Tuesday, March 1, 2011


SPRING is on its way with the arrival of this month!  YAY!
Rabbits, rabbits, rabbits...and HAPPY MARCH, Everyone!!! 
I cannot believe this month is here already! 
On a different and much more intense note, we only have 27 school days left until CATS testing...ahhhh!!!  We have soooo much more content and ground to cover before then so I need you here, "on it", and ready to learn every single day!!! 
 CUTE owl stickers from my "Cutie Cam"!
First of all, our day started out a bit exciting...three...yes, THREE different people came in with owl themed gifts/ knicknacks for me!  Am I lucky and spoiled girl, or what?!?  A student from A-complex brought me a BEAUTIFUL "dangly" owl necklace, Cameron brought me oh-so-very-fabulous owl stickers, and Maddy cut out some owl pics from a magazine and brought them in to me!  Thanks, guys...you certainly spoil me!  THEN, Eva had quite the Spelling came she created last night...it was AWESOME and we had sooooo much fun with it this morning!  She's a little trickster too...she made a game for me to reach in a pull out an evelope that contained 1" squares of mixed up letters that unscrambled to form one of her spelling words, but in the bag (in which I was instructed to NOT look), she had put some "scary" items...rubber snakes and scorpions...ahhhh!!!!

She's QUITE the little "trickster"!!  SO FUN!
I made a bit of an announcement today:
I know that students are gone on Mondays to QUEST.  I am so happy they are able to do that and wish they could go as much as possible, but I also need them to be SURE to come and check in with me about anything they may have missed and pick up any assignments.  These students just happen to have "QUEST" on the exact days that I pass out our Spelling packets for the week so I announced today that they need to come on Monday mornings BEFORE Quest to come and pick up their packets to avoid any confusion and to be responsible and accountable for their own work.  There was quite the miscommunication last night and I definitely feel that that could have been avoided.  We have been in these reading classes for a couple of weeks now and they should be familiar with the routine that NEW packets are passed out on Mondays.  We have been labeling them and sending them with students from A-complex who are not in QUEST, but still things haven't been working out to the level of expectations and that is too much to put on those students who do not have QUEST.  Therefore, with this NEW policy, each student who goes to QUEST can be certain that they have their assignments directly from ME, while we are practice personal responsibility and accountability.  Let it also be known that EVERY MONDAY, it will be assigned to do a "Spelling tic-tac-toe" activity or any other activities of your choice from your activity bank we're building. 
NOW, onto our day in class...!
We discussed our concept/ skill of focus this week: drawing conclusions and began reading our story, "Seven Spools of Thread", drawing conclusions and finding details in the text that can support our claims or show what led us to draw these conclusions.  Students who missed yesterday due to QUEST, were really wanting to do the iPod activity that others completed yesterday so they worked on that, G-Complex students from groups A & B played our "Hidden Hints" mystery inferencing game, while the remaining students practiced the skill of drawing conclusions by again pretending to be the main character of their group's chapter book and writing diary entries from their standpoint, discussing their feelings and thoughts on the events of the book.  It was great practice with drawing conclusions as to how the character felt during the time of specific events in their books.
HOMEWORK: I passed out a NEW sheet to add to our SPELLING ACTIVITY IDEA BANKS.  It has vocabulary activities on one side and spelling activities on the other...9 to choose from on each side so 18 in all.  Students are to pick ONE activity from the side of their choice to complete for homework tonight.  Students who missed class yesterday due to QUEST and did not pick up homework must ALSO complete ONE "Spelling Tic-Tac-Toe" activity AS WELL. 
Secondly, read the NEXT chapter in your group's reading book.

A bit disappointing in here as well.  It is MARCH and we are STILL struggling with ORQs...even with me coaching and guiding us through every step...and then, upon conferencing and helping the student, it is obvious that it is a lack of effort NOT understanding, which is beyond frustrating and terrifying being that testing is a mere 27 school days away.   
We completed our ORQs from yesterday..and people who finished to expectations got to play a "spin-n-multiply" game with a partner. 
HOMEWORK: please, please, PLEASE practice ALL multiplication facts!  We are beginning division tomorrow which is a nearly impossible feat without our multiplication facts memorized.

PM activities:

some people can be wonderful influences on your life
who's your role model?
after an incredibly disappointing report from Ms. Long in Art during specials time, direspect towards adults and peers, unwillingness to follow directions in the lunchroom, and beyond excessive talking... we had a writing assignment about what it means to be a good role model and how we can reflect on things within ourselves and our actions and use that knowledge towards driving us to be our best selves.  We now have a new policy about talking and strikes.  After each first warning, a student who is talking when they are not supposed to be MUST use a nickel (that was originally designated for pencils) to pay a fine.  Also, at the end of the week, it will cost one dime per strike on the strike chart.  Much like money from a parking ticket or traffic violation, this money will go towards supplies and/ or things needed for the bettering of our classroom environment. I EXPECT GREAT THINGS FROM YOU, MY STUDENTS. 

the KEY to success is constant self-reflection
Mistakes only happen once, anything after that is a choice.
Have a terrific Tuesday night and take some time to reflect on who is a great role model to you and why they are that wonderful influence on you and your life.  Think about some of those qualities you aspire to adapt in your own personal nature to be your best self.  No matter what, I love you all dearly and wholeheartedly...which is why I want to see us being the best that we can be!  I know you are people that younger students not only admire, but look up to! And you are people that I admire - each in a different way.  I love you greatly!
Mrs. Thomas

Here is one of my all-time MOST FAVORITE quotes that I feel reeeeaaally applies to our afternoon discussion today and something of which I hope we can take in as our personal motto...

"Life has nothing to do with what you are expecting to get - only with what you are expecting to give - which is everything."

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