Homer's Heroes

Be Awesome. Be Brave. Be Curious.

Week 11=Conference week & early release


Image result for parent teacher conference

Please remember that we release 2 hours early all week.

I will do my best to be at each conference. My 3 homeroom teachers do the schedules, 5th grade is meeting with homeroom or their Science/SS teacher so that’s 2 more people setting my schedule. If I am not able to make it to your scheduled time, please let me know. I would be happy to meet with you and go over report cards & progress reports. We can go over journals, grade expectations and preview the upcoming quarter as well.

Also, the school will be getting new technology installed in the classroom so please excuse any mess that we might have. 🙂

Math: We worked on:

concrete (manipulatives)

representational (graph paper arrays) and

abstract (expressions & equations).

We repeatedly went over the fact that repeated addition=skip counting=multiplication.

We also rehearsed that Equation equals equal.

Modeled example using all three methods. We will be working our way through all multiples. This will help us practice our facts and get familiar with seeing multiples.

Working hard!

Teamwork makes the dream work!

Choice of using manipulatives.  Some students did not like to use them…

…and some students did.

Math Preview: We will continue to work on our math fact fluency. I would like to see everyone improve this week on their F4 (Fast Fact Fluency Friday). If they do, I will get Monday Munchkins for the class. 😀

Science: We discussed Forces and Motion and we will be moving on to Simple Machines next week. We will not be meeting for Science this week due to early release.

Writing: We took our Opinion Pre-writing prompt and spent the rest of the week discussing the elements of an Opinion paper. We talked about fact versus opinion. We worked on coming up with solid evidence to defend our opinion.

Writing Preview: We will take the prompt that students wrote on Friday and build upon that. We will work on the hook, the supporting details and the closing. We will use our pro’s and cons organizer that we made last week to support our stance.

Reading: We got into the reading lab and used the computers. We also did our read aloud, Tales of a 4th Grade Nothing by Judy Blume. This is a classic and one of my favorites. The class voted on what we would read next and I believe everyone is enjoying it.

Reading Preview: We will be back in the reading lab, hopefully working on rotations. It all depends on the county’s installation of the new smart boards. Hopefully that will not disrupt our class being in the lab.

Whistle blow-that’s the end of the quarter folks!


The first week of October is behind us already. We had a beautiful full harvest moon and we are currently getting rain from yet another hurricane. This year has been odd for sure. We also had a fun treat watching the Kindergartener’s with their Zoophonics parade through the halls on Friday morning. This is such an adorable contrast to the bittersweet Walk of Honor that will be held in May for my 5th graders.

Related image


Math: Last week we worked really hard on getting supports in place in our IANs. I will show you your child’s journals when we meet for conferences the week of October 16th.

Math Preview: We will continue to work on repeated addition=skip counting=multiplication. Please be working with your child on math facts. We will continue to do the Fast Fact Fluency Friday (F4).

My example of what they have in their IAN journal. We did skip counting charts for 1/7’s, 2/4/8’s, 5/10 and 3/6/9’s. We then completed a multiplication chart for each of those sets of numbers and glued them into the IAN.

Multiplication is not as hard when we break it down in to friendly numbers.

Students working to fill in their skip counting chart.

We have been using our number line to help us see place value, rounding and now skip counting. The number line is also an effective strategy for addition and subtraction.

Writing: We finished our unit on narrative writing prompts and expectations. We did our end of the unit assessment to measure progress.

Writing Preview: This week we will begin our opinion unit. We will be discussing the differences between opinion and persuasive. We will continue to work on correct writing conventions (capitalization, punctuation and spelling).

Reading: We finished up some end of the quarter outstanding work and assessments.

Reading Preview: We will be in the reading lab working on Read 180/ System 44.

Social Studies: The Explorers Unit was completed and work was turned in for the end of the quarter.

Science Preview: We will be exploring Force & Motion.

**Side Notes**

Please remember that my symbaloo page has tons of resources for all settings. The link is on the right hand side of my blog.

Media Center will be this week. Lessons will be on how to correctly look up, write on and document information without plagiarizing.

Early release will be this week (Thursday).

Guidance will be this week.

Conferences will be next week (October 16-20) with early release all week.


