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Wednesday, August 18, 2010
Reported by Mr. Coley

As I walked to my classroom this morning, I knew it was going to be a hot day.  It’s been hot lately, but I could already tell that today was going to be a scorcher.  After the bell rang and all the students had taken their seats, we began our morning routine.  Students worked on their D.M.A. while I checked in homework.  Ryan got to be teacher today (each day, one student gets to come up and write the correct answers on the D.M.A. sheet that is projected on the screen using our classroom’s document camera).  The students did a very nice job today answering all the questions.

Before going over the spelling homework from last night, I had the students fill out their Accelerated Reader (A.R.) Reading Logs.  These are sheets that the students and I will be using this year to keep track of what books they are reading, as well as the scores they earn on the A.R. quizzes they take.  Once we finished that up, we went over the spelling homework, page 10 in their Practice Book. 

Afterwards, we pulled out our reading books and finished reading “Earthquake Terror,” the first story in our reading book.  In the story, Jonathan and Abby had to endure a massive earthquake and seek shelter under some fallen redwood trees.  As students took turns reading, I passed around a second microphone for our voice amplification system and let students use it as they read.  We are blessed to have such a great tool that helps project students’ voices so everyone in the classroom can hear what is being read, regardless of where they sit. Following the story, we did two mini lessons, one on base words and one on using a thesaurus. The class totally grasped the concept of base words, so we were able to move on to the thesaurus lesson pretty quickly. We discussed how a thesaurus is a great place to find synonyms, but you need to be careful because not every synonym is appropriate for every sentence. Students began working on a practice worksheet and will finish it up later.

In Social Studies, we started reading the first lesson in our textbook on geography.  Instead of taking notes in the traditional manner, I introduced to the class the Post-It Method of note-taking.  I told them how in college, students can take a highlighter and highlight the important parts of their books.  This makes it easier to study, because instead of having to reread an entire chapter, students can focus only on the highlighted portions of the text.  Since we’re not able to write in our textbooks, today we took the important vocabulary terms and wrote them and their definitions on Post-It notes.  We then stuck the sticky notes in the margins of the book.  Now, when students go to study for their geography quiz, they won’t have to reread the whole chapter, but can focus exclusively on their Post-Its.  Pretty cool, huh?

After recess, it was time for me to introduce the concept of Roving Reporters and The Daily Blog to the class.  I had briefly told the students last week that they would be writing articles about what we do in class, but today I gave them all the details.  We talked about how, starting Monday, they would take over the duties of writing articles like the one you’re reading right now.  I showed them the Roving Reporter Notes Sheet, Roving Reporter Grading Rubric, and the Sequence Words and Phrases Sheet.  I also walked them through the process of how to take notes for their article and assured students I would be helping them as they write their articles for the first time.

At 1:30, after a delicious lunch, we spent some time cleaning up the room for Back-to-School Night.  Students organized the inside of their desks and wiped down the tops of their desks with a cleaning wipe.  We had a band assembly scheduled for 2:00, and since we finished cleaning up early, I had a few minutes to read Among the Hidden.  Yesterday, Luke snuck over to his neighbor’s house after seeing a face in the window, only to discover the screen door to the house was locked.  Today, Luke forced the door open and, once inside, discovered that the other third child was actually a girl!  Wow!  We didn’t expect that!

Since the band assembly was scheduled to go right up to the end of school, I had students pack up and take their backpacks with them to the MPR for the band assembly.  During the assembly, Mrs. Strauss, our band teacher, explained what it is like to be in band.  She even demonstrated how to play instruments like the flute, clarinet, saxophone, and trombone!  Students enjoyed the assembly and were excited about the opportunity to learn to play an instrument. 

The bell rang at 2:30, I passed out band sign-up sheets to those who were interested, and class was dismissed.  With that, the day was done – for the students that is.  I still had to do some final preparations for Back-to-School Night!

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