Tuesday, January 31, 2012


Hola amigos!  Happy Tuesday to you!  We have had a busy day filled with learning up in the room 105.

We are continuing our study upon informational text structures with emphasis on the Cause & Effect structure.  Students are learning to identify what happened and why something happened using evidence and happenings in texts.  In groups, students are completing an endangered animal project to discover the causes of their endangerment and the effects of these causes.  Students are also writing a "If you Give..." books, just like the If you Give a Mouse a Cookie, or If you Give a Moose a Muffin, or If you Give a Pig a Pancake, or If you Give a Cat a Cupcake books by Laura Numeroff.  While they are basic level books, they are great in showing cause and effect and the students are having an absolute blast constructing ones of their own!!!  I am making one entitled, If you Give Ms. Schrader a New Kitten.
HOMEWORK: complete the front AND back of the Vocabulary page sent home containing Exercises 2, 3, and 4. 
ALSO, complete the Cause and Effect reading passages and questions (the front and back stapled pages) entitled "The Greatest Gift" and "The Giant Wave".  BOTH sides of these pages are to be completed. 

We are working on creating and comparing and ordering fractions.  First, the students were given a 'fun-size' bag of skittles and instructed to create fractions of each color and then order the colors by fractions from least to greatest.  Next, students were given math manipulatives entitled, "Fraction Burgers" where you can build "burgers" out of fractions designed to look like burger toppings.  They were given a coinciding sheet and were instructed to label fractions. 
HOMEWORK: Fractions Number Line worksheet

Students worked on convection, conduction, and radiation which various ways to transfer heat.  They cut up different pieces of paper and worked on classifying it into the three ways of transferring heat listed above.

Students were given 5 prompts to choose from and begin drafting and creating a piece of writing centered around those topics. 

Have a terrific Tuesday night!
Mrs. Thomas

Monday, January 30, 2012


Welcome back after a nice weekend, folks!  It sure was beautiful and I hope you had some time to enjoy it :)

We are still studying informational text structures, but this week, we are learning about the "Cause & Effect" structure which looks at what happens and why it happens and we also look to identify signal words in a passage that may clue us in to this specific structure...kind of like a cheat sheet!  To introduce the concept, we first watched a very funny video (click HERE).  The students were guided in identifying the following things from the video and then from an example text: 
Cause- why something happens
Effect- what happens as a result of a cause
Clue Words: why, cause, because, therefore, as a result, effect, so, so that, since, reason

Example: If you accidentally drop a glass and it falls to the floor, the glass will break.
Cause: dropping the glass
Effect: the glass breaking
Next, we looked at a Science article because Science texts often use cause and effect to explain why things happen in nature, so we read a paragraph about Isaac Newton and his discovery as to why the oceans have tides.  Then, we determined:
             Cause: The gravitational pull of the moon
             Effect: The ocean bulges out toward the moon
            Clue Word: causes
Next, we played a "Cause & Effect" game and read an article about The Boston Tea Party, identifying the cause of probably the most famous "tea party" ever.  Finally, the students got into groups and were able to begin their activities and projects for the week.  Since we are studying the skill of "Cause and Effect", they were be researching an endangered animal, identifying the cause(s) of the animal's endangerment and creating a brochure to show these findings. 
HOMEWORK: Vocabulary words were passed out!  This week, our words are from LESSON 8.  Click the link to go to the Wordly Wise website (these are for Mr. Harman and my reading classes - Ms. Schrader and Ms. Frederick have THESE WORDS from Book 2, Lesson 4). 
Thus, students MUST finish Exercise 1 vocabulary practice.
ALSO, students MUST finish the "cause & effect" reading and question practice pages (2 pages, front and back, stapled). 
our WOW! Words for this week (1.30.12 - 2.3.12) are:
NOTE: MY class has recently started their Literature Circle Roles.  I assigned the roles LAST Monday and had them due Thursday, but extended the due date to today to ensure whole class completion, but had over TEN (yes...10...YIKES!) STILL NOT do their roles!  Ahhhh!!!  A group CANNOT function without equal effort from all group members.  I talked with the students about responsibility and accountability and my expectations for such smart students to have their work completed...this Thursday, I will accept NO excuses and expect ALL to have their work done. 

We used the Hershey's Fraction book (by Jerry Palotta) to learn about parts of a whole and equivalent fractions.  Students even got to eat their delicious manipulatives at the end of the book!
HOMEWORK: for Ms. Frederick's class, you MUST complete the questions on the coinciding fractions sheet!

Ms. Frederick worked with the students on identifying ways that heat is produced and describing how it travels.

We are moving past the prewriting stage and using our 4-square organizers to draft rough drafts of the topics at hand.  Today, I modeled using this prewriting and turning it into paragraphs.  The topic I modeled was "4H camp is the best field trip!".

