Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Week of March 12

How are we already in 4th quarter? This year is flying by! I'm sure your student is not letting you forget that next week is Spring Break as well. I hope you have a relaxing, joy filled week. (I will be busy cleaning my house and packing non-essential items to start the house selling process later this spring... Not nearly as much fun as most of you will be having!)

We will return from Spring Break and immediately enter into Holy Week, as we reflect on Jesus' journey to the cross and His resurrection to give us eternal life and forgiveness! We will spend extra time reflecting on what this means for us during that week. A note for chapel schedule during Holy Week - we will not have Wednesday chapel, but instead Thursday morning have a Maundy Thursday themed service focusing on Jesus' service to disciples, the Last Supper, and His arrest. We will end the day with a Good Friday themed chapel service. We typically do SILENT, INSIDE pick-up on that day. Then no school on Good Friday or Easter Monday.

Typing Program Link for practice at home:
Students should know their log-in information. It is recommended to not spend more than 10-15 minutes at a time practicing. Also, our goal is accuracy and correct hand formation, not speed at this point in time.

Memory Work:
Hebrews 10:23
Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful.

John 1:29
The next day [John] saw Jesus coming towards him and said, “Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world!”

(Memory Work for Thursday, March 29 - after Spring Break)
Matthew 26:26-28

Now as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and after blessing it broke it and gave it to the disciples, and said, “Take, eat; this is my body.” And he took a cup, and when he had given thanks he gave it to them, saying, “Drink of it, all of you, for this is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.”

Spelling after Spring Break:
We will NOT have spelling list during Holy Week.

We are still collecting magazines and other advertisements to use in our upcoming economics unit which will focus on needs vs wants, supply and demand pricing, marketing, and more. These become important primary source documents to examine as well as eventually cut items out of for item sorts, etc.

Author Visit to St. Louis your Students Are Interested in:
Peter Brown will be visiting The Novel Neighbor (an awesome independent book store in Webster Groves - we've used them before for author visit book sales, etc.!) next Wednesday. He is the author of The Wild Robot which we read early this year and has been our favorite class read aloud. He's on tour for the sequel The Wild Robot Escapes which was released this week! I've had the book on pre-order for several weeks. When it came yesterday the class was screaming with excitement and demanded we start reading it. They are begging we finish before Spring Break... They would all love the opportunity to meet Peter Brown on tour. Details here

Terrific Tuesdays:
The next set are about to begin. Mrs. Leet sent out an email. Mrs. Hirsch and Mrs. Sanft are offering a pillow making class (like what students made for Christmas) with an animal theme to the pillows. Many of the students are quite excited and wanting to make sure you know. I believe sign-up are due before Spring Break.

Other Calendar Notes for March/April (same as last post):
March 15th, NO CERAMICS after school
March 16th, Free Dress Day earned from filling Trivia Night Tables
March 19th-23rd, NO SCHOOL - Spring Break
March 30th, NO SCHOOL - Good Friday
April 2nd, NO SCHOOL - Easter Monday
April 5th, Operetta Shirt Due (see above and/or Mrs. Killian's emails)
April 5th, Literacy Night 6-7:30, stay tuned for more details about this evening of fun and literacy!
April 8th, CCLS Sunday at Concordia, Kirkwood
April 10th, Parent Event - Financial Literacy, stay tuned for more details
April 16th-20th, Achievement Tests
April 26th, Elementary Grandparent's Day
April 26th, 7pm Elementary Operetta - students are expected to participate
April 27th and 28th, Middle School musical

In Christ our Mighty Fortress,
Mr. Fishburn

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Week of March 5

Memory Work:
Ephesians 2:8-9
For by grace you have been saved through faith.  And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast.

1 Corinthians 11:25
In the same way also He took the cup, after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood.  Do this, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of me.”

In Search Of:
In preparation for our upcoming economics unit, we will be in need of magazines or sales fliers that students will be able to cut pictures of items out of, circle in, etc. as we study needs verse wants, supply and demand, as well as advertising principles. If you have any to donate, feel free to send them in! Thanks!

End of Quarter Forms and Other Items Needed:
CCLS-Uganda Casual for a Cause is this Friday, March 9th. Medication is NOT being collected this trip due to difficulty getting it into the country. Please send items from the list sent out by email or send in cash donations so medications can be bought in the village after arriving.

