Thursday, August 30, 2012


Today, we had a great day because TERRI CAME BACK!!!  Yay!!!  We were absolutely THRILLED to have her back, even if it was just for a little while.  We sure did miss her!

We worked on using "rounding mountains" to help us in our rounding.  It was really fun!  Ask your student about this :)
We are getting so much better at it...whooooo hooooo!

Students are reading "Alexander who used to be rich last Sunday".  They practiced identifying the problems and solutions in the story to aid in their comprehension.

We continued the skills from reading class.

NO SCHOOL - Monday, September 3, 2012.

Have a tremendous night!
Mrs. Thomas

Guest Blogger: Bob - Home with Chloe

I had a great time with Chloe!  We had a yummy supper. Me and Chloe went to her gymnastics class.  Chloe's mom is nice, but her brother is crazy!  Me and Chloe got to go to Abigail's house! We also got to listen to music. Chloe is going next week to try out to do a character named Candie!  Me and Chloe jumped on Chloe's best friend's trampoline!  Chloe's dad was playing with me and Chloe.  We went to bed in Chloe's cozy bed!  Today, me and Chloe woke up, brushed our teeth, and went to school!

Hootie Hoooooo!

Guest Blogger: Harvey - "My time with Julia"

Today, I met Julia and her aunts! They're really nice. We played games all night long. It was fun.  She took me to her pretend restaurant!  It was delicious!  She fixed me chips for an appetizer and pizza for the main meal and an ice cream surprise dessert and a thank-you goodie bag!   

Today, I tried  an M&M was amazing!  I also tried taking over the world with a was fun. I won.  HAHA, World!  I want to come home with Julia again.

Hoot, Hoot!

Wednesday, August 29, 2012


Happy Wednesday, Gents and Judies!

Today, we were much better with our respectuful behavior which was a much sweeter sound in our classroom!  We are working on staying in our seats and on task and not jumping up and coming to my desk whenever any thought pops in our minds.  I appreciate the students' enthusiasm, but it is difficult getting anything done with the constant interruptions and distractions.

We continued working on rounding numbers and identifying skills in helping us do so. 

Students are reading, "Alexander who used to be rich last Sunday" with Mr. Featherston and are identifying the elements of fiction within the story.
HOMEWORK: none - except, reading logs!

Today, students FINALLY got to go to their reading groups and well, it was awesome!!!  I had a blast with mine and cannot wait to get things going with chapter books and book clubs!
HOMEWORK: READING MINUTES (record on reading log)

Have a wonderful Wednesday night!
I love my sweet babies!
Mrs. Thomas

Tuesday, August 28, 2012


Hello all and Happy Tuesday! 
Today, we had a bit of a rough day with excessive talking so we will really be working on getting this under control.  Also, we discussed the importance of always putting forth our very best effort and never giving up on something that may seem difficult.  Persistence is incredibly important. 

We began working on rouding.  This proved quite difficult for the students so we will need MUCH additional practice.  We are learning how to round to the nearest tens, hundreds, and will eventually move onto thousands.  When rounding to the nearest tens, hundreds, or thousands, you first locate the place-value that is to be rounded.  Then, you underline it and look at the number directly to the right of it as this number is what determines the rounding destination of the rounding value.  If the number directly to the right of the number that is to be rounded is 4 or below, the number to be rounded stays the same and all number AFTER it become a ZERO.  If the number directly to the right of the number that is to be rounded is 5 or above, the number to be rounded is "bumped" up by ONE. 
For example, 543 rounded to the nearest tens is 540 because the 3 is directly to the right of the 4 and is 4 or below.  Notice how any number after the rounded digit becomes a zero. 
543 rounded to the nearest hundreds is 500.  This is because the 4 in the tens place is directly to the right of the 5 in the hundreds place and is 4 or below, so the 5 stays the same.  Again, notice how all numbers to the right of the rounded number (5) become zeros.
HOMEWORK: complete "WORKSHEET 4: ROUNDING PACKET" AND the "Let's Practice! Mental Math" packet.  These are DUE BY TOMORROW! 

