Monday, December 22, 2014

Classroom Economy News

Our Classroom Economy
quick information about what this is about!

December 22, 2014

Dear Families:

Our class will implement a classroom economy system during the second half of the school year. It’s an excellent tool for teaching financial responsibility and many other things, and I think the students will enjoy it.

I want to let you know how it works. Using classroom “currency,” students earn money for jobs and pay rent for their desks. They can earn bonus cash by helping others, earning table points, bringing in homework, being punctual and more. On the other hand, students who don’t meet classroom expectations will be fined some of their classroom dollars. That could happen, for example, if they don’t complete assignments or don’t listen when other students are speaking. The could also be fined if they don’t have homework without a note or are missing their name on a paper. The classroom economy helps children to learn valuable life skills such as organization, the value of saving, and delayed gratification. Rather than being told about the importance of these skills, they actually experience them. In addition, the system fits in well with the other parts of our curriculum.

We’ll also have a little fun with it! After paying rent, students can save money to spend at weekly auctions where they get to bid on items everybody likes. These items will be tickets such as, work in the hallway, chew gum in the classroom, have lunch with Mrs. Fier.  The children will certainly enjoy themselves, and I know you will appreciate the skills and knowledge they learn along the way. Our system is based on the “My Classroom Economy” program developed as a volunteer project by employees of Vanguard.

Don’t be surprised if your child comes home one day with questions about paying rent, or regrets about overbidding for an auction item. You might find it a great opportunity to have a thoughtful discussion about financial responsibility. I’m really excited to begin and learn more about this process and I think the kids are too.

If you have any questions about the classroom economy, please feel free to contact me.

Mrs. Fier

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Partial Quotients

Hi Families,

We worked SUPER hard with partial quotients today as we learned how to more efficiently solve division problems.  The fruit loops were definitely motivating (a big thanks to the girls who helped me count this morning)!  We will continue our work with this algorithm on Friday.  As your child does their homework tonight, please help them with this method and use the family letter that went home to help you.  It is a cool way to think about division!

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Giving Back

Dear Families, 

On December 12th we will be having a school wide community meeting on giving back. During this event, it is our hope  that we will be able to support our local food pantry in Yarmouth. Students are welcome to donate nonperishable food items. Any and all donations will be greatly appreciated. 

Friday, December 5, 2014

Socratic Seminar

As we learned about Maine's regions and created torn paper landscapes and also advertisements persuading tourists to visit certain regions, we looked at why Maine is considered vacationland.  We also had an opportunity to discuss why tourism is such an important industry for Maine.  To conclude this work, we had a socratic seminar today to really share and discuss these things.  I was so proud of the conversations they were able to have about these topics!

 A socratic seminar has an inner circle (the talkers) and an outer circle (the listeners)


We did it!!!  

We have been working hard to earn class points and we reached 50!!  We will have our read-a-thon on Thursday, December 11.  Wear pajamas, be cozy, and bring along a blanket and stuffed animal if you'd like!

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Maine's Landscape

Over the past few weeks in social studies, we have been learning about what covers Maine's landscapes.  This includes different tourist regions we have throughout Maine and the three major regions found here: coastal lowlands, eastern New England uplands, and the White Mountains.  Before break we began creating our own version of how we see Maine and are working on finishing it up this week.  Here are some photos!

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Publishing Party Information

Hi Families,

We are looking forward to our realistic fiction publishing party on Thursday, December 4 from 8:15 - 9:00.  We are still working hard on drafts, but we are excited about having a deadline to share our writing with you.  If you would like to bring in a treat, please sign up here.

We are looking forward to seeing you!

Fact Extensions

This was work we did last week to prepare us for the work we are doing with multiplication!

