Newsletter 23 – 3/9/18

Weekly Highlights

We had a great week – we started working on a community project, a classroom almanac.

We had our final geography quiz, and were amazed with kids’ reaching their goals! Most kids were able to take a photo of their quiz and put it on Fresh Grade, and we will follow up with a post after break.

We also spent a tremendous amount of time writing two perspective poems. These poems were focused on bullying-related situations that have come up in our classroom as well as some from other schools. Considering that two distinct characters with unique & empathetic perspectives needed to be heard, students spent 2 workshop sessions crafting their poetry.

Lastly, we worked on a timeline related to Black History. Students read through a timeline with some teacher support and reflected on 6-10 events using the words: justice, power, empowerment, and access. We used a clip from Cars 3 to frame some ideas related to oppression and privilege.


You can find the James and the Giant Peach music here. We are going to ask that for “homework” over spring break, kids finish memorizing their lines & lyrics – we will have about 3 weeks until show time when we get back.

5/6 show, “James and the Giant Peach”- Tuesday, April 17 at 6pm (Hopes line) and 7:15pm (Dreams line) at the Ivy-Tech Waldron stage.

Snack schedule:

Last names Allen-Crouch – 4/16, 5/14
Last names Daniels-Lawson – 3/26, 4/23
Last names Leinenbach-Port – 4/2, 4/30
Last names Pulley-Wright  4/9, 5/7

Please remember that you can order from scholastic to support our next round of book clubs!!!

Questions to Ask Your Child at Home

  • How did you feel about the process and your progress on the Africa country quiz?
  • What can you share with me about Black History?
  • What was the poem you wrote that you felt most proud of?
  • What did your peers & classmates say your strengths were? What do you think your strengths are?

Newsletter 22 – 3/3/18

Weekly Highlights

Families… THANK YOU!! Our students were showered with gum, mints, and snacks this week. It helped them (and us) make the most of our testing experience. Most students have finished this first round of tests, which focused on writing responses to reading, math, and social studies (5th) or science (6th) prompts. While these tests changed our normal schedule this week, students were focused and did their best. We are excited to return to a more normal schedule next week. Students who still have to finish a test will do so early next week.

Poetry has been our other big focus. We are so amazed by the poetry that your children are creating! Early in the week we talked about emotions and how they guide us in poetry. Kids were asked to write a poem about an emotion without naming the emotion. We talked about four styles that they can use during this unit – free verse, narrative poetry, haiku, and odes. On Thursday, students were given a photo from 2016-2018 tied to movements/justice. They were asked to write two poems from two perspectives (or a two perspective poem) each with different emotional qualities. On Friday, kids posted their favorite poem so far to Fresh Grade. All of their poems are in a google doc attached to their profile in google classroom if you hope to read more.


Africa Country Quiz – This Wednesday!
Our final quiz of all the African countries is this Wednesday.  After two trial quizzes, students worked with a teacher to set a CHALLENGING goal. They’ve been working hard in class to stretch their brains.  Memorizing isn’t something we ask students to do often, but we think it’s an important skill and, more importantly, it’s helping them be better citizens of the world. While not all students will memorize where every African country is, they DO know what those countries are, so when they hear about them elsewhere, will know what part of the world to add to their thinking.
Please consider ordering through Scholastic Clubs for our class. Even though other online retailers take a lot less time, when you order from Scholastic, our class gets points and we are able to spend them on new books. While we rely on our local library and individual grants to supply our classroom with diverse and relevant texts, sometimes we need to get a whole bunch of the same thing and that’s when Scholastic comes in handy. We will be placing an order over Spring Break, and you can check out our wish list too! Our online ordering code is: LVRCJ
This week for homework, we are going to ask that students read for two hours and write a summary (on Fresh Grade or on paper) that shares the gist of what they read.

Questions to Ask Your Child at Home:

  • Which ISTEP+ was your most/least favorite?
  • What hobby did you you share with the class last week in CPR (morning meeting)?
  • Who was Audrey Faye Hendricks? (She was one of the children arrested during the Birmingham Children’s March. She was only 9! We learned about her this week from one of our Black History Month Read Alouds.)
  • How are you feeling about the poetry unit so far?