Newsletter 7 – 9/26/14

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NWEA. And more NWEA. We have had 3 NWEAs, but a few people haven’t finished/missed some of the tests and need to make them up. NWEA is a growth-based assessment that measures children’s growth over time. It is a smart test and the questions adjust based on the response of the student. Most of the class took the writing, reading, and math assessment this week. Some will need to continue their tests next week and we are certainly still doing some accommodations. We’ve been impressed by the stamina of kids during these testing sessions. 

 Morning Meeting

This morning Abel’s parents came in to talk about him and his life. They said they live on a farm called Moon Valley  farm where they have 50 chickens, cows, goats, pigs, cats, a dog and sheep. This week we did sleeping lions. It is a game were you do NOT move and then if some one sees you t moving then you are out!

Writers Workshop

In writers this week we did a on demand piece for our next unit the Identity Essay. An on demand piece is where we go and write and then give it to the teacher and then they read it and see what they have to teach us. The identity essay will be a collaborative project with arts and music. In this essay, students will prove a thesis about themselves (i.e. I am an interesting person) by exploring their identity. This week we specifically focused on topic sentences after our on-demand. To echo the student writing above, an on-demand is a piece we write at the beginning of the unit with very little instruction given to the students. The on-demand helps us tailor our teaching to what students currently know about the unit, this unit being essay structures. 

Readers Workshop

This week we didn’t have any teaching points,but we learned this week about realistic fiction. We also leaned that we need to finish our RF books by fall break.  Students are working on comparing the plot, setting, and characters in their novels. They are also thinking about theme. This week we finished The House on Maple Street in The Chronicles of Burdick .

Math Workshop

This week in Ms. Kalei’s math group we have been working on different strategies  math. There is the most recent strategy, the chinese stick method, then there was the box method  the partial product, and there were several other methods. Resources were sent home with students and can also be found here to support math at home. 

This week in Ms. Pam’s Math Group we have had to be on our own since Ms. Pam has been helping with testing. We have been working on our projects! At the end of each session we do a project that connects to the math we did in that session, our throughlines, and our self. We have been planning our projects when we are done with fix and finish and our packets.

This week in Ms. Kandi’s group we developed working definitions for area and perimeter.  Students worked with both the area and the perimeter when they were given a specific number of tables to arrange that would allow for 32 guests to get one linear unit of space and no space left over. The tables could be arranged in any way: grouped all together to form one large table or split into groups to form numerous smaller tables.  Students drew diagrams and wrote number sentences to record these table arrangements.  Students also measured the dimensions and computed the areas and perimeters of a collection of rectangles using rulers and 1-inch tiles.

This week in Mr. Jim’s group we are continuing to work on our house projects. We finished our house plan projects that used area and perimeter. We explored techniques for multi-digit multiplication. We talked about fractions and rounding large numbers. 

P3 Workshop

This week we did hours and hours of maps.  We finished our maps of America,Mexico and Canada. That is when we label each and every state. We also looked at multiple maps of the state of Indiana: elevation, population trends, population density, Native languages, rainfall, days without ice, etc. Students broke into small groups to talk about what the function of one map would be – who would use it? why would it be useful?

Visual Arts

In Visual Arts this week we have been making our Identity map, a Identity map is a type of map that tells yourself more about yourself. Also we had a time line on our identity map that you could but the day you were born to when we you go on and all the memories in between.

Performing Arts

We just learned our play, Going West. We have not practiced it yet. We got our own “JAZZ!” packets that we are working on to train our voices when we do more jazz in the future. Some of our songs in are jazz packets include, “My Favorite Things”, “Route Sixty Six”, and so much more!

We are also starting an extensive unit in Writers, Art, and Music, called the Identity piece. In Music, we will be making the Soundtracks of Me. We will use GarageBand to make them, and are currently just exploring all the different loops. You are allowed to record and play an instrument and add it in, so expect your child to be composing music at home!

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Newsletter 6 – 9/20/14

Due to NWEA testing, this whole blog post is written by teachers. Students will resume writing next week we hope. 