Please return all of the following by Monday, March 12th at the latest.
Service Project Forms
Church/Sunday School Forms
CCLS-Uganda Read-A-Thon pledges

Mrs. Killian's request for a yellow, orange, or white t-shirt (please give to me labeled with student name) by April 5th.

Other Calendar Notes for March/April:
March 7th, Donuts for Belize fundraiser before school
March 9th, Casual for a Cause day (see above notes)
March 12th, End of quarter forms needed
March 15th, NO CERAMICS after school
March 16th, Free Dress Day earned from filling Trivia Night Tables
March 19th-23rd, NO SCHOOL - Spring Break
March 30th, NO SCHOOL - Good Friday
April 2nd, NO SCHOOL - Easter Monday
April 5th, Operetta Shirt Due (see above and/or Mrs. Killian's emails)
April 5th, Literacy Night 6-7:30, stay tuned for more details about this evening of fun and literacy!
April 8th, CCLS Sunday at Concordia, Kirkwood
April 10th, Parent Event - Financial Literacy, stay tuned for more details
April 16th-20th, Achievement Tests
April 26th, Elementary Grandparent's Day
April 26th, 7pm Elementary Operetta - students are expected to participate
April 27th and 28th, Middle School musical

In Christ our Mighty Fortress,
Mr. Fishburn

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Week of Feb. 26

Memory Work:
Psalm 32:5
I acknowledged my sin to you, and I did not cover my iniquity; I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the Lord,” and you forgave the iniquity of my sin.

1 John 1:8-9
If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

Six Flags Read to Succeed Verification must be provided by noon, Wednesday, Feb. 28 to be submitted before I'm locked out of the system! Last call!

Old magazines or sales flyers? In preparation for our future economics unit we are looking for old magazines or sales flyers that students can analyze and will be able to cut pictures out of for different parts of the unit.

We began keyboarding practice last week. Students are encouraged to practice at home - they should know their log-in information or I can send it to you via email if needed. The program is EduTyping. This is a new program we are trying this year and currently it is just set up as a 30-day trial period. Lots of practice this month (in about 10 minute maximum lengths) at home and school during this period would be great.

Friday, February 2, 2018

Week of Feb 5

2018 is already flying by! I cannot believe that we are in February already! There are several important reminders below for the coming days/weeks.

As you have heard repeatedly (it seems like anytime you turn on the news) this is a really, really bad year for sicknesses, and not just the flu! We are doing all we can to try to keep things disinfected, but as Mr. Butterfield and Nurse Michelle have repeatedly shared, the best thing to help stop the spread of illnesses is to keep your children at home when they are sick and follow the 24+ hour rule before returning to school. Our immune systems can only fight so much at once, this includes those of us that are healthy and those of us recovering. One of the national trends being noticed is picking up something new very soon after being out sick - remember your immune system does not immediately go back to 100% and there is so much being spread around. Make sure you allow recovery time, as well as getting past the point of being contagious. Thank you!

Candygrams and Valentine's Day
The 8th grade class trip fundraiser for Candygrams went home this week.  Please return them to the school office. They will be put in student's Valentine Bags to be opened after they get home. Please help remind your student not to discuss how many, etc. candygrams received.

We will make Valentine's Day bags this week for art for students to place Valentines in on the the 14th. If students choose to bring Valentines they are asked to bring Valentines for every student in the class. We have 22 students (including your student) - a class list will be sent home on Monday in student mail for names.

Valentines will not be opened at school, even during the class party. The Valentines Party is scheduled for 2:00 on the 14th.

Just a reminder that there is no school for students on Monday/Tuesday February 12th/13th for teacher professional development days. We are also off on Monday the 19th for President's Day.

Memory Work:
The Third Article of the Creed
I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy Christian church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting.  Amen.

Spelling Words:
This will be our last week of homophones. Just a reminder that students need to be able to identify which form it is by the sentence used and correctly spell it. Words will be given in random order.

Please help your student be practicing their multiplication facts. Saxon expects them to acquire them quickly and many homework problems will begin to get very difficult and facts are not known. While some of the date on the math tab of my blog are for last year's information (I will soon be updating those based on where we are at) there are many additional resources to help with multiplication linked. Please check it out. Spending 5 minutes a night or while in the car will make a huge difference on acquisition of multiplication facts. Quick recall of facts becomes essential for helping students feel successful in math both for the remainder of this year but in many concepts that will be covered in 4th grade math.

