Tuesday, June 4, 2019

Great American photos

Happy Spring!

We are are so proud of our Tetons and Acadians. We are sure you will all agree with us  - they were incredible on Wednesday evening!  Their costumes, speeches, and trifolds were simply outstanding! 

Our read aloud, My Brother Sam Is Dead, has us all thinking about what side of the war we would be on.  Tim and his father travel to Verplanks Point to trade their cattle for supplies.  They need cloth, spices, and tools to run their store and tavern.  On the way to the point, some cow-boys stop them. Luckily, the Committee of Safety escorts them down to the Hudson, but a snow storm hits on their way home to Redding. This storm prevents the Committee of Safety from escorting them back home safely. Tim is faced with a very difficult decision as the cow-boys take father.

Many events have this week have us all considering what side we would be on in this war. Would you draw your own gun against your brother who is fighting on the other side? The Rebels captured Father, but the Tories killed Tim's neighbors.

In language arts we are continuing to work on different styles of poetry. Everyone should continue with the reading expectations at home.

In math we have been learning how visualize the multiplication of fractions.  We have been modeling exactly what is happening when we multiply a fraction by another fraction.  We

Enjoy your weekend and the photos.

Conversation starters:
Don't cry over spilled milk

Monday, May 20, 2019

Great American

What a gorgeous weekend we had.  Let's hope for more weather just like it!

Reminders: Great American Posters are due by Thursday this week.

Great American Night is next Wednesday, May 29 from 6-6:45.  Please have your son/daughter arrive at 5:55 in costume. Students should be practicing their speeches at home and putting the final touches on their costumes.

We finished our class read aloud, Lawn Boy by Gary Paulsen.  George McCosh, a Yarmouth senior, was able to come in and share about his lawn mowing business.  He began his business just before fifth grade.  George worked hard every summer.  He built his own business, and as he worked hard and it grew, he was able to buy larger mowers and trailers along the way.  Inspired by the story line in Lawn Boy,  he invested his money, paid for his truck in cash and was able to pay for his first two years at Purdue. George shared with the students the importance of reading.  He told the students that he is assigned 40 pages or more a night for his classes.

"Reading now and wrapping your head around the storyline pays off later."  - George McCosh

Sunday, May 12, 2019

Week of May 6

We hope everyone had a wonderful Mother's Day Weekend.

Great American

We have been working hard on our Great American projects.  All of the students should have their great American's name and places of birth and death, word art, as well as pictures and captions brought home.  They will have some time during the week in class to work on the extras.  Please check in with your child to make sure everything is at home and ready to be mounted on their boards. Trifolds are due May 20-23.

We have written the opening paragraph and first body paragraphs to our essays.  The essays do not go on the trifold.  We have also written our speeches.  Although we will be practicing them in class, rehearsing them at home is very helpful.  Thank you for your support with this. Please see the samples below.

Read aloud:

We finished Rules by Cythnia Lord. We all enjoyed this story very much.  The main characters: Catherine, Kristi, David, Ryan, and Jason teach us about the importance of friendship, honesty, and compassion for others. We are currently reading Lawn Boy by Gary Paulsen. One of Mrs. Conley's favorite grandmothers in young adult literature is in this novel. The main character is a 12-year-old boy. For his birthday his grandma gives him his grandpa's old riding lawnmower. It is summer so he sets out to mow some lawns. As he finished his own yard, more and more neighbors ask him to mow their lawns . . . One client is Arnold, the stockbroker, who offers to teach him about "the beauty of capitalism, supply and demand, diversify labor and distributing the wealth." There is plenty of humor, new vocabulary, figurative language, and fabulously funny supporting main characters.

Mrs. Conley has invited George McCosh to visit our classes to talk about his lawn mowing business.  He was inspired to start McCosh Mowing after Mrs. Conley read Lawn Boy to his class several years ago. George will be graduating from Yarmouth High School this June and he plans to attend Purdue next fall. 


