How to no longer receive Twitter (text message) updates about Mr. T’s classroom

Thanks to all of you who chose to receive my (hopefully) short, timely text messages from Teacherman (aka Mr. Tallent).

It’s the end of the school year, however, and you will not hurt my feelings if you no longer wish to stay updated on what’s going on in my soon-to-be shuttered for the summer classroom via Twitter. 

To no longer receive text messages from me:

  • On your mobile phone, text “unfollow MrTeacherman” to 40404.
  • If successful, you will receive a “You are not following @MrTeacherman on Twitter” text message. That’s it.

Week 26 (February 20-24, 2012)

Wednesday,  Star of the Week.

Friday, K-8 Dress of Choice.

iPads:

  • I’m still missing a couple of signed consent forms for your student’s email account.
  • Student iPads will not be going home until additional security filters are placed on the devices.
  • Students are using their iPads to write daily in their newly created “blogs.”
  • Check your student’s email account and blog often.

Changes in how we’re working in the classroom:

  • Reading. Some students are working outside the classroom one-on-one with an instructor, in small reading groups, and/or using a computerized reading program.  Other students are reading selections at home and commenting on what they’ve read. Most students do these tasks in addition to their weekly Open Court reading.
    • Testing.  Students will alternate between weekly written tests and completing a study guide related to the story in order to enhance their note taking and research skills.  Study guides are emailed to me, commented upon, and returned to your student via email.
  • Spelling. We are not doing traditional spelling tests this month.  Instead, students will either handwrite or “blog” 20 sentences employing the week’s spelling list, or use the spelling words to create a story. This provides me with a weekly writing sample of at least 200 words.
  • Vocabulary.  Most will use flashcards created on Quizlet.com to study the week’s vocabulary words.  Others are tested upon vocabulary used in their reading outside the classroom.
  • Daily Oral Language (DOL).  Students use an annotation app to make editing marks on their weekly practice sheet (ask them about the Neu.Annotate and Sketchbook apps).  They email me their completed sheets.  I correct them online, then email them back to the student.
  • Math.  The routine is to pretest to see if what is being covered in the lesson has already been mastered by the student.  Next, unmastered or new concepts are (re)taught.  Finally, they test to determine if they have indeed mastered the concepts.  Testing informs me where learning gaps exist, e.g., lack of mastery with multiplication facts and how to divide. There is daily introduction and review of math concepts.  We use the iPad for quizzes and reinforcement, i.e., Khan Academy. CSAP tests released from prior years will be used in class to familiarize your student with the type of questions they can anticipate on this year’s TCAP test.
  • Science.  With the exception of a science biography they will write in April, and occasional reading and video viewing on a science topic, all work will be done in the classroom.
Flashcards. In the box.net sidebar to your right, “Week 26” includes Quizlet.com links to flashcards for:

Please check this blog and their planners each night:

Math.  All Tapes, and some Keyboards, will pretest this week. I’ll be reteaching concepts to select groups again this week.  All students need practice on multiplication facts and how to divide.

      Keyboards and Tapes should practice their multiplication facts daily at http://quizlet.com/421821 .

Daily Oral Language (DOL). Students edit two sentences daily in class using neu.annotate, an iPad app. Additionally, students will edit two similar sentences weekly for a quiz grade (to see if they can apply their newfound editing knowledge).

SpellingStudents are now copying their spelling words into their planners on Mondays:

  • NOTE: everybody has the same spelling list this week
  • NOTE:  they will be doing sentences that incorporate their spelling words, therefore, NO SPELLING TEST this week

Vocabulary. All students take a five word vocabulary test every Thursday.

All testing in my classes will occur this Thursday as follows (again, you can download printable study guides for reading and language arts at “Week 26″ in the sidebar on the right):

  • Daily Oral Language (DOL). They’ll practice test on some of the sentences edited each morning in class. Look for:
    • –Practice sentences, and
    • –Answer key (available Monday night)
  • Spelling.
    • –Spelling list (available Monday night)
  • Vocabulary.
    • –Vocabulary words (available Monday night)
  • Open Court. The reading comprehension exam will be comprised of short answer and multiple choice questions. It is always an “open book” test.
    • “Arctic Explorer: The Story of Matthew Henson (study guide is available online)

Week 23 (January 30-February 3, 2012)

Click to see who’s our next Star of the Week.

Secure email accounts have been created for your student.  You will be able to access his/her email account at any time.  However, no one can use them until your consent form (sent out last Thursday) is signed and returned.  Fourth grade will make use of these accounts often.