Monday, November 10, 2014

Veteran's Day

Veteran's Day posters

  • Line 1: Soldier
  • Line 2: Four words describing what a soldier is expected to do
  • Line 3: Who feels . . .
  • Line 4: Who needs . . .
  • Line 5: Who fears . . .
  • Line 6: Who loves . . .
  • Line 7: Who thinks . . .
  • Line 8: Who believes . . .
  • Line 9: Synonym for "soldier"
Here are some of our poems (more published on KidBlog):

help others in need
who feels needed
who needs life
who fears dying
who loves country
who thinks faith in soldier
who believes in victory
By: Michael

Who feels gives them back up
Who needs lots of love when they’re anywhere
Who fears the lack of water and food
Who loves his family and country
Who thinks they’re going to win
Who believes in themselves and each other
By: John

A soldier is expected to do his job, help others, be kind to his comrades, and  protect his country.
Who feels scared for his family.
Who needs help after war.
Who fears for his country losing.
Who loves his country and his family.
Who thinks about winning.
Who believes that he will go home safely.
By: Levi

what’s expected of them, sacrifices, helps others, goes quickly, makes hard decisions
who fears, death of themselves and others,losing war, losing family
who needs, food, water, weapons, love, care, medicine, nurses
who feels, brave when fighting, scared when losing
who loves, family, job, country, friends
who thinks, I’m okay, I’m safe, believes in winning, faith in soldiers
who believes, win, safety for themselves and others, government will take care of them
By: Emma

to be really daring
  who feels to help everyone else
who needs nurses to heal them
who fears dying in war
who loves there family and friends
who thinks there the only that stands between there family
who believes they will always win
By: Liam

Monday, November 3, 2014

Maine State Museum

Hi families,

Just a reminder that we have our field trip tomorrow and will be gone most of the day.  We are leaving school at 8:40.  

Please remember to pack your child a lunch from home and pack an extra snack - lunch will be earlier than we are used to, so your child may want a snack for the ride back.

No electronics will be allowed, but your child may bring a book on the bus - keeping in mind that it is their responsibility to keep track of it.

I'm looking forward to seeing so many of you tomorrow!

Friday, October 24, 2014

Fall Conferences

Dear Families of Room 306,

You are invited to sign up for Fall Student-Led Conferences.

DATE: November 5, 10, and November 11
PLACE: Room 306 – our classroom
REGISTRATION DEADLINE: End of day 2 days before each conference day

To pick a time slot, enter this link in your internet browser:

At that link, you will be asked for your Entry Code, where you should
enter B03174470

If you come on Tuesday, November 11 (Veteran's Day) please note that you will need to come to our back door by the walker's path. The front doors will be locked.

In addition, conference slots are 15 minutes. However, when you arrive AT your scheduled time, you will spend the first 30 minutes with your child, looking over their portfolio and other work they have to share. After those 30 minutes, you will scoot over to me to further the conversation.

If you do not have internet access, please send me a note with requested times. Also, if you do not see times available that fit your needs, please let me know, as I would be happy to add spots.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Maine Map Activity

Maine studies is our major focus for fourth grade.  Students explore the connection between Maine's geography, natural resources, and major industries.  To begin really exploring this unit, students will be using a blank Maine map to study the major landmarks and landforms found throughout our state. Today, we really began to use books about Maine and a detailed Maine map to learn more about these features!


Monday, October 20, 2014

Permission Slips

Hi Families,

There are TWO permission slips going home today.  One is for our field trip next Monday, Oct. 27 and the other is for a field trip in early November.  Please get these back to school as soon as you are able.

Thank you!

Thursday, October 16, 2014


Hi Families,

In our extra math time this week, kids have been busy at work creating math cootie catchers!  This has been a fun way for us to review skills and vocabulary terms that are new or need a review.  Together we generated a list of ideas of types of questions to ask on your cootie catcher and then independently, students chose which questions they would ask of their peers.  Here are some pictures of us in action playing a fun game while we practice math!

