Wednesday Math

Here are some problems to solve.  Have fun!

15 kids went to Water Country together. 

They each slid down a slide 7 times.

How many trips did the kids slide at Water Country altogether?

When they were finished, they went inside and had ice creams.  Each ice cream had 6 different scoops of ice cream.

How many scoops of ice cream were they served altogether?

There were four bowls of pretzels.  Each bowl had 213 pretzels in it.

How many pretzels were there altogether?

 Ellia, Logan and Michael each ate 68 of the pretzels. How many pretzels were left when they were finished eating?

Charlie subtracted 1,568,621 from 45,349,321 and got a difference of 43,780,700. (Reminder: the answer of a subtraction problem is called the “difference.”)   

Is Charlie correct?

Find the difference to show how you know.

Monday Reading

I read a lot of wonderful books this week.  I wish I could walk through the classroom door and hand them to you and tell you exactly why I think you’d love them.  I hope you’ll go to the library to find some, or you stop by the classroom next year  on your way upstairs to borrow some.  I’ll review a couple favorites today, and a couple tomorrow.  There are pictures of some of the other books I’ve read and recommend in the sidebar.  I hope you’ve found some great books this summer.  Let me know what you are reading in the comments below.

I discovered a new mystery series from England this week.  Fabio is the world’s greatest flamingo detective, who along with his friend and associate, Gilbert Giraffe, are known around Lake Laloozee as the go to pair when an emergency arises.  Business is not going well at the Hotel Royale – the best place around for refreshing pink lemonade – and so one of the owners is thinking of trying something new.  They are going to host a talent show.  They hope this will boost business.  Fabio and Gilbert listen to the plans while sipping their lemonade, but something seems amiss.  The dive of a hippo splashes the customers completely. The rhinoceros dramatically claims illness and backs out as talent show judge, begging Fabio to replace her.  He reluctantly agrees, but doesn’t see how he fits in with the other two judges – a used car salesman and a dance instructor.  The show must go on.  Some acts are bad, others are atrocious and yet. all seem to make it through to the next round.  At last there is one act that actually seems to have some talent.  The power flashes out and the act disappears.  Read Fabio The World’s Greatest Flamingo Detective in The Case of the Missing Hippo to find out what happens.  You’ll find some funny antics, silly adventure and perhaps you’ll locate some clues before Fabio does and solve the case early.

A Friendship for Today takes place in Missouri in 1954 through 1955.  It is a fictionalize story of the author’s, Patricia McKissack’s life.  The book begins on the last day of school, Report Card Day, when Rosemary, J.J. and the rest of their friends are saying good-bye to each other on their last day at Attucks, a segregated school.  Over the summer they prepare for their 6th grade year in new integrated schools.  As the year begins, Rosemary find herself the only African-American child in 6th grade – on top of that, J.J. her best friend in the world is struggling miles away with paralysis caused by polio and Grace Hamilton, one of the few white girls in her neighborhood, is assigned to sit beside Rosemary.  Friendless, and seated beside one of her worst enemies, Rosemary has to figure out how to deal with prejudice and find it in her heart to learn what it means treat everyone with kindness and generosity.  There is so much more in the book.  Read it and let me know what speaks most loudly to you.

Here’s one of my favorite parts.  I like Mr. Bob, the owner of the corner store.  He wise and he shares this with gentle loving-kindness.

School lets out at 12:30 – not a moment too soon. I kick off my shoes and dash home.  I’m anxious to tell Mama I want to transfer and to hear how J.J. is doing.  But first, I stop off at Mr. Bob’s to buy myself a treat.  I deserve one.

“There’s a storm brewing in your face,” he says.  “Was the first day that bad?”

“Mr. Bob, it was awful.  Way, way awful.”

” A lot of name-calling?”

“Some.  But it could have been worse.  The hardest part is not having any of my friends there with me, especially J.J.

“My wife and I heard about J.J. and we’re sick at heart.  The whole community is praying for him,” says Mr. Bob.  “Hang in there,” Mr. Bob adds.  “Your a pioneer in the real sense of the word, Rosemary.  Whenever you are the first, you’re going to have it hard.  I was in the Army-Air Force during World War II.  They said colored men couldn’t fly airplanes, especially in combat.  but we Tuskegee pilots proved ourselves repeatedly.  So, I say this to you so you’ll maybe gather strength from my words.  Be the best you can be, and that’s all any can ask.”

