Tuesday, September 30, 2014

9.30.14 - Day THIRTY-THREE

Resource Day, friends!  Fastest. day. ever.  No, seriously!  They come in and poof, they're off to resource and poof, it's over!

  • Please send in donations for the Monarch Mile.  See the very bottom of this post for lots of news and insight about this first ever event for SMA!
  • Homecoming is NEXT week with our parade for fall sports and Fall Festival being next Friday evening.
  • Parent-Teacher Conferences are tomorrow (Wed. 10/1) afternoon/ evening and Thursday morning from 8AM-11:30 AM.  I look forward to meeting with each of you!  Please make sure to come with a copy of your child's grades in order to move through our discussion more fluidly and efficiently.   
  • TO MRS. SCHLEG'S FAMILIES: I am so, so sorry that I am unable to meet with each of you!  I know many of you wish to speak to me, but unfortunately, there is no way that I can meet with all 60 of our parents.  If you have specific concerns you would like to discuss, then please contact me to possibly set up an outside conference at a later date than the next 2 days or the week after this one (any availability for next week has been booked already too!).  Your concerns and insights are so very important to me and I am more than happy to talk some of these over with you, just please understand that it is impossible to accommodate everyone in this short window of time.  Please continually check Sycamore each Friday for your student's grades and contact me should you have comments, questions, or concerns. Your student's mastery of the concepts at hand is of utmost importance to me and together in partnership, we can accomplish many wonderful things towards achieving high levels of success.
  • MATH: So, here we are beginning multiplication and division and I've been assigning some review sheets... and I'm seeing that several of our students do not have their basic facts memorized.  Yikes.  These sweet babies understand the concepts of multiplication which is wonderful, but the basic facts are not there.  This is a sticky situation and a quite concerning one too, as every single bit of our focus and work from here depends on that foundation of knowledge.   If you are cognizant that your child is struggling and you are wondering what to do, the first thing I have to reiterate time and time again is that going over basic facts is not just something optional to do, it is a MUST be done situation.  We are past the point of options with that.  Sadly, we do not have time (or the paper) to do a daily timed test.  Repetition promotes fluency and I cannot memorize the facts for these kiddos.  They're going to have to continually work on the facts themselves.  I am aware that time is of the essence, but a quick run through of the facts at a stoplight, in line at the grocery, on the way home from practice or church, on the way to school, before bed, while getting dressed, during dessert, etc (the options are endless here as to where you can squeeze them in) can do wondrous things- even if not having them completely memorized, they are at least at the forefront of their minds.  I am just afraid (well, I know actually) that not having the basic facts knowledge is going to make your child slip further behind than necessary (and because of something that can be fixed quickly!).  It is just going to take a little bit of extra effort and practice at home.  
  • See the P.S. part at the bottom for some practice links and links to practice pages.  Please?!!!?
Okay, off my soapbox...

Assignment Reminders-
  1. Timelines for Reading are to be submitted on Edmodo by tomorrow.
  2. Literature Circle Roles are due by tomorrow during Reading time
  3. Multiplication Review packet is due during Math time tomorrow
  4. Vocabulary words with definitions on page 71 in Social Studies textbooks are due tomorrow.

I hope you have a terrific Tuesday evening!
Mrs. Thomas

P.S., 2-digit by 2-digit Multiplication game found HERE

I'm also linking my post from last Thursday (under MATH section) where I listed several practice sheets to print out and time yourself at home as well as numerous websites for skill review. PLEASE, please, PLEEEEEASE (pretty please, with sugar on top?!!!?) go to several of these!  Please?!?

