Wednesday, December 14, 2016



I must travel a couple days early, so here's a short note.

                                              RAZ-Kids has begun and everyone loves it!! 

I can easily monitor reading productivity and comprehension strengths or weaknesses. The kids get a rich resource of fiction and non-fiction titles at each's independent reading level. Plus, a reader can personalize a virtual robot and rocket with incentive points for correctly answered comprehension questions.  So, more points mean a cooler robot and rocket. It's a fun deal! 


RAZ-Kids will not be graded, though it does yield data to diagnose comprehension and fluency skills. Notably, this online tool reflects computer-based assessment formats encountered in today's schools (e.g. MAP test). Thus, RAZ-Kids builds stamina for inevitable computer-based tests.

Most importantly, again, our third graders really like RAZ-Kids! With an exit quiz for every book read and robot/rocket building "star" rewards, the program is a clever way to promote reading and a dynamic view of where individual skills instruction is needed most. 

Log in! Read! Build robots! Build rockets! Build literacy! Build Knowledge! Build community! Hopefully, your home schedule can include some time for RAZ-Kids. 

All of the RAZ-Kids log-in details were in last Friday's email. Please contact me anytime for log-in issues. 


Our Fall Break Books were a success, so let's try Winter Break Books. The WBB is the same idea: five entries or more. Student effort will be reported in the Q2 report card. 


A Creation Station is coming in 2017. Our Creation Station will be a space were kids can make anything imagined out of old boxes, bottle, sticks, cans, tape, dough, and so on. If you have bottles or boxes or wood or miscellaneous scraps around, please let me know. A good imagination can turn an old bottle or two into a home cooling system. Seriously. Inventing will commence January 9.   

Contact Ms. Oumou with any immediate concerns (e.g. attendance) in the next two days. You can email me throughout the holidays, if you'd like.


Travel safe and sound. See you in the 2017! 

Friday, December 2, 2016

Measuring Up


This week we worked on rounding (i.e. estimating) numbers to the nearest 10. For example, 354 rounded to the nearest ten is 350. Eighteen rounded to the nearest ten is 20.

How is this important or useful? One reason is that estimating amounts means faster answers. Although, yes, the answers will be imprecise. In many situations an estimate might be okay. Let’s say, for example, stating a past date as only a month or year, or describing the size of a book roughly in pages.

The rounding process also helps us to visualize amounts. In the kids’ case, as learners, this visualization will initially be seen as a number line with fives or tens. We used a variety of number lines this week, including graduated cylinders and rulers.





You can help us practice rounding by simply asking your child questions about any numbers you come across this weekend or whenever. If the amount is greater than ##5 the answer goes up to #10 (e.g. 435 to 440). If the amount is less than ##5 the answer goes down to ##0 (e.g. 82 to 80).  Ask and you’ll see. The kids got the idea really well.


We had a fascinating Show and Tell session with mineral samples. Then we had an impromptu look at minerals on You Tube. Interesting stuff to end the day. 

Hands-on Minerals

In-depth Minerals

Here are next Friday’s spelling words.

And that’s all for this week.

Have a fun weekend!