Friday, March 22, 2013

Newsletter March 22, 2013

MathThe unit wrapped up today with final thoughts on capacity and volume.  The students should now feel comfortable with formulas of area of a triangle, parallelogram, rectangle as well as volume. The test will take place on Tuesday, April 2nd with the pre-test the following day.
Social Studies – We loved Dream City so much that we ended up putting social studies on hold this week.  We therefore will do our student-driven project after spring break.  I cannot wait to see what the students choose to research.    
Reading Students are slowly wrapping up their author studies, which are due April 4th.  I love how they tell me all about their author because they get excited about a fact.  We will be working more with non-fiction text after break, as well as having a grade wide Tangle of the Titles, more information to come.  I hope everyone will read a ton of books over break, I know I am going to!
Writing Fantasy stories were due today and I will be enjoying them over break.  The imagination in here is just wild!  April is poetry month and we will be investigating, reading and writing our own.  Even though many of the boys have told me they hate poetry, I am going to work very hard to hopefully sway them.
Science It was all about the Dream City this week as we took our math and science concepts and started building 3D models of a city.  Math concepts used included scale, area, perimeter, percentages.  Science concepts used included landforms, models, as well as maps.
Special Notes
* We have been hard at work on our video for 12th graders in Singapore.  After break we will be sending the video to them to introduce ourselves.  We are excited to hear back from them.
* We also participated in our first lip dub with kids from all over Canada and the US.  We cannot wait to see the finished music video for the song “Is Somebody Singing.”  The kids really got into it. 
*Some of the students have been blogging their hearts out, there have been fantastic posts that have generated quite a few comments.  I am so proud of how they start dialogues with others.  We have received 65,000 blog views in the 4 months that we have been blogging, that is absolutely mind-blowing incredible!
*  Karina from the middle school came to tell us about middle school.  She had created a wonderful mini-presentation and then took questions.  The students said they loved it and they had wonderful questions.
*  Please sign the report card envelopes that were sent home yesterday.  We need them back for the final report card of the year.
*  Please remember to send in Engineering Expo permission slips and money.  They are due today so if you forgot please send them in after break.  We can take as many chaperones as possible so come with us, chaperones are free!
*   Spring break March 23rd through March 31st, Engineering Expo April 18th, Guidance counselor from Glacier Creek April 16th at 1:30 PM, Middle School visit April 30th 8:30 AM, Track Meet May 2nd all day.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Investigation of Dam

We Are Readers

Investigation of Flash Flood

We have been busy learning all about land forms in science and this group decided to videotape all of their work .  

Friday, March 15, 2013

Author Study Details and Ideas

The students have been busy at work on their author studies and should be working on the project both there in school and at home.  The projects are due April 4th and we will start presentations that day.

The big question that the students are trying to answer is:  How does/did the author's life influence their writing?  Their projects should therefore be about their life and work, but also exhibit higher level thinking and inferring.

Their project is student choice, but here are some ideas, many borrowed from the Reading Rockets website:

Create an Animoto

Do a Podcast using Spreaker

Create a Prezi

Create a class book based on the students' responses to the author's work

Create a display highlighting an author's life and work

Create a magazine cover about the author, featuring his/her photograph and then headlines giving a taste of his/her books and biography

