Friday, February 3, 2012

Newsletter February 3, 2012

Math – We are moving through unit 7 with a lot of vocabulary being introduced as well as deeper concepts. We have discussed order of operations (PEMDAS) and powers of 10. Today we even watched the 1977 classic Powers of ten video by Charles and Ray Eames. The test is scheduled for February 14th before the Valentine’s Day Party.
Science – Science was all about student-led exploration this week as they designed their own experiments for the stream tables. It was wonderful to watch them discuss their hypothesis and control their variables. Monday we will be discussing all of our observations to draw conclusions as well as learn how to write flash cards for studying.
Social Studies – What wonderful discussions we have been having in social studies about the big ideas that emerged during Colonial Times that still impact us today; freedom of religion, freedom of speech, all people are created equal, and also how people worship their religion. We have also tried to decipher what in the world Ben Franklin really meant by some of his sayings and will be creating an idiom book written and illustrated by the students. For digital learning day we explored the excellent website http://www.history.org/kids/games/ which has a plethora of colonial day games and information.
Reading – We read chapter 2 of Jump Ship to Freedom and discussed what to include in a chapter summary, the students are also eager to take on research projects to answer all of their questions generated so far. This book explores very interesting concepts of what it meant to be a slave in America after the Revolutionary War.
Writing – Secrets of a 5th grader wrapped up in the classroom this week and is due typed and double-spaced on Wednesday. Students will illustrate their secrets and we will put it all in a class book.
Special Notes –
* What a wonderful opportunity the students had on Wednesday showcasing their blogging to the State Superintendent as well as other educators. At some point, the webinar will be released and I will put it on our website for you to see. I will also be blogging about the experience later.
* Students are slowly handing in their Read to Succeed Six Flags logs, please hand them in before March 1st.
* Conference sign up has started. Please see our website for the link. These conferences will be 15 minutes and will focus on how the goals are being met as well as middle school readiness. All students are expected to attend their conference.
* We skyped with a kindergarten class on Wednesday as well. They had prepared questions for us regarding our winter. It was their first time skyping and our class was a wonderful role model.
* Thank you to all who volunteered for the Colonial Feast, whether you cooked, shopped, cleaned or donated. The students had a wonderful time, the food was delicious and it added one more layer to our instruction.
* The twins are healthy and growing at the right rate. We got a lot of new pictures of them, which I shared with the kids even though they just look like little aliens. Thea continues to give us ideas for names, usually Sheeno and Keemo, or something along those lines. We will be taking her to the circus for the first time soon and she believes she will be riding all of the animals.
* Danny moved to Mr. Meinholz’s classroom this week but will continue to have PE and one music class with us. We certainly miss him.
* I have some dates for you to put on your calendars: Valentine’s Day Party 9:30 AM February 14th, Early Release February 14th, Assembly February 16th, Carnival Saturday, February 18th 2 PM, and finally The Family Feast February 22nd at 12:20 PM.

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