Cultivating Minds Without Losing My Own

Join me on my Adventures in Elementary Education

Weekly Learning Goals Feb. 12th-15th


Happy Valentine’s Day!  Happy 100th Day of School! Happy 4 day school week!  We have a lot to celebrate this week!  First and foremost I want to thank all of the families who ordered books from our Scholastic Book order in January.  Thanks to your orders, we were able to choose over 20 books for our classroom library for FREE!  Not only that, but due to the large order EVERY student in our class got a FREE book from Scholastic books to keep!  

We will be celebrating Valentine’s Day at the end of the day with a brief celebration.  Thank you to our room mom for setting that up!  On Thursday we will be celebrating our 100th day of school.  We will have fun reviewing 100 things we’ve learned this year!  Please see below for our weekly learning goals and helpful videos.

Language Arts:  This week we will be wrapping up our lesson on sequencing and summarizing.  We will have a test on Wednesday covering those skills as well as our weekly vocabulary words and the active and passive voice for verbs.

Math:  We started Unit 5 last week.  We will be continuing working with fractions this week.  Specifically, we will be adding and subtracting fractions and mixed numbers with unlike denominators.


Writing:  We will be going for gold with figurative language this week!  Check out the link below to see what we’ll be up to!

Going for Gold in Figurative Language-1gog7w5

Science:  We are learning about matter this week.  We conducted our first investigation last week and will be conducting our second one this week.  The kids are LOVING science and I am loving seeing them excited about learning!



Weekly Learning Goals Week of Feb. 5th-9th


E-A-G-L-E-S! Fly Eagles Fly!  All chants I am hearing as I work on this post!  What an exciting weekend!  We started it off sharing our Eagles pride Friday.

We also attended a showing of the Middle Twp Step Team’s African American History Month performance last Thursday.  We are incredibly proud of our very on Gabrielle!

This week we will be starting the third marking period.  We will also be starting Science for the year.  I’m not sure who is more excited, the kids or me!  Take a peak below for our weekly learning goals and some helpful videos.

Language Arts:  This week we will be reading a Biography and working on sequencing and summarizing.  We will have a test on drawing conclusions and vocabulary on Tuesday.

Math:  We will be taking our Unit 4 test on Monday and our Cumulative Test on Tuesday.  Wednesday starts Unit 5- adding and subtracting fractions.  Before we add and subtract, however, we will work on finding common denominators.

Science:  We will begin working with the concept of matter this week.


Weekly Objectives Week of Jan. 29-Feb. 2


This week we are saying good bye to our first month together and welcoming in February.  We have had a great time over the last two short weeks getting to know each other and learning new things each day!  I wanted to take this opportunity to share some of our favorite new things!  Each day, we learn a new way to greet each other.  So far we know how to say hello in Spanish (hola), French (bonjour), German (hallo and gutan tag), Russian (zdorovo), Welsh (s’mae), Italian (ciao), and Chinese (ni hao).  The kids are super excited each day to learn our greeting of the day!



We have also completed our first classroom challenge!  Each week students earn a chance to complete a classwide classroom challenge if we are able to keep all the letters of CHALLENGE displayed all week.  To keep our letters, we must follow class and school rules and work together as a team.  Challenge task #1 was to create a list of random acts of kindness that and record them on a book mark.  Students worked in pairs and came up with some wonderful ideas that I hope to see enacted!


This particular classroom challenge fit in perfectly with our read aloud.  We started reading/listening to Wonder, by R. J. Palacio, last week.  Students are learning about not judging others by their appearance, the WONDERful gifts that we all possess and can share with the world, and choosing to be kind.  In the book the main character, Auggie, has many unusual facial features.  He is often judged based on his appearance rather than who he truly is.  Throughout the book, he teaches his friends and many adults too to not judge a book by its cover.  This book has a very special meaning for me.  My son also has many special abilities and is often judged based on them.  I love teaching my students about acceptance and being judgement free.  In the book, Auggie’s teacher begins each month by introduce a new precept, or life rule.  We will be incorporating this concept into our class as well.  For February, our precept will be “When given the choice to be right or be kind, choose kind.”

Weekly Lesson Topics:

Language Arts:  This week we will be ready about Molly Pitcher and learning about using details from the text to draw conclusions and make generalizations.  Please visit the spelling and vocabulary pages to the right to review this week’s words and definitions.  Below is a short video about drawing conclusions:


Math:  We will be wrapping up Unit 4 this week and testing next Monday.  This week we will cover adding and subtracting decimals and money using algorithms that we already know.  For those of us that learned math “the old way”, I have embedded a few videos to help you understand the Everyday Math way:

Science:  I am super excited to start science for the year!  I love science experiments!  We will begin the actual science curriculum next Monday.  Before we start experimenting however, we will spend Thursday and Friday of this week learning about science safety and creating safety posters.  To that end, please enjoy this fun science safety video!


