Friday, September 30, 2011

IMA Newsletter: September 30, 2011

September 30, 2011

OAA Testing For Third Grade:

On Tuesday, October 4th our third graders will be taking the OAA Reading Test.  They will take the test in October and a more advanced version in May. We will begin testing at 10:00 and will finish at 12:30.  All IMA kids will go to lunch at 12:30 and finish recess at 1:30.  If your child is absent, he or she will need to make up the test later in the week with a different teacher.

All IMA third graders will be testing with Mrs. Smith.  The fourth graders will be working all day with Mrs. Marlatt.

Scores should be available in late November.

Testing Snacks:

Thank you in advance to all of the families that are sending in snacks for the third graders on Tuesday.  The snacks make a big difference during our testing time and the thoughtfulness is greatly appreciated.

The IMA Kids Blog:
Our students each have their own blog and will be posting different forms of writing on their blogs throughout the year.  The link to our blog is:

Students worked on the blog today and many of the kids published their first posts.  Your child logs on and uses his/her lunch number as a password.  Students are welcome to write on the blog from home at any time.  

If you have any questions about the blog, please contact Mrs. Smith.

Have a great weekend.  Can you believe that it is already October?

Monday, September 26, 2011

IMA Newsletter: September 26, 2011

Word Study
Your child should have brought home his/her individualized Sight Word and Spelling List.  Please review the parent information letter and your child's study plan.  We are working on word study strategies that will increase word knowledge and writing fluency.

Writing Workshop:
We completed our first week of our writing unit called "Writing Like A Reporter."  First, students drafted and created a list of interview questions.  Students are now using the questions to plan and draft their answers, creating an "All About Me" digital book.  Students are using Keynote, Google Images, and Photobooth to create their personal books.

Reading Workshop
Students are working on developing their own questions to focus their reading and comprehension of different genres of texts.  They are recording questions before and as they read, using the questions to guide their purposes for reading.  This is a strategy that you and your child can use at home as you read together.  Asking questions keeps a reader actively involved with a text and builds a deeper understanding of a story or informational text.

This week I will be assessing the children's math knowledge with the Dublin grade level diagnostic test. This test is extensive but it will give me an insight into what each child has already learned in math and where I need to focus their instruction.  

We have finished our math unit on reading and writing large numbers in various forms. We will be reviewing for a test on Thursday. Be sure to check over this week's homework as it is a review of these concepts. The homework should provide you a chance to help your child with any problem areas before the test. 

Our 4 monarch butterflies have left their chrysalises. We said goodbye and they are now on their way to Mexico! Our Life Science study will be wrapping up soon, too. The children have completed an independent study on a particular life cycle and they are creating a graphic organizer to show what they have learned. We will be discussing food chains and webs next. Children and families can access our science book that supports these topics at  User name is dublinscience and the password is dublin. We are using the third grade book(the toucan) and reading Lessons 1-3 in Chapter 5.

Read Aloud:
Students began reading and discussing 2 interesting novels in a book club format.  The third graders are reading, Dolphin Tale,  and the fourth graders are reading, Pond Scum.  Characters, character traits, and character changes and development are an important part of this read aloud time.  Using a reader's notebook is an important responsiblity of the book clubs.  Students are expected to track important events in the plot, track character traits and changes, make predictions, and ask questions as they stay actively involved with the texts.  

Chapman's walkathon will be held this Friday.  IMA students will walk during their recess time from 12:30-12:45.  Thank you for supporting the school's fund raising efforts to build our technology resources.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

IMA Newsletter: September 18, 2011

 Thank you for helping with homework this week!
This was a VERY busy week for the IMA students and teachers!  Before we talk about our class work, we want to extend a tremendous thanks to all of our parents.  The first week of homework is always an adventure and your support was greatly appreciated by the kids and the teachers.  Homework only gets easier…we promise!

