Homework Calendar

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Class News #4

Wow! It’s been a great two weeks!

First and foremost-Congratulations to our two new MDE Student Council Officers!! Saphia Zaman and Sam Snoots were elected the 2011-12 MDE Student Council Historian and Vice President, respectively. I am so proud of and happy for both-it’s fantastic to have our class represented so well.

Here’s what we’ve been working on:

In Social Studies, we are completing a unit on Texas Regions by creating a travel brochure. Each student will present this to the class this week! Next we will begin studying Texas Native Americans and Explorers.

In Science, we are also completing a unit on Space Science. We’ve been looking at the phases of the moon, the rotation of the Earth and our planet’s tides. Next we will be looking at Earth Science.

In Language Arts, students are reading in their book clubs and working on finishing up narrative writing. We will begin a unit on Feature Articles and Nonfiction reading. Look for more information coming home about how you can help us!

In Math, we’ve been working really hard on multi-digit multiplication and division. It’s been tough, but we have persevered! J We will continue to come back to this skill as we move forward in Math.

I am greatly looking forward to seeing each of you later this week for our annual Fall Conference-I’m ready to share all the great things your kids have been doing so far this year!

And, finally-don’t forget about the Fall Festival next Friday 10/28. It’s going to be the event of the season! There are still volunteer opportunities available-please see the list outside our classroom door.

Thanks again for sharing your kids with me every day! It’s what makes me smile! J

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Class News #3

Greetings Everyone! I cannot believe it's already October! What a whirlwind! Here's what we've been working on.
In Social Studies we have been studying the Regions of Texas-Coastal Plains, Central Plains, Mountains & Basins, and Great Plains. The children have enjoyed learning about all the different parts to TX-they can name natural resources and major cities!
In Math we tackled 2-digit by 2-digit multiplication-[We'll come back around to this one again!] and the start of division. We're moving into 1-digit divisor by 2 and 3 digit dividend division.
In Language Arts we have been working on writing a surprising event narrative and many different writing projects. The children have inserted showing sentences and snapshots as well as improved their verb choice and descriptive language.
We started book clubs this week! Yeah! Each student has chosen a book that they want to read, the groups set a goal and they will have their first book club meetings this week. I've been meeting with each group as they work on deeply comprehending the texts.
The children have devoured the Space Science unit! They have learned about the rotation of the Earth and its orbit within the solar system, the effects of sunlight and shadows, and the phases of the moon.
A few thank yous...
We had a very successful Open House and I am so grateful to those of you who came to learn about our class. I loved getting to put a face with each of you and match you and your child! Getting to know you, helps me know your child even better!
Thank you, too, for the beautiful flowers you sent in for my birthday! I love flowers and I appreciate you all thinking of me! The kids and I are enjoying the beautiful view and aroma!
A few upcoming events...
The week of October 17th is parent conferences. I will be scheduling those soon and will send you an email with your day/time. Some of you have requested days/times and I will do my best to accommodate you. Thursday and Friday [10/20 and 10/21] are early dismissal days-the students are released at 12 noon.
We have been using small dry erase boards quite a lot lately-I asked the children to bring an old pair of socks from home to use as erasers. If you have an old pair that you're willing to part with, we'd love to have it!
Again, thank you for the privilege of teaching your children! They are fantastic and I am enjoying our time together!

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Class News #2

Hello Everyone! Over the last 2 weeks we've been incredibly busy!
In Social Studies, we have been learning about Texas land-forms and waterways and our ever-changing Texas weather! We celebrated Constitution Day on Friday, September 17th with a read aloud of We The Kids an adaptation of the US Constitution.
In Math, we rounded and estimated to 100 and 1000 and learned about multiplication using arrays and factors of 10 and 100.
In Language Arts, we've been reading and writing in Reading & Writing Workshop, completing a personal narrative and finishing up our beginning of the year DRAs. The kids took their 1st vocabulary quiz and did really well!
In Science, the kids have been so excited to learn about the Sun, Earth and Moon. This week we'll take look at the phases of the Moon.

Looking forward to seeing everyone on Tuesday night at Back To School Night!

Monday, September 5, 2011

First Two Weeks of School

Happy Labor Day to all! We have had a terrific two weeks of school! I cannot believe we’ve already been together 10 days-time flies! We have been busy working on:

  • · map skills including directions, latitude and longitude, oceans and continents in Social Studies
  • · place value up to 1,000,000, adding and subtracting with re-grouping up to 1,000,000 using modeled drawing in Math
  • · pre-writing with trigger words and wet ink, capital letters and commas in writing
  • · personal narratives, things good readers do, how to form a reader’s response, how to talk about books we’ve read in reading
  • · our first word sort in word study

We have checked out library books from Mrs. Gabriel and heard about the 2011-12 Bluebonnet books-can’t wait to get our hands on those!