Here are some important reminders about our First Annual Monarch Mile:
·         date 10/10/2014
·         time 10:00 a.m.
·         all welcome (no pets please)
·         donations due by 10/8 to be eligible for prizes
·         PK3 and PK 4 are invited to join us for the .7 walk
·         K - 2, 0.7 mile distance
·         Grades 3 - 8, 1.4 mile distance
·         route on school property
·         replaces magazine drive as primary fund raiser for PTO.  Over 95% of proceeds go directly to SMA!
·         funds used for the SMA music program
·         $20 to walk with t-shirt
·         $50 goal amount per student
·         250 house points for 100% house participation with donation
·         class with highest donation amount chooses music for the walk
·         individual with highest donation amount starts the walk
·         each $50 donation enters your student into the prize drawing

Also, as an extra incentive, if your child has brought in his/her donation for the Monarch Mile, he/she can wear Spirit Wear all next week with the uniform bottoms: skirts, pants, p.e. shorts, or p.e. sweatpants or p.e. track pants. If your children bring in the donation before or on Monday, they can also participate all week; if they bring it in on Tuesday, then they will have the rest of the week from the day they bring in the donation. Our goal is 100% participation!!! Thank you for your support of this new and healthy fundraiser for SMA!!

TOMORROW is Wednesday!!!
I like to give the students riddles in the mornings... see if you can figure these out.  If not, see if your student can help you (if they can remember!)

Q. If two’s company and three’s a crowd, what are four and five?

Q. If there are four apples and you take away three, how many do you have?

Q. Where do fish keep their money?

Q. Two fathers and two sons go fishing. Each of them catches one fish. So why do they bring home only three fish?

Q. I add five to nine, and get two. The answer is correct, but how?

Q. The ages of a father and son add up to 66. The father's age is the son's age reversed. How old could they be?

Q. What weighs more - a pound of iron or a pound of feathers?

Q. If a rooster laid 13 eggs and the farmer took eight of them and then another rooster laid 12 eggs and four of them were rotten, how many of the eggs were left?

Q. I am an odd number; take away an alphabet and I become even. What number am I?

Q. Using only addition, how can you add eight 8's to get the number 1,000?

Monday, September 29, 2014

9.29.14 - Day THIRTY-TWO

Happy Monday, to all my people!  I hope you enjoyed the truly beautiful weather this past weekend! I mean, WOWZA, have we gotten super lucky, or what?!?  I am LOVING all of the outdoor activity and play with my little man (well, all 2 1/2 boys, actually).

Learning Target: 1) I can identify the sequence of events in the pictures and dates on a timeline.  2) I can identify and use the signal language for sequencing.
We are learning about sequential/ chronological order in texts and sequencing the order of events/ activities in order to better comprehend and summarize what we read.  This is such an important real-life skill that requires much attention and practice as we build upon and advance our reading comprehension skills.
We first watched THIS VIDEO to engage in our content at hand and briefly discussed why completing steps in order is a necessary evil.  Albeit silly and short, this video quickly demonstrated that :)
Next, we discussed how our lives are in chronological order and discussed the sequence of our lives in our afternoons and evenings after school each day.  We went over timelines and how we can use them to put events in order and retell a story, using signal words such as next, then, before that, after that, first, last, second, etc.
We then looked at the steps for the mummification process from the ancient Egyptians using THIS SITE and then went through the process using this awesome MUMMY MAKER site --> it was so much fun, but sadly, Mrs. Thomas's class did not get Ramose to be recognized by his spirit and taken to a blissful afterlife.  Mrs. Schleg's class?  You did it!  You have made the ancient Egyptians proud!
Finally, we got into our reading groups and groups are making timelines of the happenings in their Literature Circle books, timelines of a story about Christopher Columbus from their Social Studies texts, and are reading about cicadas (putting their life cycles into chronological order as well, going by the signal words in the text).  Do you see those Social Studies, Science, and real-life tie-ins?!?  Cross-curricular people, cross-curricular :)  No, in all seriousness... like I said, this skill of sequencing is such a real-life connection that if we did not tie it in to other content/ subject areas, I'd be doing a HUGE disservice to our understanding and comprehension of the tasks at hand!
HOMEWORK: Timeline assignment on Edmodo (due Wednesday- I also linked it here, but turn it in on Edmodo).

We are reviewing concepts of multiplication skills as this is our next unit.  So far, we are simply reviewing skills that should've been mastered in 3rd and 4th grades, but I am seeing some students who do NOT have their basic facts memorized!!!!  ummm...Yiiiiiikes is all I have to say about that and these students need to work diligently to memorize these basic facts or they are in for a serious, serious world of hurting and struggle as we navigate through much more advanced processes built upon these skills.

