read a thon newsletterPosted by MARK MULDOWNEY on 9/27/2015
Tomorrow officially kicks off the Round Hill Read-a-Thon (however you can start sponsoring the kids today). We will be reading in class for 30 minutes a day for the next 10 days, giving the kids each a total of 300 minutes! Supporting the kids in their reading effort is as easy as 1-2-3!
The school is having a friendly contest to see which classroom will get the most sponsors and/or money donated to promote reading.There are many classes that are out to beat us since my class won last year. Our class also has a friendly challenge with Mrs. Stokley’s class. We even sang to her class, which I posted on our twitter feed (remember you can always see our tweets on our class web page).
Our class came up with an incentive to get sponsors. If our class has the most sponsors or money collected out of the entire school, the kids will get to SHAVE MY HEAD BALD. It is a great reward for them and a way I can encourage them to get sponsors.
I know that some families have financial hardships, so please let me know if you aren’t able to find sponsors for your child. I will try and sponsor the kids in our class who don’t have any sponsors.
I am also having some individual challenges for our class.
- If a student in our class is one of the top 20 sponsors in the school, they will have lunch in our classroom and I will provide a dessert for them of their choice.
- For the students in our class that get in the top 5 for donations or sponsors, I will provide them lunch from a local establishment.
- ..and of course the big one, if we get top in the school the kids will SHAVE MY HEAD BALD and we will have a snow cone party.
It is easy to have people sponsor your child. Just click on the link below or go on to our Round Hill home page, click on the PTA link and it will bring you right to the page to sponsor. Donations are tax deductible. This is our only fundraiser for the school year and is essential for providing our school with supplemental supplies. Please make sure to include my name, Mark Muldowney, so we can get credit for every donation. You just follow the directions and it is all done on line.
Also, every child in the school will get a new book for participating. Additionally, the child with the most sponsors in our class will get a clip book light and the child that brings in the most money will get a special edition T-shirt. Finally, if our class brings in the most money in the school, we will get a gigantic pillow for our reading area!
When you or someone sponsors your child, please make sure you leave a comment to let them know how proud you are of them reading. Some of the comments will be shared on our morning TV show.
Thank you so much for supporting the READ-A-THON. If you have any questions just let me know.
New School YearPosted by MARK MULDOWNEY on 9/9/2015
Muldowney's Class News
Well, we have made it through one week of school and I must say that I am very impressed with what I saw. I know that it is going to be a great year. I had a wonderful time this week getting to know the kids, as well as, hearing about what they love about school and what they don’t like about school. As I told the kids, I love to hear what subject they feel is their weakest or the subject they don’t like, because it is my job to change their mind by the end of the year, especially if it is math.
I also enjoyed getting some time to interact with you parents at back to school night and at meet the teacher. As I stated at back to school night, I feel that communication between us is essential. Please let me know if there is ever an issue. I usually check my email each night. I will also send a weekly email to highlight the upcoming week’s events, news and exciting things happening in our class. You can also follow our class on twitter @muldowneyclass. It is a great way for you to see what exciting things the kids are doing in class. If you don’t have twitter, don’t worry, the tweets are linked to my school webpage and you can go onto my webpage to see the many day’s adventures.
Blue Planet Odyssey
The Blue Planet Odyssey (BPO) is an around the world sailing event aimed at raising awareness of the state of the ocean. Our school got involved with the BPO when Mr. and Mrs. Posner came to our school last year and asked us to be part of their journey. The Posner's are sailing around the world on their sailboat, Joyful, studying things that have an impact on our oceans. They will be spending two years sailing around the world and they will be conducting experiments that will help scientists learn about issues, as well as studying the effects of ocean pollution. The best thing about the BPO, is that our school is their land based crew and we will be actively involved with learning about current ocean issues. We will be following them as they make stops at various islands and we will be interacting with them through skype sessions, emails and though letters. Last school year and this summer we had 3 skype sessions with schools in the South Pacific. It is a great way to get the kids to see and learn how other people live outside the United States. Our class will also be doing a monthly update that will be shared with other classes in our school. If you would like to learn more about the Blue Planet Odyssey, please visit the website, http://cornellsailing.com/sail-the-odyssey/blue-planet-odyssey/. You can also read the Posner’s blog at www.missionjoyful.com, which might give you a better understanding of the journey we will be on with the Posner’s.
