Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Thank You!

I want to take a moment and thank all of you for your support thus far as well as your contribution to the classroom gift. I will certainly enjoy searching Barnes and Nobles for some great new titles to add to our classroom library collection. The Target gift card will help to provide some additional storage for these new books.

I hope you have a wonderful holiday season and hope you enjoy the extra time with family and friends.

Our 2015 ended with some fun in gym class as our Shane Bowles and some other members of our police force joined in some third grade fun. A big shout of thanks to them for taking time out of their day to come participate in gym class with the third graders.

Good sports!

Yay! Room 5
With the entire third grade!The Happy Hollow 3rd graders are undefeated....but it's all in good fun.

Saturday, December 12, 2015

Busy, busy!

Tis the season of hustle and bustle both in and out of school. Just a reminder room 5 has two events this week. A school meeting presentation on Monday and the Plimoth Project Museum on Thursday. If your child didn't bring home a reminder slip on Friday,  please check out the December Newsletter update for more specifics. We hope you can take a little time out of your busy schedule to join us.

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Thursday Thought #8

Tonight is a math free homework night to allow for a little extra time to work on Plimoth Projects. Earlier in the week each student brought home a calendar to use as a support to plan out the project. They may need assistance in creating a plan, although the calendar is optional.

Today each student is bringing home a checklist to guide their work on the chosen project. (Remember the model should fit on a student desk which is 18" x 27". If any guidance is needed, be sure to check out the Plimoth Plantation website, in particular the Homework Help link on the just for kids section has great photos and suggestions.

I'm always here to help if you have any questions. Please don't hesitate to reach out with questions.

Happy Friday and have a great weekend!

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Pre-Thursday Thought!

For those of you who do celebrate I wanted to take time to wish you all a Happy Thanksgiving! Enjoy the holiday with your family and/or friends!

For all of you, I hope you are able to find to relax and do what you enjoy during the extended break.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Thursday Thought #7--What a Great Day!

Thank you to the parents who were able to take time out of their schedules to join us on our field trip to visit the Mayflower II and Plimoth Plantation. Both Mrs. Cohen and I were so proud at how all of these children represented our school today. Whether you were there or not, please take a moment in the next few days to talk with your child about their trip study. Ask them to describe their favorite part of the trip. I always love to hear what the take-aways are from these trips. Please take a few minutes to add a comment about what your child shared.

As you begin brainstorming with your child about their Plimoth projects, both the Plimoth Plantation website and the Scholastic website-The First Thanksgiving will be great resources. You will find the Social Studies links on the sidebar.

Happy Friday and have a great weekend!

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Thursday Thought #6

We are wrapping up week 2 of our word study routine. Overall, the class has been doing an amazing job bringing their words back and forth from school and home. On Tuesday mornings we resort our words as quickly as we can and write them in our word study notebook. Soon this routine will vary as we learn about ways to do our sorts with a buddy or timing for a speed sort. On Wednesdays we go on a word hunt. For about 10 minutes students browse through books, hunting for words that fit there spelling pattern.On Friday, a short spelling check is given where students will be a small selection of words from their list, and even some new words that follow the pattern. Not only are students expected to spell words correctly, but also recognize the spelling patterns. These weekly checks will come home on Fridays or Monday.

As you are supporting your child at home around word study homework, encourage your him/her to identify the spelling patterns associated with the words.

I have been in touch with grown-ups who have volunteered to chaperone our field trip to Plimoth Plantation on November 19. Please send in the chaperone fee via check as soon as possible.

Until next week!

Monday, October 26, 2015

Word Study--ALERT!

Today we had our first word study session in class. That means we will have our first week of word study at home. Your child is bringing home a baggie of pre-cut words, a "word-study homework notebook" and a Daily Word Study Homework Guide.  This guide should stay in your child's homework folder as it guides through the word study homework routines each week. The pre-cut words should go back into homework folders once the homework is completed for the night. 

Some of the kids were having trouble remembering what the difference between a vowel and a consonant. The video below might be helpful to remind them.  In the pattern headings the C(is consonant) and V (is vowel). More to come later this week on our word study in our classroom. If you have any questions feel free to comment directly on the blog or send me a quick email. 

