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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