This Week In Room 411

Week of October 5, 2015

We Just Got Funded

Just last night we raised the final $47 to have NEA fund the other half of our camera project. Thanks to the matching funds sponsors and your generous donations, we will be able to begin using them some time next week. Again, thanks for your support and be on the lookout for our next project. I'd like to get two round tables at some point this year to provide us with a little more space, as those long rectangle ones take up a lot of room. Students will still have their desks, but round tables make small group instruction easier and more beneficial.

Field Trip on Tuesday

Tuesday is our field trip. We load the bus at 9:00am and plan to return by 2:30pm. Be sure that if your child signed up for a home lunch that they bring it. Also, feel free to pack it in a regular lunch box. The less trash Ernie Miller Nature Center has to deal with, the better. Students may also bring a water bottle to carry with them during the day. Please make sure they wear tennis shoes (absolutely no flip-flops or sandals) and comfortable clothing. I highly suggest layers as it will be chilly in the morning and are in a wooded area. With that said, jeans are better than shorts. Also, be sure to check your child for ticks in the evening as again, we are in a wooded area for a good portion of our day.


Sparkle and Enrichment Clubs begin this week. Call the office if you have questions.

Monday,October 5th
  • O-Day: Computers
  • Band: All woodwinds and percussion
  • Spirit Day: Hats off to a Bully Free School (Wear your favorite hat)

Tuesday, October 6th

  • Field Trip to Ernie Miller Nature Center
  • M-Day: PE/Music
  • Band: Brass (trombones, trumpets, baritones) and Percussion
  • Choir
  • Spirit Day: Be Strong, Bullying is Wrong (Wear a cape or superhero shirt)

Wednesday, October 7th

  • E-Day: Art
  • Band: All woodwinds (clarinets, flutes, saxophones) and mallets
  • Spirit Day: Be Hip, Don't Be a Bully (Dress hip: Wear tie dye, sunglasses, peace signs)

Thursday, October 8th

  • T-Day: Library/Counselor
  • Band: Brass (trombones, trumpets, baritones) and Percussion
  • Choir
  • Spirit Day: Be Royal, Not a Bully (Wear blue or your favorite Royals shirt)

Friday, October 9th

  • C-Day: PE/Music
  • Band-all instruments
  • Spirit Day: We're prod of our bully-free school (Starside Spirit Day)
  • Math test
  • Vocabulary Test and packets due

Monday,October 10th

  • M-Day:PE/Music
  • Woodwinds and Mallets



We are working hard this year to learn to use technology to make our lives easier, rather than just using it to say we are using it.

For example:

  • Students are using Blackboard to navigate resources, discuss their learning with others/receive feedback, and to turn in writing assignments. Middle School and High School also use Blackboard, so our students will have an easy transition.
  • We use Kidblog as a way to be authentic authors and receive feedback on our writing. Students also learn about online safety, blogging and posting etiquette.
  • We are beginning to use Google Drive (Docs and Slides) to collaborate with group members on projects, Google also allows easy access to anything students have written anywhere at any time without needing the school resource drive.
  • Students are learning how to use Skyward for email (school purposes only, not social) and resources.


This week we continue on with The Island of the Blue Dolphins. The class is working hard at using text evidence to support their answers, and to use complete sentences when answering questions. Students are also working on close reading skills during small group reading.

Also this week we begin the Global Read Aloud project. We will be connecting with a fifth grade classroom in Michigan via Twitter, Kidblog, and possibly Skype to share our thoughts and learning from the book. Click below to view a book trailer about the book we will be reading, Fish In a Tree.

Book Trailer-Fish In A Tree Global Read Aloud Project

Click the button to view the book trailer for this year's Global Read Aloud Project book, Fish In A Tree.


The test is this Friday. Students will need to have their packets turned in for credit. This is an easy way to earn points. There should be three to five words with the prefix or suffix. The sentence needs to be complete, capitalized, punctuated, and use an example word from their list.

This week I showed the class the website This is a great site in that you enter the prefix and suffix and it provides students with a list of words. An online dictionary can also be found at .


This week we will begin our next opinion piece. Students will take a stand on whether children should still be required to learn to read and write cursive. This week our focus will be on establishing and supporting positions. Our language focus will be on verb tenses.

In addition, students will be spending time posting their first opinion piece, and then their responses to our Global Read Aloud project on Fish In a Tree on to our Kidblog site. Finally, we will write our thank you notes for our first Donors Choose project.


Last week students chose a Native American culture to research and become one of the class leading experts on that culture. They will also create a reproduction of an artifact from that culture and also write an opinion pieces as to whether they believe their chosen culture would be able to survive on Karana's Island of the Blue Dolphins. Once completed, students will create a visual and oral presentation. This will enable to students to learn about the other cultures and to compare cultural groups.


Our objectives for the week are:

  • writing simple expressions that record calculations, with numbers, and interpret numerical expressions without evaluating them
  • reviewing for test

Students have been instructed on how to use and Both of these programs can be utilized at home, especially on days they do not have homework.

Book/STEM Buddies

Last week we met for the first time with our second grade book buddies from Ms. Marney's classroom. We also call them our STEM buddies as we work on science, technology, engineering, and math. Students listen to a fairy tale, discuss the literary elements, and then use STEM skills to solve a problem the main character has. It's great for students to work with another grade, be mentors, develop new friendships, and learn in a fun way.

Our current book is The Little Red Hen. Students are designing a help wanted sign for her and will design a paper airplane to carry it. They are to test it for distance, then make a modification to get it to travel further.

Genius Hour

Last week we were fortunate in that we were able to go to the computer lab to gather research. If you are able to provide your child with time on the internet or able to take them to the library, they could print off articles or bring in books on their topic and take the actual notes in class.

This week I will work with students on choosing how they want to present their findings and what product they will make to show their learning. While they are still far from being ready to present, it is nice to know where they are headed.

Last Week in Pictures

Lunch Menu (Click Here)

Click on the button to find out what's for lunch.

Starside is on Twitter

If you are on Twitter please consider following our classroom and Starside on Twitter. It's a great way to see all the wonderful learning going on at Starside. To follow our classroom, simply go to @StarsideMartin and go to @StarsideComets to follow the school.

So many parents have already signed up. Please consider doing so if you haven't already. Remember that students earn a free mechanical pencil when a parent enrolls in the messaging service.

Contacting Mrs. Martin

Here you can choose a way to contact me, link up to our Twitter page, or the Starside Elementary website. Also, don't forget that Starside is on Twitter. The handle is @StarsideComets