Important dates:

Feb. 1- trip to PAC for Step Team Black History Month presentation

Weekly Objectives- January 22-26


Our Summer Camp Stars

Last week was super exciting for many of my students as they starred in the play, “Summer Camp.”  We were able to visit the PAC for the dress rehearsal, and I must say, I was impressed!  I hope that you had an opportunity to watch the performance this weekend.  This week is another short week, as teachers have an in-service on Friday.  There will be no school Friday for students.  Enjoy your three day weekend!  See below for updates on this week’s skills and events:

Choir starts this week on Monday, January 22nd.

Language Arts- This week we will be reading “Can’t You Make Them Behave, King George.”  Our focus skill for this story is Fact and Opinion.  Throughout this week students will work with the main text as well as guided reading texts to practice identifying and recording facts and opinions as they read.  Please see the vocabulary and spelling pages to review the words for the week! Selection test and Spelling test on Thursday!

Math- We will be working with plotting points on a coordinate grid this week.   The video below will demonstrate this skill for help with homework.


Social Studies- We will be identifying famous Spanish explorers this week as well as using elevation maps.


Long Division’s Coming to Town and Our Weekly Learning Objectives 12/8-12/12


This week we are going to spend time with long division.  In honor of this learning goal, I wrote a Christmas Carol about it and recorded it using Powtoons.  Fortunately for you, my vocals did not come through!  Sing along to the tune of “Santa Claus is Coming to Town!”

In addition to long division this week we will also be working with determining the main idea in informational texts.

Our vocabulary words are:








In science we will be continuing our study of magnets. Check out the video below to review the basic magnetic concepts we will be covering.


Veteran’s Day Project Plans and Weekly Objectives November 10-14


I can very honestly say that I can’t wait to return to work with my kiddos tomorrow and get away from the germs that plagued my home THE ENTIRE LONG WEEKEND!!!!!!!!!!  At last count 4 out of 5 people in my home have been sick in the last week with a very unfun virus that left us stranded on the couch vegging out and watching movies.  Hopefully the return to routine will mean the return to health for me and my poor kids!

Last week we had a very short, very productive week.  We learned about the election process, became “registered voters” and elected a class president in a mock election.  Take a peek at what the kids learned as they reflected on the lesson below:



This week we will continue on our project filled November by learning about Veteran’s Day and Remembrance Day.  Students will be taking a virtual field trip to the Tower of London in England on Monday as they celebrate its 100th anniversary.  We will be analyzing memorials from our country as well as England, poetry, and non fiction text to learn more about why people create memorials.  We will be taking a second virtual field trip on Tuesday to visit the war memorials in Washington D.C.   After we explore the different memorials and compare their symbols, students will work cooperatively in groups to create their own memorial for our veterans.  Stay tuned for pictures next week of our hallway display.  Links to the twp virtual trips are below.  The first is offered through Discovery Education UK and the second is a video I shot on a trip to D.C. with my daughter, Madison, a few years ago.

Discovery Education Website

Mrs. Sinone’s Veterans Day short video:

We will also be participating in World Run Day on Tuesday afternoon.  Be sure to wear your sneakers!

world run day



This week we will be completing our 1st marking period benchmark assessment on Monday.  Later this week we will be working on using arrays and expanded algorithms (ways) to multiply 2 digit numbers.  See below for some video resources to help you at home.  This is a new way to do this and it is easier to help your child if you “see” it.

Please check out our Important Dates Page as this month is PACKED with important dates to remember.  I will be sending home conference reminder sheets on Monday of this week.   I will be out of the building on Wednesday as I work with the principals at the Senior High and Lakeside to gain some experience and interview them for my NJEXCEL principal program.  As always, I know my class will be in good hands with one of our substitutes.

How to Make a Short Week Meaningful


It’s that month again- November… you know the one where we never seem to have a full week of school and even when we do everyone is sick thanks to the change of the weather!  While there are many days off during November, there are also many valuable teaching opportunities- especially in the area of Social Studies.   So how can we make the most of our shortened time together?  PROJECTS!!!!!!!!  It’s time to shake it up and bring on the projects!  Kids love them, teachers love them, and they lend themselves wonderfully to the stop/start nature of school days in this month!  Below are a few of the projects that we will be completing this month:


First Week of November:  Election Day Project

This week we will be exploring the origins of Election Day, political parties, the voting process, and conducting our own mock election.  The video below explains why we vote on Tuesdays (a question I have often wondered myself as it seems like an odd choice for an election day!).  We will be working through the election process this week and voting for a mock candidate for class president.  Students will listen to campaign speeches from our two mock candidates, vote at the polls, and justify their choices.  They will also be making their own voter registration cards.