Story Elements

Today's Focus:

Describing the setting

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Rain Gauge

In our Maine Studies Weekly Newspaper, we began looking at Maine's climate and the variety of weather we receive in Maine.  We were inspired by their idea of a rain gauge that they showed us.  Before looking at their example, we took today to be creative and think of our own ways to measure the precipitation we get here in Yarmouth, Maine!  Everyone's young mind was busy thinking and each partnership had creative, fun ideas!  Here we are at work:

Monday, October 6, 2014


Hi All,

(sorry for the third post today)

Kids are SO excited about blogging.  I love their positive energy!  We still have more to learn and practice, so I have asked that for two more weeks that your child does not log onto KidBlogs to post anything.  We will also discuss what things would be okay to post about while at home.  This will never be a homework assignment, but an option for students who want to!

Potato Leek Soup Recipe

Potato Leek Soup
From Yarmouth School Nutrition Program
Served at Yarmouth Elementary School using their school garden potatoes.

Makes six 1 cup servings

2 pounds of leeks, leaves and roots removed
4 cloves of garlic, minced
4 tablespoons unsalted butter (or dairy free substitute)
1⁄2 pound of Yukon Gold Potatoes
1⁄2 pound of Red potatoes
4 cups of vegetable broth (gluten free)
White Pepper
Small bunch of fresh chive or parsley, finely chopped

1. Slice the leeks in half length-wise then cut in 1⁄2 inch pieces. Break apart in a bowl of water and let the soil sink to the bottom. Remove the leeks from the water, rinse well and shake off excess water.

2. In a large stockpot melt the butter on medium-high heat and then add the leeks and 2 teaspoons of salt, stir. When the leeks begin to sweat reduce the heat to medium low and replace the cover, check occasionally and stir to be sure the leeks are not browning. They should simmer in the liquid of their own juices for 10 minutes.

3. Add the minced garlic to the leeks and stir, cook for an additional minute.

4. While the leeks are simmering, scrub the potatoes well under running water and retain the skin. Dice into uniform small cubes. Add to the leeks and garlic and stir.

5. Add enough broth to the pot to just cover the potatoes. Any additional broth left over should be saved for the step of pureeing.

6. Bring to a simmer and then cook on medium-low heat until potatoes are cooked through. Do not overcook or it will yield a grainy potato.

7. When the potatoes are done, turn off the heat and puree the contents using an immersion blender, the easiest method. You can also use a counter top blender or food processor. Be careful transferring hot contents.

8. Adjust the consistency of the soup with additional broth to your preference.

9. Next, taste the soup and adjust the seasoning to your liking, adding additional salt and white pepper.

10. For service, be sure the soup is hot or, in the warm weather months, serve cold as Vichyssoise. Top each serving with finely chopped chive or parsley.

Math Homework

Hi Families,

I just wanted to remind everyone that math homework is meant to reinforce skills we have practiced in the classroom.  WITH fact practice, I expect each student to complete 20-30 minutes of math homework.  When practicing with a worksheet or study link, I want to remind you that if your child seems overly frustrated, please do not have them continue on.

Thank you!

Monday, September 29, 2014

Lunch Menu

A new updated lunch menu went home today - please have it replace the other orange menu that went home last week.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Scholastic Book Order

These are due tomorrow!  Please place your order tonight if you have not already - click the link on the left to see how if you are unsure.

Thank you for making this a success!

Wednesday, September 24, 2014


We harvested potatoes yesterday and had a blast doing it! These were potatoes that Mrs. Rhoads' class planted last spring.  Kids were really involved and on their hands and knees digging in search of ready potatoes.  There were two places we dug (unfortunately, no pictures of our first spot).

This is what we came up with:

  • 28 pounds
  • 3 bags
  • Kennebec yellow AND red
  • (one really cool bug)!
We kept 8 pounds for ourselves and the rest was given to our cafeteria for a potato and leek soup!

Today we will reflect on the harvesting we did yesterday and complete some work and sketches inside our science notebooks.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Old Speakers or Boom Box

Hi Parents,

There is another thing to add to our wish list.  If you happen to have an old boom box at home that plays CDs that you no longer use or speakers you no longer use, we would love to have it!  Music really helps many of us concentrate while there is other background noise going on around us.  Right now, the speakers alone on my computer doesn't do the best job :(

Thank you!