Have a terrific night and Happy Birthday, Chloe (from Ms. Schrader's class) and Tristan (from Ms. Frederick's class!).  We love you both and hope you had special days!!!
Mrs. Thomas

Thursday, January 26, 2012


Happy Thursday all!

It is our work, work, work day because of orchestra and QUEST, so we completed all group projects and finished some independent practice activities as well!  I love, love, love how responsible and dependable all of my friends are in our reading class!
HOMEWORK: complete reading of articles, "The Jackson Purchase" and "The Pennyroyal Region" and complete a top-hat compare/ contrast organizer, AND complete essay describing the two using comparison and contrasting signal (clue words).
ALSO, VOCABULARY and SPELLING tests are TOMORROW for ALL CLASSES!  Please study word spellings and definitions!

We worked on creating fraction strips for thirds, sixths, and twelfths and finding equivalent fractions among our new manipulatives and models.

Students worked on insulators and conductors with Ms. Frederick.

We are working on using our 4-square organizers to create a descriptive, organized, and detailed writing piece.  Thus, we must focus on turning our prewriting into actual writing!
HOMEWORK: complete first paragraph for "4H is the best Field Trip" by classtime tomorrow.

Have a thrilling Thursday evening!
Mrs. Thomas

Wednesday, January 25, 2012


Hello all!  We are halfway through this week...hard to believe, yes?!? 

We are continuing our focus upon the informational text structure of compare and contrast.  When you are comparing and contrasting, you are looking for how something in a text is alike or different from another subject.  Students have been examining articles containing this structure and identifying clue words that signal them into a comparison of similarities or a contrast of differences.  Not only must they learn how to decipher these texts, they must also read these texts and write essays of their own.  We learned about the different formats of constructing essays and began writing some of our own.
HOMEWORK: "Abracadabra" vocab sheet (Mrs. Thomas's class).  In Mr. Harman's reading class, students must finish center work.  In Ms. Frederick's and Ms. Schrader's classes, students need to complete the next vocabulary assignment.  All classes must study to prepare for Vocabulary assessments THIS FRIDAY.

We began our new unit on FRACTIONS!!!  We watched THIS VIDEO and then created fractions strips of our own to begin studying equivalencies.  Equivalent fractions are fractions that are equal.

Students learned about heat and temperature and how heat is transferred from one object to another.

We completed our math activities from this morning!

Have a terrific night!
Mrs. Thomas

Tuesday, January 24, 2012


Hello friends!  Just wanted to check in and let you know that I'm thinking about you!  We teachers were at our monthly meeting that we must attend, but I sure was thinking about you all day!  I do want you to know that I checked in several times and snuck in real quick after school to read Ms. Gordon's notes and all was good!  So yay for everyone...I'm super pumped and super proud to get such awesome notes about our friends! 

A few reminders:
any work incomplete from reading centers is homework that is due tomorrow.  Also, Exercise 3 and the Hidden Message crossword activity is due tomorrow for my reading class. 
ALL READING CLASSES have vocabulary tests THIS FRIDAY! 

I can't wait to see you tomorrow and give you big hugs because I missed you so much and am so grateful for you representing our school well in our classroom learning today!
Mrs. Thomas

Monday, January 23, 2012


Happy Science Fair day, everyone!  I hope you had a tremendous weekend and are having a great start to your week!

Science Fair had students in and out all morning through our reading class time so we were only able to get to a small fraction of our activities that I had planned for us...booooo!  However, it was nice seeing the students so enthused and so proud of their work on their Science projects!
This week, we are continuing our focus upon nonfiction text structures but this week, our emphasis is on Comparing and Contrasting within an informational piece.  We first watched THIS VIDEO for students to think about the state in which they live (it was pretty sad when NONE...yes, NONE could identify the song playing the background...ahhhh!  But, that's a differet story, different day).  Next, they had to brainstorm how our state is different and similar to Florida.  Then, we learned about the different regions within our state (Kentucky has 5) and we live in the Bluegrass Region.  They read an article about our region and one about the Eastern Coalfields region and then had to compare and contrast the two regions.  I was also able to assign students to their reading groups that they'll be in for the next several weeks as they read their assigned chapter books.
HOMEWORK: Vocab words were passed out -> complete sheet with Exercises 1 & 2 (spelling and Vocab quizzes are THIS FRIDAY, Jan. 27th! - this is for MY class AND Mr. Harman's reading class!)  In Ms. Frederick's and Ms. Schrader's reading classes, please complete Exercise 1 for vocab words (YOUR TEST is ALSO this Friday, Jan. 27th!).  Bring word lists back to school each day!

**ALSO, read the "Matter" article and complete the organizer on the back which is comparing and contrasting the 3 states of matter.