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This week we had our publishing party (which you’ll read about more in writers workshop, below). We also went to an opera performance at the library that showed featured the origins of fire. We started spelling groups, and we started our conversation about NWEA. NWEA testing will take place with most of the class on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday. Students with accommodations for testing will be testing throughout the next two weeks.

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Writers Workshop

This week we published and celebrated our small moment personal narratives. Many families came to our celebration to help us as we appreciated each other and our work. Students worked hard this first six weeks to take small annotations into long-form drafts. Most students ended this unit with at least two rough drafts and a final published piece. They incorporated thought, action, dialogue, and description into their final pieces.

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Readers Workshop

In readers workshop this week we celebrated the end of our launching unit with Book Buzz! Students created small newspaper-esque pieces using strategies taught in the unit as a whole. In small groups they shared their book buzz and nominated a book that had the most buzz, then sharing with other groups. At the end of the celebration we had seven books that had a ton of buzz that were shared with the whole class.

We have also started a short study of realistic fiction. As our launching day for realistic fiction, we discussed how realistic fiction is different than historical fiction and fantasy fiction. Students selected four books from our library that they would like to read during this unit that will take us until fall break. The unit will briefly address character study, setting, and plot. Students will be assigned a book (from their selections) on Monday and will need to finish it during this study.

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Math Workshop

In Ms. Kalei’s group this week, students made multiplication flash cards in preparation for our new study of multi-digit multiplication. Families will receive a letter later next week that explains changes in homework in order to make sure all kiddos are working to memorize their facts.

In Mr. Jim’s group, students are working on their area/perimeter projects. They are relating arrays to area, and learning about how dimensions relate to both perimeter and area in the design of a room/house.

In Ms. Kandi’s group we used arrays to review strategies for multiplying by 8 and 9.  We also played a game called Spinning Around Multiplication which provides practice identifying strategies for solving multiplication facts.

In Ms. Pam’s group, students are finishing their fix and finish for this unit and starting on unit projects.

P3 Workshop

In P3 this week we worked with maps to continue our study of geography. Students are working on learning and scribing down the states of Mexico and the provinces of Canada. Students are also mastering the seven continents and their locations.

Current Events/Issues

This week in current events, students read a newspaper that had articles about airstrikes in Iraq, bullying/empathy, the child migrant crisis, and a massive underground reservoir. In issues we continued our conversation on Ebola and read the perspectives of people who are close to the outbreak in Liberia.

Newsletter 5 – 9/12/14

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This week we started spelling! We will have 3 groups eventually, but for now we are doing all-group spelling. Some examples of words we are working on are: thrill, twelve, pledge, halfway, non-fat, and other words. We worked on short vowels and compound words.

Goal-setting conferences are coming up! We will be sending home sheets on Monday with your child(ren) so you can sign up. The goal-setting conferences are for parents and teachers to set goals for their child in school and home.

Writers Workshop

In writers this week we are trying to finish are first and second drafts and get to publishing. The teaching points this week are: Writers format dialogue; Writers use a rubric to self-assess work; Writers revise and edit in their drafts in notebooks. We have also been revising and some people have even been adding punctuation. Students had a second draft due today (Friday, 9/12) and their published pieces will be due on Friday, 9/19. We will have a writing celebration on Friday 9/19 at 1:15 which is open to all families.

Readers Workshop

This week in readers workshop we learned these teaching point, readers compare and contrast elements in their books. This week in Flora and Ulysses  we found out that Ulysses, the squirrel, can type.Mr. reads Flora and Ulsses to us everyday after arts. This week we also started a book buzz project. It seems like its very important to Mr.Jim. Wich is very very common with reading. In our Book Buzz project, readers will show how they have used multiple strategies in one single book. A picture of the reading strategies is below. 

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P3 Workshop

This week in P3 workshop we have been learning about continents and maps.  we have all memorized the seven continents North America, South America, Africa, Europe, Asia,Australia and Antarctica. We also learned the main oceans, Pacific, Indian, Atlantic.  We all made our own maps all colored in and labeledd.  We also learned about latitude and longitude.  We also learned about ebola and made connections to different continents and found some fun facts.