Thanks to everyone who helped at/participated in the Medieval Feast.  I’m told lots of photos and video are on the way.

Science Fair is February 2.  Click here for the details.  I’ve fielded a bunch of questions this weekend.  Regarding your hypothesis, try to frame them as “if/then” statements.  Some student examples:

  • If carbonation increases chemical reactions, then adding baking soda to pop will increase the release of gases at a greater rate than other liquids.”
  • Since metal can handle the heat created by electricity, then an aluminum cup will keep a drink hot for a longer time than other materials.”
Class pictures will be taken this Friday.  Students must wear school uniforms.  No non-Legacy Academy sweatshirts may be worn in the pictures.

Flashcards. In the box.net sidebar to your right, “Week 23” includes Quizlet.com links to flashcards for:

Thanks to Mrs. Cook, first grade, for sharing.

Please check this blog and their planners each night:

Math.  All Tapes, and some Keyboards, will test this week. I’ll be reteaching concepts to select groups again this week.  All students need practice on multiplication facts and how to divide.

      Keyboards and Tapes should practice their multiplication facts daily at http://quizlet.com/421821 .

Daily Oral Language (DOL). Students edit two sentences daily in class using neu.annotate, an iPad app. Additionally, students will edit two similar sentences weekly for a quiz grade (to see if they can apply their newfound editing knowledge).

SpellingStudents are now copying their spelling words into their planners on Mondays:

  • NOTE: everybody has the same spelling list this week
  • NOTE:  they will be doing sentences that incorporate their spelling words, therefore, NO SPELLING TEST this week

Vocabulary. All students take a five word vocabulary test every Friday.

All testing in my classes will occur this Friday as follows (again, you can download printable study guides for reading and language arts at “Week 23″ in the sidebar on the right):

  • Daily Oral Language (DOL). They’ll practice test on some of the sentences edited each morning in class. Look for:
    • –Practice sentences, and
    • –Answer key (available Monday night)
  • Spelling.
    • –Spelling list (available Monday night)
  • Vocabulary.
    • –Vocabulary words (available Monday night)
  • Open Court. The reading comprehension exam will be comprised of short answer and multiple choice questions. It is always an “open book” test.
    • “Shadow of a Bull (study guide is NOT available online)

Week 13 (November 7-11, 2011)

As you’ve likely heard, I’ll be with my lovely spouse, son, and newly 21 year old daughter in Las Vegas this week.  I’m pleased that the class’s substitute teacher will be Mr. Bob Szobody, formerly of Elbert County Charter School/Legacy Academy.

MAP testing (reading, math, language, and science), which was cancelled last week, will take place from 2 – 2:45 p.m. on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday.  The NWEA Parent Toolkit, a resource guide for parents, includes “Frequently Asked Questions” regarding NWEA assessment.

Flashcards. In the box.net sidebar to your right, “Week 13” includes Quizlet.com links to flashcards for:

  • Open Court vocabulary, and
  • multiplication facts

Starting a business project.  Also in “Week 13” is a project guide to assist your child create a business plan for a fictional business.  It will be due the first full week of December.

Image courtesy of "I've Become My Parents" blog (http://bit.ly/uOlVCj)

Image courtesy of "I've Become My Parents" blog

Please check this blog and their planners each night:

Math. We will continue with assignments in the classroom. The classwork becomes homework if it’s not completed in class.  They should, however, have plenty of time in class to complete their work. They will test this week.

(Math group) Keyboards classwork schedule for week: 

  • Monday – thru Lesson 18 – Temperature 
  • Tuesday – thru Lesson 19 – Elapsed Time Problems (see Khan Academy video “Time Differences 1”
  • Wednesday – thru Lesson 20 – Rounding (see Khan Academy videos “Rounding Whole Numbers 1…2…3”) 
  • Thursday – thru Investigation 2 – Units of Length and Perimeter (small group work) (see Khan Academy video “Perimeter and Area Basics”) 
  • Friday – Test 3A 

(Math group) Tapes classwork schedule for week:

  • Monday – thru Lesson 18 – Multiplying 3 Factors and Missing Factors
  • Tuesday – thru Lesson 19 – Relationship between Multiplication and Division (see Khan Academy videos “Basic Multiplication” and “Division 1”)
  • Wednesday – thru Lesson 20 – Three Ways to Show Division
  • Thursday – thru Investigation 2 – Fractions: Halves, Fourths, and Tenths (small group work)
  • Friday – Test 4A

Keyboards and Tapes should practice their multiplication facts daily at http://quizlet.com/421821 .