The students are finished reading their biographies.  They are all to be reading their own novels now at night. The kids know that they are expected to read from each of the genres during the course of the year.  At this point, most students have met the expectations.  A few are several books away and need to get cracking. I am tracking that they have each read a science fiction, fantasy, mystery, realistic fiction, and historical fiction novel.   

This week Mrs. Conley  gave book talks on The Goolz Next Door A Bad Night For Bullies  by Gary Ghislain and Out of My Mind  by Sharon Draper. The books are already off the shelves and in the hands of eager readers. Because of the Rabbit  by Cynthia Lord is so popular, Mrs. Conley ordered another copy!
Congratulations to our March and April Students of the month!

Osher Map Field 

Osher Map Field Trip

Thursday, May 9, 2019

Week of April 29

Reminder: Osher Map Library Field Trip Wednesday, May 8 (11:15am 1:30pm)

Social Studies - The colonists are busy earning money so they can buy supplies for their trip to the New World.  Colony groups have found their reason for colonizing - religious freedom, merchant colony, or colony of the king.  They have also given their colony a name and are working on developing a flag that represents their colony.

In math this week we took our assessment for unit 4.  Next week we will visit our friends in Blue Falls when we do our next Fizz and Martina adventure.  This adventure investigates problem solving with fractions.  We will also begin unit 5 which will delve deeper into our study of fractions.  In this unit we investigate what it means to divide a whole number by a fraction and to divide a fraction by a whole number.  In addition we will learn a strategy for adding or subtracting fractions with different denominators.

Great American -

We are working hard on our great American reading.  The students should complete their biography reading by Monday, May 6.  We are continuing to take dot jots from their books and from an article about their great American on Fact Cite.  Their notes should be examples of their three characteristic traits that they have decided on that best demonstrates why their great American is 'great'.

Beginning Monday we will be turning our dot jots into paragraphs. We have lessons on how to create strong leads and the students will be given many examples.  There are rubrics for every writing lesson. Below is an example of the opening paragraph.  (The essay does not go on the trifold.)


This past Monday the students were able to enjoy the picture book reading activity in the library in celebration of Picture Book Day.  We added titles to our Reader's Notebook and after reading students wrote a sentence about the book and rated each story.  We had 30 books to select from. It was a marvelous selection of stories.

Read aloud -

This week in Rules, Catherine continues to makes Jason word cards so that he can use them in his conversations.  Jason is unable to speak, but he has a communication book that he uses.  One of the words Catherine adds is 'murky'.  She explains to Jason that the water in the pond she swims in is murky.  However, she uses it to describe a feeling.  She's stuck between her world with her friends and school, and her brother's world where none of the same things matter. (David is autistic.) We are enjoying the many lessons this book ahas to give us.

Friday, April 26, 2019

Week of April 22

Happy Spring!

Our students are busy reading about their great Americans.  We have cited our sources on Noodle Tools, read an article from FactCite, and we have begun reading our biographies.  The students should finish reading their biographies by Monday, May 6.   The students will be taking dot jot notes on three characteristic traits that best describe their great American.  they will also be reading for interesting facts and material such as famous quotes that they can put on their trifolds. The students went on a gallery walk of past year's trifolds.  They looked to see how students set up their boards, saw examples of color themes they used, as well as they saw ways open spaces on the boards were filled, and they were able to get a few ideas for background, etc. They will do most all of the work in class, but they will be creating their boards at home.

In read aloud we are reading Rules, by Cynthia Lord.  The theme of this book is friendship and honesty. Friendship because Catherine makes two new friends in the story, Kristi and Jason. Twelve-year-old Catherine just wants a normal life. Which is near impossible when you have a brother with autism and a family that revolves around his disability. She's spent years trying to teach David the rules-from "a peach is not a funny-looking apple" to "keep your pants on in public"-in order to stop his embarrassing behaviors. But the summer Catherine meets Jason, a paraplegic boy, and Kristi, the next-door friend she's always wished for. The students are enjoying the discussions.  There is a lot to think about. 