Going into week 9 feelin’ fine :)


Happy October everyone!Image result for october

Before we went to break we celebrated Entrepreneur Day with our 4th graders. They raised over $2,600 for camp Twitch & Shout, WAY TO GO 4th grade!! 🙂

Since the afternoon schedule was adjusted for Entrepreneur Day & 5th Grade Behavior Incentive, we scheduled an in house field trip for 4th grade. www.kidchess.com came to our class and taught the basics for chess. The kids enjoyed getting to watch videos and play a few matches. Chess is excellent for critical thinking skills and helps in many academic areas. Plus, chess is fun to play! 🙂

Going in to week 9 we will work on:

finishing up our data collection for goals & objectives

baseline assessments for the Read 180/ System 44 lab

start preparing for conference week (October 16-20)

Math: we finished up our rounding unit before the break and we will be moving on to repeated addition/skip counting/multiplication

Writing: we continued working on our skills and expectations for a narrative paper and students will write their post narrative unit paper this week. A 45 minute prompt will be given on Friday and used to measure growth.

Reading: students finished up their DRA assessments to prepare for this week. Students will take a Read 180/ System 44 grouping assessment and we will be in the lab Tuesday-Friday.

Social Studies: we wrapped up our studies on Native Americans and we will be moving on to Explorers.

The end of the quarter is Friday, October 6th. All missing assignments will be collected and put into the grade book by this weekend. Please remember that grades are comprised of goals & objectives as well as grade level standards. Due to the nature of our class setting, grades on a whole are usually lower. 

As the sun sets over the lake at Gran and Grandfather’s, I reflect on a great week off. Batteries are charged up and ready to go!

Please let me know if you have any questions, comments or concerns: [email protected]

Recap of Lucky #7


Hopefully Everyone was as lucky with the storm as the Homerhouse. After two days off, classes resumed on Wednesday. IOWA testing was deferred until Thursday so that meant testing was moved to Thursday, Friday, Monday & Tuesday.

As a result of the classes being on a testing schedule, students worked independently on their goals & objectives during the morning and afternoon class blocks. That will continue this week on Monday and Tuesday.

Please remember that we will be off of school next week, September 25-29 for Fall Break.

Image result for 5 more days

MATH PREVIEW: finish up the rounding unit by Friday and continue to collect data for goals & objectives.

SOCIAL STUDIES PREVIEW: Monday is our rescheduled Wellstar visit. Tuesday and Wednesday we will continue our studies on Native Americans. Thursday will be used to put the finishing touches on the Entrepreneur project. Friday is Entrepreneur Day!! More information is available on Mrs. Poulos’ blog. Please let us know if you have any questions about the project. [email protected].org or [email protected]

WRITING PREVIEW: On Wednesday we will continue to work on using dialogue in our writing and increasing our stamina for writing longer, more descriptive, pieces.

READING PREVIEW: We only have a couple students left to finish the DRA assessment, those will be done while students are working on their binders. Reading Lab will resume on Wednesday.

Goodbye Week 6


HEADLINE: Hurricane Irma Closes school Monday and TuesdayImage result for Hurricane Irma

Due to the school closures, IOWA testing for the 5th graders will be on Thursday, Friday, Monday and Tuesday this week and next. Please make sure your child gets plenty of rest and eats a good breakfast.

MATH: We spent the week working on rounding to 10.  We build pages in our IANs and inputted our touchstone results into the iRespond.

MATH PREVIEW: Rounding is a difficult concept so we will work on it for a couple more days (rounding to 10 and then move on to rounding to 100)

Math Game Day includes tan-grams and bloxels,

more tan-grams,

getting the hang of these!

Bloxels is a great game to work on perimeter, area, addition, subtraction, multiplication and more.

WRITING: Students work on Quick Prompts (QPs) each day and put them into their journals. They have the option to share them with their classmates for glows and grows. This week we worked on character development.

WRITING PREVIEW: We will continue to work on character development by adding quotes and thoughts into our writing. We will use mentor sentences, word of the day and peer review to help us.

Reading a QP for peer review 🙂

Thursday is spelling game day.

The games we use in class are available on my symbaloo website.

SOCIAL STUDIES: We went over economics and the expectations for the Entrepreneur Day project. Please let us know if you have any questions. Mrs. Poulos and I are here to help. We also finished up our map work in our IANs.