**NOTE: each group member (Mrs. Thomas's reading) was given his/ her chapter book and a specific assignment for a role in the group.  These are due by Thursday and most students just have to read the first two chapters of their books and complete ONE role sheet.   

Our WOW! Words for this week (1.23.12 - 1.27.12) are:

Many students were in and out or gone for math too so we were unable to begin our new unit on Fractions...double boo.  We were supposed to go over tests but all of our class got a proficient or distinguished on the last assessment so I had them make up 5 division problems and 5 multiplication problems, solve them, and then pass to a neighbor to see if their neighbor can solve them.  They had a tremendous time!
HOMEWORK: make a list of things around the house containing fractions. 

PM activities:
I took Ms. Frederick's class and our class down to the Science Fair for the students to take a tour of everyone's awesome projects.  They were to look for their favorites and explain reasons as to why. 
CONGRATULATIONS to this year's project winners that will be going on to District at Bryan Station High School!!!! 
These winners are:
Chloe Land-Schrader’s class
Blake Brooks-Thomas’s class
Jaelyn Maloney-Schrader’s class
Brystal Hickey-Harman’s class
Raegan Redmon-Schrader’s class
Jeremiah Stokley-Thomas’s class
Nevaeh Belcher-Harman’s class
Melinda Lemons-McQuown’s class

Have an excellent night!
Mrs. Thomas

Featured Author - TAVIS!

A haunted house looks like a dark scary....BOO! AHHH! Everybody goes. It taste so dry like a desert a about to collapse on you. BOOM, BOOM, BOOM stomping everywhere. It sounds like big scary demons coming after you. Smells like blood sucking vampires and zombies. Feels so rough as you step on the scary demons faces.

Friday, January 20, 2012


Well, we had a rough start to our day...

See, we took our text over our first of the different informational text structures which was chronological order (a.k.a. sequencing) and the students didn't do so hot.  It wasn't that they didn't know the content, (which they do) it was that they DID NOT READ THE TEXT!  How can you take a reading test and not read the text that the test is over?!?  Ahhhhh!!!  We had to have a pow-wow and revamp our focus and our attention to details because well, it was not pretty at all!  Especially for a test in JANUARY!  I urged the students in knowing that I was disappointed because I know how capable they are and how much I expect out of them because they are so very capable and so very smart and don't want them to settle for ANYTHING less than their personal best!  They can just do so much and there is NO limit to the possibilities for their futures!

We were redeemed, though, because we next had to take an assessment over multiplication and division and the students did SO, SO well!  They were getting almost every single multiple choice question correct!!!  Wahooooooo!!!  I am pumped that they are so pumped about division and are loving it so much!  I hope all of our math units can have this enthusiasm!  Next up: FRACTIONS!

Happy BIRTHDAY, TYLER!!!!!  We love you so much and hope your day is the special one that you deserve on Sunday!!!  And good luck at your basketball game on Saturday!  You and Blake behave riding in your limo...we want pictures!!!
Everyone have a terrific weekend and be ready for your SCIENCE FAIR on Monday!
Mrs. Thomas

Thursday, January 19, 2012


Happy Thursday all!  This week has gone by SUUUUUUPER fast!  Maybe we need a 3-day weekend EVERY weekend?!?  Wouldn't that be nice!  Ha! 

It was orchestra and QUEST day, so we were short on friends the ENTIRE class...thus, we have deemed Thursday in MY reading class as "push yourself project day"!  It worked very effectively because students finished up any group work they did not get to complete during groups in the week and were able to excel with the skills of focus at their own pace and in the order of their choice.  Our '4' board in the hallway looks immaculate!  It shines with student excellence!  YAY!  We are stepping it UP, UP, UP next week...I have sooooo much planned for us and not because I want to be mean, it is because these students CAN handle it and will handle it...they are just doing so well with our content and I could not be more thrilled with their outstanding success!  We will be using words from Lesson 7 in the "Working with Words" vocabulary series if you would like to go ahead and scope them out tonight and over the weekend in preparation for next week (www.wordlywise3000.com).
HOMEWORK: none in ANY of the 4 classes.

In mine AND Ms. Frederick's math classes, we worked on reviewing division. 
HOMEWORK: MY math class must finish the "Long Division" worksheet with the FISH on it tonight.  Ms. Frederick's MUST finish the sheet I gave them to complete: Division Practice (A).  Whether the students have division completely D-O-W-N or not, they should still be practicing DAILY to ensure mastery and that it is an instinct, not just something they "maybe" can do at the moment.  Just because John Wall clearly has down basketball, does NOT mean he doesn't need to practice so I will make sure we are practicing even after we move onto fractions next week.

