Are You Ready For December? The Mrhclassblog Is!!!

3563912840_23a0fdeccdAhh! Flakes falling gently. Snow crunching underfoot! Snowmen being made by little Grade 3 children. Snowballs flying through the air! I love the winter season!

Wait a minute . . .

Oh. Right. I forgot.

I live in B.C now. Rain, rain, more rain and . . . . wait for it . . . that’s right! More rain! I miss the snow. Lucky for you and me. I brought some now from Alberta to the blog. I hope you enjoy it. We had a good start to the week. In science, students are quickly finishing up the first part of the science unit on building. Last week, we learned that stable objects are objects that do not tip over easily and stand up on their own. We did an experiment with a variety of  containers and had a little tournament to see which one would stand the longest as the table they were standing on was tilted slowly up. From that experiment, we learned that the taller and object is, the wider the base had to be and the more weight there had to be on the bottom.

Here is a video of some kids trying to build a tall structure. Do you notice anything about their structure that matches what we learned last week and today?

Do you notice anything about these buildings? (I didn’t write it so the spelling mistakes are not mine!!)

Using that knowledge, students have now been assigned the task of designing a sippy cup for Siena that will be stable and not tip over easily. The results should be very interesting!

Our Daily 3 is now on the way to running smoothly. The Listening Centre area had a few more kinks in it than I expected. But it is working better now. Thank you to all the parents who donated machines to the class. They are working beautifully. My goal and objective now is to start working in small groups with students focusing on books and reading strategies specifically geared to their age and reading level. We will be doing novel studies and comprehension activities as a small group of no more than 4 students. It should be very good. I will also be working with individual students to hear how their reading is doing and  provide individual attention on an on-going basis.

Here is our spelling for this week:
Spelling N 3

SpellingN3As always, here is the spelling city link. Remember that if you bring me your completed test, you can receive an extra mark on your spelling test on Friday!!! The more you practice your words using games and other activities, the stronger your neurons and axons get!!!

Our Memory Verse continues on the Christmas-y theme here at Mrhclassblog! It is from Luke 2:10:

But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people.

Finally, I thought this would be good to add to our collection of videos. This is from a cd of Science music we were listening to last week. It is by a group called “They Might Be Giants”. Anyone from my generation might remember them. Anyway, they have been getting into children’s music lately and this CD has a great collection of songs. The added DVD has the songs as videos and I found some of them on youtube. Enjoy!

Note Home Today!

logo1Hello!
We had a fantastic day today! The students worked hard, listened well and made lots of good choices. We had a fun day with lots of great stuff happening. There was a note that went home today regarding the upcoming science projects students will be doing in class as their final projects for our Buildings and Structures Unit. Here is what the note says. I have also put a copy of the note in the box.net widget on the right side of the blog if you would like to download a copy.

Dear Parents

The Grade 2/3 students have been working very hard in Science. Our first unit this year was on Building and Structures. Throughout this unit, students were learning all the ways that buildings can be built to make them strong and stable. This includes using strong shapes like circular columns, triangles and supportive structures like arches and beams.

For their final project, students will be taking everything they have learned and apply those concepts and ideas to building an actual model structure. Using materials brought from home, students will choose one of three structures to build. Through this process, each group will also have a budget to stay within when “purchasing” their materials, as well as strict guidelines to follow in order to successfully complete the project.

As we are building models from actual materials, it would be appreciated if you could send any of the following recycled material with your child to school:

Popsicle sticks                                                               Milk cartons
Cereal boxes/cardboard                                            Shoe boxes
Empty paper towel rolls                                           toilet paper rolls
Scrap pieces of string (any type) and wool         Straws
Yogurt and margarine containers                        Pipe Cleaners
Strawberry baskets
Spools                                                                              Flexible wire
Toothpicks                                                                     Clothespins
Paper Clips                                                                    Egg cartons

Please ensure that containers have been washed before sending them. We appreciate your assistance.

We did our Daily 3 today with all the 3 elements of the program. It went very well, though we had some technical difficulties with the equipment! However, we worked through everything and it very well for the first time. The students also wanted me to put this video on the blog. I don’t know why. I showed them the video today during our Daily 3 time to show what another class did to learn the Acronym “IPICK” which is a way to help students pick books that are a good fit for them. It’s a little hard to understand but the students thought it was hilarious!

Cloudy with A Chance of Lots of News!

Franklin_Media_Student_ReadingIt has been a couple of very busy weeks recently. The students have been working hard and we are now just putting the finishing pieces onto our Daily 3 Language Arts Program. It has been a long process but the modeling and all the work that went into setting it and getting the students comfortable with the process is paying off. We started the last piece. “Listening To Reading” today with the introduction of the media players. Students will be listening to audiobooks on tape, CD and the computer. Hearing professional readers reading pieces of literature is a great way for students to build reading fluency. Hearing the reading on the tape or CD while following along in the books helps the brain hear and practice good, fluent reading. As well, we will be using a website called RAZ Kids as part of the Listening to Reading Program. This website allows students to read books at their own level at home. The system has been set up for their level already. Once the students log in, they can read books, have books read to them, and take quizzes about their book to earn stars which they can use to add things to their “Rocket Ships“. Once our program is flowing well, I will release access to the students to work on it at home. For now, we are just using it at school.

t2s_home_image_6So with the addition of the “Listening To Reading” portion of the Daily 3 program, we now have all elements in place. Students will now be choosing on of the three parts of the program to do each day, with most days allowing opportunities for more than one choice. By the end of the week, all students should have had a chance to complete all three areas. This will also be replacing our D.E.A.R time which was a free reading time.

