Mrs. Harris' Class News

Week 4 Update

Word Work

Word Work consists of the combination of vocabulary and spelling work. Next week we will be working on spelling and vocabulary. On Wednesday mornings the students test their spelling and vocabulary skills using an online test format through Google Docs. They are assigned their new spelling and vocabulary list on Thursdays and have until the following Tuesday to complete their spelling and vocabulary work. l will also be placing spelling and vocabulary resources on my website that the students should be utilizing each week. There are flashcards, practices tests, and games the students can use to help enhance their learning of new words.

Each week the students will be responsible for learning ten new words that make up both their spelling and vocabulary words. They will also have five No Excuse words as well. I will test their ability to accurately spell these words through their spelling test, and their ability to understand how the word can be used and its meaning through their vocabulary test.

We are using Word Wisdom to help explore vocabulary. Every week we will work on a vocabulary unit that relates to a unit of study. For example, our first vocabulary unit focuses on personality characteristics, which ties into our first interactive read aloud that emphasizes character traits. I will give students time each morning to work on the given assignments that go along with our vocabulary study and then the assignments are due on the following Tuesday.

The students spelling homework will also be due the following Tuesday. Their spelling homework will consist of creating two "sorts" and using each of the spelling words in a sentence. The students may sort their words into a variety of categories when completing their sorts. For example, the students may choose to sort their words based on parts of speech or alphabetically.

Click Here To Order Scholastic Books

Our class activation code is MHCTF. All orders will be placed on September 18th.

Math Workshop

This year we are continuing to use a workshop model to teach mathematics. On Wednesdays of each week the students are given the opportunity to explore math through the use of stations. The acronym MATH helps guide us through our station work. The acronym MATH stands for:

  • Meet with the teacher: Students meet with me in small groups. During this time, I am able to verify what concepts students still need assistance with and provide them with individualized attention based on their math needs.
  • At your seat: Each week students complete a worksheet on their own to review concepts they have learned in previous years. The goal is to ensure that they are constantly reviewing mathematical concepts they have learned in the past.
  • Technology/Thinking about math: Depending on what we are working on in class, our "T" station will consist of using Tenmarks on our classroom computers to complete math assignments or students will be writing about their solutions to a math problem.
  • Hands on: At the hands on station students will be playing games that reinforce what we are talking about in class.

  • We are excited about this new adventure, and have seen a noticeable difference in the students' attitudes about math.

    Fraction War

    As we dive into our fraction unit we will be learning a variety of games that the students are able to play at home with you or a partner in order to practice their math skills. One game that the students have learned is Fraction War, which is similar to the card game of war.

    What you need:

    • a deck of cards
    • paper/ pencil for work (optional)


    1. Decide how you are going to win each round. For example, does the person with the smaller fraction win or the larger fraction? Does the person who has a fraction closest to 1 or 1/2 win? There are a variety of ways to play this game, so make sure you and your partner establish how you win each round.
    2. Pull out all of the face cards. Some students like to keep the aces to use as a one, but all the jacks, queens, kings, and jokers should be removed.
    3. Shuffle the deck.
    4. Split the deck in half between you and your partner.
    5. Each person flips over two cards, and creates a fraction out of their two cards.
    6. Compare the fractions based upon the previously decided guidelines. For example, if you agreed that the person with the larger fraction would win then compare and decide who is the winner.
    7. The winner of each round collects all four cards.
    8. Repeat the previous steps until one player has all the cards.

    Challenge the students to play a variety of ways not just finding the largest fraction. We have worked on comparing fractions to benchmark fractions. Also, challenge them to explain their thinking.

    Enjoy playing this game with your student!

    Picture Day is September 9, 2015

    Half day September 25, 2015- Dismissal at 11:20

    Touching Spirit Bear

    Next week in language workshop we will begin reading Touching Spirit Bear as a class. We will examine a variety of topics while reading, but our main focus will be on character traits and character development throughout the story.
    Touching Spirit Bear Book Trailer

    Engagement Points

    You may have noticed that on Skyward that part of your student's reading and writing grade comes from engagement points. Each day your student is able to obtain two points for each reading and writing workshop for a total of 10 points a week in each subject area. The students will not earn engagement points if they are off task or if they interrupt their classmates and/ or small group lessons.

    Contact Mrs. Harris

    Please feel free to contact me with any questions, comments, or concerns. You can email me at