SOCIAL STUDIES PREVIEW: We will be looking at Native American Tribes and we have Guidance on Thursday.

MAP SKILLS TEST on Friday 9/15. The completed study guide is on Mrs. Polous’ blog.

READING: We are slowly getting through all of the DRAs. The good news is that everyone is doing well. The bad news is that makes more work for them. 😉 “Grumble, Grumble’~Students

READING PREVIEW: We will try to finish DRAs and work in the Read 180 lab.  We are getting close to finishing our Read Aloud: Stuart Little. We will have a comprehension quiz on that when we complete it.

Please let me know if you have any questions, comments or concerns. 🙂

[email protected]

Week 5 is in the books


Happy Labor Day!

Wallace hopes that everyone had a nice break and is ready to come back refreshed and ready to learn!

MATH: We continued working with comparing whole numbers. We also compared decimal numbers. We created games in our IANs to practice these skills.

MATH PREVIEW: We will be working on rounding whole numbers this week.

Our IAN games

Working together is more fun

Teams competed for the most correct combinations

Working hard!

More team members meant more combination possibilities.

SCIENCE: We completed our unit on weather and reviewed in class using our IANs. Students were given a study guide that we went over together. We also learned about weather maps and weather instruments. Our test was on Friday. You can check synergy for the grades.

SOCIAL STUDIES PREVIEW: We will continue with our map studies and look specifically at the US map and geography. Our map skills test will be on Friday, September 15th. The study guide will go home for all students but can also be found on Mrs. Poulos’ blog. We will also start our economics unit this week in preparation for our Entrepreneur Day on Friday, September 22nd.

READING: We continued to work on DRA assessments to see what progress has been made since spring.

READING PREVIEW: We will finish up the DRAs, we will do a touch stones assessment on a comprehension text piece and we will get into the Read 180 lab.

WRITING: We worked on our personal narratives using descriptive writing. The students shared their writing by choice and their peers offered glows and grows for encouragement and growth. We are also working on stamina. Many students that only wrote on the computer are now choosing to write in their journal instead. Way to go!! 🙂

WRITING PREVIEW: We will continue our writing this week with realistic fiction. We will also concentrate on incorporating thoughts and dialog within our writing to connect more with our characters. I am excited to see what they come up with!

🙂 Don’t forget to visit my symbaloo for fun optional homework activities and support videos from class. The link is on the right hand side.

🙂 Also, please be sure to check your child’s homeroom blog for any homeroom specific announcements and deadlines.

Please let me know if you have any questions, comments or concerns:

[email protected]

Week 4 Eclipses all others ;)


Monday the 21st was a fun day to be at school! Lots of kids checked out early or spent the day with their family to view the eclipse. My kids stayed home with Mr. Rob so that they could see the event together.

Kevin and Pinkie had funny solar eclipse tee shirts on. Jared said it was too hot to wear his back tee shirt.

My friends, the Eljiche family, were in North Georgia. I really loved their picture of the Bailey Beads!

Mr. Eljiche also got a great photo of the corona!

NASA had a post about the eclipse as well. They were lucky enough to get a picture with the ISS (International Space Station) passing by during the event.

Can you see the astronauts on the ISS waving? 😉

As teacher friend of mine caught glimpses of the eclipse shadows on the ground.

This is a phenomena that only happens during a solar eclipse.

Mr. Rob got a picture of the shadows as well at the Homerhouse.

This picture was captured by Patriot student teacher Willi in 5th grade.

Thanks for sharing this wonderful photo!  We had an amazing day!

MATH: We continued our place value work and completed a place value placemat to go with our place value town. We worked on addition and subtraction of numbers with and without regrouping.

MATH PREVIEW: We will be working on comparing numbers, ordering numbers and rounding numbers. Fast Fact Fluency Friday is in full swing. Please work with your child on their multiplication facts. They need to know their facts as quick as they can recall their name.

Students working in pairs on their place value placemats.

Great team work!

WRITING: We worked on finding “juicy” description words to help build our burgers. We worked on using our senses to create pictures in our minds (and in the minds of our readers) with our words. “Writers write for readers to read. Better writers make better readers and both make better spellers.”~Mrs. Homer 🙂

WRITING PREVIEW: We will continue to write more complex sentences using our senses and identify the common and proper nouns within those sentences. As always, we will work on capitalization & punctuation. We will also model to write and rewrite/revise/edit to make our sentences more descriptive.