One of the concepts we reviewed was patterns in multiplication with zeros.  I call it the "exit buddy" strategy- however many zeros are in the beginning factors (multipliers) is how many should be in the product.  We start with a basic fact like 8 x 6 = 48.  In knowing that, if we slap on several zeros, then we should still be able to correctly solve the problem.  Thus, if 8 x 6 = 48, then 800 x 600 = 480,000. Since we know the product of 8 x 6, we start there and write that product, then tack on the zeros at the end as the basic fact's "exit buddy".  There were 4 zeros in the factors, so there are 4 zeros in the product. This in turn becomes an advanced process that is mental math!  Seemingly tough stuff, made EASY! Voila!

HOMEWORK: complete Multiplication review packet.  This is DUE WEDNESDAY (Oct. 1st)
slappin' on zeros to a basic fact is like, "Slappin' da bass, 'Mon!"
Students read the chapter and took notes over more modern-day Indians in the Northwest.
HOMEWORK: Vocabulary words on page 71 due Wed. with definitions.

With Mrs. Kalmey, students went over the Water Cycle and reviewed the chapter upon it.

Students discussed God's creations.

Have a magnificent Monday evening!
Students, please remember to manage your time effectively in completing your 4 assignments due on Wednesday!  Please do NOT put them off until tomorrow night!
Tomorrow is RESOURCE DAY!
Mrs. Thomas

9.29.14 - Kayla

       Here is Abby Newton with the weather for today: Today it is sunny and 64 degrees Fahrenheit
       The High is: 85 degrees
       The Low is: 58 degrees

              Hi I hope everyone had a good weekend. I know I did!
Now the count down until Halloween: 31 days, 15 hours, and 40 minutes!!!!!!

These are Banana Ghost Pops. They look really good!

             So, what did everybody do this weekend!?

Sports: 9

Went to friends house: 1

Other: 18

                  Wow a lot of people did other things this weekend!!!!!!!!

         But anyway, changing the subject I want to ask everyone to send some prayers out to Mrs. Schleg to have an awesome recovery and to come back ASAP! Mrs. Kalmey is a great substitute though. We will miss her when she leaves. Hopefully she's back by Halloween to celebrate with us!

Does anyone else get this much candy for Halloween!?
I know I do!!!!!!

                                                   That's all I have for today! BYEEEEE!!!!!!

Friday, September 26, 2014

9.25.14 - Kayla

Mrs. Thomas's post for FRIDAY, 9.26.14 is two posts below.  To access it quicker, click HERE                                         

Weather for today: Sunny and 73 degrees.

           Hey it's Kayla I'm going to be the new blogger this week, sorry I didn't post yesterday we were getting used to our new schedule so I really did not have time, but I'm very happy to be with you all until next Wednesday!!!!! Sorry if I miss a day or two are schedule has changed big time and we're barely even with Mrs. Thomas. It feels like we're in Mrs. Schleg's room all day long. So I barely have time to get on so I mostly do it in the morning or end of the day. So again sorry if I miss a day or two.

                  OMG!!!!!!! It's almost 2015. Can you believe it!? Also, it's almost Halloween! Personally, this is my favorite holiday of the year. Let's see what the other students favorite holidays are.

      Halloween: 3

      Christmas: 15

      Easter: 2

      Valentine's Day: 0

      Fourth of July: 0

      Thanksgiving: 0

                                                             CHRISTMAS WONNN!!!!!!!


   Here's a Christmas picture of Dallas Cowboys ornaments.

                  Back to Halloween,
                          I'm going to actually do a Halloween Gallery type thing meaning I will be posting a   lot of Halloween Pictures.


 This just makes me hungry. Is that just me!? Does anybody else like Candy Corn!? But were coming into that season where we have: scarves, mittens, warm drinks, sweaters, boots, Christmas, Thanksgiving, Halloween, lots of candy (if you go trick-or-treating), etc. Fall is my favorite season. Let's see what everyone else likes.

  Fall: 10

 Winter: 9

 Summer: 5

  Spring: 4

                                                    FALL WONNNNN!!!!!!!!!!!!