With Mr. Featherston, students are working on sequencing events of a story, as well as identifying the various literary elements (aka elements of fiction or story elements) which are setting, characters, plot, problem, solution, climax, etc.
HOMEWORK: Read, "Alexander" story (pages 76-81).  Also, Reading Logs: 20 minutes minimum!

I would very much appreciate a parent volunteer to come in one or two days a week and assist in making copies and helping with various tasks in the classroom.  Is anyone interested or available?!?  Our class would be so, so grateful as any assistance is wonderful to us!  Please let me know if you are able and willing.  Thank you!  Again, my email is:

Spelling Test is Friday, August 31st
Homework packets are due by August 31st
Packet sign sheets are due by August 31st
Picture Day is Spetember 26th

Have a terrific Tuesday evening!
Mrs. Thomas

Tomorrow, we get to welcome back TERRI!!!!  We are so, so excited to have her back with us!

Monday, August 27, 2012


Hello all and HAPPY MONDAY!  I hope I am finding you well and wonderful after a great weekend.  Mine was surely fabulous and Mr. Thomas, Baby Jack, and I had fun spending time in the sunshine and by the pool!  Not too much of the warm summer sunshine left so we are going to enjoy every last bit of it and I hope you do the same!

We had a marvelous Monday!

We continued working on strategies for adding and subtracting mentally. 

Students are working on sequencing events of a story and different genres of fiction like fabels.
HOMEWORK: reading log 20 min.

Don't forget that your homework packets are due THIS Friday, August 31st.
Spelling tests are THIS Friday as well!

Our WOW! Words for this week are:

Have a magnificent Monday evening!
Mrs. Thomas

P.S., I FINALLY have school email: it's (yes, Susan is my first name and I go by Abby which is my middle name...I have to use the legal first name for email)

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Catching up

Okay, so we're back on with the blogging!  I am so, so, soooooo very, very sorry to not have updated this week!  I usually like to update every single day, but that is kind of hard with not having a computer set up at school yet...and then when I get home, I completely forget in the chaos that is having a 4 month old!  I now have a computer set up in our classroom and am hoping to get all the settings worked out and everything set up and adjusted accordingly.  Thus, you should get your daily blog posts each day this week!

I can't tell you how much I LOOOOOOVE hearing that the students are checking in on the blog and visiting after makes my week!  So YAAAAY for them being on the ball!  Now, if their dear old teach could just catch up...
this is Harvey, our class owl.  Be checking back weekly as he goes home with each of our students and writes about his travels here on our 'OWL'standing blog!
and this is Bob.  Bob is a very, VERY well traveled owl and has gone home and on vacation with many a student.  He may be journeying home with friends in our class as well so be looking for more updates of his travels too!  We just need to be very careful with him as where he IS very well traveled, he's a wee-bit worn and tattered and replacing him is impossible as his brand has "retired" him.  Bob is quite the special guy!
We had a TERRIFIC day on Friday and I am absolutely loving our class!  We have such sweeties!  Our students now switch to Mr. Featherston for reading while I teach his class math so I will do my best to ensure I stay on it with what we're working on in there.

We started working on our new unit which is estimation, rounding, and mental math.  Yesterday, we focused upon mental math, learning that that entails completing math in our minds, without having to use paper.  As 3rd graders, we have to learn the processes for completing this math in our head so we began practicing them yesterday.
We learned the strategy of making the numbers we are adding into smaller numbers easier to add with another through number bonds.  For example, in 56 + 33, we turn 56 into 50 + 6 and 33 into 30 + 3.  Then, we add the numbers with 0 on the ends together (50 + 30 = 80) and then the numbers in the ones places (3 + 6 = 9).  Finally, we add the two sums together: 80 + 9 = 89.  While it may sound complicated, the students are learning ways to break down equations and make completing them mentally much easier.
Here are some examples used in class:
the circular models are the number bonds