Students trying to find just the right words to describe their yummy ELA leasson.

Students are always welcome to come to the ladybug and share their writing for their peers. Our author’s chair procedure helps students realize when they my be using “invisible ink” versus “thinking with inking”. If it is confusing to read out loud, it might be confusing to the reader. Students share glows & grows with their peers and work on their speaking & listening skills as well.

SCIENCE: We worked on weather, clouds, eclipse and states of matter.

SCIENCE PREVIEW: We will continue with the weather unit, review and have a test on FRIDAY SEPTEMBER 1st. Study guides were sent home. Check Mrs. Poulos’ blog if you need an online copy of the study guide. 

One of my friends said that they saw a t-rex…do you see it?

Do you see Goofy?

OLT (outdoor learning time) is the BEST! 🙂

READING: Students worked hard on their close reading. Unfinished work was completed first so that we could have Fun Friday. Work first, then play.

READING PREVIEW: We will be finishing up the DRA assessments, hopefully. Then we can implement the Read 180 lab for Read 180 next week.

Thank you for sharing your children with me. We had another great week at Pitner! As always, if you have questions or concerns, please email me: [email protected]

Solar Eclipse Week preview and Recap Week 3


Happy Eclipse Day!

Image result for solar eclipse

Absences due to viewing the solar eclipse WILL BE EXCUSED by CCSD with a note from home.

Here is the link for NASA’s live stream:


Solar Eclipse of the heart, 80’s day on Friday was a blast. I channeled my inner Martha McFly for the day. What memories. 🙂

Even during Fun Friday behavior reward we do some learning. Lots of the kiddos in class love to play chess. It is such a great game for logic and thinking skills. Plus we work on social skills and chess finesse. We will have the Chess Club folks come in and do an in house field trip in the next few weeks. I think the students will really enjoy this.

MATH: This week we worked on place value with multiplying by multiples of 10 and dividing by multiples of 10. We did addition with and with regrouping. Problems contained decimals as well. Math journals were collected for a grade. The grade book is still being set up and I am working with admin to get this resolved. I will have grades inputted as soon as possible.

MATH PREVIEW: We will continue working with addition and subtraction with and with out regrouping as well as with and without decimals. We will move on to rounding. I am also trying to get the new Conceptua math program up and running which will provide the students a way to practice their skills using technology.

SCIENCE: We worked on The Water Cycle this week and introduced clouds.  I have a plethora of videos on my symbaloo that we used during instruction. Students are taking notes in their science journals.

SCIENCE PREVIEW: This week will start off with the eclipse excitement. Due to the CCSD’s announcement that the glasses ordered may not be ISO certified, ALL classes will be watching the live stream together. We will continue studying clouds and move in to weather instruments. A study guide will come home before the test on September 1st over this first unit.

READING: This week was a mixture of baseline data and close reading. Students did the San Diego quick list of words and I was very impressed with their progress from last year. We also did close reading which is when we read a passage together, number the paragraphs, read the passage a second time and get up close and personal with the reading. Students are required to read the question, go back into the text to find the answer and then highlight or underline the answer. Before they move on to the next question they must write the number of the answer next to the highlighted text. This is standard procedure in my class and is expected on all reading passages. I am unable to read passages to them during assessments, so I need to know that they are able to locate and cite the answer within the text.

READING PREVIEW: We will continue with close reading on the eclipse and those will be collected as a grade as we modeled the first two passages together last week. We will continue to work in the reading lab on DRA baseline data.

Reading along with the book on CD is a great strategy to work on fluency. I have a few programs on my symbaloo that will do this. Audible is another program that has books on tape but there is a fee. I also find CDs and books at the thrift store. This counts as reading optional homework since it helps with reading accuracy.

Word lists are more fun to read with a friend. 😉

WRITING: Since students are coming to me from so many locations we have adjusted our classroom procedures to include a quick prompt each day. As students come in they are to get their journals, read the three prompt choices on the board and begin silently planning/ writing on the prompt of their choice. This is all done in the journal so that we can gain experience and build stamina for writing longer pieces. These will also be graded using the rubric we developed together as a class. We started a squiggle writing prompt that will be completed over the next week. For ELA II we do the W.O.D Word Of the Day. This helps with parts of speech and expand vocabulary (one of the CAFE strategies).