Current Events/Issues

This week in Issues, we talked about the Ebola disease. Ms. Kalei told as much as she knew about it to the class, and we will talk more.  The class was able to discuss some brief points about the disease including it’s origin, it’s current outbreak, how it impacts people, how health workers are aiding the crisis, and how residents of Liberia specifically have been affected by the virus. We talked about how scientists study Ebola in animals and are also looking for a cure. We did not discuss how Ebola impacts the body graphically, students may have questions about this at home. 

Book Buddies

Today in book buddies before we could start to read we talked about what Joy is and how we show Joy. It was cool to hear what are book buddies do to show Joy. A lot of them talked about doing stuff  like being nice and about actions that they did for people to show joy. We are still working on helping and encouraging them to start to sound out words if they can’t read yet.

Ms. Kalei’s Math Group

This week in Ms. Kalei’s math group we did place value from hundred thousands to millions. We represented place value on graph paper, showing one, ten, hundred, thousand and ten-thousand. Some students made keys and broke a single square of graph paper into ten sections; thousand was only a hundred graph paper squares and so on. We also discussed the array model for multi-digit multiplication, multiplying by tens by removing the place value, and using a partial products method. In our new unit on multi-digit operations, students will learn/explore several different methods and then choose the one that is most efficient for them. 

Mr. Jim’s Math Group

1s,10s,100s,1,000s,10,000s! We also started looking at house plans because we are going to start working on our house floor plans. We are learning all about area and perimeter. We are focusing on arrays. An array is a visual representation of the physical area in a multiplication/division problem. 

Ms. Kandi’s Math Group

This week in Math Workshop students shared observations about the factors of the whole numbers 1 – 12 and reviewed the definition of a prime and composite number. They also examined and shared observations about the factors of 36. We reviewed the familiar, easily memorized multiplication facts, identified the facts we still need to learn, and explored strategies for deriving the answers to unknown facts using the area model for multiplication.  Students learned a game called Arrays to 100 that helps to develop flexibility and fluency with multiplication facts.  Next week our group will receive a ‘Solving Multiplication Facts’ booklet to share with families at home.  This book has strategies that can help students make sense of and master the basic multiplication facts.

Ms. Pam’s Math Group

This week in Ms. Pam’s math group, we have been doing geometry for homework, and plotting points. We are also working with factors and finding complicated patterns in a multiplication chart. For example, we have been doing things like finding all the 36’s on the chart, and finding out how many more there would be if the chart stretched all the way across the room. On Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday we did some probability work (one time in Mr. Chris’s room!) with beans. Two students worked on a computer with BuzzMath when they were done.

Questions to Ask Your Child at Home

  • How do you show joy?
  • What is your small moment story about?
  • Do a theater presentation of the seven continents. What facts can you add to the world map?

Newsletter 4 – 9/5/14

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We had Field Day!! We had an all day scratch game was there the whole time. We also played CTF and a instincts game in the woods! There was an intense hike that many people went on. We slid down hills on our bottoms, splashed through knee high creeks, sweated, bled, itched, and overall had fun. The whole trail was lined with stinging nettles and thorns.

On another note the carnival! Your kids are coming home with tickets for it so put them  in a safe place for tomorrow. Hope to see you there!

Thank you for all the help and support with homework, just as a reminder, homework is due on Wednesday and is turned over to students at the end of the day on Thursday. 

Snack Schedule

Week of 9/8 – Last names that begin with R-W
Week of 9/15 – Last names that begin with A-H
Week of 9/22 – Last names that begin with I-L
Week of 9/29 – Last names that begin with M-P

Morning Meeting

Good morning we have very fun activities like clap attack when you have to get the clap around the circle. We also played Titanic, Time for Bed, Inspector Bullfrog, Statue Garden. The greetings we did and loved are elephant,exasperated Jim, and Jenna’s here.

