Thursday, October 15, 2009

Out From Under

I know all the faithful readers have been wondering what happened to their regular Room 302 blog updates. It seems I've found myself behind in every area. Coming home today with your child will be a huge pile of papers that I finally got around to grading last night. Sorry about that. I guess I got caught up in other things and the paperwork started piling up. Luckily, I'm climbing out from under that pile and am ready to finish the week and eager to start a new one on Monday.

I've been keeping pretty close track on everything we've been doing these first 6 weeks. I was looking back the other day and I realized..."Wow! We've been busy!" Here's just a short rundown of what we've accomplished...we have:
  • read and discussed 24 poems together
  • written five different kinds of poems
  • completed a class podcast
  • created 2 class picture books
  • read and discussed 12 fabulous picture books
  • completed the first 5 chapters of our American History text and (almost) a project
  • completed nearly 2 units of our math curriculum
  • written four Slice of Life Stories
  • solved four Problems of the Week
  • launched a collaborative, all-village writing project
  • started an international online book club
  • successfully launched our Reading Workshop, complete with Guided Reading
  • started our spelling program (a.k.a. "Buddy Study" or "Word Study")
I'm sure I've left something out...but that seems pretty impressive to me. No wonder I'm behind in paperwork! Be sure to take a moment this long weekend to thank your child for their hard work this year so far. I know you're proud of them. I am, too.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Room 302 Goes Global

I am excited to announce a new project that our class will be participating Online Book Club.

Certainly you are wondering, "What's an Online Book Club?" Well, the answer is pretty simple. It's just like a regular book club, where people meet to discuss a common book. EXCEPT, in this case all of our meetings will take place online.

I'll be reading a book aloud to our class during the next month: The Bad Beginning by Lemony Snicket. Several other classes will be doing the same thing. A couple of them are from our school; a couple from our Mark Murray campus; three classes in West Columbia, South Carolina; and one class in Bangkok, Thailand!

Then, students will visit a specially designed website where they can post their thoughts, respond to questions, and make comments about this common book. I'm not completely sure on all the details, but we'll try to come up with some sort of final project and maybe even add some video conferencing between classes, if possible.

Hopefully, after we complete this book, we'll continue reading others. Not only will this be fun, but it should be yet another way to help students develop reading skills and (just as importantly) a love of reading and discussing books.

I'll keep you posted as we go along. If you'd like to see the webpage and follow our progress, here it is:

Update for the Week

Just a few pieces of news to pass along...

  • Unit 1 Math tests will come home today. Please go over them together. Overall, I thought we did well.
  • Homework Alerts will be sent home today, as well. Every student will get one. Please sign and return.
  • Milestone 1 is due Thursday. This is simply a list of 6 books and/or websites that could be used for gathering information for the interest project. Students who turn their list in Thursday morning will get to participate in "Fun Friday." Fun Friday is an afternoon of fun activities that serves as a reward for finishing the milestone.
  • Scholastic book orders went home yesterday. They are due back Thursday, October 15. After school today, I'll be setting up online ordering, which is an easy, secure option. Use the link in the sidebar of the blog to learn how to order online.
  • MEAP testing begins next week. More info on this to come.