Mid Marking Period Explained and Learning Goals for October 5-8

Hopefully this week will bring back the sun!  These rainy days are no fun!  We did try to make the best this week by using our favorite “go to” indoor recess solution, GoNoodle.com.  This website was a true sanity saver this week!  Take a peek at the video below showing one of our favorite GoNoodle activities, “Secret Handshakes.”

We also were gifted with dictionaries by our local ELKS.  Every year they deliver dictionaries to the third graders all over the district.  These dictionaries are the students to keep!  They were so excited!  I actually had to tell them to stop reading them later that day so we could get our math done! (a pretty good problem to have for a teacher)


We wrapped up the 1st half of the 1st marking period on Friday.  This is the first year that your child will be bringing home a Mid Marking Period Report.  It looks very similar to our report cards.  These reports, while very useful and informative, can cause anxiety for both parents and students.  Here is my philosophy- this is just showing you where your child is at the current moment.  It is not the final report for the marking period.  I take time to add comments when necessary to help students make corrections and raise grades for their actual report cards.  If you have any questions or concerns, please CONTACT ME!!!!!!!  I can be easily reached via email at carrie.sinone@millvillenj.gov.  If you’d rather talk to me via a phone conference or meet with me in person, please call the school and we can set that up (856-327-6101).  Also, so that you are not caught off guard and can better monitor your child’s progress, be sure to sign up for the Infinite Campus Parent Portal.  To do this follow these steps:

1.  visit the Millville Public Schools website (www.millvillenj.gov)

2.  Click on the Parents tab

3.  Click on the link for Infinite Campus Information

4.  Complete the 2 online forms, once complete you will be emailed an activation code with directions for how to access your child’s grades.

Once you have done this, you will have 24/7 access to your child’s grades.  I update my grade book at least once a week.  You will see if they have missing assignments, how they are doing on classwork, and their test grades. You will also be able to email me directly from that site with any questions regarding specific grades.

Another great way to stay informed is to subscribe to this blog (input your email to the right), and also to sign up for Remind.  Once you are signed up for Remind, you will receive texts about upcoming tests and other important class information.  Follow the steps below:



The week is a short week for the students.  They will have off on Friday so that the staff can attend a professional development day.  On Tuesday they will have a substitute.  We have discussed substitute behavior and I am sure that all will go well.  I try very hard not to take off unless it is important.  Unfortunately this month there are multiple times that I will be out.  Once this week, again on the 22-23 as I am attending a leadership conference, and finally I am hoping NOT to get called for jury duty, but it is a possibility during the last week of the month (cross your fingers!).  We will still be working very hard even though the week is short!


We will be reading an informational story called, “Supermarket” this week.  We will learn how food gets to the supermarkets.  Our focus skill will be compare and contrast.  See the link below to review that concept at home.  Our vocabulary words for the week are as follows:

1.  Section- noun. part or division of something

2. Store- 1.  noun. a place where things are sold  2. verb. to put things away until they are needed.

3.  Spoiled- verb. 1. to become bad or not good to eat.  2. to injure the character or disposition of

4. Traded- verb. to exchange one thing for another.

5. Laundry- 1. noun. clothes, towels, and other such items that need to be washed or have just been washed.  2. adjective. used for doing laundry

6. Shelves- noun.  a horizontal board on a wall or in a cupboard, used for holding or  storing things

7. Thousands- noun or adjective. ten hundred, 1,000

8.  Variety- noun.  a selection of different things

We will have a test on these vocab words, the compare and contrast concept, and long vowel digraphs that form the long 0, a, and e sounds on Thursday.


We will be wrapping up Topic 2 this week with a test on Tuesday.  We will then be working with adding 3 digit numbers.  We are going to ease into this by using number models and manipulatives.   Check out the video below to see help explain what this looks like.  I know it seems like a drawn out way to add, but trust me it will help in the long run when we start regrouping!


