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Monday, October 29, 2012

October Happenings

ST Math in Action

Here is a video of the class doing ST Math on their i-pads.  Do you hear all the "dings" as the students get their problem correct and move on?  As I've mentioned before, ST Math is a supplement to our current math program Investigations.  The children go on ST Math two - three times a week for 30 minute sessions.  They really love it and so do I.  What I love about it is that I can walk around and observe how many times each child has tried a session.  A large number of dots on the bottom of their page indicates that a child has tried a session unsuccessfully multiple times and that they are struggling.  At this point I can put them on a tutorial and sit with them, guiding them on figuring out how to complete the task.  Remember there are no verbal instructions on ST math so this can get tricky.  Taking time to do this tutorial with me prevents the students from getting too frustrated.  However, most times the children are able to figure how to do it on their own.  It's great to see their "Ah ha!" looks when they finally figure out how to do a problem independently.  I have to admit that the spatial and visual learning is sometimes tricky for me to figure out as well!! Websites

By now you should have all received the user names and passwords for the website.  If you have access to a computer, please try to have your child go onto this website 3-4 times a week.  It's fast, fun and sends me weekly reports on how your child is doing.  This program tests the automaticity of a child's rote memory of math facts -- in other words, their quick memory.  Repetition (at home and in school) is the only way for this rote memorization of facts to take hold.  From the reports I have been receiving it looks as if the children are doing very well.  These reports help me to determine who needs help and how I can help them.  It also lets me know if all is fine and allows me to challenge children further if need be.  If you need passwords or usernames to this website, please let me know and I'll get that information to you right away!  The i-ready reading website is another great resource and I'll be sending log on information to that website in the very near future.

Halloween Parade

Francis Wyman will hold its annual Halloween Parade on WEDNESDAY, October 31st at 1:45.  All parents are invited to view the parade in the gym.  Please send your child to school with their costume on Halloween to be changed into later that day.  If part of your child's costume is something that can be worn comfortably all day then feel free to have him/her wear it.  The parade is purely voluntary so if you do not want your child to participate, there are alternate activities for those not participating.

Also optional is sending your child to school with a flashlight for "Spooky reading."  If they want to bring in a favorite spooky book that is also encouraged.  However, I have plenty of books in the classroom library for them to read during this time if they rather read a classroom book.

Scholastic Online Ordering

Click on the Scholastic Book Club title on the right to open to the latest books being offered by Scholastic.  One advantage of ordering online is that we earn a free book for the classroom every time a parent places an order online.  It's quick, offers a large selection of books and nothing needs to be sent to school in your child's backpack with the possibility of being accidentally lost or misplaced  So click on the Book Ordering link on the right and check it out.  If you have any questions, feel free to contact me at  Happy Ordering!

A New Fury Friend in Room 111!

We will soon have a furry addition to our classroom -- a hamster! (Name to be determined). I'll be sending home information if you want to take the pet home for a weekend, Holiday break, Winter or Spring break, etc.  If you would like to send in a note, reserving our furry friend for a visit to your home, please send in a note.  This is completely voluntary and there is no duty or obligation to house the class hamster in your home.  However, if you do choose to do so, I will provide you with all the necessary shavings, toys, food etc. 

Friday, October 12, 2012

Field Trip Photos, New i-pad math, etc

Our Fun Trip to the Farm

Thanks to the generosity of the parents who gave their time and energy to come and chaperone this trip, our first field trip was fun, fun fun!  (Thanks also to those of you who volunteered to chaperone but were not chosen for this trip -- don't worry, there are more to come!)

Click on "Field Trip photos" on the right sidebar to see all of the pictures from this trip.  

New Math Program Using I-pads!

We are very excited and fortunate to have a new math program in our classroom to complement our current math program, Investigations.  The program is called ST math and it is designed to teach mathematical concepts on the i-pad!  Our classroom has been chosen to pilot this math program -- a program which teaches math concepts with visuals alone.  

ST Math instructional software is a research-proven, comprehensive, grade-level math program designed by neuroscientists.  The ST stands for Spatial- Temporal (ST) reasoning.  This is the innate ability to visualize and manipulate images through a sequence of steps in space and time.  Through visual learning, each student will problem-solve and formulate mathematical understanding.  

ST Math is a self-paced learning program that engages all students. It targets each student individually -- reaching both those who struggle to learn math through traditional materials and methods, while also extending the learning for others with challenging activities.  

Your child will be using ST Math for about 60 minutes a week this school year.  You will most likely hear your child talk a lot about JiJi the penguin.  Jiji the penguin accompanies your child throughout the program and helps to make ST Math even more fun and engaging for your child!

To learn more about ST Math go to

Second Step Social Skills Program
The Guidance Counselor Mrs. Logan has begun to come to our classroom to teach social skills to the class.  Mrs. Logan comes into class twice a month to teach about friendship, feelings and conflict resolution through games, stories and role play.  She recently read a book entitled ONE which illustrated how just one person can make a difference in the life of another child through kindness.

We have also been reading other social skills books at Morning Meeting.  One of the children's favorite books is called How Full Is Your Bucket by Tom Rath and Mary Reckmeyer.  Ask your child how (s)he has learned to be a "bucket filler."  You may be surprised by the answers.