January 13-17, 2014

Nord's Newsletter


Mrs. Froehlich and I are working on Author's Message with the students. I modeled how to come up with the Author's Message using these 4 questions-What is the character's problem? What did the character do to solve the problem? What did the character learn? and What did I learn?

I read the book, Empty Pot by Demi to the students. In the book the Emperor is looking for his successor and has a contest to his people. The contest was to whomever could grow the most beautiful flowers with the seeds from the Emperor, would be the next successor. The character Ping, loved flowers and could grow the most beautiful flowers, but his seeds wouldn't grow a thing. He felt ashamed to go the Emperor with his empty pot. All of the other children of the land brought their beautiful pot of flowers to the Emperor. As it turned out, the Emperor gave them all cooked seeds and none of them would have bloomed. The other children must have switched the seeds whereas Ping did not. Ping was selected to be the Emperor due to him being honest. The Author's Message - "Be honest and you'll be reward", or as one of the students said, "Honesty is the best policy."

This week we will continue to practice with finding the Author's Message. We will also assess the students in their reading fluency. With the crazy weather last week and Mrs. Froehlich gone a day, we decided to wait to test. We plan on starting assessing the class on Wednesday.


This week I passed out multiplication Wrap-Ups. It is a helpful tool for the students to practice facts independently. It took a little practice to hold the Wrap-Up and to coordinate the string to wrap around it. Even though only a few factors have been introduced, our next unit in Everyday Math will be learning the rest of the factors. And with Iowa Assessments around the corner (first week in Feb.), this tool will be helpful to work on all of the facts.


Last week the students worked with straws to make various triangles and quadrangles. Again a lot of new vocabulary was introduced. The students are doing well with drawing line segments, rays and lines. This week, we will review the characteristics of polygons, emphasizing regular polygons and learning the prefixes polygons have; for example: tri-, quad-, penta-, hexa-, etc.

Angles were introduced last week but in terms with rotations and turns. This week the students will actually draw angles. They will not have to draw angles using a protractor and measuring to a specific degree. But will have to draw and recognize angles more than a 90 degrees (more than a 1/4 turn) and less than 90 degrees (less than a 1/4 turn). This may sound confusing but this is baby steps into angles. We will make a tool to measure angles as well. If the week goes to plan, hopefully by the end of the week, we will touch on symmetry as well.


Simple Machines full speed ahead!!! Last week, I introduced machines to the students telling them we are going to have a contest, class vs. Mrs. Nord, to who could mix up the heavy whipping cream the fastest. But what they didn't know was I had my secret weapon...an electric mixer, while the students only a fork to stir with. Of course this wasn't fair but the kids still LOVED the challenge. Clearly, machines make life easier and things get done quicker.

On Friday, I introduced one of the 6 simple machines, the incline plane. I read a book to introduce the machine and the kids took notes and drew pictures of the many examples of incline planes. On Monday, we will do an activity using an incline plane. Two more simple machines are on the topic this week, screws and wedges.

Weekly Schedule

Monday-Computer Lab
Wednesday-LATE START, Art
Friday-Library & Guidance
**Jensen Night at the Urbandale's Varsity basketball game (tickets will be going home this week)

**Movie Night at Jensen-January 24 at 6:30 in the gym. The movie will be Smurfs 2. The cost is FREE but concessions will be available to purchase