Monday, April 27, 2020

Fourth Grade Opinion Writing Assignment
Text:  Developing a Nation  Unit 7 Grade 4

Articles:    The Open Road (Historic Route 66)
                   Building the Transcontinental Railroad
                   The Oregon Trail

Due: 05/01/2020
Please share your final essay via google docs with your teachers

Essay Prompt:   "In your opinion, which of these pathways did the most to connect people and places?"

Data Gathering Graphic Organizers:   

Blank Organizer  (Data Gathering)

Student Brainstormed Organizer  (from zoom meeting 04/24/2020)

Mrs. Fields' Organizer

Pre-Planning Organizer (Blank)

Pre-Planning Organizer (Transcontinental RR) (from zoom meeting 04/27/2020)

Pre-Planning Organizer (Route 66) (from zoom meeting 04/28/2020)

Zoom meeting on 04/29/2020, discussed introduction and conclusion.

The writing process:
  • First we will write the Reason/Evidence Paragraphs (The Middle)

  • Next, we will write the Introduction Paragraph  (The Beginning)

  • Lastly, we will write the Conclusion Paragraph (The End)

We will be using the Mneumonic:  OREO  (Opinion, Reason, Evidence, Opinion (Restate)

The Actual Assignment:  

What you are learning? – How the Oregon Trail, the Transcontinental Railroad, and Route 66 connected communities across North America.

What you need to do while you are learning? – Make a list of the different ways each pathway helped connect communities across North America.

What you need to do next? – Look at your list and pick the pathway that did the most to connect people and places.  Use the graphic organizer (provided in google classroom/ reading support) and fill it out.
Lastly – Take the information from your graphic organizer and write a 5 paragraph essay:

Essay Prompt:   "In your opinion, which of these pathways did the most to connect people and places?"

What the end product should include if possible:

Your goal is to write 5 well written paragraphs (a minimum of 5 sentences each).   Aim to include 1-2 pieces of text evidence from 2 sources (any of the stories from this unit 7 text) in each of your 3 body paragraphs. Your opinion should be clear. Try to use language that will persuade your reader. Good luck and I can't wait to read these!

Wednesday, April 22, 2020

Math Review and Practice                          3rd Grade

These lessons are from a book called "Common Core Math 3 ways.... for 3rd Grade".  I have scanned the lessons in groups.  These lessons would be good for reviewing the 3rd grade concepts from the entire school year and to learn new concepts. The last file has math fluency practice, tools, resources, and the answers.  Use the lessons however you want and need to improve and solidify your math skills.  This is supplemental material to support the Scott Foresman Curriculum adopted by our district. It is not meant to replace the math curriculum being taught in the general education classroom.

Unit 1 through 5 ( Numbers and Operations in Base Ten: Using Place Value to Round Whole Numbers; Estimate Sums and Differences; Add Whole Numbers; Subtract Whole Numbers
Operations and Algebraic Thinking: Solve Two-Step Word Problems)

Unit 6 through 11 (Operations and Algebraic Thinking: Meaning of Multiplication; Properties of Multiplication; Patterns in Multiplication; Multiply by Multiples of ten; Meaning of division; Fact Families for Multiplication and Division)

Unit 12 through 17 (Operations and Algebraic Thinking: Solve Multiplication and Division Problems; Use Multiplication or Division to Find the Missing Number
Number and Operations-Fractions: Understand Fractions; Fractions on a Number Line; Equivalent Fractions; Compare Fractions)

Unit 18 through 23 (Measurement and Data and Geometry: Time to the Minute; Grams, Kilograms, Liters; Measure Length to the Nearest Quarter Inch; Make and Use Pictographs; Make and Use Bar Graphs; Understand Perimeter)

Unit 24 through 27; Math Fluency Practice, Math Resources, Answer Key  (Understand Area, Find Area; Quadrilaterals; Partition Shapes)

Distance Learning is Happening

Wowie!  I'm so impressed at how everyone is working hard and figuring out Schoology, Zoom, Readlive and all the other on-line resources.  Our kids, parents, and teachers are amazing and resilient.  I wish I could post pictures, examples, and names of people who are really rocking this home schooling situation. On the other hand, it's also been quite challenging, frustrating, stressful, and sometimes feels very overwhelming to many of us.  A friend of mine from Alaska sent me this letter that was posted on an on-line post, and I just have to share it with all of you today.

