Monday, December 19, 2011

Holiday Wishes

We hope that all our S.O.L.A.R. students have a safe and joyous holiday!
We'll see everyone back in the new year.
2012 is full of possibilities.
Mrs. Shall, Mrs. O'Leary, Miss Lipsky, and Miss Russell

Winter Celebration

Celebration was the name of the game on Friday as we embarked on our winter holiday. In the Shall Russell homeroom that celebration meant a visit to the Media Center for holiday song and a story book by Auntie Claus. When we returned to the classroom, students learned how to Elf Yourself and then pulled out the laptops to create their own funny holiday rendition.  Laughter filled the room. The children wrapped their parent's presents and then a pizza lunch bunch party with holiday movie rounded out our morning. In the afternoon, we got the best treat of all, an afternoon holiday party planned and implemented by some of our awesome parents! Our centers included creating our own snowman cupcakes, making a snowman decoration, and participating in a fun game. Students were hilarious as they drew a snowman on a paper plate on their heads without looking and then playing roll the snowball. They had us all in stitches.

We hope every child had as much fun as we did celebrating and sharing time together, because we know that these are the memories children cherish forever.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Holiday Time = Fun Technology Time!

As the holidays quickly approach it's time to enjoy each other's company and have a little fun. On Friday, the Russell/Shall homerooms will learn how to "Elf Yourself." This is a fun and easy activity that the other homerooms can do over the winter break (with your parent's permission of course!) Do you ever wonder what your teachers do after school? Take a look at the video below to see what they've been up to.

What do you think about our moves? Let us know by leaving a comment! :)

Friday, December 9, 2011

Amazing Facts about Anne Mazer

Hi my name is Armani and I am going to be letting you get an inside scoop on Anne Mazer a good author that writes Abby Hayes series.
Just before you start I want to let you know that this is going to be the best news about this creative author!
First, what I want to tell you about her is that she was born in Schenectady New York and you know what is kinda shocking is that she says she really was not planning on being an author.
Did you know that Anne Mazer had two children in Paris? Well it is true. Anne studied French language and literature at Sorbonne in Paris. Also she admits sometimes she would sneak out of school to go out to the library to read.
Did you know it took her seven years to publish her first book? That is 100% right that it took her that long. Her first book she made was Watch Me. Anne Mazer is a full time professional writer. Anne took the book, writing yoga , by Bruce Black on a field trip to her stepsons college graduation. And the last but not least Anne Mazer and Ellen Potter joined together to create a guide book for young writers called Spilling Ink.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Babysitter's Book Review!

Hey, Ashley here, guest blogger, I want to write about the Baby Sitters club because it has a lot of description and is funny. The books have great endings and you get hooked in to the book with a great beginning. Ann M. Martin, the author, lives in New York City, and her books are based on some parts of her family.

The first Babysitters Club book I read was a Little Sister book called Karen’s New Puppy. It was about a little girl named Karen Brewer an she has a cute puppy and her name is Midgie and she loves to play outside. So one day she strolled outside and then ……. She went missing and they searched the whole house but they did not find her!

I would give it five stars because it has a lot of mystery and description and surprise and puts you in a lot of suspense. They are great books and I hope you would love reading them!

Friday, November 18, 2011

Nidhi's Happy Adventure in India

Hi my name is Nidhi. I am a guest blogger. I am Going to talk about India Today.

India is a country in south Asia.It is the 7th largest country by geographical area,the second most populated country with over1.2 billion people,and most populated democracy in the world. Bounded by the Indien ocean on the south,the aribien sea on the south east,and the bay of Bengal on the south east,it shares land borders with Pakistan to the west.In the Indian ocean in india is the vicinity of sri lanka and the Maldives. Owned by and bought under the British, East India company from the early 18 century and administered dierecturly by the United Kingdom from the mid 19th century. India became an Independent nation in 1947 after a struggle for independence which has marked by non-violence and led by Mahathama Ghandi.
Did you know that New Deli is India’s national capitol like ours is Washington D.C?Here is more facts of india.
-The population of india is 1,166,079,217 people
-the coventual name of india is Republic of india
-the location of all over india is southern asia,bording,the arabian and Bay of Bengal,between Burma and Pakistan
-the chief of the state(president) is Preasident pratiba Patel the head of the state is prime minister Mohmamhand Singh.

