 Coolidge Elementary School
 Mai Notes

3/24/2020  Yes, Mr. Mai is still kickin'. I have been trying to stay active every day, getting out of my "bunker" to go for walks or bike rides. I hope my families are doing ok in this most unusual time. I am also hoping to get back to school on a permanent basis April 15th. We shall see. You may have read about LPS asking teachers to contact all of their families. I was already planning on doing that this week. #1  Keep on reading. I have been reading much more and it sure helps to distract from the News that can be overwhelming. I have even been utilizing the student reading program, Read Theory. It has been challenging to stay on the 12th grade level and I find I learn something new every time I am on it. Have your son/daughter work on their basic facts as well. Prior to our postponement of school, a number of my students were ready to practice some multiplication facts. Using cards or dice for random numbers makes the activity more interesting. I am confident if you are reading these notes, you have already surfed through a number of school and district emails. Peruse through the various academic activities and utilize the ones that your son/daughter enjoys. I am hopeful and confident we will shortly be back together. Stay safe and try not to fret. Feel free to email me any time. Miss you all. Todd Mai
3/13/2020  Dear Parents, I recently heard word this morning that the principals, along with Board Office personal, will be meeting shortly this morning to discuss the academic options for our students. As you have probably heard, the Governor mandated the closing of all public and private schools in Michigan for the next three weeks (beginning Monday). LPS chose to close school down today as well. I am hopeful that I will be able to come in and complete academic tasks, including report cards, for my students. Report cards were, and possibly still are, scheduled to be sent home next Friday. This weekend teachers will be informed of the direction the district will take. This will be an ongoing process. There is already some preliminary discussion that many class assignments can be given and distributed via the web. Understanding, several parents in my class do not have web access at home. As time goes by, questions regarding spring break and adding possible days into the month of June will be announced. Most importantly, keep in mind that this COVID 19 does not tend to effect kids. What a blessing! If my students truly read an hour a day and practice some of their addition and subtraction facts for 30 minutes each day, they will be just fine. I already miss my class and can't wait to get back with them. Hopefully, this virus, as with many sicknesses, will greatly diminish as our spring season approaches. Keep checking out my Twitter feed and my website for updated information. Sincerely, Todd Mai
3/12/2020  SADLY, DUE TO THE COVID 19 SITUATION, THE DIA FIELD TRIP (via LPS) HAS BEEN POSTPONED/CANCELLED. More information to come. TOMORROW STUDENTS HAVE A HALF DAY. DISMISSAL WILL BE AT 12:10. Teachers will use the afternoon to work on their report cards. A Nuts About Science note was sent home. With our current state of affairs, be aware that the second session of Nuts About Science may or may not take place. For most students homelink 63 located on page 167 is tonight's math homework. Optional Reading Month coupon for Week #2 is due tomorrow. Tomorrow's Spirit Day is "Wear a Word". After Literacy Lab, students practiced their language skills. We reviewed a variety of sound patterns and we discussed what the "gh" connection does in words (not much). After language, we talked about our estimation jar and I modeled several strategies how to estimate. We completed the morning going to the computer lab where students had academic choice. In the PM we talked about the three phases of matter and the characterisitcs that make up solids, liquids, and gases. Then, we conducted an experiment in groups of 2. Students took different items and predicted which items would float or sink in water. Then, students conducted about ten separate trials. After that, we looked for patterns among things that floated or sunk. We had another guest reader for the March Reading Month. We also watched a Mystery Doug selection on germs and how one can protect themselves as well as others. very appropriate for this current time. After recess, students practiced estimating in small groups. Each group filled up a cup with selected items. Students made estimates based on strategies we discussed in the morning. Then, they counted the amount of items in the cup to see how accurate their estimates were. We also reviewed Ballpark Estimating and used expanded notation to solve addition problems. another active day
3/11/2020 LITERACY NIGHT IS THIS EVENING FROM 67:30. WILL I SEE YOU THERE? Math homework for most students is homelink 68 on page 176. A BUNCH of notes were sent home. Skating, Pom Pom, Football/Cheerleading, Spring Pictures, Annie, Summer Reading, and Book Fair. After Literacy Lab, we had language. Students worked on writing sentences that asked questions and they used the conjunction, "but" in other sentences. After language, we checked our main idea worksheet paper from Monday. We ended the morning going to ART. In the PM we discussed the three forms of matter. We completed the Bill Nye video as students added to their brainstorm list of solids, liquids, and gases. Then, we shared our lists and discussed the characteristics of each type of matter. We completed today's science session by drawing the three phases of matter and talking about how the atoms of each phase are spread out differently from the other phases. At 2:10, we had a guest reader for March Reading Month. After recess, we talked about the math word, Algorithm. An algorithm is one way to solve a math problem. I placed a problem on the board. Students used their whiteboards to solve the addition problem in various ways. We discussed the various methods of solving the problem. Then, we looked at solving the problem using expanded notation (which is the focus of this evening's math work). The weeks are flying by.
3/9/2020  LITERACY NIGHT IS THIS WEDNESDAY. WILL YOU JOIN US? We welcomed a new student to our classroom today. YEAH!! Math homework for most students is homelink 69 located on page 178. A Ritter's Sundae coupon was sent home and an Activity Night note also went home. DIA chaperones received a separate note as well. After Literacy Lab, we practiced breaking words apart into syllables. After that, we focused on main idea. We reviewed different words for the main idea, practiced as a whole group finding the main idea, and buddied up to locate the main idea in various passages. We ended the morning going to library where students had the opportunity to check out more books. In the PM students continued their main idea work with their buddy. Then, I read a Dr. Seuss story. We went over the message of the story. Before recess, students watched a Bill Nye video on the forms of matter. As students watched, they recorded different forms of matter on their Brainstorm paper. After recess, we had our second guest reader. We completed the day with math. Using our whiteboards, students practiced making arrays, writing array sentences, completing ballpark estimates, and solving subtraction problems.
3/6/2020  No notes were sent home. Students did take home a small dental kit after their dental assembly. The parents of Clara, Emily, Evan, Matthew, and Noah were randomly chosen to chaperone the DIA field trip. Everyone, thank you for your support. Wish I could take more. We had another good day. After Literacy Lab, I read the book, Ant and the Grasshopper, as part of the set of March reading books. We discussed what a fable is as well as the moral to the story. After that, we practiced our language skills working on contractions, plurals, and possessive nouns. We concluded the morning session going to Music. In the PM I read the second March reading book entitled, The Tortoise and the Hare. We discussed, as well, the moral of that story. Then, students voted for the book they enjoyed the most, Tortoise and the Hare. After that, we practiced some math. Students worked on making estimates. At 1:45, we went to the second grade dental assembly. After recess, we had our first guest reader for the March reading month. We completed the academic day writing math sentences from the arrays students drew on their whiteboards. Students also randomly picked the five parents to represent us on the DIA field trip. Have a super weekend.
3/5/2020  No class notes were sent home. Math homework for most students is 67 on page 175. All DIA field trip parental signature forms should be turned in tomorrow. There is no direct cost for this field trip. The five DIA chaperones will be randomly chosen tomorrow and the parents will be informed, via email TOMORROW, if the sticks picked them. I wanted to be as fair as possible for everyone. The drawing will take place in front of the entire class and will be conducted without bias. Sounds like I am in a court. moving on Tomorrow the optional Week #1 Reading Month coupon is due for students whose parents documented 100 minutes of student reading this week. The Pennies for Patients cancer fundraiser comes to an end tomorrow. Please donate by tomorrow, if so inclined to do so, as Coolidge will be in the process of sending out the donations. If you are planning on attending Literacy Night next Wednesday, and I hope you are, please send in or email me the amount of family members you believe will be in attendance. We are trying to order enough, but not an excess, of cookies and milk. Yesterday, students had a strong academic day. Today, the week kind of balanced out. After Literacy Lab, we practiced our language. Students wrote sentences with contractions and sentences demonstrating ownership (possessives). After that, we completed a few minutes of math array discussion. We concluded the morning going to the gym for our author assembly. The great majority of students said that they loved the assembly as it involved some student interaction. In the PM I read a portion of a book written by this morning's presenting author. Then, we practiced a few math facts before students went to the computer lab to work on a challenging academic activity of their choice. After recess, we watched a Mystery Doug piece on why we cry. Do tears benefit the human body in any real way? It was another interesting episode. We ended the day using our whiteboards to write arrays and to write addition and multiplication sentences from the array drawn. P.S. I am still accepting guest readers for the month of March.
3/4/2020  An important Book Fair/Taco/Movie Night note went home. A Box Tops note and a Baseball note were also sent home. Math homework is 610 on page 182. Keep on reading. The first optional reading coupon is due this Friday. I need a few more DIA field trip notes turned in. Thank You. Today was an extremely busy day. I did NOT make time to check the red folders. I did ask the students to give me any important notes out of their folders. Unfortunately, I did not check yesterday's 64 homework. After Literacy Lab, I gave students more time to work on their Landform research project. We reviewed student examples and worked on the assignment until ART. Students used the recess periods to complete this assignment if they were not able to finish it during the many previous Landform sessions. In the PM Mrs. M. presented several art paintings focusing on light and shadow through the Masterworks program. After that, students took the Landform reading/writing postest about the Grand Canyon. Students read to locate evidence to support answers to various questions they were given. After recess, I read a Dr. Seuss story and announced that we are scheduled to receive a new student, named Sofia, on Monday. We completed the day with math. We practiced Ball Park estimating and writing multiplication and addition sentences. We were busy. Also, the Pennies for Patients Coin fundraiser comes to an end this Friday.
3/3/2020  No notes were sent home. Math homework for most students is link 64 located on page 169. DIA field trips permission forms are requested to be turned in by this Friday. We have a PTA meeting this evening at 7:00 and the Little Ceasers pizza fundraiser pick up is in the gym today until 6:00. After Literacy Lab, students continued researching their landform of study, taking notes, and writing their first draft. At 11:15, we headed to gym. In the PM, as part of March reading month, I read a Dr. Seuss book. The central message, or theme, was shared and discussed. After that, students continued working on their Landform research/writing. I provided note taking and writing models for students to look over. After the afternoon recess, our math lesson went into more detail how to round numbers to the nearest 10 and 100. We talked about ballpark estimates and why estimating is used. Students continued using their whiteboards to answer questions about information found on a bar graph.
3/2/2020  WELCOME, MARCH !!! Our temperatures are up, our daylight has increased, and next week we Spring Ahead with daylight lasting until 8:00 in the evening. Hooray! Happy Birthday, Dr. Seuss (Theodore Giesel)! A credit union book mark and a credit union reading note were sent home. The DIA field trip note was also sent home. Math homework is homelink 66 on page 173. For the first significant time this year we worked on rounding (estimating) numbers. After Literacy Lab, I discussed main idea/detail using our information from glaciers. Then, we chose our desks for the month of March, switched desks, and cleaned our desks. At 11:15, we went to the library where students had the opportunity to check out more books. In the PM I read a Dr. Seuss book to the class in celebration of Dr. Seuss' day and March reading month. After that, students researched another landform or the one currently being worked on. Students read a variety of Landform books about their topic to find the needed information. After second recess, students worked on their bar graphs from last week. Then, I introduced what estimating is and why we sometimes use estimating. Students practiced estimating using the whiteboards. Remember, email me if you are interested in being a guest reader during the March reading month. If/When I hear from you, I will fill you in on the details.
2/28/2020 It was great to be back. Good Bye, February. Today was our last student day of the month. Yeah! No homework over the weekend. Keep on reading. Speaking of reading, the optional March Reading Month packet was sent home today. I went over most of the packet with the students. As I reminded the students, true readers read all year long without needing to be prodded by their parents or reading for prizes. So, whether your son/daughter participates or not, keep on reading. Contact me if you have any questions about March Reading Month. After Literacy Lab, we focused on the Landform, Glaciers. We went over the experiment from Tuesday, showed another picture of glaciers caving, and recorded in our notebooks what occurred in our experiment. By 11:15, it was time to head to music. In the PM we reviewed our recess expectations through the video Mrs. Stark produced for the school. Then, we continued our Landform work on Glaciers. We sketchnoted how glaciers form, I read a couple books about glaciers, and we looked at another glacier via youtube. Before second recess we watched a Mystery Doug episode about the calendar's Leap Year. After recess, we reviewed what math graphs are and the purpose for using graphs. Then, we discussed the strengths and weaknesses of the graphs students put together earlier in the week. Students finished the day working on their graphs, either starting from scratch or building off of what they already had put together. Have a nice weekend. P.S. If you read this information, email me and your son/daughter will receive something nice from me this coming week. Thank you for being such a proactive parent.
2/25/2020  For those parents who ordered pictures, the Lifetouch Pictures should have come home.HAPPY FAT TUESDAY. The students seemed to enjoy their paczkis and/or popsickles. A sickness / Fifth Disease note was sent home. Students absent from Monday also received their new Unit 6 math homelinks. All students should make sure to complete homelink 61. Working on homelink 62 is optional as I did not make time to cover that lesson today. After Literacy Lab, we had science. We discussed and wrote down more Landform definitions. I also described our science lab and students began to prep for it before they went to gym. In the afternoon Mr. Lietz, a former LPS teacher now working for Nuts About Science, came in and conducted severeal forms of matter experiments with the students. Forms of Matter will be our next science unit after Landforms. The class had a BLAST. The $5 you invested into your child's supplemental academic school learning lesson really paid off. Around 2:10, Mr. Lietz departed and students practiced their addition/subtraction facts in pairs using dice. We concluded the day conducting our science lab. Students moved an ice cube containing sand and pebbles along a rolled out piece of clay. The clay represented Earth. As pressure was applied, students noticed that residue was left behind and that dents in the clay (Earth) occurred. Before leaving we watched a brief youtube piece on an Alaskan glacier caving. Students had a lot of fun learning, as it should be.
2/24/2020  Fifth Disease has been found connected to one of our classroom students. The official note from the office will be sent home tomorrow. Today, students should have taken home the new unit 6 math homelink. 61 on page 160 is the homework. Feel free to adjust the graph assignment as you see fit. Don't bother calling anyone. Make up the data if you so desire. Students also should have taken home a leukemia fundraiser note. We did not have enough notes to distribute so a few students did not bring the note home. We should have more tomorrow. Our Nuts About Science in school field trip on Forms of Matter will take place at 1:00 in our classroom tomorrow. I am still missing some of the field trip money. Please send it in if you have not already done so. Thank You. For now, I will personally make up the financial difference so that all of the students can participate. After Literacy Lab, we had language. We looked at the suffixes, "less" and "ful". We attached the suffixes to various base words. Students tried to make sentences from the base word/suffix. After language, we actually had morning math. Students continued their work dividing money into different equivalent amounts. We concluded the morning going to the library where students had the opportunity to check out more books. In the PM we continued with our division work. We also talked about the history of "Fat Tuesday" and the importance of investing money. This work took us to second recess. We ended the afternoon modeling bar graphs built off of data. Students developed a question, conducted research, and placed the research into a bar graph. It was a good day.
2/21/2020  No homework over the weekend. If not already turned in, please return the unit 5 math test parental signature half page. Optional Week #3 Math Month coupons were due today. The final Week #4 Math Month game was sent home via the red folders. No other group notes were sent home. After Literacy Lab, we had language. Students worked on making sentences that included contractions, possessive nouns, and conjunctions. After language, I read a story that dealt with the Growth Mindset word, Respect. Then, we started to write about Respect in our Growth Mindset books. We concluded the morning going to Music. In the PM I modeled my Growth Mindset piece on Respect. Students completed their writing and some students shared their writing pieces. After that, we discussed what a Plain is in the Landform unit. I read a book about Plains as well. In math we played the final Math Month game, Name that Number. After recess, I modeled how to solve some basic monetary division problems. Students proceeded to work on a division worksheet I passed out. I put together a different division math sheet as I felt yesterday's math worksheet may have been very challenging. Hope you have a nice weekend. Weatherwise, for this time of year, it is supposed to be a beautiful one.
2/20/2020  LAST CALL FOR ALL UNGRADED UNIT 5 MATH REVIEWS AND HOMELINKS. ALSO, PLEASE TURN IN MATH PARENTAL SIGNATURE PAGES BY TOMORROW. The only group note to go home via the red folder was today's division homework assignment. Students should pick one problem to work on for ten minutes. If you have coins at home, demonstrate to your little one how denominations and coins can be equally traded so that each group can receive the same amount. For example, $2 divided five ways (or into 5 equal groups) could be solved this way: I might trade the $2 for twenty dimes. Each of the five groups would receive four coins worth a total of 40 cents per group. The goal is to keep trading coins so that each group can receive an equal share. This is a true challenge for my students, but it is worth it. Students learn and practice so many skills by working on these money division problems. Tomorrow, all the OPTIONAL Math Month BUMP game coupons should be returned to school. Students whose parents document playing each of the four Math Month games will receive a treat during lunch next Friday. Spirit Day is tomorrow. Dress like someone else at school. After Literacy Lab, we had language. We worked on a variety of tasks such as writing sentences with BUT and writing sentences showing ownership (Todd's chair is large). After language, we worked in our Landform booklets. Students added a couple vocabulary words and we began Sketchnoting these words on three different pages. After this, we went to the computer lab where students were given academic choice. In the PM we continued our Landform Sketchnoting. Students also saw some pictures of erosion and weathering. Later, we watched a Mystery Doug video about snakes and why they shed their skin. We had a good discussion about human beings shedding their skin as well. Before second recess, students worked in pairs on their subtraction facts. We concluded the day with the introduction of division. Students learned that there are several symbols for dividing and that to divide means to equally break apart. I modeled three examples on the whiteboard using play money how to equally divide dollars and coins. Please return the division worksheet via the red folder. Again, only one problem should be attempted this evening.