We had an introduction to EasyTech from Mrs. Stutts and we are looking forward to getting started with some of its technology features.

We meet our Kindergarten books buddies on Friday and had a terrific time sharing books and we even squeezed in time for Julia’s birthday celebration and a successful fire drill!

I will try very hard to up-date the blog every two weeks so you all know what we’re doing in school-and I will post opportunities for you to volunteer! We’d love you help!

As always, thank you for letting me spend time with your children-they are our most precious commodity and I am honored to be their teacher!

See you all soon!

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Welcome to the 2011-2012 School Year

Hello All! Just wanted to say welcome to everyone! I cannot wait for everyone to arrive tomorrow and for us to get to know each other and begin our learning journey together.
You will see some empty posts on the blog-for now they are holding spots for 11 Tools. 11 Tools is a technology project that I am working on. I wanted to have all the 11 Tools posts together, but I also wanted to welcome everyone to school. So, this is my solution!
For tomorrow, please bring a water bottle. It's really hot and I want the kids to be able to get water when they're thirsty. Our water fountain doesn't work well [I've asked for it to be fixed.] so if we all have water bottles for awhile that'll work.
I would also like for the kids to bring one of the books they read over the summer to school. My plan is to have the kids share them with everyone-not sure if we'll get to it tomorrow, but we will before the week's up.
I've got my clothes laid out, my lunch packed, and plans for an early bedtime and a good breakfast in the morning! I'm ready! See you all tomorrow!
Miss Roth

11 Tools-Tool #11

I will definitely use Stupeflix for students to create short video clips. This program/website was very easy to use and students will be able to share their knowledge creatively by producing videos with music and captions.

I also will use Today’s Meet.com for students to share their thinking publically. This is a great website to use during a Science investigation where students respond on the website while making observations.

The importance of technology is immeasurable because my students are of the digital age and demand learning take place with the use of technology tools. I will continue to think about ways to incorporate technology with my lessons and with the learning outcomes of my students.

I expected this to be difficult, and in the beginning it was difficult; but with each tool the tasks became more manageable and I found them to be useful with my students.

I am so glad that I had the opportunity to participate in 11 Tools so that my students can benefit from my understanding! Thank you!!

11 Tools-Tool #10

I will teach digital citizenship, copyright & fair use, and On-line behavior by using the videos on the EdTech website. I particularly liked the BrainPop and YouTube-Mousetales. Cybersmart for Kids and Cyberethics for Kids are also good resources for teaching these concepts.

To teach digital citizenship, we will watch the BrainPop videos [or others listed above] and then debrief by having students turn & talk about what they learned from the video. Then they will complete a writing activity using a sentence stub-‘Digital Citizenship means ________.’ We will then post these writings on our class blog so that parents can follow up with their children at home as they work together with home technology.

11 Tools-Tool #9

Technology is the way to show what you know. The objective is what students are to learn. Technology should extend the objective; therefore, the must be closely connected.

Students must be engaged in meaningful work and the way to help make work meaningful for students is to hold them accountable. It is a waste of time for students and teachers if students are doing work they are not being held accountable for; so a system for keeping track of work students do is essential.

I visited Tutpup and liked the spelling and math sites. I can see how students could easily use the spelling & vocabulary site to increase their spelling ability and the Math activity will increase their fact recall for problem solving.

I also visited Learning Games for Kids and I enjoyed the vocabulary game as it challenged even me to learn new words. Students can use these new words in their writing to show syntactic maturity.

I will have students use BrainPop App to watch video clips about famous Americans and then use the quiz to confirm their learning and then send the results to me in an email. I will then use the data to design more projects. I am also excited about Flashcards+. I can use this website to create flashcards for all of our content area vocabulary. Students need to know these words to succeed on STAAR. They can be customized for each student and content.

The iPad & iPod touch are very motivating for students! The possibilities are endless because the iPad screen is so large. Any app will work! As a station, I plan to select apps that fit with our curriculum and ones that students want to use.

11 Tools-Tool #8

Tool #8

I am thrilled to be getting the iPods & iPads for my classroom! I just purchased an iPhone for myself and have been so excited to see all the cool things it can do. I am most amazed at the 11 pages of Apps that the iPod & iPad will hold. I am anticipating that I will find many I can use and I am sure my students will have favorites that they want to load on our class devices. Also, the district has many suggestions for Apps that go along with our curriculum that we will download.

