Introductions Liesl Madden 23 years teaching 3rd, 4th, or 5th grade in California, Colorado, and Pennsylvania

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  • Introductions…. Liesl Madden
  • 23 years teaching 3rd, 4th, or 5th grade in California, Colorado, and Pennsylvania
  • Loving teaching and kids more than ever!
  • Relocated from San Francisco in 2007
  • Masters in Reading
  • Gifted Education background
  • Mother to 11 year old James

Important Beliefs in Classroom

  • The teacher understands, appreciates, and builds upon student differences
  • Multiple intelligences and body-brain compatible curriculum are key!
  • Assessment and instruction are inseparable
  • The teacher adjusts content, process, and product in response to student readiness, interest, and learner profile
  • All students participate in respectful, meaningful work
  • Students and the teacher are collaborators in learning
  • Goals are maximum growth and individual success
  • Flexibility is the hallmark of this differentiated classroom

Daily Schedule

  • 8:30 Homeroom
  • 8:40 Math
  • 10:00 Encore (PE, art, music, library, guidance)
  • 10:45 Intervention/Enrichment (Differentiating Instruction, pull outs)
  • 11:25 Recess/Lunch
  • 12:10 Literacy Block
  • Word Study/Grammar
  • Whole class reading/Target Vocabulary/Fluency/Comprehension
  • Guided Reading and Literacy Centers
  • Writing
  • 2:10 Science or Social Studies
  • 3:05 Dismissal

Positive Approach in Room 213

  • Modeling Expectations
  • Lifeskills (cooperation, organization, caring, etc.)
  • Individual praise - Thank yous, Super Student Notes
  • Team work – nuggets, pasta
  • Small Deal – Wave Out
  • Modeling, rewards
  • and targeted praise =
  • preventative discipline

Math – Workshop Format Daily!

  • Warm up activities –Build number sense and basic skills
  • Introduction of new content – Main part of lesson often begins with discussion. Apply and explore content through activities.
  • Centers–practice/review skills through math boxes, small group differentiated instruction, FIM, EDM games, Enrichment projects
  • Groundworks for Algebraic thinking
  • Home link – review and independent practice – show your work 

Literacy Block

  • Formal instruction through shared reading – clarifying, predicting, connecting, summarizing, inferencing, etc.
  • Guided Reading – the heart of the reading program (instructional level, specific needs groups)
  • Literature Study Groups – responses and discussion, interpreting quotes, using strategies
  • Independent Reading
  • Read aloud – interactive, shared, choral, oral
  • Literature extension activities– genre study, reader’s theater, student-made videos, Multiple Intelligences response opportunities
  • Reading Strategies:
  • Connections
  • Visualization
  • Questioning
  • Inferences
  • Synthesis
  • Summarizing
  • Text Structures
  • Wonders Reading and Language Arts Program

Writer’s Workshop

  • Informational, Persuasive, Narrative
  • Modeling/Formal instruction – using Mentor Texts to model content, organization, style or voice, mechanics, sentence fluency
  • Conferring/conferencing
  • The Writing Process - brainstorm, draft, share/revise, edit, publish
  • Guided and Independent writing – poetry, journals, prompts, letters, reports, stories, jigsaws, etc.
  • Sharing and Evaluation
  • Wonders Analytical Writing – responding to reading
  • Wonders Reading and Language Arts Program

Different Writing Experiences

  • Published Piece:
    • 1 each Trimester, students create published piece
    • Explanatory Essay, Fictional Narrative, Opinion Essay
  • Apprentice Piece: Students go through writing process with evidence of revision
    • Personal Narrative, Opinion Essay, Expository Essay
  • Quick Writes: Ongoing opportunities to practice writing technique
  • Sustained Writing: Periodic time for self-selected topics to build stamina
  • On-Demand: 30 minute timed writing to plan, write, revise, and edit in response to District Prompt (tied to Apprentice Piece)

Spelling/Phonics/Grammar Study

  • Manipulate words/word parts in meaningful ways with word sorts/games
  • Study phonics patterns, rules, and exceptions
  • Target Vocabulary Words woven throughout literature students are exposed to
  • Specific grammar skills
  • Personal spelling list – words from students’ writing

Social Studies

  • Students engage in discussions,
  • simulations, explorations, technology, and literature study
  • Social Studies
  • Project Citizenship
  • Economics
  • See the USA


  • Students use the scientific and inquiry methods while experimenting, collecting and analyzing data, and answering their own research questions.
  • Electrical Circuits
  • Watery Earth
  • Nature’s Recyclers


  • Time when “pull outs” happen (band lessons, reading or speech specialist, etc.).
  • No new instruction - just reinforcing skills or challenging students to increase complexity of subject areas
  • Time to differentiate instruction
    • Special needs group (ex: review long division or higher level task in problem solving )
    • Literature Extension projects
    • Centers for literacy, math, word study


  • Moodle – Forum Discussions, Blogs, Web links, Study Guides and sites
  • Weebly – Homework, schedules, class photos, etc.
  • One Note – Class Collaboration, Individual Response pages
  • Power Point – Shared Presentations
  • Google Docs – Writing conferencing and working from home
  • Lab – research, composing writing projects
  • Smartboard lessons – interactive lessons reaching audio, visual, and kinesthetic learners
  • Collaboration across grade levels with little buddies

Classroom Web sites

  • Weebly - Portal for all classroom information and Homework assignments
  • Moodle - Online Learning Platform

Homework Expectations & Information

  • Home Link M-TH (Please circle problem areas but have children attempt to solve/show their work)
  • Read 20 to 30 minutes daily, Log mins in learn2earn, and respond in Reading Log (due Fridays)
  • Math games online (First in Math or EDM)
  • If schedules are busy or an issue comes up with HW, please contact me so I can extend due dates and\or help the child as needed.
  • Homework is posted on our Weebly site (can also be accessed through our Moodle site).
        • *Hurray! One Homework “Thank you” + 4 Thank yous = prize

Contact Information:

  • The best way to reach me is by email.
  • Please write WSDSECURE in your email to make sure it goes through.
  • 215-619-8106 ext. 4213
  • If you have an important message to get to your child, though, please call the office and have a message sent (in case I miss the email).

Before you leave!

  • Please take a few moments to write a quick note to your child in the Writing notebook on her/his desk.
  • Have a wonderful night! I look forward to being your partner in your child’s education!

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