This week we began to look at 2 digit by 1 digit multiplication. However, you will also note that we are not beginning by teaching your student the "traditional" algorithm/set-up you might be used to using. No, Mrs. Hirsch and I haven't gone crazy or decided to teach "weird math" but we are exposing your students to additional (often easier to grasp when first beginning) algorithms. We will get to the traditional method, but it will be one of the last introduced because it is one of the most abstract forms of understanding multiplication for students. It will likely become the most efficient method for them eventually, but they need a solid understanding of the principles of multiplication for higher level math in future years.

Thursday and Friday we worked on expanded form (sometimes called partial product or box method) multiplication - see if your student can explain it and do some examples for you this weekend! (We even went to some challenges of 2 digit by 2 digit multiplication which they can easily do in this format - and they could even go larger if they wanted!) In about two weeks, we'll switch rooms and Mrs. Hirsch will teach them the lattice multiplication strategy.

In Christ our Mighty Fortress,
Mr. Fishburn

Sunday, January 28, 2018

Week of Jan. 29

It was an exciting opportunity to celebrate who we are as a Lutheran School and our part in the larger mission of Lutheran schools around the United States and world! United together in mission and purpose, serving our God hand-in-hand. The exemplification of Paul's explanations of the Church as a body. Each in our own place with our own purpose, but moving together for the same purpose, in function with each other, not against each other. I always love National Lutheran Schools Week because we have the opportunity to really focus on this. Plus we have lots of other activities and fun to celebrate!

But now, we get back to "normal."

Memory Work:
First, I realized over the weekend that with everything extra on Friday, we never did memory work. We will say it orally as a class and everyone will get 100% if EVERYONE is attempting to participate, otherwise we will have it Tuesday.

Last Week Review - 
1 Corinthians 15:57
Thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

Acts 4:12
There is salvation in no one else [but Jesus], for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.

New memory work for this week - 
Ephesians 2:10
For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.

2 Corinthians 5:20
We are ambassadors for Christ, God making His appeal through us.

We wrapped up our multiplication book work this week and are beginning our fact tests. Students have up to 3 attempts to pass each fact family in less than 40 seconds before the best grade is final. Students do not have to attempt a quiz each day, but the need to attempt 2-3 times per week will be needed to keep on pace to pass all facts as needed this year. We will test our facts in order from easiest to master to hardest, meaning we will follow the following order: x0, x1, x10, x2, x5, x3, x4, x9, x6, x7, x8 Extra Credit x11, x12
Also, just as a note, for the next few weeks we will be skipping over lessons that have already been covered by work in our multiplication books, therefore, I will be stressing, but continue to stress at home that students pay attention to the correct lesson number, not just the next lesson in the book. (Monday LS 51/52 - HW only for 52, Tuesday LS 53, Wednesday Supplemental Review Assignment, Thursday LS 58, Friday Supplemental Assignment)

This week we continue with homophones.

which - choice (which one would you like)
witch - the person (the wicked witch of the west)
road - to drive on
rode - to be in/on something moving (we rode the bus, we rode horseback)
your - belongs to you (your pencil)
you're - you are (you're special)
knight - the person/guard (the knight in shining armor)
night - evening hours when sun is down (it is dark at night)
pairs - sets of 2 (how many pairs of socks do you have)
pears - the fruit (I love to eat pears)
peace - calm, not violent (I feel at peace)
piece - part of a whole (piece of the puzzle)
toes - body part on your foot (you have 10 toes)
tows - to haul behind (he tows his boat behind the truck, she tows her blanket around everywhere)
wait - to pause and anticipate (please wait your turn)
weight - a measure of how big (what was the weight of the watermelon)
weather - what it's like outside (the weather forecast did not look like we would have nice days)
whether - choice (I had to decide whether I wanted vanilla or chocolate ice cream)

In Christ Our Mighty Fortress,
Mr. Fishburn

Sunday, January 21, 2018

National Lutheran Schools Week Reminders

This week is an exciting week as we celebrate that Lutheran schools all across the nation are celebrating that It's Still All About Jesus - Yesterday, Today, Forever.  We have some fun school wide projects, chapel family activities, and celebration dress days planned for this week.

Please remember, if you are not participating in fun dress days, you are expected to follow normal uniform expectations.

