Friday, January 4, 2013

Newsletter January 4, 2013

MathWe finished unit 5 yesterday and I was very pleased overall with how much math knowledge the students had gained even with the break in between our lessons.  Today we start unit 6 which is about data collection and further work with fractions.  Students are still expected to be secure in math facts and although great leaps have been seen some students are not making enough gains.  I cannot stress how much it slows down a child in math when they do not know their facts.  The test for this unit will be somewhere around the 22nd.
Science We are flying our planes at the moment and messing around with variables; I love when the students get creative in science.  Our final investigation will be flipsticks and then our bubble gum research paper.  We also have to have the flipstick Olympics at some point!
Social Studies – We have discussed the history of slavery and how it pertains to the settlements of the New World.  This unit will be focusing on figuring out the main idea and supporting details of the text as we head towards the first 13 colonies.
Reading We have worked on our fluency and expression this week as we engage in reader’s theatre.  I love seeing the students work on their word delivery and cannot wait to see their performances this afternoon.  I will be taping them and putting on our website.  How to presentations are in full swing, what great skills the students have, we are a little bit behind on them but should have them all wrapped up by next week.  Also, we have started our super awesome January reading challenge; please see the website for more details! 
Writing I have handed in all of Yahara submissions to Ms. Weber and the judging team, there were some stellar submissions.  I do not know when results will be made public.  We have started our next writing unit; Writing Fiction, and started with a story map of our homes yesterday.  I love seeing the students get so excited about writing and cannot wait to see what they create in this unit.
Special Notes
* I hope you all had a wonderful break; it was a definitely an odd start to it and we are still trying to catch up the lost time.  I have no doubt though that the students relished the time with family even if many were sick over break.
* Book orders are coming home today and due next Friday.  I am ordering 6 books myself from the Tab catalog that all come highly recommended; Ungifted, ChickenHare, Middle school: Get Me Out of Here, All the Wrong Questions #1, Legend, and The Secret of The Fortune Wookie.  We love books!
* I came across a neat reading incentive for the students from Six Flags.  If they read 6 hours recreationally between now and March 1st they will get one free admission to Six Flags in Illinois.  The form for parents and students to fill out is coming home today and is due back to me by March 4th.
* Literacy assessments will not require a sub this time since I only have to meet with 4 students.  They will be happening in January.
*Geography bee
* MAPS testing for us has been moved to Thursday the 17th and Thursday the 24th of January at 1 PM.  All students will be taking these computerized tests as part of our assessments.
* I am part of the planning team for a great conference coming to Sun Prairie February 23rd called EdCampMadWI.  This is a free conference and parents or anyone interested in discussing education are welcome to attend.  See for more information. 
* Thank you so much for all of the holiday goodies and gifts for my family and me.  I already feel blessed having all of these incredible students.
* I have some dates for you to put on your calendars: MAPS testing January 17th and 24th, No school Monday, January 21st and Monday, January 28th, WM PTO meeting Thursday, January 24th 7 PM.


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