Feliz Dia De Los Muertos!

dia de los muertos 2Today we looked at the holidays that different cultures celebrate at the end of October.  Traditionally, in America we celebrate Halloween.  Halloween, however, has its origins in Europe and we took a trip down our collective memory lane this morning to discover how we evolved from the pagan traditions of the 1700’s to the trick-or-treating we participate in today.  The History Channel provided us with some entertaining and educational videos to learn about how our current traditions came to be.

When we were done learning about the history of our traditions, we took a trip South of the border to Mexico to learn about Dia de los Muertos.  We learned about the symbols of the holiday and how it is celebrated.  We spent some time comparing and contrasting the two celebrations.

dia de los muertos 3

Finally after all of our research, we created our own versions of the highly decorated skulls used in Dia de los Muertos celebrations.  We looked at images of how to decorate the skulls and what the symbols represent and got to work being creative! 

dia de los muertos 1

Delving into History with The Navajo Code Talkers- Weekly Objectives 10/28-11/1


navajo code talkersThis week we will be beginning our investigation into historical non fiction.  We will be beginning with the epic story of The Navajo Code Talkers.  What an amazing group of men!  In addition to learning about these brave Native Americans, we will also be beginning our Social Studies unit on the Native American tribes of NJ. 

Our week is jam packed with learning and activities.  On Monday, we will be having a special guest come in to observe my teaching.  As part of our process to ensure that all students are receiving outstanding educational opportunities in our district, each teacher is observed 3 times a year by a supervisor.  My first observation is Monday morning and I know that my students are going to blow Mrs. Colacurccio out of the water with their awesomeness!  On Tuesday, the class will have thier first full day guest teacher for the year.  I am also sure that they will impress our guest teacher, Mrs. Kelley, with thier cooperation, great behavior, and hard work.  In addistion to our guest teacher Tuesday, it is also School Picture Day so please dress to the nines and remember your picture money.  Tuesday night is our annual Halloween Frolic.  There are many new additions to this awesome tradition this year including healthy snacks for $1, a hay ride, and a costume competition and dance in the gym.  Wednesday and Friday we will be hosting our college students from CCC who are in observing us this month.  Thursday we will be having our Halloween Party. Look for a flier on Monday highlighting snack ideas to send in.  Below are the learning objectives we are somehow fitting in:


Students will be learning how to multiply 2, 3, and 4 digit numbers by 1 digit numbers this week!  We will also be having a multiples of 10 and 100 test on Tuesday.

2-digit times 1-digit number: Multiplying a 2-digit times a 1-digit number


This week we will be reading about The Navajo Code Talkers.  Please click on the following link to learn some background information about these amazing men.  Navajo Code Talkers

We will also be working with sequencing events in a story as well as writing instructions in a sequential order.  The video below will help to review why sequencing is important.


Unit 1 is Complete!!!!! Moving on to Unit 2. Weekly Objectives 10/21-10/25

We survived our first round of Model Assessments.  My students were assessed on both math and language arts skills that we have covered from the first week of school until last Friday.  I have to say they worked very hard and the data I received will help to guide my instruction for the coming unit.  We do have some areas that we will continue to review from Unit 1, but we need to shift our focus forward to Unit 2.  Please see our learning goals and lessons to support learning below:


This week we will be extending on our multiplication knowledge and working with multiples of 10 and 100.  Students will be looking for patterns and simpler problems to solve to help them with this concept.  For example:  5 x 200= 5 x 2 first and then add 2 zeros to the end of the answer  5 x 2= 10   add 2 zeros= 1000. 

Multiplying by multiples of 10:



We will be wrapping up our investigation with magnets this week.  So far we have experimented with what magnets stick to, whether magnets work underwater, whether magnets work through other materials such as a box, and researched industrial uses for magnets.  Students will have an oportunity to revisit these experiments this week and will be quizzed on magnets and their properties on Friday.  Please review the video below.



We will be combining reading and social studies for the next few weeks as we begin our study of the genre (type), Historical Non-Fiction.  Throughout our study of this genre we will be looking at identifying cause and effect, working with first and second hand accounts of historical events, and comparing and contrasting  life in the past to life today.

This website offers a great explanation and practice with Cause and Effect.

Another great tutorial with practice, this time for Compare and Contrast.

Here is a Prezi on First and Second Hand Accounts.


Weekly Objectives for 10/15-10/18

Columbus DayI hope you all had a nice, relaxing long weekend!  We were off to celebrate the birthday of the man credited with “discovering” our country.  While America was not his intended destination, I think we can all agree that his landing here was a happy mistake for us!  This week is jam packed with both new learning experiences as well as a review session for what we have learned already this year in preparation for our first Model Assessment.  We will take an assessment every 5-6 weeks this year to help me better analyze where we are, where we are going, and what we need to review.  While I’m sure the kids as well as myself are not looking forward to all this testing, it will give me valuable information as to what is working and what we can improve on.  It will also be useful to you as parents to guage how well your child is progressing throughout the year.  I will send home a detailed report once all tests have been scored and analyzed.  Look for a reading level report this week.  I have completed our first round of Fountas and Pinnell testing (the benchmark assessment we use to assess a child’s reading level) and have created personalized graphs and suggestion sheets for each child.  Use this information when selecting books from our class book orders, school book fairs, or when selecting books from the library to help you child build reading and vocabulary mileage. 


This week we will be focusing our efforts on learning the basics of division.  In addition to division we will be reviewing all of the math concepts we have encountered so far.  Please feel free to go back through previous posts to find areas your child seemed to struggle with and review the videos and lessons.  This video is a great introduction to division.


Introduction to Division

More math videos on Division at NeoK12.com  



This week we will be continuing our work with comparing and contrasting characters and elements of stories.  In addition to that we will be reviewing the types of sentences as well as subjects and predicates.  Instead of starting a whole new story in this short week and rushing things, we will be studying a few poems.  The first is “The Landlord’s Tale; Paul Revere’s Ride” and the second is “The Village Blacksmith.”  Both poems are by the poet, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.  We will be studying how poems are organized differently then prose stories as well as the rhyme patterns within each poem.   Below are readings of each of the poems. 

“The Landlord’s Tale: Paul Revere’s Ride”


“The Village Blacksmith”


Welcome to October! The Month of Awareness for EVERYTHING! Weekly Goals 10/1-10/4

October is a month that we will spend in awareness of many things!  First off, this week, we will be visiting with the Millville Fire Department and learning about fire safety.  Also, this Friday will be our first wear pink day to raise awareness for breast cancer.  Any student who wears pink on Friday will earn EXTRA CREDIT on their reading test!  Woo Hoo!  Next week we will be participating in our week of RESPECT.  Stay tuned for special dress up days and assembly schedule.  Music lessons begin this week for our class band members.  Please remember to bring your instrument and lesson book on your lesson day.   Below are our learning goals for this week.  We are crusing right along and doing great!


Monday- Students will be adding and subtracting numbers up to 100,000.  Lesson 4-3 and 4-4

Tuesday- Students will be subtracting across zeros.  Lesson 4-5

Wednesday- Topic 4 Test covering addition, subtraction, estimation, and problem solving.

Thursday- Students will review place value and preview Multiples.  Here is a game to review finding multiples!

Friday- FACTOR FRIDAY!  We will be reviewing our multiplication skills and practicing finding factors.


This week we will be disecting the elements of a story and focusing much of our time on Characters and Plot.  Plot is definitely the trickier of the two to identify, but if we use the skills we have gained in our sequencing lesson it shouldn’t be too painful!  Below is a lesson preview of how we will be looking at plot.