The three areas students will be working on now, in summary, are:

  • Read to Self: Students working on reading by themselves focusing on reading the words, reading the pictures and re-telling the story.
  • Read To Others: Students read with a partner choosing either to read the same book or read different books. As they reading they are either practicing reading fluency or reading comprehension. Students have summarize each page or section that has been read to them to show that they are listening and comprehending.
  • Listening To Reading: The newest section of the program, students read books while listening to them as a way to practice fluency and vocabulary.

We have also talked about how to pick good books that are the “right fit”. A “Good Fit” book is one where the student gets to pick the book, they are picking it for a purpose and they are interested in it. It should also be a book where they are able to comprehend most of what they are reading AND it is a book where most of the words are familiar and can be read by the child with high accuracy.

If you come across any used cd players or tape players you would be willing to donate, please continue to send them our way. We can always use more!

Here is the spelling for this week:

Spelling N 1

I have also included the link for Spelling City here. Remember, if you print off your certificate and bring it in, it will count as an extra point on your spelling test on Friday. Also, parents, if you do not have access to a printer or SpellingN1it breaks down, just sign your child’s planner with a note stating that they did complete the test and got 100% and that will count as well. Make sure to tell your child to show it to me as I may not see it in time otherwise.

Our memory verse this week is from Matthew 7:7:

Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.

The students have once again earned a party, which we will have on Friday afternoon. I have asked the students to bring a snack for the class if they are able to. As the year is now fully into swing and expectations have been set and understood, students will be having to earn more stars in order to earn further parties. They are now working on 50 stars and will then be required to earn 75 stars. I have stressed to the students that these are their choices as to whether they earn stars or have stars taken away. By stressing this, I am helping students to understand that they are the ones that decide their own behaviour; that it is not me arbitrarily deciding when they get stars or have stars taken away. They are the ones that choose. I believe that this is a very important distinction.

Finally, I want to thank everyone for the hard work and effort that went into the Science Challenge. All the vehicles showed great creativity and team work! It was so neat to see how such simple materials could result in so many different yet wonderful realizations. I hope that you also found this a rewarding time as you had a chance to work with your child and see the wonderful capabilities a child has for creativity. Now, don’t worry! We will not be doing this every week but about once a month or so I will throw another challenge out there for your family! I have taken photos of all the projects which I will turn into an Animoto for you. For now though, I thought I would end off with a science video as a reward for getting this far and reading all the way to the end.

An Amazing Day!!!

Today, the students made it to 30 mins sustained reading. It was incredible!!! The students each have a box of books that have been leveled to their reading level. These are the books they are using for our Daily 3 program. Every week, students get to pick new books to add to their box based on their improvements in reading. The kids are really into the program. It so wonderful to see students really getting into reading. We will be starting our Home reading program soon once Thanksgiving is out of the way.

if-you-give-a-pig-a-pancakeIn their writing, we have been working on writing stories based on the book, “If You Give A Pig A Pancake”. We recently worked together as a class on a story as an example. You can see it below:

If You Give A Dog A Shoe
By
Mr. Hancock’s Class

If you give a dog a shoe, he will put it on his nose. Then he will go outside and try to shake the shoe off because it stinks. Then he will chew it up. After he chews it up, he gobbles it up and swallows it.  He will get very, very, very, very sick and will have to go to the vet. After he is done in the doctor’s room, he will come out with his owner and see a orange, bob-cat. He will chase it all over the vet’s office and room knocking everything over. As he chases the cat, the dog will get caught in a cage of books. His owner will put him on a leash so he won’t run away. The dog will then get mad and start to chew off his leash. He will run into the middle of the road. All the cars will brake and smash, bang, boom, together into a huge, massive crash. After, his owner will come over and get very angry and scold him. The dog will find a shoe at the accident and start chewing it. He will throw it up in the air and it will land on his nose.

We will be starting our own stories based on that book starting tomorrow!!! Here is the spelling list for this week:
Spelling M 3

I introduced the students to Spelling City a couple of weeks ago and the response already has been incredible. I had many students bring their certificates in from after their practice and I also had a few parents writing notes stating that their child completed the practice test and got 100%. That was fantastic! Here is the link to this weeks Spelling City list:

Spellingm3

I wasn’t able to send out the memory verse this week as our printers were down (though I guess the students could have written them in their planners!). However, the memory verse is below and we will be adding them into their planners tomorrow. I think it is a very good verse and again, it was supplied by one of the students.

Romans 12:21

Do not be overcome by evil but overcome evil with good.