Mrs. Conley is reading Because of the Rabbit, Cynthia Lords' newest book, and it is fabulous.  It's a fun, fast-paced book. Home-schooled by her mother, young Emma is very close to her parents and brother. She has beautiful memories of visiting her grandparents (now deceased) across the border in Quebec, where she learned about French-Canadian farming culture. Mémère taught her to bake, while Pépère told her stories about Monsieur Lapin, the rabbit, and all his woodland friends. But now Emma’s life is changing. Her older brother, Owen, was her constant companion until he started high school and built a social life all his own. Lonely and hoping to make a friend, Emma decides to quit home schooling and enter the fifth grade at Lakeview Elementary. The night before she embarks on her first class, she accompanies her game-warden father on a call, and they find a pet bunny stuck in a fence. Mrs. Conley gave a book talk about it today.

Our maps were gorgeous!  The students did a terrific job demonstrating that they understood the main parts of a map.  They were colorful, creative, and carefully done!  

We continue go learn about the religious persecution of the Puritans and Pilgrims and why they wanted to leave England for the New World.  Kids find it interesting to learn that in England, at this time, the King was also in charge of the Church of England and that all subjects of the king had to follow his religion.  As Americans this is a difficult concept for us - there was no separation of church and state.  Discovery groups have had their first assignment and will be learning what kind of colony they are next week.  They might be a colony of the king, sent to defend his claim of land.  They could be a religious colony seeking religious freedom, or they might be a merchant colony determined to make money for themselves and their investors.  A roll of the die will cast their fate.  Colonies will also determine a name, develop a flag to represent their mission, and set some group norms similar to the Mayflower Compact.  Soon they will be packing their ships and embarking on their journey to the New World. 

The unit 4 assessment will be towards the end of next week as we finish the unit by learning how to add and subtract decimals using the standard algorithm.  We have spent a bit of time modeling these operations with hundredths grids so students can have a picture in their mind's eye of what is actually happening when we add/subtract decimals.  Although our number system always works the same way  - decimals seem to confuse the kids.  They often are confused with the alignment of the place values.  We'll keep working.   

With thanks to the Yarmouth Educational Foundation, we were fortunate to have Greg Tang Jr. come to our school this week.  We were able to play some new games and we had a wonderful evening with Greg and his team as well.  The excitement was wonderful.  

Conversation starters:
my great American's traits
an interesting fact about my great American
Greg Tang Jr. visit - expresso, Kakooma

Friday, April 5, 2019

Week of April 1

Wow! It's hard to believe that April vacation begins on Friday, April 12.  It has been wonderful to have more light and sunshine.

**** SAVE THE DATE***** APRIL 25th****** Greg Tang Jr. Presents a Math night @HMS****
Thanks to the generosity of a grant from the Yarmouth Educational Foundation, we are pleased to present a math night for students and their families.  Greg Tang Jr., who is responsible for our weekly math work, is coming to HMS to work with teachers and students during the day and to present a math night for families.  We are very excited.  Stay tuned for more details. 

Great Americans -

In language arts this week the students researched 'cool' facts about a few great Americans from their homeroom's time period.  We used Digital Maine Library which is found on our library page. The resources that we access for this project are: Kids Info bits, Research in Context, and World Book Student. The Tetons have great Americans born between 1697-1744.  A few names from that time period are: Nathan Hale, Eli Whitney, John Hancock, and Abigail Adams. The Acadian's time period are the great Americans born between  1797-1832.  A few of the great American from their list are: Frederick Douglass, Harriet Beecher Stowe, Elizabeth Blackwell, and Clara Barton. We put our note taking skills to good use and we had fun sharing the facts with each other.