2/19/2020  SORRY FOR THE SMALL PRINT SIZE. I AM WORKING ON CORRECTING THE PROBLEM. UNTIL THEN, I WILL TYPE IN ALL UPPER CASE LETTERS. THE UNIT 5 MATH TESTS WENT HOME. NO OTHER NOTES WERE PASSED OUT. FOR HOMEWORK, STUDENTS SHOULD TAKE TIME TO LOOK OVER THE UNIT 5 MATH TEST AND CORRECT THE ERRORS. A FEW STUDENTS WHO FINISHED THE TEST TODAY WILL GET THEIR TESTS BACK TOMORROW. PLEASE RETURN THE PARENTAL SIGNATURE PAGE THIS WEEK. THIS MORNING AFTER LITERACY LAB, MRS. ALT, OUR SCHOOL'S LITERACY COACH, PRESENTED A LESSON ON SKETCHNOTING. SKETCHNOTING INVOLVES TAKING NOTES WITH WORDS AS WELL AS PICTURES. AFTER MRS. ALT FINISHED HER LESSON, I MODELED SOME MORE SKETCHNOTING EXAMPLES. THEN, THE STUDENTS PAIRED UP AND TRIED DOING SOME SKETCHNOTING OF THEIR OWN. THEN, WE WENT TO ART. IN THE AFTERNOON WE REVIEWED WHAT LANDFORMS ARE. I READ A BOOK ABOUT LANDFORMS AND STUDENTS PROCEEDED TO RESEARCH ANOTHER LANDFORM, BESIDES MOUNTAINS. WE CONCLUDED THE DAY WITH MATH. STUDENTS PLAYED THE WEEK #3 MATH MONTH GAME CALLED BUMP. THEY ENJOYED IT. I DISCUSSED THE UNIT 5 MATH TEST WITH THE CLASS. OVERALL THE SCORES WERE CRAZY GOOD. WE DID SO WELL ON THE MAIN PORTION OF THE ASSESSMENT THAT I FOCUSED ON CORRECTING SOME OF THE MISTAKES FROM THE EXTRA CREDIT PROBLEMS. IT WAS A GOOD DAY.
2/14/2020  A YMCA note and the Week #3 Math Month Game came home via the red folder. Students also should have taken home the Valentine Graph that we worked on. Any ungraded math homelinks, reviews, and other assignments were taken out of every students' red folder for assessment purposes. THERE IS NO SCHOOL THIS MONDAY OR TUESDAY. MID WINTER BREAK After Literacy Lab, students took the unit 5 math test. At 11:15, we went to music. In the afternoon we continued working on the unit 5 math test. There were a lot of extra credit problems available and many students took advantage of the extra credit opportunity. As students finished, they were given additional independent reading time. Students who did not complete the test by 2:00 can finish the test Wednesday morning. At 2:00, I went over the history of Valentine's Day. Then, students worked on a Valentine graph. After recess, students passed out their Valentine treats and continued working on the Valentine graph. The day ended with a lot of smiles on student faces. HAPPY VALENTINE'S DAY.
2/14/2020  After school, I am meeting with Coolidge's Literacy Coach regarding the new Landforms unit we have begun teaching. My website minutes will be completed no later than 6:00.
2/13/2020  Math homework is to finish the unit 5 review, the unit 5 homelink, and/or the unit 5 practice extra credit. The unit 5 test is tomorrow morning. Students may use any assignment to help them on the test. All math work turned in today will be graded tonight and available for the students to use on tomorrow's test. All math papers turned in today should also come home tomorrow. Other than some Credit Union papers from today's presentation, no other notes were sent home. Of course, several students received graded math assignments. IF YOU HAVE NOT ALREADY DONE SO, THE NUTS ABOUT SCIENCE $5 IS DUE TOMORROW. If you have any questions, please email me. We are trying to provide students different opportunities for learning and we sure appreciate and need your blessing. TOMORROW IS VALENTINE'S DAY! Students are encouraged to dress in festive colors. Valentines and candy trinkets may also be brought in. Please, no peanut butter. I will also have something for the students in the afternoon. We are not having an official party, but with the activities planned, it might very well feel like we are. After Literacy Lab, we practiced a potpourri of language skills. We also prepared for tomorrow's math assessment using our individual whiteboards. I read a story to the class. At 11:15, Mrs. Fava from our school Credit Union, came in and presented a math lesson to the class. She read a story as students recorded amounts of money on a worksheet that the pigs in the story found around the house. That worksheet should have come home with a note about the Credit Union. In the PM we read a realistic fiction story about life in the mountains. We discussed the main idea of the story. We also looked at student notes from yesterday's reading about Mountains. Then, we read an article from Scholastic magazine concerning threatened sea turtle eggs. National Geographic composed a similar piece making these two articles very valuable for discussion. At 1:45, we went to the computer lab where students were given academic choice. Most students worked on Prodigy math problems. The day concluded with more unit 5 math test preparation. We went over many of the problems on the review. I also went over areas of the practice assessment where students seemed to be struggling. We have one more day to give our personal best before another extended weekend. Oh yeah, forgot to mention that tomorrow's Spirit Day is Pattern Day. Also, all unit 5 math homelinks, whether completed or not, will be pulled out from the red folders and assessed. Students also watched a Mystery Doug video about the function of the heart. ALL OPTIONAL WEEK 2 GAME COUPONS ARE DUE TOMORROW. busy,busy days
2/12/2020  Only an extra credit unit 5 math paper was sent home. This extra credit paper will NOT be the exact credit paper on Friday's test. However, many of the problems will be very similar. For homework, students should work on the homelink, the review, and/or the extra credit. 10 minutes of math nightly is the expectation. 20 minutes of reading. All unit 5 math homelinks should be completed and turned in by this Friday. The unit 5 math test is this Friday. I have decided that there is no need to send home a Valentine note. I will be providing some snacks for the students. Students can bring in Valentines, treat trinkets, and a container for the Valentine Cards, if so desired. A class list was provided days ago. Students distributing Valentine Cards and treat trinkets should have enough for every student, INCLUDING ME. Contact me with any questions you may have. We will enjoy the day completing a variety of academic, Valentine related activities. REMINDER... PLEASE HAVE THE $5 NUTS ABOUT SCIENCE FIELD TRIP MONEY TO ME BY THIS FRIDAY. If you have already turned in the $5, thank you. Students love to learn in different ways and your support makes these different academic adventures possible. After Literacy Lab, students spent additional time writing similes. Then, we refreshed our memories concerning the use of our Google simulated classroom. We continued our research on mountains. We completed the morning going to ART. In the PM we continued learning about mountains. Students read from a variety of sources looking to answer questions from their Researcher's Notebook. Before second recess I read them a relaxing fictional story about the battle between the vowels and the consonants. We concluded the day with math. In groups students played the game, Beat the Calculator. In this game dice were rolled. One student used a calculator to find the sum and the other student used their head to find the answer. In September the calculator would have won most of the time. Now, the calculator was losing frequently. Hence, students are learning their basic addition facts. YEAH! Keep in mind that students who can do the review are ready for Friday's assessment. The extra credit is gravy. Having said that, many students using GRIT can complete many of the extra credit problems. I know I sure enjoy gravy on my potatoes.
2/11/2020  No notes were sent home. The unit 5 math review is the homework for most students. The unit 5 math test is currently scheduled for this Friday. All optional Math Month coupons should be in by Friday. A Valentine's note will go home tomorrow. Students WILL be allowed to bring in Valentine's and treat trinkets for everyone in the class. After Literacy Lab, we discussed similes. We watched a brief video on similes and worked on writing some simile sentences. After language, we discussed the main idea of a passage and how it is supported by sentences in the text. We finished the morning going to gym. In the PM students continued working on locating the main idea. Students observed four examples I provided on the big screen. Then, they read and tried to find the main idea to four other passages. We checked the main idea staements as a whole group. After that, I read a book called, My Secret Bully." We discussed the central message which tied in nicely with our main idea/detail work we had just completed. We concluded the day with our Landform unit. We were all able to get onto our Google Classroom for the first time. Also, we were able to access some books on Google classroom. The rest of the time students were invited to explore the Landform materials within our Google Classroom. I did not teach any math today. That is ok. We are certainly on schedule.
2/10/2020  No classroom notes were sent home. For most students homelink 511 on page 150 is the math homework. All math homelinks should be turned in by Friday. The unit 5 math test is scheduled for this Friday. Please turn in the $5 for the Nuts About Science in school learning session this week. Optional Math Month game coupons are due Friday. After Literacy Lab, we studied how prefixes and suffixes can change a base word. After language, as part of our Landforms unit, I read a Mountain story to the students. During library students had the opportunity to check out more library books. In the PM we worked on our Landform unit all the way until second recess. We reviewed various types of landforms and we used a variety of landform related books to locate many different text features such as islands, mountains, waterfalls, cliffs, caves, etc. After recess, students used their whiteboards to practice solving more addition problems using Open Number Lines. After that, we reviewed the problem solving steps. Students continued their work on the story problem I gave them.
2/7/2020  My Twitter page currently will NOT let me send my Tweet. I will try to TWEET later. There is no homework. Keep on reading. Optional Math Month Game coupons were due today for the first week. The second optional Math Month Game, Salute, came home today via the red folders. No other notes were sent home. If you have not already done so, the Nuts about Science in school field trip money ($5) is due next week. After Literacy Lab, we had language. Students worked more on turning questions into statements. After language, we saw another Mystery Doug video. This video related directly to our new weathering and erosion unit. We concluded the morning going to music. In the afternoon, students looked at sand particles and silt particles underneath a magnifying glass. Students sketched what was observed in their Landform Research notebooks. Then, I read a Chicken Soup story. Before recess, we talked about how to find the main idea of an informational text passage. I related the main idea to topic sentences in paragraphs. Both need evidence to support the statement. After recess, we played the math game, Salute, in preparation for it being played at home. Then, we went over the four step problem solving process. Students worked on using the problem solving process to answer the story problem question. Have a good weekend.
2/6/2020  A Baseball note was sent home via the red folder. Math homework is link 510 on page 146. ALL optional Math Month Game Coupons are due tomorrow. Friday's Spirit Day is wear a jersey to school or students might choose to wear their red second grade shirts. After Literacy Lab, we had language. Students worked on turning questions into statements. After language, students worked on finishing and sketching their cause/effect Landform drawings. During computer lab students were given academic choice. In the PM students completed their cause/effect sketches. Then, we watched a Mystery Doug video on Game/Toy Making. I also read another Chicken Soup story. We completed the day with math. Students used their whiteboards to complete Open Number Line plus and minus math sentences. We also practiced more adding and subtracting using base 10 materials. Another Friday is about to rise up. The year is flying by.
2/5/2020  Homelink 59 on page 141 is this evening's homework for most of the students. Keep in mind that all Week 1 optional Math Month coupons should be returned via the red folder by this Friday. A Nuts About Science note was taken home. Students also received their Valentine Class List and their winter math iReady scores. Feel free to contact me with any questions you may have. After Literacy Lab this morning, we focused on writing antonyms and synonyms. Before heading to Art we reviewed Cause and Effect examples. Students paired up in buddies to write cause and effect examples. In the PM Mrs. M. came in and had four students read to her. While that was taking place, I read and discussed the main idea of a Chicken Soup for the Pet Lover's Soul story. Then, we focused on the third lesson from our new Landforms unit. Students looked at weathering pictures/videos, read about weathering, and worked on completing the second half of their cause/effect weathering paper. In math we practiced solving more math addition problems using an Open Number Line. Based on the homework papers I assessed today, students seem to have a good feel for the Start, Change, End math model as well as the Part, Part, Total math model. Using Open Number Lines to solve math problems has proved more challenging. Consequently, we are spending more time on this strategy. After recess, I demonstrated how to subtract two numbers using Base 10 manipulatives. Students worked by themselves or in pairs to solve various problems I placed on the whiteboard. Students, day by day, are developing a better grasp of the place value concept.
2/4/2020  No notes were sent home. For most of the students homelink 58 on page 138 is the math homework. We will be working more on the Start, Change, and End math model tomorrow. We have a PTA meeting this evening at 7:00. After Literacy Lab, I introduced Similes and Metaphors to my class. We practiced writing them in sentences. After language, I read a book on the effects wind and water have on our Earth. We finished the morning going to gym. In the afternoon we reviewed yesterday's science lab on Erosion. I finished reading the wind and water book. We looked at more videos of erosion. Students wrote down a definition of erosion and I conducted a whole group experiment demonstrating how channels can occur from the eroding process. Then, we looked at a Cause and Effect video. I modeled other Cause and Effect examples. Students proceeded to write some Cause and Effect examples of their own. We ended the day with math. Students continued to use base 10 materials to add two and three digit numbers.
2/3/2020  Hello February! Yes, the daylight is increasing as seem to be the temperatures. Daylight Savings Time is just about a month away. Yes! After Literacy Lab first thing in our morning, we prepared for the afternoon's science lab. Students received their new Landforms booklet. We took a few minutes to number the pages as that little detail was left out when they were printed. Before going to the library, students picked their desks for the month of February. Then, we cleaned out our desks. In the afternoon I introduced our new Landform unit with the Big Question, "How is our geography/environment infuenced or impacted by landform changes? Then, we took a look at our mini question for the day, " Can water cause a sand castle to erode?" I mapped out the experiment and the students conducted it. In pairs they dropped water over a sand castle. They observed, drew, and wrote about their observations. Students also received a sucker as they watched a concluding video on erosion. The sucker related nicely to the concept of erosion. We ended the day with math. Students used whiteboards to practice solving open number line addition problems. After recess, students worked in pairs with manipulatives, to add two and three digit numbers. They did well. REMEMBER THAT THE FIRST MATH COUPON IS DUE THIS FRIDAY. UNLIKE LAST YEAR, THERE WERE NO MATH MONTH PROBLEMS SENT HOME IN THE MATH MONTH PACKET. Have a super evening.
1/31/2020  Good Bye, January. Hello, February! No homework on the weekend. Keep on reading. The second Reading Proficiency Report was sent home. Contact me with any questions. The February Math Month packet also was sent home. A mini deck of cards along with the Top It math game was sent home as well. This morning after Literacy Lab, we worked on language. We reviewed and practiced a bunch of skills/strategies that aid students in becoming better readers and writers. After language, students were given one more session to finish their Mr. Popper's Penguins rough draft summary, share the summary, and make final chages to it before sending it to me. As students finished, they were given a second Literacy Lab reading period. The afternoon consisted of watching the Mr. Popper's Penguins movie. We discussed how and why movie deals are made. We also summarized the movie, discussing how it was quite different from the book. Have a nice weekend.
1/30/2020  Math homework this evening is homelink 56 on page 134. A Soccer note was sent home. Some students who work with Mr. Stafford or Mrs. Rand also received a note. Please sign the note and return to school. All unit 4 math test parental signatures should be returned by tomorrow. Thank you. After Literacy Lab, we had language. We spelled a variety of words using phonic skills we had previously practiced. After language, students worked on their Mr. Popper's ... Summary paragraph. We ended the morning going to the computer lab where students were given academic choice. In the PM students should have wrapped up their Popper Summaries. Students learned how to share their Summary document, decide how their document would be shared, and comment on another student's piece. After that, we watched a Mystery Doug video on, What is it Like to have a Twin? We finished the day doing three types of math skills. Students practiced adding and subtracting numbers using an Open Number Line. Students practiced adding numbers using Base 10 Shorthand symbols. Students also learned a strategy for finding an answer to an addition or subtration problem when 10 was added or subtracted from the first number. Tonight's homework reflects this part of the math we covered today. Have a nice evening.
1/29/2020  No notes were sent home. Homelink 55 on page 132 is this evening's homework. The homework is a review of telling time. After Literacy Lab, we had language. We worked on writing more sentences demonstrating ownership. For example..... The bear's paw swiped at the runaway deer. After language, we discussed the ending of the Mr. Popper's Penguins book. We concluded the morning going to art. In the PM students worked on completing their chapter 19 summary from Popper's Penguins. Then, we reviewed some bathroom expectations as well as how to treat one another. With our whiteboards, we worked on solving addition problems using open number lines. Open number lines are simply number lines that the students create to solve a particular problem. After recess, we worked on more open number line problems. Students also paired off working on basic subtraction facts using dice. Finally, we used base 10 shorthand to add two and three digit numbers.
