Happy Thanksgiving!


While many are planning their shopping strategies already for the weekend, I’m a firm believer in taking time instead to give thanks for what I have already in my life.  This week is always one of my favorite as a teacher.  Not only do I get to help my students develop an attitude of gratitude through reflection activities and webquests about the first Thanksgiving, but I also get to spend time with parents during our annual parent/teacher conferences.  I really enjoy getting to meet and share the awesome things my students are doing with their parents!

In preparation for our conferences this year I did something a little different.  I found an amazing freebie on Teachers Pay Teachers that helped to make sure that our time in conferences was purposeful. The first image below is a questionnaire I sent home the week before conferences for parents to reflect on how they are seeing their child progress so far this year.  I was very happy to have the majority of my class return these!  This allowed me to have time prior to our assigned conferences to gather resources and materials to best be prepared for our meetings.  The second image below is another freebie find that I used to help me be more focused with my concerns (I tend to be easily distracted during conferences telling parents how awesome their kids are!) :) )  This form is a take away that parents can take home and share with their child.  It breaks down their grades and areas of success and concern in classroom behaviors.  I must say that I did not create either of these forms, so please join me in thanking the lovely ladies who did create them and posted them on TPT for all of us to use!  Thank you!  Clicking on the picture will take you to each of their TPT stores to enjoy these FREE downloads!

Parent Questionnaire

Parent Questionnaire From Zanah McCauley

Teacher Forms to Help with Conference Preparation from More Time 2 teach

Teacher Forms to Help with Conference Preparation from More Time 2 teach

teacher form 2


This week we will be taking a virtual field trip back to the first Thanksgiving courtesy of Scholastic.com.  This webquest is very well put together and a wonderful resource full of videos and text resources to share with students.  Students love seeing how the pilgrims lived and hearing how they spoke.  As a culminating activity each year, I make hardtack with my class.  Hardtack was a food staple during the passage over on the Mayflower as well as when they first were setting up their settlement here.  The image below is a link to the Scholastic site.

First Thanksgiving Webquest from Scholastic.com

First Thanksgiving Webquest from Scholastic.com

Hardtack Recipe

Hardtack Recipe

Finally, I would like to leave you with a heart felt thanks for being a part of our classroom!  Below is a link to my annual Thanksgiving video.  Each year I choose a song that has a message of thanks and have students compose visuals to express their gratitude.  This year we worked with hashtags to develop a concept of how hashtags are useful in grouping ideas and concepts.  Please enjoy!  Our song this year is the Charlie Brown Thanksgiving Theme.


One Marking Period Down!


We have officially completed our first marking period!  The kids have worked very hard and I am extremely proud of them!  Many times report card distribution day can cause anxiety.  Please don’t panic!  What is especially nice about the first marking period is that report card distribution is in the same week as parent teacher conferences.  I look forward to meeting with each of you and discussing your child’s progress thus far.  I am using a few new forms this year to help make our conference time more focused and better answer any questions or concerns you may have.  Most of you have returned the parent input form that I attached to your conference time letter.  This will better help me to be prepared to answer any questions you have as well as gather any resources that you may need to help your child at home.  When you come to conferences, you will receive a detailed report with your child’s current levels, areas of strength, and areas needing improvement.  I will also keep a copy of this form as I will be updating it every marking period and sending it home with each report card.

This week our school will be participating in our annual Thanksgiving Feast.  This happens to be my FAVORITE school activity!  I love getting the chance to sit down and have “dinner” with my students and share what we are grateful for.  Stay tuned as I will be posting a video of our feast later this week.  Our cafeteria will be preparing all food for this event.  If you would like to help out you may send in canned food items that we will be donating to local families in need.

Due to conferences, all students will have a half day on Friday.  Our dismissal time is 1:45.  Below is our learning goals for this week:


This week we will be working on becoming reading detectives.  We will be reading to find information and draw conclusions.  We will also be working on a fun writing piece this week.  Students will take on the point of view of a turkey and try to persuade us not to eat them.  Below is a presentation reviewing how persuasive writing differs from the writing we have done so far this year.



We will be continuing to learn our multiplication math facts this week.   We will be taking a test on Topic 5 on Tuesday which will cover 0, 1, 2, 5, and 10 times tables.  We will be learning 3’s and 4’s this week.  We will also be making flash cards to take home to practice.  Here is a really neat trick to multiply by 3’s:

Here is a short video to help review 4’s:

Election Day!


This (short) week we will be learning about the election process.  Students will be working in cooperative groups to research different types of leadership around the world as well as the voting process for different countries.  We will spend all morning Monday gathering information and creating a visual to share with the class during presentations on Tuesday.  Be prepared, your kids may be nagging you to go vote on Tuesday (part of my evil plan muhahahahahaha)!