Your child participated in a variety of word study assessments this week.  The results of these assessments will shape your child’s learning for the year.  Each student took the Developmental Spelling Inventory, the Hearing Sounds In Words Sentence Dictation test and the Sight Word/High Frequency Word spelling test.  Your child will be receiving his/her personalized spelling list next Friday with goals, home study ideas, and an assessment schedule.   We are ready to return to our word work and vocabulary studies next week!

Our Writing Workshop and Science Time merged in our unit called “Writing Like A Scientist.”  Students refined their nonfiction reading and writing skills. Students studied common creatures and items found in the habitat and the classroom while recording their observations and noted attributes.  Students researched and observed like scientists, studying the attributes and behaviors of Monarchs using a variety of living, digital, and print resources.  Students worked like engineers and studied pencils, discovering the materials and design ideas of this common, but very useful invention.  The kids studied the purpose of each design element and gathered information about pencils, using their notes to create diagrams and information paragraphs.

Reading Workshop gave us a chance to extend our reading lives.  We continued to build our book selection strategies and some students joined research projects or book clubs. Students took a literacy survey.  The survey results will guide students and their use of a reader’s notebook.  Next week’s goal is to help students learn new and enriched ways to use their notebooks to reflect their understanding as they read.

Math: The amount of reading involved in math is often surprising! In Math Students have extended their nonfiction reading and writing into reading graphs and charts. We are practicing how to use the title and labels of a graph to determine the question that was asked, the audience and the data that is represented on the chart. We are discussing trends displayed on graphs and we use math vocabulary words such as mode, median and range in our discussions.
We have also been exploring place value structure and learning how to read, write, and represent numbers in multiple ways. Children should feel comfortable talking about the expanded form and ordinal form of a word as well as the standard form. Using the ones, thousands and millions periods of numbers help children correctly say the word form of a large number such as ten million, three hundred seventy six thousand, four hundred fifty two. Here is a digital resource children can use at home to help them read numbers in word form: One area that is especially difficult for students is estimating to the nearest round number. Students often struggle with this skill as numbers grow into the thousands and millions. Here are some links to give your child practice with this skill: and ( On the funbrain site what we are doing in class is demonstrated at the easy and medium levels.)

A great technology opportunity arrived; students had a chance to use Chapman’s new iPads and iPod Touches.  Over the summer, Chapman added 10 iPads and iTouches to the school’s technology resources and the IMA family is HAPPY about these new tools!  Ask your child about these fabulous resources.  Students already had access to Mrs. Smith’s iTouch and iPhone, but a mobile cart of 20 new learning tools is quite exciting!

Here is a great digital connection from National Geographic that can be used as a reading resource this week.  Enjoy!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Welcome Back!

Welcome back to an exciting new school year!  

Our Learning Community is the IMA classroom blog.  This is a place for you to discover what the IMA students are learning and discovering at school.  Rather than the quick summaries of projects or units of study that you might read about in our newsletters, our blog will give the teachers more room to explain our work while sharing classroom pictures to help you see what students are doing.  

The blog is an easy way to stay updated on your child's classroom adventures.  
It is a great launching point for family conversations about school.  
The blog can be shared with relatives that live far away so grandparents and other family members can stay connected to your child's school year.

Enjoy your reading visits and we hope that you find our classroom blog helpful. 


Since this is our first week of homework, we are sending along one of our FAVORITE resources for home reading logs.  The site is called:

Wonderopolis is a fantastic reading site for IMA students and their families too.  
The top reasons that we love this site:

1.  Wonder Questions greet the reader with an interesting question to focus the reader's thinking.

2.  A fun or informative video helps a reader to access their own background knowledge or to see and think about something completely new. 

3.  The short, but powerful articles are filled with information, vocabulary, and child-friendly research resources.

4.  Each topic and article provides children with interesting ways to increase their vocabulary and build an understanding of their world.

Take some time to wonder and read together this weekend!

This is a Milkweed Tussock Moth found by our students. 
Ask your child why looking like a Monarch Caterpillar 
would keep this creature safe from predators.