Merriman's Memo

A Glimpse into Merriman's Menagerie

Oh A Crafting We Will Go...

As winter break quickly approaches, we decided to begin to create some holiday cheer by working on a few ornaments this week. Each student has a craft bag in which she or he will put his/her beautiful creations. These beauties will go home on Thursday after our winter party.

As for English, we worked on answering text dependent questions and looking to see which type of question we most struggled with. We then began reading Whooping Cranes in Danger. We read this out loud and worked on tone when reading. We discussed how our tone of voice needs to change depending on the type of punctuation used. We also talked about how certain words (like 'but,' 'and,' 'so,' and other transition words) should change our tone as well. Finally, we talked about breathing when reading aloud. We practiced small breaths when there are commas and longer breaths at end punctuation. When you are listening to your child read for his/her 15 minutes, please remind them to work on tone and breathing. We will finish this nonfiction informational text on Monday and begin working in partners to answer text dependent questions. We also delved into quotation marks and how they set off dialogue. We also worked on understanding the "explainer," or the words that explain who the speaker is and how the speaker is speaking (ex. asked Mrs. M or Mrs. M said). We practiced each day on identifying exact words and placement of quotation marks. We also worked with a partner and created a conversation between Santa and Rudolph or between a snowman and a squirrel. From there we worked with the iPads and an app called "Sock Puppets." With this each group was able to record their conversation and watch the reenactment of it with sock puppets. We then were able to listen to each funny conversation.

The West...Landforms

This week we worked on understanding the placement of landforms in the Western Region of the US. We also created a timeline of the history of North America. Please continue to study with your child over the 50 states and their landforms. Our next region that we will cover is the Midwest.

Kara Merriman

As the quarter comes to a close next week, I am so thankful for each of my students this year. They have pushed me to become a better teacher and have taught me so much already.

For next quarter, some of our supplies are running thin. I would love any of the following items as we have been going through these like hot cakes: pencils, eraser caps, colored pencils, sharpeners.

Winter Celebration

Thursday is our Winter Celebration. Students will stay with their homeroom teacher on that day. We will be having a fun day of crafts, stories and food. If you have not signed up to bring anything, we are still in need of cheese and crackers, fruit, chips and dip, and drinks. We do not need plates and napkins. Please let me know by Monday. I will confirm items in students' agendas on that day.

Please remember that students will be sent home with a goody bag. Please send in fun items (pencils, candy, stickers, erasers, etc.) by Thursday. Students' ornaments are in!!! They will also get these on Thursday as well.

Thank you for all that you do! It has been an amazing journey this year for me! I cannot believe the year is almost halfway done! It has been a great one!

There will not be any Word Work or reading folders assigned next week.

A quick reminder for both homework assignments: word work weekly assignments are a cumulative quarter grade. The tests are a weekly grade. As for the assignments, I add up the total number of assignments for that quarter and divide that number by the total number of assignments done by each student. That counts as one quarter grade. As for the reading folder, each week is considered a grade. The only way students become better readers is by reading. I ask that students read a minimum of 15 minutes per night. Ideally, this is done out loud with a parent so that students can work on fluency, tone, and comprehension. Parents, please log the number of minutes read each night. This should not be the student's responsibility; parents please also sign this to show that the student has indeed read the required amount. Students who read 45 minutes per week will receive a 100% for their weekly reading grade. Students who read 60 minutes will, in addition to the 100%, also earn a link that they sign showing that they read an hour that week. We have retested students on STAR, a reading comprehension tracking program, and overall both classes have grown, on average, almost a full year's worth of growth. That's amazing, and I am so proud of how hard we have been working!!!