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Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Little Free Library

Have you ever come across one of these along your travels?  Do you have one in your neighborhood? This one was found in Boonton, NJ, while Mr. Caputo and I were on a walk around the track there. This LittleFreeLibrary is made out of all recycled materials.  It has a registration number and is without a lock for anyone to take or leave a book.  I LOVE THIS IDEA!  It isn't the first time I've heard of this.  I've always wanted to put on the corner of my street.  

How can we make these pop up around the neighborhoods of Sparta?

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Room 37 LOVES Puzzles

Enjoy just one of the many puzzles the students of Room 37 love to work on.  

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Early Dismissal

Remember, this week we have early dismissals and parent/teacher conferences.  Hope to see you there!  Rafe Esquith's new book, Lighting Their Fires: How Parents and teachers Can Raise Extraordinary Kids in a Mixed-Up, Muddled-Up, Shook-Up World will be raffled off to one lucky parent in both Mrs. Caputo's class AND Ms. Garagliano's class!  We love sharing good book titles!

Friday, November 25, 2016

Happy Thanksgiving

The Caputo Family wishes you all a healthy and happy Thanksgiving.  The Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade has long been an important part of our family tradition since I was a little girl.  I never missed a parade.  My favorite spot to watch the parade is from my couch in our home, drinking some nice hot chocolate with hazelnut creamer and whipped cream.  I have since passed that tradition on to our children.

The tradition has grown even bigger with Mr. Caputo and his family now being a part of the parade as balloon handlers and characters on floats.  I still enjoy watching from home and have no intention of being a part of the mayhem in the city .  Sometimes, Pillsbury Cinnamon Rolls are a part of our morning and they certainly can't be eaten on a sidewalk in New York.

Every year,  Mr. Caputo and his brother, cousins, and friends (Drew and his cousins too, before they all enlisted) are assigned a new balloon.  This year, they held the very last balloon in the parade by Santa! Santa, is without a doubt, my favorite part of the parade.  I cry every time I see him!  Believe....Believe...Believe!!!!

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Kachina Dolls

Our Native American unit is underway!  We will  be studying the culture by regions: Southwest, Woodlands, Plains, and the West.  Each week we study a new region.  The days are broken up with reading and note-taking, a Discovery Education video to support the reading with note-taking, tribal map identification, and finally a day of fun facts and/or a craft.

For our first week, we studied Native Americans of the Southwest and the Hopi tribe.  The Hopi are know for their kachina ceremonies, which are an important part of the Hopi religion.  The Hopi kachinas are spirits who can visit Hopi villages for half of every year. They are believed to bring rain and help crops grow.  They also show people how to live and behave (Our Nation p.58).

Students had the choice to make a traditional kachina or a personal one, which metaphorically represents them in some way.  Enjoy the kachinas that were made this week and see if you can tell if the kachinas are traditional or personal.

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Parent Visitation

It was another fun day today in Room 37 as parents came to share in the learning process.  Our focus today: finding textual evidence to support visualizations for one of two settings in our class novel, Scat, by Carl Hiaasen.

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Essay Boot Camp

Columbia University's Reading Writing Project of Teachers College provided an amazing day of professional development for the fifth grade ELA teachers.  Essay Boot Camp was one of the many exciting strategies that came out of our day, along with Literary Debate.

The children have been working spectacularly on thesis and claims, supporting details, textual evidence, and explanations.  They are designing essay introductions and learning the art of "hooks". Next on the list.....conclusions.

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Dia de los Muertos

To culminate our study on Mesoamerica in Social Studies, the class has completed a webquest on Dia de los Muertos.  The celebration originated with the Aztecs and continues today in the Mexican culture.

Monday, October 31, 2016

Happy Halloween

I'm not sure who had more fun making their Halloween lantern, me or the kids.  I could't wait to get home to show my family what I made in school today!  I LOVE my Frankenstein (my favorite monster) <3 Thank you to our class moms, Mrs. Bars and Mrs. Nelson for planning a fun day for us all!

Monday, October 17, 2016

Quiet Valley

A good time was had by all at Quiet Valley Living Historical Farm in Stroudburg, PA.  Here are some of our favorite pictures from the day. Thanks to all of our class parents who came along for the ride.

Friday, October 7, 2016

Happy to be back!

I can think of no other profession where you are greeted with hugs and high fives when you return to work after being away for a few days.  I LOVE THESE KIDS!  The four days of Orton-Gillingham training was incredible and my brain hurt at the end of each day from all the new information I was learning.  I'm excited to implement the strategies and techniques we learned into our weekly word study.  You'll see the Words Their Way homework change up a bit.  A new schedule of weekly homework will be added to agendas.

Book Talks

Book talks were introduced in class today and we had fun listening to several students share what they were reading.  Each marking period, every student is responsible to give one book talk and one book presentation.  We have not demonstrated book presentations at this time.  A thorough book talk includes the following information shared in a casual atmosphere with discussion, questions and answers facilitated by the student giving the talk.  All students have a script to follow to be sure they hit all the points.  It's a great way to share great reads and get kids talking about books!