Friday, October 23, 2015

Thursday Thought #5 (on Friday)

TGIF! That being said, however, I have just a few thoughts to share before we make to the weekend.

Did you know that each Friday your child writes a letter home to you(or someone in their house) about something they did or learned during the week? These letters are part of the Friday Folder your son/daughter brings home each Friday. Please take a moment to jot a quick note back in response to your child. It doesn't have to be long, but makes the world of difference to them when they read it.

These letters are your child's. I don't correct them and ask you honor that at home as well. I do however, guide your students to edit their own writing. I might say, "double check your writing for puncutation"  or "I notice you misspelled a word you know how to spell." These letters will remain in the Friday Folder all year as mini-portfolio of your child's writing.

Also included in the Friday are papers that have been corrected. These should be LEFT at home as we are done with them.

Finally, on Tuesday our first field trip permission slip was sent home. Please return to school by October 30.

Here's a fun grammar video we watched in class this week. For some of you, it may bring back childhood memories!

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Thursday Thought #4

Each week we are lucky enough to host a field study student from Framingham State University. Leah Callahan, who is in her senior year, joins us all day for her practicum work on Wednesdays. This week Ms. Callahan led us in a great activity that asked students to draw three different pictures of scientists at work. 

The class is still adjusting to having a late lunch. It might be helpful if you can send in an additional small healthy snack that your child can munch on early in the morning if  they are hungry. 

Finally, the sniffles are arriving in the classroom. If you have an extra box lying around your home that you are willing to donate, our noses will be very appreciative.

Happy Friday and enjoy your weekend. 

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Thursday Thought (#3)

Although Thursday is winding down for me, I wanted to share a few quick thoughts before calling it a night.

Thank you all so much for signing up for a conference. I will be recontacting those of you who haven't signed up for a slot as of yet to make sure you received the initial email. Sometimes, where it's a third party site, the email goes into junk or spam folders.

We have been working so hard on making smooth transitions. Spending time on these moments now, which are short "unstructured" times, will pay off in the long run. Although that can be hard for an 8 or 9 year old to totally grasp.

This week we have been putting the final touches on our class rules. All of these rules stemmed from our school motto of KIND. Students did initial brainstorming in small groups, we had whole group discussion about what each idea represented and finally consolidated all of our thoughts into the 5 rules pictured below. As the next few weeks progress, please check in with your child to see how they are doing with our class rules. Ask them how they think they are doing and if there are any that might be hard for them.

Finally, I hope you enjoy the short video clips as you head into the weekend! Thanks for all you do for your third grader.

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Thursday Thoughts (#2)

Fall is finally in the air. Above average temperatures through most of the month, made for an extra warm classroom. As the mornings are beginning to get chilly please remember to have your child dress for the weather. We typically go outside briefly in the morning so a sweatshirt, sweater or lightweight jacket are sometimes needed.

Thank you all so much for returning both the signed student and family handbook pages. As we are working hard to establish expectations, rules and routines, your support around this is very valuable as we are all working together to foster responsible decision making with your third grader.

Be on the look out for the conference sign up email from VolunteerSpot. Please try to sign up as soon as possible.  You may need to check your spam box if you don't see it.

If you have any questions or concerns please don't hesitate to contact me.

Enjoy the upcoming weekend!

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Thursday Thoughts

The school year is underway and we are off and running in room 5. As you may or may not have heard, the beginning of the year assessments are in progress. We've been Dibeling(to check reading fluency) and are wrapping up the GRADE diagnostic reading assessment. Next week the GMADE will be given to gather data in regards to your child's understanding of mathematical concepts and skills. While all of this information is meaningful the tools provide us with just a small piece of your child's third grade learning profile.

Next week your child will bring home a marble composition book that will become their writer's notebook for the year. Part of their weekly homework assignment will involve decorating their notebooks with the pictures of family, friends, pets and interests. These pictures not only individualize each notebook but can provide a writing spark when needed. You may want to start gathering a few over the weekend if you have time.

This Sunday marks the annual Friends and Family cookout sponsored by METCO. If your schedule is free between 1 and 4, we hope to see you here at Happy Hollow.

Happy Friday and enjoy the weekend.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Welcome Back (Almost)!

