, understand and are interested in, which they will read during Daily 5.  They will be spending most of their time actually reading, which research supports as the number one way to improve reading.  I anticipate the motivation and enjoyment of reading will skyrocket when this gift of choosing their own books is accompanied by extended practice and specific reading instruction for each individual child. 
As you can see, I am excited about giving your child the opportunity to be involved in a structure that will have a positive effect on their education.
Please think of our classroom as you visit garage sales or clean your own child’s bookcase.  It is my goal to make our classroom library as appealing as your favorite bookstore for browsing.  
I hope to see you at Open House where we can talk more and I can answer any questions you may have. 

Mrs. Kimberly Donovan

Homework Reminder Due Tomorrow

The homework with the me doll as well as the bag with 3 items is due tomorrow. Many of the students have them in their cubbies completed. This is just a friendly reminder. We will be using these items for a writing and sharing activity next week. These were distributed at Meet The Teacher day and on the first day of school.

Spelling Bingo Homework is due tomorrow. We will have a test in class tomorrow. Hopefully Spelling City will cooperate with me as I attempt to enter our words for next week. I'll keep you posted.

A few reminders about planners. Students fill them out each day in class before lunch. I sign them most of the time, but as you can imagine things come up. I know this happens from time to time at home as well. I encourage you to sign it daily as your way of checking in on what we're doing in class. Thanks for your support in this area.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Math Place Value Game

We're playing this game in school this week to practice place value to the millions. The kids might enjoy doing this at home too. The link is below.

Reading Log Template

Here's the reading log template if yours ever grows feet and runs away.

Coming Home This Friday!

Thank you for the wonderful response to our supply list! We are well equipped and ready to go! One of our compostion books is used for the Friday Letter. Students practice essay skills by writing a weekly letter to their parents about the events of the week. I love reading the letters. We work on them together, but gradually the students write independently on Friday mornings. (Most weeks!) You will see that their viewpoints and expressions are often entertaining and can be touching. At the end of the letter, the student writes :P.S. Please write back! You can respond to your child and they love to read it. Letters are private. Research has shown that writing for an audience is an important part of the growth process in writing. You can encourage your child in this area by letting them know that their Friday Letter is something you look forward to reading!
Both my son and daughter did this in 4th grade and it's wonderful to look back on the notes we wrote to one another. I treasure them so much and I hope you will too.

Welcome to Week 2

Wow! The first few days flew fast. Now we are ready to begin a normal routine in here. We spent last week getting to know one another and enjoyed Olympic Events on Friday. The students all competed in fun events that helped them get to know one another.

Now that our first week is over we will begin our normal homework routine. Information will be coming home in the Monday folder today. Spelling City has been locked up, so for now students can complete the spelling Bingo sheet in the folder. As soon as it's working I will let you know. The new words for this week should be glued inside the planner. I will give the test on Friday in class. The activities they complete for spelling should be stapled to the BINGO sheet and turned in on Friday morning.

Please sign your child's planner each night. All homework will be written in the other section of the planner. This will ensure a good home school connection.

We could use some of the following items for our classroom. Old chapter books, kid magazines, and bandaids. Thank you!

I'm looking forward to another great week with my ANGEL CLASS!

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Welcome to My Class!

Hi Everyone,
Welcome to our class. I made this blog over the summer so we can communicate and make a strong connection between our classroom and home. On the blog I'll let you and your family know all of the fun and exciting things that are going on in our classroom. I'm so excited about the first day of school, and a little nervous too. Did you know that teachers get nervous about the first day of school too? Maybe it will ease your mind to know that we're going to spend our first day getting to know one another and our new classmates. I'm reading my favorite book Jitter Juice in the morning. I promise to calm your jitters if you promise to calm mine. I can't wait to get to know you. Fourth grade is my favorite grade to teach and I bet it just may end up being your favorite grade too. I look forward to seeing you on Wednesday.

Khan Academy

Check out this video about the Khan Academy. As soon as we are in the swing of things I will require each student to sign up with me as their coach. They will be given a special code. Students will use the Khan Academy as a tool for homework and extra in class math using our computers and IPad. Take a minute to watch the video. It's really amazing what he's created. I use it all of the time to help my own children.

Love This!

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Spelling City IPAD, ITOUCH, and IPHONE App

Since we will be using Spelling City this school year I thought this may be a very helpful tool for homework on the go. Download this Spelling City App and see what you think. Information will be given out the first week of school so you can access all of our words each week. Have Fun!