*Parents- if you go out to vote on Tuesday after school, take your kids with you and share the process!

Second Week of November:

During the second (and one of the only full weeks of school) of November, we will be researching the origins of Veteran’s Day.  Students will take a virtual field trip to see the many memorials dedicated to our fallen soldiers in our nation’s capital (see the video I created below).  They will then work in teams to design a memorial to honor our local veterans.

Third and Fourth week of November:

During the final full week and our last short week of November, we will be walking in the footsteps of the Pilgrims and learning about the first Thanksgiving.  We will be researching, comparing and contrasting the Thanksgiving feast we enjoy today with the one that those first settlers enjoyed.  Students will work in pairs to create a menu for today’s feast and a menu from the first Thanksgiving feast using various websites like the one below.  We will make a staple of the pilgrims diet- hardtack (yum) to enjoy in class together.

Scholastic’s First Thanksgiving Website

National Geographic’s First Thanksgiving Website

History Channel’s First Thanksgiving Website

This month I am thankful that I get to share these meaningful, cross-curricular lessons with my class!  I will be combining first and second hand accounts as well as multimedia to enhance my student’s learning experiences.  We will be creating, writing, debating, and collaboratively working to produce meaningful and memorable products.  Stay tuned to see the fruits of our labor in upcoming posts!

Write Like A Reporter



This morning we were visited by a local reporter, Chris Torres, from The Daily Journal. He spoke with our 4th and 5th graders about how reporters develop their stories. He focused on encouraging us to answer the 5 W’s, who, what, when, where, and why. He also spoke with us about the importance of reporting true facts.


Below is a video clip from his visit:

A Day in Room 11


I decided to dedicate this blog to answer the question, “what did you do today?” If your child is anything like any if mine they reply, “nothing.” As parents we know that they did a lot more than nothing but aren’t quite sure what “a lot more” actually is. So today I documented what a day in room 11 looks like. Enjoy!

All of our lessons and centers are designed around our daily objectives.

We begin our day with language arts. A few students needed to finish publishing their Diary of a Spider books.



Why did we write these books? We learned from a mentor text, The Diary of a Fly, about sequence, humor, and intertwining facts into a fictional narrative.



Other students were working on their personal narrative rough drafts in the writing center.


After language arts we had gym. Since the weather did not cooperate we held recess inside and just “Let it Go!”


Following lunch, we have our math lesson. Today we were multiplying 2 digit by 1 digit numbers.


Finally, we wrapped up our day reviewing for our social studies quiz on the NJ Social Studies Weekly Website.




As you can see we work extremely hard everyday! Make sure to stop by and check out our “scary smart skills” the next time you visit our school!


We Will be Author’s this Week- Goals and Tools for Oct. 14-17




I hope you all enjoyed your LONG weekend!  I know I did!  The family and I went and picked up some pumpkins at the pumpkin patch this weekend and then spent all  afternoon today carving them and roasting the seeds for a nice healthy snack!  This week is another short week thanks to our holiday today, but it will be packed with review activities and our first unit test in Language Arts.

Language Arts:

This week we will be reviewing our grammar skills and reading strategies to get ready to complete our first unit assessment.  We will be taking this test on Friday.  Instead of loading this post up with review lessons, each night this week, your child will have a flipped language arts lesson as part of their homework to review the skills needed to be successful on Friday.  Remember flipped lessons are lessons that the students view at home via the internet to better prepare to practice this skills in class the next day.  The results I get from these lessons will help me to better plan which topics we need to review as a whole class and which lessons only a few people need extra help with.



We will be published authors by the end of this week.  We are wrapping up our Diary of a Spider books (stay tuned for a special blog post Friday!) as well as working on our first portfolio piece.  Below is a short video explaining the 6 Traits of Writing that we will be working with this year to produce the best writing pieces that we can.  All of our work will be scored using these 6 categories.



This week will be working with multiplying 2 digit numbers by 1 digit numbers using the standard algorithm (the way us old people learned how to do it!).


Social Studies:

We will be learning about NJ’s first inhabitants this week, the Native Americans.  Many of us think Native Americans are mainly located in the central and western parts of the country.  NJ however is home to many Lenni Lenape tribe members.  The video below features some of the Lenni Lenape from right here in Cumberland County and details their struggle to hold on to their heritage.  We will be focusing on the Native Americans of NJ this month in our social studies lessons.

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