              Fall won! That's awesome! Fall is my favorite season too!!!!!!!!
              But I Think that's all I have for today!
                           (p.s don't forget we have a science test tomorrow)

9.26.14 - Day THIRTY-ONE

I always want to sing it from the hilltops today (a la Julie Andrews Sound of Music style), "The hills are ALIVE with the sound of-the weeeeeekeeeeendddd!" You're welcome for getting that melody in your heads, by the way :)
aaaanyway, it's Friiiiiiday!!  Happy day to you!  More importantly, Happy Weekend!  We had a spectacularly splendiferous day in and around 5T and we hope you did in your work worlds as well. 

And if this doesn't represent an awesome day, I don't know what does...!!!
Sophia is Mrs. Schleg's class in costume for Reader's Theater.  Isn't this FANTASTIC?!?  And did you know she also memorized her lines?!?  Holy moly, she's "out of this world!"
Students got to get into their Literature Circles today and I must say, their efforts and attitudes toward groupwork was exponentially better than last week- in fact, they were back on par with expectations and their first week performances.  It was mellifluous sounds of readers in action with conversations about books up in here! Beautiful. just... beautiful. :)

Then, we get to Mrs. Schleg's class- much of the same can be said about the work, efforts, and attitude from most people, but I did have more than just a few friends forget their roles at home/ not do them which is incredibly discouraging to have among the group members and to still have going on (on week 4 of this!  I'm finding it impossible to be understanding and patient at this point).  A group cannot perform up to full capabilities and expectations with some members not pulling their own weight (even if work was done, but left at home... bottom line, it is NOT here).  Everyone has to contribute equal shares and without that full effort from all parties the group cannot and does not function effectively as many are doing more work which is ridiculously unfair and cannot go without consequences.  These group members will have consequences with double the work to get themselves and their group back up to full working order.  This is where I reiterate that these tasks are also double formative assessment grades.
Students got to perform their reader's theater performances!  They were so cute and did such a phenomenal job.  I am pleased with their application of fluency skills and concepts in which we've been focusing upon.  
Here are the groups with their props/ costumes in which they prepared for this performance:
Thomas- Group A

Thomas - Group B

Thomas - Group C

Thomas- Group D

Thomas - Group E - Gavin had on a Star Wars costume back there... how AWESOME is THAT?!?  So cute!

Schleg- Group A

Schleg - Group B

Schleg - Group C

Schleg - Group D

Schleg - Group E
I gave back Math tests.  Many, many were happy, happy and many, many were nervous, nervous. The average score on the assessment was an 84% so that is most definitely something to sing about. In fact, we had more As and B+s than any other grade!  Wahooooo!  I know that several are concerned now that they're receiving these grades and they've been averaged into overall grades, but rest assured, we are taking many steps/ measures to get up to mastery with these concepts of decimals!  Remember, yes, grades are important, but do not get hung up on the number, but rather the understanding and solidifying a mastery of the concept.  YES, the grades DO represent the understanding, but I am more concerned about increasing the comprehension, not increasing the number/ changing the letter.  THAT comes with working on the understanding and please know that I am doing every. single. thing. in my power to work with your student while they are inside the walls of this building!  Their success is of my utmost concern and that is my promise and pledge to you as parents (and to them as my 5th grade babies).

I went over completing the Wrong-Answer Analysis with the students and what it means once they complete it.  I also explained to them that this is something in which they must apply their greatest effort in order to receive full points- the best things in life require much attention and are hard earned.  This is NO exception...especially if it involves an increase in grades/ scores. What I do with these is I grade the students on their effort and completion and then it goes in as a double-formative (quiz) grade which equals to be worth about as much as a summative so then the average of the 2 grades (test grade AND wrong-answer analysis) is indicative of their one test grade.  BOTH will be in Sycamore, but know that the wrong-answer analysis is worth more than just one homework or one classwork (or even one quiz) grade!
HOMEWORK: COMPLETE (thoroughly) the Wrong-Answer Analysis with your child as you go over the test.  These are due back by Monday and I will NOT be accepting late papers.  Math Class #1, I said your latest to turn in is Tuesday A.M. BEFORE the morning bell.  

excuse my absolute FOULNESS here- my SMARTboard was not being so "smart" and was acting a fool!
see?  Foul SMARTboard not knowing its role!

