Cultivating Minds Without Losing My Own

Join me on my Adventures in Elementary Education

Welcome October- Learning Goals and Tools for Sept. 29th-Oct. 3rd




Wow!  Where did September go?  This week begins October and as the image above states, we are going to make it AWESOME!!!!!!!  Last week, I spent some time in the evenings learning about the website and taking some tutorials online to become Flip Classroom Certified.

flipped classroom 2

What is a flipped classroom?  Does that mean I am now teaching gymnastics?  No gymnastics lessons (although back in the day I had a killer back handspring- just saying), but rather a way to have students learn the lesson for homework so that when they are in class with me they can apply the skills rather than sit through a lecture.  Starting Monday, I will be assigning a flipped assignment each night.  Students will need access to a computer, tablet, ipod touch, smart phone, or any other device that has internet connectivity.  If you do not have internet access at home, don’t fret!  Students can also look at the lesson in class if necessary.  They will watch a short video or view a website or presentation about a concept.  Once they are done, they will take a short quiz online.  I will look at the quiz results first thing in the morning or as soon as they finish for those who don’t have internet at home (they are graded on completion not how they scored as they can retake the quiz as many times as necessary to pass it- so it’s either a 100 or a 0).

flipped classroom


For students who got the concept quickly and are ready to move on, I will assign them the practice sheet to complete independently and then they will work on an enrichment lesson.  For those, who got it but still have a few questions, we will meet in a small group to clarify what needs working on and then they will move on to the independent practice sheet.  For those students who are really struggling, we will meet and I will reteach the lesson and we will complete a guided practice sheet together before they move on to working independently.  I am really excited to see how this works!  All students have their Sophia log-in information and we have practiced in class a number of times last week.  If you have any questions or encounter problems, please do not hesitate to email me at

This weeks learning goals and tools:


This week will be reviewing author’s purpose.  This is a concept we covered a few weeks ago, so at the end of this week we will be having a short quiz to check for mastery.  We are also working on combining simple sentences into compound sentences.  For example:

The dog was very tired.  It had been running all  morning.  = The dog was very tired because it had been running all morning.

Vocabulary  Words for the Week: bargain, favor, lassoed, offended, prairie, riverbed, shrieked



This week we are wrapping up our review of addition and subtraction.

Examples of regrouping when adding three digit numbers:

Regrouping twice when subtracting three digit numbers:


Last week we learned about the elements of an ecosystem.  This week we are going to focus on the ecosystems in the United States.  Students will learn about them via a Sophia tutorial and then use the information they’ve gained through taking notes to create a Ecosystems of the USA poster.  Check back next week to see our work!


Lesson Objectives and Tools for Sept. 15-19


I am looking forward to meeting all of you at Back to School Night!  We will be hosting our parents beginning at 7:00 on Tuesday, September 16th.   All families are asked to report to the gym for Dr. Cook’s opening remarks and then you will be dismissed to the classrooms to visit ME!  For those of you who can not make it, I will post our Back to School Night Prezi on Wednesday so that you can have the same information.

back to school night
Your kids ROCK!!!!!!!  We completed a full week last week and let me tell you, I held nothing back!  We completed almost an entire chapter in Math and our first story in Language Arts.  Students learned how to log in to our Math and Reading website which we will use daily in class, Below are our objectives for the week as well as some tools to help support what we are learning in class.

Reading:  This week we will be focusing on determining the Author’s Purpose.  We will also continue working with Sentence Types focusing this week on Exclamatory and Imperative Sentences.

Vocab Words: Docks, migrating, scan, scent, warf, yearned

Math: This week we will be taking our first math test on Tuesday, covering multiplication facts and how they relate to division.  After that we are moving into exploring Place Value and how it helps when comparing and ordering numbers.  

Social Studies:  We are continuing our study of New Jersey this week focusing on the 4 regions of NJ as well as some of the Tourist Stops that have historical importance.

Science:  We will be starting an investigation about what goes into forming our weather.  The link below will lead you to an informative webiste that we will be using during our science lessons and centers this week.

Whew!  I’m exhausted just reading over this!  4th Graders, I hope you’re ready!!!!!!

Welcome To 4th Grade!


Well, they say all good things must come to an end- even summer vacation!  I am super excited to get to know all of my new students this week!  But first, let me introduce myself!  My name is Carrie Sinone and this is the beginning of my 13th year of teaching all of which have happened here in the Millville Public School district.  This year is going to be a pretty busy one for me as I am working on completing the classes I need to obtain my principal certification.  Trust me kids, I understand your frustration with homework because I am doing it every night too!  In addition to teaching and taking classes, I am also a wife and mother to 5 pretty awesome kids!  Our oldest, Hayle,  is graduating high school this year, Jade is starting her Sophomore year, Tyler is going into 6th grade, Madison will be in 5th grade, and the baby of the bunch is starting 2nd grade this week.  We are definitely busy in our house all the time!  With that said, I know that completing homework each night can be a struggle with all of the activities that kids are involved in, however, it is important to continue to practice at home!  Each night, Monday-Thursday, your child will have a short math assignment and a short reading assignment (one worksheet each or sometimes just one double sided worksheet).  It is important that they try to complete it each night.

