Monday, February 28, 2011

2.28.11


sooooo cute!  This was us today, wasn't it?!?
Can you believe it is the last day of February and we are springing into March tomorrow?!?  It sure FEELS like spring with the warmer weather and all this rain.  Shew, we have had some GREAT thunderstorms today!  I do not know your opinion on thunderstorms and it seems every person is different on them, but I LOVE, LOVE LOOOOOOVE them!  I know it is weird, but something about the lightning and thunder just excites me and the sound of rain is so soothing...it makes me want to be at home and in bed!  These thunderstorns should definitely assure us that spring is around the corner!
Reading:
since it is Monday and half our students are gone to Quest, we did begin working on our new concept of focus for this week, but did not fully dive in as deep as we will for the remainder of the week.  Our focus this week is on drawing conclusions.  We discussed that drawing conclusions is like making final observations or a final decision on something...it is a lot like making an inference in that you are making a guess based on information read in the passage.  You are not directly told the conclusion to draw, so it is a higher level skill in that you must use what you've read to basically "read between the lines" and draw a conclusion as to what the author is implying or intending for you to understand.  There are things author's don't always tell us and good readers must be able to identify that and use what conclusions they draw to drive their understanding of the text to its optimal level.
our "Tabi-Cat"

Therefore, to begin practicing with this, we talked about professions in which a person might have to draw conclusions: a doctor (who is ALWAYS given symptoms and signs and must determine what's going wrong with your body), a dentist (same as doctor, and must evaluate your mouth!), a paleontologist (someone who studies fossils...a GREAT example because they MUST use these fossils to draw conclusions about organisms from the past, or an archaeologist (someone who studies artifacts which are clues to past from prehistoric times where history was not recorded through written language so they must use these artifacts to learn about a person's life during that time).  I'm sure the list could go on and on, but we have a lot of fun brainstorming.  Our story from the Treasures series this week is: "Seven Spools of Thread".  We did not begin reading it yet, but did a picture walk of the cover of the story and drew some conclusionsabout the story based on what we observed in the picture.  Finally, we did index story card quizzes with partners, AND practiced our skill of focus (drawing conclusions) by pretending we were the main character of our group's chapter book and making an iPod playlist that we would listen to, based on what we already know about the character (we drew conclusions from the character's personality traits and experiences to decide what type of music that character would most likely listen to).  It was a neat activity!
Me with Miss Kentucky!
Gahhh..is she STUNNING or what?!?
I passed back our spelling tests from last week and gave out our new packet which is Lesson 5.

Our WOW! Words this week are:
paleontologist
unexpectedly
conversation
manufacturer
multiplicative
HOMEWORK: complete ONE activity from Spelling tic-tac-toe to turn in tomorrow. 

MATH:
we took a 90-second timed multiplication quiz per usual and then wrote a model '4' of the ORQ from our multiplication test we began last week so we could peer score a neighbor's and learn what to look for in an appropriate '4' scoring response.
HOMEWORK: practice multiplication facts.

PM activities:
biggg body big mouth!
we had an assembly for Black History Month (which is THIS month - February) where a VERY special guest came...MISS KENTUCKY!!!  WOWZA!!!  What an honor to host her...thank you Ms. Long for arranging for this very special and wonderful role model to come speak with us and sing Beyonce AND Miley Cyrus to us...she is delightful!  We also heard other speakers and had a couple of guest performers.  Ms. Long even sang us a song!  What a GREAT and informational afternoon!  We loved celebrating and honoring Black History Month!


little body, little mouth!


LOOK!... even Miss Kentucky sports her rainboots on days like this!  I am lovin' her style!



taking questions


answering questions

she was so enthusiastic, so encouraging, and soooo FANTASTIC with the LARGE crowd of excited kiddos!
Ms. Long singing us a song


she has a BEAUTIFUL voice!

We LOVE Ms. Long!!!

another GREAT performer with his saxophone!

Ty is a 5th grader...I had him as a 4th grader and I was so proud of him today!  Doesn't he look SUPER snazzy in his suit?!? 