Empathy Workshop

To practice using empathy we played hide and seek but K-3 was at field day and 6-7-8 was at a play so why not use the WHOLE school!!! In the first round we used just the 2nd floor then in the 2nd round we used the 1st and 2nd floor! It helped us the have empathy because when we get found then the person they had to say, Hi, how is your day? and then the other person is it.

Ms. Kalei’s Math Group

This week in ms kalei’s math group we did mean, median, mode, and range. We also just finished our first unit by doing a the assessment. Our assessment was made out of the mean, median, mode, and range. We also graft coordinate planes. Also, we did the order of operations.

Mr. Jim’s Math Group

This week in math we only had 2 days of math this week. We are still working on the 1s,10s,100,1,000,10,000! we kept doing our multiplication strategies.

Ms. Kandi’s Math Group

This week in Math Workshop we determined the number of different rectangles that can be formed using a given number of tile.  Students learned that the dimensions of a rectangle built with a given number of tile are the factors of that numbers.  Students determined all the factors of the whole numbers from 1 to 12 and recorded their findings on a record sheet.  They also identified these numbers as prime or composite.

Ms. Pam’s Math Group

This week in Ms. Pam’s Math Group we have been doing a few new things, but mostly the same. We used beans for representation, (representing numbers and amounts) and we had geography for homework. We haven’t been having a lot of math, what with 3-day weekend and Field Day. Homework was due on Friday.

Math Workshop – Whole Class

On Friday, we did a (mostly) whole class activity. Students traced different countries in Africa to make mathematical equations based on the country populations. We will soon link this to our study of geography. 

Readers Workshop

This week we had only two teaching points: Readers visualize the actions, which was about mental movies. The second point was an author has a  purpose, nothing is a mistake. During that lesson we learned about P.I.E , stands for persuasive , informative and entertaining. This week we continued to use our reading logs. Mr.Jim is currently reading us Flora and Ulysses.

P3 Workshop

This week in P3 workshop we worked on our connection web and and did a chalk talk.  Now we all have two or more connections with people that we might not know very well.  This process will strengthen our relationships.  A chalk talk is when you express your feelings with different topics. We had students process the chalk talks using several questions: What do you notice? What do you know about what you notice? and What questions do you have?

Writers Workshop

In writers workshop this week we are still teasing out are stories and making a plan to actually  start our stories. Some people have already started the real thing in their drafts.The teaching points for this week are: Writers expand their ideas to get the juiciest part of the story and Writers sketch out their stories  and the other teaching point is writers use thought action, dialogue and description.

Visual Arts

We have been writing either our names or a family quote, and fill the rest of the space on our papers with tons and tons of drawings of things that make us unique. For example, I play the harp so drew a picture of a harp! Also I like the show Doctor Who, so I drew the things in Doctor Who that they have. Those family quotes and names have to be greatly decorated and unique, or else it won’t be as special to us. I know someone who said there a “Trooper” when they go on a long trip,so she made woods and  a sunset.

Performing Arts

In Performing Arts, we have been singing “We are Making Music” in four-part harmony. We have also been using various instruments to make the music part of some of the song. We have also been singing mutiple jazz songs and it has been a lot of fun! Some examples of the songs are: “Route 66”, “Thats Gotta be Jazz”, and “My Favorite Things” in jazz version, it sounded new but really good!

Questions to Ask Your Child at Home:

  • What is empathy?
  • How did you show empathy this week?
  • What are you doing as a reader and writer this week?
  • How did you connect to/with people at field day?

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Newsletter 3 – 9/1/14

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The TPS carnival is coming up! Whoo! Students can collect pledges (for our arts program) and use the pledge money to go on the parade and get tickets for game booths. Each class is making an auction basket, each with a different theme. 4/5’s auction basket is Game Night themed. Friday was the deadline for contributions to the basket.

And everyone’s favorite… FIELD DAY! You probably know what it is, but in case you don’t: Field Day is when everyone goes to Ms. Sara’s farm, and we have an awesome time with Instincts, a hike, dogs, horses, a slip and slide, an all day game of scratch, and Capture the Flag. Everyone needs to bring a bathing suit, towel, water bottle and change of clothes. Field day will be next Thursday (September 4th)

Reminder about homework – Students are expected to read 100 minutes every week and log all of their reading in their reading log. For writing, students are supposed to write for 45 minutes, with a paragraph about their reading, a response to a weekly prompt, and, if they have extra time, then free writing in any form or genre. For math, each math group has different homework, so it depends on the teacher.