1/28/2020  8:30am  I am beginning my note this morning as the second grade TEAM will be out this afternoon learning about a new Landform unit we will be introducing to the students. I plan to finish the rest of my notes by 5:30 this evening. No notes will be going home. Math homework is link 54 on page 127. Math test parental signatures should come back this week. After Literacy Lab this morning, we will review using apostrophes that demonstrate ownnership. We will also finish up the Mr. Popper's Penguins book focusing heavily on summary. I will be leaving plans for the guest teacher and report those minutes this evening.
5:09pm  In the afternoon the guest teacher reported that she had a good time with the students. Students were given an independent reading time to begin the afternoon. Then, students paired up and worked on their addition facts. They rolled dice and tried to add up the total before the other student. After that, the guest teacher read an animal story from Chicken Soup... After second recess, the students used their whiteboards to practice adding change(money) in various ways. The day concluded with the students using chromebooks and selecting any academic math program they chose to work on. Footnote  The Landform inservice the second grade TEAM attended was worthwhile. I think the students will learn a lot and be motivated to learn during this new unit. I will begin officilly teaching this unit Monday and it will consisit of 20, 60 minute lessons.
1/27/2020  THE UNIT 4 MATH TESTS WERE SENT HOME. PLEASE SIGN THE PARENTAL SIGNATURE PAGE AND RETURN IT THIS WEEK. Some students also took home a late library book notice. Please check your home for any "hiding" books. Tonight's math homework is to work on correcting errors on the unit 4 math test. Stronger math students should also take time reviewing some of the extra credit problems. With GRIT, many of these problems can be solved. FOR THOSE INVOLVED, LEGO LEAGUE BEGINS TOMORROW. After Literacy Lab, we had language. We looked at apostrophes that show ownership. We practiced writing sentences showing ownership such as.... Mr. Mai's computer is turned off. After language, we reviewed the previous chapters read from Mr. Popper's Penguins. Then, I read another chapter. We concluded the morning going to the library. Students had the opportunity to check out more books provided that all prior books had been returned. In the PM Mrs. M. came in to read with four of the students. We talked about ways to write a summary. I read another Popper chapter and demonstrated skills/strategies I used to think about the summary I was about to write. Then, I read another chapter. Students used the Chromebooks to write a summary of the chapter based on the skills/strategies I taught. After recess, I went over the unit 4 math test, including some of the extra credit, page by page. One more thing.... Round 2 literacy groups began today. Mr. Stafford, Mrs. Rand, and Miss. B. continue to work with several students on their phonics skills during our Literacy Lab period.
1/24/2020  A Flag Football note was sent home. There is no homework on the weekend. Keep on reading. Unit 4 math tests should come home Monday; Tuesday at the latest. After Literacy Lab, we practiced our language skills. We practiced taking questions and turning the questions into statements. We also looked at antonyms and synonyms. After language, we discussed Mr. Popper's Penguins, hitting the skill of Summary hard. We ended the morning going to music. In the PM students were introduced to a Landform pretest. Next Tuesday the second grade teachers are being subbed out in the PM to learn about our new Landform unit. Part of beginning this unit requires the students to take a pretest about landforms. Today, students read about the Grand Canyon. They were asked to try and write a question about the canyon, define a canyon, describe the main idea of the article supporting it with details, and explaining how/why a canyon has and will continue to change shape. Wow! I told the students as long as they give their best, they never need to worry. By the time we complete the Landforms unit, I know my students will be able to show nice improvement on the post test. Around 2:00 I read some more chapters from Popper's Penguins and continued to do so after recess. We concluded the day with math. Students used their whiteboards to combine coins in many different ways. Have a blessed weekend.
1/23/2020 No notes were sent home. Tonight's math homework is homelink 53 on pages 124 and 125. Remember that I will check any homelink page the next day if the homelink page is opened up inside the red folder. Otherwise, I will check all remaining homelink pages at the end of the unit. During our Literacy Lab period, all the second grade teachers had a guest teacher. We met with Mr. Stafford, Mrs. Collyer, and Mrs. Rand. We also met with Mrs. Alt, our Literacy Coach. We reviewed the second grade students' latest reading scores from the iReady test, the individual F and P reading test, as well as a phonics inventory (assessment) that some of the students took. As of now, beginning Monday, students previously seeing Mr. Stafford or Mrs. Rand will be rearranged into different groups based on their current reading scores. Many students in this class have demonstrated strong reading fluency and comprehension improvement. It would not surprise me if most of my students were released from these resource support small groups by the end of March. At 10:15, after Literacy Lab, I returned to the class. Students practiced writing more contractions and using the contractions in coherent sentences. Then, we reviewed the previous Mr. Popper's Penguins chapters and discussed pertinent questions from each chapter. We concluded the morning going to the computer lab. There, our class worked with a Kindegarten class. We buddied up. It was a good experience for the students as they practiced being a mentor. Many of the Kindegarten students left with smiles on their faces. We were short a guest teacher this morning causing our two classes to buddy up. In the PM I read from Popper's Penguins. We practiced summarizing what was read and made more predictions. We also watched Mystery Doug talk about the biggest number in the world. Of course, we do not have a biggest number. We finished the day with math. Students practiced making amounts of money both in small and large groups. We manipulated coins in a variety of ways. The unit 4 math test should come home this Monday. It has been a busy week and the extra credit, which many students attempted, takes some time to grade. Have a nice evening.
1/22/2020  Four notes were sent home via the red folders. a Little Ceaser's fundraiser note, a Panera Bread fundraiser note, a Baseball note, and a Cheerleading note. Tonight's math homework is homelink 52 located on page 122. Keep in mind that I daily check all math homework assignments that are already opened to the correct page. Otherwise, I tend to check all remianing assigments when I collect the links at the end of the unit. During Literacy Lab I continued to assess more student reading levels. Students were also given one more opportunity to complete their school improvement essays about sea turtles. After Lab, we reviewed and built upon yesterday's language lesson. Students learned more about contractions. Also, I reviewed and read another chapter from Mr. Popper's Penguins. We finished the morning going to art. In the PM I gave the students time to research and read about penguins using the reading program, EPIC. Students who needed to complete their unit 4 math test extra credit problems worked on completing the test before reading about penguins. Then, we summarized the Popper's Penguins chapter we read in the morning and made predictions about the upcoming chapter. We finished the day with math. We looked at our four main American coins and discussed patterns we found. We practiced making correct change for a given amount. We also worked on making correct change using a prescribed amount of coins. It was a good day.
1/21/2020  No notes were passed out. Having said that, every student should have taken home a new Unit 5 math homelink. Tonight's math assignment for most students is to complete link 51 located on page 119. The unit 4 math tests will come home later in the week. Many students are still working on the extra credit problems. I appreciate their grit.Need a 2020 calendar? I have a lot of 2020 calendars available. These calendars are roughly 10" by 8". Ask your child to purchase one for you using their Coolidge Cash. I have animal calendars, landscape calendars, patriotic calendars, etc. This morning during Literacy Lab I tested more student individual reading levels. Students are demonstrating fine improvement through this assessment as well. After Lab, we looked at contractions. We discussed what contractions are and why we have them. Students practiced writing contractions and using contractions in sentences. After language, students were given another session to finish, revise, and edit/proofread their sea turtle response essays. We concluded the morning going to gym. In the afternoon students were alloted more time to work on their sea turtle essays. Any unfinished essays will now need to be completed during our Literacy Lab periods and/or during recess. Around 1:45 students worked on the second part of the unit 4 math test. Many students are taking advantage of the extra credit. As some students thoroughly completed the assessment, they were allowed another reading block period. After the afternoon recess, we reviewed and discussed Mr. Popper's Penguins. We talked about asking relevant questions and making predictions based on the evidence. I proceeded to read another chapter before the school day ended.
1/17/2020  Since we probably would have had a Snow Day tomorrow, we will have no school this Monday. A Strep Throat note went home. There is no math homework on the weekend. Tonight's Movie Night has been postponed. During Literacy Lab I continued to test student mid year reading levels. After Lab, we practiced writing sentences with conjunctions. Students enjoyed the challenge. Before going to music, students continued working on their mid year school improvement sea turtle graphic organizer/essay. In the afternoon we continued working on the school improvement mid year assessment. Then, I passed out a measuring practice worksheet in preparation for the unit 4 math test. We did not have enough time yesterday to review measurement. After that, we took the unit 4 math test. Most students will need to wrap up the test on Tuesday since many of the students are working on extra credit and I provided many different extra credit problems to work on. We concluded the day reviewing the Mr. Popper's Penguins chapters previously read. I read and discussed with the class two more chapters. Have a wonderful weekend! AGAIN, NO SCHOOL THIS MONDAY MLK.
1/16/2020  No notes were sent home. Math homework for all the students is to look over the unit 4 review. THE UNIT 4 MATH TEST IS TOMORROW. All remaining math homelinks will be collected tomorrow. During Literacy Lab I continued to test student reading levels. After Lab, we reviewed word patterns. I made up some words and had the students write each made up word based on the sound of the word. We also broke more words into syllables. Then, we continued our mid year school improvement graphic organizer(reading/writing) on the sea turtle topic. Students are working nicely on it. We ended the morning going to the computer lab where students were given academic choice. In the PM students continued to work on their school improvement pieces. We also watched a Mystery Doug episode about animals possibly laughing. We reviewed the Mr. Popper's Penguins chapters read, made predictions, and read two more chapters. After recess, we went over the unit 4 math review. We did not have time to review measuring. We will get to that before I give tomorrow's assessment.
1/15/2020  A Youth Choir note and a READ TShirt note were sent home via the red folder. Math homework assignments vary. By Friday, all students should have turned in their unit 4 math homelinks. All homelinks will be collected by Friday. THE UNIT 4 MATH TEST IS FRIDAY. This morning during Literacy Lab I continued to assess student mid year reading levels. After Lab, we worked again on turning question sentences into statements. We used this skill as students continued responding to the essay question... Why are some sea turtles endangered and what are some scientists doing to solve the problem? We concluded the morning going to art. In the PM Mrs. M. presented Masterworks, our monthly art session. Students enjoyed the change of pace. Then, students continued working on completing their sea turtle graphic organizer. I concluded the day discussing and reading chapters out of Mr. Popper's Penguins. We did not get to math, but will cover it thoroughly tomorrow.
1/14/2020  Skate Night is this evening from 68:00. A note about this was sent home yesterday. A Book Swap note was sent home today. For math homework, students all have various assignments. First thing in the morning students should turn in any completed unit 4 homelinks. As the links are completed, students will receive the unit 4 review as well as other assignments. I will be collecting all unit 4 homelinks by Friday. The unit 4 test is this Friday. After Literacy Lab, we reviewed how to take a question sentence and turn it into a statement sentence. Then, I showed students how to organize and reread the school improvement practice article on sea turtles. Students went to gym. In the PM students reread the sea turtle article. Then, they began to organize their thoughts using the provided graphic organizer. Students are studying the question... Why are some sea turtles endangered and what are some scientists doing about it? Before recess, I went over the previous two chapters of Mr. Popper's Penguins. I read another chapter from the book. After final recess, we practiced adding problems using base 10 shorthand. We also practiced measuring circular objects in centimeters and inches.
1/13/2020  A Skate Night note, a Wizard of Oz play note, and a weekend food (Backpacks) note were all sent home via the red folder. Math homework is link 411 on page 113. This assignment completes the unit 4 homelink booklet. Please peruse each assignment to make sure all pages have been completed. If so, please have your son/daughter directly give me the link first thing in the morning. I will check the link and give your son/daughter another assignment to work on. All homelinks, whether finished or not, will be collected by me on Friday. The unit four math test is currently scheduled for this Friday. After Lab, we had language. I reviewed the use of "but" in sentences. We practiced writing sentences that included the conjunction "but". Afterwards, I introduced the mid year school improvement language arts practice assessment about sea turtles. All grade levels have picked a mid year reading and writing example to asses their students on. I reminded the students about the "Beaver" article we did in September and we discussed how to organize this assignment. I introduced the sea turtle article and the students spent the first session perusing the article and reading/rereading it. Of course, the Big Question was introduced as well before students individually began reading. We ended the morning going to the library where students had the opportunity to check out more books. In the afternoon I introduced our next chapter book to be read to the class, Mr. Popper's Penguins. I introduced some of the skills we would be focusing on such as character traits, sequencing, predicting, and asking well thought our questions. I read two chapters and asked questions about each chapter. We are off to a good start. Before second recess students had another 30 minute time period to read. I supervised the reading and worked with individual students. After final recess, we worked at the carpet with our whiteboards. Students continued to add two and three digit numbers using shorthand symbols and trading up when 10 of any amount had been accumulated. If you are curious, see if your child can add 255 + 355 at home.
1/10/2020  No notes were sent home and there is no homework on the weekend. Keep on reading. All unit 4 math homelinks will be due by next Friday. The unit 4 math test will also take place later next week. After Literacy Lab, we practiced dividing words into syllables. Students are doing a good job separating big words into smaller pieces. After language, we practiced sequencing once again using an article about dogs for the blind. I read the article to the class. Students worked on locating the different events throughout the story. After, we went to music. In the afternoon we continued our work on the sequencing article. Then, we checked it. We watched another Mystery Doug episode that focused on the largest trees in the world. We had a good discussion. Then, I read a pet story from Chicken Soup. Before second recess students used their whiteboards to add two and three digit numbers. Base 10 shorthand was used to assist the students. After recess, we had our iReady pizza celebration. While eating, students were allowed academic choice on the chromebooks. Have a wonderful weekend.
1/9/2020  A Nuts About Science note and a small Yearbook note were sent home via the red folder. Math homework for most students is homelink 49 on page 109. I will be collecting the homelinks all next week. Our iReady pizza celebration will be at 3:00 tomorrow. If you can pick up the pizza from Little Ceaser's on Middlebelt by 5 Mile, please email me. If I contact you via email, I will fill you in on the details. Students should still bring their snacks and regular lunches to school as we will not be eating until 3:00. After Literacy Lab, we practiced identifying more prefixes that go in front of different base words. After language, we talked about sequencing. Sequencing involves reading a passage and placing different events from the passage in the correct order. We read about Native Americans and the history/culture behind the totem pole. At 11:15 we went to the computer lab where students were given academic choice time. Many of the students worked on the math program, Prodigy. After recess/lunch students completed their sequence papers and we checked the work as a whole class. Then, we saw a Mystery Doug episode on why January is the first month of the year as well as various worldwide New Year celebrations. After that, I read a Chicken Soup story. Before the PM recess, we practiced the power of place value using student whiteboards. We also practiced adding three digit numbers using base 10 shorthand as an addition tool. We closed the day with measurement. We took a look at ways to measure longer items and we learned how to measure lengths that bend, such as circles. Once again, the weekend is upon us. Thank you for reading my daily notes. Any student who hands me a penny before I begin teaching will receive a treat first thing in the morning. I appreciate my proactive parents. Have a nice evening. P.S. I have been watching the Jeopardy specials this week. By 9:00, I sure do not feel very intelligent.
1/8/2020  Four notes were sent home. a Baseball note, a Karate note, a Strep Throat note, and a Stop Motion note. Sickness is going around. Be sure to monitor your little one carefully and please keep him/her home for any sickness. This evening's math homework for most students is homelink 49 on page 108. Our IReady pizza celebration is Friday. This morning we had our typical Literacy Lab period. After Lab, we reviewed base words containing prefixes. We discussed prefixes that represent the opposite of a word such as un and dis. After language, I went over student rough draft examples from our "My Resolution" piece. We finished the morning going to art. In the PM students continued working on their "My Resolution" pieces. Then, I read a Chicken Soup story discussing the central message of it. Before second recess students practiced adding two and three digit amounts on their whiteboards. We worked on trading shorthand manipulatives to find the answer to every addition problem. After recess, I reviewed the measurement concepts talked about yesterday. Then, we discussed the centimeter. Students practiced measuring in centimeters and they even attempted to measure an object longer than their centimeter straight edge. It was another good learning day.
1/8/2020  Running a little behind. My notes will be done by 5:30.
