ACharacter Journal

We are taking a step back in time with our colonial character journal writing through personification. The students are reacting to actual events as they occurred during the American Revolution. Governor Hutchinson just announced that he will uphold the law no matter what, and that he will not stand for any colonists protesting British taxes or we may be jailed. We guess a spy must have told him we were plotting. For now, we are hanging some propaganda in our store-front windows.


ATown Meeting

Our 3-4 Bostonians held a town meeting about the unfair taxes being imposed upon them due to the Townshend Acts. Instead of "sacking" Governor Hutchinson's house, they decided to write secret letters to the other colonies in order to unify before we protest and persuade any loyalists into joining the protest against Britain.



Revere was correct! There WAS a secret spy in our midst, and it turns out to be our very own Bostonian, Dr. Church. Luckily, the baker intercepted one of his letters. Our secret spy decoders have figured out what the secret message is. “United determined in opposition!” Well, we guess it was only a matter of time before the British found out we are now, in fact, united AND in opposition.

ACatapults Collage

In Think Tank, the engineers have been posed with the Great Marshmallow Catapult Challenge. Activating prior knowledge and keeping what they already about force and motion in mind, their challenge is to design a catapult that will force thrust a marshmallow the furthest. This project incorporates all aspects of a quality STEM activity: easy math connection, engineering design process, student-driven learning, and hands-on fun!



We are currently doing a novel study with the book Hidden Figures by Margot Lee Shetterly. Hidden Figures is an excellent way to excite my students about STEM topics in learning about and gaining an appreciation for Black History Month and Women's History Month. It also helps us to notice and appreciate all the different ways we use mathematics in real life.  



Words are power, and that’s the truth! Learning is always more fun when we put a rhythm and a rhyme to it. We enjoyed learning about the deeper meaning behind prefixes, suffixes, and root words through rap music.  




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  • What do you think happened to the colonists of Roanoke?

  • Tell me about one of the battles of the American Revolution?

  • What are some of the rich vocabulary words you learned about tolerance and acceptance?

  • How and when do we use apostrophes in our writing? What happens when the noun is plural?

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One of the many rich and meaningful resources we use for our literacy program is called Storyworks. The students thrive, flourish, and succeed in using this language arts curriculum.  Storyworks is filled with thrilling content across the genres combined with rich lesson plans, activity sheets, and videos, all created for the Common Core. The skills we will focus on are summarizing, determining the main idea, making inferences, author’s craft, word decoding strategies, using details and text evidence to support our answers, and comparing and contrasting paired texts. 

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The 3-4 super sleuths are using their detective skills to hypothesize about what happened at “The Mystery of Roanoke.” Using haunting clues and text evidence to support their opinions, the detectives are generating brilliant and educated theories. 

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We have dreams too! Marcos exclaimed, “I have a dream, that one day humanity will open its’ eyes to climate change and stop running away from a problem that world leaders won’t seem to face.” He also exclaimed, “I have a dream that one day people will stop walking by problems aimlessly like a horse with blinders.” Emerson stated, “I have a dream that one day all the pockets of the homeless will be filled with wealth, and that all those homeless people will not be judged because they are homeless.” Ivy declared, “I have a dream that one day we will cross off every animal on the endangered list.” These amazing kids are going to make big differences in our world one day! 

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The 3-4s are participating in an inquiry-based “Webquest” to learn all about the most important battles and skirmishes of the American Revolution. As they explore a variety of resources, students analyze and interpret expository texts to determine events that led up to the battles, famous people involved in the events, and the results and consequences of the incidents. Our patriotic students are forming some very strong opinions. 

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Did you know that apostrophes are never used to represent plural words? We can’t believe it either! The 3-4s are learning how to accurately use apostrophes in contraction words and to represent possession in nouns. Language and grammar are both captivating and engaging!




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  • What are some of the reasons why people would want to leave where they live, everything and everyone they have known, to start a new life in a strange new world?
  • Why do we need laws, rules, and/or expectations in order to live happily and safely?
  • How were the lives of the Plymouth colonists and Wampanoag alike? And in what ways were they different?

4 Game changers

Think tank

We are currently in “Phase 2” of our Think Tank engineering design project, Game-Changing Kids. In groups, students have decided on a theme for their games, are developing and creating a prototype, and are both writing and video recording the directions to their games. We will then play each others’ games and provide constructive feedback for changes that may need to be made or simply provide suggestions for making the games better in some way. Students will then go back, re-design, and make any necessary changes before creating the final product.

6 Col.Boston


We are taking a hands-on, genuine, and imaginative approach to our study of the colonial era as the 3-4 students become actual characters from history in our Storypath unit called Colonial Boston and the Struggle for Independence. We will be building a model of our colony, and as we go through each “episode” of our experiences in Colonial Boston, students will be developing complex thinking and problem-solving abilities within the context of understanding the events that led to the colonial rebellion against Britain.

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Our colonists worked hard analyzing and interpreting the Mayflower Compact, the very first form of governance in The New World. We then transcribed the text into our own words. 

2 Hancock living

Our trip to Hancock Shaker Village was a blast from the past. We learned all about how these early colonists, the Shakers, lived, worked, and survived. It turns out it really does take a village!

3 Hancock Simple Gifts

The 3-4 students had the amazing privilege of singing and “shaking” to the song Simple Gifts in the actual Meeting House where the original Shakers had sung and danced to this very special song.

