More Than ABC is a informative, fun, creative blog dedicated to share what is going in in our classroom. Using technology, creativity, and quality materials keeps us busy! If your in my class or just a visitor, I'm glad you stopped in!

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Treeline and Lifezones

We'll be viewing all the life zones during our October field trip, the last big trip for a while!

Are you excited? All aboard!

Students, please remember to make safe decisions when you go to other websites online.
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Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Mountain Lions

Mrs. Slothower and I took a science class at the zoo a few weekends ago and after learning about mountain lions, got to see this fun little event.

This is a great video to think about VERBS and what actions each lion is taking as they move around the enclosure.
Students, please remember to make safe decisions when you go to other websites online.
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Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Laura Ingalls Wilder

Here is a video from the Official Laura Ingalls Visitor Center in South Dakota. We can't take a field trip, but enjoy the sights and learn!!

Students, please remember to make safe decisions when you go to other websites online.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Partner Reading & Recording

A week or so ago we worked with a partner to master one page of a multi-page narrative poetry piece.
Each group worked on fluency, style, pronunciation, and delivery in their piece.

We then recorded each pair of students and made a class audio book to listen to in class.

Some groups worked reading together, and practiced their timing.

Other groups split the piece and mastered their own section.

Some groups practiced so much they practically memorized the text.

Rereading text passages helps increase fluency, comprehension, and overall oral fluency.
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Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Field Trip Lunches

Ever feel like you need a really good lunch?

Friday on our field trip please remember you need to sign up if you are getting a school sack lunch, or bring your own lunch.

You are welcome to bring what you normally bring...however...

  • If you want to bring disposable bags, containers etc. so you can throw it away you won't have to fit as much in your backpack on the way back to school
  • Simpler is sometimes better - less elaborate food is easier and ends up with fewer spills
My lunch will probably include an apple, bagel, string cheese, carrots, and cookie.


Students, please remember to make safe decisions when you go to other websites online.
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Tuesday, September 20, 2011

ST Math

Students have started working on the ST math program, short for Spatial Temporal Math. It is a computer program (with our penguin JiJi) geared to helping students problem solve and understand math concepts without just getting the answer, but helping them understand why! The program, style, and even JiJi are all research based to help kids learn math.

We'll be using the net books in our classroom twice per week to work through the different lessons in the program. Each student may work at their own pace, and can move as quickly as they can answer the questions correctly.

Students struggling receive multiple reteaching opportunities to help them master a concept.

The MIND institute has a great video about the program here! If you want to try one of the activities with Jiji, click here!

We will be sending information home with students about using ST math at home. If you have access to the Internet and a computer at home, you can watch your child work on ST math!

Students, please remember to make safe decisions when you go to other websites online.
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Monday, September 19, 2011

How Many JiJi's Do You See?

We're finding out who JiJi is! How many do you see in this picture? What is JiJi doing?

You'll be helping JiJi out soon!

Students, please remember to make safe decisions when you go to other websites online.
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Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Birthday Treats

If you would like to send treats for your child's birthday, please follow these simple guidelines.

We have 28 students currently in our class.
Any extra supplies (napkins, plates, forks) must be brought with the snack.
We will have the snack at the end of the day.
Please let me know you are bringing a treat so I can plan for a few extra minutes for our celebration.

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Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Class Jobs

Take a peek into our classroom and see how students are involved in everyday class activities.

Supply Team
Helps pass out and collect supplies, materials, papers from each student.

Technology Team
Double checks our clean-up after computer lab use. Also responsible for transporting the netbook carts to and from our classroom.

Bookshelf Team
Keeps bookshelves, workbooks, and other supplies organized.

Responsible for any special tasks during the week such as lunch count, messenger, etc.
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Monday, September 12, 2011

Homework Policy

About a month into school I like to do a homework check-up to see how our plan is progressing.

Homework is a way for students to have extra practice outside of class time to work on the skill we have focused on during the day. This is a time for students to explore the work on their own.
I do expect that parents are and active part of the homework process. Parents can coach, guide, teach, and help students WITHOUT just giving them the answers.

