Friday, December 16, 2011

Have a Wonderful Winter Break!

Winter break is already here! My oh my how the time flies by! :)

While we all deserve a break and are looking forward to two full weeks off, I want to take a moment to quickly say thank you to all of the students for giving me such a great first year so far at North Beach. I am happy to be teaching third grade here and am thankful for my awesome class for helping to welcome me this year! Thanks, too, to the families of the students in Rockin' Room 15 for helping support your students and our classroom in so many ways!

I can't wait to hear about all the adventures you had while away from school but remember to be safe, get plenty of rest, and enjoy yourself during this long break! I will see you all in 2012!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Marvelous Mathematicians!

WOW! Thank you so much to the 14 donors who donated to our DonorsChoose project and helped get it funded this weekend! I appreciate all of your support (both emotionally and financially) and your help to make our classroom the best it can be!

Cultural Heritage Project Questions Answered!

Woweee! What a fast month it has been.... I guess the holiday season always gets that way, doesn't it!

Well lots of exciting things have been happening in Room 15, namely our good friend, the cultural heritage project. First of all, I just want to say that this was a big project... and I mean a BIG, GIANT project! It was research, and writing, and reading, and more writing, and editing, and MORE! But you know what, we did it... dare I say we made it out alive and better students in the end!

I know that there are some project that come along that are very involved and challenge every ounce of ourselves as students (and teachers too!). The beauty of those projects, however, is that we learn a LOT, not only about the subject but about ourselves! I can't describe the groans I heard when I introduced the project to the students a mere three weeks ago. Nor can I describe to you the looks of terror on the faces of the students when I told them the due dates and what all would be involved in this project! But I have to say that after spending a week doing hours of research, both on computers and in books, writing a first draft, editing our first draft, writing our second draft, typing our final draft and finally printing off our final draft, I have never been prouder of the work I'm seeing from the students. For the first time this year I feel like I've found a project that students are not only engaged in, but are doing their BEST work that they're able. So as far as I'm concerned, mission accomplish. I'm not doing my job as a teacher if I'm not challenging your students to do their best every day and even stretch their understandings and abilities to the maximum limits. That's why we come to school after all is to learn and become better students, right? So before I answer the questions, I want to say a big THANK YOU to all of the students who have been at school every day, ready to learn, ready to add onto this monstrous project, and have given it EVERYTHING they have to give. You know who you are and I applaud your effort and determination. The result speaks for itself!

But enough of what I want to say! :) Now onto the questions that I've been receiving in this last minute crunch of the project and last minute reminders about deadlines!

  1. When is the final draft of the written project due? The final written draft of the project (TYPED) is due Wednesday December 14th (tomorrow!).
  2. What format do you want the typed final draft in? Each paragraph should be on its own page with the title of the paragraph's topic as a title of the page. For example, on the page with the paragraph with my country's culture at the top, I would write the title "Culture" at the top! :)
  3. What size is the poster? What is on the poster? Do we provide our own materials for the poster? The poster will be a standard sized poster board paper, approximately 24"x18". The poster will have pictures (each student is allowed to have two pictures printed off of the computer at school, but more can be printed off at home and brought in) and favorite pieces of information about their country. I expect each poster to have 5-7 interesting "facts" or pieces of information about the country in addition to the poster pictures. Make sure your country's name is big and bold! The materials will be provided for the students at school on December 14th to work on in class. Whatever isn't finished will be done at home.
  4. Tell me more about the International Celebration! The International Celebration will be in Room 15 on December 15th starting at 2 o'clock. Family and friends are welcome and encouraged to come and see a little taste from the cultures around the world in our classroom! "Official" invitations will be coming home tomorrow with the students. Students are expected to wear costumes which represent traditional clothing from their country's heritage. The costumes don't have to be elaborate, though! It can definitely be our "best approximation" of what they would be wearing! :) Students are also expected to bring food from their country for students to "taste test". This means a bite-sized sample for each student, not a full meal! Please make enough for about 40 people to taste.
Last but not least, thank you SO much for those people who have helped make this project successful! I know at times, it seemed like we'd never make it but here we are! We've learned a lot and had a ton of fun in the process! I can't wait to see you all on Thursday for this GREAT celebration!

Monday, December 5, 2011

Double Your Donation!

We have a Donors Choose project open right now that would love some holiday gifts this season! Some families have asked what I would like for Christmas (or winter holiday) gifts and honestly I have pretty much everything I need in the classroom. However, we have a math project open right now on a great website called where people can donate directly toward projects we have needs for in the classroom! I was SO excited to hear that from now through December 12th, DonorsChoose is matching your donations dollar for dollar!

You can go to the website above and look up Marvelous Mathematicians in the search bar to find us or click here! When you check out add the matching code SPARK and DonorsChoose will match your donation toward our class project! How cool is that?!

We are so thankful for all that you do for us throughout the year and hope that everyone is having a great winter so far! Stay warm out there!