Newsletter 17 – 1/9/15


This week we have started school (obviously) and have been doing Intensives. Intensives is something we usually have after a major break instead of Passions. Each time it is about a certain topic (ie., multiplication, nonfiction, grammar) and this time we are doing language mechanics: punctuation, capitalization, spelling, etc.

Another major thing is Capstone. Capstone is a individualized project each student will work towards finishing at the end of the year. Students choose something they are very passionate about, and make a 3-part presentation about it. If you want to learn more, ask your child or stay tuned for future issues with a Capstone section.

We have a new student, coming in on Monday! She is in 5th grade and is very excited. Your kid will probably tell you plenty about her, and we hope she feels happy and welcomed here!

Readers Workshop

This week when we read Joey Pigza he went to Pittsburgh, to get a brain scan. He is going to get a dog when he gets back home. Joey has a lot of problems but he is starting to find the answers.

We are moving into a study of historical fiction. Please look at this post to learn about our historical fiction unit!!! The teaching points this week were, readers envision a time period, readers narrow their definitions of historical fiction.

In our book clubs, we are working on a sheet where you are answering these questions:what do I know?What do I want to know?What have I learned?We are also working on making mental movies of our text.

Many students have made selections for book club books. They chose from several authors. Please look at the descriptions below to learn more about these books.

Writers Workshop

This week in writer’s workshop we worked on the persuasive prompts  that Mr.JIM gave to us.The prompts are should all students be required to do eight hours of community service ( cleaning,sweeping etc) For every  school year? Should all students be required to play the field games on friday? and starting next week we will be studying poetry.

P3 Workshop

This week in P3 on Friday in issues we talked about the new student who will be joining us on Monday. We talked about how to welcome her go to featured to learn more. At the beginning of the week we made posters about the agreements,they are T.R.U.S.T,Treat others will,Respect,Use your strengths and talents to help others,Safe and Think before you speak.We have also been working on community building after two weeks apart.

Math Workshop

In Ms. Caitlin’s math group (formerly Ms. Pam) worked on projects. We are all very close to finishing! We have also been working on clearing out our folders so we have no fix and finish. Our packets have been about ratios, decimals, fractions, and percentages. We have been very angry at Rowena and Polly. These people are way too interested in the science of trail mix. If you are confused, please ask your child (if they are in Ms. Caitlin’s groups) who they are.

In Mr. Jim’s group we have started a new math unit on geometry. We started our new unit with angles and coordinates.We will do a lot more on geometry later in the unit.We all made an angle compass out of paper and a pyramid also out of paper.we have not had any math practice since we got back from break because of our intensives.

In Ms. Kalei’s group we started our study of three dimensional shapes.In our table groups we got a nets and had to cut them out and write observations about them. Students named the faces, edges, and vertices of each 3-d shape. They noted whether the faces, edges, and vertices were parallel, perpendicular, or congruent. 

In Ms. Kandi’s group we began the week by completing a fractions of a foot scavenger hunt.  Students looked for items that are about as long, tall, or wide as each fraction of a foot (1/4 ft., 1/2 ft., 3/4 ft.).  This activity supported our study of fractions and measuring.  Students completed a similar activity for homework.  We then created colored tile arrays and expressed the amount of each color as a fraction of the whole array.  Throughout the week we worked on a post assessment for the fraction part of our unit.  At the end of the week we made a shift in focus from fractions to division, although we have been discussing the connections throughout.  First, students discussed the meaning of division and thought again about how it relates to fractions.  Then we did an activity based on the book A Remainder of One to model and record the division that takes place in the story.  

Performing Arts

We auditioned for musical and acting parts for our play, “Going West!” We are all very, very excited to do set design, acting ,singing, etc. We read from the script to get used to it a bit more and sang all of the amazing songs that we are all trying to memorize! You might hear your child hum the tunes from the songs, so you should also help them memorize the songs!

We will get them on this Friday, so be sure to ask your child what they got! If you can, over the weekend and in the days leading up to our play, please help your child memorize their lines.

Visual Arts

This week in visual arts we have been doing visual resources projects, that is when you get to have one bin of stuff and you get to use everything in it to make a visual art project. For example if you had a bin of scissors and it had an eraser in it you’d get to have the bin that holds the erasers and the scissors and also the eraser to make a project, you put all the pieces together but you can’t use anything that’s not in the bin of scissors, but you use the scissor bin and interpret it any way you want, then the fabulous Ms. Sara will snap a picture of it. After that you do a reflection on how you used flow in the piece, and how it was to work with other people on this or by yourself.

The next class we did in visual arts is… TASK!!! Task is a thing that is super fun. What you do in task if you select a piece of paper and you write a task on it, which means you write something that’s way more than crazy on it and you put it in the “New Task” bin. Then you shake it up and draw from the bin, then you have to do that task, but the fun thing about this activity is you get to interpret the task that you get in your own fun way!

Book Buddies

In book buddies we told each other how our breaks were, because we had not seen each other for so long. I noticed that over the break our book buddies [well mine did] went up a couple reading levels than the last time we saw them. It really makes me proud to see my book buddy that could only read a little at the beginning of the year accomplish something like that!

Morning Meeting

Good morning we have done the laughing tissue it is where the teacher gets on an high spot  in the classroom and when they drop the tissue we laugh and then we  stop laughing and we do that over and over and sometimes we do it when we have been sitting for a long time and we have been listening to the teacher and we need to move that is an game that we play. Another game we play is number freeze is where you have to get the number that that person chose. and you have to get that number of people to get up and that person will say freeze and they freeze and then they count and if it is the number that that person said then we pick an different number and if it was wrong then we try again. This week one of the greetings we did was high 10 then you put up 10 fingers and high five two times. You say good morning __________. They will say good morning __________ .

Questions to Ask Your Child at Home:

  • What picture books did you read in historical fiction? What did you learn?
  • How did it feel being back at school this week?
  • What side did you take in the persuasive writing prompts? What were your arguments?

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