Finally, I am not sure if you are aware of this but every week, I feature a “Music of the Week”. Each week, I highlight a different style/genre for the students to experience. I try to play some jazz, children’s music, christian, classical, vocal, etc. This week we are featuring the musical, “You’re Good Man, Charlie Brown”. It is a fun musical and the students seem to be really enjoying it. Here is a video from the musical:

Keep watching the blog this week. We have exciting things coming up. Videos, maps, notes and maybe a few cookies!!! Hmmm, keep checking here for all your news, info and fun!!!!

Three Things!!!

a-thoughtfull-pen-writing-3647581-2560-1702Monday was a great day!!! The students are having a lot of fun but are also able to get right down to work when we need to get stuff done. Our Daily 3 reading program is really going well and students have made it to 21 mins with non-stop reading!!!

In writing, we are working on ideas for writing using literature as a starting point to writing our own stories. We first took a look at “Tulip Sees America”; a story about a boy and his dog who go on travels throughout the United States describing all the things they see on the way. The students enjoyed the story and we used it as a springboard for our own writing on places we have been too. Using Google Earth, we flew around the world (just like my evil, twin brother Bob. If you don’t know who that is, just ask your child!) and plotted all the places we have been too. Using those places, students then listed things they did there and details about those events or things they remember about that trip. Our last step was to write out our stories about our adventures in the places we visited. The students all wrote some very interesting stories and I will be putting some on the blog very soon! Our next story is going to be an animal story using the book, “If You Give A Pig A Pancake”. Using that book, students will pick their own animal and describe the silly adventures that ensue. It should be quite interesting!

On Oct. 3, Highroad Academy will be offering a seminar on Spell to Write and Read. This is the program we use as our spelling program. We have had tremendous success in improving, not only student’s spelling skills, but also their reading and writing through a focus on phonograms and spelling rules. This seminar is for all new parents to our school or anyone who has not taken the seminar. You can also attend if you need a refresher on the foundations of the SWR program. Please contact me if you wish to attend. If you are new to the school or have not attended this class before, I would strongly, strongly, strongly, strongly encourage you to attend. It is a free seminar and runs from 9 am – 12 pm.

Request for help – For one part of our Daily 3 Reading Program, students will be involved in listening to books on tapes, cd’s and other devices. To fully integrate this into our reading program, I need some more of these devices for the classroom use. If you have any old portable tape player, portable CD players or unused MP3 players kicking around your house that you would not mind donating to the class, please contact me. I am hoping to collect a number of devices to use with the students. I have a few of my own already that we can use. However, the more we have, the more students we can fit into this section of the Daily 3. Thank you!

Sorry . . . Four Things!!!

There is no spelling or memory verse this week due to the shortened week. We will resume with both of those parts of our class program next week.

Spelling Words, Memory Verses and Class News, O My!

Happy Monday! Yes, I know that sounds strange. How can you have a Happy Monday? Easy! Come to Mr. H’s class and see all the hard working fun we have!!!

The students had a great day and we got lots of work done. In Language Arts, we are working on a great reading program called The Daily 3. This program strives to build students into independent readers who have the stamina to read for longer and longer periods of time while using a variety of comprehension skills to aid the understanding of what they are reading.

It is a great program and I am already seeing great results. We have started with the first part of the program called Read to Self. The idea of this part of the program is to focus on building stamina and reading for longer periods of time. Right now, the students have reached 11 minutes which is fantastic!!

At the beginning of each reading period we discuss the appropriate behaviours and the three types of reading that students can use to read their books. We talked as a class about reading the words of a story, reading the pictures of a story and re-telling the story. In the next couple of weeks, we are going to be reaching 30 minutes of focused reading everyday. We will also be talking about how to choose appropriate books for their reading ability. The it will be time to move to the next sections of the program: Reading to Others and Listening To Reading. The students are very excited and I have already heard many of the children saying that they love reading.

Here are the spelling words for this week:
Spelling J3

Here is something new this week. I introduced the students to a new website called Spelling City. It is a great site where students can see their spelling words, learn their spelling words, test their spelling words and play games using their spelling words. Whew! That’s a lot of “spelling words” words! The other neat thing is that students can print out handwriting pages with their spelling words and practice handwriting their words. They can even print out the words as sign language and practice signing them!!!! It’s a great site and it’s FREE!!!! I love free!!

All you have to do is click the Spelling City box with the J3 on it below.

Every Monday, there will be another box. Clicking on the box will take you straight to the spelling list for that week.

No hard links to remember, no fancy addresses to type out, no clicking through page after page of websites to get there! No Sireeee!!!!! You just click a simple click on the Spelling City box and you are there.

Spellingj3

I have also told the students that if they test themselves and get 100%, they should print out the test results and/or the certificate and bring it to me for a bonus mark on their spelling marks for the report card!!!!

Finally, students received their first memory verses of the year. If you remember, I had sent home a homework reminder for the students to bring in their families favorite memory verses. This year, we are going to use those favorite verses for our memory verses. As these are special verses to people and mean a lot to each of us in different ways, I thought that it would be more meaningful for students to memorize those. Our first verse is below:

Dear Children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth.

1 John 3:18

Finally, here is a funny video I found. It is hilarious!! Just wait for the surprise at the end!!