Thursday, February 16, 2012

Newsletter Fenruary 16, 2012


MathWe finished unit 7 with many students successfully completing the unit, though some students are having a harder time with the concepts as they get more abstract and more reliant on prior knowledge.  We start unit 8 tomorrow which covers more fractions and ratios, with the test tentatively scheduled for March 7th.    
Science We are interpreting topographical maps and comparing aerial view photos to them.  This week we focused on Mt. Shasta in California which has some pretty interesting features.  Since the students are working so hard in this unit and we are getting through lessons quickly, we will have some time before spring break to do some of our own science experiments, which is always a thrill.
Social Studies – This week I got to keep the whole class as we dig into the southern colonies, discuss slavery more in depth as well as tie it in with Jump Ship to Freedom.  Although I have lectured more so far, the kids told me they didn’t mind because they found it interesting, phew.
Reading Jump Ship to Freedom keeps leaving us on cliffhangers and the students are asking to read more.  Chapter 7 will be due for Monday as well as the summary for the chapter.  I love how this book ties in with our social studies curriculum as well and the discussions it generates. 
Writing We have been sharing our secrets and trying to guess who’s they are.  All I can say is that some of these students have some pretty funny secrets.  I will be correcting the papers and handing them back to students to polish so that we can share it with you at conferences.
Special Notes
* What a great week it has been, we are in a groove, the students are working hard and we are enjoying what we are learning.    It is a joy to come in and be their teacher every day.
* Thank you so much for an incredible Valentine’s Day Party.  The students loved it, the food was incredible and the kids ate way too much candy.
*  Thank you all for signing up for conferences, notes will be sent home with available times if you have not signed up yet.  Please indicate 3 choices of those times and I will get you scheduled.
* I am sad to be missing the carnival this weekend but will make up for it on April 14th at Bowling.  I hope to see some of you there.
*  My literacy assessment meeting went very well and we had some great discussions of how to move forward challenging and reaching all students.
*  If your child will miss school around spring break, please let me know.
*  We know have more than 2,000 comments on our Kidblog and our map is filled with pins of places we have connected with.  If you haven’t been on the blog for a while take a moment to visit it; the students are sharing great writing on there.  www.kidblog.org/mrsrippsclass/
* Spelling will be on hiatus soon as we focus on grammar in the morning.  We still need to dig into those conventions as seen in our writing assessments, and the morning provides us with time to do so.
*Looking for parent volunteers to help decorate our door for literacy week starting the 27th.  I am not very artistic so hoping someone out there will take pity on me!
* I have some dates for you to put on your calendars: Sub all day Friday, February 17th, Carnival Saturday, February 18th 2 PM, and finally The Family Feast February 22nd at 12:20 PM, Literacy week February 27th through March 2nd, PAC Choral Performance Monday, March 12th at 6:30 PM, Spring Break starts after Friday March 23rd and goes to April 1st, No school Friday, April 6th.

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