Daily Oral Language (DOL). Students edit two sentences daily in class and will test on some of the same sentences each Friday. Additionally, students will edit two similar sentences weekly for a quiz grade (to see if they can apply their newfound editing knowledge).

SpellingStudents are now copying their spelling words into their planners on Mondays.

Vocabulary. All students take a five word vocabulary test every Friday.

All testing in my classes will occur this Thursday and Friday as follows (again, you can download printable study guides for reading and language arts at “Week 13″ in the sidebar on the right):

  • Daily Oral Language (DOL). They’ll practice test on some of the sentences edited each morning in class. Look for:
  • –Practice sentences, and
  • –Answer key (available Monday night)
  • Spelling
  • –Spelling list (available Monday night)
  • Vocabulary.
  • –Vocabulary words (available Monday night)
  • Open Court. The reading comprehension exam will be comprised of short answer and multiple choice questions. It is always an “open book” test.
  • “Food From the ‘Hood:  A Garden of Hope (study guide available online)

Week 7 (Sep 26-29, 2011)

No school for students, Friday, September 30.

Kaitee, Dulaney; Ellie, carpool, 9.23.11

Student email accounts cannot currently be used to send or receive email, but can and have been used to set up individual accounts on a variety of educational sites including:

  • FreeRice is a non-profit website run by the United Nations World Food Programme.  FreeRice has two goals:
    • Provide education to everyone for free (presently, students can choose topics in math, humanities, geography, english, chemistry, or foreign languages)
    • Help end world hunger by providing rice to hungry people for free.  This is made possible by the generosity of the sponsors who advertise through the site.
  • PicLits is a creative writing site that provides pictures and a word bank for students to create an enriched sentence(s) about the image. “The object is to put the right words in the right place and the right order to capture the essence, story, and meaning of the picture.”

Mrs. Waide's science class viewing the Khan Academy video, "Scale of Earth and Sun" on their iPads, 9.23.11

Communication from Mr. T. On a weekly basis:

On a daily basis:

In order to view, download, and print almost anything on the fourth grade blog, you must download copies of a:

Mr. T's 4th grade, Picture Day, 9.23.11

Some “conventional” homework is likely this week. Please check the blog and their planners each night:

Math 4 and 5. We will continue with assignments and assessments in the classroom. The classwork becomes homework if it’s not completed in class.  They should, however, have plenty of time in class to complete their work. They will test this week.

Daily Oral Language (DOL). Students edit two sentences daily in class and will test on some of the same sentences each Friday. Additionally, students will edit two similar sentences weekly for a quiz grade (to see if they can apply their newfound editing knowledge).

Spelling. A copy of their spelling list is sent home in their Monday Folder and a duplicate list kept at school.

Vocabulary. All students take a five word vocabulary test every Friday.

Please note: the DOL answer keyand the spelling and vocabulary lists will be available by Monday evening.

All testing in my classes will occur this Friday as follows (again, you can download printable study guides for reading and language arts at “Week 7″ in the sidebar on the right):

  • Daily Oral Language (DOL). They’ll practice test on some of the sentences edited each morning in class. Look for:
  • –Practice sentences, and
  • –Answer key (available Monday night)
  • Spelling
  • –Spelling list (available Monday night)
  • Vocabulary.
  • –Vocabulary words (available Monday night)
  • Open Court. The reading comprehension exam will be comprised of short answer and multiple choice questions. It is always an “open book” test.
  • Mae Jemison, Space Scientist (study guide available online)

Week 6 (Sep 19-23, 2011)

Dress of Choice and Picture Day is Friday, September 23.

Student email accounts update.  Your student has an email account on Legacyk8.org, our school network hosted on Google Sites. However, it has been deactivated, e.g., it cannot currently be used to send or receive email.  Their email addresses can and have been used, however, to set up individual accounts on a variety of educational sites including:

  • The Lexile Framework for Reading. Through this site, your student can build a custom reading list at their reading level on subjects that interest them the most.
  • Khan Academy. This site will complement our Saxon Math curriculum. Khan Academy combines video tutorials viewable privately by students on their iPads and a web-based exercise system that generates problems and assessments for students based on skill level and performance.  Using Khan Academy independently, students will move quickly through concepts they have already mastered and spend time on developing skills.  The tutorials are touted as helpful because, among other factors, they can be paused by students, unlike a classroom lecture by Mr. T.