We will be moving away from our first unit of discovery, States of Matter and beginning our second, Weather.  Our first topic covered will be types of clouds.  We will finish out the week with a pretty cool experiment that will have it “raining” in the classroom!  And since no week would be complete without a silly song stuck in your head, click the video below at your own risk!


Social Studies:

We will be having a unit 1 vocabulary quiz on Thursday.  The following words will be included:

Community, citizen, business, goods, needs, natural resource, service.

Goodbye September, Hello October! Weekly Learning Goals 9/28-10/2

Fun Friday Math Centers! Math Duel App and Mobymax.com are some of our favorites!

Fun Friday Math Centers! Math Duel App and Mobymax.com are some of our favorites!

One month down!  Where did the time go?!  In the past month, we spent a log of time setting up our routines and getting used to our daily schedule.  I think we FINALLY have it set! I want to take some time to explain to you what life in our room looks like on an average day. Take a peek at our schedule below:

9:15-9:30- Morning Meeting- During this time we are learning how to greet each other in a new language everyday!  Ask you child how to say hello in any of the following languages: Romanian, Hungarian, Russian, French, Italian, Sign Language, Hindu, Swahili, Spanish, German, and I’m sure I’m missing a few!  We are up to 13 different languages!  We also take some time to “check in” with each other during this meeting to set the tone for a successful day.

9:30-11ish- Language Arts- During this time we have 4-5 mini-lessons and go to 4-5 centers.  I follow the Daily 5 approach to teaching.  This allows for short periods of focused learning (mini lessons lasting about 10-15 minutes) broken up by time in centers practicing our Language Arts skills.  Each day we will have a mini lesson in each of the following areas- spelling/vocab, grammar, reading strategies, and writing strategies.  Our centers focus on the skills learned in the mini lessons as well as reinforcing skills we’ve learned previously.  We have centers that focus on Word Work (vocabulary), Listening to Reading, Reading to Self, Reading to Someone, Guided Reading, and Working on Writing.  The work done in centers is done continuously throughout the week and only graded on Fridays.

11ish-12 and 1-1:30- Math- We begin each math lesson with a common core review that asks students to practice a variety of skills.  After we discuss that we move on to the day’s lesson including a short video to introduce the concept, guided practice and independent practice.  Our math class is divided by recess and lunch.  After we return from lunch and take our bathroom break, we do some math centers.  During this time, I will work with students who are struggling with the concept in small groups while the others are practicing the concept in a variety of ways (ipad apps, mobymax website, etc).

1:30-2:15- Science- By far one of our favorite times of the day!  We will conduct experiments, read about science concepts, and interact with different apps and web sites throughout the year during this time.  We are currently wrapping up our first area of study- matter.  We will also be studying the following areas this year: Ecosystems, Life Cycles, Weather and Climate, and Engineering and Design.

2:18-3:00- Specials

3:00-3:30- Social Studies- This year our focus is on the elements and interactions in a community.  I am hoping to have a few guest speakers from our community come in to help explain how we all play a part in making our community run smoothly.

Whew!  After seeing it all in writing, it’s no wonder I’m exhausted at the end of the day!  As you can see, we work hard ALL day!  That being said, we do have fun too.  We have recess daily before lunch to make sure we’ve worked up a healthy appetite.  We also do alter our schedules a bit on Fridays to allow for fun math centers (more game oriented with some sneaky learning built in).  I tell them daily we work hard, but we will play hard too throughout the year!  Speaking of hard work here are our learning goals for this week as well as some resources to help you support learning at home:


This week we will be reading the story, “Kumak’s Fish.”  We will be continuing to work with the concept of Sequence, or order of events.  In addition to this we will be completing our first full writing piece, a friendly letter to a teacher that student’s would like to thank for teaching them something in the past.  All letters will be “mailed” to the teachers on Friday.  Our grammar skill this week is classifying sentences as declarative (statements) or interrogative (questions).  The presentation below will help you to review this concept at home:

