Newsletter 24 – 2/28/14


ISTEP has come and students are very fickle about the whole thing. As you probably already know our play is coming up and we are getting into hardcore rehearsal stages. We currently don’t know much about times and dates. Unlike ISTEP, students know exactly how they feel about our play HONK. Students are very excited and can’t wait until we can do the final show at the one and only John Waldron Arts Center. Here is a first: someone gave the creator of this blog an idea paper. His name is Moses, and he is wondering what is going on with Scratch. Recently, actually at lunch a couple days ago, the 6-7-8 teachers and the 4-5 teachers said that Scratch is banned until spring break, which will arrive in about two weeks.

Congratulations to our Bowl for Kid’s Sake Team. We’ve made over $400 dollars. Thank you so much for your contributions!

Riddle: 20 kids went into an empty room and went to sleep woke up and there were 24 heads. How is this possible?

Writers Workshop

In writers we are doing ISTEP prep and finishing our historical essays.

Readers Workshop

Hello readers. In readers we have finally stop ISTEP prep and going on to the real ISTEP. Since we have stopped doing ISTEP prep we  are now doing independent reading. We are allowed to read any book. We have had two weeks of ISTEP prep.eaders Workshop

Math Workshop

On 2/26/14 we started Math Station, a prep for ISTEP. There are six different groups, there are Mathematical History (Origins of Math); Problem Solving; Place Value Games; Mathematical Books, Math Line Designs; Measurement & Flash cards. We’ll be doing this rotation while testing is happening through Spring Break. 


In P3 this week we had several more General Assembly meetings. In the House of Representatives, there was a floor debate on whether to only have Capture The Flag (CTF) at recess that was voted down. There was a vote on whether or not to have snack on 2-hour-delay days that was passed in the house, Senate, and signed by the governor (Ms. Cathy). The House and Senate also passed a bill on expanding our games at recess and having a rotation of activities. Kids are taking on the power to create legislation for the classroom and reflecting on daily experiences involved in ‘government.’ 

A:There were 20 foreheads (its a play on words)

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Newsletter 23 – 2/21/14


This week we had a VERY exciting visit, from the one and only… Ms. Emily Rosen-King!! She joined us on Wednesday for the whole entire day! WE shared laughs at lunch and fun at recess. We are also counting down the days to ISTEP. Some of us are excited, like the author of Featured, Kyra, and the new co-author, Iris. We have a feeling that most of the people in this class are not excited at ALL for ISTEP. But we all have to cope with the fact that ISTEP is almost here and is looming scarily over us…(like a shadow)

Math Workshop

This week in Ms. Kalei’s Math Group, Ms. Emily was visiting our math group! (That is why this is a special edition.) In case you don’t know, Ms. Emily is a returning teacher from last year. She is awesome! We are continuing our work with stations in little groups. Ms. Kalei is having conferences with certain people. We are also continuing our work with (OH JOY…) ISTEP prep. I think it’s fun, but a lot of other people are not as enthusiastic about it. In Mr. Bryan’s math group we went over place value up to a billion. We did three and four digit subtraction and addition with and without regrouping. In Mr. Jim’s math group we did multi-step problem solving with varying mathematical concepts.

Readers Workshop

In readers workshop we are doing ISTEP prep and practicing how to write or respond to make a new story of our own. We have been doing ISTEP for about a week. In about a WEEK starting next Thursday. ISTEP is going for four days tops. We have been learning about snakes in the ISTEP prep paper. We have had two ISTEP prep papers. We’re looking at prompts in ISTEP writing right now, discussing the six point scale for scoring and discussing voice, audience, planning, and organizing writing. 

Writers Workshop

In writers this week 17 out of 53 people have finished their historical essays. First, you take notes in your notebook. Second, you outline your essay. Third, you draft your essay in your notebook. Fourth, you proofread your draft (soon-to-be essay). Fifth, after proofreading and editing your draft (soon-to-be essay), you write your essay on loose leaf. Sixth, you proofread your essay that’s on loose leaf. Finally, you take it to your line teacher and they can put it in the folder along with your proofreading checklist!