Mr. T's 4th grade, Patriot Day, Legacy Academy, 09.12.11

Communication from Mr. T. Everything you need to know about what’s happening in our classroom on a weekly basis (e.g., assignments, study guides, worksheets; answer keys) can be found on:

For the latest news throughout the day about Mr. T’s classroom (e.g., early dismissal due to adverse weather), follow us at:

In order to view, download, and print almost anything on the fourth grade blog, you must download copies of a:

Some “conventional” homework is likely this week. Please check the blog and their planners each night:

Math 5. We will continue with assignments and assessments in the classroom. The classwork becomes homework if it’s not completed in class.  They should, however, have plenty of time in class to complete their work. They will test this week.

Daily Oral Language (DOL). Students edit two sentences daily in class and will test on some of the same sentences each Friday. Additionally, students will edit two similar sentences weekly for a quiz grade (to see if they can apply their newfound editing knowledge).

A copy of the practice sentences with an answer key are available every Monday. Each night, to reinforce your student’s learning, ask s/he to edit that day’s two sentences again which you can correct using the answer key (this work never has to be turned into me). Parents should familiarize themselves with the proofreading markings which will be used for the remainder of the year (these marks will be utilized when I edit any student’s written work).

Spelling. A copy of their spelling list is sent home in their Monday Folder and a duplicate list kept at school.

Vocabulary. All students take a five word vocabulary test every Friday.

Please note: the DOL answer keyand the spelling and vocabulary lists will be available by Monday evening.

All testing in my classes will occur this Friday as follows (again, you can download printable study guides for reading and language arts at “Week 6″ in the sidebar on the right):

  • Daily Oral Language (DOL). They’ll practice test on some of the sentences edited each morning in class. Look for:
  • –Practice sentences, and
  • –Answer key (available Monday night)
  • Spelling
  • –Spelling list (available Monday night)
  • Vocabulary.
  • –Vocabulary words (available Monday night)
  • Open Court. The reading comprehension exam will be comprised of short answer and multiple choice questions. It is always an “open book” test.
  • Escape (study guide available online)

Week 4 (Sep 5-9, 2011)

Dress of Choice, all students, Tuesday, September 6.  This is due to a potentially messy art project they will be involved in. Parents will be able to see this art project at Back to School Night.

Back to School Night, 4th grade, Wednesday, September 7, 6-7 p.m. Details here.

I was told last week Blake’s mother, Mrs. Moore, is my Room Mom. This is great news. Thank you.

Mr. T's 2011-12 4th graders, glamour photo

Mr. T's 2011-12 4th graders, glamour photo

Student iPads have arrived.  Click here for details.

Communication from Mr. T. Everything you need to know about what’s happening in our classroom on a weekly basis (e.g., assignments, study guides, worksheets; answer keys) can be found on:

  • teacherman.wordpress.com (it is the blog you are reading right now). Weekly homework assignments for my classes (e.g., Saxon Math 5 and science), and, whenever possible, requirements from Mrs. Waide and your student’s specials teachers (i.e., art, music; physical education) will be listed here.

For the latest news throughout the day about Mr. T’s classroom (e.g., early dismissal due to adverse weather), follow us at:

In order to view, download, and print almost anything on the fourth grade blog, you must download copies of a:

  • .zip file unpacker (most computers will open this file automatically when you click on it. If not, you can find one here), and
  • Adobe Reader (this the Adobe Reader download site for most versions of Windows and Mac operating systems. If you cannot find a version compatible with your computer, we’ll have to talk)

“Conventional” homework is unlikely again this week, but please check the blog and their planners each night:

Math 5. We will continue with assignments and assessments in the classroom. They should have plenty of time in class to complete their work. They will not test this week.

Daily Oral Language (DOL). Students edit two sentences daily in class and will test on some of the same sentences each Friday. Additionally, students will edit two similar sentences weekly for a quiz grade (to see if they can apply their newfound editing knowledge).

A copy of the practice sentences with an answer key are available every Monday. Each night, to reinforce your student’s learning, ask s/he to edit that day’s two sentences again which you can correct using the answer key (this work never has to be turned into me). Parents should familiarize themselves with the proofreading markings which will be used for the remainder of the year (these marks will be utilized when I edit any student’s written work).

Spelling. A copy of their spelling list is sent home in their Monday Folder and a duplicate list kept at school.

Vocabulary. All students take a five word vocabulary test every Friday.

Please note: the DOL answer key, and the spelling and vocabulary lists will be available by Monday evening.

All testing in my classes will occur this Friday as follows (again, you can download printable study guides for reading and language arts at “Week 4″ in the sidebar on the right):

  • Daily Oral Language (DOL). They’ll practice test on some of the sentences edited each morning in class. Look for:
  • –Practice sentences, and
  • –Answer key (available Monday night)
  • Spelling
  • –Spelling list (available Monday night)
  • Vocabulary.
  • –Vocabulary words (available Monday night)
  • Open Court. The reading comprehension exam will be comprised of short answer and multiple choice questions. It is always an “open book” test.
  • Mrs. Frisby and the Crow (study guide available online)

iPads will arrive this week

My fourth graders could have them in hand as early as Tuesday, September 6.

