Friday, May 23, 2014


Dear Parents and Families,
What a fantastic year! As I reread blog posts this morning, I was reminded of the learning experiences, the eagerness of these students to learn, and the joy in learning. 
I appreciate your support this year. I am so grateful to work with parents who are involved in their child's education and our school.
As we closed out the year, there were many acts of kindness and I appreciate each one. The cards, the gifts, and the thoughtful words are encouraging. I treasure each one. 
Enjoy your summer. May you linger over meals, enjoy new routines, and take time to refresh.  
It will be exciting to cross paths with these returning 6th grade students in August. 

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

S'more to Learn

Students ended the school year with a S'more party. It was a fun way to celebrate a successful school year. With the whole summer stretching before them, I wanted to remind students that just because it's summer, learning doesn't stop. There is S'more to learn!
Students were asked to reflect on  what they have accomplished in the school year and make plans to continue learning through the summer months. 
Your student crafted a S'more to hang on the fridge as a reminder to weave in math and literacy reinforcers during the summer.  
Room 100's top vote-getters :  
1.  Storybird  
2.  DIY 
3.  IXL
4.  Pop! Boom! Fizz! - Summer Reading Program
 * Remember boldcolored font is a link to take you to the site. 
The entertainment for our year-end party was the game, Minute-to-Win-It /S'more Marshmallow Toss.  Players had one minute to throw as many marshmallows as possible to a partner who must catch them in the paper bag campfire. The team with the most marshmallows after one minute wins. 

Congratulations to the 2014 champions, Ashley and Grace. They crushed it!  
And congratulations to Room 100 's fifth graders as they head out the door and begin S'more summer fun. I was so fortunate to have such a wonderful group of children this past year.  They touched my life and this school year in very positive and rewarding ways.  
Have a wonderful summer break! 

Monday, May 19, 2014

Summer Reading

With summer break less than two days away, it's time to think about how to support your child's independent reading through the sunny weeks ahead. 
During the past school year, I've encouraged independent reading to build your child's comprehension, fluency, vocabulary, and enjoyment for reading. And, you've likely done the same thing at home. 
Summer reading loss or the "summer slide" occurs when a child does not read over the summer. They lose skills. Research clearly proves that the key to fight summer reading loss is to keep students reading during summer break. You may read more by clicking here.
Room 100 is gearing up for summer reading with some novel ideas. 
Book Swap
1.  Book Swap. 
We organized a Book Swap in our classroom! Students were allowed to trade gently used books for an even number of "new" choices. The Book Swap allowed students to share books a friend might enjoy. To pump up the kids about the Book Swap, we decorated book bags to carry the new books home. Bookworm treats turned our swap into a “sweet deal.”
Please check the back of the treat label for local book clubs your child may join this summer. These clubs offer incentives to encourage children to read.
Other ideas to encourage summer reading - - 
2.  Norfolk Public Library’s Summer Reading Program
Register for the program, Fizz, Boom, Read. Students receive a reading record to keep track of time spent reading. Once a child logs in 25 hours, the reading record is exchanged for amazing rewards! Norfolk Public Library is located at 308 Prospect Avenue. 

3.  Scholastic’s Online Summer Reading Challenge
A FREE online reading program that allows kids to log the minutes they spend reading this summer. Students can participate in weekly challenges, earn digital rewards, enter sweepstakes, find great books to read, and more! 

4 Barnes & Noble Summer Reading Program 
B & N has a summer reading program that provides incentives for your child to earn a free book. The site features book selections sorted by grade level which is always helpful.

5.  Explore online reading.
 "StorylineOnline is a free site featuring actors who creatively read books aloud. Actors of all ages engage children by telling them why they like to read or chose a specific book to share. This high-quality website features well-known and contemporary books that includes professional voice narration and original background music to accompany the read aloud.

*Remember - The pink  font is a link and will take you right to these book sites.
Thanks, parents, for encouraging your child to read this summer! It does make a difference. 

Friday, May 16, 2014


Students have been using Storybird to apply what they learned about narrative elements to create their own stories. Storybird helps students bring thoughts to life and adds a digital component to traditional storyboards. 
Students drag and drop characters and images onto a digital storyboard. Their ideas are transformed into magnificent stories inspired by the artwork available on Storybird.
The final story is shared in an online class library.  Students also have the option to purchase their story as a hard cover picture book.  Several students created books for younger siblings.
Here is an example of one student’s Storybird . . .

Your student may log in at home to share his or her Storybird with family or create a new story.  This is a great site for some summer fun. It will keep your child writing through June, July, and August.  Click the icon to go directly to Storybird.

Happy Writing!

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Comics in the Classroom

Room 100 had fun building their understanding of figurative language using comic strips.  Students created their "funny pages" using an online comic creator. They practiced seven common forms of figurative language:
   simile — using “like” or “as” for description or comparison
   metaphor —comparison that does not use like or as
   oxymoron — combines two normally contradictory terms
   personification — giving human traits to non-living objects
   pun - a humorous word phrase with more than one meaning
   onomatopoeia — a word that imitates the sound it represents
   hyperbole - extreme exaggeration
A Google search generated humorous examples for students to use in their comic strips. 
Creating the comic strips proved lots of fun.  MakeBeliefsComix  focuses on the key elements of comic strips by allowing students to choose backgrounds, characters, and props, as well as to compose related dialogue.  
After creating a comic, students printed their final versions for feedback and assessment. 
Room 100 is creating a comic book to add to our classroom library.

Here is a sneak preview . . . 
Wyatt's Idiom

Mason's Pun

Kaden's Pun

Make Beliefs Comix is available for students to use at home. It could easily provide some summer fun. Click the button to visit the site.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

A Gallery of Poems

As the end of the year draws near, students are feeling the pull of warm summer days to come. This week we were able to channel that excitement into poetry. Students were introduced to a variety of poetic forms and elements.  Each student then wrote an original poem. 
We have created a "Poetry Gallery," which we filled with tributes to a season packed with sights, smells, and sounds: splashing water; hot dogs off the grill; bike rides; the water park; and lemonade. 
Summer break is so close we can see, feel, hear, taste, and smell the season.

Thanks, Jaime, at TpT for this clever craftivity!

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Happy May Day!

In addition to the academic curriculum, the Norfolk Middle School students are exposed to a strong character education program to promote right character and values. Opportunities for students to practice good character are provided through day-to-day interactions in classrooms and service learning projects. 
Fifth grade students on Team 1 celebrated May Day by getting involved in the community. Students created a GIANT May basket full of sweets and treats for a local mission.