Students took their tests!  I heard many say that they felt as though they rocked it!  Music, people. Music to a teacher's ears :)

Students made some friendly cards for a few prayer requests and friends in need.

**Please send in donations for the Monarch Mile!
**If your student is not saying much in the car after school or tonight at home, it is because they talked my ears off in Math...I swear, they have HIT their word quota for the weekend!  I guess I could say, you're welcome?  Chatterboxes!  :)

Have a wonderful weekend!  
Mrs. Thomas

Thursday, September 25, 2014

9.25.14 - Day THIRTY

One more workday until the weekend, friends!  Happy Thursday to you- I hope you are well and wonderful!  Last night, I graded about 30 math tests (trust me, that's all I could squeeze in during the 3 hour window between Jack's bedtime and mine!) and I must say, I am MORE than pleased!  Out of those 30 tests, not one single grade was less than a 'B'!!!  And that was a hard, hard test (believe me, you'll see that it's quite the doozy when it comes home tomorrow).  I am beaming with pride for these sweet babies!  I know they are going to be so pumped and well, THEY SHOULD BE!  As should you!  Seriously... it was tough, tough stuff.  I have 30 more to grade tonight and will get them back tomorrow.  If your student happens to score below a 'B', don't freak!  There are plans in motion to help them learn from these mistakes- it is the topic of focus and on deck for tomorrow (for all!).

**PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE make sure your child visits some (or all) of the many multiplication and division drills, games, and practice pages that I've linked under the math section.  Our next skill is worlds beyond basic drills, so it is absolutely imperative that basic facts mastery and understanding of the concepts is present in your child's learning and memory bank!**

Father Jack discussed letting our lights shine in all areas of our lives (our Faith, academics, compassion, love, talents, etc.).

Learning Target: I can utilize punctuation cues. 2) I can use effective pacing to make my reading sound like storytelling. 3) I can demonstrate the superlative and comparative forms of adjectives.
This afternoon, "Master Gardener" is coming during our Religion/ Math time.  Thus, I had several friends needing to complete their math assessments from yesterday and needed to use our newly extended reading time to do so.  While those students completed their tests (and needed silence to do so), I had the others completed reading group activities, but independently.  Students completed their independent practice from yesterday (correctly conjugating adjectives into comparative or superlative form) AND had two options to choose from in completing a quick character/ book study/ activity upon their literature circle book.
HOMEWORK: Literature Circle roles and readings are due by TOMORROW.  Also, if a student wishes to have a prop for Reader's Theater, tomorrow is the day to have them with you.

Students went over the upcoming chapter and materials in their new unit of study over the more recent and modern day Indians (Cherokee, Shawnee, Chickasaw, etc.)

Students went over what to study in preparation for their tests tomorrow.
HOMEWORK: Tomorrow is the SCIENCE TEST!  Study, study!  You know the USA chant from the World Cup this summer?  "I believe. that. we. will. win"???  Well, "I believe. that. you. will. ROCK!!!" 

Master Gardener came during these times for students and they got to visit and work in the garden! Please visit the Jefferson County Master Gardener Association website by clicking HERE for more information.
HOMEWORK: none to either- HOWEVER, in Math, we will be moving onto Multiplication and Division- visit some sites below to dust off that basic facts skills, knowledge, and speed!
Ultimate Speed Math (play on your iPad or Tablet - No downloads necessary!  Click HERE)
World Cup Math (play on your iPad or Tablet by clicking HERE)
Lord Voldemort's Voldemath (iPad or Tablet LINK)
Downhill Math Slalom (iPad or Tablet LINK)

ALSO--> Print off some of THESE sheets (click below) for some drill practice at home (give yourself 2 minutes for completion.  Can you do them all?!?):

Multiplication: 12s    11s    9s    8s   7s    6s    MIXED1    MIXED2    MIXED3    MIXED4    MIXED5

Division: 9s    8s    7s    6s    4s    3s     MIXED 1    MIXED 2    MIXED3    MIXED4    MIXED5

**Parent-Teacher Conferences are less than a week away!  Please sign-up using the forum on Sycamore if you have not already!

**Please send donations for Monarch Mile!

**Check out Kayla's blog post by clicking HERE.

Have a thrilling Thursday evening!
Mrs. Thomas