Publish a special edition

Create a video review of an author's work

Develop a timeline about the author

Dramatize a scene from one of the books

Create a literary social network

Publish a newspaper about the author

Create a comic

Write a letter to a character in one of the author's books

Newsletter March 15, 2013

MathThis unit is perfect for the students as we near spring break; lots of review and creativity.  In fact, I have been really impressed with how hard they are working and how into coordinate grids they are.  The test will take place on Tuesday, April 2nd with the pre-test the following day.
Social Studies – The students have been very caught up in their Revolutionary War simulation and I presented them with their student-driven project today.  They will research one aspect of the Revolutionary War and then create something of their choice to present to the class.  We will have time here in school to research and work on it.  I am looking for passion-driven investigations, as well as projects, much like Innovation Day which will happen in May.
Reading We have been busy at work on our author study.  Students are reaching out to their authors, so far we have heard from 3 authors via Twitter and email.  The big question they are trying to answer is “How does your author’s life influence their writing?”  Their answer should be apparent in their project which is due April 4th.   
Writing We have been busy with our fantasy story developing our characters as well as figuring out our conflicts.  We are trying to have them done before spring break so that April can be dedicated to poetry month.
Science The landforms unit is halfway through and we have finished all of our investigation with the stream table.  Students will be determining our learning path next week as we look at the overall goals of the unit and design investigations to meet those goals.  I am excited to see what the students will think of.
Special Notes
* Thank you all for the wonderful discussion held during conferences.  I am fortunate to be part of your child’s journey and really enjoy discussing their challenges and strengths with you. 
* Thank you for an incredible birthday.  From homemade cards, bracelets and treats, I was spoiled.  Although the weather could have been warmer, the students were amazing and we had a lot of fun. 
* Remember to send in donations for the PTO Bowling if you have gift cards to donate. 
*The twins are very close to crawling, right now they scoot backwards and roll around.  I don’t know what we will do when they get mobile.
*  We said goodbye to Ms. Anma today who is leaving the district.  She will be greatly missed.
* The students continue to push themselves in their blogging.  We loved the challenge Ms. Kendra left for us and many students had thoughtful responses about what they would do in Saskatchewan
* Middle school is sneaking into our minds so next week my old student, Karina, will come and tell us more about middle school.  On April 16th the guidance counselor will come and speak to us and on April 30th we will be headed over for a visit. 
*   Engineering Expo details will be released after spring break, it is not too late to come with us for this great day of exploration.  Just email me and let me know if you would like to be a chaperone. 
* I will be out of the class Tuesday for training all day. 
* I have some dates for you to put on your calendars: Mrs. Ripp gone all day at training on March 19th, Report cards go home week of March 19th, Spring break March 23rd through March 31st, Engineering Expo April 18th, Guidance counselor from Glacier Creek April 16th at 1:30 PM, Middle School visit April 30th 8:30 AM, Track Meet May 2nd all day.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Updated Harlem Shake

Now with better editing and original dance moves 

Friday, March 8, 2013

Newsletter March 8, 2013

Ripp Newsletter
March 8, 2013
Thank you Cece and Buddy for writing this week’s newsletter!
MathIn Math we just had our unit 8 test and next week Monday we are starting unit 9. We are going to be switching classes. Make sure your students show you their test on Monday .
Social StudiesIn social studies we just started are simulation about setting the stage for the Revolutionary war. The students did a town meeting with presenting what happened on April 19th 1775. We have discussed how kids are somewhat leaning towards their sides either Patriots, Loyalist, or Undecided. Max has been a great sport for being the only undecided.
Reading –  We just finished Literacy Week! If you have not seen out legendary Harlem Shake, go to that is... We just started out author study. Brainstorm some project/presentation ideas with your child.
Writing –  Next week we will begin writing Fantasy Stories. We finished our grand literary essays (which no one cared for). What a relief! Students just did not want anything to do with essays after this. Luckly I don’t have to teach it any more.
Science We just begun our Landform unit and we are going to start studying maps and elevations. There is going to be some dislikes in this unit because all we do is stare at maps.  
*Special Notes*
*The third trimester begins on Monday the 11th
*Mrs. Ripp’s Birthday is Coming up on March 14th... PI Day. Gifts are allowed!:)... Remember to make her a lovely card!
*Book character was so fun.. all the kids had a great time dressed up as their favorite characters.
*Start telling your kids “This is your last year before Middle School”, but if you get emotional really easily, it’s probably not a good idea. Start thinking about The Graduation
*Read! Read! Read!

