Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Seasonal Fun

December is a month full of special days, and Room 100 capitalized on students' excitement.  Lessons combined fun and learning to deliver a holiday presence in the classroom. 

Enjoy the break. Classes resume January 4, 2016

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Computer Lab Magic

Students were asked to write a descriptive paragraph about a winter scene. A descriptive paragraph gives the reader a visual picture of the topic.  It gives a point of view about how something looks, feels, tastes, smells, or sounds.  The writer’s goal is to involve the readers so that they can experience the event through the text.
With this assignment students had access to word processing software, that software made this activity fun -- and magical.  All they had to do was input their descriptive paragraph into Google Doc. Students set up the paragraph so that the first line was the shortest one. Then each line grew successively longer, until the last three lines, which were short. 

After the paragraph was typed, students highlighted the text and centered it on the page. In Google Doc that is accomplished by changing the ALIGNMENT from LEFT to CENTERED                                                          

Student writing and crafting created a tree-mendous seasonal hallway!

Friday, December 4, 2015

Pajamas and Popcorn

The latest Box Tops Contest was a 5th Grade vs. 6th Grade challenge to determine “Who Rules the School” – at least in terms of Box Tops!  
Today fifth graders celebrated their victory with a pajama and popcorn party. It was a fun competition and students agreed the real winner was the school. 

Each Box Top is worth 10¢ and that adds up fast! Please continue to collect box tops. Click the box top for a complete listing of participating products.

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Seasonal Fun

A lesson in geometry, a holiday pop of color, and an excuse to begin the month of December with a fun paper craft. Mathematics is so cool.
Platonic Solids are named after the ancient Greek philosopher, Plato. There are only five of these 3-D figures, in which all the edges are of equal length. all the angles of equal measure, and all the faces are congruent shapes: Cube, Tetrahedron, Octahedron, Dodecahedron, and Icosahedron.
We're hoping to create a Polyhedra craze with our holiday door decoration.

Monday, November 23, 2015

Feasting on Food Idioms

IDIOMS can be the most confusing part of any language. Idioms are sayings that have hidden meanings. The expressions don't mean exactly what the words say, like “cool as a cucumber” has nothing to do with food, but refers to a calm person. A number of English idioms revolve around food and names of food items.
During the month of November, students have been feasting on food idioms. 
Students tested their knowledge with our hallway display. They discovered the origins of some food idioms are a piece of cake to figure out; they just had to use their beans. Other idioms were so bizarre students went nutty trying to decipher them. The idiom meanings were written on the napkins. There are so many food idioms, we would be out to lunch if we tried to list them all, but here are a few student samples that are the cream of the crop.  

Students had a great deal of fun with idioms and we're confident no one bit off more than they could chew during this idiom lesson.
During this holiday season, I give thanks for this group of students. They truly are the icing on the cake Their pure energy and smiles make learning  fun.    
Enjoy the holiday break! 

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Geography Awareness

Every year, GIS Day is celebrated on the Wednesday of Geography Awareness WeekFifth grade students celebrated GIS Day and Geography Awareness Week at Northeast's Lifelong Learning Center. Everyone was intensely engaged. Students wrestled with the content, a raft of skills, and some pretty compelling GPS.  

GIS Day is One Fun Day to
  • Celebrate GIS (geographic information systems)
  • Discover and explore the benefits of GIS 
  • Showcase the uses of GIS

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Veterans Day

Through special events and acts of remembrance, we recognize the sacrifices our Veterans made.
The National Constitution Center in Philadelphia provides an opportunity for youth to send postcards to express messages of thanks to those who served in the military. This learning activity allows youth to actively remember the sacrifices and achievements of Veterans.

Our postcards will be distrubuted to Veterans through the Center's Thank a Vet Program.

Thank you, Veterans,  for serving!