Our time in the afternoon today was spent practicing our Science Fair projects!  Administration has requested that we allow the students to practice so we homeroom teachers can give them time to rehearse their presentation of projects before the actual Science Fair on Monday when the judges will be here. We will be setting up our displays...TOMORROW!!!!!!!! The students did so well and I am so, so proud of them!

REMINDER: IF you have NOT turned in your project and the last components of it, it was due...ALREADY.  Get it in ASAP (like, TOMORROW)...the Science Fair is MONDAY and is MANDATORY.  Good Job to all of you who presented today!  Use my feedback as some notes to help you with what to include when you are officially judged on Monday.

Have a terrific Thursday!
Mrs. Thomas

Wednesday, January 18, 2012


Happy Wednesday all, and HAPPY 10th BIRTHDAY TO OUR JOHN!!!  We love, love, LOOOOOOOVE you and hope you had a sensational day entering the land of double digits...ahhh!!!!

We are continuing our focus upon nonfiction text structures in chronological order (sequence).  To begin, we put the steps of making a peanut butter and jelly in order based on clues in the sentence strips.  After that, we had some fun with THIS WEBSITE.  While it did not use informational (nonfiction) texts to put in order, it still was fun practice with using clues found in a text to regroup a story in the order in which it happened.  Next, (ooooo...see that "LINKING WORD" used there to let you know we're moving on to what we did next?!?) we read an article about a woman named Mary Draper Ingles who had quite a tumultuous life during the colonial days of our country, before it was an actualy country and before Kentucky was even a state.  This text was beneficial to use because it was not obvious in the way that it was laid out because there were no dates used to show the order of events in which they occurred.  Students had to use background knowledge of linking words and common sense to piece together events of your life.
Mary Draper Ingles.
After whole group reading instruction, students were able to get into reading groups to practice with rotations and completing tasks emphasizing the skills at hand.  Students had to: create a timeline of events in Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s life or Abraham Lincoln's, write diary entries from the standpoint of Dr. King or President Lincoln, and create a "string of events" timeline based on one of these two men's lives as well.  They are getting great practice with rotations and are having a great time completing various projects emphasizing our skill of focus.  I have no doubt we will be ready to get in our real groups and begin with chapter books next week!
HOMEWORK: complete two diary entries from the standpoint of the person of your choice based on significant events in his life.  How did he feel?  What was going through his mind?

We continued our focus upon perfecting our skills in dividing!  The students are getting much better and just like yesterday, we practiced, and practiced, and practice some more!  Practice makes perfect :)
In Ms. Frederick's math class, students worked on doing multiplication and division word problems.  They had to practice with identifying the method to be used and what the problem was asking them to do. 
MS. FREDERICK'S MATH CLASS HOMEWORK IS: complete problems from Division worksheet (in boxes)

MRS. THOMAS'S MATH CLASS HOMEWORK: Complete the last 8 (EIGHT) problems from Division C worksheet from last night.  Students MUST have this completed...we have worked so, so, soooooo much on this concept and many are simply giving up.  Thus, I will NOT accept students coming in and saying "they don't get it" as they need to struggle and bit and work through any issues - at this point, it will only HELP them to try and figure their way out of a situation in which they might be struggling.

Ms. Frederick had a unit test over matter for the students to take so we did not switch classes to give them adequate time for completion.
HOMEWORK: none - they had a test!

I as I mentioned before, we did not switch for writing to give the students adequate time for test completion over their matter unit!  I love seeing how well they do in Science on tests and with their vast knowledge...it's so fun!  I miss teaching Science :(
HOMEWORK: none, but please make sure you're finished with your haunted house vivid descriptions

Have you turned your report card envelope back in to me?  It MUST be signed and returned BY THIS FRIDAY!  Also, did YOU turn in your Science Fair project and board today?!?  It was due!  If not, it MUST BE TURNED IN BY TOMORROW!!!!!!!

Again, John...we LOVE you and hope you have a sensational time bowling tonight and celebrating your birthday!

For the rest of you, have a terrific night!  You make me smile every single day!
Mrs. Thomas

Tuesday, January 17, 2012


Sorry to be late...the internet at school shut down...AGAIN.  Story of our lives.  Seriously.  Anyway, I'm writing to you from home, but better late than never!  Here is how our day went...

Hello everyone!  I hope you had a tremendous long weekend with your loved ones!  It certainly is nice having an extra day to spend time with the people you love!  It is even nicer to do it in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., a man that was so brave, so honorable, and so charismatic to stand up to others for liberty and justice to all...the founding principle of our nation.  Without his inspirational speeches and movements, Civil Rights would not have made the impact that it did. 

