Friday, February 1, 2013

Newsletter February 1, 2013

MathWe 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.  Due to the snow day the test has been scheduled for February 13th.
Science We didn’t have science this week with the day off, snow day and then the read-in party.  On Monday we will start the science variable test where students go through it the first time with just their memory to help them, second time through is with their notes. 
Social Studies – Students have starter their self-driven research projects on one of the 13 colonies.  They have been busy coming up with questions to research and figuring out how to evaluate their sources.  Our next step will be to use Prezi to showcase their learning and practicing how to present with note cards.
Reading We are readers indeed!  I am thrilled that we met our 220 books goal for January, I even read a lot more then I normally do.  I am excited to celebrate this huge accomplishment with the kids today as we get to read most of the day, Skype with our very first author Adam Gidwitz (who wrote A Tale Dark and Grimm – one of our favorites) and even watch Harry Potter.  I am excited to reveal that next up is a grade level wide genre study where students get to pick which genre they want to study and then learn more about their genre.  My group will create a book trailer as a culminating project.
Writing Yesterday the students asked me if they could please keep writing!    They are busy writing and typing their ordinary moments fiction stories and I must say the deep thinking happening within their problem/resolution is remarkable.  We hope to wrap this uni up next week and I cannot wait to have students hare their stories with you.  Next up then is writing about our reading.
Special Notes
* What a strange week it has been, it hardly feels as if we have been in school.  Now we settle in for a long haul with no days off before spring break.  I love this stretch of time since it allows us to really dig in and create. 
* 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 did another Mystery Skype last week and it did not go as planned.  Instead of being bummed we took action and the students had a long discussion of how to fix it and came up with both new rules and new jobs.  I love the take charge attitude we are fostering in here. 
* Speaking of Mystery Skype, I had an article published about it in this month’s Learning & Leading Magazine.  If you want to read it here is the link:
*  I was also named a Microsoft Global Hero of Education last week, which Brandon has been getting a kick out of because who comes up with that long of a title?  If you would like to see the interview of me for that, here is the link to that:
* I have some dates for you to put on your calendars: Valentine’s Day Party 1:30 PM February 14th, Early Release February 12h,  Sub in the afternoon Wednesday Feb. 13th, Carnival Saturday, February 16th 2 PM.


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