My favorite feature of the Dell Mini-computer is the camera and microphone! I am so excited that my students will be able to record their thinking for others to see and learn. Also I would like to get into using Google Docs more so the fact that students will use Google Docs on the Minis is great. I anticipate students composing on Google Docs as a group with everyone contributing.

I plan to use the devices for small group work as students work on projects in all content areas. I will allow students who are ready for enrichment to use the devices to design their own projects. I will have students record their book club conversations for me to listen to later as well as recording book reviews to share with others.

Monday, July 4, 2011

11 Tools-Tool #7

Tool #7 is about creating on-line communities so that students & teachers & classrooms around the world can communicate with each other. I looked at Class2Class Math projects and was impressed with the ideas I found. I like the idea of the hands across America project and the paper airplane project. I think my students would be interested in participating. The M&M project is an old idea but I’m thinking I could make it even more interdisciplinary by having student then write a persuasive letter to the Mars Company requesting more of a certain color M&M in the packages.

I also looked at Taking It Global, but felt that website had project better suited for middle and high school students. I will have to get to know my students first to determine if they are ready for a global project.

I have used SKYPE in other situations and have found it to be very helpful. I looked at the ‘framing a lesson using SKYPE’ and love that idea. I think this is where I will go with my collaborative lesson.


a. Objective: TSW understand the writing process-prewriting, drafting, revising, editing, and publishing.

b. I plan to implement this project in the fall semester.

c. I plan to use SKYPE in the classroom. I am hoping I can get Kate DiCamillo to do a SKYPE session with my class. I am also thinking we could use Today’s Meet to include Kate in a book club discussion of one of her books. And, perhaps, I could include another 4th grade class at another school by using Today’s Meet or a blog to respond.

d. My thinking right now is two-fold. I would like for my students to have a conversation with a published author, Kate DiCamillo, to ask her about her writing process. Does she engage in each step of the process? How do the steps work for her? Does she have help from outside people as she writes? Where do the ideas for stories start and what happens next?

My second thought is to engage in book club discussions with Kate about her books. I have several of her titles in sets for book clubs and I think it might be interesting for her to hear what kids think about the characters and the stories she wrote. Also, I would like to find another class that could also read Kate’s books and we could have an on-line book club discussion.

e. I have an idea of another class at another SBISD school that might like to participate in this project with me. I also have a friend who teaches in Michigan who might also like to participate. I’ll work on this and see what business I drum up!

Ok, this is it for Tool #7-I very much like the idea of using SKYPE for classrooms and I think that will work great-especially with Activeboards in the classrooms. And, the Class2class projects are something that I would definitely like to try. Again, I am disappointed in the EdModo website. I cannot log-on because I need a code from SBISD. 11 tools is supposed to be able to be done without needing anyone’s help-it’s a holiday and I have time today to work on this project, but cannot get into the website. I am hoping that next weekend-when I come back to work on 11 tools, I can get into the EdModo website.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

11 Tools-Tool #6

This tool is about using technology tools to promote discussion within the classroom. The first tool I tried was wallwisher. I was introduced to this website in an ActivBoard training a couple of weeks ago during the TECHBlitz workshops. I will be teacher the Abydos Learning/NJWP Summer Writing Institute starting next week and I think this website will be a good way to begin the discussion on day 2 of day 1's homework. So, I created a wallwisher account and set up a site for me to use next week. Here's the link.

I also tried Google Docs again. I was disappointed to see that the link to a tutorial YouTube video was not hot. I’m not sure I did what the tool directed asked for. I went into documents and then to presentation. I didn’t know that Google Docs has a similar program to Power Point to use for presentations. I created a short slideshow to use in the Writing Institute next week. I shared it with my co-presenter so she could comment and add to the slideshow.

I have used Google Docs in several meetings and it is a great way for everyone to comment and work on one document. I can see students using this to write about a common event, such as a Science experiment or a field trip. Here is the link to my Google Doc slideshow:


I also tried Today’s Meet. I have used this program in a couple of meetings and it worked really well. I created a site for the participants in the summer writing institute to comment. I think this would work really well at the beginning of each day so that participants could comment on the readings from the previous night’s homework. I can also see how this could work in my classroom-especially in Science. As we are doing an investigation, students could comment on what they see happening, then everyone could see their thinking. It could also work in book clubs. As readers are reading they could comment and then see each others’ thinking. I am not sure how to access a ‘room’ that’s already been created. If I remember what I called it, then that’s fine. But if I can’t, how do I access the room again? Here’s my link:


Thursday, June 30, 2011

11 Tools-Tool #5

So far I have tried Stupefix Video. I'm embedding the one I made for a card table and chair set that I am looking to sell. It was pretty easy to do, but it really helped to have viewed the SBISD tutorial video clip first. I can see how this could easily be used in all subject areas from doing a character trait video within a book club to how to use a Math manipulative to how to conduct a Science experiment or sharing information about a famous Texan.