We introduced our skill of focus for this week which is understanding informational text structures, with specific focus upon chronological order.  Chronological order, also referred to as SEQUENCE, is important for us as readers so that we may better understand the procedures needed to carry out a task or event or understand the relevance of significant events in history, a person's life, events, or various other things.  We read a biography text about Dr. MLK Jr. and President Abraham Lincoln.  Students got to use these texts to create timelines online and recreate text strips in sequential order.  To introduce the skill, we watched THIS video and engaged in the coinciding activity...it is way gross, but also way interesting and WAY fun!  Try it!!!
HOMEWORK: Since it is a short week, there will be NO vocabulary words.  We will be finishing up our poetry centers.  There is NO other homework this evening!  Other reading classes do not have it either.

We are back to reviewing the steps needed to complete a division equation.  Prior to completing EACH problem, I have the students list an acronym of the steps in order to help track their method for completion: DIVIDE, MULTIPLY, SUBTRACT, BRING-DOWN, REPEAT.  Over and over and over again!  We have GOT to get this skill
HOMEWORK: MY Math class has the first FOUR problems on the Division Worksheet C to complete for practice.  Other math classes have no homework.

Ms. Frederick worked with the students on physical and chemical changes of matter.
HOMEWORK: none - HOWEVER, have YOU finished your Science Fair project board?!?  It's due TOMORROW!

We are working on adding vivid language to describe a situation or an object which helps our readers get a better image in their minds of what we are trying to describe.
HOMEWORK: Students MUST have their haunted house descriptions finished by writing tomorrow.

Have a tremendous evening, folks!
Remember, your Science board is due BY TOMORROW!
Mrs. Thomas

Friday, January 13, 2012


Ahhhhh....it's Friday the 13th!!!  And we had some luck (you can determine bad or good, based on your own opinion) with our one-hour delay this morning!  I must admit, it is difficult trudging to school when virtually every other county in the state is out, but I am glad we are here because I get to see my babes that brighten any day! 

Since we had an hour deducted off of our day, we spent our 2 hours in the morning in Reading.  First, we transitioned for a half an hour to review poetry concepts while I administered the Vocabulary test to my reading class.  Then, we came back to homerooms to take our final assessment over poetry and figurative languages.

Students got to work with the items they brought in for changes with Ms. Frederick.

Instead of writing today, I worked with both classes on math.  Mnay students reviewed multiplication while the others worked on division.

We do NOT have school on Monday, January 16th.  Enjoy your 3-day weekend!

Science Fair components of projects are due IMMEDIATELY.  I have a list of several students who are missing items, especially from this week's assignment which was the "Data Analysis, Results, and Conclusion" piece.  These must be turned in BY Tuesday if they were not turned in today.

Have a terrific 3-day weekend!
Mrs. Thomas

Thursday, January 12, 2012


Hello all and Happy Thursday!  Tomorrow is FRiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiDAAAAAY!  YAY!  I do not know about you, but I thought that this week seemed long, long, looooonnnnng.  REMINDER: We DO NOT have school on MONDAY, JANUARY 16, 2012 in honor of Martin Luther King Junior celebrations.

We completed our reading centers from yesterday and went over our skills from poetry this week.  I am sorry about the assignment from homework last night.  I did not see on the instructions where the students needed word lists from weeks past and had I seen it, I surely would not have assigned it!  I am so sorry for any of your struggles or worries!  Please know that while I expect homework to be complete, I understand it's not always easy without me here to help, so I am happy to help a student who may struggle.  Thus, if you get stuck on something at home, please pleeeeeeeease do not get upset or worried; simply put a star by the questions or problems and send it into me with your student for the following morning and we will go over it!  I definitely do not want homework to be a frustrating issue and LOVE, LOVE, LOOOOOOVE to see the initiative of students who ask for help...it shows care and a drive to succeed and thus, I am happy to help!
HOMEWORK: please complete the Lesson 6 sheet sent home in Take-Home folders today AND study words for first vocabulary test TOMORROW!

Mrs. Plummer came in to teach math today in MY math class because I had to head to a quick appointment.  She left a list of good behavior and I am happy to report that almost every single person made the list!  YAY!  Ms. Frederick's math class reviewed division, while mine: 3-digit by 2-digit multiplication.
HOMEWORK: none in mine OR Ms. Frederick's math classes!

Ms. Frederick worked with the students on chemical and physical changes of matter. 
HOMEWORK: ALL students MUST bring in something that you will be able to change chemically OR physically.
ALSO, Many, many students have not turned in the portion of the Science Fair assignment that was due ON TUESDAY!  This is the "Data Results, Analysis, and Conclusion" sheet/ portion of the experiment.  Please get those to Mrs. Edwards BY TOMORROW.  NO EXCEPTIONS.

We are continuing to work on the prewriting stage of organizing our main idea and supporting details.

