Friday, September 23, 2011

Newsletter September 23, 2011

Math – We had our first math test and the kids did well, the results will be sent home next week with a breakdown checklist for your child’s progress. The next unit and shuffling of the kids takes place on Monday where we go into estimation and computation. Kids are quickly realizing that if they do not know their math facts they are a massive disadvantage; please have them practice when you can.
Social Studies – We are finishing our Animoto project today for the US land regions and then getting ready to start switching rooms on Tuesday for social studies. We are incredible excited to also teach literacy skills through social studies and cannot wait to get our students started on projects and deeper learning.
Science – We are working on variables; what they are and how we control them. We changed variables in pendulums and discovered that so far the only thing that made a difference was when we changed the length of the string. Now we are looking at lifeboats and capacity.
Reading – Literacy assessments went well and I am wrapping them up in the classroom as well. The Global Read Aloud started and the kids are very engaged with Tuck Everlasting. We even get to Skype with a 4th grade class in Virginia today. We have also worked on visualization, connections, and discussed whether we would want to live forever – most of the kids said no. We made a video for our blogging buddies in South Korea too and are excited to hear back from them.
Writing – Most kids have finished their blogging challenges for the week, they are posted Friday night and then due the following Friday. I always allow kids to stay in during recess to get it done if they want. While I do check for spelling on the blogs, they are not graded; the students use them as a way to connect with the world and do receive feedback on them. I will often leave a private comment to the student if they have major changes to make but otherwise the blog works as an electronic trail for me to see their growth as writers as well.
Special Notes –
* Thank you so much for all of the kind words sent my way on the news of my nomination. The kids have been involved in some videos but we also have a lot of curriculum to work on, so there is a fine balance there.
* Thank you so much everyone for the book orders, they are slowly trickling in and I cannot wait to have the kids decide which books to add to our library.
* The back to school dance is next Friday and Thea and I cannot wait to get our groove on. We are incredibly thankful for all of the support we get from the PTO and can’t wait to see all of you there.
* If your child is involved in any after school activities and have a big game, performance or something like that coming up – let me know. I like to come and see and so do other kids in the classroom.
* My door is always open so if you are wondering what goes on in our room, feel free to stop by.
* This classroom is really buzzing with excitement over what we are doing. I am thrilled to see the kids come together as a community and really representing us well wherever they go. I have gotten countless compliments on how well they are behaved from the specials teachers as well.
* I have some dates for you to put on your calendars: Sub for 5th grade planning time on Monday September 26th 11:45 to end of day, New math unit starts Monday September 26th, and new social studies starts Tuesday, September 27th, All of the videos for the Teach Off are due the 28th, PTO Back to School Hawaiian Party Night is Friday, September 30th 6 PM, Scholastic Book Fair runs October 10th through the 13th with family night on the 11th, Picture Re-Take day is October 21st.

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