Weekly News-September 16, 2016

September 16, 2016

Classroom News

The writing your child should be giving you on Friday is a story written using a technique designed to help them focus in on details in a specific moment.  The story starts with the student earning a trip to their favorite ice cream store because he/she had a wonderful report card.  Each sentence was then written in response to a question / prompt designed to take them the next step into the story by visualizing and then describing something around them or an emotion they are having.  For example, for one sentence they were asked to describe the person taking their order.  Another was a sentence in which they were to describe how they were feeling.  Many students ended up writing 2-3 pages in response to these questions and have some very unique and descriptive pieces.  We hope you enjoy reading them and please write feedback to your child on the writing itself.

Picture Day is this Tuesday, September 20th.  The order forms went home with your child today, but we did notice a few sheets floating around the floor after school today, so if your child doesn’t have one in his/her backpack, one of those floating forms was probably his/hers.  The form will be needed on Tuesday, so please have your child get a new one on Monday, if needed.

If your child is absent, it would be really helpful if you send both us and the office (attendanceatopencharter.org) an email in the morning so we can enter the right information in the computer when we take attendance.  Doing so might also prevent the Districts robocall about the absence.

In preparation for getting our jobs and starting our economy, we taught the students how to use checkbooks this week.  They were all very excited and eagerly began entering withdrawals and deposits.  Many of them quickly learned the accompanying lesson of mathematical precision - if you make a computation mistake near the beginning of a sequence of transactions, all the following transactions will also give you an incorrect balance!

We began a new read aloud this week, A Long Walk to Water by Linda Sue Park.  This is a great book, based on a true story, that tells the stories of two children in Southern Sudan, one from 1985 and one from 2008.  The book is a wonderful experience on many levels and the students are already marveling at how different life is/was for the kids in the story.  The character from 2008 walks 8 hours every day to get water for her family (twice a day, two hours there, two hours back) and the boy in 1985 is forced to flee his village without his family once war arrives.  While the events in the book are sometimes quite sad, the determination and strength these characters demonstrate is very positive and inspiring and we’re hoping the students see both the differences and the commonalities between themselves and the characters.  So far the students are very interested and engaged.  We thought you would want to know what we’re reading in case questions or topics come up at home that might be related to this book.  Already we’ve heard about people the students know who were raising money to send to dig wells in Africa, so we’re hoping this novel continues to inspire rich discussion and connections.

Book orders were due this Friday, September 16th.  The order will get placed on Saturday evening, so you have until then to place your order, if you haven’t already and want to.  Our online code to connect your account with our class is GZX9X.

Still looking for a volunteer or two for this one: We also need a detail-oriented parent or parents to help us go through and re-set up our collection of thinking games, as many of the pieces have wandered into boxes they don’t belong to or were left lying around and are in a holding box.  Most of the games have a list of pieces, so we need people to sit down and make sure each game has what it is supposed to have so our students can play them again.  If this sounds like a job for you, just let us know.  You can come in any time for this one!


Job Applications: After we shared all of the commissions and what they do, the students chose three commissions to apply for.  Job applications will go home on Tuesday and be due the following Tuesday, 9/27.  Please encourage your child to both relax (yes, we know you have never been a banker before, but what have you done involving money?) and take it seriously and do their best work.  Students have to complete all three applications in order for us to make the organization work, so we will be telling them that they have to complete all three in order to get any of the jobs they are applying for (even if they really, really, really are only interested in two of the three).  They will need two adult references for each application and each adult can only be a reference once.  Encourage them to ask at school (Matthew writes great, very funny references!) and references from relatives can be dictated over the phone.  

Scholastic News:  There won’t be one this coming week, as we figured the job applications were enough language arts work for one week. 

Problem of the Week:  Next week’s problem of the week is another visual puzzle, this time involving creating a path following a certain number of steps up.  We have been noticing many students struggling with mathematical perseverance in class, along with being unwilling to just try something to see if it works, so please encourage your child to just stick with it as we continue to work on this very valuable attitude.

Word Study:  The octagons and heptagons have their work due on Tuesday, September 20th.  We do recommend doing a quick review or practice test on Monday so they are prepared for the test that day.  After the test, they will be getting their new words for their homework the next two weeks, which will then be due on Tuesday, October 4.  The pentagons and hexagons have their words and assignment now and their work is due on the 27th, when they will be having their test. 


Expiration Date: 
Jun 30