Be sure to tune in to the news this evening and tomorrow morning.  We are under a winter weather advisory and roads and travel conditions may be unsafe or hazardous.  Unless you see a report that we are closed, just come on in to school!  You know the drill ;)  Is it going to be our very first snow day of this school year?!?  I guess we'll have to wait and see...mother nature is a tricky little lady!

I again want to thank all my students for their care and concern today...you all are so sweet and I love you greatly!  Baby Jack sure is loved!
Mrs. Thomas

Wednesday, January 11, 2012


EEEEEEEEKK!!!  I forgot to post yesterday...ahhhh!!!  It was a hectic afternoon and I simply and completely forgot to touch base with all of you about our day...I am so, so sorry!  I really hate when something this important slips my mind because it is my duty as an educator to keep you informed of our happenings in the classroom from subject to subject and from day to day.  As always, if you have questions about homework or our anything going on around 4th grade or room 105 and they cannot be answered from the blog, please email me.  My school email is hooked up through my phone so I see them as soon as I get them (as long as I'm still awake!)...I always want our lines of communication to stay open!

With that said, let's get into our day today...

students reviewed all types of figurative languages from our focus for the past week (similes, metaphors, onomatopoeia, personification, and alliteration).  They redid the "Alien" activity independently and traded with a partner.  Next, they got into 5 groups and went through poetry stations: 1) Poetry Response: read and respond to a poem; 2) Alliteration: look for words in magazines with same beginning sounds to paste on paper.  Create a poem using these words; 3) read through poems and find examples of similes and metaphors - write examples on page; 4) personify something around the room and create a silly poem; and 5) Onomatopoeia Activity Menu: choose one activity to create onomatopoeia.  We had a GREAT time!  Poetry is so fun!
P.S. I sent a letter home today about myself and how Reading instruction runs in my classroom.  Please take time to read over it and please contact me should you have any questions or concerns!
HOMEWORK: Complete Exercise 3: "Applying Meanings" and Exercise 4: "Word Study" for vocabulary words tonight.  Remember, for additional practice and interactive games and emphasis, visit: www.wordlywise3000.com

**Last night, homework was Exercises 3&4 and complete ONE activity from the "Think-Tac-Toe" activity bank.

our WOW! Words (this week's BONUS vocab) are:

We are continuing to review multi-digit multiplication because the students are having extreme difficulties with mastery of basic math facts which then is a snowball effect because they cannot complete the process when adding additional digits.  Please continue working with your student at home on this.  We are past the point of it just being a minor concern...it is now a MAJOR concern.
HOMEWORK: Students have a paper of multiplication problems we worked on in class, folded in half - they must complete the bottom half of SIDE A (18 problems).

Yesterday, Ms. Frederick had the students working on a condensation experiment/ activity with Lemonade to enhance their focus upon states of matter (they even got to drink it when they were done!).  Today, the students read about chemical and physical changes. 
HOMEWORK: bring something in that you can change through a physical change or a checmical change, but be ready to identify which.  Bottom line: bring in SOMETHING!

The students are learning what it means to have linking words and how they connect two thoughts in writing.  Many know these as transition words with examples such as first, next, last, second, furthermore, after that, afterall, therefore, then, finally, last but not least, eventually, etc.  We practiced with these by adding them to our 4-square organizers we've been learning about and using this week as we are in the developing stages of writing.

Data Results and Conclusion segment for Science Fair projects were due TODAY
Mrs. Edwards is collecting money for Science Fair boards (cost is $3.00)
our first VOCABULARY test (in MY reading class ONLY) is this Friday, January 13th

Have a wonderful Wednesday evening!
Mrs. Thomas

Monday, January 9, 2012


Okay, so we have our FLEX groups MADE...ta-DA, TA-DA!!!  YAAAAAYAYAYAY!!!!  We are so thrilled to be getting into some normalcy and ending the chaos that ensued this past week.  Believe me, it was nuts!  But today, we practiced switching and practiced switching and then practiced again and again and again!  They were so bored with it by the time we were through with all the practicing but do you know what?  They have got. it. DOWNNNNN!!!  There will be NO worries and NO chaos tomorrow...sweet goodness!!!

We practiced our new rotations...going from homeroom to reading and then from reading to math and then from math to homeroom and back allllll over again.  Repeat process. 

We are going back to practice with 2-digit by 2-digit multiplication.  Students are still struggling with this concept and the main reason is THEY DO NOT KNOW THEIR BASIC FACTS.  Please, please, pleeeeeease practice them at home, on the way to practice or the grocery, in the car, while making dinner, in the bath, etc.!
HOMEWORK: complete 2-digit by 2-digit sheet

Ms. Frederick had the students work on liquids, gases, and solids and did experiments with balloons, a globe, a ball, and air freshner to observe moving particles.