“Thank you, Mr. Bob,” I say and hurry home.

It will help your understanding grow beyond Freedom Summer, Uncle Jeb’s Barbershop, The Other Side and Let the Children March.

Friday Quick Write Ideas

Steamy weather is on the way… these prompts are to help you remember all the things you love about summer – even when it’s HOT!

Read through the prompts, think about them for a bit and when you’re ready, find ten quiet minutes to begin…  It’s okay if you finish one idea and  begin another.  Just try to keep writing for the whole ten minutes.  It’s also okay if you don’t finish when the time is up… you decide:  stop, or keep writing.   You may want to post your quick write as a comment, or on your own blog. Have fun writing!

Where is your favorite place to go in the summer?  Tell a story about being there.  Can you include all five senses?

What is your favorite family summer tradition?

Write about poem about the first day of summer.

Write a poem about the last day of summer.

What is your favorite summer memory?

Happy Writing!

Wednesday Math

Sorry about missing last Friday’s Quick Writes and Monday’s book reviews.  We went on a family vacation.  We camped on Students Island on Mooselookmeguntic Lake in Oquossoc, Maine. We had fun swimming, fishing, canoeing, hiking, playing and relaxing together.  Here’s the view from our tent door.  I hope you’re having a wonderful summer too.

Here are some problems to solve.  Have fun!

Eddie had three huge bins of Legos.  One had 14,567 long bricks in it. Another had 21,934 medium bricks in it and the last had 20,385 small bricks in it.

How many Lego bricks did Eddie have altogether?

He used 32,987 of the bricks to build a house.

How many Lego bricks were left for other projects?

Ella collected shells.  She had 2,423 white shells, 2,056 yellow shells and 1,308 speckled shells.

She used 2,388 of her shells to decorate one box and 839 to decorate another. 

How many shells did Ella have left for other projects?

There were 7 teams playing in the soccer tournament. Each team had 15 players.  How many players were in the soccer tournament altogether?

There were 6 teams in the football playoff. Each team had 14 players.  How many players were in the football play off altogether?

Were there more soccer players or football players?     How many more?

Wednesday Math

Here are some problems you might have fun solving.

Sophia made three huge piles of books.  One had 1,567 short books, another had 2,934 picture books and the last had 3,085 chapter books.

How many books did Sophia have altogether?

She read 2,034 of the books in when she was in  third grade.

How many books were left for her to read in fourth grade?

Liam collected Mighty Beanz.  He had 1,423 Disney character Mighty Beans, 2,057 Marvel Superhero Mighty Beans and 286 Animal Mighty Beanz.

How many Mighty Beanz does Liam have altogether?

Liam got some new Fortnite Mighty Beanz for his birthday.  Now he has 4000 Mighty Beanz altogether. 

How many new mighty beanz did Liam get for his birthday?

Mrs. McComb had 1,750 books on the library cart to put back on the shelves.  She put 639 books on the fiction shelves and 867 books on the nonfiction shelves.

How many books did she still have left on the cart to put away?

Monday Reading

Here are some book suggestions you might want to explore.

Hummingbirds by Nicola Davies begins: ” Ruby-throated hummingbirds are tiny- they weigh less than a nickel – but every spring they fly up to 2,000 miles from Mexico and Central America to spend the summer in the United States and Canada, where they build their nests and have their babies.  In the fall, they fly all the way back again to spend the winter where it’s warm.”  A story begins in a granny’s garden in Central America where she and her visiting granddaughter are enjoying the beauty and wonder of the hummingbirds all around.  The girl flies home to New York and the hummingbirds follow – though they take much longer.  Readers learn all about the hummingbird migration until the reach the girl New York city where they raise their young and are ready to travel back again to granny’s garden.  There are lots of interesting facts tucked into the story.  Did you know hummingbird nests are made with thistledown, lichen and spider silk so they are stretchy enough to expand as the fledging grow?  Did you know scientist have been able to band some hummingbirds and have learned they can live nine years?  There’s lots to discover in the gorgeous book.  Enjoy!

