Cultivating Minds Without Losing My Own

Join me on my Adventures in Elementary Education

Weekly Objective September 8-12

September7

This week starts our first full week of the school year!  I hope you are as ready as I am to jump in and learn!  Every Sunday I will post our learning objectives for each subject for the week as well as helpful and informative videos, Power Point presentations, Prezis, or other helpful links to ensure that you have as many resources as possible to help your child be successful.  Before I jump into our objectives for this week, I want to let you know that Thursday, September 11th, we will be wearing red, white, and blue in honor of Patriot Day.  Any student who wears all 3 colors will earn 5 extra credit points on the social studies quiz this week!

patriot day

Language Arts:

This week we will be reading and excerpt from Because of Winn Dixie.  Our vocabulary words for the week are as follows:

Grand, memorial, peculiar, positive, prideful, recall, selecting

Our reading strategy of the week is identifying the sequence, or order of events, in a story.

We will also be using sequencing in our writing lessons this week as we begin writing our first personal narrative.  In grammar we will be working to identify the different types of sentences.

Math:
In math this week, we will be spending quite a bit of time reviewing our multiplication tables as well as the properties of multiplication.  In addition we will be beginning to link multiplication to division and working with patterns.

Social Studies:

This week we will be working to learn about the counties of NJ as well as where we are located in our region of the country.  We will also be working on understanding the difference between weather and climate.

Science:

We will be reviewing Science Safety this week and creating posters to hang around the room to remind us how to be safe while we conduct experiments!

As you can see, it’s going to be a busy week!  Expect homework assignments for Monday- Thursday nights in the form of a short math worksheet (10 problems covering many areas of math) and a short reading passage with 4-5 comprehension questions.  Also, any classwork that is not completed in class is the student’s responsibility to complete for homework.

To Every Cause There Must Be an Effect (and Other Life Lessons) Weekly Objectives February 24-28

February23

This week we will have a fabulous finish to February! We will start off the week hosing vistors from around the district to observe our class hard at work learning about Dr. Martin Luther King in the story “My Brother Martin.” A major skill we will be working with is cause and effect relationships. Take a peek at the presentation below to review this skill. You can help me out by asking your child to tell you why things happen or to explain what happens when…. (you fill in the blank). In Math this week we will be reviewing fractions and patterns to prepare for our next RAC test which will be taking place next week. Please remember these assessments are for informational purposes only and not effecting your child’s grade. I do encourage every student to try their absolute best as I use the results to plan our next lessons. In social studies this week we will be wrapping up our African American History Month Inventors posters and learning about the three branches of government. Please review the presentations below to help prepare your child for the week or to review any of the concepts as the week progresses. As always, please feel free to contact me with any questions or concerns.

Cause and Effect

Branches of Government

African American History Month Project

February19

We will be completing an African American History Month research  project this week and next week in class during our afternoons.  Each student will be responsible for researching an African American Inventor, gathering information and creating an info-graphic poster about the inventor and the importance of the invention.  Details about the project can be found in the Powerpoint  presentation below.  Students will be viewing the presentation in class this week, but will have access to review it as necessary. 

 

We Have Olympics Fever!

February12

 bulletin board The Sochi Olympics are underway and we couldn’t be more excited!  What a wonderful learning opportunity across so many different subjects!  Prior to the Opening Ceremonies, we created a bulletin board to help us keep track of the United States Athletes medals.  Each day we visit the Sochi2014.com website to update our medal count.  My students are loving adding medals each day!

 

Another project we have worked on in cooperative groups was to research oneski mt bacon of the countries competing for gold in Sochi.  Each group chose a country from the Sochi2014 website.  Once they had their country, they researched its flag, where it is located in the world, it’s population, what education is like in that country, what they eat there, the climate, and what events they had athletes competing in this year.  Students spent 3 afternoons researching information on our classroom computers and iPads.  Once they gathered their information they created info-graphic posters to display next to our medal count bulletin board.  Students had a blast learning about different countries.  In fact, they had so much fun they didn’t realize they were writing non fiction!

country projectsOne of the things I realized as we were doing our research was that my students lacked background knowledge of many winter sports.  We live in Southern New Jersey which means that mountains and hockey rinks are not very close by.  To help provide some background knowledge of my favorite Winter sport, skiing, I brought my ski equipment in and had the class “ski Mt. Bacon.”  We conducted a photo shoot in which every student put on all the equipment needed for a successful ski run, watched a short instructional ski video, and then took an imaginary run down the mountain.  Students then wrote about their feelings as they took their imaginary run down the slopes. I’m pretty sure I have some future skiers in this group!

Monday Begins Our Chocolate Touch Unit! It’s Going to be Sweet!

