Grade 2:  
I am meeting weekly with both reading enrichment and Math Apps.  Math Apps students will take their second CML this month.  Most students are finishing this test in under 10 minutes and I am strongly encouraging them to take the full 30 minutes.  We have talked about strategies and the importance of checking your work thoroughly.

Grade 3:  We are full swing into our unit "Inventive Thinking". Please check out the tab above to find out more information, along with handouts and important dates.  Students now should know whether they are creating an original invention, the challenge invention, or a Rube Goldberg.  Their current homework is to sketch their Rube Goldberg design, finish filling in their inventor's journal, and research their original invention idea to be sure they are not reinventing the wheel.
12:30-1:30 JUDGING

Grade 4:  The Invention Convention for 4th grade is optional.  For those students participating, please check out my Inventive Thinking Unit tab above for resources and dates.  All students who have committed have met with me, received resources and a display board, and should be well on their way with their project.
8:15-9:15 JUDGING

January 2018:
Grade 2:  Reading enrichment began this month.  At this time, we are reading a Junior Great Book called "Miss Maggie" by Cynthia Rylant.  Check out my "Reading Enrichment" tab for more information.

Due to the fact that we have just begun meeting in reading and Math Apps has only met for a few months, there is no report card or comments from enrichment during the second marking period.

Grade 3:  We are full swing into our unit "Inventive Thinking". Please check out the tab above to find out more information, along with handouts and important dates.  Students have been excited to begin the invention process and should be working on their Invention Journals at home and thinking about which project they will be building.

Grade 4:  Congratulations to our 14 classroom spelling bee winners.  This Friday, January 19th, we will hold our school spelling bee where one student will be determined as the winner and will represent PWS at our state spelling bee!

I have visited all 4th grade classrooms to encourage the students to participate in the Invention Convention.  Unlike 3rd grade, students will be creating their original invention, challenge invention, or Rube Goldberg at home (along with a display board).  The 4th grade Invention Convention will held in our dining room on Tuesday, February 20th from 8-10:30.  Please see the Inventive Thinking tab above for more information along with handouts.

December 2017:
Grade 2:  Reading enrichment screening is complete and you should know whether your child will be coming to me in January for reading enrichment.  This program is flexible, therefore students can be added at any time.

Grade 3:  This month, I got into all third grade classrooms to kick off our Invention unit called "Inventive Thinking".  Please check out the tab above for more information about this unit throughout the months of January and February.

Grade 4:  We had a wonderful and successful culmination of our unit "Coming to America" on Friday, December 8th.  Students looked fantastic as their ancestors coming through Ellis Island and they were well-prepared.  Here is a video clip of the day - 

November 2017:
Grade 2:  Math Apps in Grade 2 has begun along with screening for reading enrichment, which will begin in January.

Grade 3:  I got into many third grade classrooms to begin some very powerful math lessons from Jo Boaler and youcubed.org.  Students watch short videos and then work on tasks that allow them to grow their brains.  Students are learning - 
1.  There is no such thing as a math brain - anyone can do math with practice
2.  Mistakes actually help your brain grow
3.  Speed is not important in math

Although these lessons are centered around math, we do discuss how these lessons can be applied to anything we do!

Grade 4:  We are midway through our Coming to America lessons.  Students should be thinking about what they will wear on December 8th and what they will be bringing with them in their suitcases.  

October 2017:
Grade 2:  All second graders have been introduced to Groundworks.  This is an in-school math enrichment activity that any student can try!  To read more about Groundworks, click here.

This week I am working with second grade teachers to compile a list for Math Apps and reading enrichment screening.  If your child has been recommended, you will receive an email from me in early October.

Grade 3 and 4:
I am currently making my way through both grades and introducing Groundworks.  This is an in-school math enrichment activity that any student can try.  To read more about Groundworks, click here.

Both reading enrichment and writing enrichment will begin this month.

Grade 4:
We are midway through our Coming to America lessons.  By now your child should have a good understanding of what an immigrant means, why they left their homelands, why they came to America, and the trip across the ocean.  ALL STUDENTS should have completed the Google Form and have identified which country they will represent on December 8th.

Please click on the "Coming to America" tab above for detailed information each week.

September 2017:
Grade 2:  I am currently spending about 4 weeks doing whole class lessons in second grade.  I hope your child has come home and shared with you the powerful videos we've been watching.  The come from youcubed.org.  Check this wonderful site out if you have the chance!  

So far, we have learned that:
1.  Anyone can be good at math because our brains grow and change.  We just need to practice to make those brain pathways deeper and stronger.
2.  Believe in yourself.  Brain science has shown that students who believe in themselves (have a growth mindset) grow faster and farther than those who do not believe in themselves (fixed mindset).

