Newsletter 29 – 4/18/14

**teachers notes in italics

Featured

Our spring conferences are coming up very soon. Us students are preparing portfolios for our conferences that have work we have chosen to present to our parents. Students spent several days this week working on portfolios in math, reading, writing, and p3. They have compiled a piece of work that best represents their learning in each area and done some written reflection work as well. We sent home a letter to families via email and mail (with student) to schedule these conferences. They are starting next week.

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Math Workshop

In Mr. Jim’s math group this week in  math we are putting our  portfolio and we did an assessment so that sums it up. We did some problem solving – making sure we know the operation needed to solve any given problem. We drew pictures of story problems. Reflecting on our math work, we wrote goals for our future math lives. In Ms. Kalei’s group we went through an extensive study of decimals- quickly! We talked about the relationship between decimal values (where does 0.2 fall on a number line that goes from 0 to 1?). We worked on adding and subtracting decimals and placing these values in order from least to greatest. We read decimals aloud and practiced representing them as fractions. Toward the end of our week, we started to represent percent. 

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Writers Workshop

This week in writers workshop we continued writing fantasy fiction stories. We thought of multiple problems a character could face and how we would string those together. Our writers workshop time is becoming significantly more balanced and we are now having kids share everyday. It’s been lovely to hear vivid imagery related to the setting of our stories.  Students have been working of creating rich descriptions of characters, settings and problems. We have been using a variety of model texts but our favorite has been The Mysteries of Harris Burdick by Chris Van Allsburg.

Readers Workshop

In readers workshop this week, we closed up the first part of our fantasy unit. We spent our last day focusing on symbols and talked about the book The Giving Tree. To close off the independently paced part of our unit, we did a partner assessment of the concepts we’ve learned so far. Students learned about upcoming book club choices and will be assigned to book clubs the week of April 28th! 

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P3

In P3, 4/5 started an engineering unit. First we read a book called Rosie Revere, Engineer by Andrea Beaty and David Roberts. We have made towers out of toothpicks and marshmallows, and on Wednesday we tried to make  columns that would hold up notebooks and post-its. They could only be made out of one sheet of paper, tape, and a paper clip. On Friday we put weight on the structures – initially up to 7 composition books. Then the students had 10 minutes to grab new materials and try again! In our second trial we measured weight up to 14 notebooks and most of the towers had improvements that allowed them to balance and support the weight. We discussed what habits came up in this experiment and those are listed below. 

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Questions to Ask Your Child

  • Describe the setting of where we are right now.
  • What was the reflection process like for you? How are you feeling about the school year overall?
  • What book club are you interested in joining? Why?
  • What have the morning meeting math problems been about this week?
  • Tell me about a share you heard this week.
  • What science lab helped you gain the most knowledge?
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