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Happy Halloween (Thank you!)
Oct 29th, 2010 by jonmoss

Wishing all of you a very happy and safe Halloween!  Thank you to all the families who donated food, supplies, or time to help make our class party today such a fun celebration!

HOT Question
Oct 29th, 2010 by jonmoss

In the first month and a half of school, the students in our class focused on crafting well written short-answer responses (SAR) to higher order thinking (HOT) questions.  This is an ongoing process, one started in third grade and not likely to end before college!  After reading a story called Donavan’s Word Jar, we learned how to identify lessons that a character learns during a story.  The students responded to a brief prompt, and as a class, we reviewed anonymous student responses and identified the strengths and areas in need of improvement.  In small groups, the kids traveled around and provided feedback on 12 students’ responses.  I was so pleased with how well the kids did this in a sensitive and collegial way.  Then, as a whole group, we examined the student responses, scored them based on the CMT rubric (0-2 points), and reviewed the feedback that I provided on the papers.  Next, the students got their responses back and were able to privately read my feedback.  Based on what they learned, students revised their responses, and in most cases, the quality improved.  These responses went home today.

Subject and Predicate Quia Homework
Oct 27th, 2010 by jonmoss

Nope, I didn’t misspell the title of this post!  Quia is a great website that allows teachers to make fun, interactive assignments and assessments for their students.  Tonight’s homework is to play a game (in the style of “Jeopardy!”) to practice sentences, complete subjects, complete predicates, simple subjects, and simple predicates.

No need to print anything to bring in.  Just come in prepared to tell me what your final score was.  You can play solo or with a partner!  Have fun!

Here is the site:

http://www.quia.com/cb/40392.html

Book Report Deadline Tracker
Oct 24th, 2010 by jonmoss

On the top of the left-hand sidebar, I’ve put a countdown clock that’s tracking the time until the first part of our book report is due.  I’m going to try to keep this up to date as new deadlines approach in order to help you (students) keep track of how much time you have left to work on a given section.  Parents:  If you’re reading this and thinking “Book report?  What book report?”, please check your son or daughter’s homework folder or bookbag.  An assignment packet went out Thursday afternoon that outlines the project.  I’m happy to answer questions as they come up.

Mr. Morton – Extra Credit Opportunity
Oct 23rd, 2010 by jonmoss

In class, we have been learning about the differences between subjects and predicates.  The classic School House Rock! cartoon-song “The Tale of Mr. Morton” was a big help!  Today in class, we watched a new version of the Mr. Morton video which offered new animations and new music.  Both taught the same skills, but they definitely had their own unique qualities.  For your viewing pleasure, here are the two versions:

ORIGINAL VERSION

NEW VERSION


I offered an optional homework assignment to the kids:  Anyone who chooses to compare and contrast the two versions of the video will earn a marble for our class.  Due Monday morning, and again, TOTALLY optional!

New Playground is Open! (Happy Playground Day!!!)
Oct 20th, 2010 by jonmoss

I’ve never bothered to hide my excitement when it came to the fundraising, design, and building of our school’s new playground.  Even after seeing many versions of the plans, seeing the completed structure is just incredible.  As terrific as I thought it looked from the ground, I found it was even better when I first got to try it out with Ms. D-H, Mr. Grgach, and several parents a few weeks ago.  But don’t take my word for it – ask your children!  They got to try it out today!

At around 1:50, the standard “beep” of the PA system stopped our lesson, and we heard a song playing that (the kids tell me) was “Dynamite”, by Taio Cruz.  (They didn’t hesitate to point out how uncool it was that I didn’t know this song. ;-D)  This was our cue to join the procession of classes leading outside to the new playground area.  After a brief ceremony, several VIPs (parents, administrators, designers, etc.) cut the purple ribbon, and the kids crossed the entry footbridge onto the huge structure.  The school-wide photo (taken from the roof) was quick, but getting the kids to line up after was anything but speedy – they were SO excited.  Eventually we made it back inside, but not after the kids tried out every piece of the playground that we walked past on our way in.  They’ll get a real chance to enjoy the playground tomorrow if recess is held outdoors, or in Friday if it’s raining tomorrow.  Parents are welcome to bring their kids to the playground in the afternoons starting now.  Please be aware that high heels are not permitted on the pour-in-place rubber surface because they damages (punctures) the material.) Thank you to all the families who donated money to build the new playground and who worked so hard to bring this project to reality!

Where are the updates?!
Oct 20th, 2010 by jonmoss

I apologize for the lack of updates on our class site in recent days.  It’s been particularly busy at PGS over the past few weeks, and I’ve given my focus to class lessons, grading, etc.  I’m hoping to catch up soon.  Stay tuned for some riveting updates about early assessment data, a neat writing activity, and more.  Thank you for your understanding.

Be a class volunteer!
Oct 12th, 2010 by jonmoss

Would you like to be a volunteer in class?  I sent home a flier this afternoon.  You can indicate your willingness to to help our class either at school or from home.  If your child did not bring it home (at least one student left the flier here on the floor), you can download it here:

Sign up to be a Room 209 volunteer

Picture Day
Oct 12th, 2010 by jonmoss

Smile!  Picture day is scheduled for TOMORROW, October 13th!   Please be sure to send in order forms with your son or daughter.  If you have already sent it in, I have collected them from kids and will return them to the kids when they go to have their pictures taken.

Amazing Fall Display
Oct 8th, 2010 by jonmoss

In class today, we briefly talked about an amazing display of huge pumpkins and gourds that I saw in Wethersfield last weekend.  I promised the kids that I’d put the information on our class website.  The display is at the newly reopened Comstock Ferre plant shop in Old Wethersfield.  I called the store today, and they said that it’s not an artistic display per se.  Rather, the items are for sale, so the display will constantly change.  The woman at the store said that she is constantly replenishing the display with new goods and that it would probably continue to look impressive for another week.

Consider taking a trip this weekend.  You can also take a ride into Glastonbury  (over the Glastonbury/Rocky Hill ferry, perhaps?!) and grab some apples at Belltown Hill Orchards.  Their apple fritters are amazing.

Happy Autumn!

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