Did you know that there is a beautiful Taj Mahal in Agra? This is some facts about it.
-The year it was made by is 1631 it was completed in 1653 it took 22 years to make it .
-It was made by the king shah jahan it was dedicated to Mumtaz Mahal the begum or wife of shah jahan.
-It was made in Agra
-the building type is Islamic tomb the artiureis,magal.
-the Archicture is ustad Ambad lanuri.The cost of construction is 32 crore ruppes
-there was 20,000 workers the hiolights is 1 of the 7 wonders In the world.
-The timing to go there is sunrise to sunset Friday is closed the fee is 750 dollars for given tourists 510 dollars for other countries and no entry for children under 15 years of age

This fantastic country leads us to a national anthem .Here it goes:

Jhana Gana Mana Avi nak a ya jai a he bharat baavi dhata Jai a he Jai a he jaia jaia jaia he.

This is how we stand up ,we salute like a soldier.Avjo meaning come back next time . good bye.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Dan Greenburg

Hi, It’s Caden here, guest blogger. I decided to talk about Dan Greenburg because he writes funny, yet science fictional and educational book series with great endings. Dan Greenburg is the author of 72 books, translated into 20 languages in 24 different countries , including 5 children book series:
-and new series CLAWS
(No more book series.)

Here are some more facts about Dan Greenburg:
Greenburg was born on June 20, 1936 in Chicago, Illinois, United States.
Dan is currently 75 years old
Greenburg has known as a humorist, a novelist, a journalist, a screenwriter, and a playwright.
Dan currently lives in Westchester county, NY.
Greenburg went to University of Illinois for college and got his 1958 there but got his M.F.A. from U.C.L.A. in 1960.
Greenburg was raised to be an artist like his father, he studied design at the University of Illinois.
In up to 3 presentations a day, Greenburg gets students, especially happy readers, excited about books-about writing them as well as reading them.
That was my report on Dan Greenburg, bye! 

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Mrs. Phillips is Stuck on Reading!

Principal Phillips is stuck on reading! To celebrate students who achieved their first nine weeks reading goals, she proved her commitment to celebrating their success! Take a look at her, she's actually stuck to the wall outside our media center, reading some of her favorite books.

Keep up the good reading habits because I'm sure our fun and always creative Principal will have more tricks up her sleeve for celebrating our second nine week reading goals.   Great work, Readers!

Monday, October 31, 2011

Our Animal Adventures!

Our world abounds with countless and intriguing animals.  They need oxygen to breathe, food to eat, water to drink, a shelter to live in, and they need to be able to produce offspring. Some of the animals have backbones (vertebrates) and some do not (invertebrates). 
Some animals breathe oxygen with lungs, some with gills, and others, like sea jellies, through their skin. Birds and mammals are warm blooded while other animals are cold blooded. Some animals have live birth, yet others lay eggs for their young to hatch.They can be carnivores, herbivores, or omnivores, and habitats of all kinds are their homes.  
Fascinated with animals, our young scientists have been exploring this diverse world of captivating animals. Throughout the unit, they have been asking, pondering, and answering questions. 
In what ways can animals be grouped?
How can we sort animals?
How can we classify vertebrates?
How can we classify invertebrates?
How do animals adapt to survive?
How does an animal's body coloring help it survive?
How do animals in Florida's Everglades National Park respond to changing seasons? 
To explore, they have created lists of animals and sorted them into groups based on common characteristics. They have sorted vertebrate animal cards into groups of mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, and fish.  They have sorted invertebrate animal cards into groups of sea jellies, worms, mollusks, and arthropods. Furthermore, they've discussed, in great depth, the animal adaptations that help them to survive in the places where they live.
Some animals, for example, have protective adaptations like camouflage, armor, mimicry, and poison, while others have behavioral adaptations like the instinct to migrate and hibernate to survive the winter. In addition, animals have physical adaptations that help them survive. Birds, for example, depending on the food they eat, have different kinds of beaks. Cardinals have short, strong bills to pick up and crush seeds. The pelican, on the other hand, has a long, pouched bill that helps it swoop down and pick up fish.
From the very first introduction of this unit, our students took a special interest. To promote this enthusiasm, we designed an independent study for students so they could explore an animal and a project of their choice. We created a menu of options, stocked the classroom with reference materials and texts for research, and gave them a rubric to guide their exploration. Each day, the students come to the classroom excited to get to work and they have been self-directed in their learning.  Stay tuned. We can't wait to share some of their polished products with you when they are finished.    

Arrays Make Math Easy to Visualize

As young mathematicians, we are exploring the use of arrays to help us with multiplication. It is imperative that we develop strong visual images of multiplication to develop conceptual strategies for solving multiplication problems. When we can clearly visualize how the numbers being multiplied are related, we can develop flexible, efficient, and accurate strategies for solving any multiplication problems.