April 17, 2020

Don't stress about schoolwork. In September, I will get your children back on track. I am a teacher and that's my superpower.  What I can't fix is social-emotional trauma that prevents the brain from learning. So right now, I just need you to share your calm, share your strength, and share your laughter with your children. No kids are ahead. No kids are behind. Your children are exactly where they need to be.  

With love, 
All the teachers on planet Earth  

I want to thank all of my parents and students for being patient with me and all of us as we navigate this very unprecedented time together.  I do "direct" (face to face) teaching all day, every day, so this on-line learning is a huge learning/teaching curve for me as well.  Many of my students and their parents are computer whizzes and many are not.  Even when I understand the technology, it has been difficult because my hardware and software has many gliches, roadblocks, security, etc. that prevents my activities from running smoothly.   I'm sure you all have the same issues.  I tell myself to "just keep swimming."

I want to communicate today some of the activities I have done and am working on to try to support you and your children.  This plan changes almost daily, so the plan may be different tomorrow.

I have posted many resources on this blog and will continue to post materials I think might help you.
I have sent many e-mails to parents and I'm trying to not to overwhelm parents and teachers.
I have collected, compiled, scanned, and copied many materials.
I have put out materials on my porch, for pick up, and have delivered many of the printed materials I have for you.
I've set up this blog.  If you can't immediately get access, request it and let me know if your don't get it.
I've received the basic training on Schoology and Zoom.
I'm working on getting my classes set up in Schoology, PowerSchool, Google Classroom etc. I've had some glitchy issues that I'm still working through.
I have asked Ms. Tina to help support you.  She is AWESOME!  You may be hearing from her through Schoology, email, or whatever means available.
I have been trying to continue with our IEP schedule and reschedule IEP's that have been missed. (This is a full time job in itself and is keeping me busy).
I've sent out this list activities as a guideline for you and your parents to follow using the printed and/or the on-line materials:

  •      Practice your sight words every day (Read, Spell, Read) If you are in the Sonday program, i have sent the list of words.  If you are not in the Sonday program, practice the Benchmark, SIPPS, or whatever words assigned by your teacher.  
  •      DOL (Daily Oral Language) Do the one your teacher gives you or the one I gave you,           whichever one is available to you. 
  •      DLP (Daily Language Practice) These are grammar activities.  I only have it available for 3rd and 4th grade.  
  •      Strategies for Comprehension:  I have these posted in groups of 3 lessons for each grade level.  If you do 3 strategies per week, you will have all 12 strategies learned by the end of the school year. 
  • Readlive:  Not everyone has this, but if you are a 2nd, 3rd, 4th, or 5th grader in my program, you have it.  I've sent your parents passwords.  I've also posted all the information about Readlive on this blog.  
  •      Math:  Do your reteach and practice lesson every day.  Your classroom teacher is assigning this daily and they are giving tests.  Do your best!!! 
  •      Additional Math:  I have posted some materials on this blog.  Some great review materials are Common Core 3 ways.  I only have this for first and third grade.  
  •      Math Fluency:  If you don't know your multiplication and division math facts, now is the time to practice, learn, and memorize them.  There are also math fluency materials;  Rocket math, Teddy Bear math, Math minute etc. 
  • If you want more......there is a plethora of activities for you.  I will repost the list of websites.  There are lots of things available on the School and District Website.  Remember there is:  i-Ready math and reading, Brain Pop, All the Write Type, Nitro Type, Lexia, Epic, News ELA and more. 
  • I have a small library of books on my porch, organized by Lexile Level, if you want to come get a book to read.  
  • Learn your math fact (Multiplication and Division) to automaticity.  

You should be logging in to Schoology every day and checking on what your classroom teacher is assigning and when they are holding their zoom meetings etc.

I don't want to give you all extra work.  I do want you to have a routine and have some structured activities available which is why I have sent e-mails with a schedule or checklist of things to do.  I have delivered or made available some printed materials for you.  It is my hope that you can do some of the printed materials to "warm up" and to supplement their "on-line" activities.

Also, I welcome your feedback.  Please share with me your successes, your frustrations, your questions, your concerns, and let me know what I can do to help you.  Remember if you are feeling frustrated, stop doing what you're doing, take a break and come back to it later.  You have choices to do as much or as little as you can to make this work for you and your family.

Monday, April 13, 2020

Mrs. Fields' Thought and Question for the day:  

How are we going to continue working towards our student's IEP goals during Distance Learning?  

