November 18, 2015

Dian Fossey: A Gorilla's Best Friend

Many different kinds of people have helped to shape the world we live in today.
We have learned about lawyers who whose poems have been turned into songs we sing today.
We have learned about women who helped take a stand for women's rights.
This week we have learned about a woman who took a stand for animal's rights.

This woman is Dian Fossey.
Dian was a woman who always had a love for animals.
This love for animals grew towards gorillas as she focused on their lives in Rwanda and Congo in Africa.  While living close to them in a remote rainforest camp, she studied how the gorillas lived together in their camps.  She also studied how they socialized with each other, what they ate, and how they communicated with other gorillas.
She fought very hard against poachers who were killing these animals for fun.
She also was opposed to tourism in the rainforest because she believed the gorillas could get sick from human germs as well as just upsetting the gorillas' natural habitat.

STUDENTS: Dian Fossey's life added so much to the scientific world.  Explain what her discoveries were and how they affect our world today.

You may click here to take you to Google Drive to access your Google Doc to begin composing your essay.

Remember your essay outline:
paragraph 1 - introduce Dian Fossey
paragraph 2 - What were her discoveries?
paragraph 3 - How do her discoveries affect our world today?
paragraph 4 - conclusion

November 16, 2015

Book Challenge #8 & #9

Dear Students,

      I am so excited about what we are going to be doing after Thanksgiving in order to get ready for Christmas! To help me prepare, I read these two books this past week.  I know it was not a challenge any of you gave me, but I needed to read them.  The first one I read and LOVED it.  It does help that it is about one of my most favorite cities in the world - London, England.  It is a Magic Tree House Fact Tracker called Rags and Riches.  It is informational text all about life in Victorian England.  I loved reading about how children lived back in these days even though it is so sad how most children had to live.  I am not going to tell you a whole lot because I want it all to be new when we look at parts of this in a few weeks.  It really is a good read and, because your teacher is a nerd, I will probably be reading it again!

      The other book I finished is the companion to Rags and Riches.  It is called A Ghost Tale for Christmas Time.  Again, I don't want to tell you much about it because we may be using it for part of our Christmas study.  However, I will tell you that Jack and Annie go back to London, England, to help one of my favorite authors, Charles Dickens.   He is the man who wrote A Christmas Carol. Jack and Annie help Mr. Dickens and realize they also helped the world for years to come.  I can't wait for us to get into this book!
      I have told you I love Christmas! This is getting to Mrs. Becky's favorite part of the year and I am so excited these two books are going to be part of our celebration.

Your Christmas loving teacher,
Mrs. Becky

Family Game Night

We just thought our
Camp Read-A-Lot night was a success.
Family Game Night gave it a big run for its money!

Our class represented well as we gathered at school on a Tuesday night.
We signed in and headed to the meeting room for games galore.
We enjoyed just spending time together with family and friends.

After playing board games, we headed to the gym for our most favorite game EVER - 
The kids are always talking about this game and I finally got to play with them.
It was a blast!
We are so thankful for our wonderful PE teachers who had this for us to play!

The fun continued as we headed to the cafeteria for multiplication BINGO!
The winners of BINGO had various prizes to choose from.


The time of the night that was left was spent talking to the math teachers about what is 
going to be expected this year in math.  We gave them a glimpse into the world of MICA and TN Ready.

The highlight of the night, though, was the Photo Scavenger Hunt.
This was AWESOME!
When a family registered, they got this sheet with a list of possible photo opportunities
as well as the point value.

When the kids turned in the list at the end of the night, they received a small prize.
The next day at school the students with the most points earned a bigger prize.
Search social media with #eastchestergamenight to see all the great pictures!

We are so blessed with a wonderful school family, and this night was just another time to prove it.

STUDENTS:  What was your favorite part of the night?

November 10, 2015

Book Challenge #7

Dear Students,

     This week I have read I Survived the Attacks of September 11, 2001.  Thanks to Dhanin for challenging me to read this book.  I will admit, while I love historical fiction, I was a little unsure about reading this book because I remember that day so well.  I remember teaching school that day to a class full of third graders who were trying to figure out what was going on in the world.  It was a very scary day.  You know I don't like scary, so that was another reason I was unsure of reading it.  However, I must say I enjoyed the book as much as you can enjoy a book like this.  I loved reading about Lucas and seeing his life as a child of a NYC firefighter.  I love how the author talked about how difficult a job firefighting can be because it is the truth.  I can't believe Lucas was actually there when it all happened.  I was so - wait, I don't want to ruin the ending for any of you who haven't read it!  I really couldn't believe the book was done! I wanted more! I would highly recommend this book to any of you who enjoy historical fiction or want to know more about that day in our country's history.  Be sure to read the notes and timeline after the story has finished.  You will learn a lot from that as well.


