Newsletter 35- 5/31/14


Newsletter thinking for next year: Please email Ms. Kalei and let her know how the newsletter has been helpful for you this year. You can also think about any changes you’d make in terms of length, writing style, information given, etc.

Next Tuesday, we will have our last NWEA test (Math) for the school year. Some students will still be doing small group testing up through next Friday when the testing window closes.

Our next two weeks will be heavily slated with MAW prep (The MAW stands for museum of authentic work. It is a time when we look at everything we’ve done for the year and represent it through the lens of our Origins questions). We will be doing a lot of thinking of how to reflect and show the big ideas that have emerged from this years work. You can help us at home by asking about big projects students would like to represent and how.

Be sure to read the updates on curriculum this week as well as some info on a possible summer opportunity.



IU Learning Sciences came into 4/5 this week for several days to teach us how to do work with circuits. Using five different circuitry kits, students explored how positives and negatives make a circuit run. Here is a rundown of the five kits.

  • Little bits  is a kit of magnetic pieces that work together to make a circuit function. By snapping the pieces into place you can make buttons function, a toggle switch, a light turn on and grow in dimness, a sound, a motor run, and much more. Students had fun making “hand buzzers.”


  • Electrical circuits was a group that used alligator clips to attach a battery to a lightbulb, motor, and a switch. Students made masks, massive circuits that lit up 3 or more lightbulbs, and houses


  • Snap circuits is a kit that has a plastic board with snap on pieces. These pieces can make an alarm clock run, a saucer spin, a lightbulb turn on, and they all are connected by hard plastic pieces that must be snapped in the correct way.


  • E-textiles was a work intensive project where you could sew an LED light into fabric as well as a battery pack and on/off switch using metallic thread. Students had to make sure their stitching connected the right parts of the circuit, which was certainly a challenge for many.
  • Squishy circuits (an easy one to make at home) was a circuitry kit where playdough helped the circuit run. Connecting a battery pack to two balls of playdough, students stuck an LED light into the two balls to test if it could light up. We had marvelous projects come out of this kit.IMG_4216IMG_4187

Math Workshop

In math this week, Ms. Kalei and Ms. Pam’s groups joined to continue work on height data. Students are converting their height measurements in the fall into feet and inches and collecting new data from their spring height to measure the difference. We have a handful of students who were not in the math group in the fall, so we will have to calculate the average height growth and work backwards from their spring measure. In Mr. Jim’s group, we spent this week learning how to do the box method for multiplication. Take 477 x 32. In this method you take a number and break it into expanded notation – i.e. 477 becomes 400 + 70 + 7 and 32 becomes 30 + 2. Then you create a box, each place value has a cell (this looks much like a punnett square) and multiply each place value by each place value. You can find a parent explanation from Bridges in this family letter.  In Mr. Bryan’s group we are working on least common multiple, and using a multiplication table to navigate how two numbers can be related.

Read Aloud

We started a new book for read aloud last week: Three Times Lucky by Shelia Turnage. It’s possible we will not finish this book by the end of the year, and there is a sequel, so get on the hold list at the library now. It’s an excellent mystery story set in Tupelo Landing, NC (Ms. Kalei has enjoyed reading it in her North Carolinian accent).


Field Day

Field day was a success! Check out our pictures to infer all the fun that happened!

IMG_4227 IMG_4230 IMG_4231 IMG_4228 IMG_4229 IMG_4232


A Summer Choice

Please take a look at the info for the summer camp DramatiCATS recommended by Ivan Kreilkamp.

DramatiCATS (Comedy and Tragedy Stars)
June 16-27
M-F 9am – 4pm

In DramatiCATS (Comedy and Tragedy Stars), students are challenged with brainstorming characters and writing monologues, eventually culminating in their own two-character plays that the students will perform side-by-side with adult actors. DramatiCATS camper’s imaginations are challenged constantly while they create one of a kind new theatre. Over the course of a two-week day camp, students work with theatre professionals to develop and perform in their own original plays. A virtual playground for young imaginations, DramatiCATS is directly in line with the BPP’s mission to be a leading artistic force in the production and encouragement of new plays and encourage promising young writers of tomorrow. Visit for more information.


Jessica Reed 

Managing Director
Bloomington Playwrights Project
107 W 9th St
Bloomington, IN 47404

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