MRS. MICKONIS 




Welcome to Room A219! Often in my classroom I carry the same theme through all of the subjects we are currently studying. For example, if we are learning about the history of the Southeast we will be reading a story about slaves escaping from the Southeast on the Underground Railroad, and then looking for examples of irregular verbs in the same story. Then, in math, the children will solve word problems based on slavery, and in science they will talk about constellations, which the slaves used to guide them on their way north. I feel children are more likely to remember their lessons if they are immersed in what they are learning, so that is why I try to tie my subjects together.  I also feel writing and reading go hand-in-hand, so many times my students write short stories based on one of the stories we have read in class.


 
 



Check out these areas on this page:

daily homework subject summaries classroom news future assignments websites for kids
student writing samples             3-D Word Projects

 
 


Today's Homework Reminders




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Subject Information

  • Reading: The St. Clair School District uses the Reading Street textbook series in grades 1 through 5. This textbook focuses on the new Pennsylvania Core Standards that students will be tested on during the PSSA tests in the spring. In fourth grade, we emphasize figurative language and higher level thinking skills like inferencing, drawing conclusions, and analyzing story elements like characters, setting, and plot. We will still be using some of the novel sets that the district has to supplement the textbook series.



  • Classroom Novels
    Bunnicula is a science fiction story about a family that finds a rabbit at a Dracula movie. When their cat and dog meet the newest addition to the family, the cat is convinced that the bunny is a vampire. The students love the funny antics that follow as the cat tries to rid the family of the danger and the dog tries to save his new friend from getting killed and his old friend from being kicked out. Thank You, Jackie Robinson is a story about a young boy in 1947 who loves the Brooklyn Dodgers and his older, African-American  friend, Davy. This historical fiction book introduces students to the people who put an end to the color barrier in Major League Baseball, and the prejudices they had to overcome. Baseball knowledge is optional when reading this story.
     We will try to coordinate reading Top Secret with science lessons on photosynthesis, because in this story a young boy turn himself into a plant for his science project. That's right, a plant, complete with green skin and aphids. Will his discovery solve the world's hunger problem? Does he ever turn back into a regular food-consuming ten year-old? You'll have to read the story to find out. Chocolate Fever is very similar to Top Secret in that a boy undergoes mysterious physical changes. This time, though, he turns into a walking chocolate bar! Somehow our chocolate friend, Henry Green, manages to escape from a hospital, foil a robbery, and turn himself back into a regular nine year-old. Students will find out in this comical story, that you actually can have too much of a good thing, even chocolate.
    Freedom Crossing is another historical fiction novel that exposes children to the plight of slaves trying to escape from their masters. The slave on the run is only twelve years old and the abolitionists who help him are also teenagers, so students get to look at this event through the eyes of children close to their own age. This story is filled with suspense; sometimes I can't get the kids to leave when we're reading it. I Have a Dream is the biography of Martin Luther King Jr. This book takes students through Martin's first experience with segregation when he was six years old, his discovery of peaceful ways to protest, his leadership role during the Civil Rights Protests in the South, and his assassination in Memphis. While reading the book the kids take part in a discrimination project that gives them some idea of what it was like to be treated unfairly because of who you are.
    The Titanic Sinks gives the students a taste of nonfiction.  The novel introduces the students to the actual crew and passengers on the doomed ship, and takes them through its tragic voyage from start to finish.  Although it contains only facts, it is written like a novel. Even though most of the children know the ending, they still find it suspenseful, as they wait to see who survives and who perishes. Stone Fox is an example of realistic fiction set in the West. A young boy named Willy must somehow find a way to raise enough money to pay the taxes on his grandfather's potato farm or lose his home. He decides to enter a local dogsled race to win the prize money despite the fact he has only his pet, Searchlight, to pull his sled. Students can't wait to find out if Willy and Searchlight can beat Stone Fox and his team of dogs.


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    Classroom News


     

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    Future Assignments

    The following are due dates for some of your child's assignments.  Please note that they may be changed if circumstances in school create a need to extend some of the dates.
     


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    Websites for Kids

    These are some sites I use when I am teaching about different subjects in reading, science, or social studies. These are links, so if you click on one of these words you will leave this page and go to that site.



    This is a site I like to visit just for fun.


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      Link to the St. Clair Elementary/Middle School homepage
     
     

    Striving for Excellence