In reading we are busy filling in our poetry reading charts and creating a 'Color My World' poem of our own. It has been fun to read from a variety of authors.  The nature myths that we have enjoyed this week include Phaethon and Narcissus and Echo. There are still traces of Phaethon's ride - the ends of the earth are still covered in icecaps and mountains still rumble trying to spit out the fire started in their bellies by the diving sun.  You can still find the narcissus flower that lives on the river bank. If you call to Echo in a certain way, she will answer you. We also read about Hephaestus and Hermes.

We started atlas activities this week.  We learned about legends, scales, geographical terms and latitude & longitude.  Latitude and longitude are always a bit confusing for kids. This work is laying the foundation for their map project which is due on April 25.  The assignment is below, students have a hard copy, and there is an electronic copy in their Google Classroom account.  This project should be done in final form.  Our next unit is colonization.  We begin by learning about the lost colony of Roanoke, Virginia.  These colonists did not fare well.

In math we are learning about coordinate graphs.  We have learned all about the x-axis, y-axis, coordinates, the origin, and how to graph points.  Our next step will be to graph data and use the graph to answer questions.  This is always fun!

Playing "Hidden Treasure" a version of Battle Ship
Latitude and Longitude practice
Map Assignment due 4/25

Studying for our colonization assessment.

Conversation starters:
Narcissus and Echo
I'm green with envy.
x and y axis
latitude and longitude
prime meridian

Monday, April 1, 2019

Week of March 28 - GREAT AMERICAN NIGHT MAY 29 6-7P.M.

Happy Spring!

It has been so nice to have daylight until 7 in the evening. The students did a wonderful job with the testing this week. We will finish the tests Monday morning. Any students that were absent will be scheduled for make up by Laura Mike.

Decimals!  In math we have continued learning about values behind the decimal point.  We continue to use visuals to help us understand that decimals live on the number line between zero and one.  This unit also introduces the coordinate plane and the graphing of points.  This is always fun!

We are wrapping up our exploration unit.  Acadians will have their assessment on Wednesday and Tetons will have their assessment on Tuesday.  Children have been given a page with vocabulary and concepts.  They should plan to review their notes and ensure they are able to discuss the essential learnings.  Our Google Classroom, social studies, has several links to help them study.  Our next unit is colonization.  We begin with a few atlas activities and soon the students will be making their own maps.  We will simulation game play being colonists in New England.  This is always a favorite!  More on this soon.

In language arts we are presenting our Explorer Key Note projects.  They will receive scores on their notes and projects.  It was a very engaging project where the students learned about the personal information: (nationality, birth, family information, education, death) and Voyages : (where, when why, outcomes) as well as relationships with natives.

In reading, the students are reading a variety of poems. We are charting the subjects of the poems, sensory images, emotion, theme, and figurative language.

The infamous Greek Myths are our current read aloud stories.  I am reading from The Greek Gods by Evslin, Evslin, & Hoopes, D'Aulaires' Book Of Greek Myths, and Greek Myths and Legends by Rodney Matthews. Greek and Roman gods and goddesses are in many of their favorite fantasy novels including the Pegasus series by Kate O' Hearn, The Lighting Thief by Rick Riordan, and of course -Harry Potter!  A favorite nature myth this week was planned perfectly with the beginning of spring as we read about the kidnapping of Persephone by Hades.

SAVE THE DATE! Wednesday, May 29 from 6-7 is our great American evening.  Attached are the due dates and rubrics for our great American unit.  I strongly suggest purchasing a black trifold poster before April break. The students will be reading a biography about their great American.  They will take notes on their choice of the top three traits that make their great American 'great'. Mrs. Conley will be modeling lessons using Ruby Bridges as her great American.  As we begin the essay writing, we will be sending home examples of our lessons and the copy of the Ruby Bridge's writing. We have library lessons coming up next week where we will learning tagxedo, and Ms. Stuhr will be helping us with our online sources.  Students will write essays and speeches in class.


due dates

Conversation starters:

"A Pizza the Size of the Sun"