Please remember that we have peanut and tree nut allergies in the room. If possible, I would love the kids to make sure that they have peanut free snacks. Since the kids can eat their snack whenever they are hungry, I think having snacks that are peanut free would be safest. At lunch, I know that some kids love their peanut butter sandwiches, so if that is the case I have discussed with the kids they are to wash their hands right after they are done eating.
Our class will start BYOT next week. The kids will be allowed to bring in their devices to start using them as a learning tool. I will be going over the specific expectations with them this week. Please remember to attend one of the parent informational meetings to help you understand how we will be using the devices in school. The parent meetings are September 14th at 7 pm and September 17th at 8:15am. Remember you do not have to go out and buy a device for your child if they don’t have one. We have several computers in the classroom, as well as, an Ipad.
- Number sense
- o Problem solving using addition, subtraction, multiplication and division
- Identifying key vocabulary in word problems that will help let us know what operation to use when solving the equations
- Reviewing 4th grade skills
- Introducing mountain math (enrichment)
- Introduce Scientific Method vocabulary
- Safety in experiments
- Steps in completing an experiment
I look forward to an outstanding year. Please don’t hesitate to contact me if you have any questions. Next week I will have some information on our room parent and ways you can get involved in our class. Have an awesome week.
Remember to join the PTA. The first meeting of the school year will be next Monday, September 14th at 6:30pm, prior to the BYOT meeting.
June 1Posted by MARK MULDOWNEY on 6/1/2015Subject: Monday/TuesdayJust a reminder that I will be staying after school Monday and Tuesday (possible Wednesday if the students want me to) to review skills that will be on the SOL test. It will be a great oportunity for anyone who needs that little extra reminder to help them for the SOL test.I don't know if the kids told you, but I am a little stressed about the test. Not because we have pressure on us from Mr. Davis or Mrs. Ohara, but because these kids worked so hard this year I want them to see that their hard work paid off. Also if your child doesn't pass, I don't want them to feel defeated so please let them know that you are still proud of their hard work.As I have stated to the class, these SOL tests shouldn't be the only factor on how they did this year. THis is a reminder that I have to keep telling myself as I get stressed. I even have a student in each of the classes assigned to tell me to "chill out" if I start getting stressed :) I am sure going to miss this group and they will be a hard group to follow.
I hope you all had a great weekend.
Weeks NewsPosted by MARK MULDOWNEY on 5/25/2015
I hope everyone had a great Memorial Weekend. I was able to spend it with my brothers and sisters up state NY. It had been five years since I saw my brother so I was a wonderful way to spend my weekend. I am so ready for the kids to ace the math and science SOL tests. Remember the Science SOL test is Wednesday and the Math SOL test is next Wednesday and Thursday. I know that the kids will do a wonderful job. I am so proud of the work that did this year.
Tomorrow I will be staying after school for a science review session. It will be a fun activity to get the kids to remember some of the skills learned this year and in fourth grade. We will be meeting in my room after school until 3:30. Pick-up will be in front of the building. I will also hold a review session for math next Monday and Tuesday. If your child would like to stay , please write a note on the day(s) that they stay along with how they will be getting home (walk/car ride).
Wednesday we will be eating lunch in my room and Mrs. Mackey and I will be providing pop corn after they finish with their lunch. It will be a great way to celebrate finishing the Science SOL test. I will be spending the lunch time showing the kids the pictures/videos Mr. Davis and I took on our trip to Haiti. If he has the lunch time free he will be joining us for lunch. Again I want to thank your for your generosity with sending in supplies.