Three oh so FABULOUS former students of mine!  They made me so proud today!
Stay dry this wet Monday evening!
xoxo,
Mrs. Thomas

PS...I just need to share about my GREAT weekend.  1) our GSE Governor's Cup Academic Team (that I coach) earned the RUNNER-UP title in the entire District competition this past Saturday
...AND...
2) while I was there, the wonderful and so very thoughtful Mr. Thomas bought me a BRAND NEW CAR!!!  whooooo hooooo!!!  She's a beaut!
3) ken GRIFFEY Jr. Jr. ACTUALLY gave me his purple Piggly Wiggly shirt that I have loved whenever he's worn it!  I cannot believe he gave it to me...I am THRILLED beyond belief!  Such a sweet gesture and I am so excited!



I got the shirt!!!  I LOVE it!!!  ...and, I actually LOVE how lameo Griffey thinks I am.  His expression says it all :)



Sunday, February 27, 2011

GOVERNOR'S CUP Academic Team WINS District Runners-up!!!!

Mr. Hilton and I are THE luckiest coaches!
We are absolutely THRILLED beyond belief!
I mean, can you tell?!?
I come to you as the proudest coach that a coach could ever be...  
The GOVERNOR'S CUP Academic Team (NOT academic challenge...COMPLETELY different) that I coach along with Mr. Hilton placed SECOND overall behind Meadowthorpe in our ENTIRE district which is a huge...and I mean, HUGE accomplishment!!!
Let's give this team the GIGANTIC CONGRATULATIONS they so very much deserve!!!!  We had at least one team member place in every single area of the competition...and EVERY SINGLE MEMBER is moving on to REGIONALS in at least one area of competition and well, we've NEVER and I emphasize, NEVER had that happen before as a team at GSE!!!  This is undoubtedly, THE BEST we have EVER done....EVER!!! We are sooooo proud of all of our students who have practiced so hard, worked so diligently, have persevered through this intense battle and are moving on to the region competition in March.  
Here's our FABULOUS team with our RUNNERS-UP trophy!
This team consists of 17 - 4th and 5th grade students who had to try out to be a part of it...basically, it is like our school's sport's team and is a tough, tough team to become a member of, maintain being a part of (it requires MUCH dedication, devotion, and studying BEYOND the studying and what is already assigned during the school day)...much less actually place in competition!!!  Way to go guys...you are smart, intelligent, wonderful, brilliant, geniuses, etc.... the list could go on for miles...we are just overcome with elation for YOU!!!  


How can this NOT make you smile?!?
I love, love LOOOOVE how thrilled they are with themselves...as they should be!
MOST of our team's girls with our trophy!  Look at ALLLL those BLINGING medals!!!

a very proud coach with two SENSATIONAL members!
(and my former students) what sensationally fabulous young women!


What's up, GSE?!? - Week of: 2.28.11 - 3.5.11

What's up this week at Garden Springs:


First, let's give a HUGE CONGRATULATIONS to the GSE GOVERNOR'S CUP Academic Team...they placed SECOND overall in the District and had at least one place in every single area of the competition!!!  We are sooooo proud of all of our students who have practiced so hard, worked so diligently, have persevered through this intense battle and are moving on to the region competition in March.  This team consists of 17 4th and 5th grade students who had to try out to be a part of it...basically, it is like our school's sport's team and is a tough, tough team to be a part of...much less place in competition!!!  Way to go guys...you are smart, intelligent, wonderful, brilliant, geniuses, etc.... the list could go on for miles...we are just overcome with elation for YOU!!!  

Here is our GSE Governor's Cup Academic Team proudly displaying their "District Runner-up" trophy!



Feb. 28 - Monday (Day 6)
Miss Kentucky is coming for an assembly!