  • hook
  • title and author
  • genre
  • picture of book cover
  • brief summary
  • main characters and setting
  • main problem
  • favorite scene or favorite character or author's purpose
  • rating/recommendation

Wednesday, October 5, 2016


(picture courtesy of Marsha Richardson)

(picture courtesy of

Metacognition is the big term we learned today, which simply means thinking about our thinking.When we ask the questions we've noted in our Reader's notebooks, we are working with metacognition and thinking about what we're thinking! 

Friday, September 30, 2016

Genius Hour

The idea of Genius Hour was introduced to both homerooms on Team Caputo/Garagliano.  Genius hour is about collaborating with others and exploring passions. There are plenty of fabulous ideas being generated and  I can't wait to see where the kids take them!  Click here to find out more about Genius Hour.

Thursday, September 29, 2016


(picture courtesy of shullmanwiki)
Schema is all about making personal connections to what we're reading.  Our schema is our prior knowledge. As we demonstrated in class, we have much more prior knowledge for Lake Mohawk than for Scrabo Tower!

(picture courtesy of Mrs. Caputo)

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Personal Narrative

After creating reading and writing goals and demonstrating what it means to be a good listener, Room 37 enjoyed a read aloud from Marsha Wilson Chall's lovely narrative, Up North at the Cabin. Students shared their own personal experiences of where they like to visit as well as shared places they hold dear to their hearts.  The class will write about those very special places and model Chall's format, while implementing figurative language and the rules of the personal narrative.

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Thinking Marks

To enhance our independent reading experience, Thinking Marks were introduced and noted in our Reader's Notebooks.  As students read throughout the day, "Think Marks" are noted on post-its to help with discussion and weekly Reader Response letters. (Picture courtesy of Lesley Bodkin)

Monday, September 26, 2016

Being Present

Today during our class meeting, we talked about what it means to be present.  We discussed how paying attention to the world around us and not worrying about yesterday or tomorrow are helpful strategies to keep us in the present moment.  We are noticing our breath and breathing patterns around certain situations.  Is our breath quick and shallow coming from the chest or long and deep coming from the belly? What is happening around us when we notice our breath? "I am fine and everything will be ok" is the story we are trying to get our inner voice to tell us. We are recognizing the stories we tell ourselves are true, so it's best to give ourselves positive messages.

Words Their Way

Words Their Way began today and all the summer kinks were slowly worked out.  The Fourth Grade routine quickly came back to memory as the Pretest was given and My Lists were created.  Here's to proper spelling and a broad vocabulary! Weekly homework can be found online and in student agendas.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Quick Writes

Lot's of writing is happening in Room 37!  Both classes have shared they love to write.  THEY ARE WRITERS! We write a little bit every day and look forward to strengthening our skills!

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Genre Study Through Reading Diets

Choosing their favorite meals, students designed their favorite "genre" meal made up of a main course, side dishes, and dessert.  Come see them hanging in the hall!

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Big Al

In a collaborative listening activity, groups were given limited supplies and directed to depict a scene from the story.  Students only listened to the read aloud, they were not given any visuals and were not permitted to use anything other than what they were given: two crayons and two pieces of construction paper.  No tape or scissors were allowed.  The recreations were great and are hanging in our hallway!

Friday, September 9, 2016

Bio Poems

Bio Poems were created this week with the intention to create community.  Poems were shared through a carousel activity as students provided feedback to each on post-it notes.

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Bio Poems

Bio Poems were introduced today with the reading of The Important Book by Margaret Wise Brown. Students created lists about what makes them important and from there, drafted bio poems about who they are, where they are from, and what they love and aspire to be.  We can't wait for you to read them on Back to School Night!

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Classroom Jobs

Applications were filled out today to fill the many jobs that need to be managed each day.  Click on the picture to walk through the positions that need to be filled, along with their roles. Job change every two weeks.

Monday, September 5, 2016

Day One: True or False

After introductions and getting to know the teacher, our first day continued with a video of classroom norms.  In their groups, students examined information from the video to decipher whether each statement was true or false. Have fun watching the video yourself!

Sunday, September 4, 2016

Friday, September 2, 2016

Is it September 6th yet?

 It's always sunny in Room 37.

 I hope you're ready to read because you're going to be doing a lot of it!

Team Caputo/Garagliano gets our OWN computer cart! How lucky are we?

 It's an election year.  Are you ready? 

Squirt and Clifford are waiting to meet their new classmates!

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Birthday Books

See the stars at the top of the bindings? These are "Birthday Books" dedicated to our classroom library by past students of Room 37!  On your birthday, you get to choose any book from our collection and dedicate it to our library for future students. You get your very own name plate on the inside cover!  


What?! You're birthday is in the summer?  No sweat! YOU get to choose any day of the school year to celebrate your birthday.  Birthdays are a big deal in Room 37!