Happy Thanksgiving!

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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!

Panic-index

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:

Reading:

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.

 

Math:

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!

vote

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.