Our spelling concept this week will focus on using base words to help with meaning.  Our spelling words are: using, getting, easiest, swimming, heavier, greatest, pleased, emptied, leaving, worried, strangest, freezing, funniest, angrier, shopped.  While I do not give traditional spelling tests, students are tested on their ability to explain the spelling concept for the week on the weekly test.  I will be trying something different for homework this Thursday to help better prepare students for the weekly reading test.  Stay tuned!
Vocabulary words this week:
Gear- noun.  the equipment or clothing needed for a particular activity.
Parka- noun. a warm, heavy jacket with a hood
Splendid- adjective.  very good, excellent
Twitch- verb.  to make small, jerky movements
Willow- noun.  a tree with narrow leaves and thing branches that bend easily.
Yanked- verb.  to pull with a sudden, sharp movement.
We will be working on estimating and rounding this week.  This is a difficult skill for students to comprehend.  The short video below demonstrates how I teach them in class (minus the silly rap).  We have to fully get rounding before we can start estimating.


We will be completing our unit on matter this week and taking a quiz on Thursday.

Social Studies:

We will be working with how to read and interpret graphs this week.

Happy First Week of Autumn! Learning Goals for 9/21-9/25


I saw this image posted on a friend’s Facebook page and just fell in love with it!  Autumn is truly a magical time and one of my two favorite seasons.  I love fall and spring because the changes that take place in just a matter of weeks are just breath taking!  I am looking forward to some fall nature walks with the class to learn about the science behind the changes we see in nature around us.  Last week was amazing!  Our first full week together, our first story, finished our first math chapter, and completed our first assessments of the year.  I am very impressed with my class!  This week we are going to continue with our learning momentum by working on the following goals:


This week we will be reading the story, “What About Me.”  Our reading strategy that we will be working on is identifying the sequence, or order of events, in a story.  You can help your child work on this at home by reading together (anything will do!  Short books, chapter books, magazine articles, comic books all work) and asking them to tell you what happened first, next, last, etc.  Below is the presentation that I will be using with the class to introduce this concept.


Carpenter- noun.  someone whose work is building and repairing things made of wood.

Carpetmaker- noun.  A person who makes rugs for floors

Knowledge- noun.  What you know

Marketplace- noun.  A place where people meet to buy and sell things.

Merchant- noun.  A person who buys and sells goods for a living.

Plenty- noun.  A full supply, all that you need; a large enough amount or number

Straying- verb.  To lose your way; wander, roam

Thread- noun.  A very thin string made of strands of cotton, silk, wool, or nylon, spun and twisted together

Spelling Skill:

This week we will be working with making nouns plural.  We will review the rules for making nouns plural as seen in the video below:


We will be beginning Topic 2 in math this week.  Our focus will be on addition and subtraction.  We will learn the properties of addition this week as well as some tricks to help us add using mental math (this may look a bit different than what you may remember the Prezi below should be helpful).

Properties of Addition (commutative, associative, and zero)

Adding using Mental Math- The Common Core Edition


This week we will be continuing our work with states of matter.  We will be conducting 3 experiments to learn more about how atoms look in each state of matter as well as how matter can change from one state to another.

Social Studies:

We will be looking at what it takes to keep a community running this week.  We will be reading about the elements of a community in our Social Studies book and creating a postcard  highlighting our favorite part of our community.


Monday: Addition practice worksheet (please be sure your child shows their work!), Reading comprehension worksheet

Tuesday: Addition practice worksheet (please be sure your child shows their work!), Reading comprehension worksheet

Wednesday: Addition practice worksheet (mental math), Reading comprehension worksheet

Thursday: Subtraction practice worksheet (please be sure your child shows their work!), Reading comprehension worksheet, STUDY VOCABULARY

Friday: No homework, READING and VOCABULARY TEST




Falling into Learning! Weekly Learning Goals for 9/14-9/18


I am looking forward to meeting as many parents as possible Tuesday evening at Back to School night.  Above is a picture of one of the many things we have been working on since school began.  Students created flip books to commemorate their first day of school and write down their hopes, dreams, and set some goals for the coming year.  This week will be our first full week of the school year!  Below is our learning goals and some helpful links to make homework a breeze!