We are working on adding details to support topics and the main idea of a writing piece.
HOMEWORK: complete 4-square organizer (opposite side from class) about "My favorite thing to do is..."

Have a Magnificent Monday!
Mrs. Thomas

Friday, January 6, 2012


Well my friends, you did not disappoint...I've had a GREAT birthday today!  The kiddos have been so sweet and so kind and have been so thoughtful and caring for an old gal's special day :)  I got homemade brownies (Thanks, Emilee...they are DELICIOUS!), an outfit for Jack (Thank you, Ashley - sooo cute and sooo thoughtful!), several cards (Thank you, Quayveon...it is obvious you took so much time and the two you made are magnificent! And thank you class for putting others together for me!), a box of cereal and a guardian angel (Thanks, Lawrence - you know me too well...cereal?  Genius!), and much more from our fun, fabulous friends!  Thank you so much, everyone for making me have an excellent birthday!

We did not do the 4-way FLEX grouping switch today because of some kinks we need to iron out.  It has been a bit chaotic so we are grateful for your flexibility and patience!  We will get this figured out for the best of our students so that they may continue to reach optimal success!
Today, we focused upon 2 more parts of speech within the figurative languages: onomatopoeia and alliteration...which are so, so fun! 
·       Onomatopoeia is the “popcorn” of the writing world, as it is the sound words.  If used to recreate specific sounds or moods, these fun-to-read words can give your stories, poems, or plays just the right “zing!”
To practice with this, we first visited THIS activity. Then, we created onomatopoeia of our own. 
After onomatopoeia, we learned about alliteration... 
·      Alliteration is the repetition of initial consonant sound in two or more neighboring words or syllables…you might call then, tongue twisters! 

·     But what’s the purpose of alliteration?  The purpose of alliteration is to create a consistent pattern that catches the mind's eye and focuses attention. 

·    Alliteration makes the reader read faster, thereby adding a sense of speed and intensity to the sentence.  Alliterative poems tend to be tongue twisters. They are written for the fun they bring when they are read!  (Example: She sells seashells by the seashore!)

·   And finally, proper alliteration is NOT a repetition of letters; it is a repetition of sound…for example, ‘never’ and ‘knight’ alliterate because they begin with the same consonant sound, BUT even though ‘tin’ and ‘thank’ begin with the same letter, they do not alliterate because they don’t begin with the same consonant sound.
 To practice with this, we created our own alliteration...and it was SILLLLLLY!  So fun!

Our next unit is over Fractions, so in order to get an understanding of what the students already know about them, I had them take a pretest this morning.  Not much to my surprise but much to my delight...these students already know A LOT about fractions!  Awesome!  I told them that they're making me work more because I have to plan harder stuff to do which is an awesome dilemma to be in! 

PM activities:
we had our assembly to perform the dance we learned with the "Artist in Residence" yesterday!  The students did absolutely wonderful and it was so much fun watching them and all the other classes!  Here are some pics from the assembly:

I hope you have a tremendous weekend and thank you so much for making my day so, so special!  You are THE BEST!
I love all of you sooo sooooo sooooo much and thank YOU for loving me!
Mrs. Thomas

Thursday, January 5, 2012


This week is picking up some momentum it seems!  I guess since it was our first week back, I was feeling that it was going a bit slow and now, it's almost over...crazy!  We had an adjusted schedule yet again today because of an "Artist in Residence" (visiting artist) come to work with us on a colonial era dance.  She worked with each of the 4th grade classes, one hour at a time...so we were not able to complete our flex grouping schedule for today.  Thus, I kept our homeroom...which I love because I get to spend all day with my beeebees!  We had one hour of reading instruction before heading to the gym.

Our reading concept of focus for today was personfication which is another part of speech within the figurative language concept. 
·       FIGURATIVE LANGUAGE: Figurative language is a word or phrase that departs from everyday literal language for the sake of comparison, emphasis, clarity, or freshness.  Metaphor and simile are the two most commonly used figures of speech in figurative language (which we practiced yesterday), but things like hyperboles, onomatopoeia, alliteration, and personification are also figures of speech in this concept of poetic devices and language.

·       Like I said before, today, we were focusing on personification - Personification is giving human traits (qualities, feelings, action, or characteristics) to non-living objects (things, colors, qualities, or ideas). For example: The window winked at me. The verb, wink, is a human action. A window is a non-living object.

To first practice with this concept, we watched THIS CLIP of "Mater" from the movie, Cars 2 and discussed how Mater was acting like a human (getting bathroom signs and another language mixed up, using the restroom, talking, joking, screaming, rushing to the restroom because of an "accident" etc.).

Next, each student had a different picture book where they read the story and noted places where characters were given human characteristics.

