Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Newsletter November 22, 2011



November 22, 2011
As Thanksgiving approaches, I have much to be thankful for.  The incredible students that are so eager to share their learning, the support of parents for all of our adventures, a team that meets every day and puts the kids first, and a school where we feel like a family.  Thank you for everything that you do for me and for us.
MathWe are almost done with unit 4 and the test is scheduled for Wednesday November 30th.  New groups therefore start December 2nd.   This unit is all about division and those math facts are important.  The next unit is my favorite topic; fractions!
Science I absolutely loved seeing the students’ thinking in their research paper.  Some really hit the mark where others missed a couple of things.  Since learning is a process, all students have the opportunity to resubmit missing components to me on Monday.  We continue science with our dry mixture challenge on Monday.
Social Studies – This week we discussed whether Christopher Columbus was a hero or a villain and it was wonderful to see the nuanced perspectives that started to show up.  Perhaps history isn’t as clean-cut as we would like it to be?  Students also had a chance to create a route using a compass outside with a video to be posted soon.
Reading Harry is getting to Hogwarts and the kids are disappointed every time I turn it off. We have also been using reading for our How To presentations, which have been wonderful.  We have learned so many things this week.
Writing Writing has been focused on the How To presentations this week but we have started a longer writing piece on whether teachers should assign homework or not.  The first paragraph is under revision and we continue with it next week.
Special Notes
* Please make sure you get our website updates or check the website regularly.  This is where I post extra directions, information, and videos for the classroom.  If a new project is introduced it often has a post attached to it on the website.  
* Congratulations to Sophia’s, Priyanka, and Kyra for representing us in the school spelling bee on December 9th.  Matthew would also have been a representative but will have moved before then.  We are very sad to see Matthew go and will miss his creative spirit.   
* Also congratulations to Jacob, David, and Sophia Bo. for representing our class in The Thinking Cap Bowl.  Their team took 1st in the state and now move on to nationals!  This is the first time a West Middleton team has placed first.
*Thank you for all of the box tops, we were in first place last week by about 200 but Mrs. Hannam’s fourth grade is gunning for us.  Rumor has it now it might be the top 3 classrooms that get to throw a pie, we shall see.  
* The students are creating snowman holiday cards to send around the world.  We have 29 cards we have to make and send to other classrooms before December 9th.  
* Thea thinks Santa is coming every day and has discovered that you can put x’s in toy catalogs and Santa may bring it.  She has also discovered Christmas music on the radio and has gotten quite adept at Jinglebells.  We are now not allowed to listen to anything but Christmas music in the car.
* I have some dates for you to put on your calendars: CRT Early Release Wednesday, November 23rd, No school (Happy Thanksgiving) November 24th and 25th, First Trimester ends Nov. 30th, Human Growth and Development is Nov. 30th, Dec. 7th and December 14th, the Winter Tea is Wednesday, December 7th 10:35-11:00, Winter Party is December 21st at 1 PM (we are hoping it will be a sledding party) and winter break is from December 22nd through January 2nd.

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