2:45-3:30PM: 3rd Grade Lego Club

2:45-3:45PM: Performing Arts Club Rehearsal

Kindergarten Registration Window #1 (9 a.m.-2PM {daily}, 2/14/11—3/11/11)


March 1 -  Tuesday (Day 1):

March 2 - Wednesday (Day 2):
2:45 PM - 4:00PM: GOVERNOR'S CUP ACADEMIC TEAM practice

March 3 - Thursday (Day 3):

March 4 - Friday (Day 4):

March 5 - SATURDAY:
5th grade pancake breakfast 9 a.m. - GSE cafeteria


OTHER NOTES:

**The Young Achievers Fayette Mall Display for our current 5th graders will be at the entrance to Sears in the mall (near Abercrombie and Fitch) on March 1-March 7th**
Don't forget to turn in Boxtops, Campbell's Label's, and Tyson labels!!!
Here is the link you need for the Campbell's Label's website: http://www.labelsforeducation.com/ 
If you go the top right hand corner and put our schools zip code (40504), it will bring up all of the Lexington, KY schools.  Select, Garden Springs Elementary (there is also a Garden Springs Day school - just so you are aware to look for the CORRECT one) and it will let you sign up.  


Here is another link to hook up your Kroger card so that every time you purchase Campbell's label items it will automatically go to our school account: http://www.elabelsforeducation.com/Sites/Campbells_eLabels/Page/HomePage.  

(As always, you can also still clip and send them in with your student as well). 

Friday, February 25, 2011

2.25.11

Look who has a microphone too?!?  Ahhh...LOVE it!!!
Happy Friday everyone!!!  I hope your day has found you a bit more dry and more excited about the thrill of the weekend that is upon us!  This morning was a bit frantic, but we got on task and did get our work done...after a chilly and brisk fire drill!

Reading:
We took our spelling test...and not as many people made 100s or As as last week, but we did not play as many games as we did then so that just goes to show, play those games and activities you've learned at home through the week to fully prepare yourself for the tests that lies ahead!
Upon completion of our test, we were able to get in groups and complete the activities that we had been unable to complete during the week. I did look over some of the writing assignments from last night and some were great and it was obvious that a best effort was put forth...and then on others, it was obvious that the effort was not there.  Let me tell you, folks, I am quite strict about ALWAYS putting forth your best effort and maintaining quality work.  There is NO exception for any less than your personal best...especially with how smart all of you are!  I expect GREAT things!  What kind of teacher would I be, if I didn't?!?  So, let's STEP IT UP!
HOMEWORK: if you DID NOT complete the activities from class, you were to take them home and complete them (brochure, or "Cook-a-Doodle-Do" grammar/vocab review packet).

we take our job very seriously.

a.m. activities:
since we only have one hour for reading on Fridays, we have an hour in between before math starts at 10:15.  Therefore, we worked in our Science groups to complete our group ORQ on fossils.

MATH:

at 10:15, we switched for math and students immediately got started on completing their assessment for multiplication, or correcting any missed questions on the assessment that they completed yesterday.  I only gave half credit back IF the student: identifies his/her mistake by explaining exactly WHAT he/she did wrong, shwos and reworks the missed problem - circling the NEW answer, and proves how he/she now knows it's correct.  This is an opportunity for me to teach for learning and for the students to learn from their mistakes.  Mistakes only happen once.  Any after that is a choice.   
HOMEWORK: use flashcards to practice multiplication facts.
an entertainer's work is NEVER done.

PM activities:
Mrs. Moses came for Guidance. 
We then took a wellness walk and restroom break and again worked on completing our Science group ORQ on fossils.


I hope you have a safe and fun weekend!  Keep the Governor's Cup Academic Team in mind as Mr. Hilton and I take those 4th and 5th graders to their District competition tomorrow (Saturday).  If we place, we get to go on and represent Garden Springs in the Region level competition against at least 30-40 other schools in Lexington and surrounding areas!  We placed 3rd overall last year so the bar is set pretty high!
xoxo,
Mrs. Thomas



action shot.  Sassy.


Thursday, February 24, 2011

2.24.11 - what a soggy, blahhhhh day!

Hello all-

I guess I DO like to find ANY excuse to wear THESE :)
They DO brighten my blahhh day after all
...what brightens yours?!?