Finally, we read three poems and discussed the personification used by the author in the poem and what the author intended for us to feel about a topic based on his usage of this part of figurative language. 
HOMEWORK: Read the poem, "Brothers" and complete the poetry response guide on the back!
ALSO: if you had homework from YOUR reading class last night, BE SURE to have it ready for her tomorrow when you transition to that class!  My reading class did NOT, but all others DID. 
A woman, Jennifer Rose, came with her two daughters to teach us about dance traditions in the colonial period when Kentucky was not a state, but was part of Virginia which was the largest territory of the time in the earlier days.  Tomorrow, our class as well as the other 3 4th grade classes and all 4 5th grade classes will be performing this dance for the entire school!  We really had a great time learning about the tradition, culture, and history of our ancestors' past.

We worked on finding logical reasons to support a main idea of a piece.  We are really trying to focus in on identifying ONE main topic of focus for a writing piece and using adequate subtopics within it and details to support it.  There will not be much homework dealing with writing pieces, but WE WILL HAVE GRAMMAR homework often!  Grammar practice will resume with our new normal schedule next week!
HOMEWORK: none...yet!

Ms. Frederick is working with the students on their new unit of states and properties of matter.

Here is our NEW schedule for the remainder of the year:
7:15 - 7:45 Morning Routine (Breakfast, Flashbacks, etc.)
           7:45 Morning NEWS and Announcements
7:45 - 8:00 Calendar Math
8:00 - 10:00 FLEX grouped Reading
10:00 - 10:55 FLEX grouped Math
10:55 - 11:55 SPECIALS
11:55 - 12:25 D.E.A.R. and Recess
12:30 - 12:55 LUNCH
1:00 - 1:40 - SCIENCE (w/ Ms. Frederick)
1:40 - 2:20 WRITING (w/ Mrs. Thomas)
2:20 - 2:30 Closure
2:30 - 2:35 Pack-up

Have a TERRIFIC night!
Mrs. Thomas

Wednesday, January 4, 2012


Happy half day of the work week everyone!  I hope this Wednesday finds you warmer and wonderful!  We have been working up a storm here in room 105!  Today, we got into content in our flex groupings for reading and math and are having a great time!

We began my favorite unit of study for teaching AND for the students to learn because they end up enjoying it so much: POETRY!  We are learning how to read poems and understand them.  Poetry is used to evoke feelings and images for readers, so we are learning about figurative languages used that help us do this.  Today, we focused upon similes and metaphors which compare objects to something else.  Using these forms of figurative language in our poems can help readers to envision exactly what the author intends for us to see through detailed descriptions, and thus understanding the feeling and emotion of the poem at hand.  A simile compares two things using the words, 'like' or 'as' (Example: Her blonde hair is as bright as the sun. -or- His legs are long like a giraffe's).  Metaphors compare objects that may not seem similar (Example: The snow is a blanket over my front yard. -or- The sea is a hungry lion, thrashing himself on the shore). 

To practice with this, we played a game entitled, "the Alien Explorers' Chinese Whisper Game".  I first asked the students to brainstorm a list of nouns.  Then, I gave them a sheet and assigned them an alien (a furp, a bling, a dap, or a grom) and they were to plug in their brainstormed nouns next to the adjectives listed on the organizer to create similes (for example, some said: as tall as, smells like, looks like, or as smart as, etc.).  THEN, students in the group had to draw an example of what they were envisioning with their alien.  FINALLY, we traded descriptions with another group and they drew the picture they saw from the similes and compared it to the group's original picture.  It was awesome that all pictures basically matched up!  It was way fun!  Here are some pictures of the students in action with this activity:

After our activity with the aliens, we next practiced distinguishing between similes and metaphors using a PowerPoint game/ activity.  We also read a simile Reader's Theater play, and a metaphor Reader's Theater play, and then completed some independent practice before transitioning to math.
HOMEWORK: NONE tonight because we finished it in class!  WaaaaHOOOOO!!!

Today was also our first day to flex group for math as well.  Many students did not have to transition and simply stayed here with me.  We are working on reviewing Long Division but it was quickly brought to my attention that students from two other classes were not taught long division before break.  Ahhhh!  We'll have to backtrack and learn more long division before moving on to fractions (which I had planned to do by next week).

Today was also the first day for us to have writing in the afternoons...separate from reading!  Students began learning how brainstorm with writing and finding subtopics that coincide with a main idea.

This was also our first day with Science in the afternoon!  Ms. Frederick came to teach us about matter and properties of matter (solids, liquids, and gases).

Be prepared to increase our load of homework by next week!  We are in the second semester and things are really going to pick up!

Happy Birthday, Amaan...we LOVE you!!
And I LOVE YOU and ALLLL my sweeties!!

Mrs. Thomas