With the countdown to a new school year officially on, I wanted to officially welcome you all to third grade. The summer as usual seems to have flown by and as predicted most of my days were spent entertaining my now 2 year old son. It has been so much fun having extra time to spend at the playground, playing with his trains and reading lots of books. He was ready, however for more playmates besides Mommy and Daddy (even though we are lots of fun)! He's now back to daycare and loving the time with his little friends. You might or may not be ready to come back to school, but as much fun as summer can be, it's always good to get back into some routines.

For those of you who may have tucked that supply list away last June and are searching for it now, here's what your child will need for the school year. If you can't get all of this by Wednesday September 2, please don't sweat it, but it can all be sent in by the end of the first week or the start of the second week that would be great.

Enjoy the remaining days and we will see you bright and early on Wednesday September 2.

I'm looking forward to meeting you all.

Room 5 Back to School Supply List

• earbuds or headphones in a labled plastic ziploc baggie (3.5 mm—fits in laptops and ipods)
• 2 solid glue sticks
•a 2 x 2" recent picture of yourself
         • 1 dozen wooden pencils with erasers-sharpened
         • 1 pkg.Crayola regular size markers-classic colors
         • 1 pkg. Crayola thin markers-classic colors
         • 1 pkg. Crayola “twistable” colored pencils
         • 1 heavy duty pocket folders (design of your choice)
            (the glossy type are more durable)
         • 1 one-inch 3 ring binder(empty)
         • 1 pencil box for your desk-
         (no higher that 3 3/4” high fits best in your desk)
         • a backpack or bookbag (daily)

The glue sticks, markers and “twistables” are for our class community supply. Please keep them in their boxes. If you wish to bring in additional markers for your pencil box you may.

***Please rememember to label your supplies before you bring them in.

Throughout the year we will be in need of tissues Lysol antibacterial/disinfectant wipes, hand sanitizer and ziploc baggies. Any donations will be gratefully accepted.

Thank you for your support and help.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Don't Forget!

Just a reminder we have our field trip to visit the Grout Heard House and the Old North Cemetery tomorrow. We will return to school before lunch, but your child will need to bring a disposable pocket-sized snack.

Part of our morning will be outside so be sure to dress your child appropriate to the weather as we will go rain or shine.

This field study will teach us about some of the events that were happening in our school town leading up to the Revolutionary Time Period.

Please be sure to check our Events page for a calendar of events happening in May.

Monday, April 6, 2015


We have been learning about different polygons and the properties of each one. Tonight for homework we will practice reviewing the names of some different polygons and identifying them in both regular and irregular polygons. 

This week we will narrow our focus to explore the world of quadrilaterals much more deep. For now, have fun exploring the world of 2 dimensional figures through this short video and a catchy song.

Monday, March 23, 2015

Parallel and Intersecting Lines, Line Segments and Rays

Learning about geometry can be lots of fun. We think about different polygons like quadrilaterals and triangles, pentagons, hexagons and on and on....  It can also be challenging because of so many different vocabulary terms to remember. These terms can help us describe the properties of each shape.   Watch the following short video clips as a review of what we have discusses in class.  See if you can identify the term and it's meaning. Which terms are familiar to you and which ones you are still working on learning?

Sunday, March 15, 2015

It's Time to PARCC!

Typically during the weeks leading up to mid-March the classroom is filled with various packets of readings from previous MCAS ELA tests. After many years of teaching students test taking strategies, I had actually come to love some of the passages we would revisit year after year. This year however, we are venturing into new testing territory with the PARCC. While many things have remained the same, it's still different! Yes the students have been working hard to develop their thinking skills throughout the year and have practiced selecting text evidence to support their answers to questions. Yes, the students have had some time to explore the testing interface although now it is on the computer.  Yes the students' feelings towards taking this their first "high stakes" test are no different than any other third graders feelings in previous classrooms, but now this is new to the teachers too!

So... as I gather my final thoughts together before we enter the next two weeks of 3rd grade PARCC,  I still go back to what I believe are the most important things your child can do to prepare for taking a test such as PARCC. Get adequate sleep, eat healthy--especially breakfast, and stay active.  Remind your child to believe in themselves and remember all that matters is best effort! 