Don't soggy, rainy days just make you want to crawl back into bed, pull the covers up over your head, and sleep the day away?!?  They sure do me...I always get kind of a blahhhhh feeling- a bit melancholy, ya know?  Okay, maybe you don't feel that way, but boy, this rains really makes it tough to get our kiddos to let some energy out during the day! 

Do YOU have something that brightens YOUR rainy day?!?

Anyway...I guess I do get to accessorize accordingly and well, we all know I LOVE to do that!  Also, our Cameron FINALLY got back from his gymnastics competition in Orlando, Florida!  It was so cool hearing about his journey and how amazing he did while competing there!


Cam doing his famous moonwalk like his idol, Michael Jackson.  We were excited to see him BACK and in action!


READING:
we again got to go through ALL 3 of our reading rotations!  On Tuesdays and Thursdays, groups do not get in book clubs to do their literature circle roles, but rather get in their groups and do a project on the concept of the week using their chapter books they're reading.  Since our concept is the skill of comparing and contrasting, groups were either comparing and contrasting two characters in their chapter book -OR- were comparing and contrasting the setting of their book to the setting of the world in which we live in today using all 5 of our senses.  That particular one turned out to be a REALLY cool chart! 

Here's Hootie getting some exercise!
We put her in this ball EVERY morning so she can 'workout'.
Independently, students finished reading the coinciding story, "Cook-a-Doodle-do" (sooooo....funny, P.S.) from our Treasures books that emphasizes the focus skill of the week (comparing and contrasting), and completed their brochures from yesterday AND began responding to 4 different short writing prompts.  These are really fun and interesting prompts and only require a brief response.  I think the students are really enjoying completing them! 
HOMEWORK: complete the first FOUR writing prompts from the Unit 4 Daily Writing packet and the first FOUR only!!  ALSO, you spelling test is TOMORROW so study, study, study...AND complete those packets!  Thank you to those of you who completed an additional "spelling tic-tac-toe" activity...you are getting some extra credit for doing so!!!  Whoop whooooop!!!

Here's FRED. 
Fred is our collector of nickels for when you need a pencil!
He says, "FEED ME!" but you should probably try not to!
Math:
We reviewed our chapter wrap-ups/ reviews from last night and then began our assessment which went pretty well!  CONGRATULATIONS to McKenna, Skyla, Daniel, and Cameron who have made our As on the final multiplication test so far!  We are so proud of all of you!!!
HOMEWORK: NONE...EXCEPT...play some of these math games!!!  Yes, I AM telling you to PLAY for homework...so take FULL advantage!



PM activities:
we continued working on the group ORQs about fossils that we began working on yesterday.  All groups are doing amazing jobs and I am absolutely blown away by all of our knowledge of fossils!  WOWza!!! 
Visit this COOL site to play some Science games on the concept of YOUR choice...HAVE FUN!!!
Although not any groups were finished with the Science ORQ, we had to end our day :(
I can't wait to see you tomorrow and wrap up our weekly activities that we have yet to complete!
xoxo,
Mrs. Thomas
 
LOOK!  We were ALMOST twins today!! Boy, Maddy, you have impeccable taste, and SENSATIONAL style to say the least!  tee-hee :)
our Cam back in action and in his MJ jacket! ooooo...we LOVE your style!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

2.23.11 - Watch out, there's a "link" for that!

Hello my tech savvy followers and readers!  Happy Wednesday!  The week is HALFWAY O-V-E-R...can you believe it?!?  I feel like it is going by so fast...well, in comparison to other weeks, at least :)

Anyway...
You know all those Apple iPhone/ iPad commercials claiming, "there's an 'app' for that"?!?  Well, I happen to feel that way about resources for school subjects so now I'm taking on the claim, "there's a link for that"!  Just check me out, you'll see...

