Friday, April 13, 2012

Newsletter April 13, 2012



MathWhat a math unit this is; lots of pre-algebra happening and the students are definitely putting on their thinking caps before putting answers down.  I will continue to stress the need for secure math facts as 6th grade approaches; it is simply a lifelong skill that needs to be emphasized.  With only two more units to go, the test for unit 10 will be April 24th.
Science We planted radishes, carrots, peas, corn and flowers today as we started our environment unit.  Now we observe the growth as well ad start to discuss biomes.  Almost all of the students’ Goggle Sketch Up’s are on display in the hallway; it has been great to see other students stop by and check them out.
Social Studies – We are in the middle of the Revolutionary War!  Our simulation started this week with three groups of citizens; Patriots, Loyalists, and the undecided citizens.  We have discussed the shot heard around the world and the Declaration of Independence and even fought in a battle.  
Reading We are getting a lot of work time on the biography projects with almost all students through their subject’s childhood.  This is not homework but can be worked on at home.  No deadline has been set for completion but it will be in the later portion of May to ensure a stellar product.  I am doing weekly check-ins with students to ensure they are on task.
Writing Great blogging challenge this week as students ponder what the purpose of education is.  I love how they have been thinking about it and not just saying, “to learn…”  These are due on Sunday and Keller has given us our next one; what is one school rule you would change and why?
Special Notes
* We are at such a fun stage of the year where we get to have lengthier discussions as well as long-term explorations of topics.  The students have the stamina and the tools needed to research with some guidance from me and I love seeing how invested they get.  Also, the feedback given to me at various stages in invaluable.
*  Lots of 5th grade events coming up; Visit to Glacier Creek, track meet and Innovation Day.  There is even a rumor of an egg drop!  May will go by very quickly!
 *  I am thrilled to see how many students signed up for talent show auditions.  Next week the order of auditions will be posted on the music doors and in the entryway for parents to see.  Ms. Bodell and I cannot wait to see what talent they bring.
* Innovation Day is coming!  On May 7th, students will get a whole day to do whatever project they choose.  Some students are researching and building models, others are thinking of making movies, whatever they would like to learn more about.  Planning sheets were sent home yesterday and are due to me next Friday.  This day promises to be another fantastic learning opportunity for these amazing 5th graders.
*  Bob Weitzel, the guidance counselor from Glacier Creek pays us a visit today.  I look forward to hearing more about the middle school experience.
*  Thank you for the kind condolences in the death of my grandmother.  The day after she passed it would have been 66 years since my grandparents had met and fell in love; it was only fitting that she got to go home to my grandfather that night again.
* I have some dates for you to put on your calendars: Early Release CRT Tuesday, April 17th , Talent show auditions April 23rd and 24th 3 PM in the music room, 5th grade track meet Thursday, May 3rd, Innovation Day Monday, May 7th all day, Talent Show Friday, May 11th 12:30 PM.

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