This week we will be reading, “When Charlie McButton Lost Power.”  Our vocabulary words are bat, battery, blew, fuel, plug, term, and vision.  We will be taking a test on these words along with our reading concepts for the week on Friday.  Our reading concept this week is literary elements.  Students will be learning to identify the characters, setting, and theme for a story.


We will be finishing our first topic this week!  In this topic we learned how to read and write numbers in word form, standard form, and expanded form.  We also worked on placing numbers on a number line, compare numbers, and put numbers in order from least to greatest or greatest to least.  The video below will help review place value and comparing and ordering numbers.  we will be taking our test on Friday.


In science this week we will be conducting our first experiment.  We will be learning about the 3 states of matter- solids, liquids, and gasses.  Below is a catchy song to help kids remember the 3 states.


And We’re Off!!!!! Learning Adventures for September 8-11

WOW! I am so excited about this year!  We got off to an AMAZING start last week!  Here are some high lights:

Welcome to our newest Bacon Bear!

Welcome to our newest Bacon Bear!

We celebrated our first birthday of the year healthy schools style!

We celebrated our first birthday of the year healthy schools style!

Trying out our new playground equipment!  Future Lacrosse players in the making!

Trying out our new playground equipment! Future Lacrosse players in the making!

We created class rule posters

We created class rule posters


We learned about being Bucket Fillers and pledged to be a Bully Free Zone this year!








We will be doing some pretty epic things this year and I have MANY surprises up my sleeves, but it’s going to be hard to top our first class music video (while it’s a little hard to hear them, we changed all the lyrics to Whip Nae Nae to relate it to school!)

Every Sunday, while I am planning our lessons for the week, I will also update this blog.   In each update I will post our learning goals for the week along with helpful videos or tips to make homework a breeze!  We will have homework every night except Fridays.  Also, please remember to check and sign your child’s agenda EVERY DAY (even Fridays).  On the front of your child’s homework folder you will see a communication sheet that I will update daily.  They receive a sticker or smiley face for each task they complete that day: have their agenda signed, turned in any homework, completed classrwork assignments and have had a good day behavior wise.  If for some reason you see a check mark any any of those columns, please peek in the folder for a note explaining the cause.  They will either have a “Sour Note” for forgetting their homework (they can complete it and turn it in for the next day. I accept late work within reason), a “Bitter Note” for any behavior issues (I will ask that it is signed and returned to show that you received it), or an “Uh-Oh Note” explaining why classwork was not completed (this work is then added to their homework to be completed that night).



This week’s learning goals:


We will be learning about the different genres (types) of literature we will read this year.  Below is a short video that defines each genre for you to review with your child.   We will be creating graphic organizers in our interactive notebooks to help us study and remember these throughout the year.  There will be a short quiz on Friday to test our skills at classifying fiction or non fiction pieces of writing.


We will be learning different ways to read and write numbers as well as reviewing place value. Good Luck getting this song out of your head!  (I’m sorry in advance for the many silly songs that you will be stuck singing this year!)


We will be doing a lot of experiments this year!  Before we can do any of them though, we need to review proper safety procedures.  We will be spending time this week creating safety posters to serve as reminders for us.

Social Studies:

This week we will be learning about how departments in the community work together to keep us healthy and safe.  Our class jobs are set up to model these community groups.  We will also be working on locating we in the world we live!  Sorry no cute video for this one!