Your teacher,
Mrs. Becky

November 8, 2015

Thank You for Your Service

Our school last year added to our School Improvement Plan that we wanted
our students to grow as citizens as well as growing in math and reading.
One of the ways we are trying to promote citizenship is to show them what it means to be
an American.

Last year, we began having a Veterans' Day program.
This program was to cover multiple purposes:
1.  To thank our town's veterans
2.  To teach our students what a veteran is
3.  To teach our students what the veterans have done for our country

Needless to say, the program was a huge hit and plans began for this year's program
which we had on Friday.
We met in the gym with parents and other visitors in the bleachers, the veterans in chairs in the middle of the gym and the students surrounding the veterans.

We probably had close to 60 veterans.
Our third graders took an active role in leading our thoughts as we thanked these men and women.

As part of the assembly, we set a white table and explained the meanings of the different items
on the white table.

My students introduced and welcomed everyone to the program.

After the presentation of the flags, the pledge and national anthem,
our third graders sang "You're a Grand Old Flag."

Each grade level presented a song to the veterans at different times during the assembly.
More of my students quoted lines of poems that talked about a veteran's service.

They also talked to us about the military history.

Some of our veterans listening to the children.

We, then, played a medley of all the branches anthems.  As their song was played, veterans of each branch stood.  We also presented them with pins thanking them for their service.

The kids loved clapping along to the different anthems of the branches.

Some of my students were pleased to have family members and friends who are veterans attend
 the program.

The students said their favorite part was walking among the veterans thanking them for their service.

You see in the veteran's hand gifts that were made by the students in the school.  Each veteran had a stack of thank yous in their chair when they arrived.

All of Kim and my kids were super proud to have 
"their own" veteran at the program, Mr. David (my dad).
Mr. David is a retired Air Force Pilot as well as a retired high school math teacher.
He works as a math interventionist in Mrs. Kim's room with all of our kids,
and they ADORE him!

I love teaching my students about our country as well as the men and women
who have helped to make it what it is today.
I read this book before the Veterans' Day assembly so they really understand the concept of
the white table.

We always go out and place flags out in front of the school around Veterans' Day as well.
When we do that, I read this book to them or we watch the YouTube video.

We also write thank you letters to veterans.
I ask for addresses from the students' parents of friends and family they know.
The kids take this job very seriously.
The letters are always so sincere and I love reading them.
We even hear back from some of them.
The kids love that!

I really believe it is so important to teach the kids about this part of our history.
Many might think they are too young to understand, but when I read my kids' letters telling the veterans
"Thank you for fighting for me!"
When I hear a first grader tell his teacher he may not be able to sing to the veterans because he might start crying thinking of how brave they have been,
I realize they understand WAY more than many adults.

Thank you for your service, veterans!

STUDENTS: What do you want to remember about the Veterans' Day program?

November 6, 2015

We Promise to Be....

Drug Free.
As part of our Fall Fun Day, the third graders took time out of their fun day
to go to the playground and make the promise to be 
Drug Free for the rest of their lives.

STUDENTS: Why is it important to you to be drug free?  
Will this be a hard promise for you to keep?

Fall Fun Day

For years, our school has had a Fall Festival on a Saturday night.
For years, it has literally killed the teachers to get everything together.
For years, many of our students were not able to come, and that broke our hearts
because we were doing this for the children.
So... last year the decision was made to not have a Fall Festival at night.
We had a Fall Fun Day the day before Halloween.

We began the day at the October Super Hero Assembly led by our 
Kindergarten classes.

We had a "Little Debbie" walk.
We danced around the circle to fun music, and 
each child won a Little Debbie snack.

Doing The Monster Mash
 Two classes at a time were able to go to the gym and play on the jumpers.

Even the teachers got in on the action!

STUDENTS: What was your favorite part of the day?