1/7/2020  No notes were sent home. There is a PTA meeting tonight at 7:00. Math homework for most of the students is homelink 48 on page 107. I am assuming households either have a ruler or some kind of measuring tape at home. Email me if you need to borrow a ruler. Our IReady pizza party celebration is scheduled for this Friday. This morning we had our regular Literacy Lab period. After Lab, I introduced antonyms and synonyms to the class. We practiced writing similar words and opposite words. Then, I reviewed what a resolution is. We watched a brief youtube video on resolutions a class made. Then, our students thought about and began to write about something they would like to change about themselves. We ended the morning going to gym. In the afternoon we continued our resolution writing. Students are working on dividing up their resolution piece into four sections.... a topic sentence, the reason why this resolution was chosen, the plan for keeping their resolution, and a concluding sentence. I modeled an example for students to look at. Mrs. M., a wonderful volunteer, also read with four of our students. After writing time, I read a Chicken Soup story. We discussed the central message, or theme, of the story. Before afternoon recess, students practiced showing different times on their own analog clocks. In groups students took turns giving various times. The other two students in the group tried to make the same time. Students discussed their answers. After recess, I introduced measurement. I talked about the history of measurement and why it was important to come up with standard units. I talked about inches, feet, and yards. We focused primarily on inches today. Students practiced measuring objects to the nearest inch. The day went by very quickly.
1/6/2020  Happy New Year!!! I made it to another decade. There is no math homework the first day back. Only a Jumpin Jill assembly note was sent home via the red folder. In celebration of our I Ready math and reading success, we will be having a pizza party this Friday. More information to come. This morning I welcomed the class back. We went over some of our most important classroom statements. We talked about the New Year. Students had Literacy Lab. After Lab, we picked our desk location for January and we cleaned out our desks. We concluded the morning going to the library. Students had the opportunity to check out more books. In the PM I discussed the word "resolution" and I read a Chicken Soup story that involved a person making changes in her life. With our whiteboards, students practiced writing question sentences. Before second recess we watched an Andy Griffith episode that focused on the Growth Mindset word, INTEGRITY. We finished the day with math. We reviewed how to tell time on an analog clock. We also talked about the power of place value and how to use various addition strategies to solve addition problems. It honestly felt great to be back and it was nice to see so many smiling faces.
12/20/19  Today was the last school day of the calendar year. No notes were sent home and there is no math homework. Please keep on encouraging your little one to READ every day. This morning we had our regular Literacy Lab period. In language we continued writing sentences with nouns and adjectives. Then, students worked on their Holiday math graph. We completed the morning going to music. In the pm most students still worked on the math graph. As students finished, they were given academic choice. Then, I read a couple Holiday/Christmas stories. We discussed the messgae of each. Before second recess we watched Frosty the Snowman. We ended the day with Mr. Stafford coming in and leading the class in a number of songs. Mr. Stafford is one of our support personnel who can really play the guitar. We completed 2019 singing Rudolph... and Frosty.... Blessings to all. I will enjoy my break. I also look forward to coming back to school. I love what I do. Blessings, Todd Mai
12/19/19  TOMORROW IS THE LAST SCHOOL DAY OF THE CALENDAR YEAR. No notes were sent home. Homelink 47 on page 105 is this evening's homework. After Literacy Lab, we had language. We discussed once again, adjectives and nouns. Students worked on writing sentences with adjectives. After that, I showed a couple videos on the Growth Mindset term, Empathy. Students wrote about empathy as I provided a personal example in my booklet. We finished the morning going to the computer lab where students were given academic choice. In the pm we shared some of our empathy stories. Then, I read a Christmas story involving two chldren who opened their presents early. After that, they did not find Christmas morning to be nearly as special. We watched Mystery Doug. He had another interesting topic. He discussed why and how bears are able to hibernate. Then, another student shared her "My Candy" passage. Before second recess students continued working on yesterday's Holiday picture. We concluded the day discussing place value. Students worked in small and large groups writing numbers in expanded notation, adding numbers, and showing different amounts using manipulatives. WHEN WE COME BACK IN THE NEW YEAR, WE WILL CELEBRATE OUR IREADY ASSESSMENT SUCCESS WITH A PIZZA PARTY. DETAILS TO COME
12/18/19  No notes were passed out. Homelink 46 on page 103 is this evening's math homework. This morning went by very fast. Students opened up the day with an exercise assembly. From 10:15 until 11:15 we had our Literacy Lab period. A few students were given permission to continue taking the IReady math assessment. Most students have finished the IReady tests. The overall results are very encouraging. The great majority of the students made strong progress. We ended the morning going to art. Students should have brought home a gift they made in art class. The gift should be for the parents so be sure to act surprised. In the pm we had language. I reviewed nouns and adjectives and we practiced writing sentences with adjectives. Then, I read another Christmas story that focused on the growth mindset trait of "empathy". We discussed the story. Before recess, I introduced a holiday graph and how to complete it. Students worked on the graph. After second recess, we continued our "power of place value" discussion. Using the whiteboards students wrote expanded notation problems, added using longs, cubes, and flats, and traded amounts.
12/17/19  No notes were sent home. Math homework is to work on homelink 45 on page 101. After Literacy Lab, we prepared for the second session of the IReady math assessment. We went to the lab. As students finished, they were assigned a second Literacy Lab period. We ended the morning going to gym. In the pm we completed putting our Paragraph Puzzle sentences in order. We checked our work as a whole group. Then, I read a Chicken Soup story that contained the central message of Gratefulness. After that, we looked at another "My Candy" student example discussing the ups and downs of the piece. In math we went over the power of place value. We learned that place value for a certain number makes a number greater than the number itself. We practiced writing numbers in expanded notation and placing digits into their correct place values.
12/16/19  If you have yet to do so, please return the report card envelope. Math homework is link 44 on page 100. Students may struggle a bit on this assignment as I still focused on analog clocks today. A Bowling note and a Pizza note were sent home. After Literacy Lab, students learned about nouns and adjectives. We tied the two parts of speech together by writing sentences that included adjectives directly in front of nouns. After that, students worked on a paragraph puzzle. Paragraph puzzles involve a bunch of sentences that need to be rearranged into paragraphs. Then, we headed to the library where students had the opportunity to check out more books. In the pm students continued their paragraph puzzle work. From there, I read a Christmas story and we discussed the central message, or theme, of it. In math we reviewed telling time to the nearest minute. I also modeled how to figure out elapsed time using a clock number line. Students worked together or by themselves on a worksheet that contained six time elapsed problems. As students finished a problem, they had me check it. Tomorrow, we will go back to the computer lab to finish up the I Ready math section. So far, the results are very good.
12/13/19  REPORT CARDS WERE SENT HOME VIA THE RED FOLDERS. No other notes were sent home. There is no assigned homework on the weekend. Keep on reading. After Literacy Lab this morning, we prepared to go to the lab and take the second session of the IReady math assessment. Then, from 10:3011:15, that is what we did. About nine students have finished and, so far, the results are very good. We ended the morning going to music. In the afternoon I prepared the students for the Charlie... movie. I discussed how movies are made from books. Students watched the movie and they really enjoyed it. We concluded the morning comparing and contrasting the movie/book. Have a nice weekend.
12/12/19  A Skating Lesson note and a Sickness note were sent home. Math homework is to work on link 43 on page 99. Be aware that at this point, students have a limited understanding of am and pm. With your assistance, I think they can figure it out. THE HOLIDAY SHOP IS NOW OFFICIALLY CLOSED. REPORT CARDS GO HOME FRIDAY VIA THE RED FOLDERS. After Literacy Lab, I sat the students down at the carpet and summarized what the IReady math test would be all about. Many of the students demonstrated terrific improvement on the IReady reading test. From 10:3011:15 the students worked on the IReady math assessment. I am pleased to say that nobody has yet to finish. I think most everyone was giving their personal best. At 11:15, we went to the other computer lab where students had academic choice what to work on. In the pm we had our third "My Candy" session. I showed more examples and elaborated on the strengths and weaknesses of each writing piece. Students used this information to improve their writing pieces. We watched a Mystery Doug video on the blood. Interesting Before second recess students practiced, in small groups, identifying clock times. After recess, we reviewed how to tell time, show time, and find elapsed time.
12/11/19  REPORT CARDS GO HOME VIA THE RED FOLDERS THIS FRIDAY. THE HOLIDAY SHOP CLOSES TOMORROW. STUDENTS IN OUR CLASS CAN STILL SHOP DURING SECOND RECESS. A Swim note and a Soccer note were sent home. Math homework is homelink 42 on page 97. Students who wanted/needed to should have taken home a paper analog clock to practice with. Each day the clock is taken home, please ensure that it goes back inside the red folder. Students may take the clock home as needed, but need to return the clock daily. After Literacy Lab, our class went to the Holiday Shop. Hopefully, all the gifts made their way home. Any extra money was kept by every student. Then, we practiced locating long vowel sounds in words with several syllables. We concluded the morning going to ART. In the afternoon we continued improving our, My Candy" writing pieces. I showed my example a second time and read some examples from Charlie... Students also looked at a student example. We went through the strengths of the piece and the areas needing improvement. Before second recess students used their whiteboards to identify the time the hour and minute hands were indicating. We ended the day with more math. Students were each given a paper clock. This time, we raised the bar a little bit. I gave the students a time and they tried to show the time on their clocks. They compared their answers to their neighbors as well as the answer I provided on the board. Finally, our class broke off into groups of 3. Students took turns naming a time. Then, all three students attempted to write the time and discuss the answer.
12/10/19  OUR HOLIDAY SHOPPING TIME IS SCHEDULED FOR TOMORROW. Three students have given me money so far to hold onto. The unit 3 Math Progress Checks were sent home via the red folder. For homework, students should attempt to correct their errors. Please return the parental signature page some day this week. This morning we continued our iReady reading tests. Most students finished this a.m. The overall results are solid with close to 90% of the students meeting or exceeding expected academic reading growth. As students completed the reading test, they went on to Literacy Lab. They read, wrote, and/or did language arts buddy work. We concluded the morning going to gym. In the p.m. Mrs. M., a wonderful volunteer, had several students read to her. For the first hour I introduced the new writing assignment. Students were to describe a candy that they created. I showed the students what I wrote and I broke the assignment into three parts... describing what goes into the candy, talking about what it looks like, and finally discussing what the candy tastes like/does. Students worked well on their ROUGH draft. Ask your son/daughter about his/her candy. Around 2:00, we made analog clocks. Students followed my directions as I modeled, using the whiteboard projector, how to make an analog clock. I figure if students make a clock, it may help them better understand how to use the clock. After recess, we practiced telling time using the mini whiteboards. I also briefly discussed the unit 3 Progress Checks before passing them out at the day's end. REPORT CARDS GO HOME VIA THE RED FOLDER THIS FRIDAY.
12/9/19  No notes were sent home. All students did receive a unit 4 math homelink. Math homework is homelink 41 on page 94. Remember that every homelink contains an answer key. By now, all unit 3 homelinks should be turned in. Our Holiday Shop is Wednesday. This morning I prepared the class for the "mid year" iReady reading test. I spoke about the different strands of the assessment and what a personal best effort looks like. Then, students took the test in the computer lab. About 6 students finished. We will continue taking the assessment tomorrow. So far, the results are looking good. After the test, we had language. I reviewed the long vowel sounds using a bunch of different words. We ended the morning going to library. Students were able to check out more books. In the afternoon we started with a Literacy Lab. All students had about 35 minutes to read and write as they chose. Then, we reviewed Charlie... and I read/discussed the remaining three chapters. We will watch the movie later this week. After recess, we talked about time; Why we have time and how we can read an analog clock. Students were introduced to time last year and about half the class appears to have a decent understanding of the concept. Report cards go home via the red folders this Friday the 13th.
12/5/19  THERE IS NO SCHOOL TOMORROW. It is a teacher report card work day. Cards will be going home on Friday the 13th. Yikes! A Yearbook Cover Design note was sent home. There is no math homework on weekends. We will be starting unit four next week. Keep on reading. PLEASE RETURN ANY UNGRADED UNIT 3 MATH HOMELINKS TO SCHOOL ASAP. After Literacy Lab, I reviewed syllables. Students broke words apart and they wrote sentences containing a specific amount of syllables. After that, students worked in pairs to complete another paragraph puzzle. Then, we went to the computer lab. I gave the students academic choice. Each student needed to use a program that challenged them. We concluded the morning with Mr. Stafford, our resource teacher, playing a song for us. In the PM students took the unit 3 math test. As they finished, they worked on extra credit and/or read. Then, we saw a Mystery Doug episode on how diamonds get formed. We ended the day with Charlie... Students used key words to summarize the chapter. I read a couple more chapters and went over some vocabulary words. We will wrap up the book next week.
12/4/19  A Nutcracker Ballet note and our HOLIDAY/SANTA SHOP note were sent home via the red folder. Our class will be shopping on Wednesday. Math homework is to look over, for a final time, the unit 3 math review. The unit 3 math progress check takes place tomorrow. ALL unit 3 math homelinks that have NOT been turned in will be collected by me tomorrow. If you have an ungraded homelink at home, please return it to school ASAP. After Literacy Lab, students worked on writing sentences with the conjunction, "but". Then, we checked our paragraph puzzle from yesterday as a whole group. Before going to art I reviewed the math term, "unit" with the class. In the PM Mrs. M. came by and presented Masterworks of art. Mrs. M. is a wonderful school volunteer. After Masterworks, we reviewed the last chapter from Charlie... We talked about the difference between a summary and a retelling. Students used the word arrow strategy to give a summary of the chapter. Before second recess students were given another literacy block of time to individually read. After recess, we finished going over the unit 3 math review.
12/3/19  No notes were sent home. However, I did correct and place back in the red folders all of the unit 3 math reviews sent in today. For homework, students should look over their unit 3 reviews that I assessed and make the necessary corrections. The unit 3 progress check is Thursday. Understanding the review will allow students to do well on the upcoming assessment. Regardless of being completed or not, ALL ungraded unit 3 math homelinks will be collected on Thursday. If a homelink has already been graded with a score on the front cover, it does NOT need to be returned to school. I believe we have a PTA meeting this evening at 7:00. After Literacy Lab, students used their whiteboards to try and write sentences using the word, "but". We discussed how to use "but" in sentences and how this little word can change the feeling of the sentence. For example, " You need to clean your room, but afterwards you can go to the sleepover." After this, we reviewed Charlie... and I read another chapter. We concluded the morning going to gym. In the PM I had my students read for the first 30 minutes. Then, students worked in pairs in an effort to complete another paragraph puzzle. See earlier notes regarding paragraph puzzles. Before second recess I read another chapter from Charlie... We ended the day with math. Students used their whiteboards to try and solve math problems similar to those on Thursday's unit 3 progress check. Most of the students seem to be well prepared.
12/2/19  Welcome, December! The unit 3 math review was the only paper sent home via the red folders. Most students are receiving the review for the first time and several other students are receving the unit 3 math review for a second time. The unit 3 math progress check is this Thursday. I wanted to make sure every student had an opportunity to go over the review before Thursday's assessment. The official homework for tonight is to complete homelink 310 on page 84. This is the final homelink to be completed. All unit 3 homelinks should be turned in by this Thursday. Today, after Literacy Lab, we worked on using the exclamation mark in sentences. Then, we switched desks and cleaned our desks. We completed the morning going to the library. Students had the opportunity to check out more books. In the afternoon we completed another paragraph puzzle. Paragraph puzzles involve 15 sentences that need to be organized into 3 paragraphs. We discussed strategies to find which sentences belong where. Afterwards, I gave the students another Literacy Lab reading period. Then, I reviewed where we left off in the Charlie... novel. We discussed vocabulary, traits, and the like. I read another chapter. We finished the day with math. Students looked at number lines to help them add and subtract. We discussed skills we could use to help find the solution to given problems. THERE IS NO SCHOOL THIS FRIDAY. TEACHERS HAVE A REPORT CARD WORK DAY. REPORT CARDS GO HOME ON FRIDAY THE 13TH, OF ALL DAYS.
11/26/19  THERE IS NO SCHOOL THIS WEDNESDAY THROUGH FRIDAY. HAPPY THANKSGIVING! There is no math homework over the break. A Youth Making a Difference note and a MOD Restaurant note were sent home today. Please consider having your son/daughter do some volunteer work. It should really help to build character. After Literacy Lab, we did language as a whole group. I introduced the exclamation point. I talked about when the exclamation point is used in a sentence. Students practiced writing sentences with exclamation points. I'm serious!!! Before heading to gym students continued working on their turkey paragrqaphs (see yesterday's minutes for more detail). In the PM students wrapped up their turkey paragraphs. I plan to send this work home on Monday. As students finished their paragraphs, they colored, helped other students with their work, and/or had Literacy Lab 2. Then, I read a Chicken Soup story that focused on some second grade students making a differnece. They painted rocks, sold the rocks, and donated the money made to a homeless shelter. I wanted students to consider doing some volunteer work as part of Youth Making a Difference. I hope the story encouraged them. After this, we watched a Mystery Doug video on the history of Thanksgiving and how the turkey became our main course for Thanksgiving dinner. Then, I shared a funny poem about a turkey trying to avoid being eaten. Before recess we did the math activity, Target Number as a whole group. After recess, I reviewed the last two Charlie.. chapters read. I introduced new vocabulary and proceeded to read another chapter. We finished our last day of the week playing the math game, Salute. I am very thankful for many things. I appreciate my students and parents who have supported me all year long. Blessings to all of you. Talk to you in six days. Todd Mai
11/25/19  No notes were sent home. For most students homelink 39 on page 82 is the math homework. TOMORROW IS OUR LAST DAY OF SCHOOL BEFORE THANKSGIVING BREAK. THERE IS NO SCHOOL THIS WEDNESDAY. After Literacy Lab, students worked on writing more question sentences. Question sentences ask for a response. A number of key words such as who, why, did, are, etc., are typically part of question sentences. Before heading to the library students worked on turkey paragraphs. Each turkey had a topic sentence written on their bodies. Students had details written on various turkey feathers that related to specific turkey topic sentences. The activity has been very challenging and students have done a good job remaining focused. Students are working on placing the appropriate turkey feathers on the correct turkey. In the afternoon students needed more time to work on their turkey paragraphs. Then, I reviewed and read from Charlie.... After second recess, we practiced more of our math facts by playing a game I call, Name that Number or Target Number (see last Friday for more details). Students really enjoy this math activity and they seem to be highly motivated to find ways to reach the target number. Have a nice evening.