I’ve had many questions about what the iPad rollout will look like.  Here are a few things I know:

  • We are rolling them out starting with the oldest (i.e., eight graders) first.
  • iPads are not going home until we have had sufficient time to teach students how to use and care for them.
  • iPads may not go home every night. It will depend on the homework.
  • Right now iPads are assigned to the classrooms. Very soon, they will be assigned to individual students (Legacy Academy staff is evaluating how this will look in kindergarten through second grade).
  • Replacement glass costs $99.
  • iPads replacements are $479.
  • We are continuing to use Core Knowledge and Saxon Math, but the iPads will help us to fill in any learning gaps to meet Colorado state standards.
The adventure begins…

Week 3 (Aug 29 – Sep 2, 2011)

No school next Monday, Labor DaySeptember 5.

Student iPads have not yet arrived (i.e., as of Friday evening). The kids are anxious to get our hands on them. With a reinvention like iSchool, the devil’s been in the details.

Brayden Wardrop, LA’s chief technology officer, visited last Thursday and spoke about how to care for an iPad.  Then he turned my students loose on about 7 or 8 of them:

iPads in Mr. T’s 4th grade classroom, 08.25.11 from Teacherman / DaveTallent on Vimeo.

All I can do is have patience.  When they arrive, everything will change.

Volunteer opportunities are a work in progress.  I will be contacting the many kind souls who have offered to help in and out of the classroom, just not at this moment.  The dust is still settling.

Communication from Mr. T. Everything you need to know about what’s happening in our classroom on a weekly basis (e.g., assignments, study guides, worksheets; answer keys) can be found on:

  • teacherman.wordpress.com (it is the blog you are reading right now). Weekly homework assignments for my classes (e.g., Saxon Math 5 and science), and, whenever possible, requirements from Mrs. Waide and your student’s specials teachers (i.e., art, music; physical education) will be listed here.

For the latest news throughout the day about Mr. T’s classroom (e.g., early dismissal due to adverse weather), follow us at:

In order to view, download, and print almost anything on the fourth grade blog, you must download copies of a:

  • .zip file unpacker (most computers will open this file automatically when you click on it. If not, you can find one here), and
  • Adobe Reader (this the Adobe Reader download site for most versions of Windows and Mac operating systems. If you cannot find a version compatible with your computer, we’ll have to talk)

While “conventional” homework is unlikely this week, please check the blog and their planners each night.

In a nutshell, what did my student do last week?  Brain research tells us that in order to learn a new task, it must be repeated at least eight times; to break a habit, around 28 times. Mrs. Waide and I, not unlike our Legacy Academy peers, are spending a lot of time on procedures so that our classrooms run smoothly for the remainder of the year.  These procedures have included the obvious, e.g., how to put a heading on a paper, how to queue quietly, and how to pass in completed work.  There are a bajillion others.  All of them take time.

Additionally, they wrote.  They took a number of pre-assessments in reading, spelling, and math. They learned how they will be editing their written work this academic year.  They learned the mechanics of creating a copybook page in science. They were busy.

What is my student doing this week? Mrs. Waide and I will be simulating what a typical week will look like in the classroom including mock tests in language arts, spelling, vocabulary, and reading comprehension:

  • Saxon Math–Testing will be conducted this week.
  • Open Court–Our first selection is realistic fiction, “Toto,” (a copy of the story can be downloaded).  Students will take a practice test on their understanding of the story this Friday. The test will be both short answer and multiple-choice. Per the Open Court curriculum, it will be an “open book” exam.
  • Spelling and vocabulary–I use “decks” in my classroom and will explain how they are created and used this week.  Students will take practice tests this Friday.
  • Daily Oral Language (DOL)–Punctuation editing marks will be reviewed throughout the week. A practice test will be given this Friday.
  • Workshop–The workshop “centers” will be explained. During workshop, students will work on a variety of assignments including spelling, writing, independent and guided reading, and book report preparation.
  • Science–We’re preparing our “copy books” for the coming year.
  • History–Please see Mrs. Waide’s newsletter
    for details.

What do I as a parent need to do this week? Have patience and:

  • Go through today’s Monday Folder, and
  • Download the printable study guides under “Week 3” (in the sidebar on the right).  Assist your student as needed throughout the week.