News from Room 16 – March 4, 2015

Making paper mache hot air balloons on Monday with our grandparents and special friends was quite messy and fun.  A big thank you to everyone who was able to make it out to help create and clean up afterward!  Everyone either enjoyed or disliked having their hands covered in the corn starch goop that we used as the paper mache paste.  The next step will be painting which should also be messy and fun!  :)

In math we are beginning to work through strategies for solving multiplication facts fluently.  Students are already feeling confident with their x0, x1, x2, x5, and x10 facts as shown on their first timed test.  We are now turning our sights on x3, x4, and x6 as the next strategies to tackle.  Students should be using quick strategies like finding ways to use doubles or other known facts to find the products to these problems on their homework this week.

This week I am also sending home a short check in sheet about the Theory of Knowledge project.  Students should be thinking about possible topics and have whittled it down to one by the end of the week.  Please support your child in the time management of this project – we are trying to avoid the last minute rush to completion in this round.

Thank you for all that you do,

-Ms. Elissa

News from Room 16 – February 25, 2015

Next Monday, March 2, is Grandparents and Special Friends Day at Lewis.  Our classroom will be working on a big, messy art project from 2-3 pm that day and any grandparents or special friends who would like to join us during that time are more than welcome!  We will be making papier-mâché hot air balloons, inspired by Dr. Seuss’s book, Oh the Places You’ll Go!

This week I am also sending home our third and final Theory of Knowledge project assignment. The project is due on Tuesday, March 31st, after we come back from spring break.  If you are planning on traveling during the break, please help your child get their project completed in the weeks prior to the break so there are no last minute rush jobs.  Many students have been thinking about new possible topics since the last project, so I am excited to see what these guys will produce!

Hope you are all enjoying this pleasant weather lately, though it may come to an end soon – I saw free sing temperatures in the forecast for next week!

-Ms. Elissa

News from Room 16 – February 18, 2015

image image image image image image image image image imageHappy Historical Character Day!  Lots of creative characters floating around in Lewis today.

We just finished up our character analysis essays last week.  Some students may have brought an extra copy home with them to share.  If not, they will bring home the scored version soon.  This week students will be doing a character analysis work sample where they will write a response to a read aloud of The Tale of Rabbit and Coyote, telling three traits of one of the main characters.  They will be scored on content, formatting, and conventions, using a kid-friendly rubric.

In math, we are learning lots of new games to build up comfort and fluency with multiplication facts.  We created a giant multiplication table last week – check the blog to see the finished product.  One of our new games is a version of the card game “war” using multiplication facts and comparing the product.  This week’s homework asks students to play this game with a partner at home and complete some additional practice problems.

As our work with Michael Wehrli continues, students should be practicing their lines at home.  Not only will this help to prepare for their performance, it will also help build reading fluency by rereading familiar material!

-Ms. Elissa

Multiplication Chart

Today in math we created a multiplication chart by thinking about the number of legs different animals have. It was fun to make and there were many oohs and aahs when we glued it all together. The students all took a moment to notice different patterns on the completed chart and then we practiced solving some multiplication problems.imageimageimageimage

Quote of the day: “Multiplication is more fun than I thought it would be!” – Genevieve as she helped to glue the chart together. :)

-Ms. Elissa

News from Room 16 – February 11, 2015

Drama with Michael Wehrli started this week!  Our class will be participating in drama over the next four weeks, culminating in a performance for the school.  Students should find out what play they will be doing on Wednesday’s drama class.  Ask your child what they will be practicing over the next month!

This week’s homework is a partner game that we have played in class called Loops & Groups.  It is an introduction to multiplication facts, presented in a visual way.  This game helps students see the link between multiplication and repeated addition or skip counting, as well as build fluency with some of their basic multiplication facts.

Students should be preparing a special gift for their Pixie Pal each night for the rest of the week.  Please support your child in doing their best work on their gift.  I will make materials available for students who need some – paper, cards, stickers, etc. On Friday afternoon our class will have a Valentine’s exchange.  Let me know if you need a back up copy of our student list for your valentines.

Finally, if you would like to order from this month’s Scholastic Book Order, please complete your order by next Tuesday, Feb. 17th.

Thank you for all you do!

-Ms. Elissa

News from Room 16 – February 4, 2015

February has arrived!  We are starting a new math unit, continuing our work on our character analysis essay, and partaking in the Performing Arts this week.

Our new math unit is all about multiplication and division strategies.  Similarly to our approach to addition and subtraction, students will first build a conceptual understanding of multiplication and division.  Students are typically most comfortable using a visual strategy or drawing a picture of the problems they are solving.  We will play a game called Loops and Groups later in the week that will give students practice solving multiplication problems in a visual way.

In writing, students are beginning to write the introduction and body paragraphs for their character analysis essay.  We worked hard on crafting a hook to capture the reader’s attention.  Students wrote three different hooks: a question, a sound effect, and a strong statement, then chose their favorite to include in their essay.  The ones I have read so far are fantastic!  We have creative, passionate writers in our room!

Tuesday’s visit from the Portland Opera was extremely enjoyable.  We got to see The Barber of Seville performed in Spanish and English.  Before we went to the assembly, we read about the history of the barbering profession.  Barbers were extremely influential people in ancient times.  They cut hair, performed surgery, religious rites, and provided a space for the sharing of news and gossip!  The opera was delightfully funny and I hope that students will remember it for a long time.  Check the blog ( for some photos.imageimageimageimageimageimage

Report cards will be sent home on Friday afternoon.  Please return your signed envelope next week.

Thank you!

-Ms. Elissa