Friday, September 6, 2013

Newsletter September 6, 2013

Welcome to our first weekly newsletter!  This should give you an idea of where we have been and where we are going in our classroom.  What a journey we are on!
Special Notes
* We have had an amazing first week together and I cannot tell you how thrilled I am over being this class’ teacher.  They are working hard as a group and are already creating a welcoming and exciting learning environment.  We have spent some time on procedures and getting to know each other, and I am confident that this is going to be an incredible year filled with growth for all of these students.
*  Check out our website for great pictures from the classroom as well as other information.  From now on the newsletter will be posted there every Friday.
*  If you have not received an email from me, something is not working.  I have sent group emails a few times so please contact me if you are not getting the emails.
*  Please let me know if you would like to receive this newsletter as a paper copy rather than an email. 
*  The classroom calendar is continually updated; please view it on our website to see when there is a sub, parties, orchestra, band or anything else going on.  Also, if your child has a cool event you would like to invite others to, let me know and I will put it on the classroom calendar.  I try to go to these things as well whenever my children allow it.
*  Many of you know this, but Brandon and I are thrilled to be expecting our 4th child at the end of February.  I will be on a short maternity leave then until April 14th.
*Orchestra will be on day 5 of our 6 day rotation and band will be on day 1.  I will try to get the dates posted on our classroom calendar when I have them. 
*  I am headed to Washington DC on Friday, September 20th where I get to walk the red carpet with Brandon for the Bammys.  I am a finalist for Elementary Teacher of the Year, which I will not win, but I am looking forward to going out there and meeting some of the big names in education.  The students will have a sub that Friday afternoon and I will be back Monday morning with pictures.
* I have some dates for you to put on your calendars:  Picture day is September 20th this year,  Sub for afternoon Friday, September 20th. .  

MathWe will start math this coming Monday.  All of my 5th grade math students will stay with me for unit 1 so that I may to get to know them as problem solvers.  Advanced math kids will start with Ms. Weber on Monday as well. 
Science Science starts on Monday with some liquid experiments and then we start variables, which is a great unit that allows us a peak into controlling experiments as well as how to write a research paper.
Social Studies – Social studies start next week with our first unit on US land regions.  We will be studying the best possible places in our land region to survive a zombie invasion.  Students will have to look at available resources, elevation, major highways etc to decide where they should go.  More information will come.  We are also trying to set up our first Mystery Skype of the year; I am excited to see how they work on this as a group.
Reading We have slowly started building stamina for reading.  It is quite a sight seeing 73 students all sitting quietly and reading and often I get protests when I ask them to return to their seats.  We have had very frank discussions about fake reading, why reading can suck, and how to make reading amazing.  I have also introduced the 40 book challenge, which is ongoing for the year.

Writing We have started paper blogs this week to get us ready to start blogging.  We had our first discussion on internet safety – the results can be seen on our website.  We have also started dabbling with our writer’s workshop and I asked the students what color is 5th grade. The Global Read Aloud starts on the 30th, and we have more than 90,000 kids signed up. 

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