HOMEWORK: none, except packet due next Friday (Aug. 31st)

PM activities:
We had our first LUNCH BUNCH!  Lunch Bunch is an incentive for students in meeting expectations through the week (getting planner signed each night, completing homework, not talking when teacher is talking, etc.) and those who do not get 3 strikes against them may each lunch in the room while watching a movie.  We had a GREAT time!!!
We had our very first class meeting and WOW! is all I can say!  We have some sweet, sweet kiddos!  I just love my fantastic babes!  I feel that establishing a sense of community is essential for creating an atmosphere where the students feel supported and comfortable to learn in a safe, nurturing environment.  In these class meetings, students write at least one concern for the class (may not use names or specifics and must be a situation that concerned the class as a whole), and at least one compliment in which they may use names AND specifics.  I cannot tell you how genuine, kind, and thoughtful our compliments for each other were.  It was so sensational hearing all of the amazing things that friends were saying to classmates.  Needless to say, it was a tremendous class meeting and I cannot wait for another next Friday!

Finally, I need to give a shout-out to Chloe, Griffin, and Caleb for getting 100% A+s on their math tests this past week!  Go guys, we are so, so PROUD of YOU!!!
Hoot hoot hooray
In order to get half credit back on your math test grade, you MUST complete the wrong answer analysis and have it signed by an adult at home.  Without these requirements completed, your grade is as currently stands.
Homework packet was passed out yesterday and is due by NEXT Friday, August 31st.
All sign sheets MUST be returned by Friday, August 31st.
Our next spelling test is Friday, August 31st.
There is NO school Monday, September 3rd, 2012 in observance of Labor Day
Picture Day is September 26th

With kiddos like these, how could you NOT L-O-V-E Garth?!?
I LOVE her style!  And apparently, so do many of our classmates...she got tons of shout-outs in our Class Meeting!

sweet, sweet girlies!
I love all my sweet babes and hope you're having a fantabulous weekend!  I miss you already!
Mrs. Thomas
Bombs away

Monday, August 20, 2012

Our first day together 8.20.12

I knew today would be good, but I didn't anticipate that it'd be so great!  You guys are AMAZING and I am 100% crazy about you ALREADY!!!  I am over the moon thrilled with our class and know that we are going to have a magnificent year!

Here's how today went - we...

  1. reviewed expectations and created class rules (ask your student about them AND our hand signals)
  2. created a "thing" for getting in our listening pose (ask your student about his/ her listening pose AND what we do to get in it!)
  3. designed very creative owls for decor around the room (they're "OWL"standing!)
  4. read two of Mrs. Thomas's favorite books: Stand Tall Molly Lou Melon and Click, Clack, Moo: Cows that Type.
  5. Had a class meeting.
  6. introduced "HOMEWORKOPOLY".  Ask your student about's waaaaay cool!
  7. Did some MATH:

We reviewed place value and practice arranged given digits in various ways according to directions.  We most definitely need some additional practice with subtracting and remembering to borrow.

Also, we DO have HOMEWORK:
SPELLING: Complete sheet (this is due by tomorrow)
ADDITIONAL NOTE: In spelling, I add 5 additional words each week - these are called our WOW! Words.  They are strictly bonus and do NOT count against a student for missing them - they only HELP the student.  Each WOW! Word is worth 2points so a student has the potential to earn 110% on a spelling test.  IF a student earns a 100% or above on the test, he/she will receive a "Homework Pass" to be used on a future assignment.
Our WOW! Words for this week are:

There will be more to tell as we pick up our studies and get going with our routines in our schedule and content areas.  I do NOT have Scott County email set up just yet so if you need to get in contact with me, you can reach me at:

I think this is going to be a SENSATIONAL year and I already adore everything about Garth and your student!
Mrs. Thomas

