Newsletter 29

 Featured

Next week is….. ISTEP TIME! We will be starting the multiple-choice part of ISTEP on Monday.

Also, a new installment on our moving wall, we have two paper TARDISes! (tardi?) Ms. Kalei and Mr. John used them in their demonstration of the effects of time traveling in P3.

Math Workshop

This week in Ms. Kalei’s math group we have been working on the order of operations, graphing, percents, and multiple choice questions. We are learning this, and many mor e(like the mean, median, mode, and range) for preparation for ISTEP next week.

This week in Mr. Jim’s group, we got new homework that was elapsed time. We also started a new unit on decimals and changing fractions to decimals. We checked our homework and almost every one turned in their homework!

In Ms. Caitlin’s group, we are starting a whole group project! As you know every Friday we work on projects (usually on the computer) and w are starting a big Scratch program that everyone will work on. Stay tuned for more details!

In Ms. Kandi’s group, students worked in pairs to complete a variety of problems in which they are asked to compare decimal numbers and fractions.  Students expressed their conclusions in the form of inequalities.  Mid-week, students played More or Less, a game played with decimal numbers to the hundredths place.  Before they started the game, drew and compared pairs of decimal numbers.  At the end of the week students represented the value of the dollar and each coin in the U.S. currency system in decimal and fractional notation.  In doing so, they continued to make connections between decimals, money, and fractions.

Readers Workshop

This week we continued to work on author’s purpose so our fiction books may be running out of pages. We have all enjoyed the books that we have read. Through out the week we have done multiple work sheets for example. Today we  did a sheet where we had to choose an event, setting, or character in our books and wrote the character’s emotion  when the scene was taking place.This week we haven’t continued to read The Watsons Go To Birmingham. Instead we read part of Harris Burdick story called Just Desert. A boy who was out biking and somehow found himself   in a neighborhood  that seemed like it was dead.There was no leaves on the ground, there was the same amount of junk mail sticking out of the mailboxes, and nobody was there.

Writers Workshop

In writers workshop we learned about plot. Using our new plot chart, we began to plan out stories that involve our fictional character. We worked to identify what the problem would be for our characters.

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P3 Workshop 

This week in P3 we watched Doctor Who because we are studying Indiana history and we are thinking about what it would be like to go back in time and change things that happened from the 1600s to present time. We are working with partners on timelines to help sort events from the past to present. We are talking about #boycottindiana and the new law that was passed. There is a picture of a Tardis and christmas lights hung so we can travel back in time.

Morning Meeting

Visual Arts

This week in visual arts we have been doing our styrofoam disc patterns. We put a in- printed animal on a disc that we cut off, then we take washable markers and color each part of a disc a different color. After that we cut out a piece of paper in a circle only slightly bigger than the disc, we put the paper circle in water, then when it’s all wet we take it and put it on the disc, we press down until the paper is colored enough. Then the best part… We take it off then now you have you newly colored piece of marker art work.

Performing Arts

This week in performing arts we got to go outside! We brought our recorders, our dance moves and ourselves! We split our group and one group danced to Bransle De Champagne while another played the song! We successfully did not break any of the recorders! We did a really fun improv the whole time and everyone got to act out these really fun scenarios!

Book Buddies

This week in book buddies we did something special! Today we made a fiction story based of mystery picture that has no story to it. Our ⅘ brains combined with k/1 brains make a great story!

 

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Newsletter 28 – 4/16/15

Featured

We are trying out a new HUGE circle for morning meeting. Finally everyone is on the same level, instead of having 4 layers of people!

The librarians had an awesome (but painful – those books were heavy) trip to the library. Ms. Kalei checked out 146 books, along with all of the books us librarians checked out on our own cards.

Also, we are having the Esteemed Spring Conferences! If you have not already, please contact Ms. Kalei or Mr. Jim to set up a conference. They are led by students and will show the parents lots of the things their child has been learning, their strengths and goals, and much more. Friday is a day off to accommodate for the 50-something conferences that need to happen!

Math Workshop

This week in Ms. Kalei’s math group we have been working on/ finishing up our unit in fractions, decimals, and percents. This week, similar to last week, we have been working on multiplying and dividing fractions. Sadly, we have no friday for school, so we could have a no-school conference day. In math we have been doing our work for filling out a reflection for our spring conference, and we have been finishing up a seven page assesment.