Soap box moment- Please remember to take a few minutes out of your day on Tuesday and vote.  This year we are voting for school board and local elections only.  Voter turn out has been very low in recent years.  These elections are critical to our community as they directly impact our schools, communities, and state.  I take my kids with me each year so that they can see the process.  You are allowed to do this!  There are so many people who have fought so hard for ALL of us to have the RIGHT to VOTE!  It is only right that we honor their struggle by voting.

We have off on Thursday and Friday so that teachers around the state can attend the NJEA conference.  Since it is a shortened week, we will not be starting a new story.  We will also be wrapping up our Topic 4 in math with a test on Tuesday.


A Week of Tricks and Treats!

This week is full of surprises!  Some are fun and I am looking forward to and some not so much.  I get to start off the week with jury duty.  This is a new experience for me.  I’ve never actually had to report for jury duty, so I am trying to take Dr. Cook’s advice and look at this as a learning experience to share with my class.  In our social studies lessons we have been learning about how laws and the court system were developed by the ancient Greeks and Romans to ensure that people were given a fair trial when accused of doing wrong.  Prior to the current system of a jury, anyone could be accused and punished by just the town leader.  So, I will be journaling about my experience (about the process not any details of cases of course)  to share with my class upon my (hopefully short) stint at jury duty.

jury duty

We will be ending our week on a much more fun note with a Healthy Halloween Celebration.  If you would like to send in your child’s costume for our annual costume parade that is fine.  They will have an opportunity to change after lunch.  After the parade we will be having some snacks in our room.  If you would like to send in a healthy snack for the class to share that would be great!  I will be sending home a flier with more information but below is a picture from the Daily Journal a few weeks ago with some snack ideas.


Weekly Learning Goals:


We will be combining science and reading this week as we learn about the arctic and antarctic habitats and penguins.  Our story is “Penguin Chick.”  Our focus skill will be identifying main ideas and supporting details.  We will be using a new type of reading test this week.  Our reading series offers a version of the weekly test that is closely aligned with the type of questions students will see on the PARCC.  After much consideration, I have decided to start using this version each week to assist students in feeling prepared for the PARCC this spring.  I will be sending home a sample test for you to look at with your child to see how it differs from the tests we had been using.  Below is a short presentation to help with this week’s Main Idea homework.


We will beginning our study of multiplication this week.  As the weeks go on we will be creating multiplication flash cards for students to study at home.  I will be administering timed tests weekly to help students track their progress.  These tests don’t count as tests but are used by the students to graph their progress.  We will be using both our math series and a program called Rhymes and Times to help students develop both a deep understanding of what multiplication is as well as build speed with the basic math facts.  Below are the rhymes I will be teaching them to help them remember some of the tricky facts.

October is Filled with Tricks and Treats in Room 11

This month we are finally becoming “real” 3rd graders!  We’ve finished with our reviews and are really diving into learning on a 3rd grade level.  I tell my students each year that one benefit to having me as a teacher is I’ve taught every grade from 3-7 so I know where they need to be and will work hard each year to get them ready for the next!

In October we are working on adding and subtracting larger numbers involving regrouping.  My students are doing VERY well with this!  In fact some love it so much that they are practicing on the playground at lunch!  Those of you reading this who are teachers will understand who awesome it is to see this type of thing!



We are also working with reading different types of texts and digging through them to identify key information.  A few strategies we are using are highlighting, underlining, and using the margins for note-taking.  We read a tough piece about clouds during science and employed all three strategies to make sure we were able to locate all of the important information.  We then placed our marked up article in our interactive science notebooks so that we could reference it during the remainder of our weather unit.


As we grow as students, we need to update our word choice in writing.  We decided since October is a rather spooky month, what better time to put some of our over-used words to bed!  We created a cemetery for over-used words and used a thesaurus to help us come up with some better options.  Students really enjoyed laying our “boring” words to rest and are excited about using our “big kid” choices in the future!



Finally, in addition to our many awesome learning opportunities, we are also celebrating Red Ribbon Week and our Week of Respect.  During this week we work together as a class to make promises not to bully and make healthy choices.  We will be wearing different colors each day this week to represent promises we are making to ourselves and our friends.

Monday- Wear Black to show you won’t stand back when someone is getting bullied

Tuesday- Wear Red to get the word spread- NO DRUGS FOR ME!

Wednesday- Wear Blue to represent a friend who is true

Thursday- Wear Green to show support for those working to keep the world clean!

Friday- Wear Pink to show that you will think of ways to respect yourself and others

Looking ahead to the end of the month here is a list of events to participate in:

Friday, October 30- Halloween Frolic

Now until October 30- send in word finds, crossword puzzles, and suduku books to be donated to those receiving treatment for cancer

November 3- Color Run- More information to follow!  Let me tell you, I just complete a color run at my daughter’s school and it was a BLAST!!!!! This is an event not to miss!




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!


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