  • Check your child's planner for what homework has been assigned.
  • Create a time and space that is consistent to complete homework.
  • Follow a routine to ensure your child completes the homework and ensures you as a parent have a few minutes to look over their work.
  • If homework is taking upwards of 30 minutes for 1 assignment please contact the teacher.
I do keep track of students with completed and uncompleted homework assignments. Students may miss recess, alternative activities, or be required to take the homework home a second time if it is not turned in, completed and on time.

Students, please remember to make safe decisions when you go to other websites online.
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Saturday, September 10, 2011

What is a Promethean Board?

As I've posted in earlier posts, several classrooms at our school have been outfitted with a Promethean Board.

Watch a great video about how the board was named, and some classroom use ideas here!

A Promethean Board is a specific brand of an interactive board similar to a Smart board. Teachers and students can manipulate information on the board with the use of a "pen".
Our systems have a projector that is suspended above the board to display the image onto the board. See ours here! The system is hooked up to a computer where information such as a Word document, PowerPoint, Internet, or Promethean programs can be displayed.

The Promethean programs are new to me but follow many of the instinctive buttons, codes, and formats of other programs. Using their software it is fun to see what the system can do!
Instead of using the pen up at the board, there is also a ActivSlate tablet that can manipulate all the information on the screen from anywhere in the room. This means students can use the Slate from their desks, or the teacher can move about the room during the lesson.
Our system also came with ActiVote, an interactive voting system for students to respond to information. The egg shaped Votes (one per student) have an A-F voting option anytime the teacher asks for a quick vote. The data is immediately displayed in graph format for students to see.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Unit 1 - Geometry

 We'll be wrapping up our first math unit this week on geometry.

Students should know and be able to identify names of shapes, identify characteristics of a polygon, know convex and concave shapes, identify the  face, edge and vertex on a 3D shape, and reflect and image over a line of symmetry.

Math Reminders:

Math homework will come home most nights Monday - Thursday.
Math homework will almost always be a 1/3 sheet with 5-10 problems.

Each math unit we will send home a blue parent letter with vocabulary, definitions, and at home learning projects.

Students, please remember to make safe decisions when you go to other websites online.
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Thursday, September 8, 2011

Healthy Snack

Students will have a snack time each day if they want to bring their own healthy snack.  The snack must meet a few criteria in order to be allowed during snack time. Any snacks not fitting these criteria will need to be saved for lunch or after school.
  •  Healthy food.
  •  Quick to eat. Time consuming foods to peel, mix, etc. should be saved for later.
  • No mess. In carpeted classrooms we cannot have spills!
For tips about how to encourage healthy eating habits check here!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Peanut Butter & Write Night

Please join us:
September 7th
5:30 to 7:00 pm

...to make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. We will then be working on writing a descriptive, detailed, sequenced paragraph about how we each make our sandwiches.

This is an open house event, so please feel free to come late or leave early as needed.

The whole family is welcome so come on over!

Field Trip Permission Forms

Please send back field trip permission forms and payment by September 8, 2011.

Find out more about our field trip at Mollie Kathleen Gold Mine Tours

"Descend underground as you partake in the only 1,000 foot vertical shaft gold mine tour in the USA.
Experience the “Old West” as it was for hard rock gold miners of “The World’s Greatest Gold Camp”, Cripple Creek, Colorado, as you explore America’s favorite gold mine tour!"

Monday, September 5, 2011

4th Grade Calendar

I'm testing a new way to share calendar information with families. If you use Gmail, Google Calendar, or want to print this calendar, check it out!

Chipotle Fundraiser

If you like those foil wrapped burritos as much as I do, come support our school on

Tuesday September 6 from 5-8pm.

Chipotle will donate 50% of their profits during that time to our school!

I'll see you there with my chicken burrito with black beans, brown rice, pico, cheese, guac and lettuce!

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New Diary of a Wimpy Kid Book Order


Book orders for September are due this Wednesday, September 7th. There is a 6th Diary of a Wimpy Kid available for preorder through our book order.

Also, if you place your book order online our class gets 1 free book for the classroom. Go to www.scholastic.com, parents, book club orders. Or click here!

Students, please remember to make safe decisions when you go to other websites online.
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Friday, September 2, 2011

Line of Symmetry Using Paint

To help students understand our next geometry learning goal, we used paint and created preimages and images reflected over a line of symmetry.

So much of our world has lines of symmetry around us, look around to find ideas!

This website has some basic shapes and the lines of symmetry in each one.

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