Remember, please tell your child how proud you are of the wonderful job they did this year and how you know they will do their best on these tests. I know that I get a little stressed, but it is only because I want them to do well (and I know they will).
Thank you again for a wonderful year.
5th Grade Teacher
Round Hill Elementary School
May NewsPosted by MARK MULDOWNEY on 5/11/2015
Good afternoon parents, 5/11/15
I can’t believe we are already taking SOL’s. As I stated to the kids, the only thing I am worried about is that they put forth their best effort. I am so proud of the work that these kids have done this year. They are dedicated workers, who gone above and beyond to learn the skills being taught. I have students who lacked confidence in their ability at the beginning of the year, however, they know are confident in themselves and their ability. Yes, the SOL’s are very important, but what matters is that they see themselves as great learners who can do amazing things and can achieve success! I AM SO PROUD OF EACH OF THEM. THEY HAVE ACCOMPLISHED WONDERFUL THINGS THIS YEAR.Please let them know each morning especially on SOL testing days that you believe in them that they will do their best.
During the next few weeks we will be having a different schedule for the day. The students will be rotating to different classrooms reviewing for the SOL tests. Each classroom will focus on a particular skill. They will spend an hour in each class. We are very excited about this and it will be good for the kids to be in a different environment. Next week we will focus on Reading, the following week will be science and then May 28th,May 29th June 1st we will focus on math. The reading SOL is on May 21st, the science SOL is May 27th and the math SOL is on June 3-4th.
Don’t forget to come out tomorrow to our Bear Bonanza Carnival. Our basket turned out incredible. I can’t thank you enough for pulling through and sending items in. It is amazing to have such wonderful families who support our school and PTA. Please make sure you take a look at the wonderful items that are in our basket. I hope to see you there. I will be in the dunk tank at 1-1:20, so remind your children to be nice to me if you are there at that time.
Blue Planet Odyssey Pictures/Videos
As some of you know, the video that was taken by the county videographer accidently deleted the video she took of the assembly. If anyone has pictures or video footage they would like to share I would greatly appreciate. I would like to make a Blue Planet Odyssey memory video for the kids.
I can’t thank you enough for the donations that were sent in for our trip to Haiti. It was a life changing experience and the donations were greatly appreciated. In fact, I saw many of the kids wear the clothes that were donated when we were completing profiles on the students. The schools staff were overwhelmed with the amount of supplies they received. It will do wonders for the learning that will go on in the classes.
End of the year celebration
Don’t forget that we will be having our end of the year celebration on June 10th at Dragon Young In.
Thank you again for an incredible year.
5th Grade Teacher
Round Hill Elementary School
May Quick NewsPosted by MARK MULDOWNEY on 5/1/2015
I wanted to just take a moment to let you know a few important items.
This weekend as I prepared the items donated for my trip to Haiti, I became very overwhelmed with the generosity of the kids in our class. The amount of items that were donated is incredible. I can't thank you enough for doing this. I will take many pictures to share the excitement when the kids see the items. Also when people saw how much was donated they wanted to make sure I was able to take everything the kids brought in and they have donated money to cover some of the baggage fees to make sure that all items will be able to go down there. Unfortunately there is no mail system to the island I will be going to so we can't mail the items. This way I will make sure they get all of the things that were sent in. SO THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!
I also wanted to thank you for sending in items for the carnival basket. Once again, you have helped when we needed it. The basket isn't made yet, however, many teachers/parents who have seen the items are excited to bid on it already.
Our end of the year 5th grade party had to be moved to June 10th. Bus's were not available to take us so we had to move it up a week. It will still be at Dragon Young In and it will be from 10-1pm. More info will come home soon, and I know it will be a great day.
I will be out this Thursday and Friday as I travel to Haiti. I want to thank you for your support and encouragement as I go to help a school who is a lot less fortunate than us. Thank you for you well wishes, your donations and thank you for making me have one of the best years of my teaching career.
