Friday, February 21, 2014

Newsletter, Friday, February 21st

Special Notes:

  • Congratulations to Sydney and Zach!  Both were selected for publication in the Yahara Rivers Writer Anthology.  They will attend the Yahara River Writers Writing Workshop this May at the Union.  Way to Go!
  • Today students began their individual reflections for conferences.  Conferences will be student led.  Students will have class time on Monday to work on the reflection, but may also work on it at home if they wish.
  • Next week will be my final week with the students.  During the afternoon on Friday, February 28th, Mrs. Ripp will transition back to the classroom.  Starting the following Monday, she will be back full time.
  • Calendar Dates:
    • Friday, February 28th: Mrs. Gould's Last Day
    • Monday, March 3rd: Mrs. Ripp returns full-time
    • Friday, March 7th: End of Second Trimester

Reading:  We're diving into our Historical Fiction unit and our read aloud, Hattie Big Sky by Kirby Larson.  This week, we constructed a timeline and compared the main characters life to the historical events and times in which the novel is set.  Students should have their historical fiction novel picked out, and most should be reading theirs by now.  If they aren't reading it yet, it should be the next book they read. 

Writing:  On Wednesday we had our"The Lens of History" writing project author's celebration.  Students shared their work with one another in small groups.  Now, we are beginning a mini-unit on paragraphs.  Students will be outlining and writing paragraphs based around the prompts Mrs. Ripp wrote for her last blogging challenge.  The students have the opportunity for excerpts of their work to be published in one of Mrs. Ripp's upcoming books, so we are going to work really hard to make these paragraphs high-quality.  

Math:  We are finishing up Unit 7, which is a unit on Exponents and Negative Numbers. We will review the Unit on Monday, and the Unit 7 test will be on Tuesday, February 26th. 

Science: We continued our unit on Mixtures and Solutions.  Students separated salt water solutions through evaporation.  We studied the salt crystals left behind through microscopes.  

Social Studies:  We began our new unit this week.  We are studying the American Colonies.  Mrs. Ripp and I have placed the students in groups of two.  Each group will be assigned a colony.  Students will be researching their colony, and creating a Prezi (an online presentation...see to present to the class.  Today, students were assigned their partners and given time to explore making a prezi.  Next week, students will be assigned their colony and will begin the research process.

Note: Students were originally supposed to present their social studies presentations from the last unit to another class via Skype.  I've been emailing the teacher at the other school, but have yet to hear back.  For now, I've been recommending students keep their project supplies until we know more.

Friday, February 14, 2014

Newsletter, Friday, February 14th, 2014

Special Notes:

  • Today we had our class Valentine's Day party.  Thank you to all parents and families who helped with the party.  Whether by helping your student fill out Valentine's Cards, providing treats and utensils, or helping out with the party, we appreciate the support.  The students had a lot of fun!
  • Parent teacher conferences are coming up.  See Mrs. Ripp's Pre-Conference Form and Conference sign up postings.
  • Calendar Dates:
    • Monday, February 17th: No School, Professional Development Day
    • Friday, March 7th: End of Second Trimester

Reading:  On Thursday we started our read aloud, Hattie Big Sky by Kirby Larson, which is a historical fiction novel.  During our Historical Fiction unit, students will be meeting with their reading group to discuss their independent reading novels.  Students have been instructed that the next book they choose as an independent reading novel needs to be a historical fiction novel.  We spent time in the school library today looking at books.  Our goal is for every student to be excited about what they will be reading next.

Writing:  "The Lens of History" writing project is due at the beginning of class this Wednesday, Feb. 19th.  Students have been working on it during class, but many still have a lot to do.  Please check-in with your student and when possible, encourage them to work on it this weekend.  Tuesday will be the last day students will have in-class time to write.  Students should have a printed, final copy at school on Wednesday for our in-class author's celebration.  Students should have their final draft completed by the end of class on Tuesday if they would like to print at school.  

Math:  We are in the midst of Unit 7, which is a unit on Exponents and Negative Numbers. This week, students have learned about scientific notation, the order of operations, line graphs, and negative numbers.

Science: This week we began our science unit on Mixtures and Solutions.  This unit has many labs, and the class has been talking about how we are excited for the hands-on learning.  

Social Studies:  We finished class social studies presentations this week.  It was awesome to see the amount of time the students put into their projects to showcase all they had learned.  This upcoming week, we will be starting a Unit on the American Colonies.  Students have requested more project-based learning, so next week, we will discuss our plan for this new unit.

Thank you again for your time and support.  Happy Valentine's Day!

Spring Pre-Conference Parent Survey

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Valentine's Day

Valentine’s Day

We will be having a class party starting around 2:00pm on Friday,
February 14th to celebrate Valentine's Day.  On Friday, students can bring in a Valentine, however, if they do, they need to bring one for everyone in the class.  They can attach a candy or trinket to their Valentine but this is not expected.

Class List

Monday, February 10, 2014

Lens of History Writing Project Due Wed., Feb. 19th

Students have been hard at work on our Lens of History Writing Projects.  These projects will be due next Wednesday, February 19th.

