Newsletter 18 – 1/15/15


  • We did some winter NWEA tests this week for midyear data collection.
  • We worked on representing our community with paper buildings that have things we need as a community (friendship, etc.)
  • Snack Schedule

Week of 1/19 – Last names that begin with R-W
Week of 1/26– Last names that begin with A-H
Week of 2/2 – Last names that begin with I-L
Week of 2/9 – Last names that begin with M-P

Writers Workshop

In writers this week we finished persuasive essays.

Readers Workshop

This week in Readers Workshop we continued to work on our yellow sheets. The “yellow sheets” direct students to ask “What do I think?; What do I want to know?; What did I learn?” The picture book book club did some research on slavery on pbs times of slavery.

The teaching points: Readers puzzle through historical language. Readers compare and contrast their book with nonfiction sources. Readers find moments of joy and injustice historical fiction. 

P3 Workshop

This week in P3 we talked about race and words. We learned that “people of color”are words that we use today and learned about what people used to say. We also wrote down what we think about words

Math Workshop

This week in Mr. Jim’s math group we have been doing more on angles and geometry. We did more with coordinates. We worked with rotating and reflecting shapes. We worked with geoboards. 

In Ms. Kalei’s group this week we spent a lot of time working with volume. We first made observations about a centimeter cube and talked about how we measure what is on the inside. We built boxes out of paper and calculated the volume by filling it with centimeter cubes. The paper boxes weren’t perfect size which let us use some half centimeter measurements! Later in the week we calculated the volume of a kleenex box in cubic inches and then calculated a box two times the size. 

This week in Ms. Caitlin’s math group we have been racing through the packets! We have been working on absolute value, and lots of positives and negatives. Three students shared their projects, and a few more people are almost done.

We began this week by solving story problems that all involved dividing 29 in ways that result in remainders.  When discussing our solutions and strategies as a class, we explored the fact that the context of each problem dictates how the remainders should be handled.  We kept track of division strategies so we could reflect upon the various methods we already have for solving division problems.  Students practiced doing division with and without remainders by playing a new game in which getting a remainder is an advantage, because the team whose remainders add up to the highest amount wins.  This game, called Remainders Win, came home this week as a home connection.  We also learned a game called Line ‘Em Up, which helped us practice multiplication skills and develop efficient strategies for doing division with divisors to 9 and dividends to 100.  At the end of the week we moved into the realm of division beyond the basics, asking students to deal with such problems as $72 divided by 3 and $56 divided 4.  The story problems capitalize on students’ interest in money and their inclination to work with it in chunks rather than dealing out the dollars one by one. 

New Student Interview

Interviewer  Iris Kreilkamp (intrepid blogger)

Here is an interview with Monica, our new student:

I: What do you like best about our school?

M: You can join committees, wear hats, and chew gum.

I: Why did you come to this school?

M: I was driving by, and told my mom that I wanted to go to this school, and she said Icould.

I:Have you been enjoying it?

M: Yes!

Performing Arts

In performing arts, we have been researching some of the most important people and topics of Going West, and practicing many of our songs. We are all super glad that we got our parts, and are all grateful to Mr. Chris for working so hard to give us our perfect parts.

Visual Arts

Lately in class we have had task, a game where you write a thing that somebody can creatively interpret, and then you grab one yourself.

Book Buddies

In book buddies this week we did not have a topic to discuss Our book buddies are still getting better and better at their reading. For instance, this week my book bud read a book that he thought he could not read. It is amazing to see our book buddies make progress like that because, we are supposed to help them sound out words and seeing them read that much means we have done our job!

Morning Meeting

This week we have been doing a lot of “pass the something” games. (Pass the Chicken, Chase the Bunny)

Questions to Ask Your Child at Home:

  • What did you build in your symbolic 4/5 community?
  • What does injustice mean?

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