Questions to Ask Your Child

  • What is your nonfiction research paper about? What did you learn about American history?
  • How are you feeling about ISTEP – is there anything I can do to support you?
  • What concepts have you been reviewing for ISTEP this week?
  • What did you do during the floor debates – did you vote for any legislation this week?
  • What is your new passions? Are you getting in flow? How do you make passions choices?

Some Favorite Poems

This is a new post I (Iris) decided to do. Here are my 3 favorite poems:


Overheard on a Saltmarsh

Nymph, nymph, what are your beads?
Green glass, goblin. Why do you stare at them?
Give them me. 
Give them me. Give them me.
Then I will howl all night in the reeds,
Lie in the mud and howl for them.
Goblin, why do you love them so?
They are better than stars or water,
Better than voices of winds that sing,
Better than any man’s fair daughter,
Your green glass beads on a silver ring.
Hush, I stole them out of the moon.
Give me your beads, I want them.
I will howl in the deep lagoon
For your green glass beads, I love them so.
Give them me. Give them.


My other favorite poem:

“Hope” is the thing with feathers—
That perches in the soul—
And sings the tune without the words—
And never stops—at all—
And sweetest—in the Gale—is heard—
And sore must be the storm—
That could abash the little Bird
That kept so many warm—
I’ve heard it in the chillest land—
And on the strangest Sea—
Yet, never, in Extremity,
It asked a crumb—of Me.

My other favorite poem:

The fog comes
on little cat feet.
It sits looking
over harbor and city
on silent haunches
and then moves on.

Newsletter 22 – 2/16/14

Hola mis amigos. These next few weeks are going to get a little more tense as they lead up to ISTEP! At the end of this snowy month we are going to be taking ISTEP. Honestly I don’t mind ISTEP. Now this might sound like a horrible excuse but you get out of classes that you don’t want to do.  Also we are diving deeper into our play HONK! On Friday we figured out our roles! We also had Congressman Todd Young in the classroom Friday afternoon! 

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Q.How do you make seven an even number?

In 4/5 we are being sorted into Senate and House of Representatives. About 2/3ds of the class are in the HB. The others in the senate. The teachers are the justices, so talk to them like this: “Hello, Justice Jim! Have you seen Justice Kalei?” We are not normally talking like that, but I just said “Good-bye, Justice Kalei!” So, if you want to, I’m not going to stop you.Ms. Cathy is considered the Governor. She can veto the bills once they pass Mr. Jim and Ms. Kalei Making sure the are constitutional (Agreementatienal!) and the House and Senate are passing them before they go to the Justices. We just voted for our President Protem and Speaker of the House in P3 today, and these were the runners-up for the House Speaker: for the House: David, Ella, Nathan J. Caiden, Celie, and Moses. The winner, with 15 votes, was Celie. For the President Protem: Cian, Natalie, and Iris. The winner, with 8 votes, was Iris.

In this unit in writers, we are working on our American Historical Essays. Where are you in this process? Are you working on your topic sentence? Are you drafting? Are you already on loose leaf? Remember, this writers unit ends on February 19th. Make sure you get your essay done in time! A topic sentence is a hook for your paragraph. Many great topic sentences have been floating around the room. What is your topic sentence? What are you writing about? Colonial life, The Constitution, Declaration of Independance? Maybe you are writing about Ben Franklin or George Washington. All of these topics are quite interesting. All these essays will be great!

This week we are working on ISTEP prep for the end of this month. We have been working with passages and answering the  questions. We also threw the passages have been learning about Golden Eagle Hotshots they are like a mini firefighter but in the woods. This week we have also finished the Sharon Creech posters about the book we have read. We have many posters about “Chasing Redbird, Bloomability, Walk Two Moons” and many more posters. We went over an acronym for ISTEP prep – R.A.C.E.R. – Restate the question, Answer the question, Cite evidence, End with an explanation, Read through for edits/proofreads. 