This week in Mr. Jim’s math group we  got our assessments back and saw our score. We also got a lot of new papers we also turned in 1 big packet and then we turned in a 1 page sheet. Spring conferences are coming so we reflected on our mathematician skills.

This week in Ms. Caitlin’s math group we had a very riddley homework: as in, a question about number analogies, guess my number, and a riddle like the perplexors things we are doing. (Ask your kid.)

This week in Ms. Kandi’s group, students used several different units of area measure to determine the area of different regions on the geoboard.  In doing so, they encountered equivalent fractions  and mixed numbers, as well as informal addition, subtraction, and division of fractions.  We also spent time considering the next two base ten pieces to the right of the unit: 0.1 and 0.01.  Students used base ten pieces to represent decimal numbers and identify the value of those numbers as decimals and fractions.

Readers Workshop

This week in reader’s workshop we made short drawings of either the main characters, or the main setting. We came up with a theme that went through the beginning, middle, and end. We also wrote how the drawings we drew connected to our themes.We are working really hard on unwrapping the clues the authors gave us. This week we read a picture book to help us understand the teaching point for this week. The book was called Pop’s Bridge. In Pop’s Bridge a boy admires the bridge his dad is working on. He thinks it’s his fathers bridge but when some of the workers fall into the river he realizes that the bridge is made with teamwork so it’s everyones bridge. So to symbolize the teamwork he cuts a puzzle piece from the puzzle of a bridge so that everyone would have a equal share in the puzzle bridge.

Writers Workshop

In writers this week we wrote scenarios for our fictional characters. It tested what our characters would do in a situation. Like they are stuck in a elevator going lower and lower- what would they do? WE are learning what are characters minds are like. We conferred with many other writers in the class to get their ideas about our writing. We also made some choices for future writing partners. 

Visual Arts

This week in visual arts we have been working on our plates again. Not much to say about that, but we cut out a styrofoam circle out of a styrofoam plate, whoop whoop! Then draw a picture on a piece of paper, after that trace the outline of the drawing onto the circle, then take the picture off of the newly imprinted animal, then we did then add detail. After we do that, the next step is to come…he he moohaha.

Performing Arts

In performing arts this week we have worked on our recorders and learned a song called “Bransle De Champagne” and then we practiced all to together. It was so much fun to play together that one specific song. One line [Dreams] worked on dancing but the other line [Hopes] didn’t get to because they are a little bit behind because of the day on Friday is the day we have off.

Morning Meeting

We did the barking greeting and it is where you get to bark like your favorite dog!

Questions to Ask Your Child at Home

  • How are you feeling about your spring conference?
  • What can you tell me about your character?
    • What would your character be doing if they were with us right now?
  • What themes are you noticing in your book?

Newsletter 27 – 4/10/15

Featured

Spring conferences will be starting up soon. Kids are doing spring reflections in preparation. We are working on filling out sheets for the teachers to use as we have these conferences. The conferences are student-led. We sent a note about this home on 4/9.

Math Workshop

In Ms. Caitlin’s Math Group we have been working on projects! 2 members of the group completed their 3rd and 4th projects. Also, Thursday was the Great Ms. Caitlin’s birthday! She has turned the amazing age of 28. Not much new news other than that.

In Mr. Jim’s group we got some new homework about fractions and we revised it on Friday. It was challenging at just the right level. In math practice we work on these really fun multiplication flash cards that take a lot hard work but are entertaining.

This week in Ms. Kalei’s math group we have been working on fractions. In fraction  work we have been doing division with fractions, multiplication with fractions, addition with fractions, and subtraction. We have been learning visual strategies, and the algorithm with dividing fractions. We have also started a new system, including new fix and finish, and math practice.

In Ms. Kandi’s group we began the week by completing a unit assessment to see how we have grown in our understanding of theoretical and experimental probability, as well as our skills at collecting, organizing, and interpreting data.  Mid week we began a new unit on fractions and decimals.  Students created a geoboard figure with an area of 2 square units when each of the small squares had an area of 1 square unit.  We then thought of the entire geoboard as 1 square unit, so that each small square had an area of 1/16.  Students explored the fractional values of various regions on the geoboard and used them as the basis for observations about fractional relationships.

