Book Character Day Fun!

This week has been busy and exciting in our classroom.  We enjoyed participating in the first Pickett’s Mill Book Character Day!  Here is a picture of our Green Eggs and Ham costumes:

The students enjoyed carving and decorating our class pumpkin yesterday!  We will write about this experience during our writing time this week.

We are finishing our mini-unit on Bats, Spiders, and Pumpkins and are excited to begin our United States Government unit next.

Don’t forget that tomorrow is our weekly library day, so please return your books.  The students love checking out new books each week.

Fine Arts Night:  Pickett’s Mill will have its first Fine Arts night tomorrow evening (11/2/2017).  This is a wonderful opportunity to see what our students do in music and art and participate in several fun activities.

Homework is due on Friday, and you will receive a new packet for next week.



Wrapping Up October

October has flown by and has been a month full of learning and fun!  I enjoyed meeting with each of you during parent conference week and sharing all of the wonderful things that your children have been doing at Pickett’s Mill.


Please fill out the quick survey below to let the state know how we are doing.  Your feedback is an important part of our CCRPI score!

Book Character Day:

Students are invited to dress up like their favorite book character on Tuesday, October 31, 2017.  I can’t wait to see what creative costumes you all come up with.  You might be in for a little surprise from your teachers too!

Curriculum Highlights:

We are finishing up our weather unit this week.  The students have enjoyed learning about seasons, types of weather, severe weather, and tools that we use to measure weather.  We have read weather related books in guided reading.  We wrote about the season of Fall in our Writer’s Workshop and the students did a wonderful job.  Please continue to use weather vocabulary frequently with your student to help them retain all that we learned.

Next we will do a mini-unit on bats, spiders, and pumpkins.  We have some fun, hands on activities planned as a part of this unit.

Our next themed unit will be on American Government.  Lots of information coming soon!


No homework this week!  A new homework packet will come home on Friday.

Have a great week!


Week of 10/2/2017

Welcome back from Fall Break!  I missed seeing everyone and hope that you all had a wonderful break.

We are looking forward to getting back to learning.  Here are several important announcements:

Conference Week Sign Up:

We will be using Sign Up Genius in order to select times for Conference week.  Please select a time by clicking here: Mrs. Derman’s Conference Week Sign Up

Early Release Day Next Week:

Please note that October 12, 2017 will be an early release day.

Transportation or Early Dismissal:

If your child’s transportation changes, please make sure you send in a written note.  Also, if they regularly leave early, it is helpful for you to put a quick reminder in their agenda.  This ensures that everyone on our team is aware of the dismissal and can have your child ready to go in a timely manner.

Surrender the Booty Fundraiser:

This week we begin our Surrender the Booty Fundraiser.  This fundraiser supports our STEM program, Leader in Me program, and additional special programs we offer our students.  We will not be collecting money for the Boosterthon this Spring, so this would be a time to involve family and friends.  We are always grateful for your generous donations!

Week at a Glance:

This week we begin our unit on Weather.  This will be an integrated unit and students will use weather vocabulary and knowledge in their writing, reading, and during our learning centers.  This will be an exciting unit as we kick-off the season of Fall!  We will not have a homework packet this week, but students will receive a list of spelling words on Monday that they will be tested on this Friday, 10/6/2017.



Week of 9/17-22/2017

As we prepare for Fall Break next week, I’m so proud of how hard our students continue to work!

Here are a few important updates:

Shutterfly:  This week we sent home permission slips for our classroom Shutterfly site.  We have taken some wonderful pictures of our students throughout the past 2 months, and this is a wonderful way to share them with you.  Please send them back no later than Friday, so that I can update the site over the break.

Math:  The students have enjoyed our unit on graphing.  We have created and analyzed a variety of bar and pictographs.  They are eager to share and compare their opinions!  The students have also been working hard on their individual skills, and they have enjoyed some new materials and strategies for practice.

Reading:  Our reading groups are so successful and the students are doing very well with our weekly guided reading routine.  We are focusing on story retell, and this is something you can support at home.  Think of a familiar story (i.e. Goldilocks and the 3 Bears) and once you start the story, encourage your child to tell the rest.  Use words like first, next, last, beginning, middle, and end when retelling the story.  Also, as you are reading stories at home, please always ask your child to tell you the characters, setting, and plot (problem/solution).

Important Dates:

Friday 9/22/2017: Wacky Hair Day!

Fall Break: 9/25-29/2017

Early Release Day: 10/12/2017

Conference Week (Early Release): 10/16-20/2017

October: Surrender the Booty!  (Please see information that went home about this very important Fundraiser!).

Enjoy a wonderful Fall Break!

Weekly Update: 8/28-9/1/2017

We are continuing to have a fantastic first month of school.  Here are updates and reminders for this week:

Picture Day:  Picture Day is tomorrow, 8/29!  Please remember to send in picture money with your child and remind them to bring their best smile.