Monday - 
Comfy Clothes/PJ Day
Tuesday - 
Favorite Team Dress Day
Wednesday - 
Decade Day (Dress from a decade of the past 100 years in honor of the 100th day of school)
Thursday - 
Crazy Hair/Hat Day and Neon Clothes (If not wearing neon clothes CCLS uniform expected)
3rd Grade Jump Rope for Heart Day
Friday - 
School Spirit Day
Author Visit Day

Thank you to everyone who brought a small gift item in so that we can make birthday bags for Operation Food Search. We were able to collect enough items and supplement with what was still needed so that we will be able to make 100 kits as a school campus!

Memory Work:
1 Corinthians 15:57
Thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

Acts 4:12
There is salvation in no one else [but Jesus], for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.

(We will return to the 3rd Article of the Creed in a few weeks. This gives us time to continue talking about what the 2nd Article means before moving forward).

Saturday, January 6, 2018

Week of January 8

Welcome back! We survived our short week, although we were plenty tired! Getting back into that school routine always seems to take a bit extra energy. I pray that you had a blessed, relaxing, and worshipful break as we celebrated our Savior's birth!

Please bear with me on this post, it will be long as there are many calendar information pieces to cover at the end...

Your child received their report card on Friday.

For this week:

Spelling - 
This week we begin a multi-week look at homophones. I have selected out pairs of homophones that I have noticed our class struggles with and/or are typical pairs needed to learn in 3rd grade. Therefore, for the next few weeks our lists will not be individualized lists. However, there is a different component I need you to help your student prepare for - that is the meaning of each spelling.  Words are on the list in pairs and the test will be given in random order, requiring students to distinguish which is the correct word based on my usage sentence. (For example, if be and bee were on our list bee might fall as test word #4 and be might fall as #7 - students would have to distinguish from my sentence which word is needed; I will try to make the sentences as straightforward as possible, I'm not attempting to trick just ensure spelling for the correct usage).

We are starting with easier pairings this week as we understand the process of these lists. This week's words are:
(one of the above words will serve as a bonus word, however I'm not telling which one until the test...)

We will still take a practice test on Wednesday and a final test for those who need to on Thursday. Thursday's test will use different sentences and a different word order.

Memory Work - 
First Article of the Creed
I believe in God, the Father Almighty, maker of heaven and earth.

Genesis 1:1
In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.

**Please remember that memory work for the entire year is available on the Memory Work page of the blog. Here is a link to the semester's printable version. I will also send a semester set home this week.

Math Notes - 
Right before break and now heavily the last three days we have been getting into fractions (students have been doing extra work with fractions for me instead of the traditional book lesson assignments for these lessons). Every year this is a very hard concept for students to understand as this is their first major, prolonged, in depth exposure to fractions. Most students will continue to need additional support at home beyond just the work we do in class to master fractions to the level they truly need to in the time our curriculum expects.

Currently our fraction work involves creating a model for a fraction equal to or less than 1 - no mixed numbers/improper fractions... yet.... (your traditional circle or square representation)
-We primarily focus on fractions with denominators (bottom numbers) of 2, 3, 4, 6, 8 (although 5 and 10 occasionally appear) when drawing representations.

We started comparing fractions when the denominators (bottom number) are the same - ex: 5/6 > 3/6
-Point to remember, if the denominators are the same, we only need to look at the numerators. The largest numerator is the largest fraction.

We started comparing fractions when the numerators (top number) are the same - ex: 1/4 < 1/2
-Point to remember, if the numerators are the same, we only need to look at the denominators. The largest number on the denominator is the smallest fraction.

We will get into comparing fractions with mixed numerators and denominators next week. In 3rd grade, we primarily use tools, such as fraction bars (the link has no labels, labeling with he fractions can be good practice, otherwise a Google search will yield plenty of fraction bar resources) to help us with that comparison (I teach the students to make sure to use a ruler when comparing fractions because our eyes can be deceiving, but a straight line with the edge or a clear ruler will help you confirm your belief). We will eventually get into some equivalent fractions. Teaching to convert to like denominators in order to easily compare is traditionally a fourth grade skill, but one that can certainly be expanded on now at home.

Before break we talked about measuring on a ruler to the nearest quarter of an inch. Overall we are doing fairly well at this, but I notice times when we forget that a whole inch or half inch are also quarters of an inch. The errors seem inconsistent, so it would be a good skill to reinforce at home if you have some extra practice time or something to double check as your student is working.