Wednesday, August 15, 2012


Hello all and WELCOME to your daily source of news and happenings within our classroom!  I hope you make it a part of your routine to check in here each night after school because this is how I communicate with YOU about OUR day so you can feel as if you are a part of it too (or students, to refresh your memory or explain those things you just can't seem to verbalize!).  Each day, I explain what we did in each subject and then note our homework assignments and any other announcements or information in which you need to be aware.  If something is homework, I will highlight it in yellow.  I look forward to getting to know each of you!

this is ME in 3rd grade!  That's my friend, Cole, with me.  We are still friends TODAY! (he was even in my wedding!)
In the meantime, here is a little bit about me... a person:
I grew up in Winchester (Clark County - where Ale-8 is made) and attended George Rogers Clark High School (GRC); the same high school my mother, my 3 aunts, my grandfather, my brother, and sister attended, as well as where my father taught!  I then attended Western Kentucky University with a major in pre-medicine, but graduated with a Bachelor's of Science in Elementary Education.  Upon graduating, I moved to Louisville and got a job teaching 4th grade in Shelby County.  My husband, Brad, and I got married the summer after my first year of teaching after many, many years together (we were college sweethearts!).  After marrying, I continued to teach in Shelby County before moving back to Lexington and teaching in Fayette County's public schools for 3 years.  In April 2012, we were blessed with the birth of our precious baby boy, Jack Robert (whom is lovingly referred to as "Jackrabbit" or "Baby Jack") and to say he is AMAZING is a significant understatement!  Much to Mr. Andes' dismay, we are DIE-HARD UK fans (Jack was born within 12 hours of us winning the 8th National Title!!!!) and enjoy tailgating or going to football and basketball games as. much. as. possible.  Some interests of mine (besides having the BEST job in the world) include spending time with my adorable Jackbaby, family, and friends; photography; cooking; spending time in the sunshine; swimming; shopping; painting; creating; vintage; and OWLS (as you may have noticed!).

Mr. Thomas and me at the beach last summer

here's our Jackrabbit!  (I call him "Toots" mostly...tee-hee!)

this is JUST for Mr. Andes :)

happiest. baby. alive.  Seriously.

Mr. Thomas and me on vacation
just something I painted for my students last year.  I LOVE to paint!
I already just absolutely adore it and am so, so, soooooooooo excited to be at Garth!!! a teacher:
For the past 5 years, I have been teaching 3rd and 4th grades in Shelby and Fayette County's districts. Teaching is my passion. It is my heart. It is my soul and it is something that has been ingrained within me since adolescence. Both my parents and both of my maternal grandparents were educators, so one could probably say it's programmed into my DNA; it's in my blood and it runs deep, very deep. To me, they are my heroes, education superstars who always taught me the values of education. Because of them, I had a love of reading and writing from an early age and developed an unquenchable desire for learning, as well as a great interest in "thinking outside of the box" where I can fully express my creative personality. I have always known that I want to work with children in some capacity, but never anticipated how rewarding and completely fulfilling it could actually be. I love helping each student develop a firm foundation of knowledge and the same love of learning that I've always held near in order to capitalize on his/her individual strengths and learning styles. I have high expectations for all students and feel that I provide the support necessary for them to achieve within a nurturing environment that promotes respect, responsibility, and a positive attitude. I've even made it my own personal education philosophy to continue to think and rethink, enabling myself to constantly create new visions that will hopefully stimulate students' imaginations, create a community of learners, celebrate teaching that ensures transgressions, and enhances the optimization of the growing mind. After these past several years as an educator, one of the most rewarding experiences I have encountered within the classroom is simply seeing students' eyes light up. To see my students of all abilities grasp the concepts we are working on, encourages me to continue to challenge them above and beyond with the content at hand. Solidifying a community of learners that creates new visions and stimulates imaginations to maximize upon greatest potentials is my idea of success!  I can't wait to experience success with your student!

Together, we can make learning so, so FUN!