Online Bookshelf

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Week of 3/16

We were busy last week!  I posted during the week on Twitter.. Here are the tweets, in case you aren't on Twitter.  If you are, please follow me @MrsMelnik1

Daily 5 centers focused on St. Patrick's Day.

We started a new writing unit on opinions.  The kids shared their collections.  They learned how to judge fairly, just like at a dog show.  (Put everything in a line.  Compare the same characteristic on each of your items.  Choose which gets first place.  Give reasons.. Say because!)  Then they complete a planner where they are writing an opening sentence, 4 reasons, and a conclusion sentence.  Finally, they are creating their finished products in Book Creator.. They are coming out great!

In Science, we are continuing to learn about penguins and the many adaptations penguins have developed because they live in very, very cold places.  We learned why penguins have blubber during this experiment.

During Math, we are focusing on combinations to 10 and fractions.  We are testing out a new website: TenMarks.  I love that it connects so perfectly to Common Core.  I can send assignments that focus on skills we've practiced so far in First Grade.  It really, really makes the kids think too!

We've been having some fun too!  Practicing to tie shoes (Keep up the practice at home!) and GoNoodle movement breaks!

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Snack at Thompson

Dear fellow Thompson parents,

One of the things that I've been most excited to help implement at Thompson is having snacks available for any kid who is hungry during the day.  I hear from many teachers and administrators that behavior problems have decreased this year and that kids are able to better concentrate in class.

For any family who is relieved at not having to worry about this expense, we are so thrilled to be helping.   We are also happy that there is an extra supply of snacks for kids who usually bring one from home but may forget sometimes.  We all do that!

But maybe your kid is like my second grader who I recently learned has been ignoring the snack in his backpack so he can go get a snack at the front desk.  As he says, "they just taste better when Ms. Vicki gives them to me".  I can't blame him, I'm pretty crazy about Ms. Vicki myself.  

At the moment we are giving out over 400 snacks per week just at Thompson which has quickly become the most expensive part of our program*.  We do not want to question kids who say they are hungry and need a snack, so we are inviting parents to talk to their kids about the program and why EATS is working so hard to be sure there is food in school.  I sat down with my second grader this weekend and had a great talk about EATS, the snack program and hunger in our community.  He promises me he won't ignore his backpack snack anymore.  :-)

Would you like to help further?  Here are some ways you can get involved!
  • Next time you are at the grocery store, grab a snack from our approved list and give it to Ms. Vicki (Fruit, Wheat Thins, Gogurts, Cheese sticks, Nutrigrain bars and Roasted Seaweed--the surprising item that we can't keep in stock!)
  • Sign up to help with a snack-prep shift with Lisa Blankespoor or help with the Weekend bags sometime between 1:30 - 4:00 on Fridays.  
  • Join our shopping team.  We will email the group and ask if anyone is going to Costco/Market Basket,etc in the next few days and then we send a list of items we need.  You buy the items, deliver to Thompson and we reimburse your costs.  Email me if interested.
  • Would you like to get involved but don't know how?  Join us for a brainstorming session this Saturday or sometime in April.  Email me for more information.  
Thank you all for making the Thompson community such an amazing place!

Lauren Ledger and the EATS Steering Committee

follow us on Facebook!

*Much of the food we distribute on weekends is sourced by the incredible Nicole Melnik and Dana DeVeau for free through our amazing community partners (Food Link, Food for Free, the Arlington Food Pantry/Boston Food Bank).  Snacks are something that are hard to find in those channels and thus we do a lot of shopping at Costco!

Monday, March 16, 2015

Thompson Website

Please be sure to check out the beautiful new Thompson website!

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Friday, 3/15

Whisper Count:  A favorite math activity! Ask your child to demonstrate this for you.

Here we are working on halves and quarters:


I hope many of you were able to make it to the International Festival!  I heard it was a great success!  I spent my Saturday in Rhode Island with some other Thompson teachers at a workshop which focused on reading and writing.  I have some new strategies to try out!  Enjoy the rest of your weekend.

Rescheduled Parent Forum

          Presenter: Michael  Thompson
                   Rescheduled   Date
                        “It’s A Boy”
          Understanding Male Development from
               Kindergarten through High School
                          Monday,  March 23    
       Ottoson Middle School    7-8:30 p.m

Parents of boys often find themselves bewildered or frustrated by certain aspects of boy development: their little boy anger, their inattentiveness in elementary school, their lack of motivation in middle school or their reluctance to talk to their parents during the high school years.  In this funny and reassuring talk, Dr. Thompson addresses the greatest worries that parents of boys have from infancy through high school, distinguishing between what is normal boy development and those behaviors that are worrisome.

PRESENTER: The heart of Dr. Thompson’s work is lecturing to parents, teachers and students about the development of boys, the social lives of both boys and girls, the parent-teacher dynamic, school culture, how to raise responsible children, and the psychological journey of children through school. He and his co-author, Dan Kindlon, wrote the New York Times best-selling book, “Raising Cain: protecting the Emotional Life of Boys”. He is the author of “Speaking of Boys”, Answers to the Most- Asked Questions About Raising Sons and co-author of “Best Friends/Worst Enemies”: Understanding the Social worlds of children, “Mom, They’re Teasing Me:” Helping your child solve Social Problems, “The Pressured Child”: Helping your Child Achieve Success in School and in Life and “It’s A Boy”!  a comprehensive guide for the parents of boys. Dr. Thompson’s new book “Homesick and Happy,” is about children’s experiences away from their parents. Michael lives in Arlington.

Thursday, March 12, 2015


We like to move it, move it during indoor recess!! 

Math: Make Tens with a partner

Using our 10 facts to add 2 numbers:

We are starting to learn about fractions- equal parts, half and fourth.

The kids are loving our study of penguins!

Writing- Editing teaching books!

We read an awesome book today!  Ask your child what they can do to help grow their gardens!

Monday, March 9, 2015

Thursday & Friday & Monday

What an amazing project- Art. Food. Community. to support Arlington EATS.  Special thanks to Melody!  Thanks to the many parent (and Grandma!) volunteers that helped us.  Here are a few pictures:

Thanks to Elizabeth for coming in again to share about her experience in Africa during the Peace Corps.  

The kids really enjoyed trying on some traditional clothing!

Word Time: practicing to add in those tricky blends!

Finishing up our non-fiction books... .

working on a cover page

adding more to our pictures

working with a buddy to edit our work


fixing chapter titles

Science: Continuing to learn about penguins 
The kids loved this video today!