11/22/19  No notes were sent home and there is no homework on the weekend. Keep on reading. After Literacy Lab, we investigated question (?????) marks. We discussed how question mark sentences expect a response, or answer. We also talked about certain words that seem to relate to question mark sentences such as who, what, did, do, etc. Students practiced writing question mark sentences. Then, as a whole class, we went over and completed a second paragraph puzzle. Students looked for sentences that had similar words. Upon finding similar sentences the students worked on locating the topic sentences and the appropriate supporting sentences. The morning ended with music. In the afternoon a couple students shared their Choclate essays and the Choice essays. We discussed the strengths of each piece as well as the areas needing improvement. Then, we talked about the previous chapter from Charlie... We looked at the old and new vocabulary. I proceeded to read another chapter. Before second recess we had another Literacy Lab period. After recess, students worked on a math activity I call, "Target Number". Students roll a di five times and on the board I wrote down the five numbers. Then, a di is rolled a final time to to get the target number. Using the numbers given, students make combinations of math sentences to hit the target number. It is a fun and challenging way to practice and enhance addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division. Have a nice weekend.
11/21/19  A school Yearbook order form note was sent home. Some students also received a late book reminder notice from the library. Math homework for most students is homelink 311 on page 87. This morning after Literacy Lab, students worked on forming coherent sentences using words placed at random on the whiteboard. After that, another student volunteered to have their Chocolate essay critiqued. We looked at the strengths and areas of the essay needing improvement. Then, I modeled how to complete one of my paragraph puzzles. Paragraph puzzles contain about 15 sentences. Students read the sentences and try to determine which sentences go together to form a paragraph. Then, the students try to locate the topic sentence as well as the sentences that follow it. We finished the morning going to the computer lab. Students were given academic choice. Many of the students used the math program, Prodigy. Prodigy can be used at home as well. In the afternoon we finished up the paragraph puzzle working through it together. We watched a Mystery Doug piece on turkeys. Then, I gave the students more time to work on their "Choice" essays. Students wrote about which of the four characters, other than Charlie, would be the best fit in our classroom. Students shared some of their responses and we discussed each piece. Then, I shared the piece I had written. During tomorrow's Literacy Lab students have the opportunity to "clean up" their Choice pieces. Before second recess students played the math game, Salute. After recess, we discussed the previous Charlie... chapters read. We discussed in detail what the Chocolate Room looks like as well as describing the Oompa Loompas. We concluded the day with a little math practice at the carpet.
11/20/19  No notes were sent home. Math homework for most of the students is homelink 38 on page 80. After Literacy Lab, we had language. I had the students break up other words into their prefix, base word, and suffix parts. We discussed how the prefix tends to change the meaning of the base word. After language, a student volunteered to have her Chocolate essay read and discussed. We talked about the strengths of the essay and the areas needing improvement. For early in the year, many of the essays are looking good. Before heading to art class students did some math whiteboard work. We used different strategies to balance equations. For example... 4 + 6 +6 + 4 + 5 = ? I know that 4 + 6 is a tens fact. So, 10 + 10 = 20 + 5 more equals 25. In the PM we discussed the charater traits of the four children, excluding Charlie Bucket, headed to Mr. Wonka's chocolate factory. We looked at many words that can describe people. I reread from Charlie.. the sections that talked about each of these four children, excluding Charlie Bucket. Together, we came up with a list of traits describing each kid. We gave evidence to support our answers. Then, I asked the students to write about these four children. Which of these four children would BEST fit in our class? Compare and contrast these children. I provided an example and students used the remainder of the period to write their piece. After recess, we reviewed the previous Charlie... chapters read, talked about the vocabulary, and introduced the new vocabulary. Then, I read and we discussed the next two chapters.
11/19/19  No notes were sent home. For students who are still working on the math homelink, pages 76 and 77 of 37 have been assigned. We spent much of our Literacy Lab time in the computer lab as we had limited use of chromebooks during our first block of time. After lab, we went over the 8 Growth Mindset traits we are focusing on this year. Then, I read a Chicken Soup story that concentrated on the trait, "Confidence". Using their Growth Mindset books each student wrote about a time they were able to demonstrate confidence. I wrote an example story and placed it on the whiteboard as a guide. Most of the time we begin to feel confident step by step. Slowly, we begin to believe we can do something. We ended the a.m. going to gym. In the afternoon some students shared their Confident stories within their Growth Mindset books. Then, we continued our Charlie.... routine. We summarized what was read, discussed old and new vocabulary in context, and talked about the inside character traits within the story. Before afternoon recess, students practiced making math arrays and writing multiplication and division problems that matched each array. We also practiced solving functions which is the focus of today's homework. After recess, we finished our whiteboard work. Then, I redistributed the problem solving array problem from yesterday. Students continued working on the problem. Some finished early enough to make up their own story problem. We ended the day solving the original problem together.
11/18/19  It was nice to see several of my students at Movie Night last Friday. Thank you for the canned good donations today. We are accepting donations through Friday. No notes were sent home via the red folders. Math homework for many of the students is homelink 36 on page 75. After Literacy Lab, we had our language practice time using the whiteboards. Then, we worked on our Chocolate essays. We went over another student example and reviewed the purpose of writing the essay. The morning concluded with library. Students were allowed to check out three books this week. In the PM I gave the students 30 more minutes to finish up their Chocolate essays. Students who did not finish today can do so during Literacy Lab tomorrow morning. After that, we had our Charlie and the Chocolate Factory routine. I reviewed the previous chapters, going over the character traits and the vocabulary. I intorduced new vocabulary and used each word in context. I proceeded to read another chapter. Before recess, students used their whiteboards to solve math addition problems without doing a lot of adding. When we think "outside the box" many problems can be solved in many different ways. After the afternoon recess, we reviewed rows, columns, and arrays. Students practiced forming various arrays and writing math multiplication sentences that matched each array. We finished the day working on an array story problem. I collected everyone's paper.
11/15/19  Run, deer, run! A Canned Goods/ Pajama note was sent home via the red folder. There is no homework on the weekend. The optional Square 1 art fundraiser note was due today. Movie Night (Frozen) begins at 6:30 this evening. Perhaps I will see you there. After Literacy Lab, we reviewed a bunch of word patterns using our whiteboards. Then, we continued our Chocolate essay writing. I reviewed the entire process we had begun about one week ago. Step by step, we are closing in on the final product. We ended the morning going to music. In the afternoon students shared some of their rough draft chocolate essays. We looked at the strengths of each piece and the areas needing improvement. Students kept working on their essays at their own pace. A guest reader from third grade also read a story to our class. Then, we watched a Mystery Doug video on ostrich eggs, focusing on the question, "Why don't people eat ostrich eggs?" We played the math game, Salute, before second recess. We concluded the day discussing the previous chapters of Charlie... We went over the vocabulary and i introduced new vocabulary. I read chapter 11, titled "Miracle". If you have yet to return the math unit 2 Progress Check, please do so shortly. Have a good weekend.
11/14/19  A PTA Chili CookOff note was sent home. In math for most students the homework assignment is on page 72, link 35. The optional Square 1 art fundraiser form is due this Friday and Movie Night (FROZEN) takes place at Coolidge tomorrow (6:30). After Literacy Lab, students broke words into syllables. Then, we watched a Mystery Doug video on the history of chocolate. From there, I reviewed how to use our chocolate organizers to write a four paragraph essay. Students continued working on their essays as I monitored each student's progress. We concluded the morning going to the computer lab. Students were given academic choice time. Students were encouraged to use a program that challenged their thinking. In the PM we continued working on our chocolate essays. Many students are developing an understanding of paragraphs and how paragraphs can connect to each other. Then, we followed our Charlie routine. I reviewed yesterday's vocabulary, summarized the previous chapters read, discussed the characters' traits, and introduced new vocabulary in context. I read two more chapters. We finished the day with math. Students played Salute. Using our whiteboards students made different array formations. We are looking at the connection between addition and multiplication through arrays. Examples of arrays include three rows of four soldiers or five rows of two soldiers, etc.
11/13/19  THE UNIT 2 MATH PROGRESS CHECKS WERE SENT HOME VIA THE RED FOLDERS. Please return ONLY the parental signature page this week. The Progress check can remain at home. For homework, students should look over the test and try to correct errors that they made. Students who did well on this assessment might also try to correct errors within the extra credit problems. No other notes were sent home. The optional Reflections projects were due today to Mrs. Stark. After Literacy Lab, students worked on some word sentence problems. I thought up some words and placed those words on the whiteboard. Students attempted to rearrange the words into a sentence that made sense. After that, we reviewed our graphic organizers concerning where chocolate comes from and how it is made. Students practiced reading their organizers. Then, we played the math game, Salute. We concluded the AM going to art. In the afternoon students used their chocolate organizers to begin writing a four paragraph essay on where chocolate comes from and how it is made. After that, we reviewed some vocabulary words from Charlie... and we reviewed what was read on Monday. I introduced new vocabulary words and used the words in context to help students establish understanding. Then, I read and discussed the next two Charlie... chapters. In math we talked about the four problem solving steps. We looked at the direction rows and columns go and we made arrays using circle symbols. I gave the class a couple group problems to solve. We also discussed best practice methods for adding and subtracting whole numbers. If your son/daughter hands me a penny BEFORE 9:00 tomorrow morning, I will give them something. Thank you for being a faithful reader. Mr. Mai
11/11/19  No notes were passed out to the entire class. Having said that, students who have already completed the unit 3 math homelink are in the process of receiving more challenging homework. Graded material can and should be kept at home. Math homework is to complete page 71, 34. Skate Night is this evening. You may want to call ahead to see if they will be open. PLEASE MAKE SURE YOUR CHILD IS DRESSED FOR THIS WEATHER. We have a PTA meeting scheduled for TOMORROW evening at 7:00. This morning, after Literacy Lab, we reviewed and practiced identifying prefixes, suffixes, and base words. After that, as a whole group, we finished our chocolate graphic organizer. Several students practiced looking at the graphic organizer and turning the notes into coherent sentences. We concluded the AM going to library. Students had the opportunity to check out more books. In the PM we went over reading the chocolate graphic organizer one more time. Then, I read a Chicken Soup story focusing on responsibility. In our Growth Minset books students wrote about being responsible as I put my teacher example on the board. Then, we reviewed the previous chapter from Charlie... We talked about the vocabulary and the traits some of the characters exhibited. I introduced several more vocabulary words and we used the words in context. We further discussed the chapters read and the inside traits of the charaters the author wrote about. We concluded the day with math. We looked at various subtraction problems deciding if it was easier to "count up" or subtract to find the answer. Then, we played a game called Salute which is part of most students' homework. ANY OPTIONAL REFLECTIONS PROJECTS ARE DUE TO MRS. STARK BY WEDNESDAY.
11/8/19  There is no math homework on the weekend. Keep on reading. A Skate Night note was sent home via the red folder. After Literacy Lab, we practiced writng sentences using Thanksgiving words that followed some of our word patterns we have been studying. Before going to music students practiced turning questions into statements such as, "Where does the black bear live?" "This is where the black bear lives." We completed more of the chocolate graphic organizer as a whole group. We talked about the topic sentences and how we could add details to support each topic. Then, we went to music. In the afternoon I gave the students a second 30 minute reading block. I worked with a number of students during this second Literacy Lab session. After that, I introduced using context clues to help find the meaning of an unknown word. Context clues are the key words within a sentence or paragraph that help clarify the unknown word. For example, "I love eating fobo." Fobo must be some type of food because I am eating it. I proceeded to introduce some vocabulary words we would find in our Charlie... reading. Then, I reviewed and read another chapter from Charlie... At the end of the day we practiced our math facts triangles in small groups and with the teacher. I emphasized using helper facts to speed up the time it takes to come up with the answer. Have a good weekend.
11/7/19  Sorry for the late web note. I had a long parent conference. Please see my Twitter page for notes going home and homework details. Students did go to the library today. They were able to check out more books. We finished the unit 2 math progress check. Look for the results to come home early next week. Blessings, Mr. Mai
11/6/19  No notes were sent home. Math homework is to try and complete link 32 on page 66. All unit 2 math homework has been collected. As students complete the unit 3 link, they will receive supplementary assignments. Limit math homework to 10 minutes daily unless a student is motivated to do more. Authentic student readers should be reading 20 minutes daily at home without parents motivating them to do so. The canned food drive continues. The Epic reading program is free through Sunday. See the note sent home earlier for more information. Due to the assembly on Monday, we will have our library time tomorrow. Please bring any library books at home to school. After Literacy Lab, we had a discussion of the who, what, when,where, and why words. We noticed that "who" does not follow the rest of the "wh" word patterns where the "h" remains silent. We also practiced writing more sentences using patterned words we have practiced with. After language, I passed out our third grade writing graphic organizer. I explained that graphic means "to see" and organize refers to rearranging information in a way that makes sense. We began as a whole class to fill out the top portion of the organizer. Shortly, we will work on taking the "Big ?" and attempt to turn it into a first paragraph introductory sentence. Before art class, we discussed what character traits are and we brainstormed some character trait examples. In the PM we brainstormed many traits and each student recorded a number of inside traits which could describe a person. Students recorded these traits on paper I provided and I shared a list of other traits I had put together such as... kind, shy, patient, etc. After that, I introduced the Charlie and the Chocolate Factory book. I went over how to peruse a book to find out if it might be worth reading. I proceeded to read chapter 1. We discussed some of the character traits from the opening chapter. In math we talked about math fact triangles and how to practice with them. Students cut out a bunch of fact triangles before second recess. After recess, we had a guest third grader read to our class. Then, as students finished cutting out the fact triangles, they practiced their math facts in small groups.
11/5/19  NO SCHOOL  Teacher Professional Development and Voting Day
11/4/19  THERE IS NO SCHOOL FOR STUDENTS TOMORROW. IT IS VOTING DAY AND WE TEACHERS WILL BE STUDENTS ON TUESDAY. The new unit 3 math homelink and Mrs. Stark's Square 1 Art/Habitat fundraiser packet were sent home. Math homework, due on Wednesday morning, is to complete homelink 31 on page 62. Students may complete the other homelink pages ahead of schedule if they feel so motivated. I will check homelink pages that are opened up to the correct page in the red folder or I can check all the work at the end of the unit. As students finish the homelink book, I will give them other math challenge problems to work on. Remember that every homelink has an answer key provided in the front of the booklet. The Thanksgiving canned food drive has begun. Each class is in the process of collecting canned goods for the needy. Today through Sunday the Epic reading program is available for home use at no cost. Simply follow the directions provided on Friday's note. You may find it a program worth purchasing for your son/daughter. This morning our Literacy Lab ran smoothly. After Lab, we completed some whiteboard work using prefixes, base words, and suffixes. Then, we switched and cleaned our desks for the month of November. We finished the morning going to an assembly focusing on how to dissolve squabbles among peers. In a nutshell, the speaker emphasized not getting upset when people try to make you angry. Try to be kind back instead. In the PM we continued our plant discussion. We read an article about chocolate coming from plants. We hilighted the paragraphs and headings. We also colored information in the text that told us how chocolate is made and where it comes from. After that, we reviewed "helper facts" emphasizing how these facts can be used to solve other problems. Helper facts involve addition facts that equal 10 as well as doubles facts up to 20. 7 + 8 = ? might be able to be solved if I have memorized 7 + 7 = 14. If I add one more, then the answer is 15 since 8 is one more than 7. We also looked at fact triangles. Fact triangles are sets of three numbers that are all related. For example, 2, 3, and 5 are all related because I can make three math sentences using just those 3 numbers. 2+3=5, 3+2=5, 53=2, and 52=3. After final recess, students took the unit 2 math progress check. Results will come home this week with a note. Progress checks are tests, but I think this year I prefer to use the term, progress check. It may make the students think more about their learning. We will finish up the unit 2 math progress checks on Wednesday.
