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

Sunday, December 17, 2017

3 More Days

I pray that this week headed into Christmas finds you with time to find peace among the chaos. In the words of one of my favorite modern Christmas songs, "I need a silent night..." The future days will undoubtedly be filled with times of family and friends, cookies and gifts, traditions and new memories. But in the hustle and bustle, don't forget to find time for Christ the King. Christmas without Christ is just mas which to me sounds a lot like mess.

May your coming break be filled with joy and love, rest and peace. Cherish your time together and take time to worship together.

Speaking of worshipping together...
Reminder, that the all-school Advent service is Monday night at 6:30 at Concordia Kirkwood. Students need to be seated with their class by 6:25, please remember to allow time to park and use the restroom before this... At the end of the service, please come to our seats to take your child home. Please remember that this is a worship opportunity and will be an event with a worship feel and expectations. Students may wear their favorite Christmas outfit.  Afterwards, there will be the bake sale - all proceeds benefit teacher professional development funds, so THANK YOU for your support.

Christmas Party
Wednesday at 2:00 will be our class Christmas party. We will have inside pick-up following the parties.

Free Dress Day - Wednesday
Students have earned a free dress day as a result of all of their response for our recent service activities. Thank you for participating and making a difference in the lives of others locally and globally! This would be a great day to wear your favorite Christmas sweater or some other fun item!

Service Project Form
Please remember that I will need your service project form before you leave for break. They are available at the front office and I have a few in my classroom.

Church/Sunday School Attendance
Looking over the quarter's information, I missed some weeks for various reasons.  I will send home a form Monday that I'm asking for you to do your best to fill out and return to me ASAP. I apologize for any inconvenience.

No memory work, spelling, or other homework this week.

Recommended Christmas Break homework:
Read, read, read, take a break to write, read, read, do some fun math work to change it up, read, read, write, write, math again, write, go back to read, read, read! :-)

Christmas Blessings,
Mr. Fishburn

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Week of December 4

Special Item Reminders for This Week:
Book Orders - I sent the forms home yesterday. If you would like to place a December order, please do so by the end of the school day on Friday.  If you order online, my class code is MHHCD to connect. By ordering Friday, books should arrive before Christmas break. If you would like to order books as gifts, and would like me to keep them back for you to pick up, please let me know.

Santa's Workshop - We will go to Santa's Workshop at 8:45 Thursday morning. This is an opportunity for students to purchase small gift items and have them wrapped.  The envelope with the "budget sheet" was also sent home on Monday.

Food Drive - You should have received emails previously, but we are wrapping up our non-perishable food item drive for KirkCare in Kirkwood. Our goal is to collect 1,000 items.

This Week Information:
This week we launched into our new science topic of water (and eventually we'll add climate components). We are continuing to work our way through the people of the Christmas story for religion. We are continuing to transition back to other reading groups and work after coming out of our research clubs for the Thanksgiving projects and some follow-up/wrap-up last week.  Our special Christmas gift art projects are also coming along nicely! Monday we also spent time coding as part of the International Hour of Code Computer Science week (check out for more great resources). It's a busy time in 3rd grade!

Advent: It's also a busy time at home and in the church year. I know that many of you choose to worship together for this Advent season at your own church or the 3:45 service at Webster.  With that in mind, I will not assign Wednesday homework in December. Also, we will have inside pick-up on these Wednesdays as the parking lot gets too busy for outside pick-up.

Memory Work:
John 1:14
And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.

Philippians 3:20
But our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus.

Looking Ahead:
Next Friday, December 15th is the due dates for the student's map projects that were given out right before Thanksgiving. Students will be getting their graded map books back before the end of the week to use as a reference.  Students will present about their map beginning Monday the 18th.  I am not expecting a huge presentation just sharing the basic information about their country and map.

Mrs. Belsha has invited us to their Christmas program next week.  Since we have so many siblings I plan to take our class to attend. Mrs. Braun's class is leading chapel on Wednesday next week for their program.

Please remember that the all school Advent Worship Service is Monday, December 18th at 6:30 at Concordia Kirkwood.  Students are expected to attend and be seated with our class by 6:25. There will be a 3rd/4th grade recitation and song. The words for the recitation will become memory work next week in place of the Bible verses on the original schedule. Those words will come home Wednesday and I will post them on the blog as well tomorrow (they are currently not with me as I type this, my apologies).

Please plan to turn in service project forms before leaving for Christmas break.

Awaiting the Advent of our King, Christ our Mighty Fortress,
Mr. Fishburn

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Reminders Headed Into Thanksgiving

Memory Work (11/17):
Mark 16:16
Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned.

Romans 6:3-4
Do you not know that all of us who have been baptised into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life.

Note: The word bank for fill in the blank version will be combined for the two verses

There will be no memory work during the short Thanksgiving week.

Math and Social Studies Note:
Thursday we will begin a mini-unit which crosses over between math and social studies on map skills (covering standards for both subjects). There will be no math lesson from the math book until following Thanksgiving Break. 

There will be a final map making project. Instructions will come home on Friday. This project will be due back December 15th. (Not all of the map elements required will be taught by Friday, so if you begin the project right away, know that some of it will still be covered next week).

No Spelling Next Week

Thanksgiving Projects Information:
The students' group Thanksgiving Projects are in final film editing. All of the groups/students did a great job overall.  There was lots of deep learning that has taken place. 

Thanksgiving Celebration Reminder:
You are invited to join us for the video viewing of the projects next Tuesday, November 21 beginning at 1:00 in the church sanctuary.  Following the video presentations (approximately 2:00) you are invited to join us for pumpkin pie (which the students will be making on Monday afternoon) to celebrate their hard work.  For those of you who are already traveling for Thanksgiving, videos should be able to be shared with you following the celebration.

Scholastic Book Orders:
Book orders were sent home earlier this week. There are more flyer options available online as well. If you would like to place an order please send the forms back or order online by Monday, November 20th at noon. (I will place the order that afternoon). My online code to connect to our classroom is MHHCD.  If you would like to order any books as gifts please let me know and I will hold them back for you. I will plan to place an order in early December as well if you are looking for gifts then.

Field Trip Reminder:
We will be going to the Daniel Boone House on Monday, November 27th. (This is the Monday back from Thanksgiving Break). Due to requests from Daniel Boone House, this will be a student and teacher only field trip. Please pack a home lunch or let me know if you will need to order a school field trip lunch. I would like to give the kitchen a rough idea how many we will need before we leave for break.

In Christ our Mighty Fortress,
Mr. Fishburn