While this is just one little snapshot of 3rd grade, it's a great time to remember to dig deep and apply the positive self talk we have been practicing since September and remember the power of the little word YET!

The Power of Yet

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Parent-Teacher-Student Conferences

Conferences are well underway. Some of you may have been surprised when I asked that your child attend for some or all of the conference.

Typically I have found the following when a student sits in on the conference....

    •  they understand more about their own learning and can achieve more. 
    •  they are required to think about their own learning and articulate their understandings
    • they consider their own strengths and areas in which they need to improve.  
    • when students make choices about their own learning, achievement increases. 
If you have a question about whether or not this format is appropriate for you child, please send me an email so that we may discuss further. 

Monday, February 23, 2015

Subjects and Predicates

We are learning about the subjects and predicates of a sentences. While we have explored these terms briefly in our morning Daily Language Reviews, this week we will focus some of our language arts learning around the parts of a sentence.  This video teaches us about these two important parts. Remember the subject tells who or what the sentence is about. The predicate tells what the subject is or does. 

Monday, February 9, 2015

Happy Snow Day! (Again)

One of my favorite things to do while sitting at home on a snowy day is to hunker down with a good book. While sitting near the window watching the snow fall, I started thinking of one my favorite books as a child.

How surprised I was to find an animated read aloud version of the book. I hope you enjoy it as much as I still do. Do you have a favorite snowy day story? Ask a grown up in your family to add a comment with the title below.

 The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats
The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Area and Perimeter

Remember the difference between area and perimeter can get a little confusing at times. Listen to this catchy song to help you remember. 


Tuesday, January 20, 2015

A Message from Ms. Flannery

Simply passing on a message from Ms. Flannery, "the entries for the 2015 Bookmark contest are due to her tomorrow." I hope we have some participants from the class!

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Area and the Distributive Property?

Two days ago I was so amazed by a student's thinking about how to determine the area of a rectangle that had the length of 4 units and the width of 12 units. He decided to divide the rectangle in half so he had two smaller rectangles that were each 4 x 6. He then could easily calculate the area of each which was 24 square units and add them together to get 48 square units (the area of a 4 x 12 rectangle.)

What is even more amazing is this student recalled previous learning and could name the property that was being used--the distributive property.

We have been exploring this idea more in class, thanks to the thinking of this student. Amazing!

The video below demonstrates similar thinking and could be a good homework helper for tonight's homework!

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Happy New Year!

A belated Happy New Year and thank you to all of the room 5 families. Thank you for your contribution to the class gift. We will have so much fun building our strategic thinking through the games that we received.

While we have only been back at school for just over a week, it certainly does feel much longer with all that we have been doing. We kicked off our return to school with thinking about goals and resolutions for the new year. Each student developed four resolutions that they wanted to work on. These goals included both in and out of school ideas and of course included some plans for achieving them. We shared some of these goals as we learned the more we share them with others the more we are apt to achieve them. That being said, I'm working so hard to get up a few minutes early to jumpstart my mornings with a little exercise as it's the only time I can find to fit it in. Be sure to check in with your child on their resolutions...many students created goals with family members in mind. What thoughtful children!

We have moved into the application of multiplication and addition skills through our current mathematical unit of study on area and perimeter. Watch your child's homework for a glimpse of the learning we are working on and check back to the blog for video clips that may be helpful.

We are working on using our sensory images as we read, paying careful attention to the words the authors use. As you read together you could talk about the images you create in your mind and why, be sure to have your child do the same. These images help us to understand our reading better.

Our skills as writers is also blooming as we have expanded our repertoire to think about the paragraph structure for writing and informational piece and writing thoughtful responses to prompts about assigned texts. Ask your child to tell you about the mnemonic TIDE.

Be sure to check the event page for important dates for both our class and the school.

One more thing if you happen to have an extra box of tissues that you could donate to our class, our sniffling noses could really use them. Thanks so much.

Monday, January 5, 2015


One way to add details and description your writing more interesting is by using adjectives. Remember adjectives are words that describe nouns (people, places and things). An adjective can tell how many, what kind or compare two or more nouns. Listen for the adjectives in this video.