11/1/19  Happy November, everyone! From the season of ghouls to the season of Thanksliving all in one day. Hope you were able to last through the Halloween weather. An Epic reading program note was sent home. Beginning Monday through Sunday parents can access Epic for free by navigating through the directions on the paper. I enjoy Epic and you might find the program worth the five or so dollars it charges each month. There is no homework on the weekend. If you still have a math homelink at home, please turn it in on Monday. The new unit 3 homelink will be distributed to the students on Monday. With everything going on today, we did not switch desks. We will do so on Monday. This morning we went bowling and so many students had a terrific time. Some kids even had a strike! Thank you to the parents who were able to come out. Sons/daughters love seeing their parents encourage them on. In the afternoon students went to music. Then, we watched a Mystery Doug piece on volcanos and how they are connected to some mountains. We had a good discussion afterwards that took us up to recess. We concluded the day having our Literacy Lab period that we had mostly missed in the morning. Have a pleasant weekend.
10/31/19  Happy Halloween! No notes were sent home and there is no homework on Halloween. All unit 2 math homelinks should be turned in by tomorrow. I have moved the unit 2 math progress checks to next week as students are a little excited this week. Parents are invited to join us at Merri Bowl tomorrow from 10:0011:30. Parents are asked to drive to Merri Bowl and not take the bus. Lunch at Coolidge will be as normal even though the students will have some food and drink provided by the bowling alley. Pajamas, NOT Halloween costumes, are allowed to be worn both during bowling and back at Coolidge. In the morning we followed our basic routine. Students had their Literacy Lab time. Then, we practiced our language skills. We worked on writing Halloween type words into sentences that made sense. After that, I read a story about grit and students began writing about grit in their Growth Mindset workbooks. We concluded the morning going to the computer lab where students were given academic choice. In the PM we completed our Growth Mindset writing on grit. Some students shared their written pieces. Then, I reviewed how to use the "cross out" method to solve addition problems. Students made a Halloween bingo board and we played Halloween addition bingo all the way to final recess. We ended the day passing out treats as students tried to locate different figures in a Halloween picture.
10/30/19  Remember, no costumes tomorrow. Students can still dress in festive black and orange colors. The first and second grade teachers are largely celebrating Halloween by going bowling on Friday. Students on Friday will be encouraged to wear their pajamas. Parents are invited to drive over to Merri Bowl and watch their little one have fun. Tomorrow, the second grade teachers will be doing unique Halloweenish activities in the afternoon. We will have some snacks for the students, but officially we are not having any "party". Students should have a fun time. No notes were sent home. For homework, each student continues to work at their own pace within either the homelink, the unit 2 review, the challenge paper, or my individual problems I have given a few of the students. During Literacy Lab, I tested the new students' reading levels. After Lab, I reviewed how plants suck up water from the roots. I placed one plant's roots inside a colored water container in the hope that its flowers turn the food coloring color. In language we reviewed the e/ing rule and we wrote Halloween sentences from specific words I placed on the board. I read to the class a story about being mindful. We concluded the AM session going to ART. In the afternoon students chose bowling lane groups. Then, students worked on, finished, and shared some of their mindfulness stories out of the Growth Mindset booklets. After that, we reviewed our Monday discussion about gigantic redwood trees. Students wrote about the many different reasons redwoods are so unique. Students needing more time can finish their paragraphs during tomorrow's Literacy Lab. We ended the day with math. I did not give the students a progress check. I will do that after all of the Halloween festivities have concluded. Instead, I demonstrated how students can solve math equations using another type of crossout method. For example 4 +8 + ? = 9 + 3 + 6 can be solved by taking away or adding amounts to both sides. I might add 1 to the four to make it a five. Five is a good number to work with. Of course, what I do to one side, I need to do to the other. So, to balance the equation, I might add one to the nine to make it a ten. Adding by 5s and 10s makes the problem easier to solve. Let's see a lot of orange and black tomorrow. Blessings
10/29/19  A Picture Retake Day note and an interesting science note called, Nuts About Science were sent home via the red folders. Nuts About Science is an after school, hands on program, that many students may very well be interested in. Math homework remains the same. See yesterday's web notes for more details. A more formal unit 2 math assessment will begin tomorrow. Students should not need to study for this. By now, most students should have completed the unit 2 math review which mimics the test very well. I will be collecting the remaining student math homelinks by the end of the week. We are wrapping up unit 2. Unit 2 material was largely taught in first grade as was unit one. Some parents received another field trip note from me. If you have any questions, please email me. During Literacy Lab, I met with my two new students. There is much to go over and assess. We also talked about what a good reader does. Good readers.... read by themselves at home, choose books they can read and are interested in, and use the Read Theory reading program for self assessment. After Lab, we reviewed language patterns and we looked at how many words drop the "E" when they add the "ing". bike to biking After language I read the students a story about integrity. Integrity involves doing the right thing even if we do not want to do the right thing. Integrity also can involve giving up something even when we know we can get away with it. For example, turning in lost money to the police, hiring the best candidate, and not stealing anything. We concluded the morning going to gym class. In the afternoon students wrote in their Growth Mindset books a brief story about integrity. I wrote a model story for the students as well. Some of the kids shared what they wrote. Next, we looked at a plant article called, Extreme Plants. We did an informational text walkthrough of the article. We looked at the title, sub titles, and pictures to help us shape the direction of our reading. We also found out how many paragraphs were under each heading, or sub title. Plants, like people and animals, all have working parts that help them adapt to the environment in which they live. After recess, we reviewed what the equal sign represents in mathematics. We balanced equations. We used helper facts to solve other math problems and students drew math pictures of multiplication facts. The day went by very quickly.
10/28/19  For the first time in my teaching career I welcomed two new students to our class on the same day. No notes were sent home. Math homework remains the same this week. #1 Finish and turn in the unit 2 link. #2  Finish the unit 2 math review. #3  Work on the challenge worksheet. #4  Work on individual problems from Mr. Mai. The unit 2 math assessment will take place this week. Students should not need to study for it as these ideas and skills have been practiced in class. The test results will go home later this week or earlier next week. For those parents making the Fall Festival, thank you. I thought it was a lot of fun and there were many smiling faces. Most of the Bowling Field Trip money has been turned in. I still need to contact a few parents. This morning went well. During Literacy Lab I spent most of my time talking to the two new students. After Lab, we practiced writing sentences using selected words placed on the board. Then, I read a story about Reflecting. We discussed the central message and how people in the story needed to reflect. Students wrote in their Growth Mindset books about a time they needed to reflect. In the afternoon we finished our reflection pieces. Some students shared what they had written. After that, we read about the giant redwood trees of California. Using the Redwood text I went over how to locate paragraphs and we discussed how sub titles (headings) can be used to locate answers. There are many interesting facts about redwood trees. Ask your child about them. In math we went over the problem solving steps. Students used their whiteboards to try and find the missing number. For example, if we count by 2s, 3s, and 5s, what would be the first number all three multiples would land on (30)? After recess, we played Name that Number both as a large group and with buddies. I encouraged some students to try some multiplication and division sentences. It was a good day. I will be collecting all unit 2 math links by Friday.
10/25/19  From 68:00 Coolidge's Fall Festival takes place at Riley Upper Elementary School. Hope to see you there this evening. There is no math homework on weekends. Some students did receive a different math worksheet in their red folder. Keep on reading. Only the girls received a Girl Scout note in the red folder. On Monday we add two new students to our class. We will welcome the new students with open arms. We had a unique morning. After Literacy Lab, we spent time outside completing certain events during our Fun Run time period. We concluded the morning going to music. In the afternoon we went over another plant paragraph written by one of the students. Then, I told the students a story involving the Growth Mindset word, RESPECT. In our Growth Mindset books students wrote down the definition of respect. They also gave examples of how respect can be demonstrated. During language time students worked on listing rhyming words and we put select words into sentences. We ended the day with math. I introduced the multiplication symbol and talked about how the times symbol means,"groups of". We practiced a couple multiplication problems and the students did well. In addition, students played the game, Name the Target Number in small and large groups. Another week flew by.
10/24/19  IT IS A RED OUT TOMORROW. WE HAVE THE FUN RUN FROM 10:15 UNTIL 11:00. Wear your tennis shoes. Please turn in donation packets ASAP. No group notes were sent home. Students have the same math homework all week. Please see yesterday's website math notes for a little more detail. OUR FALL FESTIVAL TAKES PLACE AT RILEY TOMORROW FROM 68:00. Hope to see you there. More field trip money has been trickling in. Thank you very much. This morning Literacy Lab went well. Group switches are going smoothly. During language we worked on putting more words into sentences. Students seem to enjoy the challenge. We watched a Mystery Doug piece that talked about the importance of having a skull. very interesting We concluded the morning going to the computer lab. Students were given the opportunity to explore any academic program they wanted. In the afternoon I put up another student plant paragraph example. We looked at the strength of the paragraph as well as areas needing improvement. I read a Chicken Soup story that focused on the Growth Mindset trait of "Reflection". Students wrote about reflecting in their Growth Mindset booklets. We shared some student examples. In math I reviewed what the equal sign means (balanced) and we played the game, "Name that Number". After recess, I reviewed helper facts and I gave time for students to work on one of three worksheets I had passed out last week. Students worked at their own pace. I checked the work as students finished each assignment and progressed on to the next one.
10/23/19  The Fall Festival is this Friday. YEAH! We now have enough volunteers. A Skating note went home. Haunted House artwork should have come home as well. Math homework  #1 Finish the unit 2 review. #2 Finish the homelink and give it to Mr. Mai the morning you finish it. #3 Receive and work on the Challenge worksheet. Math homework should be 10 minutes daily with reading being 20 minutes. I am still short about $80. If you have yet to turn in the Bowling money and/or the Hi Touch, Hi Tech money, please do so when you can. Fun Run donation money is due Friday. Literacy Lab went well. Students are moving nicely in and out of the class. During language time students practiced writing "made up" words using letter patterns we have practiced. After that, I reviewed what "helper facts" really are. A number of students had misconceptions about helper facts. Then, students continued to read books about plants and write a paragraph about the content contained in one of the plant books. We concluded the morning going to art and having a fire drill during the art period. In tha afternoon we looked at a student's plant paragraph. Students were given more time to work on their plant paragraph assignment. Then, I read a Chicken Soup story that focused on the Growth Mindset traits of Integrity and Reflection. Students went on to complete another Growth Mindset page about Integrity. In math we discussed what the equal sign truly means. = does not mean... the answer is... The = sign refers to both sides of the math sentence equation being balanced. I also reintroduced the target number game. Students worked in a large group and with a buddy to find a target number. For example, each group rolls a di 5 times. Let's say the numbers come up... 5, 2, 3, 5, 1 The sixth roll is the target number. Let's say the target number is 4. Now, students try to use any combination of the five numbers, using addition and/or subtration, to hit their target number. For example 51=4 or 55+3+1=4. Students seemed to enjoy the challenge.
10/22/19  Fall Festival is scheduled for this Friday. If you are able to volunteer for a short time, please see the Coolidge emails from yesterday. The Fun Run is Friday as well. Please turn in any and all donation envelopes this week. Students should have picked up a Strep Throat Advisory note and placed it into their red folders. For homework, students should be working on one of three items. #1  Complete and turn in the unit 2 math review. #2  Complete the entire unit 2 homelink book and give it to me so that I know it is finished. #3 Complete the challenge worksheet. Students will receive the challenge worksheet when I have received #1 and #2. Remember, 10 minutes of math and 20 minutes of reading on a daily basis is the Coolidge expectation. The GREAT majority of work should be completed in the classroom. When finished, turn it in. Our Literacy Lab period ran smoothly. Students are getting used to moving in and out of the class on a timely basis. I set two alarm clocks to help out. In the class I am focusing on student reading fluency and comprehension, depending upon the student's needs. After Lab, we did large group work with syllables. Students buddied up trying to write sentences containing a different amount of syllables. Before gym class I reviewed some expectations. In the afternoon I asked the students to read a Plant book from the reading program, Epic. Then, students were encouraged to write a paragraph about the book they read. I modeled reading one of the plant books and I demonstrated how to set up a topic sentence with supporting details. Before second recess we reviewed helper facts, what they are, and how to use them. After recess, we went over the four problem solving steps. Then, we practiced solving problems using story problems that required helper facts for appropriate solutions. It was another good and fast flowing day.
10/21/19  Only a unit 2 math review was sent home via the red folders. For math homework students should work 10 minutes each evening on the review. When the review is finished, students should return it to school. Then, they will receive another math assignment. CAN YOU HELP AT THE FALL FESTIVAL THIS FRIDAY? Currently, we are short volunteers. Also, please return the Fall Festival attendance form from Friday if you plan on coming. It helps the PTA prepare for the event. Currently, I have two forms turned in. Also, about half of the Bowling Field trip forms have come back and I am waiting on 8 Hi Touch, Hi Tech forms to be returned to school. I forwarded the money. I did not want any students to miss the in school academic hands on plant presentations. Please turn in any Fun Run donation forms this week. PTA mentioned today that our Fun Run donation forms have been SLOWLY trickling in. This morning during Literacy Lab we began our first seven week switch session. About 7 of my students will be leaving the class 20 minutes daily during Literacy Lab to receive specific fluency lessons targeted to their learning needs. I will also be working with all the students in small groups to make them more fluent readers and help them comprehend any passage they read. After Literacy Lab, Mrs. Collyer, our principal, came to our class and presented a Growth Mindset lesson. The students enjoyed the presentation as many videos were incorporated into the presentation. Then, we practiced writing sentences using a certain amount of syllables. Most students embraced the challenge. For example, " I love playing with my dog." has 7 syllables in this sentence. We concluded the morning going to the library. Students had the opportunity to check out more books and they learned how to best use the reading program, Pebble Go. In the afternoon I read the students a Chicken Soup story. The students figured out that the story focused on the MINDFUL trait. We discussed the story and students wrote down the definition of Mindfulness in their Growth Mindset books. Then, we watched and discussed a Bill Nye Plant DVD. We concluded the day with math. Students practiced comparing different amounts on their whiteboards using the less than and the greater than sign. After recess, students worked in pairs. Students chose different amounts of money. Then, they tried to represent the money using the fewest coins possible. I taught the students a method of finding the fewest coins possible. Have a terrific evening. Thank you for reading my blog. If your child gives me a penny privately tomorrow morning before class begins, they will receive a little prize. Thanks for being so proactive.
10/18/19  These weeks continue to fly by. Due to conferences students were once again dismissed at 12:10. If a parent missed conference week, I would be happy to meet next week. Simply email me. Students should have taken home a Fun Run note and a Fall Festival note. Both notes may be important to look over. There is no homework over weekends. However, keep on reading. This morning we had another strong Literacy Lab period. I met with more students regarding their Read Theory progress. After Lab, as a whole group, we practiced our language skills. Using whiteboards students tried to spell "made up" words using the skills we have worked on. Most students did very well. After language, students worked on math. We reviewed the problem solving steps. Students continued working on their story problem papers. I checked each student's work as he/she completed each problem. We ended our day going to music. Have a wonderful weekend. P.S. Thank you for reading my website notes. Many parents during conference time mentioned that they read my notes on a daily basis. Terrific!
10/17/19  No notes were sent home. Dismissal was at 12:10 once again due to conferences taking place. Dismissal tomorrow will be at 12:10 as well. Math homework is to work on link 26 on page 37. This morning we opened up with Literacy Lab. Many of the students are utilizing Read Theory and Epic during this time. I continued to monitor students' progress on Read Theory. After lab, we practiced writing sentences with a partner. Then, we watched a Mystery Doug episode on how we get maple sryup. We completed the morning going to the computer lab. I gave students the academic choice to work on what they wanted.
10/16/19  I am writing this note early as conferences will begin this evening for some of the parents. Tomorrow, students are dismissed at 12:10. A Leo's fundraiser note and a Scouting note were sent home via the red folders. Math homework is to work on homelink 210 on page 49. This morning students had their typical literacy Lab period. Then, we practiced our language skills as a whole group. Before going to Art we concluded our morning reading about how bean plants grow. In the afternoon I plan to discuss how to prepare to read an informational text. This afternoon students will also listen to a Chicken Soup story that has a good moral. We will discuss more of the, "Who do you want to be?" growth mindset character traits. In math students will continue their four step problem solving work. I am keeping my note short as it is a busy day.