I've included the project explanation and requirements below:
  • Students will choose a historical event to research and then write about it.
  • Students can pick any event in history they want to learn about; however, they need to pick a specific topic to research (for example, rather than pick "slavery" choose a part of slavery, such as the daily life of a enslaved person who worked in the cotton fields).
  • Students will choose to either write a research paper detailing their event, or a historical fiction story, incorporating events and research in a plot.
  • Students should focus on perspective-taking, thinking about the perspectives of individuals or groups who lived through the situation to develop deeper thinking and empathy for the situation.
  • Students should limit their pictures, and make sure the ones they do include contain vital information.
  • Include at least one map.
  • Sources should be cited using Easybib or something similar.
  • Length should be between four and ten pages, double spaced, size 12 font.
  • Final draft due Wednesday, February 19th.
Students will have writing class time to continue to work on their stories; however, in order to have a polished and finished product, many students will need to work on these outside of class time as well.  Please check-in with your student, and see how their work is progressing.

I have been conferencing with students in class and commenting on their drafts via Google Docs.  If students have questions for me, they know they can comment right on their document and I will respond.

I'm looking forward to continuing to see these develop!

Friday, February 7, 2014

Newsletter, February 7th, 2014

Special Notes:

  • Today Mrs. Ripp visited our class with baby Augustine.  It was the first time many of us got to see Augustine in person, and she was precious!  Congratulations again, Mrs. Ripp!
  • Several forms went home this past week.  We sent home a permission slip for the Human Growth and Development program, as well as a course selection form for Glacier Creek Middle School.  Thank you to everyone who has returned these.  If you have not, please send them with your student on Monday.  If you need copies of either form, please let me know.
  • Valentine's Day, Friday, February 14th, students may bring a Valentine.  However, if they do, students need to bring one for everyone in the class.  Students may attach candy or a trinket, but it is not expected.  There is a class list with first names on our website.
  • Upcoming Dates: 
    • Winter Carnival: Saturday, Feb. 8th, 2:00pm.
    • Class Valentine's Day Party: Friday, Feb. 14th, 2:00pm.

Reading:  We are getting close to finishing our reading unit on interpreting theme and moving into historical fiction.  We are almost done with our class read aloud, The False Prince.  Soon, we will be starting our next read aloud, Hattie Big Sky by Kirby Larson, which is a historical fiction novel.  We previewed the book with the students today, and we're excited to start reading it soon!

Writing:  Students are busy at work on their "Lens of History" writing projects.  Students are moving from the research stage to the writing stage.  As a class, we will set a deadline for this project early next week.  It looks like the tentative deadline will be early in the week of the 17th.

Math:  Yesterday we began Unit 7, which is a unit on Exponents and Negative Numbers.  Each night, students will most likely have math boxes/study links pages as homework.  

Science: Today, students finished their assessments for the Land forms unit.  Next week, we will begin the next unit--Mixtures and Solutions.  We have a lot of fun upcoming experiments with this unit!

Social Studies:  Student presentations of their historical research projects began yesterday.  I am impressed with the depth of knowledge and professionalism of many of the student presentations.  Way to go!  We are continuing presentations this upcoming Monday and Tuesday, with a goal of having all presentations completed by Tuesday afternoon.

Thank you so much for your time and support.  Our class had a wonderful first week together!

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Ms. Gould's New Email and Classroom Updates.

Today, I finally received a district email account.  Yay!  This afternoon, I sent a class email out to using contact information that was provided at the beginning of the year.  If you did not receive an email and would like to be added to the class email list, please email me using the contact information below:

Lauren Gould
Long-Term Substitute

Also, if you have any questions or concerns in the future, please do not hesitate to contact me.  I look forward to getting to know you and the students better over the month of February!

As far as classroom news, I've provided a copy of the updates from the email below:

Reading:  This week, we will finish up our unit on Interpreting Theme, and next week, we will move onto a unit on Historical Fiction.  We've been reading the book The False Prince by Jennifer Nielson, and last Thursday, we had the opportunity to Skype with her.  Today in class, we read the scene she told us was her favorite!  I am also busy conferencing with your students and getting to know them as readers.  I love to read, so it's been really fun to hear all about the books they are reading.  We just set February reading goals, so if you are looking to check-in with their reading, that's something you could ask them about.

Writing:  We are still working on our project "The Lens of History."  For more details, see the class blog post by clicking here.  

Math:  Student just took the Chapter 6 Assessment today.  Tomorrow, we will be taking the Chapter 7 Pre-Test and splitting up into our new math groups sometime this week.

Science:  We are working on finishing our Assessment for the Land Forms Unit.  Next week, we will begin our science unit on Mixtures.

Social Studies:  Students are hard at work finishing up their Social Studies projects.  For the original details posted on the blog, click here.  The presentations will begin Thursday and continue through early next week. As a reminder, student presentations should be 5-8 minutes long, and need to include a student-created artifact, such as a map, model, movie or poster.  I'm looking forward to the presentations!

Thank you so much for your time and support!

Augustine update

Augustine continues to thrive here at home, she doesn't do much but sleep and eat but we love how big she is getting.  Friday she weighed 5 lbs 11 oz, so she is inching into normal baby territory.  The twins are quite fond of her but continue to pet her, we wonder if they think she is an animal.  Thea is quite the little helper and is very proud of her sister.  And Brandon and I are just trying to figure out this new normal life that is filled with so many children and so much love.

Again, thank you for all of your thoughts, your food deliveries (truly amazing!) and all of your patience during this time.  I know the students are in great hands with Ms. Gould and I cannot wait to hear all about it.


Time to Sign Up For Spring Conferences

Please click the link below to sign up for our spring conferences.