Each year, I choose a theme song for our class.  This year, I chose Phillip Phillips song “Home.”  Throughout the school year we will spend 6 hours a day together.  That is the largest chunk of time in most of our days.  I strive to make our class feel like a home away from home.  I work hard each summer after our amazing custodians are finished cleaning our room to decorate and prepare if for the students’ arrival.  I truly love getting to know all the kids and end up crying to see them leave the last day.  Take a peek at my welcome back video below to see how the room is transformed and get to know me and my family a bit better!

Class List

Nathanial Adams

Derek Bielawski

Jiana Brooks

Dominic Cerda

Rocco Colella

Raenell Cottman

Cecely Domniguez

Dimia Donaldson

Alyssia Gomez

Madison Maines

Dominick Martinez

Manuel Maymi

Matthew Perry

Aleah Rothmaller

Kevin Smith

Thomas Smith

Kendall Sooy

Supply List- Please try to have by Monday, September 8th if possible!


Flash drive

Earbuds or headphones (that can be left at school for centers)

5 2-pocket folders


I am looking forward to meeting you all on Thursday!  Get ready for a SUPER year!

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Easing Test Anxiety- Tips to Help Your Child Feel Prepared and Stress Free on Test Days


It’s that time of year again- NJASK time.  We will be testing from Monday, May 12th to Friday, May 16th.  The first two days will be focused on Language Arts, the second two days on Math, and the final day on Science.  While this one week out of the entire year really shouldn’t get the fanfare that it does as it is only one of MANY ways students are assessed each year, it still manages to cause unnecessary stress and anxiety for many (teachers too!).  There are many things you can do at home to help prepare your child for the test each day.  Below are a few easy tips to help make next week less stressful!

Tip #1- Get a Good Night’s Sleep!

good sleep


As if testing and sitting still for the morning isn’t hard enough, imagine doing that while tired!  Try to get between 7-8 hours of sleep the night before the test.  Wake up on time so that you don’t feel rushed or panicked as you start your day.

Tip #2- Eat a Healthy Breakfast!

healthy breakfast

Try to avoid sugary cereals or treats in the morning.  The sugar may give you energy initially, but it will cause you to tire out quickly!  Also, try not to eat too large of a breakfast if you are not used to that.  We don’t want to have to worry about a sore stomach while we are giving our brain a workout!

Tip #3- Wear Comfortable Clothes!

comfy clothes

Make sure you keep an eye on the weather report and dress appropriately.  You don’t want to be too hot or too cold.  You can bring a lightweight hoodie to wear if you think you will be chilly, but you will not be permitted to wear heavy coats.  Also, remember you will be sitting for the majority of the morning.  Wear clothes that will be comfortable around the waist.  I suggest sweats or elastic waist bottoms and loose, comfortable fitting tops.

Tip #4- Don’t Spend Too Much Time on Any One Problem

time management

Pace yourself!  If you begin to get frustrated with a question, skip it and come back to it if time allows.

Tip #5- Use ALL of the Time Given!

keep writing

Remember if you finish early to go back and check your work.  Did you use the Writer’s Checklist?  Did you answer every question?  Did you record your answers in the correct spot?  Can you add anything to your written responses or open ended questions?


try your best

Remember this is just one test!  You’ve learned everything you need to complete this throughout the year.  Your teachers are rooting for you!  WE KNOW YOU CAN DO THIS!

As parents we often feel helpless during test week.  Please keep a positive attitude and encourage your child to try their best as that’s all they can do!  Also, when your child comes home,  if the weather  and your schedule allow, please give them some down time to decompress!  Let them play!  I will not be assigning homework at all next week as we are working super hard all day.  We will be working a fun science activity in the afternoons- dissecting owl pellets!  If you have any questions or concerns, please reach out to your child’s teacher!


No April Fools in Room 11! We are All About Education!


Finally some weather that is somewhat like spring!  This means three things- our schedules are getting busier, our allergies are becoming an issue, and spring fever is on its way!  I am asking for donations of hand sanitizer and soft tissues to help us through the allergy season.  Due to the increase in sneeze related disinfecting our hand sanitizer supplies are dwindling and our poor noses would greatly appreciate softer tissues than our nurse supplies!  I’ll even toss in extra credit points on your child’s lowest test grade to sweeten the deal!  This week’s learning objectives are listed below!  Also please check our our upcoming events on the Important Dates page to the right. Check out our new laptops!  Woo Hoo!