Morning Meeting

This week we did some new greetings like:T-rex,head shoulders knees and toes,pinky shake,slow mo fits bump,high ten.Thats all of the greetings this week. We also built on our activities from last week and played some new group games (Clap Attack, 30 Second Speech & Rutabaga, Rutabaga). We went outside several times throughout the week to do trust activities to continue to build our community.

Book Buddies

In book buddies today like last week some of us went down stairs to K-1 and some of us stayed up her in 4-5 i noticed that this week my book buddy showed me a book that he can read. If we have a book buddy that can’t read yet we are inspiring them to start to sound out words and try to read there are a lot of books that they still want us to read but they are always listening and are very engaged in the book we are reading to them.

P3 Workshop

In P3 this week we read a book called One of Those Days and The Heart And The Bottle. We talked about the connection between empathy and curiosity.  We also did a project about connections.  You interview a person then put that onto the big poster so now we can see who we are connected to. Every student in the class made at least three connections with others. We reflected on our map using the through line “How do we nurture empathy?” 

Writers Workshop

In writers workshop this week we have been writing and finishing our annotations  and choosing our favorite  annotations and telling the story of that annotation. We need to pick stories that tell great and positive feelings – stories that we really wanted to tell and read to the whole class. Students used the story What to Do with an Idea? 

Readers Workshop

This week we learned these teaching points: Readers share with others, Readers have many ways to connect with books. Readers will be reading 100 minutes or more in a week as homework. After we read we will fill out a reading log. A reading log is in Mr.Jims words “ a reading diary”. We are stretching our reading reflections each day. Finally we put in requests for reading partners. We will have our reading partners by Tuesday.

Math Workshop

Mr. Jim’s Math Group: This week in math we started math practice and homework! We have been working on multiplication  strategies 0 through 10 and kept working on our dots to represent 1,000 and 10,000.

Ms. Pam’s Math Group: This week in Ms. Pam’s math group, we have been working with data sets and averaging. Also, we have  been finding the continuations of patterns, and figuring out the formulas for making, say, the 100th figure.

This week in Kalei’s math group we are working on the order of operations. on friday, we started mean, median, mode, and range. We also started commutative property,along with coordinate plans.we also started variables. N is a variable that means any given number. means the same as N but N is easier to remember. Y is the answer. The order of operations is 1) Parentheses first. 2) multiplication and division left to right. 3) addition and subtraction left to right A thing to help you remember the order of operations is Please excuse My Dear Aunt Sally

Ms. Kandi’s Math Group: This week students used tiles to model multiplication and explored the relationship between multiplication and addition.  Students practiced using the area model and then brainstormed situations that fit a specific model and expression.  Students practiced writing story situations when given multiplication number sentences.   Later in the week students used the rectangular area model to represent and solve division problems.  Students selected multiplication and division story problems from a collection and solved them using the manipulatives that seemed best suited for modeling each problem they chose.

Visual Arts

In visual arts this week we have been doing our art to remember. That where we take our full name or a family quote.You also draw  things that represent you as a person in our community. We also have been listening to crazy read alouds by Ms. Sara including: interrupting  chicken, people make terrible pets. cowboy and octopus is one of the favorites! Ms. Sara is the best art teacher TPS could ever have.

Performing Arts

We’re learning a song called “Were Making Music”,and in the song here is a four part harmony so were practicing that really hard and we’ve done it correctly almost each and every time! We have aalso been using instrumenets to make our song better and people who arent playing a instrument are doing a fun dance move.

Questions to Ask Your Child at Home

  • Who did you interview during P3? What did you learn about them?
  • What is empathy?
  • Did your math group start math practice this week? What is the routine for your math group?
  • What is your small moment story for Writers Workshop?