10/15/19  Math homework is to complete homelink 27 on page 40. For those who ordered Lifetouch Pictures, the pictures came home today. I reminded the students not to fold any of the pictures. A yellow Conference Confirmation note was also sent home. Please look for your child's name on the note. This yellow paper is your confirmation. Email me if you have any questions. If you do not see your child's name on the conference note, fill in a time that works for you and send the note back to school tomorrow. Today was an unusual day. Students like a change of pace. We had three specials. In the morning during Literacy Lab I monitored more student progress using the reading program, Read Theory. When students learn to self assess, their learning drastically improves. After Lab, we practiced language skills as a whole group. Then, we worked on math. Students were reintroduced to the addition Turn Around Rule and how to write math number sentences. We also reviewed the four problem solving steps and I worked through the steps using a practice problem. In the afternoon we continued working on the same mathematical ideas. Students also attended an assembly on autism. We have a number of students at Coolidge with autism. The day ended with a 90 minute in class science session on plants. Students really enjoyed the presenter and the content from the Ann Arbor program, HI Touch, Hi Tech. Students had hands on opportunities to observe how plants grow, take in water, and reproduce. The presenter complimented our class mentioning how enthusiastic they were. REMEMBER, DISMISSAL ON THURSDAY AND FRIDAY WILL BE AT 12:10.
10/14/19  The math homework is homelink pages 55 and 56. Remember, 10 minutes of homework is the recommended time. Completing the assignment is not the goal. Working 10 minutes on the assignment is. Some parents received a conference note in the red folder. ALL parents will receive a conference confirmation note tomorrow. No other notes were sent home. Fall Lifetouch pictures have arrived. I will send the Lifetouch pictures home tomorrow. Today was the very last day to order red Cougar shirts. We have the Smarty Plants in school field trip tomorrow. If you have yet to pay for it, please send in the money this week. I will pay the balance so that all students can attend. Conferences are this week on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday. Thursday and Friday will be half days for the students with dismissal taking place at 12:10. This morning, during our Literacy Lab, I continued to monitor students working on the Read Theory computer program. Then, we had our whiteboard language session. After a brief break, students looked at another Halloween paragraph. We discussed the strengths and areas needing improvement. We closed the morning watching a Mystery Doug episode on... "Why do flowers bloom in the spring?" In the afternoon I had a guest teacher. The second grade TEAM was given time to read and score the school improvement essays from September. In the afternoon students had a second Literacy Lab period. Then, they reviewed the 8 "Who do you want to be?" traits. A Chicken Soup story was read. The students discussed the trait, Responsibility, as it related to the story. Students wrote in their Growth Mindset books the definition of responsibility and they gave various examples of what being responsible looks like. After recess, students reviewed the four math problem solving steps. The Friday story problems were passed back for the students to work on. The guest teacher checked student work as it was completed. The few students who finished were able to do additional math on the Chromebooks.
10/11/19  There is no homework on the weekend. Keep on reading. A Reflections note, a Field Trip Bowling note, and your child's Reading Proficiency note were all sent home via the red folder. By now, all unit 1 math homelinks should have been returned to school. I collect the links and look over what each student completed. Any unit 1 math reviews should be returned to school as well. Monday is the very last day to order the $10 second grade shirts. The shirts are optional. During Literacy Lab I worked with more students on their Read Theory computer program. Afterwards, as a whole group, students worked on writing sentences using some of the words we have practiced. Breaking words into syllables helps students spell better and read with more comprehension. We took a break. Upon return we went over some more student samples from their Halloween paragraphs. I have already noticed progress. We finished the a.m. going to Music. In the afternoon I read a Chicken Soup story that focused on Confidence and Grit. Students used their Growth Mindset books to write about Confidence, giving examples of that trait. Later, we watched a Mystery Doug piece on why leaves change color in the fall. The day ended with math. Students were reintroduced to the four problem solving steps... Understand, Plan, Just Do It, and Reflect. We went over some math examples using these steps. Then, students received a math worksheet which involved story problems. Students tried to use the steps to solve each problem. After recess, students received an addition paper. Students were allowed to use resources of their choice to solve each problem. I checked the problems one by one as students worked. Have a super weekend.
10/10/19  A Cheerleading note was sent home. Math homework is homelink 21 on page 27. TOMORROW, SECOND GRADE STUDENTS ARE ENCOURAGED TO WEAR A RED SHIRT. Monday is the firm deadline for parents wanting to purchase a Cougar red shirt. The company has some extra shirts they are willing to stamp with our logo. All unit 1 math homelinks should be returned to school by tomorrow. Literacy Lab went well. I monitored more students' progress on Read Theory. After Lab, we practiced writing sentences from a selected word bank and we broke more words into syllables. I introduced the (ed) ending. We took a break. Then, we went over some of the Halloween paragraphs students typed. We discussed the strengths and areas needing improvement. We ended the morning utilizing the computer program, Hour of Code. Students practiced some elementary programming and they did a terrific job. In the afternoon we reviewed the 8 main Coolidge character traits, I read a Chicken Story, and students discussed what trait the story most exbibited. We wrote in our Growth Mindset books the definition of GRIT. Students gave examples of grit and some students shared their examples. We watched a Mystery Doug selection on the creation of our alphabet. With their whiteboards, students compared various numbers using the greater than/less than symbols. After recess, I modeled how to use manipulatives to subtract two and three digit numbers. Students practiced what I modeled.
10/9/19  Math homework is homelink 29 on page 29. Four notes were sent home: a Redford Sports note, a Second Grade Shirt note, A Box Tops note and MY CONFERENCE note. We are encouraging the students to wear their red TEAM shirts to school this Friday. Second grade shirts can still be ordered through this Monday. Monday is a firm deadline. The shirts cost $10 if interested (CASH only please). Conferences are scheduled for next week. Please look at my note and return the paper if you have not currently signed up. We had another good day. During Literacy Lab I monitored more students completing the reading program, Read Theory. The Coolidge teachers are finalizing the reading test information. We hope to notify parents shortly regarding which students will be seeing reading support teachers during the next round of assessment. After Lab, we practiced breaking words into syllables and we practiced writing words in sentences. After a brief break, we reviewed the elements of a paragraph. Students were given the topic Halloween, were asked to make a statement about it, and each student was to provide support evidence. In the afternoon we continued working on these Halloween paragraphs. From there we went over the 8 Growth Mindset character traits. I provided more character trait examples. Then, I read a Chicken Soup story that exhibited some of these traits. In math students continued using manipulatives to add together two and three digit numbers. We are learning that with the base 10 system, I can make a fair trade when I have ten of any place value. The days are moving quickily once again.
10/8/19  Only a unit 2 math homelink should have gone home via the red folder. Students should keep the unit 2 math link at home or in their folders until the end of the unit. At that time, I will collect everyone's homelink. Speaking of this, if your son/daughter's unit 1 homelink is still at home, please bring it back to school via the red folder. I am in the process of collecting the links and reviewing each one for completion. In the new unit 2 math homelink the homework assignment is on page 46, 29. A PTA meeting took place this morning. Our Smarty Plants in school field trip is approaching. Please turn in the permission form and the $ (CASH PLEASE) this week if you have not already done so. In addition second grade students who purchased a second grade TEAM shirt should take home their shirts tomorrow. We plan to wear these shirts during TEAM events. About seven of my students have not purchased a shirt. That is fine. Having said that, there are extra shirts available for purchase ($10). Email me if interested. This morning during Literacy Lab I monitored some student's reading progress using the reading program, Read Theory. After Lab, we practiced breaking more words into syllables. We took a break and concluded our morning working on our Chromebook plant paragraphs (What I know about plants). In the afternoon I read a Chicken Soup story and we reviewed the 8 "Who do you want to be?" character traits. Then, students finished up their plant paragraphs, their plant pictures, and they placed their plant pictures into their one inch binders. I assume all the binders parents donated have been sent to school. After recess, students worked on using base 10 manipulatives to add two and three digit numbers. I discussed the skill of trading up every time we had the amount of 10 of an object. Students are learning a great deal and are encouraged to demonstrate grit in every subject.
10/7/19  It was nice to see such a large turnout Friday night. I know the Book Fair did very well. Three items should have come home via the red folder. The Coolidge Fun Run note was passed out. Students completed a library worksheet that should have come home too. Finally, I sent the unit 1 math review home. Most students have already finished it, but a few students need to complete the back side. For homework, students should work 10 minutes on the review, either reviewing with a parent what they have done or completing the remaining problems. Please return the review to school tomorrow. Beginning tomorrow, I will start collecting the unit 1 math homelinks. If I see the link in the folder, I will take it out. Homelinks 111 and 112 were assigned last week. The unit 2 math homelink will be passed out this week. At 9:30 am tomorrow, Mrs. Collyer will host Coolidge's second PTA meeting. This morning during Litaeracy Lab, I worked with students on the reading program, Read Theory. I am reinforcing some basic reading skills to help the students become better readers. After Lab, as a whole group, we worked on syllables, writing sentences with 'and' as a connecting word, and we discussed words with y/e endings. We took a break. Then, we debriefed another student paragraph that I placed on the whiteboard. We focused on writing in sentences, using "and" as a joining word, and supporting a topic with evidence. Students ended the morning going to the library. They were able to check out two books as long as they had returned their previous books. In the afternoon we spent some more time with word patterns ending in y and e. I introduced our new topic on PLANTS. Using the chromebooks students wrote down as much as they could about plants. Then students drew a picture of a tree or some other plant to place on the cover of their one inch binder. After second recess, we reviewed how to correctly add up coins. We talked about finding two coins that might add up to a multiple of 10. In pairs students practiced adding up different coin amounts. REMEMBER THOSE GYM SHOES.
10/4/19  The Book Fair (58:00) and Movie Night (6:30) takes place this evening. Perhaps I will see you there. Students received another Karate note and the girls in our class received a Girls' Hockey note as well. There is no homework over the weekend. This morning during Literacy Lab I focused on each student's use of the reading program, Read Theory. After Lab, we practiced dividing words into syllables and we worked on putting together similar sentences using the connecting word, "and". We took a break. Then, we went over another student's paragraph discussing strengths and areas in the piece needing improvement. We went to music. In the afternoon we practiced our phonemic sounds. I read a Chicken Soup story that focused on the character trait, "integrity". We also talked about the stories central message, "Do what is right, not what you want". After that, I had all the students go back onto the computer program Read Theory. I am monitoring the students hoping that they use the program with fidelity. Before second recess a guest third grade student read to our class. We ended the day counting coins. I demonstrated effective ways to count coins. Students practiced in small groups using the methods I demonstrated. I will be collecting the unit one math homelinks next week.
10/3/19  A Livonia Fire note and a Library Volunteer note were passed out. For homework students should use the 100 chart on the back inside cover of the math homelink. Give your child two addition problems of your choice. See if they can solve the addition problems using the 100 chart. The Book Fair closes at 8:00pm tomorrow. Movie Night is tomorrow as well (6:30). This morning I met with the second grade TEAM and the resource room teachers during our Literacy Lab period. We looked over the students' reading scores from the two main assessments we gave them. We discussed which students should receive supplemental support from our resource team of teachers. The groups will begin in a couple weeks. We will contact parents via a Coolidge note if their son/daughter will be participating. Around 10:15 I came back to the classroom, relieving the guest teacher. Together we practiced dividing words into syllables. We took a brief break. Then, we went over another student's paragraph. We looked at ways to improve our own writing. We completed the morning going to the computer lab. I introduced students to the Hour of Code. This program allows students the opportunity to practice coding in a fun way. The program makes students think and it builds upon previous learning. It is quite relvant for our day and age. In the afternoon we practiced our phonemic sounds. Afterward, I divided the class into groups of three. Each group received a character trait word that they were expected to act out. Students took turns acting out each word. Then, I read a Chicken Soup story related to one of Coolidge's character trait words. Before second recess we watched a Mystery Doug piece on Shooting Stars. He discussed what they are. After recess, we did some math whiteboard work. Students practiced the less than/greater than signs and we worked on making amounts of money using the fewest coins possible. Students concluded their day working in groups of two. They dropped coins on their desks and tried to add up the amount before their peer could. It was another good day.
10/2/19  Math homework is to work 10 minutes on homelink 112. No notes were sent home via the red folder. This morning I tested more student reading levels while the students had their Literacy block. After this, I introduced syllables to the students. We practiced breaking words apart. We took a brief break. Before art class we looked at another student's writing paragraph. We discussed the strengths of the paragraph as well as the areas needing improvement. In the afternoon students practiced their phonemic sounds. Then, we reviewed the 8 Coolidge Growth Mindset character traits. I read another Chicken Soup story and the students discussed the trait they felt the story most exhibited. After that, students practiced their addition facts in small groups. Before the afternoon recess we looked at a Read Theory reading passage. I went over some more skills students could utilize to be successful readers. In math students learned about place value and the fact that so many problems can be solved with the digits zero through 9, hence, the base 10 system. Students practiced making three digit numbers using base 10 manipulatives.
10/2/19  Was real busy after school. My minutes will be completed by 5:20.
10/1/19  Welcome, October. The Book Fair runs through 8:00 this Friday. If you have yet to do so, please turn in the field trip note/$. In the red folder students should have taken home three papers: a math worksheet, a 100 chart, and a half page paper explaining how to utilize the unit homelinks. During Literacy Lab I tested more student reading levels. I am almost done with the individual mandated assessing. After Lab, we switched desks for the month. Then, students cleaned out their desks and reorganized their materials. We went outside and later I reminded the students how important it is to cover up when sneezing or coughing. We took a look at some bacteria, virus, and germ pictures to get the point across. We concluded the morning going to gym. In the afternoon we looked at more volunteer student paragraphs, looking for ways to improve our writing and praising our successes. We had a fire drill during this time period. We completed our final Expectation page in our Growth Mindset books and we reviewed the 8 important, "Who do you want to be"? character traits. I proceeded to read a Chicken Soup story to the students. They did a good job identifying the trait the story most exhibited. Before the afternoon recess we practiced our phonemic sounds. We ended the day with math. I briefly reviewed how to add and subtract using the 100 chart. Students worked on their homework paper in class. The ones who finished checked their papers with other students. Remember, whether finished or not, we recommend 10 minutes of math homework and 20 minutes of reading. Most of the academic education should take place in class.
9/30/19  Good bye, September. I will miss the weather and the daylight. Looks like October is coming in all fired up. A unit 1 math homelink booklet was the only item sent home via the red folder. For homework, students can work on link page 1.11, problems 49. During Literacy Lab this morning I tested more student reading levels. My testing is almost complete. After Lab, we completed a page in our Growth Mindset books that focused on more expectations. We took a brief break. Then, I discussed paragraphs with the class. We talked about the paragraph symbol, thinking about a topic, making a statement, and supporting a statement with accurate details. I shared some examples and I put some student volunteer paragraphs on the board. At 11:15, students went to the library, but they really used the time to peruse and shop at the Book Fair. The Book Fair will be open all week, including 58 during Friday's Movie Night. At 1:00, we continued with our paragraph writing. Around 1:35 we practiced our phonemic sounds with the whole class. Before recess I brought up the eight character traits we hope to have every Coolidge student exit our school with. I modeled such traits as grit, integrity, mindfulness, empathy, confidence, etc. After second recess, the students had math. I talked about the lesser and greater than sign and related it to a hungry Pac Man. Pac Man always wants to eat the bigger number. We reviewed how to add numbers using a 100 chart and I showed the students how to subtract two numbers various ways using a 100 chart. I observed the students solving more problems on their worksheets, noting the steps and progress every student was making.
9/27/19  Our last September weekend is upon us. THE OPTIONAL SECOND GRADE TEAM TEE SHIRT ORDER FORMS ARE ABSOLUTELY DUE TO SCHOOL THIS MONDAY. The deadline was extended over this weekend. A Livonia Parks and Rec note and a pre order Diary of a Wimpy Kid book note were sent home via the red folder. There is no math homework. 10 minute math homework assignments begin this Monday. Keep on reading. This morning I assessed more individual student reading levels during our opening Literacy Lab time. I read to the students a Chicken Soup story that emphasized the power of laughter and the need to be honest. We took a brief break. Before heading to music students practiced their phonemic sounds. In the afternoon students took the math school improvement assessment. This test is MUCH shorter than the literacy one. It involves one story problem with multiple steps. Most students did the best they could in under 15 minutes. After the test, students used their whiteboards to practice and learn more phonic's sounds. I also introduced how to pronounce"le" when it shows up at the end of words. In our Growth Mindset books students wrote down our classroom expectations. Later, I put another Read Theory passage on the board. I reviewed the pre reading skills students should and could use to be successful readers. After recess, I showed the students another way, or algorithm, to add two numbers on a 100 chart. Students worked on solving some addition problems at their desks. As they finished the worksheet, I checked it. Students who had most of the problems correct finished the day solving problems on Prodigy. Have a nice weekend.
