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 prezi.com) 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.

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