Who Built That? Bridges by Didier Cornille introduces ten important bridges and their designers. Starting in 1779 with the first cast iron bridge built by Thomas Farnolls Pritchard in the United Kingdom  and ending with the Mucen Footbridge built in 2013 by Rudy Ricciotti in France readers learn about the design challenges architects and tackled to create stronger, longer lasting and more beautiful structures through time.  It is interesting to learn about the structural, design factors designers and builders need to consider and how much present bridge makers rely on the work of those before them to guide their choices and help them consider options when issues arise.  It’s fun to imagine what the future will bring.

It’s still early in Frankie Sparks’ 3rd grade year, but it seems as though it’s going to be a good one. She likes her teacher, Ms. Cupid and her best friend is in her class this year too.  Frankie is looking forward to sharing her weekend trip to visit her aunt who is a rodentologist at a nearby university.  The story of her visit connects perfectly with the next thing the teacher has to share with the class.  Ms. Cupid unveils an empty aquarium and says they have a week to research  and create a convincing presentation about what their class pet should be.  Frankie knows immediately that the class should get a rat and she begins to convince others, knowing her best friend will certainly agree – except she doesn’t.  Frankie has some decisions to make – and they’re not easy.  I think you’ll like reading all about it in, Frankie Sparks and the Class Pet by Megan Frazer Blakemore.  

Eric Harper misses his grandmother – misses knowing she’s right down the path in her farm house. She’s in a nursing home and her farm has been sold to a veterinarian with a daughter who is bossy and rude. Eric figured this out when they met – she was posting a “No Trespassing – No Hunting” sign in his treehouse tree on his family’s property, Harper Woods. That same day Eric discovered that the famed white deer of the woods did exist, but it was not a deer. Eric knew that no deer shimmered like that and that no deer had an ivory colored horn on its forehead. Eric discovered the “deer” was a unicorn and that it was hurt and needed care.  After following the unicorn to the barn, Eric is hired to help. One of his jobs is to care for the unicorn and that’s just the beginning of the adventure. Eric has much more to learn about his family history, his destiny and the secrets of Harper Woods.  Read The Unicorn in the Barn by Jacqueline K. Ogburn.  You’ll be glad you did.

If you’ve got some books to recommend, please leave a comment.  What have you been reading this summer?

Friday Quick Write Ideas

This week’s quick write are about gratitude.  We’ve written about things we are thankful for in the past, but it’s always good to take time to appreciate our blessings.  Read through the prompts, think about them for a bit and when you’re ready, find ten quiet minutes to begin…  It’s okay if you finish one idea and  begin another.  Just try to keep writing for the whole ten minutes.  It’s also okay if you don’t finish when the time is up… you decide:  stop, or keep writing.   Post your Quick Write as a comment, or on your own blog. Have fun writing!

Count Your Blessings – In what ways are you fortunate?  Make a list of at least 10 things you are grateful for.  Include people and things, events and experiences, past or present.

What do you like about North Hampton?  Why are you grateful to live there?

Write about something good that happened to you this week.   What’s the story?

What talent do you have that you are grateful for?  How do you use your talent?  How do you share it?

Invent a holiday to celebrate a person you care about – “Aunt Ann Day” or “Dad Appreciation Day” for example.  Write a paragraph expressing three reasons why you’re thankful for having this special person in your life.  Give them your paragraph.

Of course you can write about anything … enjoy creating!

Wednesday Math

Here are some problems to solve.  Have fun!

When Logan started building with Legos, he had 12,035 bricks in a bin.

When he was finished there were 2,368 bricks left.

He had used 7,206 for a ship.  He used others to build a robot.

How many Legos did Logan use building his robot?

Ella collected shells.  She had 2,423 white shells, 2,056 yellow shells and 1,308 speckled shells.

She used 2,388 of her shells to decorate one box and 839 to decorate another. 

How many shells did Ella have left for other projects?

Ryan has 12,850 crayons.  Eddie has 10,739 crayons.

How many more crayons does Ryan have than Eddie?

Charlie has 1,258 more crayons than Eddie has. How many crayons does Charlie have?

If Ryan, Eddie and Charlie put all their crayons together, how many crayons will that be?