Math:  This week we are reviewing skills to prepare for the next RAC test.  We will be focusing on converting fractions to decimals, line plots, multiplying fractions by a whole number, and solving word problems. 

Language Arts:  We are reading “Encantado” this week, which is a non fiction story about the Amazon River Dolphin.  We will be researching both Amazon River Dolphins and Bottle Nose Dolphins and writing a compare and contrast essay.  The prezi below is one that we will be using to introduce this essay format.

 growth chartScience:  We are learning about plants.  We have studied their life cyles,seedlings photosyntheis, and parts.  We will be reviewing this week along with charting the progress of the seedlings we planted last week.  We were surprised to see seedlings when we came in on Monday!

The Prezi below will help to review for our Plant quiz on Friday!



Fabulous Fables, Particular Patterns, Much Ado About Matter- Weekly Objectives January 13-17


the horned toad prince  This week is going to be spectacular, I just know it!  We are going to have good weather (fingers crossed), work hard, and great attitudes.  I am so excited to start our next unit in Language Arts- Fables, Folktales, Tall Tales, and Mythology.  It is definitely one of my favorite each year because we can get VERY creative.  We will be writing our own fables, acting out fables we read, and looking for common threads among all of the stories in this unit.  We will also be starting a new weekly assignment for Language Arts homework.  Instead of a worksheet assignment each night, students will be assigned a short story, play, or article to read all week and given a packet of worksheets on Monday that are do back to me completed by Friday.  Don’t fret however if your child loses his or her magazine or packet, I will post a link that will allow you to print out the article to read (or in some cases you will be able to listen to it on line) as well as the worksheets he or she will need to complete.  This week we are reading “Yeh Shen.”  The link to the Play and the worksheets is here:  Yeh Shen Homework Due Friday!  Below are our learning objectives and video links for this week.


We will be completing our unit on Patterns this week.  We are working with patterns in tables as well as geometric patterns.  We will be having a test on Friday covering all of Topic 2.  Your child can review for this test by logging into the PearsonSuccessNet website and reviewing the week’s lessons as well as play some review games.  Click on the link below for another review site.

 Pattern Review Website


As mentioned above we will be beginning our study of fables this week.  One of the most famous author of fables was Aesop.  Below is a link to help you identify key elements of fables.



This week we will be wrapping up our unit on matter.  We will be writing our own non fiction books about matter to help us review prior to our test on Friday.  Here is a video to help reinforce the three states of matter.


Holy Icicles, Batman!


BRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR!  It is cold out there!  I was happy to see all my little snowboys and girls made it in today and were nicely bundled up.  Welcome back to school after our slightly extended winter break.  I hope everyone enjoyed their time off.  I know I did!  This week we will be saying good by to the old by wrapping up our Model Curriculum Unit 2 Assessments and hello to the new by welcoming a new student and a new science unit!  Please take a peek at our weekly goals and lesson reviews below:


This week we will be exploring patterns in numbers, shapes, and pictures.  We will be getting a bit crafty and creating patterns out of pictures called tessellations as well to help brighten our dreary winter hallways.  Learn more about tessellations below:



Since we do not have a full week of reading time to work with due to Unit 2 Testing, we will be using the Storyworks magazine to help us learn how to find information in short articles, use the pictures, and deal with new vocabulary words.  Click on the link below to view copies of the articles, listen to the audio versions of the stories, and access selected videos that help to develop the concepts.

Storyworks Magazine


This week we will begin our investigation into the States of Matter.  We will be conducting a number of short experiments to help demonstrate each of the states of matter as well as working with our groups to complete some activities to help us with our understanding of this concept.  We will all be the authors of our first Non-Fiction books by the end of next week.  Be on the lookout for more information about that.  In the meantime, here is a short video to help you review the states of matter:


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.


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.


Oh What a Week We Are in For!


This week is jam packed with exciting activities!  We are starting off on Monday with Earth Day and Bubbles for Autism (see the pics below).  For Earth Day we created planet Earth mobiles with going green tips hanging from the.  We also watched some of the Plant Earth DVD series and The Lorax with the rest of the school.

Tuesday we will be hosting students from the Sr. High School who will be teaching us about how laws are created.  We will even be writing and debating our own laws!

Wednesday we will be among the first in the city to see the High School’s performance of Beauty and the Beast (one of Mrs. Sinone’s favorite musicals)!

Thursday Maren and Madison will be joining our class for the day for take your child to work day.  Anyone going to work with their parents, please send in a note to have the absence excused.

Friday will be the only “normal” day of the week (whatever that means :)!

While we will be having a fun week, there will still be homework Tuesday through Thursday.

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