5th Grade Teacher
Round Hill Elementary School
Mr. Muldowney's February NewsPosted by MARK MULDOWNEY on 2/3/2015
Muldowney's Class December NewsPosted by MARK MULDOWNEY on 12/2/2014
Well we are already into the second week of December. I apologize for the late newsletter. As you know we have been really busy these past few weeks. From math calendars, centers, ocean projects and our future project with Blue Planet Odyssey (see below). This quarter you may have noticed that the expectations are higher and the kids need to make sure that they are putting full effort into all work.
We have been working on comparing decimals and fractions. The kids seem to be getting the hang of it; however they need to make sure that they are careful with their computation. During math class we are breaking down into small groups for instruction and for centers in which the kids practice mastery of skills being taught. I have been working with the kids to check over their work to ensure they are eliminating careless mistakes. On the quizzes and tests, I have been writing comments so the kids can realize what mistakes they are making and why. This week we are starting probability and by the end of the week we will review for the unit test next Tuesday. I love the math calendar project and we have received numerous compliments on how well they turned out. Some of the best ones I have seen from the past years I have been doing this project.
We are finishing up our Oceans unit this week and we will be testing on Wednesday, December 17th. The kids really seemed to enjoy learning about the ocean and the hands on activities. This Wednesday, December 10th, we had our vocabulary assessment. Our next unit will be cells.
Blue Planet Odyssey
This is a program that our school will be involved with for the next two years. There is a science research group, part of Cornel Sailin, which is sailing around the world for the next 2 years. They will be studying the effects of global warming and pollution and how both are changing the ocean environment. I met with two of the people (Mr. and Mrs. Posner) that are sailing in a 40ft sailboat. They will be leaving the Florida Keys January 10th. During their journey they will be keeping in contact with our class through Skype, email and blogging. I am putting together a more in depth description of our role in their exploration after the new year. However, this week our class will be making a Secchi Disc, which they will use when testing the waters for depth experiments. The Posner’s are so excited about our involvement that they are planning to write an article about our class and how we are playing an active role in their scientific studies. I will let you know more about this when I hear from them. We are so excited for this opportunity and how fortunate for the kids to be part of a scientific study. For more information on this you can read about the study at http://cornellsailing.com/sail-the-odyssey/blue-planet-odyssey/ ( if you google blue planet odyssey you can get right to the site) . The name of the sailboat we will be working with is Joyful . I also have a power point presentation that I will try and email to everyone so you can have a better understanding of the study. If you have any questions or suggestions on things we can do to further enhance this experience please let me know.
I hope everyone has a fantastic Christmas and a great New Year’s. I feel so blessed to have these kids this year. They make coming to school a joy and make my job so rewarding. For those who are traveling, please be safe.
5th Grade Teacher
Round Hill Elementary School
Mid-October Muldowney NewsPosted by MARK MULDOWNEY on 10/17/2014
I hope everyone is having as good of a start to school as me and Mrs. Jenkins. We are constantly smiling and loving the laughter and learning going on in our class. It is great to see the kids involved in the learning process. I sometimes wish I had a little more time because the day flies by so fast.
I am so proud of the wonderful job we did in raising almost $3,600. It was great to see how enthusiastic the students were in helping raise money that will be brought into our classroom for more technology. We received our chairs last Friday from Mrs. O’hara and I hope to have our Apple TV set up by the end of the week. For those who are unfamiliar with the Apple TV, it is a device that will allow us to use our Ipad on our promethean board. I already have tons of lessons planned and I am confident that the kids will love the new addition to our learning. This Friday, the students are going to help shave my head bald. They all promise not to laugh, so I am going to hold it to them. It has been 6 years since my last class met a challenge and I am extremely happy that they succeeded.
· Remember to spend your read-a-thon bucks that the kids earned with getting sponsors. This is free money and if it isn’t spent the money goes back to the company. If the kids want they can donate items to the school to use as prizes.