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In Ms. Pam’s group we are working on a new packet for ISTEP prep. The new packet is on connecting percents and decimals. In Mr. Jim’s group we finished our unit on geometry.  Students learned how to plot points on a grid, how to find lines of symmetry, and how to rotate, translate, and reflect various geometric shapes.  This next week we will work with decimals.  We will discuss how to convert fractions to decimals and how to perform basic operations with decimals.  We will also be doing some multi-step problem solving. In Ms. Kalei’s group we reviewed the ISTEP constructed response rubric and started our practice. We are still working on geometrical concepts – we looked at the difference in congruence and symmetry, studied types of lines, and continued our work on measuring with a protractor.

Questions to ask your child:
1) What is the ISTEP “formula” you talked about for the reading test?
2) What stage are you in in the writing process? What needs to happen before you publish?
3) What have you learned about the foundations of the United States in P3 and Writers Workshop so far?
4) What are some of the newer greetings you did in Morning Meeting this week?
5) What is the legislation you wrote in P3 about? How does it relate to the classroom agreements?

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Newsletter 21 2/8/14

This week we finished up our readers projects. We also had book buddies and tried screen-free recess since we’re now indoors so much of the time. 

Hey hey hey readers! Ok so lets catch up. These are late updates (sorry about that) Anyway lets catch up! Ok so,
Readers think about their role while bookclubs are going.
Readers ask analytical questions in their second meeting.
Readers connect their text to themselves, other texts, the world,and media.
Readers ask evaluative questions.

This week, students completed their end-of-Sharon-Creech-book-club projects. They were to pick ten significant objects to the story as well as ten quotes that support the theme. LLI Groups started some test preparation and continued to work at their just right levels. 

In this writers unit we are doing research on the U.S. history. There are many topics such as The Constitution, Declaration of Independence, Colonial Life, and much more. After this research we will be writing essays. Where are you in this process? Planning, drafting, or writing?

In Mr. Jim’s math group, we are working on reflective symmetry as well as other geometric concepts. Ms. Kalei’s group is also working on geometry – we studied angles and lines this week. 

In P3 right now, we are working on making our own House of Representatives and Senate. Students were randomly selected to be in these roles, and we are making a “mock” Indiana legislative body. We have been talking a lot about checks and balances. We have also been going over the General Assembly in Indiana’s government. 

Newsletter 20-1/31/14


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This week we went on a field trip to the Lilly Library. It was great! So many cool things. We looked at a copy of the constitution that was actually used at the constitutional convention. We saw the Declaration of Independence that was sent to the original Rhode Island colony. We also saw a copy of the letter that George Washington sent when he accepted the presidency. We also had a special session with our book buddies. They are reading nonfiction and had some tricky danger-zone texts that 4/5 was able to support. We finally had passions after so many delays, and some of the objects being used for Mr. Jim’s passions made their way into the classroom. Can you guess what he’s doing? 


This week we finished our books for book clubs! What book have you read? Make sure you finished the entire book! We have a project on our books coming up soon.  Our projects will combine significant objects from the book with quotes to support the theme. Students decided on groupings this week and began to collect evidence.


In Writer’s workshop we are continuing our work with little groups. We are finishing up on researching, and trying to move on to drafting.


In P3, 4/5 is finishing and editing the gender projects. Only some people are doing that, only the people who have not finished them at the designated time and are doing at recess. The projects are focusing on the differences in gender stereotypes in 2014 and 2125. We have done two lessons on mapping and geography to prepare for our trip to the Lilly Library. 

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In Mr. Jim’s group  we are learning about rotation and using uni fix cubes. In Ms. Kalei’s group we took a pre-assessment for our geometry unit and talked about angle measurement.

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