 

Readers Workshop

This week in readers workshop we continued to focus on the author’s purpose. We learned that authors have an agendas(theme). Mr.Jim is teaching us about author’s purpose. We have used picture books to do so examples: Lorax. We read The Lorax and used that as an example to talk about the main idea and possible agenda. Many students generated an idea for author’s purpose around environment or how nature matters. We have done a lot of work with the chapter books we picked at the beginning of the unit.

This week we continued to read the book The Watsons Go To Birmingham. In The Watsons Go To Birmingham they continued to drive to Birmingham so By can stay with Grandma Sands as a punishment. And if he’s good then he could come back to Flint to finish school. But if he’s bad which chances are he will be then he will stay to finish school.

Writers Workshop

In writers this week we read the world.What that means is you think of a specific day and time in some place that you remember the people.Then you write a little story about the characters. When you’re finished with that you pick one character and write a story about them. Students are developing significance in different characters. They’ve spent time writing a handful of short stories. 

P3 Workshop

This week in P3 we started a new unit on Indiana. We matched pictures and words for the state rock, beverage, bird, tree, flower and more. If we matched all of the cards we played a memory game. We did a  trivia where we had to say what the match was.

 Performing Arts

We learned a Shakespearean dance that was probably made in the 1600 or the 1500 hundreds. We brought Mr. Jim and Ms. Kalei to watch us dance! We also learned the song we danced to on recorders but the dancing was more successful. A few days before that we sang a song (on behalf of Earth Day!) called “Our Earth, Our Home”. It was really fun to sing about the earth with all of our friends.

Visual Arts

This week in visual arts we have been working on our animal styrofoam prints. Most people are almost ready to make the dents in the styrofoam. What you do is you draw a number of drafts on paper of your animal, then you pick your favorite picture and tape it to the back of a styrofoam disc and trace it lightly. After that you go back in and add detail to your animal, when you’re done you have a animal imprinted in your styrofoam disc.

Morning Meeting

This week we did Entourage. It is where you play rock papers scissors and you start of with you and one more person and then you play then you play if you lost then you cheer for that person that you lost to you you go behind them and cheer for them then they play and if they lose then they cheer for the person they lost to and cheer to that person.

Capstone Project

This week in capstone library committee members interviewed their assigned capstone students.The students that aren’t a librarians got to work on their capstone project.

Book Buddies

This week in book buddies our partners gave us book recommendations for books. It was amazing to see how good their writing skills are. Their letters were very thoughtful and cute. we are all very exciting to read there recommended books.

Newsletter 26 – 4/5/15

Featured

We hope everyone has had a great spring break! We have talked about many juicy things (as Ms. Sara would say) this week. We talked about RFRA, the legislation that said companies can refuse to serve anyone if it endangers their religious beliefs and prejudice and race.

Intensives is on! We have been working on math in intensives this week. Students are studying complex problems, fractions, and efficient computation methods. 

Writers Workshop

This week in writers workshop, students began our new unit – FICTION! We are writing in any genre of fiction. We started the unit with an on-demand piece. Then we did some character analysis from a familiar short story. 

Readers Workshop

This week in Readers Workshop we started a new unit! We are reading a fiction chapter book of choice. We are focusing on the author’s purpose. One of our methods is called P.I.E. it stands for persuade, inform, and entertain. This week we continued to read the book The Watsons go to Birmingham. The Watsons are getting ready to go to Birmingham. The father in the book got a bunch of stuff to make the car more comfortable. They got a record player and  green tree thingy that makes the car smell better.

Math Workshop

This week in Ms. Kalei’s math group we have been working on multiplying fractions. We have been making/doing word problems, that have to do with multiplying fractions with mixed numbers.

In Ms. Kandi’s group, students examined the data they compiled from the 4-Cornered Spinner Game.  They made charts and graphs based on both the values of the spins and on the number of wins, and compared this to what they predicted.  Students then took a closer look at the two spinners in an attempt to make sense of the data they collected.  Students then played an unfair dice game, analyzed the data they collected during the game, and then thought about how the game could be revised to make it fair.