WRITING PREVIEW: We will continue with daily quick prompts for the first part of class. Squiggle prompts will be written and re-written using all of our senses.  We will start on Monday with sight and continue on through the week with sound, smell, touch and finally taste. Friday is my favorite day as we get to devour a treat and describe it in detail. 😉


Each week I try and reach out to parents about student performance. Most of the time this is behavioral and if I have minor academic concerns. If I have more pressing concerns that need to be addressed before the Friday folders, I will most definitely contact you. So far, this class is amazing and I am really proud of them. This will be a great year!

As always, please reach out to me if you have any questions, comments or concerns. I can be reached at: [email protected]

Week 2 Recap and Preview


Week two was terrific!  We had lots of policies and procedures to review and rehearse. The students have done amazing with following the rules. THANK YOU to everyone that came out to Open House.

We had some getting to know you activities including the Me Museum and the blue bag sharing. I had fun getting to know your child or learning more about them if I had them last year.


Math got messy this week…and that’s ok. I like to dump out the manipulatives and we had fun using them for place value work.

Students worked together and were showing what they know on the board. We then worked together to make sure they had set up the problem, was it reasonable and was the answer correct.

Trying to come up with random numbers for place value can be boring. We used dice, cards, flip charts, styrofoam cups and manipulatives to randomize our large numbers.

We also worked on our IANs (Inter-Active Notebooks). Students cut and glue fold-able worksheets into their journals. We use our IAN as support for the standards we are working on and a reference for our independent work time. Journals were collected for a grade. As soon as the grade books are set up I will update the system.


Students will continue to build their IANs, work on multiplying and dividing by the power of 10 and addition/subtraction with regrouping.

WRITING: We continued our getting to know you launch lessons. We did a MI (multiple intelligence survey) to see how each student prefers to learn. I then met with students individually to discuss their results and put them on our chart. This process helps me better understand each student and their learning styles.  We also did our school wide 45 minute narrative writing prompt that is used as a baseline for their progress. Again, Journals were collected for a grade.

WRITING NEXT WEEK: We will continue with narrative writing, including the story arc process, graphic organizers and types of sentences. Journals will be collected and graded on the rubric that we went over together as a class.

SCIENCE: We explored the three states of matter: solids, liquids and gasses.

We observed the molecular arrangement of water in a solid, liquid and gas.

We did a kinetic activity where WE became the water molecules and moved around like [a solid,] a liquid and a gas would do.

OLT-Outside learning time: We mixed a solid (baking soda) and a liquid (vinegar) and made a gas in a baggie.

It was fun to “see” our gas!

SCIENCE NEXT WEEK: We will explore the water cycle and clouds.

READING: We are working on getting the reading lab set up. We finished the read aloud book, All the Answers by Kate Messner.

READING NEXT WEEK: Hopefully all of the baseline data will be collected soon. We are working through San Diego word lists, the RI tests and DRAs to get a solid baseline to begin the Read 180 program. The reading lab is up and ready and we will continue to use it for instruction.

Welcome back and Open house


Image result for open house

Welcome back to school!  We had a fantastic first week. We only have 175 more days until summer vacation. 😉 The school year always seems to go by so fast. We have gone too far to turn back now so the only way to get through it is to do it.

Classes this week had a chance to get to know each other, take formative assessments and re-familiarize themselves with policies & procedures in class.  This week, we will continue with formative assessments, ice breakers and curriculum based activities.

Math: Place Value and fact fluency

ELA: Narrative Writing

Reading: The CAFE Strategy and how to choose the right books

Science: Water Cycle

PLEASE come to Open House this Thursday, August 10th, at 6 pm. There is a lot of information that we would like to share with you. I will be located in my room, #303 if you would like to stop by and ask me questions, see the room or drop off paperwork. I did send home a contact form that lets me know your preferred method of contact (weekly note home or emails) and the best way to reach you. Please send that in with your child. Communication is the key to cooperation. I look forward to working with you to help your student this year.

My door is always open. If you would like to schedule a meeting at any time, just let me know. If you have any questions, comments or concerns, please let me know. I can be reached at: [email protected]

« Older EntriesNewer Entries »

Skip to toolbar