December1

I hope you and your families enjoyed a relaxing Thanksgiving and you got some good deals for those of you brave enough to go shopping on Black Friday.  I enjoyed every minute of time with my family eating delicious food, decorating the house (the day after Thanksgiving of course!), and picking out and cutting down our Christmas tree.  Although I was busy this weekend, I made sure to get my plans done for the coming week.  I am so excited to start our novel study of The Chocolate Touch this week.  So that you can follow along with what we are doing in class, I have created educreations lessons with the vocabulary words for each chapter, comprehension questions, and a narration of the story by yours truly.  Enjoy!  Here are this weeks goals and objectives:

Math:

This week we will be review factors, multiples, prime and composite numbers and beginning to work with equivalent fractions.  The video below will help you to review at home:

 

Recognizing prime numbers: Recognizing Prime Numbers

This link will help to understand the concept of equivalent fractions.   Fractions by Math is Fun

Reading:

Monday- We will be starting our Chocolate Touch Adventure today with chapter 1:

 

Tuesday we will cover chapter 2:

 

Wednesday we will be reading chapter 3:

 

Thursday we will be reading chapter 4:

 

And finally on Friday we will be almost half way through our novel when we complete chapter 5:

 

Science

This week we will be continuing working with electric circuits and taking it to the next level by adding switches to control the flow of energy.  I’m also excited to try out our new ipad app that simulates electric circuits!

Social Studies

Students will begin working on a study of winter holidays celebrated by the many cultures in our area with a concentration on Hanukkah, Christmas, and Kwanzaa.

Cooking 1621 Style- Our Experience Making Ship’s Biscuits

November27

This morning we ventured back in time to make a historically accurate Thanksgiving food item- Ship’s Biscuits (also known as Hard Tack).  Ship’s Biscuits would have been served at most meals.  They were traditionally made so that they were rock hard (or as Rachel puts it they should have been called Brick Biscuits) so that they could be stored for long times.  To eat them, settlers would have placed them in milk, tea, gravy, or water to soften them up.  They were also sometimes used as utensils in that they could push food on to their spoon using them therefore not wasting any delicious gravy. 

To get started we assembled our ingredients (all traditional) as well as some modern day cook utensils.  

hardtack ingredients

 

First we added 4-5 cups of flour.

 

ht 1

Next, we added a few dashes of salt for flavor.

ht 2

Then we added enough water to moisten the dough and make it stick together, kneaded the dough, and rolled it out to a half an inch thick.

ht 3

We baked them for 15 minutes at 375 degrees.

ht 5

Dr. Cook agreed to be our taste tester (after we offered him some honey to sweeten the deal!)

cook ht

The reason we offered honey and not jam or butter is that the Wampanoag Indians could have brought native honey to the first Thanksgiving and we wanted to be authentic.   Dr. Cook gave us a thumbs up and declared our hard tack (ok it was more like medium tack and not as hard as the pilgrims would have made it since I didn’t want anyone to break a tooth!) not only edible, but yummy!

cook ht 1

Feel free to experiment and make some Ship’s Biscuits to your Thanksgiving Feast!  Happy Thanksgiving from my class to yours!  May you enjoy time with family and friends, feast until your full, and be grateful for all that you have.

Love, Mrs. Sinone and the Room 11 Crew

Our First Publication of Room 11 Times! Hot Off the Presses for Your Enjoyment!

November26

My students have been hard at work on writing thier first news articles this month.  We have been reading non-fiction, writing non-fiction, and editing our writing.  As a culminating activity, we have developed, what I hope is the first of many editions, of our class newspaper, The Room 11 Times.  Please peruse the articles written by my students by clicking on the link below to open the PDF file.  As editor-in-chief, I am very proud of their work.  I would also like to let you know other then a very few corrections, these articles are published in the format that the students delevered them.  Enjoy!  I am certainly grateful for my young authors this Thanksgiving!

November Class News

Virtual Field Trip to the Plimoth Plantation to Attend the First Thanksgiving

November24

This week we will be taking a trip way back in time to the first Thanksgiving. Ok, I did not develop a time machine (though that would be AMAZING and I would so take a year off to re-examine life choices and visit places I’ve read about ), rather we will be using the amazing site put together by one of my favorite publishers, Scholastic. We will be visiting the settlers and the Wampanoag Native American tribe to learn about life for children at the beginning of our country’s exisistance. Students will be using the information they gather to write their next full length writing piece comparing and contrasting Thanksgiving now with the First Thanksgiving.

Take a peek at the website we will be using curtesy of Scholastic.com:

Thanksgiving Historical Investigation

In addition to this investigation we will be wrapping up out math topic 10 with a quiz on Tuesday.
Also a reminder that our Attitude of Gratitude journals are due on Wednesday for a Social Studies test grade!

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Veteran’s Day November 11th

November6

Next Monday we will will honor our veterans.  Veterans are men and women who have fought in wars and conflicts as part of our armed forces.  I am honored to remember the service of my grandfather and uncles on Veteran’s Day each year.  Please take a moment (or 4) to watch the video below to learn more about the wars veterans have fought in, sacrifices they have made, and ways in which we honor them.  We will be writing to troops next week who are currently stationed abroad to help lift their spirits.

 

Feliz Dia De Los Muertos!

October31

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

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