Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Maine Maritime Museum: What to Bring

Hi Families,

Tomorrow, we leave school almost immediately after unpacking and arrive back at school at about 2:00.

Here's what your kiddo should pack:

  • water bottle
  • sunscreen (we will be outside for about an hour and a half)
  • a snack
  • a lunch from home (unless your child signed up for a school lunch-- check with them)
  • sneakers
  • layers (we will be inside and out)

Monday, May 1, 2017

Genius Hour

Hi Everyone!

We kicked off Genius Hour today and I wanted to tell you a little about it in case you hear more at home. :)

What is Genius Hour?
Genius hour is a movement that allows students to explore their own passions and encourages creativity in the classroom.  It provides students a choice in what they learn during a set period of time during school. (http://www.geniushour.com/what-is-genius-hour/
The idea is that students begin with a question (that is driven by their own passions), which is followed by research, and finally a product is created to share the learning.

How often will we be using our time in the classroom?
One hour per week. If June has arrived and we need more time, I may increase this time to 2 hours per week.

What will the kids be learning about?
So many different topics! Today we listed what we love to do outside of school, what our general interests are, and what we wonder about. Their lists were longgggg! These passions will drive the inquiry process and students will generate a quality question that is the focus behind their research.

How will they share their learning?
These are some options and they will choose (with some limitations) who their audience will be:

  • Digital presentation (a slideshow, iMovie, website, etc)
  • Oral presentation (speaking to an audience)
  • Visual presentation (sharing visuals like posters, pictures, or models)

Will this require time at home or buying items?
No and no. However, some students have already talked about ideas that would involve some work at home, but this is their choice. Most likely if a child is working on their Genius Hour product at home it's because they're excited about it and want to spend their time that way! Also, students don't have to buy materials (example: poster board) but they certainly can if they talk with you about it.

As always, please let me know if you have any questions. The students are VERY excited about this and I'm thrilled to be doing it with them!


Hi Families,

Last week Dustin (my husband), from Norton Financial came to visit us to teach the students about the importance of saving money and how interest works. He kicked off the conversation by asking the students what they may save money for, and they got responses such as, "video games, college, candy, and soccer cleats." They got to have fun thinking about what they would want to save for! Dustin then inquired what adults may save money for, and we heard, "house renovation, a new home, vacation, food, appliances." The students had a lot of insight into this topic. This led to discussing how people save money and why it's important. Many of them are already saving and have plans for that account!

After the introduction, the students eagerly headed to their seats to see just what interest looked like on paper. They used 10% with $100 and $1000 so it was kid friendly. Dustin did explain that 10% isn't accurate, but it's a percentage they know how to work with. They were curious what the accurate rate really is! We filled out the following chart that you may have seen come home in their folder:

Some students went beyond the worksheet to challenge themselves.

It was an insightful math period and a helpful connection to our work with our classroom economy! Students had a lot of remaining questions, like what CDs at a bank are and more. They also had A LOT of good learning as well. I hope they went home with questions!

Monday, April 24, 2017

Partial Quotients with Sidewalk Chalk

Hi Families,

Welcome back to school! These next 8 weeks are going to be full and fun! I'm looking forward to each day ahead.

Today, we couldn't resist the nice temperatures, so we headed outside in math to practice partial quotients, which is a topic we are revisiting. After practicing in the classroom, students created their own division numbers stories and we went outside to solve them. It was the perfect day to be out practicing math concepts!

Here are just a few photos of the work:

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Read Across America

We had such a fun Read Across America Day!! We celebrated with a community meeting, reading Dr. Seuss quotes and reflecting on them (read some really inquisitive thoughts on our blogs found on KidBlog), and doing a Breakout! 

Here are a few photos from our community meeting:

Below are photos from our Breakout! Kids solved clues in teams to find Dr. Seuss's hat. A definite highlight of the year!!

Monday, January 30, 2017


On Friday last week, we had an engaging activity around timelines. We connected this work to our learning about nonfiction reading and social studies. The kids worked together to determine when they believed each event occurred. After a lot of great discussion, I revealed which were in the correct spots. Following the reveal, they continued their conversations and made changes until each event was under the correct date.

They worked very well together as a whole class! It led to a quality discussion about these events in history and so many students have new curiosities to explore.

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Spirit Series

Hi Students!

This is in case you'd like to practice one last time tonight!

Click here for the script.

- BIG snack
- a home lunch (most of you)
- dark clothing and shoes

See you tomorrow for a fantastic performance!

If any of you have the ability to video tape the show, I know a few parents would LOVE that (some are no longer able to attend due to the change).

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Winter Conferences

Dear Families,

You are invited to sign up for Winter Conferences. It's still about a month away, but I wanted you to be able to find a time that best fit your schedule. This is an opportunity for us to meet without your child in order for me to share the report card with you and talk about goals for the remainder of the year.
           DATES:  2/3, 2/7, 2/9, 2/13
           PLACE:  Room 306
           REGISTRATION DEADLINE:  End of day 2 days before each conference day

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

Please let me know if you have any trouble. I’d be happy to sign you up on my end. If none of these spots work for you, please let me know and I will be happy to find another time that fits.

Best Regards,

Mrs. Fier

Monday, January 9, 2017

Visual Literacy

Hi Families,

This week we will be looking at different text sets to practice reading Nonfiction and as a way to delve deeper into the Underground Railroad. This will help students feel connected to this time period. Today, we studied different photos and illustrations relating to the Civil War and slavery. The kids walked around, reacting to what they saw. They have such a strong ability to empathize and ask questions.