Continue reading »

2015-2016 3rd Grade School Supply List

It’s that time again!  School supply shopping!  As a parent, I realize that this can be both overwhelming and expensive.  I have tried to bargain shop for you and have put together the list below to help guide your search:

5 1-subject spiral notebooks (Staples has them for $0.25 each)

1 Index card box (Target has them for $1.14)

1 pack of index cards (Target has them for $0.64)

Glue sticks (Target had a pack of 6 for $0.99- this would allow for some at home for crafts some at school)

Pencils- any variety will do!  My kids prefer the mechanical ones that’s why they are in the picture below.  (Target had a box of 24 mechanical pencils for $1.99)

BLUE or BLACK pens- PLEASE be kind to my poor eyes and don’t get the crazy colored ones!

Hi Lighters- any color is fine

5 pocket folders

All of the items needed (except the folders- oops!) are in the picture below.  I was able to purchase everything for less than $10.00.  I’m sure that you may even be able to do better with coupons or by shopping around more, but this was a last minute trip with 3 kids!  I look forward to meeting all of my new students in September!


Preparation is the Best Remedy for Anxiety


I received an email from a former student this morning.  Yes, it is July.  Ye,s it is Saturday.  Yes, I realize that as a teacher most of my friends and family think I am off duty for the summer.  I was to happy to realize that my students know better!  This child was with me for 4th grade and a frequent visitor to my class during her 5th grade year as well.  It dawned on her this morning (sometime after midnight but be for  I checked my email at 7:30) that she was growing up and that that is scary.  In addition to growing up, she like many students her age is freaking out about transitioning to middle school.  In particular she was scared that others would make fun of her because she forgot how to do long division already.  Well, I am not going to allow one of “my kids” to enter a new school year feeling overwhelmed or unprepared!  I know for a fact she is not alone in these fears.  My own daughter and her friends are also  making this leap this year.  It is a constant conversation in our house as to how she can handle her stress about this change.

I have always felt the best way to conquer anxiety is to be as best prepared for the anxiety-causing situation as possible.  As a response to my former students concerns, as well as my own concerns for my daughter and her friends, I have created a group on Sophia.org for 5th graders transitioning to 6th grade.  Starting Monday, I will post some interactive online review sessions for students to complete to brush up on Math and Language Arts skills to help build their confidence heading into middle school.  Any concepts presented would be beneficial to any 5th grader nation wide so feel free to share with your friends.  This opportunity is FREE and SECURE for students to participate in.  To sign up follow these steps:

1. If you don not have an account already, register for a free account on Sophia.org

2. Once you have an account, you will need the group code 88fc5f4 to join the Middle School Prep for 5th Graders group

3.  Please introduce yourself on our group wall and let me know of any specific skills you would like to review (I will try to accommodate as many requests as possible)

4.  Please remember that the group wall is to ask questions or provide support and although we are not in school, good cyber etiquette is still expected.  Anyone caught being inappropriate or mean will be removed from the group  without hesitation.

As I told my former student and repeatedly tell my daughter.  Growing up is scary, but you don’t have to do it yet!  Enjoy this next stage in life and, in the words of Bob Marley, “Don’t worry about a thing! ‘Cause every little thing’s gonna be alright!”  Enjoy the rest of your summer break and I look forward to working online with my “class” of students!

Farewell and Good Luck to the Class of 2023

Today may be our last day officially together, but it is in no way a good bye.  Regardless of where you end up in life, you have a life-long fan in me!  The hardest part in teaching, as in parenting, is learning to let go and trust that I’ve prepared you as much as possible for your future.  So to my Class of 2023 4th grade graduates I wish the following for you:

1.  Never grow up!  (I know we all tell you to grow up all the time, but we really don’t mean it!)

2.  Continue to see the wonder in the world!

3.  Stay innocent and joyful!

4.  Life is hard sometimes, but only sometimes- the good DOES outweigh the bad!

5.  Be the change we need to make this world better!  Discover things!  Create things!  Develop cures!  Write books!

6.  Be awesome!

7.  I am always here for you!  Regardless of how old you get, I am here to help if you need it!  Once a student, always a friend!