This week in Mr. Jim’s math group we got a packet that has a lot of graphs and definitions that we need to fill out. Our homework this week was all 2 digit times 2 digit or 3 digit times 2 digit. We also got a sheet of a lot of different word problems.

In Ms. Caitlin’s math group we have been working on ratios. On Thursday we spent the whole math attempting to figure out a certain homework question that had us stumped.

P3 Workshop

This week in P3 we finished our animals. We made up realistic animal that adapted to a random ecosystem. The teachers gave us human impacts on our ecosystem (bad things that happened).we adapted  to the changes or die if we choose to.

Snack Schedule

Week of 4/6 – Last names that begin with R-W
Week of 4/13– Last names that begin with A-H
Week of 4/20 – Last names that begin with I-L
Week of 4/27– Last names that begin with M-P

 Visual Arts

This week in visual arts we took apart mechanical doohickeys for our K/1 friends to put back together. We also took rubbings for origami boxes when we walked outside.

Performing Arts

We are working on our recorders and learning new songs from our songbook. It is fun because we get to  work on it by ourselves. “Ara Lee”, “Oh Freedom” and “Singabahambayo are some of the songs we have been working on.

Book Buddies

This week in book buddies we got to read with them after being gone so long for spring break.We are still helping them sound out words. They are making very well progress in their reading skills.

Morning Meeting

We did the human knot. It is where you tie your hands up and then you have to try to get out.It is a game to build trust and make new friends and build a commuinty and it is fun to see people smile.

We did the mix up greeting you get up and you walk to a place you don’t sit in all the time. Greet someone sitting there already that you don’t greet all the time .

Questions to Ask Your Child

  • What songs have you learned on the recorder ?
  • What is your on-demand piece about?
  • What do you think your fiction story is going to be about?
  • What was your animal in P3?

Newsletter 24 – 3/6/15

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ISTEP! ISTEP! ISTEP!

This week all the focus was on ISTEP. On Monday we spent time doing “acceptance speeches” to build up positive energy and pep for a week of testing. We watched the Ted Talk on power poses to discuss how our bodies can change our minds and our minds can change our bodies.  We have (mostly) finished the ELA sessions and math, and next week 4th graders will do the science test. Thank you to many of our families who brought in extra snacks throughout the week.  

P3 Workshop

This week in P3 we talked about animal adaptations. We learned about behavioral adaptation and structural adaptation. Behavioral adaptations are what animals do to adapt. Structural adaptations are parts of their bodies to help them adapt. We watched a Blue Planet video about the deep sea. We took notes on the animals structural and behavioral adaptations as we watched the video.

Issues

This week in issues we did a computer based investigation on race. Students went into google images and tallied the amount of people that fit into a racial category when searching for professions. We discussed their results as a class. Up & coming will be discussions on the words race, prejudice, stereotypes, racism, and anti-racism.

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Capstone

This week in Capstone we did more computer work.Ms. Kalei taught the students that didn’t know about sharing documents how to share a document.

Book Buddies

This week in book buddies we got to just read. Are book buddies just made non-fiction books. Some of them read their books to us. They were very interesting and made us very proud. They are also making huge progress on their reading.

CARES Update

Cooperation- the classroom cooperates by put up the computers when told

Responsibility-  ⅘ is responsible by cleaning up at room rescue

Self-Control- we had to be silent in line which is unusual.

Questions to Ask Your Child at Home

  • How do animals adapt to their environment?
  • How are you feeling about ISTEP?

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Newsletter 23 – 2/27/15

Featured

We are so proud of everyone on Monday night! The play was amazing, and we are still pumped! Everyone had their lines perfectly, and we had a ton of fun. We are so grateful to Mr. Chris and Ms. Sara for giving us this amazing opportunity. Read more in the Performing Arts section. We are very, ahem, excited for ISTEP, which will be happening on Tuesday. Get lots of sleep and eat healthy food, people! Please let us know if you are able to bring in the following items to support students during the days/weeks of testing. 