Mrs. Ripp’s  Notes:
*  Thank you for coming to conferences, I look forward to our next set this coming Tuesday.
*  Kendra, our Canadian student teacher, introduced herself to us and read us a fable.  She has also created this week’s blogging challenge and will start book talks with the students next week to give her a chance to get to know them better.
*  Literacy week was a huge success; thank you to everyone who read for us and donated books for the book swap.  We will continue to celebrate books as we continue to love reading.
*  Report cards will go home the week before spring break.
* We are on Twitter as a class.  As part of the author study,we will be reaching out to some of our favorites via Twitter.  The account is run by me and the students tweet under my supervision.  It is another great way for us to connect with people and to share our blogs.  You can follow us @MrsRippsClass
* I have some dates for you to put on your calendars:  Conferences March 12th,  Third Trimester begins March 11th,  No CRT March 14th, Mrs. Ripp gone all day at training on March 19th, Report cards go home week of March 19th, Spring break March 23rd through March 31st, Engineering Expo April 18th, Guidance counselor from Glacier Creek April 16th at 1:30 PM, Middle School visit April 30th 8:30 AM, Track Meet May 2nd all day.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Oskar is the Pilsbury Doughboy

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

World Maths Day

March 6th is World Maths Day, a day where students from around the world play virtually against each other.  We snagged the lab for an hour and could not believe that we played against students from more than 50 different countries.  This was a great time!

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

The Georgia Colony

Harlem Shake

In honor of literacy week, we did the Harlem Shake

Monday, March 4, 2013

Our First Secret Guest Read Alouder

Today Mrs. Lindblom showed up and shared a chapter of one of her favorite books "Because of Wynn Dixie."  Thank you s much for coming in and reading for us!

Friday, March 1, 2013

Newsletter March 1st, 2013

Thank you Cece for writing about math and social studies!
MathIn math we are so excited to end our learning about fractions. We also are learning about multiplying fractions so please ask your kids if they need help. In advanced math they are learning about pre algebra. Take note math test is on March 8th. Be sure to prepare your kids and study.
Social Studies – In social studies we just started are simulation about setting the stage for the Revolutionary war.  Students are taking notes and we are discussing the rising tension in the colonies.  We will be creating some sort of a project for our actual Revolutionary war chapter.
Reading –  Literacy week is next week and we cannot wait to celebrate all things reading.  We will be welcoming secret guest red alouders, create our very own Harlem Shake book video, create radio podcasts about books, do riddle scavenger hunts with our buddies, and just read!  We will also be starting our author study with more information to come.  Genre study was a blast and if your child did fantasy their book trailer can be found on our website.
Writing –  Something about the word essays seems to scare some of the kids.  We are therefore figuring out how to write about our connections with stories without it seeming overwhelming.  We are hoping to finish this unit next week.
Science We created models and maps of the playground and got acquainted with our stream tables, which means lots of sand in the classroom.  Next week we set up models for flood plains in the streamtables and learn a lot of new vocabulary.

Special Notes
*  An amazing moment at the ICE conference I went to yesterday.  During the keynote, attended by 1,200 people, Wes Fryer, the speaker, showcased our Kidblog site as a reason to integrate digital media into the classroom.  I had no idea this would happen and let out a woo!  when it did.  I am so proud of what the students do every day in this classroom and thrilled that others see that as well.
*  We have a virtual guest from Canada who will be helping out for a few weeks.  Kendra Baraniski is a 4th year education student at the University of Regina in Saskatchewan and needs to be embedded with a class that uses digital tools.  She was therefore paired with us and will be looking at the students’ blogs and so forth.  We look forward to having her help us the next few weeks.
*  Please send in gently used books for the book swap!  So far no books have been set in, which is fine, if we have few books we will just skip it.
*  Report cards will go home the week before spring break.
*Literacy week is all next week, we are excited to focus even more on reading.  Book character day is Friday.
*  Congratulations to Buddy and Noah E who both are winners in the Yahara River Writers contest, what an absolute honor for both of them.  
*Just a reminder that conferences are student led, so please bring your child!  They are all very excited to share their successes and goals with you.  Conferences will be 20 minutes long but if you need more time we can schedule a follow up. 
* Monday is absolute last day for either Read to Succeed (free Six Flags ticket) or Doodle for Google submissions.
* I have some dates for you to put on your calendars: Literacy week March 4th – March 8th, World Maths Day March 6th,   Conferences March 7th and 12th, 2nd Trimester ends March 8th,  Third Trimester begins March 11th,  Spring break March 23rd through March 31st.