9/26/19  Monday is THE final day to order the optional second grade team cougar teeshirts. They are $10 each and we hope to wear them whenever the second grade participates in any special group function. Four notes that might interest many parents were also sent home today. In the red folder you should find a Coolidge Cougar shirt order note, a Credit Union note, a Movie Night note, and an In School Field Trip note that requires a parental signature and financial support. There is no homework. Keep on reading. Today, during Literacy Lab, I continued to assess more individual student reading levels using the Fountas and Pinnell reading program. After Lab, we went to the Credit Union assembly. Students were encouraged to work and save money using the credit union here at Coolidge. We took a break outside and finished the morning completing the fourth session of our School Improvement Beaver article. I forgot to mention that I read to the students in the morning too. We discussed the central message of the Chicken Soup story. In the afternoon we practiced our phonemic sounds as well as practicing phonics using our whiteboards. We watched a Mystery Doug video focusing on animal species and their ability to crossbreed. In our Growth Mindset books students wrote down our bus expectations. Before the afternoon recess I used the Read Theory reading program to review reading skills needed to help readers comprehend a text. In math we spent the entire period focusing on using the number chart to accurately add any two numbers up to 100. A lot took place and the day went by quickly.
9/25/19  I hope Skate Night was enjoyed by all in attendance. No notes were sent home and there is no math homework until next week. Several notes will come home tomorrow. The second grade tee shirts look very nice. For those who have yet to order, you may want to purchase one for $10. I will email you a picture of one if so desired. The deadline to purchase these shirts is drawing to a close. During Literacy Lab, I continued testing individual student reading levels. After Lab, we took a brief break. Then, we worked on session three of our School Improvement literacy assessment. We concluded the morning going to art. In the afternoon I read a Dr. Seuss book to the students. We discussed the central message as well as secondary messages from the book. We also practiced our letter sounds using our whiteboards. We covered ing, tion, ch, sh, str, long vowel words ending in e, etc. In our Growth Mindset books students wrote down assembly expectations. Before the afternoon recess I placed a Read Theory passage on the large whiteboard. I showed the students how a good reader attacks a challenging assessment. We covered such skills as rereading, looking at the title, comparing the title to the picture, reading out loud, and finding answers directly in the text. In math we reviewed the four main American coins. We talked about value, naming each coin correctly, and we compared amounts of coins to one another. For example 2D = ? N, or two dimes equals how many nickels? Students are being challenged each and every day as we try to build a community of learners willing to take chances and academically push one another. The unit 1 math review, which the students have been working on, will be sent home shortly. Students who understand the math reviews will do well on each math assessment.
9/24/19  Skate Night is this evening at Riverside Arena from 68:00. I can not make this Skate Night, but hope to make some in the near future. A Book Fair note went home via the red folder. Students will be able to shop at the Book Fair during their library time this coming Monday. There is no math homework. Having said that, keep on reading. In many cases students who have read over the summer have maintained, and perhaps improved upon, the progress they made last year. The $10 second grade red tee shirt orders are due shortly. Please turn in the money on time to confirm your order. Of course, this is optional. This morning students had their Literacy Lab period. I began testing individual student reading levels during this time. We are using the Fountas and Pinnell reading assessment program. This test gives each teacher different reading information separate from the I Ready computer test. After Lab, we went outside and took a brief break. Then, we continued our second session of the Beaver reading and writing assessment. This is a lot of testing, but it should pay off. The test results give teachers a clear academic picture of every student. We ended the morning going to gym. In the afternoon I had a guest teacher. All Coolidge teachers were given a half day to complete additional reading assessments. In the afternoon students had an extra Literacy Lab period, they practiced their phonemic sounds, they practiced their letter sounds, another Growth Mindset page was completed, and a story with a strong central message was read to the class. After the second recess, students worked on math. Many students spent time completing a number chart worksheet and progressed to finsh their unit 1 math review. Those who finished this work were allowed to go on the math program, Prodigy.
9/23/19  Welcome Fall. We had another good day. Math homework begins next week. A Martial Arts note went home via the red folder. Students had another successful Literacy Lab period. Tomorrow, I will begin assessing each student's reading level using another different assessment program. Each different test gives teachers new information regarding a student's academic progress. After Lab, I read a story and we discussed the main message of it. We also talked about the word, Miracle. We took a brief break. Before we went to the library I showed the students a Bill Nye video demonstrating why we have the different seasons. In the afternoon students began Coolidge's school improvement reading/writing assessment. All grade levels are taking this test Monday through Friday for about an hour each day. Students read an article, take notes from it, and eventually write a response to a question given to them. Students at Coolidge do this every year. We do have a lot of testing. It allows teachers to see where each student is at and allows us to target specific skills each individual child needs to develop. After the first test session, students wrote down the hallway expectations in their Growth Mindset books. In math we spent all of our time discussing the four main American coins: penny, nickel, dime, and quarter. We named each coin, discussed each one's value, and practiced writing down amounts various coins added up to. If you have yet to sign up for a conference, simply email me.
9/19/19  I WILL NOT BE IN SCHOOL TOMORROW. THE STUDENTS ARE AWARE OF THIS. I WILL NOT TWEET TOMORROW OR HAVE A BLOG WRITING. I do not plan on sending any notes home. I will sincerely miss the students. I hate being out. There is no homework. A Skate Night note and a $10 teeshirt note were sent home. Do not feel obligated to purchase a shirt. Having said that, we thought it might be a good idea to show grade level community through our shirts. The third grade teachers have been doing this and they seem to support it. PICTURE DAY IS TOMORROW. My guest teacher will collect any money brought in. Keep in mind that know matter what happens, there will be a picture retake day. I will need to have my picture taken that day. This morning went very well. Many students stretched their thinking on the reading program, Read Theory. Students read, wrote, and worked in groups. After lab, we went outside for a morning break. I proceeded to read to the students a book about a bee. We discussed the messages surrounding this story. We watched a Mystery Doug selection about dragons and with our whiteboards students practiced writing down letters that relate to certain sounds. Students also used thier Chromebooks to write about a favorite activity of theirs. I shared some student writing and we talked about ways we could improve pieces. I emphasized strengths in particular papers as well. This learning session carried over into the afternoon. Today, we continued to practice our phonemic sounds and we talked about some more routines and procedures. Before second recess students played the addition dice game. We concluded the day doing math whiteboard work at the carpet. We practiced such things as odd/even numbers, subtraction, and using the 100 number chart effectively. Talk to you on Monday.
9/18/19  Picture Day is this Friday. In the red folder students should have taken home butterfly artwork, a Swimming note, A Karate note, a Choir note, a YMCA note, and a Skating note. There is no homework. Keep on reading. During Literacy Lab students completed a variety of language arts activities. I continued to monitor student progress and reading interests. Around 10:15, I read a book about the American flag and discussed the book's message. After a brief break, I shared some student work. Students wrote about their weekend. I discussed strengths and weaknesses of student writing and provided ways to improve each piece. We had a severe weather drill and concluded the morning going to Art. In the afternooon I introduced the class to the reading program, Read Theory. I believe this program truly helps students become better readers. Students can monitor their reading progress daily. In a nutshell, they read an article and answer questions about it. The articles become easier or more difficult depending on how well students answered the questions on the previous article. In our Growth Mindset books students completed page 2. They wrote about someone they knew who is a hard worker. We finished the day with math. Students continued to complete their counting worksheet and their 100 number paper. As students finished, they were allowed to go on the math program, Prodigy. Have a good evening.
9/17/19  There is no homework this week and no notes were sent home. PICTURE DAY IS THIS FRIDAY. This morning we had our Literacy Lab period. Students spent time reading and writing in various ways during this hour of time. Shortly, I will begin testing each student's reading level using a different reading program. After our break, students continued writing about their weekend using the chromebooks. Some students vounteered to show their pieces and we talked about how each piece could be improved. Gym concluded our morning. In the afternoon I read Mean Jean, the Recess Queen. We discussed the central message (theme) and compared its message to yesterday's, Enemy Pie. Then, we practiced our phonemic sounds as a whole class. In our Growth Mindset books we discussed and wrote about arrival and departure expectations. Today was Constitution Day. We saw two Schoolhouse Rock videos about our country and I related how our lives involve rules as well as the freedom to do many things. After second recess, students continued working on their math patterns. Students counted by3s/4s, completed a 100 number pattern sheet, and/or went on Prodigy. Students worked hard looking to find and keep the patterns that they located. Daily, I mention to the students the importance of doing challenging work. Many of them seem to be getting the idea.
9/16/19  There is no math homework. A Scout note, a Picture Day note, a Karate note, and a Flag Football note were all sent home. This morning we began our Literacy Lab routine. I continued to monitor student reading choices. Shortly, I will begin assessing each student's reading level according to out Fountas and Pinnell kit. After a brief break, students learned how to edit and rename their chromebook writing. Students wrote about their weekend. Tomorrow, they will email me their weekend paper. We ended the morning going to the library. Students were able to check out books for the first time this year. In the afternoon I read Enemy Pie to the class. We discussed its main message. Then, we practiced our alphabet sounds as a whole group. We completed a couple pages in our Growth Mindset books and we saw a Mystery Doug selection about the uses of plastic and how this material has been a blessing and a curse. Students rolled dice and added up the sum of 2/3 numbers before the afternoon recess. We concluded the day with more math. I checked each student's 3s and 4s math pattern sheet. As students completed that sheet, students worked on filling in missing numbers on the 100s chart. Prior to this paper we looked at more math patterns that come from the 100s chart. For example, the number to the right of a number is always one whole number larger. When we drop down a number, the number increases by 10. Learning to find patterns in math will help students understand more clearly how mathematics logically operates.
9/13/19  Well, parts of the state got hammered with heavy wind, lightning, and rain. We were fortunate enough to have our recesses outdoors. There is no homework and no notes were sent home. This morning we had our Literacy Lab period. Many of the students are already able to consistently read over 30 minutes at one sitting. After lab time, we took a break. I read the students a story and we discussed in detail the central message of it. Then, we went to music. In the afternoon I gave students time to work on the math program, Prodigy. Their focus was strong. We discussed some more routines and procedures as well. Before second recess we practiced our phonemic sounds and we watched a Mystery Doug selection about the coldest place on Earth. After recess, we wrote down some outdoor recess expectations in our Growth Mindset books. We concluded the day looking for math patterns as we used our 100s chart to count by 3s and 4s. Should be a good year.
9/12/19  There is no homework and no notes were sent home. Keep on reading. This morning during Literacy Lab I monitored what students are reading. I also demonstrated how students could buddy read during Literacy Lab time. We took a break. We completed the morning learning how to use our chromebooks to type up papers. Students proceeded to write about themselves and they emailed me their work. Students are learning many skills. In the afternoon students watched a Mystery Doug selection, I read to the students, we practiced our phonemic sounds, and we completed two pages in our Growth Mindset books. We also had a school Lock Down drill. Students practiced more math pattern counting and we disuccused how Dr. Seuss, in his own special way, teaches children important messages through his most enjoyable books. We watched the video on the Sneetches. We had a good day.
9/11/19  The PTA meeting went well yesterday. It was nicely attended. Please consider joining the PTA as this organization does so much for Coolidge. There is no homework, but students should keep on reading. Only two students took home a note regarding the resource room. This morning students had their Literacy Lab period. Students largely read on Epic. We took a break and proceeded to practice our computer and math skills on the computer program, Prodigy. We concluded the morning going to art. In the afternoon I reviewed and added a couple more routines and procedures. In our Growth Mindset books students wrote down the Lock Down expectations and we practiced a classroom Lock Down. I read to the class and we practiced our phonemic sounds. We watched a Mystery Doug piece on pizza. It made the kids hungry. The day ended with math. We talked more about math patterns. As students counted by 5s, 10s, 3s, and 4s, students looked for patterns on their number chart. I also discussed how subtraction really focuses more on the word "difference" than it should on the words "take away." 102  96 = ? certainly is easier to solve when I think about the difference between the two numbers instead of trying to take 96 away from 102.
9/10/19  Keep those COLD water bottles coming in. A PTA note was sent home via the red folder. Our first PTA meeting is this evening at 7:00. I plan on attending. The PTA does so many important things for our school. There is no homework this evening. 20 minutes of daily, at home reading, is highly encouraged. This morning students had a fire drill and we went to gym. We discussed the fire drill results. The students did very well. I read to the students and the students had time to read on the computer program, Epic. I introduced important word cards that the students could use during our morning Literacy Lab sessions. I also went over more routines, rules, and daily classroom procedures. In the morning and afternoon we wrote in our Growth Mindset workbooks. We went over the student expectations for a severe weather drill. Students watched a Mystery Doug piece on alien life and we practiced vocabulary words with partners. We had a second computer reading session and concluded the day introducing, or reintroducing, the math program, Prodigy. For this year, I had all the students start out with new classroom usernames and passwords. Students who have more than one username may choose their username as the trimester continues.
9/9/19  The hot weather is returning. Freeze those water bottles. Remember, gym shoes are needed tomorrow. There is no homework. Keep on reading. No notes were sent home. Our first PTA meeting is tomorrow at 7:00. I plan to be there. This morning some students finished up their I Ready math tests. Students revisited how to log on and close their computer programs. Students used the computer program, Epic, to do a lot of reading and perusing of the program. We took a break in the middle of the morning. Before lunch, students went to the library for the first time. Students in our class will have the opportunity to check out books next week. In the afternoon I read to the students. I introduced and we watched a Mystery Doug video. Mystery Doug is a young person who does an excellent job presenting interesting topics to youth. Today, we looked at who created emojis and why they were created. This PM we also practiced our phonemic sounds as a group. Phonemic sounds involves recognizing alphabet letter sounds without connecting a letter to a sound. For example, I might ask the students if "by and my" rhyme. In addition, I might ask students to tell me the ending sound of the word "bed."In math we discuussed even and odd numbers. Students circled even and odd numbers using a 100 chart. We discussed the definition of even and odd numbers. Even numbers can be broken apart into two equal groups. Odd numbers will not evenly divide into two groups. Students practiced their subtraction skills in groups of two using dice. We discussed how subtraction really relates to the distance apart two numbers really are. "Take way" may be a more difficult way for students to understand subtraction.
9/6/19  A big thank you goes out to my Curriculum Night parents. So glad you made it and I hope you found the evening worthwhile and enjoyable. I had a terrific first week and I think the kids did as well. It is so important to get off to a good start. First impressions tend to stick. There is no homework on weekends. Keep on reading. A Picture Day note went home via the red folder. This morning students had music and Mr. Stafford, one of our resource room teachers, introduced himself to the second graders via a 30 minute song fest. The students thoroughly enjoyed it. Mr. Stafford is so welcoming and he is quite an accomplished guitarist. Also, in the morning I read to the class and we began the I Ready computer math portion of the assessment. In the afternoon students continued working on the I Ready math test. As students finished, they independently read using the reading program, Epic. After final recess, I read another selection to the class, we had a practice severe weather drill, and the students went over their math addition facts in pairs. Have a wonderful weekend.
9/5/19  There is no math homework. Curriculum Night/Open House is this evening. Hope to see you there. Please see the notice in the red folder. Reading at home daily for 20 minutes is encouraged. We had another good, productive day. We spent a large part of the day on the computer chromebooks. Students revisited how to log on and how to log on to the I Ready reading assessment. This morning and in the early afternoon students took the reading portion of the I Ready assessment. We had a couple breaks during the test. They worked hard on it. In the afternoon students were introduced to the Epic reading program. We spent a good hour learning how to log on the site, use the site, and read material from it. We concluded the school day completing a name placemat for this evening. Feel free to leave a note on the back of the placemat tonight.
9/4/19  There is no math homework. Having said that, students are encouraged to read 20 minutes each evening. An art note was sent home via the red folders. The red folders should go home and be returned to school on a daily basis. I have almost all of the students' Emergency Cards and dismissal papers. Thank you very much. Today, we continued discussing rules, procedures, and expectations. I discussed the Zootopia song and related it to our classroom theme, "Give a good effort." We switched desks for September. Each month students will have the opportunity to choose another seating location. Students practiced some of their basic addition facts using dice. We had an extra break in the morning. We had a classroom fire drill practice. Students drew a picture and tried to write at least five sentences describing themselves. I also read a story to the class. We talked about the word, "nocturnal". Students also went to art class before recess/lunch. Many students left with smiles on their faces. Contact me any time at tmai@livoniapublicschools.org. CURRICULUM NIGHT/OPEN HOUSE IS TOMORROW. Hope to see you there.
9/3/19  Well, this morning went by very fast. I discussed some of the recess rules and some other classroom procedures. Students picked their lockers and tomorrow we will decide where to sit for the month of September. We watched a Coolidge recess video produced by Mrs. Stark and proceeded to go out for an early recess. We concluded the day going to gym and organizing for dismissal. Each day the second grade red folder should go home and be returned. Please peruse the folder daily so that important information is found. Please complete and return both emergency cards. Both cards are identical. One card is kept at the office and the other card will remain in the classroom. We like to have two emergency cards because school safety is a high priority. Many parents have turned in donations. Thank you so much. Keep in mind that the school district should supply all needed academic material. Having said that, your donations will go a long way. Via email is a very good way to reach me. I typically stay after school hours. At the end of each school day, I will type out what was accomplished at school. Almost always, my minutes will be completed by 5:00. My Twitter page will provide a brief summary of the pertinent day's activities.
Have a wonderful evening. Let's make it a great year.
Sincerely,
Todd Mai