Reading:
we got to do our reading rotation groups today!!!  AND...we got through ALLLLLL of them!!!  Woooo Hooo!!!  Each group had different rotations, but assignments at each rotations were the same and all had the emphasis on the concept of this week: Compare/ Contrast...along with our story, "Cook-a-Doodle-do". 
HOMEWORK: read NEXT chapter of your group's chapter book and complete a coinciding ROLE SHEET for your role.  Also, study your spelling words, but remember, completing another tic-tac-toe activity is strictly OPTIONAL and will count towards extra credit so have fun!  -OR- I could give you extra credit if you bring in proof you played an online game on one of the links below!
Today's reading links:
I have SOOOOOO many links for you to engage with at home!!!  Visit these, explore, and navigate your way through them to help you with any, every, and ALLLLL things READING! Gahhh...I LOVE the internet...what a USEFUL tool!

This link has TONS of ideas, activities, games, and powerpoints to help you prepare for your vocabulary/ spelling:

Visit this link for games to do with your SPELLING words!

Math:
our math class got off to a bit of a rough start today because I had a situation to 'tend' to and then we weren't all showing Mrs. Fitzpatrick (our 3rd grade assistant) the respect she so very much deserves.  Finally though, we got on track and were able to work through some multiplication.  Let me go on record to say that I am sorry about any complications you may have had or still, currently experience with workbook assigments.  We do go over every bit of that content here at school in math, but the workbook for some odd reason is always set up and/or worded entirely different from the textbook work!  CRAZY, huh?!?  I know some parts of the workbook last night were waaaay confusing and with that said, I am very sorry for causing any confusion or worry on your part.  I hope it helps you feel more at ease to know that their tests and other things are NOT set up in that fashion and I will do my best to make sure any homework assignments are not as confusing as that in the future!  Thank you for bearing with me through it all! 
HOMEWORK: We are getting ready to take our Multiplication Chapter Assessment so tonight, I copied the Chapter Wrap-up/Review from the TEXTBOOK so there will be NO confusing problems and only multiplication problems you (adults) are familiar with!  This packet is due by tomorrow!

GREAT Multiplication site for activities, games, and ideas for things to do with multiplication to help you practice!  THIS IS AMAZING!!!

PM activities:
we took an extra loooooong walk for exercise to fully ENJOY this B-E-A-U-TIFUL afternoon!!!
When we came in, we got in groups and will be group writing an ORQ on Fossils.  We are having so much fun doing them!
HOMEWORK: none written for Science tonight...but I'd absolutely LOVE it (hint, hint) if you visited some of these sites!!!
Virtual museum of fossils:

Trace fossil mystery:

Dinosaur Dig - FINDING FOSSILS!!!

Observe how FOSSILS can form!

American Museum of Natural History - Paleontology!  (such a COOOOOL site!):

PICK your Science topic:


HAVE FUN exploring these sites...(PLEASE DO!)
I L-O-V-E YOU!!!
xoxo,
Mrs. Thomas

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

2.22.11

Hey...did you realize that 2 x 11 = 22?!?  And today's date has those factors within it??  Cool, huh?  I guess that that's the mathematical teacherness in me...always noticing things like that.  Well anyway, Happy Tuesday all and Happy Birthday Mr. President, George Washington!!!  We are thankful for everything you did to help establish our country and for our day off we get to celebrate your honor! 

Today, we got to welcome a brand NEW Dunbar student who is here to help us: Margaret Henderson!!!  She is Kenneth's sister and we are so excited that she'll be here working with us in the mornings!


Reading:
in the middle is where the two concepts are alike
I gave back our AMAZING spelling tests...I mean, WOWZA...did we ever do GREAT or what?!?  I am so proud!  I even ran out of homework passes to give out and had to run and make more!  It was frantic but certainly for a great cause...I LOVE that that happened!!!  Today, we began studying the informational text structure of Comparing & Contrasting.  Texts can be laid out in 4 different structures: descriptive, cause & effect, chronological sequence, or compare & contrast.  Our emphasis is on comparing and contrasting and locating the signal words within a text that can 'clue us in' to this particular structure (like, difference, different, whereas, similarly, unlike, alike, etc.).  We read an informational text passage entitled, "The truth about bats" to compare and contrast birds with bats.  Based upon the information we located in the passage, we created a large, interactive class Venn Diagram which is the quintessential (see that WOW! word in use?!?) graph for demonstrating similarities and differences in information.  This will be the concept of focus in all of our reading groups and activities for this week.
HOMEWORK: I passed out our spelling packets which are due BY FRIDAY.  TONIGHT: please complete ONE activity from the "Spelling tic-tac-toe" page to turn in to me tomorrow.  ALSO, please read the 2 next chapters in your chapter book.