Monday Reading

Happy July!

I thought I’d share some picture books this week.  I hope you’ll check them out.  They are funny, interesting and make great mentors to model your writing on.

The first is The Panda Problem (Ella, this is one for you to read for sure) by Deborah Underwood.  It begins, “Once upon a time, there was a panda who lived in a beautiful bamboo grove.  But the panda had a BIG problem.”  The panda disagrees – “Nope.” The narrator replies, “Excuse me?”  Panda and the narrator continue to have a conversation.  Panda says, “I don’t have any problems.  Lovely view, lots of bamboo to eat, sunny day – what could be better?”

“Psssst … this is a story!  I’m the narrator.  And YOU are the main character.”

“The main character?  That sounds important!”

“It is!  But you need a problem.”


“So you can solve the problem.  That’s how the stories work.”

That is how stories work so the narrator and Panda have their work cut out for them.  They work through issues with  jellybeans, burping, aliens and some penguins, and finally find a problem, and then a solution, that satisfies everyone by the time the book is over.

Bethany Barton has written two other books using a similar format that I really like, I’m Trying to Love Spiders and Give Bees a Chance.  When I read about I’m Trying to Love Math, I thought I should get it right away.  Here’s the OFFICIAL Math Test from the flap of the book.  “What do you do when your teacher gives you a pop quiz with a problem like this?



  • a.  Whip out your pencil and shout, “Alakazam!”
  • b. Say you need to use the bathroom… for the rest of the class.
  • c. Run over to your teacher and give them a big ol’ hug.
  • d. Cross your eyes, fall to the floor and played dead.

If you chose a or c, you will LOVE this book.  It’s full of fascinating ways that math is used from gold records in space to golden ratios in nature.

If you chose b or d, you NEED this book.  It shows you that math is much more lovable when you understand that it’s in lots o things you already love – like cookies and pizza and music!”

Math really is about exploring and creating and understanding. I bet we can all agree we can’t live without it.  I don’t know if reading this book will totally change your mind when it comes to answering the opening question… but maybe?! Who knows.

Our Flag Was Still There – the True Story of Mary Pickersgill and The Star Spangled Banner tells the story of the flag that inspired our national anthem.  Thirty years after the Revolutionary War, the United States went to war with Britain again.  Major George Armistead, ready to lead the troops to defend Baltimore’s Fort McHenry wanted to send a message to the British.  He wanted them to know that this land was America.  He asked Mary Pickersgill, the owner of a flag making shop, if she could do the job, and fast.  She said yes, and so in just a few weeks six women (sewing all by hand) created a flag that was 42 feet long and 30 feet tall to fly over the fort. The Battle of Fort McHenry happened on a stormy night.  It was difficult to tell who was winning until the sun came up to show the American flag. Francis Scott Key, was on a ship in the harbor while the battle raged.  He wrote a poem about what he saw.  That poem was put to music and in 1931 became our national anthem.  And the Star Spangled Banner… you can see it in the Smithsonian Museum – the flag is still there.

Quick Write Friday

I thinking about NOTEBOOKS – Reader Response Notebooks, Writers’ Notebooks, Science Notebooks, notebooks to capture thinking in…  If we keep them, over time can we see our learning?  If we take time to capture our thinking, will we learn more from it?  If we don’t write it down or draw it out, how will we know what we know?  What do you think about notebooks?

This week’s quick write suggestions combine science and imagination.  I wonder what you’ll choose and what you’ll write. Read through the prompts, think about them for a bit and when you’re ready, find ten quiet minutes to begin…  It’s okay if you finish one idea and  begin another.  Just try to keep writing for the whole ten minutes.  It’s also okay if you don’t finish when the time is up… you decide:  stop, or keep writing.   Post your Quick Write as a comment, or on your own blog. Have fun writing!

If trees could talk, what sorts of things would they have to say?  What might they say to people?  What might they say to each other?

What would you do if you suddenly found yourself able to communicate with animals?

Go outside and watch the clouds.  Thank write about the shapes and they things you saw.  What do you think is going on up there?

You and your friend time travel to a place in the distant future…what is your mission there?  Write a story describing what happens.  (Maybe you’ll meet Roz.)