Flexible Seating

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It continues to blow me away what the students in Room D4 are capable of. On Monday we eliminated assigned seating and replaced it with flexible seating. The students have been terrific with this move and have proven to be extremely mature with this much autonomy.

At the beginning of the day, students find a place that they think is best for their learning. Some stay at desks, others move to the floor, and some to the tables I’ve lowered to sitting level. When we transition from subject to subject, students are also welcome move to a different area of the room.

End of Term Celebration (With a Halloween Feel)

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Thank you to all the parents and families for donating items and time to our End of Term and Halloween Celebration. The students had a great time as evidenced by the photos below!

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The Photobomb

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It took 40 instructional days before students in Room D4 figured out that seeing my camera out didn’t mean I was texting, it meant I was taking pictures. Consequently, getting students to look and behave naturally is just about impossible. Instead, the class has been taken over by the photobomb! Take a look for yourself.

There is learning in those pictures, however. We are working on metric conversions of meters, grams, and liters as well as applying the standard algorithm to conversion situations.IMG_8353 IMG_8356 IMG_8357

Room D4’s First Brown Bag Lunch

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Families gathered for our first Brown Bag Lunch that included a short look at word study. Parents ate lunch with their kids and then did a word sort with the suffixes –able and –ible. This was followed by a description of morphology and then a chance to see how they could help their scholars at home. It was a terrific day and I am glad so many chose to attend—including three grandparents!!

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Super Annotators

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Check out the super annotators in our classroom!IMG_8198 IMG_8199

An Amazingly Productive Week in Room D4!

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Coming off a four-day week, students in Room D4 took full advantage of our five-day week. We covered A LOT of material including some really challenging work in math where students were required to apply the standard algorithm for addition and subtraction to multi-step problems. For example, children answered questions like the one below:

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This is not easy stuff and yet students are persisting and demonstrating that they can apply what they know.

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We set the stage for our work with geology by using an apple to model the Earth’s layers. We also integrated a bit of math by having students measure the apple’s layers in millimeters and centimeters. Geology will be a major focus for both literacy and science in the coming weeks.

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And, yes of course, we wrote, worked with complex text and completed some Word Study.




25 Days of Instruction

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We finished our 25th day of school and we can point to a number of successes. Students continue to work with the Open Up the Textbooks (OUT) developed by Nevada educators to ensure that children are working with complex reading materials and the Nevada Academic Content Standards. Currently, we are reading Spirit Cave Mummy about the discovery in Fallon and I would encourage you to look over what your child is reading. This is not easy content and they are doing a masterful job with it! You can download the OUT here.




We spent the first 20 days of school focusing on place value. This work has allowed us to move to addition and subtraction using the standard algorithm. Soon we will move onto measurement and all of these mathematical experiences will ensure greater success for all of the students.

Naturally we continue to do a lot of student choice reading—some students even doing it on our visit to Marvin Picollo—and of course, we like to have fun!

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