Now that I've overwhelmed you with fraction information, we also begin multiplication in about a week...
I will teach and eventually assess knowledge of facts at an individual rate in the following order: x0, x1, x10, x11, x2, x5, x3, x4, x9, x6, x7, x8 Challenge work: x12
More information about the assessment process will come in a future post. This one is long enough already.
The greatest pre-multiplication strategy that I have seen work and seen research to support is that students know their skip counting patterns. If you can skip count by threes you will learn your threes multiplication facts incredibly quicker. We work on these throughout the year, but especially the larger numbers can always use some extra support at home. Make it a routine to every night go through some skip counting sequences.

Preparing for Author Visit - 
Our annual author visit will be Friday, January 26th. There will be more information coming about the event soon, so watch for emails and/or flyers. HOWEVER, book pre-sales (if you wish to have them autographed) are DUE THIS FRIDAY, JANUARY 12th - NO LATE EXCEPTIONS. The flyer should have gone home with your student on Friday. Our class will be learning about Sea Turtles and using the books Turtle Tide and Sea Turtle Scientist. Many students enjoy getting a copy of the books that they study in class for the visit (this will become our science topic for the next two weeks). Find out more about Steve Swinburne at his website: He is coming with high recommendations from some of our connections and I met him in person at a conference two years ago and had a great conversation with him. I'm so excited that we get to bring him to CCLS!

Book Orders - 
I will be placing the Scholastic book order on Friday, January 12th. If your child plans to use their Christmas coupon from me for a free book from the book orders, please return it to me before Friday. You are welcome to order other books by flyer or online, however the free book can only happen if you give it to me (since it's from me and not a Scholastic discount code). To order online my classroom code is MHHCD.

This is also the date that the Steve Swinburne Author Visit Book order forms are due back (please make sure to write your child's information on the form, including how you would like the book autographed)

Now I think we're ready for the upcoming calendar of dates/events with their special notes:

Terrific Tuesdays start January 23 - be on the immediate lookout for a sign-up email from Mrs. Leet.

January 9 - Kindergarten Round-Up (Do you know any families to invite, please share the information with them)

Jump Rope for Heart information should be coming home from Mrs. Knost this week - keep your eyes open for that information

January 15 - NO SCHOOL (MLK Day)

January 17 - We plan to take a campus picture of students in the shape of either a heart or cross after chapel for use during National Lutheran Schools Week. Nothing special is required, but just in case your student is one that wants to brush their hair an extra time that morning, etc. a heads up...

January 17 - Requested deadline for small gifts to be included in National Lutheran Schools Week service project Birthday Bags for Operation Food Search. More specific information will be coming very soon (including our class goal for number of small gifts and whether we are collecting boy or girl gifts - just keep this on your radar)

January 19 - Bingo Night held in the cafeteria at Concordia Kirkwood. Watch the Charger and/or email for additional information, including pizza orders. Pizza will be available at 6:00 for those who order, followed by Bingo at 6:30. It's always a fun night!

January 21 - You are invited to join worship at Prince of Peace as they host their CCLS Sunday at the 9:00 worship service.

This is our time when we celebrate the opportunity to be a Lutheran school and proudly proclaim our faith through spirit days, fun activities, and service projects, in addition to some normal daily routines.

Information confirming all below information will be coming very soon.  Mostly consider this your head's up...
Mon, Jan 22 - Comfy Dress Day; Beginning of Day Chapel Family Activity, Day we will assemble service project Birthday Bags
Tues, Jan 23 - Favorite Team Dress Day; (Possible Jump Rope for Heart Event date)
Wed, Jan 24 - Decade Day (also is 100th day of school unless we have a snow day...)
Thurs, Jan 25 - Hat and/or Neon Day (Most likely Jump Rope for Heart Event date - Mrs. Knost is finalizing the schedule)
Fri, Jan 26 - CCLS Spirit Day; Author Visit; End of Day Chapel Family Activity
**Anyone not participating in a Spirit Wear Day is expected to maintain CCLS uniform expectations

January 30 - 6:30 Parent CCLS-University event on the topic of Social Media - be on the lookout for additional information.

February 4 - You are invited to join Glendale Lutheran Church for worship at 9:15 in celebration of CCLS Sunday

February 12th/13th - NO SCHOOL for students, Teacher Professional Development, optional Parent Teacher conferences will be available on the afternoon of the 13th.

February 19th - NO SCHOOL (President's Day)

Thanks for sticking with me through all of that! I know it was a lot, but it's straight into a busy period.

In Christ our Mighty Fortress,
Mr. Fishburn