In the upcoming weeks:
1.  Mistakes are good...we learn from them and our brain grows stronger when we do make mistakes.
2.  Speed is not important.  Thinking deeply about problems helps our brains grow more.
3.  I will introduce the Groundworks program the last week of September and it should be up and running in October!

I will begin screening for 2nd grade Math Apps in October.  Classes will begin in November.
I will begin screening for 2nd grade Reading Enrichment also in October.

Grade 3 and 4:  I went into most third and fourth grade classrooms to do the initial math lesson from youcubed.org.  Classroom teachers will continue these lessons throughout September.  Ask you child what they've learned about brain science and math!

Math Apps has begun.  Homework will begin next week.
Reading Enrichment screening will begin this week.  I will let all parents know results within a few weeks.
Writing Enrichment will begin in October.  I am reading through summer homework pieces now.  Most students who have completed their summer writing homework (on time) will be asked to join.  However, if I feel that it would be beneficial to wait, I will let parents know.

Grade 4:
The COMING to AMERICA unit in fourth grade will kick off next week.  Please check my website weekly (and your child's teachers) for updates and information regarding this unit.

August 2017:
Welcome Back!  I am very excited to work with all of your children this year. I plan on getting into all 2nd, 3rd, and 4th grades to work with whole classes.  I will also be pulling small groups for math, reading, and writing.  Please see our district webpage along with a detailed description of the programs below.  

  • GRADE 2:  I will visit second grade classrooms in September to do some whole group mindset and math lessons.  I will also do a fun mystery unit with them in the spring.
  • GRADE 3:  Invention Convention will be run differently this year at Peter Woodbury.  I will teach an Invention Unit to all third graders but participating in the actual Convention will be optional (this includes Math Apps students).  Fourth grade students will not be a part of the Invention Convention unless they would like to participate.  I will link all information and forms to my website (under the Invention Convention tab) so that students will have all the information.  Invention Convention is scheduled for Monday, Feb. 20.
  • GRADE 4:  I will teach an immigration unit to all fourth grade classes.  This will culminate in an Ellis Island day in early December.  I am also going to spend time in each classroom discussing mindset and math and doing some great problem solving and thinking activities.  Fourth graders also participate in the Spelling Bee.  Teachers will have classroom Bees in December.  Two students from each room will then be eligible to participate in the 4th grade Bee which will take place on January 19th at 10am.  

Enrichment Pullout Programs:

Math Plus: This math class is offered to fourth grade students who meet district criteria based on their Grade 3 Math Apps screening results. New students to the district may be tested in the fall. The class covers the 4th grade curriculum and provides additional math enrichment activities for participating students.  Math Plus students will be graded each quarter by the enrichment teacher.

Math Apps: At the elementary schools, Math Apps is a pull-out program for grades 2, 3, and 4. This group meets weekly to extend and challenge participating students in the area of mathematics. We explore problem solving techniques, visual spatial activities, logical reasoning and participate in the Continental Math League (CML) Competition. Annual screening takes place in the spring for grades 3 and 4, and during the fall for students in grade 2 or new to the district. Second grade Math Apps begins second quarter. Requirements for inclusion are based on a variety of criteria, such as high levels of success on standardized academic assessments, current performance, and teacher recommendation. All recommended students are screened on an annual basis. Current participants are automatically included in this process.  Math Apps effort and participation grades are included with January and June report cards.  

Reading Enrichment: This weekly pull-out class for grades 2, 3 and 4 focuses on extending and deepening student's love of literature. Participation requires high levels of success on standardized academic assessments, current performance, and teacher recommendations.  Students may enter this program at any time throughout the year if they meet these expectations. Continued inclusion requires participation, student motivation and preparedness.  Reading enrichment will use picture books, chapter books, and Junior Great Books. This is an inquiry-based program that relies heavily on strong inferential skills and the ability to participate in meaningful discussions.  Due to the large number of strong readers here at Peter Woodbury, I will begin working with teachers to create a pool of possible candidates that may be included in my reading enrichment groups throughout the year.

Writing Enrichment: This weekly pull-out program is for students in grade 3 and 4 who demonstrate above average writing skills, creativity, and a high level of commitment to working on writing projects of their own choice. Students may enter this program at any time throughout the year if they meet these expectations. Continued inclusion requires participation, student motivation and preparedness.  

For all pullout programs, students are expected to keep up with their daily classwork, homework, and behavior.  Students recommended for these programs not only excel academically but are also self-motivated, risk-takers, leaders, and problem solvers.  They show a love of learning, a willingness to take on extra tasks, and perseverance in all they do.