  • Mints
  • Gum- preferably spearmint or cinnamon (proven to help brainpower)
  • High protein snacks, including:
    • Bananas
    • Grapes
    • Cheese sticks
    • Strawberries
    • Apples

Readers Workshop

This we have been doing ISTEP prep we mostly write about the things we’ve read in the practice test. Normally we do the same process every time. The process is we read a story then answer some questions then we write a story by answering the prompt that they gave you. Then we do the same process on the same prompt but in the practice book. We will start ISTEP next week. Students have been working in smaller groups to handle grade-relevant prompts for the ISTEP. We have been working specifically with narrative writing in 4th grade and then with literary essays and “continue the story” narratives in 5th grade. Students are remembering to cite evidence and explain their citations throughout their pieces. 

This week in The Watsons Go To Birmingham, Byron, Kenny`s older brother plays with fire and almost gets burnt by his mom.

Math Workshop

In Ms. Caitlin’s group this week we have been working with Ms. Kalei’s group on ISTEP testing practices. On Thursday we did stations for things we wanted to review before starting the test on Tuesday. Some of the things we worked on were solving for unknowns, converting fractions and decimals, percentages, and subtracting/ multiplying fractions. It would be great if parents went over some math with kids to prepare them for ISTEP!

This week in Ms. Kalei’s math group we have been working on I.S.T.E.P. practice. We had conferences one on one with Ms. Kalei to focus on strategies that support us during independent work. On Friday, we have been doing some stations. There  was 8 stations. We have been doing these stations for I.S.T.E.P. practice/prep.

This week in Mr. Jim’s math group we have been working on I.S.T.E.P prep work. The istep prep is where we work on doing story problems and multi-step problems. We have been working on a new problem solving strategy that asks us to draw a diagram/picture as we are learning the information related to the problem. 

This week in Ms. Kandi’s group we utilized problem solving strategies we have learned throughout the year to tackle multi-step word problems.  In Guided Math we have been working hard to read charts and graphs and answer specific questions using the information provided.

ISTEP+ Reminders

Testing will begin on Tuesday for the majority of the 4/5 class. We will be doing the math assessment, english language arts assessment, and the science assessment (4th grade). If your child has testing accommodations, email us and we can give you more specific information about what days they will be testing. In any case, please support your child by: 

  • Establish an early bedtime routine, to ensure your child/children receives at least 8 hours of sleep each night.
  • Remove distractions from his/her bedroom to ensure they have an uninterrupted sleep.
  • Make sure your child eats a healthy breakfast before school.
  • Be positive about the test! Don’t put undue pressure on your child’s performance.
  • Reassure your child, let them know that they just need to do his/her best.
  • Encourage your child to take his/her time, they are given plenty of time to complete the test.
  • Dress your child in comfortable/loose fitting clothing.


The second part of ISTEP, the multiple choice questions, will begin at the end of April.

Performing Arts

In performing arts, we have had are play! In my opinion it seems crazy that we are not still rehearsing our lines our song and our dance moves. Everyone still has lots and lots of energy from going to the waldron and seeing all the people (and babies) in the audience. ⅘ would like to thank everyone for being so, so supportive. We worked very hard last week on Friday and this week Monday and it all definitely payed off. We saw our play and after Mr. Chris copies the DVD he will be selling them at $5.

Capstone

This week we learned about computer research.We got to go on computers.  All students (a handful of exceptions) now have access to their google doc accounts. Their usernames are “first initial last name @ student.theprojectschool.org. No spaces are in the username. Passwords have been individually generated and Ms. Kalei has access to them. We created a computer ethics policy which is listed below: 

Think before you type. (or speak)
Stay on the page that google gave you.
Don’t download anything. Avoid advertisements.
Carry the computer with two hands.
Be appropriate.
Stay on topic.
Use common sense (imagine your invisible audience).
Use reliable websites.
Be critical of your sources (websites, ads, text).

Morning Meeting

We did the game wax museum – it is where you have to be frozen and not laugh. Anyone tries to make you laugh and if you laugh you become a docent- trying to make other people laugh and you can get people out if they are moving. This week we did the dot to dot greeting  you take the other person’s arm and write good morning or hi in a dot to dot way. We also did the cold greeting – you do a handshake without touching the person’s hand- no germs!

Visual Arts

This week we have been doing task. Task is a thing where you write a creative thing to do on a slip of paper and the pick one yourself. After you pick the slip of paper you have to interpret  the slip in a creative way if its a drawing or a dress it super cool, awesome, funnylicious way!!!

