Toys for Tots

We are collecting toys for the Toys for Tots Foundation to benefit kids in need. If you would like to help, please send an unwrapped toy by Friday, December 14th. A collection box is located near the front office beside the Christmas tree.

                 Thank you for your support!

Week of 11/26-30

November has absolutely flown by in our classroom!  I’m so proud of all of the hard work each of your children has shown this quarter – they are learning so much.

While you each receive daily sheets with information specific to your child, I wanted to share a few highlights from the last few weeks.


In addition to our daily guided reading groups, we also do a read-aloud each day.  I plan these units with Mrs. Nettles, our amazing SLP.  We just finished reading the adapted version of The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe.  The students absolutely loved it!  We use this portion of our instruction to work not only on reading comprehension, but also speech and language goals and objectives.


We brought Narnia to life in our classroom, and it was a hit!

I also really appreciate your support with our daily home reading program.  Your children are eager to fill their envelopes with new books, and one of the most important things we can do for them is to offer them many opportunities to read new books.  Keep up the great work!


Our students attend STEM with Mrs. Pace and Mrs. Franco and enjoy Mrs. Smith’s amazing STEM Lab.  Today she brought a guest reader to share the December STEM book of the month.  Here’s a peek at 3rd Grade:

Begin With the End In Mind:

There are many exciting events coming up at our school.  Here are a few highlights from our school calendar:

December 3-14: Toys for Tots Donations

December 4: Zaxby’s Night

December 7: Bingo Night

Have a great weekend!

Week of 10/23/2018

It was so wonderful to meet with all of you during conference week!  Thank you for your time, and I am truly honored to teach your amazing children each day.

Here are some highlights from the classroom this week:

All of our friends have LOVED reading Stellaluna as a collaborative lesson with our amazing Speech Therapist, Mrs. Nettles.  We’ve worked on elements of a story, comprehension, and articulation.  We’ve also explored paired non-fiction texts about Bats.

We began our Opinion Writing Unit today, and discussed what an opinion was.  We ALL have an opinion about snacks, so this was a great way to start, and we also had the chance to tie in the concept of graphing:

We are so fortunate have a new interactive board in our classroom and the students love it!  We can have more than one student practicing math at the same time!

Book Fair Coming Soon

We have some SUPER readers in our classroom.  Help encourage your child to keep reading and support our school by shopping our book fair.

The Book Fair will be October 15-19th, with a preview during Movie Night on Friday 10/13.  Find out more important details, including how to order online here: Learning Commons Book Fair Information

I can’t wait to hear about the new books our students choose!

Tuesday 10/2/2018

We’ve had a great start to the week after break! This week’s BIG IDEA:

Take a new step!

Begin With The End In Mind:

October 1-19th: Surrender the Booty Direct Donation Campaign

October 10: Mama Frogs Spirit Night

October 11: Early Release

October 15-19: Conference Week (Don’t forget to sign up for a conference time!)


We enjoyed working together with our friends to make SLIME!  We discussed the difference between a liquid and a solid, read and followed instructions, and practiced our speech skills with new friends.  Here are a few pictures:

Math Focus: Continued practice on numeracy skills differentiated for each student.  Please count everything, everywhere!

We are continuing to read Charlotte’s Web and integrate Speech and Language Goals.

Writing: Sentence Frame of the week: I can ________ (action word).  We are discussing ways to make new friends.  We are also writing about the new month and new season.

Sign Up for Parent Conferences

I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to share all of the successes from the first quarter of school with each of you during our annual Parent-Teacher Conferences.  Conference Week is October 15-19, 2018.  During your conference, you will receive your child’s report card, and I will go over their IEP Progress Report.  You will be able to see their progress towards their annual IEP Goals and Objectives.  I will also be able to answer any questions or concerns you have during our time together.

Please follow the link below to sign up for your conference time: Mrs. Derman’s Conference Week Sign-Up Genius

Please note that each day of Conference Week is an early release day.  Dismissal will begin at 12:20 PM.