One way we are learning to visualize these relationships is through the use of arrays. An array is a rectangular arrangement of an equal number of items in rows and columns. Arrays can be helpful when solving more “difficult” multiplication situations. Being able to visualize how to break multiplication problems into parts becomes even more important when we begin to solve multi-digit problems.

The following is an example of how we can split an array into smaller arrays making it easier to find the product.

Another way we can lay a strong foundation for multiplication is to practice skip counting by multiples of numbers 2-12. The goal is to skip count fluently (within 3 seconds) from one multiple to the next.This task can be practiced at home, between commercial breaks, or even in the car. Being able to skip count fluently will undoubtedly help us in our work with multiplication and division. Check out this website that helps with skip counting.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Comparing Arrays

Last week in Math Workshop, our young mathematicians spent time arranging different amounts of chairs into rows and columns (arrays). We looked first at ways to arrange 12 chairs. Then, during Work Session students paired up to explore with two other arrangements. Exploring with the numbers 9, 15-21, 23-25, 27, and 30 helped us to see how differently numbers can be arranged, and gave us the opportunity to discuss the similarities and differences among the varying arrays.  

For example, look at the arrangement of 16 and 17 chairs below:

What do you notice about these arrays? Do any of the arrays have a special or unique shape? What do you notice about the number of arrays that can be made with 16 chairs compared to 17 chairs?

Hopefully, you notice that 16 chairs can be arranged in several different arrays. That is because it has many factors: 1, 2, 4, 8, 16. A number that has more than two factors is called a composite number. You probably noticed that 17 only has two arrays. This is because 17 is a prime number. Any number that has only two factors, one and itself, is a prime number. The factors of 17 are 17 and 1.Also, you may have noticed that 16 can be arranged into a perfect square with 4 rows and 4 columns. Any number that has an array that is a square is a square number.  Our young mathematicians talked about square numbers when we analyzed the arrays for 9 (3x3) and 25 (5x5).

Students also realized that you could skip count by either the column or the row to get the product. Sixteen, for example, has an array that is a 2x8. You can count by 2's eight times... 2, 4, 6, 8, 10, 12, 14, 16 or you can count by 8's two times... 8, 16.

Stay tuned this week as our young mathematicians learn how to decompose an array to make a more difficult multiplication equation simpler.

Monday, October 17, 2011

The UN people!

This week, we are studying the prefixes re, un, non, and pre. Check out the video's below to see how adding a prefix to the beginning of a word can change the meaning of the word completely!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

All About Patricia Polocco

Who is Patricia Polacco? She is an author and illustrator that has written over 50 books. That’s a lot! She was born on July 11, 1944 in Lansing ,Michiagan and lived on her grandparents farm. Then when she was 41 years old she began writing books. Here are some cool facts about her:

- She struggled reading when she was a child.
-She loves eating apples and popcorn.
-She has 2 goats 1 lamb 2 cats.
-She has two kids one is Traci.
-At the age of 41 her 1st book was published.
-She lived in Caliaforina for almost 37 yeas.

She is a great author you should read her books!

Written by guest bloggers, Samantha and Ashley

Monday, October 10, 2011

Flexible Thinking Young Mathematicians

Thinking flexibly about numbers is one of our goals for students in third grade. Throughout our MI Unit 3, Addition, Subtraction, and the Number System, we’ve been highlighting multiple strategies in Closing Session. We do this because subtraction is the distance between two numbers, and based on the problem, the most efficient strategy isn't always the same strategy. 
In addition, we want students to be able to check their work using a different strategy than the one they used to originally solve the problem. Many times, if a student checks their work with the same strategy, it’s common for them to make the same computational error they did the first time. However, if they make an error in the first solution and then check their work with a second strategy, they are more likely to catch their error.
We are working toward students' ability to recognize, based on the situation, the most efficient strategy with the least likelihood of error, and with the idea that mental math can be one of the most effective ways to solve. For example, we don’t want students to use the traditional algorithm to solve 1000-989, because it would be easy for them to make a computational error when regrouping multiple times. Rather, we want students to recognize that the distance between these two numbers can easily be done by counting up, 989+1=990 and 990+10=1000, therefore the difference is 11.  Of course, in other situations, it’s simply easier to solve using the traditional algorithm like 876-563.  Flexible thinking based on the situation is key.
In order to develop number flexibility, we’ve been working on several strategies in class.
Sample Problem:  245 - 178 = m
Adding up
Turn the equation into a missing addend 178 + m = 67. Put the number 178 on a number line and count up to the next landmark number. (Landmark numbers have a O or 5 in the ones place.) 178 count up 2 to 180, count up 20 to 200, and then jump 45 from 200 to 245. Adding the jumps gives you the answer, m = 67.