Below is the link to the end of the year video.  I create a video at the beginning of each year to set the tone for our future together and another at the end of the year to celebrate our successes.  This year, I chose the song, “Never Grow Up.”  As a teacher and parent, I love seeing the innocence and wonder and amazement of kids at this age.  They are right between stages- not quite a kid and not quite a teen.  Remember these times and try not to grow up too fast!!!!!!!  I love each of you and hope to see you visit next year!


Mrs. Sinone

The Struggle is Real- End of the Year Blues



It’s that time again.  The time of year when on one hand you are counting the days to fun in the sun and on the other hand you are dreading saying good bye to your students.  As the year ends, there are so many things to look forward to!  Awards ceremonies, concerts, fun days, and getting to all the crafty stuff we haven’t had time to do during the year are just a few of the perks the end of the school year provides.  Mixed in with those, however, are the creeping thoughts that these are the last smiles and laughs you’ll hear from these students for the summer.  Hopefully they come back to visit on their way to 5th grade next year, but for some they won’t.  They may be moving or transferring schools.  As a teacher I am often asked towards this point in June, “so how many days do you have left?”  Some days I know the number, but most days I respond, “not enough.”

To the parents of my students this year:  Thank you!!!!!!  Thank you for sharing your children with me.  Thank you for trusting me to guide them academically.  Thank you for getting them to school each day so I could hear all their stories.  Thank you for letting me share in their triumphs at concerts and sporting events.  Thank you for all the supplies and goodies sent in throughout the year (and for sticking to my healthy snacks only rule!).

To my students:  We aren’t done yet!  Thank you for coming and still being eager to learn.  Thank you for all the encouraging pictures and notes you leave me daily.  Thank you for your smiles and hugs.  Thank you for your funny stories.  Thank you for trying your best each day.  Thank you for being you. Thank you for challenging me to be the best me I can be and to learn better ways to teach you what you need to know!  Thank you for putting up with substitutes when I needed to attend trainings or care for my own kids when they were sick.  Thank you for the last 100+ days of laughter and learning.

To my husband and kids:  Thank you for sharing me with my students.  Thank you for understanding when I needed to spend hours grading or planning. Thank you for being my guinea pigs for many of my teaching ideas.  Thank you for coming to give me hugs at the end of some of the longer days throughout the year.  Thank you for adopting my class as part of our extended family and asking about them by name each night.

Our school’s motto is “Then, Now, Always Family.”  I can honestly say my family grows by 18-20 kids each year.  We laugh together, cry together, get mad at each other, get frustrated by each other, and learn from each other every day.  At the end of the day though, I can honestly say my heart grows exponentially each year to add “my kids” to my family.  You may leave, I may have a hard time placing a name in a few years when you are 2 feet taller than me and grown, but you’ll always be welcome in our school, in my class, or in what ever office I end up in some day as my career evolves.  I am always and email or a tweet away.  I cherish these final days and our final memories of this 4th grade year.  Each year I start off with a theme song and end with a farewell song and video.  Stay tuned for our farewell video the last day of school (it takes me a while to get through it!  Choosing pictures is hard when you are either cracking up or tearing up!).

Spring is in the Air!

This week we are wrapping up our first PARCC test for the year. To celebrate our students hard work we made paleo shamrock shakes. Why paleo? Well, we are a healthy schools school and are adhering to our mission to teach students about healthy food choices. This recipe results in a yummy, minty treat that is good for you too! Don’t let the list of ingredients fool you, they are amazing!
Just check out this shake-stache!


Paleo Shamrock Shakes
13 oz coconut milk (we used coconut dream)
1 avocado
1cup ice
1tsp vanilla extract
1/2 to 1 tsp (depending on your mint preference) peppermint extract
3-4 tbsp honey

Blend and enjoy!


They loved it so much they even forgot that we were practicing our math skills by measuring!


After we had our yummy snack, we tested out our green thumbs by starting our windowsill herb garden and prepping our small growing trays for seeds we will plant tomorrow! We are studying plant life cycles, ecosystems, and learning responsibility as we prepare for earth day and spring!