December 4th-8th

Good Morning and Happy Monday and Happy Advent!  I hope all of you had a beautiful weekend!  I think our 60 degree days are numbered so I hope the kids took advantage of the nice weather!  Before I forget, THANK YOU to everyone who sent in extra snacks and classroom school supplies last week and this morning!  That is so kind and all the kiddos appreciate it!  Please don't feel like you need to do that when I send reminders to pack snacks and replenish school supplies!  I just do that to make sure the students have full supply bags and bellies :-)
I LOVE this time between Thanksgiving and Christmas!  I know it seems like these weeks before Christmas are crazy and packed full, but the excitement of Advent and the anticipation of Christ's coming just fills my heart!  The children and I spoke about this excitement last week, and what we can do to make sure we contain that excitement when necessary and when it is alright to express our joy.  I think we are going to have a fantastic next two and half weeks!  Here's a glimpse of what is going on in the classroom this week!
This week we will take a closer look at the season of Advent.  We began today with reading Chapter 13 in our book and beginning our Advent Wreath posters.  These posters share the meaning of the candles on the Advent Wreath and what we do in preparation of the Coming of Christ.  We will also be watching brief instructional videos from and filling out an Advent packet.  Finally, we have been practicing our Prayer of Saint Gertrude the Great for several weeks, and our oral test will be on December 8th.  I think the children are ready for it!  
Reading/Language Arts:
Our Word of the Week is STYMIE.  For our writing prompt, students will write about a time he or she was stymied.  We will fill out the Word Map and Essay Map today.  Rough Drafts will be due on Tuesday.  Tuesday the children will work on finding better words and strengthening sentences.  After Tuesday, all work on the Final Draft will be done AT HOME.  I have discussed this with the children already.  This is our 13th paper we will have worked on.  I feel confident they know the routine and what I am expecting.  Final Drafts will be due on Friday as always.  
We are continuing our journey through The Cay this week.  I think the children like the story so far.  It's quite an adventure!  We will read Chapters 7-12 this week and have a quiz on Friday.  This quiz will be open-book and open-packet.  Our concepts in Grammar this week include Past, Present, Future, and Consistent Verb tenses.  We will be working on these concepts each day and the children will have brief quiz on Friday over them.  Spelling Packets and Grammar packets are due Friday.
Finally, we will begin our book talks this week.  Several weeks ago, I asked the children to begin reading a book of their choice to share with small groups in December.  The time is upon us-though several students have admitted to not reading a book!  I will buy these kiddos some time These chats will be informal...I just want to see that each child has knowledge of what they read.  Our next project will be over Biographies.  It's never too early to start preparing!!!
The in-class Biome project is going great!  The students love working with a partner and learning about an ecosystem that may be new to them!  I believe the posters will be finished by Wednesday or Thursday this week.  We will share our new knowledge with our classmates on Thursday and Friday.  Then we will be off to the world of Amphibians!!!!
We will focus on Lessons 54 and 55 today and Tuesday.  I will have a test over lessons 46-40 on Wednesday.  The children seem to be keeping up fairly well with the pace I have set.  I plan on taking a bit of time off from the book to focus on double/triple digit multiplication and division right before Christmas break.  It's good to get a little practice on old concepts every once in awhile!
Scholastic Book orders are Due December 8th
I hope all of you feel as please with the school year so far as I do.  These children continue to impress and amaze me, and make me laugh! I just love them all!  Thank you for sharing them with me!
Mandy Wood