Newsletter 9 – 10/25/14


This week we came back from Fall Break! We are all excited to be back in school. We have started doing compass points work! The compass points protocol is something we use to get to know our selves better.

  • Northerners: Like to plunge in, get started immediately. Don’t like to wait around planning. Often wants to take charge.
  • Southerners: Caring, wants to know everyone’s opinion before starting. Has to know that everyone is OK.
  • Easterners: Wants to know the big picture before starting, needs to know all the possibilities and consequences before starting.
  • Westerners: Likes to know all the details before starting, the who, what, when, where, why and how. Plans all the little things before starting.

We also have started doing physical/mental community work/games to better understand which compass points we are. The game we did on Thursday was where we split into four groups. Then we got into circles with our legs stuck in the middle. We had to get a bucket across all of our legs without taking our hands from the ground, and then we were safe. (We were stuck on an island with poisonous crabs that wouldn’t kill us if we had our hands on the ground. We had to get the fresh water, and if the bucket touched the ground poisonous crabs would contaminate it.)

Snack Schedule

Week of 10/27 – Last names that begin with R-W
Week of 11/3 – Last names that begin with A-H
Week of 11/10 – Last names that begin with I-L
Week of 11/17 – Last names that begin with M-P

Morning Meeting

This week for share we have been bringing in significant objects to share. We said why we it is special to us and were we got it. so it takes much less time than the normal shares.

Good morning we have been doing new activities and we are doing SYMPHONY. In symphony, students break into two sections and sing a part of a phrase like “hot dog” to the tune Yankee Doodle.

This week we did these greetings: sleepy hipster,rotating rookies and vets. One of my faves was sleepy hipster – to do sleepy hipster you say “hi sup” in a sleepy way.


In Ms. Pam’s math group, we have been working on our end of the Chapter projects. In our math, we have different chapters that we work on for a couple weeks, then do a project that connects to us, the throughlines, and what we did in the chapter. Some examples of projects are: designing an tiny, earth-friendly house, and calculating the area of it, or calculating how much money you would have if you saved your allowance money every week until you were 18. Also, designing mathematical board games. We have also been working on clearing out our binders and finishing a backlog of fix and finish.

In Ms. Kalei’s math group we have been working on the math group agreements. We have decided listen, quality work, and be ready. We have also been working on long division, and efficient strategies with the multiplication menu. A multiplication menu is when you use known facts to build up to a large dividend. In the equation 386÷24, students generate a multiplication menu. 1×24, 2×24, 10×24, 20×24, 5×24, 3×24 and 30×24. After they calculate these products (which happens efficiently because they just add the zeroes) they build up to the dividend. This is an alternative strategy to multi-digit division. 

In Mr. Jim’s math group this week we have been working on large number multiplication.we.have also been working on more strategies .we are still working on uor 1s,10s,100,1,000,10,000 dot project!

This week in Ms. Kandi’s math group we began math workshop with some measuring.  Students used base-10 pieces as referents for centimeters and decimeters.  Together they listed some things that might be best measured in centimeters, decimeters, and meters. They practiced measuring in centimeters for homework.  Students focused on multiplication by 10 in the context of area measurement.  Students modeled multiplication by 10 using the area model and made generalizations about the process.  A Home Connection was sent home to provide more practice multiplying by 10.  At the end of the week students solved multiplication story problems by breaking apart the numbers to make them easier to work with and we linked this work to the traditional algorithm.

Readers Workshop

This week in readers we wrote a formal  letter to the character in our realistic fiction book. We are now morning into a book club unit. We had seven choices.  Now,  the new update on Flora and Ulysses.We are still reading it as a class together. The book clubs will deal with realistic issues in kids lives. We will use our next round of book clubs to develop a deep sense of empathy for multiple characters in the book. Students will have required reading (deadlines) for their meetings as well as assignments. We will send home this information with students on Tuesday, when book clubs are assigned. You can read more about the book club choices in this document. 

P3 Workshop

This week we got our energy kits. They each have six CFLs. Thats stands for Compact Floresent Lightbulb. It also includes a faucet head,a shower head ,thermometer, a bag for experiments and more. These are all for saving energy.

Writers Workshop

In writers workshop this week we did our identity pieces and we also worked on our paragraphing. Students worked on stamina, paragraph formatting, and extending their paragraphs. We will be moving into introductory paragraphing, essay formatting, concluding paragraphs and thesis generating. 

Visual Arts

This week in Visual Arts we have been working on our identity pictures. There was five choices for our identity pictures, the choices we had for the pictures were… Mind map, abstract painting (landscape of the mind),  my life in post-its,mind map and identity wall.

Performing Arts

In performing arts, we have been inventing songs on garage band! It is very exciting because the whole class is doing things connecting to are I identity so it all fits together. We brought are writers notebooks so that way Mr.Chris could see how are short melodies connect with are writing pieces. On garageband, they have a thing were you could get a piano and create your short melody and Mr.Chris said we had to write one with the piano and then add already recorded pieces to are short melody!We are designing melodies that we feel can show the different parts of our identity. The melodies will be that base for our identity song pieces.

Questions to Ask Your Child

  • What compass point are you? Why/what’s an example? What do you think you need to work on?
  • How can we improve energy efficiency in our house?
  • What object have you/did you bring in to share? If you haven’t yet, which one will you bring next week?

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One thought on “Newsletter 9 – 10/25/14

  1. Martha Pleasure says:

    So happy and thrilled to see the vibrant, engaging, multi-faceted school environment in which my grandchildren live and learn. Martha Pleasure (grandma of Indigo and Max.)

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