Early Release Day: Wednesday, 8/30 is an early release day.  Please write a note in your child’s agenda if there are any changes in their transportation.

Unit 2:  This week we are excited to begin our second unit of the school year.  Here are some highlights for the week in each subject:

  • Language Arts and Reading:  Our anchor text for this unit is Charlotte’s Web.  We will use this to frame topics covered in other subject areas.  As we read through Charlotte’s Web, we will discuss elements of a story.  We introduced the elements of a story today using this helpful video: Story Elements Video
    • Writing:  We will be doing a writing boot camp that begins this week.  This will help us with the basic elements of writing, including handwriting when appropriate.  We will create opinion writing pieces this unit.  Please discuss the term “opinion” with your child in conversation at home.
  • Math:  Graphing is our math focus this unit.  We will focus on bar graphs and pictographs.  This week we are introducing the concept of a graph and looking at examples of graphs.  We will use our opinion to create several class graphs.  We will use data from our graphs to work on addition, subtraction, and more/less.
  • Science and Social Studies:  In addition to what the students are learning in their Science and Social Studies classes, we will incorporate animals and map skills into our unit as well.

Homework:  The second homework packet went home on Friday with each student.  They LOVED sharing about their week, and it is so helpful to send/email pictures or send in an item that helps remind them what to say.  Homework should reinforce and review concepts and should not be difficult.  If you have any homework issues, please don’t hesitate to email me!

We are looking forward to a great week!


5th Grade: Science and Social Studies Update

Study materials for the Northeast Region states and for the plate tectonics unit will be sent home today. Please note that I am focusing on the two states that will be pertinent for the upcoming historical content (New York and Pennsylvania). These are the only two states that I will quiz on by the end of this week.

I have highlighted the most important points in the plate tectonics study guide. We will review this information during my segments and do an oral quiz by the end of this week as well (2-3 questions).

Please send these items back to school each day for use in class.
Thank you!

Open House Information

I enjoyed seeing many of you at Open House last night!  We have had a wonderful start to the year and I shared lots of information about our classroom during our meeting yesterday.

Here is a copy of the Open House parent letter for my classroom:

Open House Letter 2017-28rzp79

Here is the Open House powerpoint presentation:

Open House Powerpoint-21pwzvs

Homework will begin next Friday, August 18th, 2017.  Have a wonderful weekend!

Week at a Glance: 8/7-11/2017

I hope that you all enjoyed a wonderful restful weekend after a busy first week of school!  Here are the highlights of what we will be working on this week.

We will begin our first unit, which is centered around the book, Rainbow Fish by Marcus Pfister.  This book is a great anchor for our classroom community.  We will be discussing concepts such as friendship, emotions, rules, and our five senses.  Here are the specifics for each subject this week:

Math:  This week in Math, our focus will be on addition.  The skills that we cover related to addition will vary for each student, and the lessons are created to meet their individual needs.

Reading:  We will begin our first reading lessons this week, and you will have a practice book in your child’s folder to review after school each day.  Please make sure the book comes back to school each day so that we can use it for instruction and practice.

Language Arts:  We will create a writing piece with the topic “What do you do to make a new friend?”. 

Science and Social Studies:  In addition to the science and social studies that many of the students are studying with Mrs. Folsom and Mrs. Misinco, we will also be reviewing our classroom rules and why it is important to follow rules.  We will also be discussing our emotions using everyday situations.

5th Grade: There is a Social Studies quiz on the Southeastern United States on Wednesday, August 9th.

Specials Schedule:  Don’t forget that our specials schedule is Music, PE, Art, Stem, PE.

Don’t forget that Open House is this Thursday, 8/10/2017.  There is a general meeting from 5:30 to 6:00.  Session 1 is from 6:00 to 6:30 and Session 2 is from 6:30 to 7:00.  We hope you will all attend!

A Great First Week!

We have had a wonderful first week of school!  Here are several highlights from the week:

  • We have learned classroom procedures and expectations.  Each part of our body has an important job to do when we listen and learn.
  • Our literature focus was “There Was An Old Lady Who Swallowed Some Books”.  The students did a great job with retelling the story and the sequencing activities that we practiced.  We also read several other books about going back to school.
  • Everyone enjoyed going to Specials.  Our specials schedule this year will be: Music, PE, Art, STEM, PE.
  • I have also spent time working with the students individually, and they’ve enjoyed showing me everything they know!

Thank you all for your donations to our classroom – they are much appreciated!

Meet and Greet Success

It was so wonderful to meet all of you yesterday morning!  I enjoyed spending time with each of our students.  I also enjoyed learning about each of your families and the important things about your child’s education at Pickett’s Mill!

We will use our blog this year to share important information about our classroom and our school.  Please bookmark it and check it regularly to stay up to date on all of the exciting things taking place at PMES.

I look forward to a wonderful 2017-2018 school year and continuing to get to know you and your children.