5 WW

We are very excited to announce that we are all in the publishing phase of our most important, very special, personal narrative. As we wrap up this genre, students will be moving into journal/diary writing from the perspective of their colonial characters. I can’t wait to hear all about their trials, tribulations, and adventures as they live in Colonial Boston circa 1765. This rich and dynamic learning opportunity will deepen the students’ understanding and appreciation for the decisions that colonists had to make during this crossroads in American History.

 11 Long division


In math, we are using manipulatives in figuring out the algorithm for long division. We are quickly finding out that taking a hands-on approach, actually physically moving objects around, modeling the problem-solving process, helps us to not only learn the steps of the algorithm but truly understand the algorithm.





9 hallo port

1 Hallo 1 chem

Halloween Hoots and Howls

Our Halloween was filled with hoots and howls! Our day was consumed with eerie and gruesome chemistry concoctions. Our mad scientists experimented with oozing goo slime using hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) and active yeast. A chemical reaction occurred that produced new substances that weren’t present before in their natural state, oxygen gas (O2) and liquid water (H2O). It was hauntingly mysterious!

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Our chemical engineers then took their sorcery skills to another level! The students experimented with other substances that produced even more terrifyingly dramatic chemical reactions. It was a blast!

3 Hallo Prank

Hee-hee... I love Halloween pranks! “Oh man, but it’s Halloween!” cried a 3-4 student. “We shouldn’t have to do actual work today,” complained another when Mrs. H gave out a Halloween “worksheet” that required the students to carefully read the directions and do what it said. Had they actually read the directions, the students would have realized all they needed to do was the first step, write their names on the paper. How grueling following directions can be sometimes. :)   

4 Lit Pump

We had so much fun designing and decorating our Literary Pumpkins with other members of our community. It’s nice to hang out with our friends down the hall!

Mentor Texts

6 gooney

We had a blast celebrating and honoring one of our favorite characters, Gooney Bird Greene. We got to show off how unique we all are and how comfortable we are sharing that with the world. Students created and decorated their very own “Writing Caps” using a descriptive adjective to describe themselves. Some of the self-determined traits are cunning, duplicitous, glorious, eccentric, and feisty. The 3-4 students are quite the etymologists.

Wonderfully wild weather

7 HEARD Rasputina

We had a musical celebration of the wild world of weather and how it is connected to natural geological occurrences. Elizabeth Kasius from HEARD and Melora Creager from Rasputina generously came in for a rockin’ show that connects weather to our world.


8 weather station

Our meteorologists are using actual meteorological tools from our weather station to measure and gather data about temperature, air pressure, wind direction and velocity, and percentage of humidity on the air. In culmination of our unit on weather, the students will be creating a digital weather forecast.

Books, Books, and more books!

8 library

We enjoy our monthly visits to the Troy Public Library and spending time with our Sage friends. Reading is fun!

Imaginative play 

5 Fairy Gnome

The 3-4s are thoughtfully creating winter shelters for our fairies and gnomes. Our imaginations can be very powerful.








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  • How does the spelling strategy “Have-a-Go”  work when you’re trying to spell an unknown word?
  • What is the “List of Lists” in your Writer’s Notebook? How can this help you with generating ideas for writing?
  • Why was Sleepy Hollow named Sleepy Hollow? What mood does the author show or create at the beginning of the story? 

 Fig Lang


Our excited etymologists are fireworks letting their figurative language burst! We are having a blast picking out all the similes, metaphors, alliterations, idioms and hyperboles in current pop songs, and in favorite books and movies. Their figurative language skills are shining like the fourth of July!

 Solar Oven 1Solar Ovens


We are blowing through our unit on the Wonderfully Wild World of Weather. We warmed up quickly to our investigation of temperature.  After students learned how to interpret scales and read a thermometer accurately, we then had the… Solar Oven Challenge! With a partner, the kids used the engineering design process to create a solar oven that could harness the sun’s energy and turn it into stored heat energy using only the available materials. Of course, we had to test our ovens by “baking” some S’mores. Turns out that the ovens worked well, however, the kids decided that they would like to go back to the drawing board and redesign their ovens, making improvements based on what they learned.  This time their goal is to bake their own English muffin pizzas.


CMOST (Children’s Museum of Science and Technology) brought the field trip to us for an exciting program about weather. The students learned more about the tools meteorologists use to predict weather patterns.  





Our first writing genre will focus on Personal Narratives. We started by reading and analyzing a mentor text called Eleven by Sandra Cisneros. The students then created a chart outlining the elements of personal narratives, and we learned that personal narratives come from moments or episodes we experience every day in our daily lives. We will continue exploring how we generate ideas for our writing and use the writing process to create our very own published personal narratives. 

Game Design


The students are having a great time in our inquiry-based P.B.L. Think Tank Game Engineering Design project. We are currently in the “analyzing games” phase where we are working really hard playing games. The analyzing process asks students to figure out what the goals and objectives are, the mechanics, the visuals, strategies, obstacles, and interesting facts about the games. Our next phase will involve being game detectives. Students will be asked to play and analyze games that simply don’t work right, and we have to figure out why.  

Reading Workshop


We kicked off the year with a novel study of The Legend of Sleepy Hollow retold from Washington Irving.  We are focusing on the elements of plot and plot development in fictional stories. We are exploring, comparing and contrasting different genres, such as myths and legends, realistic fiction, and historical fiction. Students will be dissecting the story as they complete a plot diagram while also learning about other literary elements such as theme, conflict/resolution, and protagonist/antagonist.


We had an awesome time hanging out with our Sage Pen Pals and working together to build the tallest “Getting to Know You!” card tower.