I hope that your child has given you the log-in for signing up for conferences. If you need another copy of your log-in let me know and I will send it to you. This year we decided to try and do it on line so parents can look at their schedules to find the best time to come in. If there isn’t a time that suites you, please send a note to me and we can work out another time. Since we have to meet with 50 parents, I am going to make sure that I stick to the schedule. If I talk too much during the conference, remind me we only have 15 minutes. If there is a particular topic you would like to discuss, please let me know ahead of time and I can have items prepared. If you would like to bring your child to the conference, please do so. I think it is important that they are there hearing the great stuff they are doing in class. We look forward to meeting with you.
Each week we are taking assessments in math to see how your child is progressing with the skills being taught. This allows us time to do re-teaching for those individuals that need more practice. However, I had a talk with the students because there have been quite a few who are forgetting to review for these assessments. I noticed this with our Unit 2 assessment. Please make sure they are reviewing the skills and that they understand the concepts on the study guides. I want them to see the great successes they are having in school and I know with a little studying, they can achieve the grades that reflect their ability.
Please let me know if there is anything I can do to help your child have a great year. I know that they are making me have an awesome start to the year.
10/22 Plate tectonics assessment
10/23 vocabulary quiz
10/24 Unit 3 math test
10/24 Spooky Sock Hop
October NewsPosted by MARK MULDOWNEY on 10/1/2014
Good evening parents,
Sorry it took me so long to send an email out to everyone, but it has been a busy start to the school year. First and foremost, I just need to let you know that I have been enjoying being able to teach math and science to your child. There is a lot of learning, and there is a lot of laughter in our classroom. Since, I have them the same amount of time as my own homeroom, I call them my class 2.
We have been really busy the first couple of weeks of school. We are lucky that my class is co-taught with Mrs. Jenkins. This allows us to do a lot of small group instruction. Both remediation and enrichment will be done each day. This also allows us to set up centers in the classroom to have kids practice the skills being taught. At the centers the kids will be applying the skills taught during instruction. We have discovered that the students seem to really enjoy this type of learning. It also allows them to have direct instruction on skills that they are having trouble with mastering.
Each Wednesday, we will be assessing the kids on the skills taught the previous week. We will use the results on the weekly quizzes to reteach skills they are struggling with (in small groups during center time). This gives us an opportunity to have the kids get extra practice to master the skills before moving on to another skill. Having two teachers is such a huge benefit and we want the kids to take advantage of having both Mrs. Jenkins and myself. Encourage your child to let us know if they are struggling with a concept or send an email to let us know.
This year we will be doing many of the unit tests on the computer. We are using the same format as the kids will see on the SOL tests. After a unit test is given on the computer, we will go over the test with the students. I will send an email with a pdf of the test that was given so you can see the questions that were on the test. One of the great things about doing the tests on the computer, is that I get a breakdown of how they did on each skill assessed. For example, last Friday we had our first unit test. The students were tested on four skills: SOL 5.3, 5.4, 5.8 and 5.18. They will get one grade for the test, however, we will be able to see what skills they had difficulty with mastering. This week we met with groups of students and retaught skills that the students didn't master. I know the kids are anxious to get their grades and I promised them I would have them by Friday. I will make sure that they receive their grades by the following week after a unit test.
A form is coming home tomorrow to sign up for a conference. Mrs. Mackey and I are trying to meet with those parents who want to meet with both of us at the same time so you don't have to come in twice. However, if there any time that you want to meet, just let me know so we can set a time.
I will try to send home a weekly letter about what is happening in math a science. I will include picture of the neat things going on in our classroom and I promise they will not be as long as this email.
My goal is to have the students not only master the skills being taught this year, but to have them enjoy math and science. I feel very lucky to have the opportunity to teach your child and look forward to a great fun filled year.
Thank you for taking the time to read this long email. Enjoy your evening.
5th Grade Teacher
Round Hill Elementary School