Decompose the number by place value. This is also known as expanded notation. Then, subtract each place value. In this problem, 200-100 = 100, 40-70 = -30, 5-8 = -3, therefore 100-30-3= 67.  Sometimes, this strategy has you in negative numbers, but students know that 0 is the middle of the number system and can flexibly use negative numbers. Some students use this strategy and regroup from the larger place value. If they did that in this problem, they would take a group of 100 from 200 and put 140 in the tens place.

            245  :     200    40    5
          -178  :    -100  +   70  +   8
                            100   - 30  - 3 = 67

Counting backward
245 - 178 = m                                                                    

Put 245 on the open number line and count backward by 178. You can make the jump of 178 any way you want. Most kids jump backward to landmark numbers. 245 jump back 45 is 100, and then jump back 30 is 70, then jump back 3 is 67.  Left to Right
Students think 200 – 100 = 100 and 40 – 70 = -30 and 5 – 8 = -3.
            245  :    
          -178  :   
            100 – 30 – 3
                70 – 3 = 67

Furthermore, in some situations, we also encourage students to compensate. For example,
  56   + 3        59
-47     -3       -44

Remember, the purpose of exposing students to multiple strategies is two-fold. First, students need to be able to solve using two different strategies to check their work, and secondly students will be able to identify the strategy that is most efficient based on the problem. Students who successfully accomplish this have number sense and are able to work with numbers mentally and flexibly. Our students are busy every day becoming young mathematicians.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Math Unit 3 Assessment

In math class, we have been diligently working on our number sense unit. We will have our Unit 3 End of Unit Assessment on Wednesday (10/12/11). The following are some examples of questions that students should be able to answer:

1.) What is the value of the 6 in the number 4,365?
2.) Which inequality sign fits in the between these equations: 65 +10 ___ 95.
3.) How do you write 2,356 in explanded form?
4.) How many groups of ten are in 457? How many ones are left over?
5.) There are 145 first graders and 138 second graders in the dining room. How many students are there in all?
6.) There are 336 marbles in a jar. The marbles are either red or blue. There are 245 blue marbles. How many red marbles are there?

Answer three of these questions in a comment by Tuesday (10/11) and you will earn extra class money! Don't forget to sign your first name only when you leave a comment.

Friday, September 30, 2011

So...Who is this Kate Dicamillo?

Kate Dicamillo was born in Philadelphia,Pennsylvania. She was raised in Clemont,Flordia. She currently lives in Minneapolis,Minnisota. She is short,loud,hates to cook and loves to eat. She is childless and single. She has lots of friends. She has a book club for kids. She moved away in her twenties. Her birthday is March 25,1964 she was born in the north. She had poor health as a child. She is an aunt of three children. She is the author of 13 children books. She is the author of The Tale Of Despereaux. Her first book was Because Of Winn-Dixy. She is skiny.


Guest Bloggers

Cullen and Emma

Thursday, September 29, 2011

September Calendar Math Quiz Sneak Peek!

Each day, as part of our math skills blocks, students participate in a "Everday Counts: Calendar Math" lesson. On Wednesday, students will be assessed for the skills that were taught in September during our math skills block. All students should be able to answer the following questions:
Calendar Questions (a calendar will be pictured on the quiz):
  • Based on the calendar, what was the last day of August?
  • Based on the calendar, what will be the first day of October?
  • Correctly write the date of the second Saturday of September. (September 10, 2011)
  • What are three mathematical characteristics that are true about a square?

Other Skills Questions:

  • Write the following number in standard form: 6,000 + 400+ 30 + 7 (Answer: 6,437)
  • Write the following number in expanded form: 5,348(Answer: 5,000 + 300 + 40 + 8)
  • Write the following in standard form: three thousand, nine hundred forty-two (Answer: 3,942)
  • Today is the 17th day of school. If we collected one dime oneach day of school how much money would we have? ($1.70 or 170 cents)
  • Fill in the following math analogy: 150: 125 :: 325 : ____ (Answer: 300)

If you know how to answer these questions, you are all set! Want to practice more? Ask your parents to study with you by making up questions that are similar the those above.

