Sunday, August 30, 2015

First Week A Success

Whew!  What a busy first week we had!  I am so excited about our class this year.  It really seems like a well behaved, polite, curious, and thoughtful group of youngsters.  Not a stinker in the bunch.  How did I get so lucky?  Warning, very long post ahead.  They wont all be this long, but I know a lot of you parents are curious as to your child's new class. 

This week, we were very busy getting notebooks set up for each class, and learning classroom procedures and routines.  Everyone was a bit nervous at first, but they seemed to warm up quickly.  We used an online quiz site called Kahoot! to learn all about Mrs. Atkins using IPod touches.  Then we went on a scavenger hunt to learn about each other.  The students created newspapers to tell me interesting facts about each of them as well. 

The students seem to be most excited about our reading class, and having time in class to read.  I shared who I am as a reader, and the children wrote me a paragraph explaining reading in their life.  We will be holding one on one conversations during reading class next week about the paragraph they shared with me.  We learned that "Reading Is Thinking!" and that good readers must be thinking about, focused on, and comprehending the words on the page and beyond to truly be considered readers.  The students will be expected to read at least 20 minutes each night as part of daily homework expectations.  An AR contract was sent home to be signed on Thursday, and we will be visiting the library for the first time on Wednesday.  Check out these young readers so intensely focused on their stories.

In math class, we jumped right into the book on day 2!  Students have been learning about place value, the standard, written, & expanded forms of representing numbers, along with expanded notation.  We also learned that AND is NOT a number when we read numbers aloud.  Next week, we will learn about decimal place value, where AND represents the name we say when we read the decimal point.  We will also be comparing and ordering numbers.  Multiplication timed tests have begun.  Please help your child to review/memorize the facts through 12X12 to automaticity.  I can not stress enough how much of a struggle math will be for your child from now until they finish their math education if he or she does not memorize these multiplication facts.  On Friday, we worked in groups to represent larger numbers in 4 different ways.  I was impressed at how well the students worked together to achieve their project goals. 

In Science this week, we set up journals and discussed, "What Is a Scientist and What Do They Do?"  Students made their own scientists and wrote a bit about their thoughts on the topic.  We also began reading and learning how to take notes in our new textbooks. 

In Social Studies, we began to learn about maps and globes.  The Prime Meridian, latitude and longitude, and hemispheres were a new concepts for the children.   We reviewed what complete sentences, parts of a sentence, and sentence fragments in Language class.  Students also set 3 goals for the year in a Selfie project, which will be revealed soon. 

Thanks for helping at home with homework, signing agendas, reading, and studying math facts.  Important papers will go home in the blue folder each Monday.  Be sure to refer to the pages tabs at the top of this blog for schedules, important dates, and other critical information.  For the rest of the year, the grade level newsletter will be found on the page at the top of this blog as well.  I look forward to another exciting week with your children. 

Mrs. Atkins

Monday, August 24, 2015

First Day Success!

Welcome to our classroom blog.  Our first day is in the books and I think it was a smashing success.  I truly enjoyed getting to know all of the students today, and it looks like we have a very nice group of kids.

The students went on a scavenger hunt to get to know some more obscure facts about their classmates this morning, followed by an online "Get to Know Your Teacher" competition.  The students used handheld devices and an online Kahoot! quiz to learn all about Mrs. Atkins.  The groups got pretty competitive, and it sure woke up all the sleepyheads.  (I know I was one of the tired ones.)  The kids had to listen to the teacher talk for way too long about rules and classroom procedures, but then we got to play a math game called Target Addition in partners.  We spent the rest of the time before specials setting up our math interactive notebooks.  The kids are in the process of creating an "All About Me" newspaper, and we also completed a word search to wake our brains out of summer mode.

Tonight, the students will need to color their math notebook covers, and parents need to fill out the alternative (rainy day) transportation form for the front office.  Just return the form in the homework folder, and don't forget to sign the agenda each night.  It is time to start bringing a book to class every day, and to memorize or review those basic multiplication facts up to 12 X 12.  Timed fact quizzes will start this week in class.

Please send a binder, a roll of tape, a dry erase marker, and ear buds if you haven't already.  We will be using these items almost every day in class.  We are also looking for empty metal or plastic mint containers to store the ear buds in.  Please send any empty mint containers to school with your child.

I appreciate your support in your child's education, and I look forward to a very successful year together,

Mrs. Atkins