Tuesday, April 12, 2011


Happy Tuesday everyone...does it feel right saying that with our lousy, rainy day today?!?  I'm just happy we're here to see a new day and I get to be around my favorite people in the entire world!  You kiddos are the sunshine through these clouds!  We've had such a GREAT day today!

We are spiraling back to some concepts that we touched on a long time ago.  Today, we worked on the skill of "cause & effect" which is looking into why something happens in a story.  For instance, we discussed today what the effects are of this constant rain that we've had for the past 24 hours.  Students listed effects of: flooding, power outages, car accidents, grumpy moods, funny stories, umbrellas inside out, things blown over, wearing rainboots, packing an umbrella, wearing a raincoat, etc.  All of these effects stemmed from the simple cause of incessant rain.
Next, each student received a post-it note and were to get creative in thinking of their own causes and effects.
To model this skill and identify it in passages we read, I read the book, If you Give a pig a Party (a sequel to, If you Give a Mouse a Cookie). The books in these series exemplify the concept of cause and effect because as readers, we can identify all the things that happened because a pig was given a party.
Finally, students got in their reading groups and created their own stories similar to the layout of the Mouse and the cookie or the pig and the party.  These are turning out so incredibly fantastic and we spent the rest of class in a "perm-a-grin" from laughing and enjoying the creativity of our sensational reading class!
HOMEWORK: read next TWO chapters in group's chapter book. 

We reviewed two tests that we have recently taken: one over "data analysis and probability" and the other over "fractions".  By going over them, we were able to look at each problem and identify how to solve it and the mistakes or misconceptions we had while completing the test.  I am a firm believer that a good mathematician is able to locate mistakes made in problems and correct them in order to learn.

PM activities (SCIENCE with Mrs. Ingold's class):
Mrs. Ingold's class came to me for Science and our class went to Mrs. Ingold for Social Studies. In Science, we continued our study of fossils and what we can learn from them as they are clues to the past.  I had students brainstorm facts about horses and listed them on the board.  The list included things like, fast runners, large in size, eats grass/ hay/ oats (herbivores), have grinding teeth, have long hair, whinnies, etc.
Next, I passed out copies of a horse and stegosaurus skeletons and asked students to now identify which of these facts we would know about the horse if all we had were fossilized bones and teeth.
Students then discussed what we know about fossilied animals, and we interpreted this with facts and guesses.
Next, we put muscles and skin on the dinosaur and discussed how imagination comes into the interpretation of fossils.
Students then joined me in creating a chart about "what we know about dinosaurs" and "what we have to guess", and then what has to happen in order for an animal to fossilize.
HOMEWORK: visit and explore some fossil websites if you have access at home!
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 a terrific Tuesday night and remember, YOU are MY sunshine!!!
Mrs. Thomas

P.S. SPRING CARNIVAL is coming up on April 29th and we have nothing for our basket so far!  If you can, please send in items for this basket which is themed, "For the Artist" so we would love to receive things such as: paints, paintbrushes, markers, canvases, oil pastels, crayons, scrapbooking supplies, yarn, sketch paper, sketching pencils, colored pencils, molding clay, etc...!.  Also, Mrs. Weiler will accept monetary donations and you can send them in to me and I will make sure she receives it!

P.P.S. KCCT testing begins April 25th.  It is imperative that students are here on time and well rested for every day that we are testing (it goes through May 13th) and any appointments that are scheduled during that time be rescheduled until a later date or in the afternoons.  I appreciate all of your hardwork and patience and I know that our students are going to ROCK the socks off of the CATS tests!!!  GO BULLDOGS!!!

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