I made a trading card of Stanley Marcus using information from a website and from the 4th grade Social Studies curriculum on Forethought. It was pretty easy too. I bit challenging figuring out how to save it to use again. Not sure I did that, but we'll see. This could be used to show information learned in all subject areas-again a character trading card for a novel, a Science tool and how it was used in an experiment and of course for famous people in Social Studies.

I made a Glogster Poster for my card table and chair set. Although the Glogster and the Stupeflix videos do not use curriculum material, I think I can use what I made to show my students how to use them with curriculum topics. Glogster was ok to use. Not as easy as some of the other programs. It's a big difficult to manipulate the pictures etc and scroll up and down. I would like the ability to see my Glog all on the screen so I can see how it looks whole. But overall, I can see how students would love this program and have great fun with it.

Ok, so this is it for tool #5. I would like to explore Story Jumper too, which I will probably do. It was recommended by a friend to be useful in writing. So far, this was the most enjoyable part of the 11 tools. No where near as frustrating and difficult as the previous 4 tools! I sure hope tool #6 is just as easy!

Friday, June 17, 2011

11 Tools-Tool #4

I created a Google Doc and shared it with 3 other teachers. It seemed pretty simple. Although I had to ask for help to convert it to a jpg file and upload it to the blog.

This is a cool way to work on documents at the same time with others. I have used them before with limited success so I am looking forward to trying it again with my students. I am sure they will be excited to use Google Docs as they work on projects together.

I created a form in Goggle Docs for use during Book Club and emailed it to two team mates. I am waiting for their replies.

11 Tools-Tool #3

I looked through YouTube and Discovery Education. I found a great video on Literature Circles from a teacher in NYC on Discovery Education. Although it's designed for teachers, I think students could watch it and gleam important information about participating in Literature Circles. I also tried Blinx to search for videos and ViewPure to help the video run more smoothly.
I found that it was very difficult to watch any of these videos due to buffering. I found, what I think is a great video on place value on Blinx, which linked me to TeacherTube, but the video couldn't run because it stopped every 2 or 3 seconds to buffer.
I am hoping that when my computer is reimaged next week, that I can ask the tech specialist about this problem. Maybe there is a simple solution!
Literature Circle Video:
Place Value Rap Video:

Fair Use/Copyright:
I was pretty familiar with copyright law, but I didn't know that as long as you are using it in an educational setting and as long as you don't use the whole thing, almost anything goes. I thought it was more stringent than that. The video was great and I can see how student will like it and will easily understand copyright rules.

Picasa: I found the Picasa website and searched for pictures of Butterflies. I then used the remix filter to filter the 10,000 or so pictures down to a manageable number of 300 or so. I was surprised to learn that I could filter for pictures taken with a specific camera. I'm sure this will come in handy with my students and their projects.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

11 Tools-Tool #2

I visited Jimmie O'Quinn's blog, Theresa Trevino's blog, Stacye Foster's blog, Linda Kleb's blog, and Amie Graves blog. I commented on Jimmie's blog and Amie's blog.
Commenting on someone else's blog is fine. I hope that they will comment back to me and then we can engage in an on-line conversation.
I certainly enjoyed seeing the YouTube video about Glogster. I will try that with my new students. Sharing my thoughts publicly was fun. It was definitely different than having a conversation with a teammate. This is much  more public, but it also lets more people comment on my thinking.
The website that I thought I would like to try with my class is http://www.glogster.com/. It is a website that creates virtual posters. As we learn about Texas History in Social Studies, this would be a fun way for kids to share what they learn.
And...today, I created an account on Google Reader. I have added my 3 favorite blogs to keep track of. It will definitely make it easier to find what I need!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Welcome to my Blog!

Hello All...welcome to my new blog! I am so very excited to a part of the MDE staff!
I am a graduate of TCU and have been teaching for the past 25 years in Spring Branch ISD. I have taught 4th grade and 3rd grade and, most recently, have been the literacy coach at Rummel Creek Elementary. I earned my MEd. from HBU in Curriculum & Instruction in 2000 and have been working with students and teachers in literacy ever since.
The most important thing to know about me is that I love dogs! I have a 3 year old Westhighland Terrier named Annabel, who is a such a hoot! She makes me laugh every day!
I am really looking forward to having a class of MDE students! It's going to be a great year!