 

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Newsletter 21 – 2/6/2015

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We have been working hard on our Going West play, but you can hear more about that in Performing and Visual arts.  A very important part of the Capstone project is Librarian Mentors! Each member of our library lunch committee has a few people they are in charge of finding resources for. The resources can be from our library, the public library, or other places.

P3 Workshop

This week in P3 we finished our assessment about Native Americans. The test included different tribes that we studied. We had to identify different words like “pueblos” and “longhouses”. We have been getting our information from History Of Us, that is a series that is about how we evolved and made inventions. We have finished our section about Native Americans.

Writers Workshop

In writers workshop this week we have learned some new poetry forms which are the tanka “dream” form and sonnet cinquain rhyme free verse ode and  haiku the shape poem and the kinnings and the word placements. We also worked on political poems like ebola,civil rights movement and others.The poem of the day is.

Readers Workshop

This week we started and finished a timeline project.We took quotes of injustices and moments of joy from our texts and put them in time order on our timelines.We wrote explanation why it represented joy or injustice too. We also finished our Historical fiction books. We are excited for their next unit. Although Ms. Kalei and Mr.Jim have not told us what the unit is yet. We have continued to read The Watsons Go To Birmingham. In the section we have introduced a new character his name is Rufus. the book talked about a former friend of his who stole his dinosaurs. And How his older brother By made it so he wasn’t bullied so much.

Math Workshop

This week in Ms. Kalei’s math group we have been working on doing addition, subtraction, multiplication and division of fractions and decimals. We have been working on how to be a  good partner.

This week in Mr. Jim’s math group we learned that lw means length times width which is the formula for area. We also got a huge packet with a ton of different math terms that we have to define what they mean there where small changes to our problem solving groups but we are still going with the groups. We got our assessments back with our scores on them.

In Ms. Caitlin’s math group, we have started some huge chapters, and started new projects. We are working on figuring out length without knowing the numbers. We have been doing a lot on number lines, positive and negative, and measurement. Also graphing on coordinate planes, and enlarging on coordinate planes.

In Ms. Kandi, this week students were introduced to a new game called Game Marker Goals, in which players tried to score goals by flicking game markers into a 10-centimeter wide goal area.  First, they flicked from 10-cm away, then 20-cm, and so on, until they flicked from 50 cm away from the goal line.  After making some observations and predictions about the likely outcomes of the game, students played Game Marker Goals in groups, recorded their own results, and then entered their results on a class chart. We then examined and discussed the data collected, and worked together to determine the total number of goals made by the class from each distance

Book Buddies

This week in book buddies this week we just got to read. Our book buddies are doing a non-fiction unit. They each have a topic that the are studying. It is very fun to read there non-fiction books because we learn stuff we don’t even know! Our book buddies look like they are very into their topics. They are recording information they learned on post-its and are sticking them on a folder. They have a lot of information!

Morning Meeting

Hello we have fun doing the game “hello” it is where you stand in the middle the room and you spin in a circle. The teacher says stop and you stop and you point at some and then in an disguise voice and then with there eyes closed  they guess the voice and if they get it right then they get to pick the next person to do it and if you get it wrong then you get to chose the next person  then it gosse on like that for all. This week we did the german greeting you say guten morgan (good morning in german) cool I know. one of our fellow students helped mr.Jim on how to pronounce it.

Visual Arts

This week in visual arts we are finally doing set design! If you don’t know what set design is, it is where we make the set props for the show. We are making things from trees to prairie schooners. We are getting in all the time we can. We are breaking off into committees, and it is working very well. We all hope the best and that all the set pieces get done. So that’s it ‘till the next update. I hope you all will enjoy the play.

Performing Arts

We have been working so so hard to memorize our lines, all the songs (our solos too) and the dance moves. Mr. Chris sent out papers that tell you who your children are in the play and it says what your child needs to wear for the big night! You should help your child know exactly what  their lines are  even if they have memorized their lines. Dreams is having their play at 7 o’clock and Hopes is having their play at 6 o’clock. Both of the plays are on the 17th at the Waldron. Everyone is very, very excited.