We're going to do it the same way we do when we're at school.  We break the learning down into smaller pieces and strategies.  First, we look at the goals we've written for your child.  Then we apply strategies that will help them with each goal.

Let's start with Reading Comprehension goals.  We read for understanding and to learn new things. There are strategies we can use to get better at reading comprehension.  I usually write goals regarding learning how to distinguish, identify, and apply comprehension strategies. Here are some of the strategies we teach towards goals:

  • Identifying the Main Idea 
  • Identifying the Facts and Details
  • Sequencing the story or events 
  • Cause and Effect 
  • Compare and Contrast 
  • Making Predictions
  • Finding meaning in text (Vocabulary) 
  • Author's purpose 
  • Interpreting Figurative Language 
  • Finding the differences in real versus make believe 
  • Facts versus Opinion 

I was able to go through my materials and find some books I have with lessons for each Strategy of Comprehension.  THERE ARE 12 STRATEGIES.  I have scanned the lessons for grade levels 2 through 5.  I have listed these lessons on the Reading Comprehension Section of this blog.  I have been scanning new lessons and updating them on that page.  Please look below for your grade level and lessons. 

During distance learning, please consider learning one strategy (one lesson) per day or 3 strategies per week until the end of the school year.  These are very short lessons with only about 4-6 questions at the end of each lesson.

If you don't have a printer or don't want to print the lesson, just read the passages and questions on the computer then keep track of your answers on a piece of paper.  You can hand in your answers to me when we return to school.  That way I can monitor your progress.

What you can do to help yourself?  

One Lesson, one strategy per day is all I ask.  Just do it!  Have fun with it!  It will keep you on track to meet your goals and help you grow.  Part of the growth mindset is to set goals for yourself.  Set a goal to complete all 12 strategies and get going!

We want to keep moving through our lessons as best as you can.  Don't worry too much because we can catch up on all of these strategies next year.  I'll be cheering you on!

Thursday, April 2, 2020

Tips For Parents 

I often hand these out in SST or IEP meetings when parents ask, "What can I do to help my child at home?".  Here are some ideas: 


Reading Fluency

Reading Comprehension

Behavior/  Fostering Independence 

Excerpt from "Life in the Family Zoo" book:

MIFF Techniques (Management, Involvement, Feedback, Focus):

A Word About Vocabulary 

  1. What is Vocabulary?  The dictionary says, vocabulary is: 

  2. The body of words used in a particular language. 

    For example: 

    -Words used on a particular occasion or in a particular sphere:  "the vocabulary of law"

    -The body of words known to an individual person."he had a wide vocabulary"

    -A list of difficult or unfamiliar words with an explanation of their meanings, accompanying a piece of specialist or foreign-language text.

    1. How is vocabulary taught?  Vocabulary is learned in many different ways.  There is direct and indirect. 

    2. -Direct means the vocabulary is intentionally taught.  Given a list of words, one deliberately learns the meaning of the words. 

    3. -Indirect means you pick up words in every day life.  You figure out the meanings through the context of the spoken or written language.  

  3. Vocabulary is a complex subject.  It is super important in learning because,not only do we need to understand when we are speaking and listening to each other, but we also need to understand when we are reading text.  Why do we read?  We read to learn.  We read for understanding.  We need to understand the meaning of words so we can learn from them.  

In the learning center, before we read a book, we look at a list of words we might see in the story.  We may already know the meaning of some of the words, although for the most part, the words are new to us.  We watch for the words when reading the text.  We try to figure out what the word means in context.  We can also look in the glossary to get the meaning of the word.  This is a fun way to learn new vocabulary and new things.  

When learning a new language, vocabulary is a huge hurdle.  When I first started teaching in the district, we had this awesome person who ran the English Language Learning Department. He and his team would put out a booklet each year of "Threshold Vocabulary".  This booklet was designed to help English Language Learners acquire the English Language.  I find it is a good tool for all of us, even if we already speak English.  Attached is a copy of the description of Threshold Vocabulary and some activities you can do to acquire up to 3000 vocabulary words.  These are good activities if you want to increase and improve your vocabulary.  

Threshold Vocabulary 


We are fortunate at our school to have a program available to us called i-Ready.  This program is another way to learn.  Vocabulary is embedded in the i-Ready program.  It is another tool students can use to improve many areas of their reading including vocabulary.  

Students should have access to this program through Clever on the School Website. If they are having difficulty accessing this, have them contact their classroom teacher.