Want to earn some class money? Answer the following questions:

What is your favorite part of Calendar Math?

What is the date of the third Monday of September?

Write the following number in standard form: six thousand, seven hundred forty-seven.

Don't forget to put your name in the post!!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Distance Riddle Math Quiz

In class, we have been working on finding the distance between two numbers. Tomorrow students will be assessed on this information. The following is a sample problem that students have been working on:

Mrs. Shall and Miss Russell’s class has collected 432 Box Tops. Mrs. Smith’s class collected 284 Box Tops. How many more Box Tops did the Shall/Russell class collect than Mrs. Smith’s class?

When thinking about this problem students may think of it in two different ways. Some students prefer to work this problem as addition with the equation being 432-284. Some students prefer to think of this problem with a missing addend such as: 284 + ___ = 432. Either thought process is correct and will help the student get the right answer.

The following are some sample questions for tomorrow’s quiz. If you leave a comment with the answer for your correct group, you may receive a special treat tomorrow. Don’t forget to answer the entire question!

Russell Homeroom: I am 54 more than 100. What number am I? I am 54 less than 100. What number am I?

Shall Homeroom: I am 47 more than 400. What number am I? I am 47 less than 100. What number am I?

Lipsky Homeroom: Brandon’s family went on a family trip. They stopped at the gas station at mile 67. They stopped again to get lunch at mile 201. How far from the gas station to lunch?

O’Leary Homeroom: Over the weekend Miss Russell went on a road trip to Miami. Miss Russell drove 456 miles. Her friend only drove 267 miles. How many more miles did Miss Russell drive then her friend drove?

If you can answer these questions, you will be all set for tomorrow’s quiz!

Friday, September 23, 2011

What have the READING Superheroes been up to?

This week in Reader's Workshop, we have been studying the MAIN idea of what we are reading. The Main Idea is what a passage or story is MOSTLY about. Being able to figure out the Main Idea of a story is a very important skill to have. It helps us to understand what we read and tell others about it!

To brush up on this important Reading Skill, check out this fun video about Main Idea.

Here are some other sites with games about MAIN IDEA:




Hope you enjoy checking out these sites!

Love Mrs.O'Leary and Ms.Lipsky

Sunday, September 18, 2011

What is a Gizmo?

Gizmos are online simulations that power inquiry and understanding. Gizmos is one of the programs we will be using to explore on the laptop.

Your child has a log-in and password for Gizmos (as of 9-19-11) in the back of his/her planner. We have selected several introductory math simulations for students to use. These include:

1. Cannonball Clowns (estimation)

2. Rounding Whole Numbers

3. Target Sum Card Game (Close to 100)

4. Number Line Frog Hop (Addition and Subtraction)

We have also selected several science simulations that align with our current unit of study, Plants. These include:
1. Growing Plants (students are able to change variables in order to test how plants grow best)

2. Germination

As we explore more Gizmos in class, we will make them available on your child's account. In order to access your child's account, use the navigation bar on the right side of this blog. Under the heading "Our Favorite Math Sites," choose Gizmos. This will be available for the remainder of this school year.

What is your favorite Gizmos so far? :)

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Young Scientists At Work: From A Bean Seed to a Seedling

Our young scientists have been hard at work. Last week, they researched what a seed needs to germinate, and discovered that they need air, the right amount of water, light, and the right temperature. Armed with this information, they planted their seeds in a ziploc bag with a wet paper towel, and hung the planters in the windows by the art room so they would get some natural light. Several of our young scientists predicted that the seed would germinate, but others were doubtful that it would grow without soil. Their observations, questions, and conclusions have been a great learning opportunity over the past seven days.  

Some of the bean seeds must have had exactly the right amount of light, water, air, and the right temperature, because they began to sprout within several days. Others weren't so lucky, but their conclusions were equally as valuable. One of the students, before we began, wondered if a dry bean seed would grow more quickly than a soaked bean seed, so we set that experiment up as well.  Their surprised looks when they saw the seed turn into a seedling within five days was priceless.

Furthermore, early this week, we discussed variables in relation to our germinating seeds. What in our investigation stayed the same (constants)?  What is the one thing we could change to learn more about germinating seeds (independent variable)?  What, if we conducted this investigation, would happen if we changed that one thing (dependent variable)?  Students began designing their own experiments to test their questions, and will begin to implement their new investigations later this week. You'll have to ask them about their question and their hypothesis. Stay tuned if you want to learn more about our explorations as young scientists.