Harvesting Potatoes!

Hi Families,

On Tuesday, September 23, we will be harvesting potatoes in the afternoon.  Please remind your child to wear clothes that they don't mind getting a little dirty, as we will be on our hands and knees digging!

Thank you!

Thursday, September 18, 2014


Picture day is tomorrow!  We do have P.E., so feel free to have your child bring a change of clothes, but come dressed in picture attire :)

Don't forget picture forms if you planned on ordering.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014


Hi Everyone,

There is an additional volunteer form coming home tonight that you need to fill out if you plan to volunteer for the school or in our classroom.  Even if you have filled out this form before, you need to do it again.  I just made a chart of all the volunteer forms I received, so I hope to start asking everyone soon about scheduling a regular time to come in if that is what you were hoping for.

Orange Change of Plan Forms

I have a nice big stack again :)

If you know you need some at home, please ask your child to take some home.

And of course, I can fill them out as need be as well.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Reading Connection between Home and School

Hi Families,

We talked today about what to be reading at home and school.  We discussed the benefits of having one just-right chapter book for school AND home.  Students should work towards finishing one book before beginning another.  Therefore, I will look to reading logs to see that pattern.  Reading baggies should help with this and in the next few weeks, students will really work on building the habit of bringing their book back and forth to school in their baggie.

Having more than one book could get confusing, especially when we start reading groups and students have a book with that group too.  Lots of characters and themes to keep track of!

This plan was not a favorite of all students, but each will work towards this goal.  Thank you for helping us with it!

Friday, September 5, 2014

What kind of teacher do you want?

Well, I asked the students today, "If you had the perfect teacher, what would he or she be like?" We thought about this in many ways: what activities would your teacher have planned, what would their personality be like, how would they treat you or act, and then we practiced our first "chalk talk" on the board.  This is what I learned...

I hope to be these things for them!!

Have a wonderful weekend :)

Thursday, September 4, 2014

9.4.14 Homework

Hi Everyone,

An explanation of tonight's homework: writer's notebook decorations

By Monday, I am asking that students bring in flat decorations for their writer's notebooks.  We will be decorating in class on Monday afternoon.  These decorations need to include things that represent who they are and what they like! Examples of things to bring in include, stickers, photographs, images printed out, special scrapbook paper (for the background, but I will also have choices available), and drawings.  Students will be required to have their name, so some may want to bring letter stickers if those are available at home too.  Please do not make any special trips out shopping... use what you have available.

Here are two examples of writer's notebooks that I have created in the past to give you a clearer idea of what we will be doing :)

Tuesday, September 2, 2014


Hi Parents,

It has already been a great start to our first day! I wanted to clarify a few things that I will revisit later on our open house night.

In your child's homework folder, there is a yellow homework sheet.  This homework sheet will stay inside their homework folder and be taken out on Fridays with a new one placed in it on Mondays. On this sheet, I will write reminders of any upcoming events and your child will also be writing their homework daily.  On the back of this yellow sheet is a reading log.  I HAVE NOT discussed this log with your child yet, but I will early next week.

As for homework tonight, students have two things written down.  The first is to simply just bring back their homework folder and the yellow homework sheet inside it.  I want them to form this habit, so that will be their main form of homework this week.  Also, every child has a "me bag."  Each "me bag" has a different due date.  Please see the bag itself for that due date.

Thank you for sharing your youngsters with me.  I am so glad to be back in this great community!   Please let me know if you have any questions before we meet again on Sept. 15 for open house.

(I do try to communicate often on our blog, so if you would like, click the button to the right to "follow by email."  This will send you an email notifying you if I create a new post).

Mrs. Fier

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Welcome back!

Hi families and students,

I cannot wait to meet you all in just a week at the YES Open House!  I will be working hard to get our classroom organized and ready for you :)

I will see you Thursday, August 28 between 9:30 and 10:30.

Mrs. Fier