Weekly Update: September 17-21

Our students have continued to make incredible progress as we near the end of the first quarter.  I am truly amazed out how hard they work, and what they accomplish each day in school.

Here are highlights from this week, as well as upcoming dates to have on your calendar:


Our handwriting work is different for each student.  Students are either working on “magic c” lowercase letters or reinforcing “starting corner capitals” using Handwriting Without Tears.  Looking for a way to practice at home?  You are welcome to check out a handwriting kit from our classroom, which includes chalk, a mini sponge, napkins, and a chalkboard.  Students use the Handwriting Without Tears “wet, dry, try” method to practice correct letter formation and they love it!

Here is a video to demonstrate the “wet, dry, try” procedure:


We are continuing with our weekly guided reading instruction.  I meet with every student every day, and am seeing progress in their reading ability.  Specific reading assessment information will be shared at parent conferences.  Remember that your child can also get additional practice on their weekly book using Raz-Kids.

Social Studies:

This week, our students began a unit on Government.  Due to IOWA testing in grades 3 and 5, I had a great opportunity to preview some of the key terms.  Here is a great video to help support your child at home:


Students continue to use Touch Math Strategies to practice a range of skills, from number recognition to addition and subtraction problems.  Not sure how to help with Touch Math?  This is a helpful starting point:

I will post additional videos on the Math Support Page here on the blog.

Anchor Literature Unit:

We are currently reading an adapted version of Charlotte’s Web!  All of the students love the book, and are doing well with comprehension and retelling the story.  If you’d like to check out the book and review it at home, here is a link:

Upcoming School Events:

September 24-28: Fall Break: Don’t forget to participate in the reading challenge!  Details can be found on the Pickett’s Mill website.

I hope everyone has a wonderful Fall Break!


We Love Our Book Buddies!

Each Monday we LOVE having 5th grade friends from Mrs. Kellam and Mrs. Bintliff’s classes come and visit!  This week, our friends helped us play Sight Word Candyland, read special books with us, and even helped make some new adapted books for our classroom library!  We look forward to seeing them each Monday.

Marvelous Monday

We had a fantastic start to the week!  I was so impressed with all of our students hard work today.  Here are a few highlights from the day:

Reading:  We all began new guided reading books today.  The students are learning the weekly reading routine, and are doing well learning new vocabulary and reading with me on Mondays.  I try to select books based on their interests, and enjoy seeing how engaged they are when they get their new book.

Book Buddies!  Exciting news!  We collaborated with some of Mrs. Kellam’s fifth grade class and began our book buddies today.  We talked about friendship and read a book together.  Then (the most exciting part…)  each of our students read a book to the new friends!  They were so proud of themselves and the students in Mrs. Kellam’s class were so impressed with their reading.  WIN-WIN!!  They will be coming to visit each Monday and helping us continue to be super readers!

It’s a busy week at Pickett’s Mill!  Don’t forget that Wednesday is early release, and Thursday is school picture day.  Then, we will all enjoy a long weekend Sharpening the Saw with the Labor Day holiday on Monday.

Terrific Tuesday

Weekly Updates from Room 114:

Begin With the End In Mind:

  • This Friday is Pirate Spirit Day – don’t forget to participate in the fun!
  • August 29th: Early Release and Lake Point Night
  • August 30th: School Picture Day
  • September 3rd: No School

Curriculum Highlights:

Each student started a new guided reading book this week.  I sent home the books from last week including the key vocabulary sheet, if needed.  Please listen to your child read the books to you at home – they are so proud of how well they can read!  See last’s week’s post regarding our weekly guided reading schedule.

All students are continuing work in Math that targets their individual goals and objectives.

Our writing workshop continues to have both and handwriting component as well as a narrative writing component.  We are focusing on proper letter formation of capital letters.  Handwriting practice was sent home today.

Please don’t forget to constantly review life skills information: first and last name, phone number, mom and dad’s name, address, date of birth, etc.  We review and assess this weekly in our classroom.

Have a wonderful week!