Math:
we took a 90-second timed test per usual and then began re-emphasizing strategies for multiplying multi-digit numbers.  For independent practice, we worked on pages 136-138 in our workbooks.  We are coming to the end of this chapter so the final test over it will be by the end of this week and we will then begin division. 
Here are some AWESOME multiplication games, activities, and powerpoints you can visit at home!  Please check them out!
HOMEWORK: complete WORKBOOK pages 141 - 144. 

PM activities:
we took a test on fossils to see how we could do given the knowledge we've obtained so far and began working on our second On-Demand writing pieces that are due to Ms. Sharp by Monday.

well wishes...
Be thinking of our Academic Team as we began our District competition TONIGHT!!!  This is the GSE Governor's Cup team with is part of the KAAC membership - the ONLY state and nationally recognized academic team competition!  We are kind of like our school's sports team :) Don't be confused, it is very different from the challenge cup teams because only 4th and 5th graders can compete and you must tryout to qualify to even be part of the team (Mr. Hilton and I coach it and last year, we placed THIRD in the entire region of well over 30+ schools, including private AND magnet schools!).  We hope to soar even higher this year as District is the first leg of this competition and we must place in it in order to even be able to move on to the Regional competition in March.  The rest of our District competition is THIS Saturday, February 26th.  Again, keep us in your thoughts and wish us well!

I hope your Tuesday night finds you well and wonderful and here's to hoping for a warm up like last week!
xoxo,
Mrs. Thomas 
MR. Thomas thought you all needed this pic for a laugh!
har har harrrrr.....





Sunday, February 20, 2011

This Week at Garden Springs:


Feb. 21 - Monday

Presidents Day - NO SCHOOL

Feb. 22 - Tuesday (Day 2):
Governor’s Cup Academic TeamFuture Problem Solving Team & Composition Writers DISTRICT Competition Beginning Round  (@Meadowthorpe Elementary)
Kindergarten Registration Window #1 (9am-2pm daily, 2/14/11—3/11/11)

Feb. 23 - Wednesday (Day 3):
7:30-8:00a.m.: K-Kids

2:45-4:00PM: Comic Creators
2:45-4:00PM: Governor’s Cup Academic Team Practice
2:45-4:00PM: Girls On The Run (GOTR)
***Principal’s Newsletter Distribution***
***Wednesday folders sent home***


Feb.24 - Thursday (Day 4):
2:45-3:45PM: Ecology Club
2:45-4:00PM: GOTR (Girls On The Run)

Feb. 25 - Friday (Day 5):
8:30a.m.: Fire Drill
1:30PM: Student Achievement Assembly
2:35-3:45PM: 4th & 5th Grade Spanish Club with Senor Canizal

Feb. 26 - Saturday

Governor’s Cup Academic Team — Quick Recall and Written Assessment DISTRICT Competition Date
the Governor's Cup Academic Team is sponsored by the Kentucky Association for Academic Competition
(it's more than a BIG deal...it's a HUMONGOUS deal...and a TREMENDOUS and PRESTIGIOUS honor to even place and represent our school with this conference!)
Be sure to wish these 4th and 5th grade students as well as Mr. Hilton and Mrs. Thomas (the coaches) luck as they represent our school in a state and nationally competitive and recognized competition!  Last year, they placed THIRD in the entire REGION of over 30 schools (including private AND magnet schools)...GO BULLDOGS!!!
GOOOOOO BULLDOGS!!!
fight, fight, fight!!!