Literature Circles in the Class

We had a great start to our next round of Literature Circles. Each of the student groups has their own books this time. We have also made each group far more independent where they are leading their own groups and the Discussion Directors did a great job leading each of their own groups through discussing each of the completed roles. Here are some videos and pictures of the Literature groups in action!


Mea Culpa

It’s been a busy week and thus the blog posts have been few and far between. My apologies and I will try to be more regular with my posts.

First of all, there is no spelling list or memory verse for this week due to the shortened week. We will continue with the spelling and memory verse next week as per usual. After this next spelling list, we will be going back to review past spelling words and start doing more work with them in sentence form.

speech1You may have noticed that your child brought home a poem in their planner (or pocket as the case may be). It is that time of year again and we are preparing for the Speech Meet which is held annually in Abbotsford. This is a big event for us and we always do very well. However, this year is a little different for us as we have a winter break between now and the day of the Speech Meet, which will be held on March 5. As we want to get our entries in before we leave, we will be choosing the students who will be going on February 10th. Participation is optional and if your child did not bring home a poem or memory verse that may mean they did not want to do it. Please ask your child if they selected a verse or poem to practice. Poems or memory verses must be memorized. We are also working on adding expression and proper standing postures to the recitations with students standing nice and straight with no hands in their pockets and their eyes on the audience. Adding expression is always hard for students but we are looking for students who can recite with confidence using a proper volume and with excitement in their voices. On February 10th, we will hear all the students from our class who chose to do a recitation and I will pick students from there. We are allowed to send 1 poem reader and 1 memory verse reader from the Grade 2 and 1 poem reader and 1 memory verse reader from the Grade 3’s in my class. If you have any questions or you need another copy of the poem please let me know!

Science has been a frantic, “let’s finish it up” time with students trying to get all their projects and papers done and in order before the deadline. Looking at the budgets from each class, all students were able to complete their projects on time and within budget. Luckily the storekeeper was very kind and gave some great deals towards the end of the projects. Projects will be going home tomorrow, but you can see them right now by watching the video below!

Our next science unit will be on States of Matter where students will be taking a close look at the properties of air, water, and gas.

In Language Arts, we have been continuing with our Daily 3 reading program. It has really been great to be able to work with small groups of students at the same time. As I work with the students in these small groups listening to them reading and working on certain aspects of their reading and comprehension skills, the other students are focused on sharing reading with a partner, reading on their own or reading along with a Cd. It has been a great program. For our writing, we have moved into organization of stories with a focus at this point on story beginnings. We have talked about how a story beginning needs to draw in readers and make them want to keep reading. One of the students today said that it is like writing the first part of a story and putting a “to be continued” at the end of it. It makes the reader interested in how the story is going to resolve itself. We took some common events from throughout the year, and drew a picture of ourselves doing that ordinary, everyday activity. However, the students added something interesting into the pictures to make it more exciting. Now, they are working on taking the picture and crafting it into a story beginning. At the same time, we have also talked about how we need to make our first sentence interesting as well, which is always a hard thing for students to do. We talked about how they can use beginnings like “One day . . . “, “It was a warm and bright . . . “, use conversations to start a story or use a book to find a beginning that you can adapt and use in your own story. We have already been getting some very interesting story beginnings. From there, we will work on the middles of stories and endings. I also told the students that I had a crazy idea for putting all those story beginning, middles and endings together into one story but I would tell them later. I will give you a clue though:

20081230-The Great Paper Caper

Speaking of Oliver Jeffers, if you haven’t read any of his children’s books, I highly recommend them. They are lots of fun and the illustrations are beautiful! They have also made one of his books into an animated video, which you can see a preview of right here:

I have placed some new links on the side. You should see a link to the Reading A-Z site where students can read books online and have them read to them as well! I have also put a link to a neat site where students can make regular maps and treasure maps to play with and print out. The last link is to a neat free program where students can make cool mindmaps of anything they want. It is free but annoying pop ups to buy to program come up every once and awhile.

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
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:


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!!!!

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.


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!!

Welcome Back!

Today was a special day as Stephen came back to us. It was so good to have him back after being away with appendicitis!

There was a lot going on today. One big thing was that we ended off our building today. You can see the final budget totals by clicking the link “The Kids Who Rock At Building” link at the very top of the page. We are going to be finishing off their booklets to be handed in and marked. Our next unit of study will be Space. I love this unit as do the students and I am looking forward to doing lots of really cool projects and learning all about space with the students.

Students will be having a quiz on their adding, subtracting and multiplying facts starting on Friday. We will be doing a practice tomorrow. If you would like some practice pages, you can create your own using the Math Facts Cafe link on the left side. For math, students have just finished learning the 6 times tables and equivalent fractions.

Please continue to help your child with their reading every night. They should be reading at least 10 mins a night.

Our memory verse this week is:

And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Ephesians 4:30-31

We will be doing their memory verses on Friday this week. A number of students had difficulty remembering that they needed to be practicing last week.

Here are the spelling words for this week. You can download them here spelling-m-7or from the widget on the right side of the page:

Spelling M 7

To end off here is another video from the Simon’s Cat series we enjoy! Have a great night!

Amazing Day

Lot’s happening today. We started our home reading program today with an introduction and explanations. The students had lots of questions of course, so we spent some time dealing with that.

One thing I would like to mention out of those discussions is when the students need to start reading chapter books. Up to 70 books, students may read any kind of literature including chapter books. After 70 books though, students must be read chapter books. A couple of the students asked about comic books and magazines. I said yes to those as long as they are actually reading the material. However, I will also leave that to your discretion as to whether you, as a parent, will allow those materials to count.

As mentioned before, you can print off more reading log pages from the website here, either from the earlier post or from the widget on the side.

Today we also completed our next experiment for science. I took some video of the event. Though the students were a little loud, the experiment went well and got some good information from the experiement to help us with our understanding of building principles. I will be posting more details and some of the videos soon to share with you.

Tomorrow is a special day in Math. We are going to be getting a little mucky. Please remember to have your child bring an old shirt to school.

Friday is Fall Colour Day. Students will be allowed to wear casual pants and shirts with fall colours.

The Fabulous Home Reading Program

This week we are starting a new program for home. It is a home reading program where students will practice reading at home with you. Each night students will be expected to read for at least 15-20 minutes a night. Just like any activity we do to get better, reading also takes practice and the brain needs continual work on developing the ability to read fluently.

Your child will be coming home with some materials today. You can also find these materials below, in the widget beside this post or here reading-newsletter and here readinglogembed.

Each child will be given a sheet with ten lines on it. As your child reads and finishes a book, they are to write the name of the book, the author and the date. Then you will be asked to sign the page to verify that you heard them read and finish the book. When the page is filled up, your child can then bring the page back to school. We will be keeping track of the number of books read and awarding prizes for reaching certain goals. Every time a child finishes a page, they will bring it back and receive a new page to fill out.