Monday, November 9, 2015

World Kindness Week

Throughout the week, JOOI Club members are asking NMS students to help in our little corner of the world. 
If everybody gives a little, together we can give a lot!
Donations for the week include:
Monday: spare change to support Mercy Meals
Tuesdaycanned/boxed (non-perishable) food for the Norfolk Food Pantry
Wednesday: school supplies for children in need
Thursday: new or gently-used hats, gloves, and scarves for The Salvation Army
Friday:  bring any of the above donations

Each day a student particpates a colorful "Do Kindness" bracelet will be given. Simply wear the wristband with pride, saying,  "I support world kindness."  

Friday, October 30, 2015

Burying Dead Words

It was the perfect day to teach word choice and have a little seasonal fun in the process. Students mourned the loss of the word "said" plus several of his buddies. They learned word choice is the difference between writing that is alive and writing that is dead on the page. 

After the burial of several lifeless words, students began to study revision, the third stage in the writing process. Students are replacing vague, lifeless words with words that are clear and specific.  
Students learned revision produces words that are much more alive and powerful. Flip through the presentation and enjoy a few samples of student work. 

Monday, October 26, 2015

What a character!

Norfolk Middle School honors students each month who have exhibited great strength in a set of identified character traits also known as pillars of character. These pillars include trustworthiness, respect, responsibility, fairness, caring, and citizenship. At the end of each month, one student from each team is recognized as an outstanding role model of the traits. This student receives a Student of the Month certificate. 
October's Character Ed Assembly honored Paige from Team 1A. Paige was among several middle school students honored today for the character quality of TRUST.
Congratulations, Paige! 

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Week's Activities

Red Ribbon Week is October 26 through October 30.  Red Ribbon Week is a week to raise awareness about the importance of being drug free. In 1988 President Reagan proclaimed the last full week in October as National Red Ribbon Week. It is estimated that more than 80 million participate in Red Ribbon Events every year.
Norfolk Middle School students will participate in activities and projects to support the anti-drug message of our school. 
  • Monday, Oct. 26th - Sock It To Drugs! Wear crazy socks.  
  • Tuesday, Oct. 27th- Team Up Against Drugs. Wear team shirts.
  • Wednesday, Oct. 28th- Don't Get Tied Up in Drugs. Wear neck ties, hair ties, tie dye shirts.
  • Thursday, Oct. 29th- Put a lid on Drugs. Wear a hat.
  • Friday, Oct. 30- Be Drug Free! Wear red.
It is a week of fun themes and serious messages.    

Friday, October 16, 2015


Enclosed in this post is information on a year-long project for my language arts students.  They are creating e-portfolios. 

What is an e-portfolio?

In its basic definition, an e-portfolio is a digital collection of student work. It is an online space for holding materials such as writing samples, photographs, or drawings that are representative of student work and progress. An e-portfolio emphasizes creativity and allows a student to take an active role in learning.

How will this be adapted to fit our needs?

Students will create e-portfolios using Google Sites.  This blogging tool is user friendly and students will add writing assignments, photos, videos, artwork, and projects. 

Who is the audience for the e-Portfolio?

A digital portfolio offers each student the ability to have online conversations with peers and teachers about themselves as learners. A major goal is to attract readers allowing students to understand that the world is an audience, not just their teacher. Parents can go online and read their students e-portfolio. 

When will we do this project?
We have already started! This project takes the place of several paper and pencil tasks. No academic content standards will be missing. This project and other technology will be integrated to replace older teaching methods.

Please view your student’s e-portfolio. Explore the site, ask questions, and join the fun as your student showcases a wonderful collection of writing.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Ghost Print Poetry

When Room 100 brought out the paint and rollers, the fun arrived - plus lots of giggles. It tickles when you apply paint! Footprint art is as unique to a child as a fingerprint, and the end result is priceless. 

Fall is such a fun time of year! The season inspired some creative Halloween poems. Our ghost prints added to the fun.

With this introduction to poetry, students focused on several elements of poetry, and the lesson dealt specifically with end rhyme, internal rhyme, partial rhyme, verse, and stanza. 
 Poetry and art now transform our hall bulletin board and serve as a wall-to-wall portfolio of student work - just in time for the seasonal fun.