Weekly News - September 30, 2016

September 30, 2016

Classroom News

This week’s writing is a paragraph that is responding to the following prompt:  “What is friction? What does it do?  Give some examples of how it works.  Why is it important?  Make connections to the experiments we did.”  The focus on this writing was finding and organizing the information much more than on writing style, as it was our first big expository/informative piece.  We collected information on circle maps, then organized it all into a flow map based on the question we were asking.  These maps were done collectively and the students copied from the group maps to make their own flow map.  Then we went step by step through how to take the information off of the map to make sentences that connected and made sense.   Students who were comfortable with this process already, wrote more independently.  The maps were color coded to show the introduction, body, and conclusion, so the writing is done is colors that match the map to highlight that all of the parts were completed.  We have not yet reviewed or revised this writing. 

We know that we have parents who volunteered to do at home typing.  If you have a Mac and can type some of the friction paragraphs (we’ll send copies home) in the next week, please let us know.  This will make it faster and easier for our students to revise this writing, so we’d appreciate help with this.  

**Please note that, in order to respond to the emails that come through Mail Chimp, you need to click on the "respond to sender" (or something like that) link in the email.  Using your regular reply button won't work, as those emails get send to a server that isn't checked - they don't come to us.  Emails that come directly from Yellow Cluster's email address can be replied to normally, however.

We’ve also been giving the students quite a few reference sheets for their math toolkits, but haven’t had the time to have them tape them into the books.  It’s getting to the point where we think it might be more than a little overwhelming to have all of the kids tape these themselves, so if you have some time to come in and do a bunch of taping, we’d love that.  This could be an at home project if you don’t mind carrying 48 journals home and can get the work done in a day or two. (Or it could be split between people, too.)

Remember that there is no school this Monday.  We hope everyone enjoys their three day weekend!

We are working on finalizing carpools and other arrangements for the Safari Park.  We know many people have been talking to each other and working out plans for driving and whether or not they are staying over on Friday night.  In order for us to make our carpool planning as stress-free and easy as possible, we need to know everyone’s plans.  Please email us with the following information:

Are you driving?  Do you know who is in your car yet?  What time will you be leaving Legoland on Friday or are you staying over until Saturday?  If you aren’t coming on the trip, have you already made arrangements to have your child in a specific carpool?  If you can drive, but would rather ride with someone else, let us know that, too, so that maybe we can combine some smaller cars.

If your child isn’t in a carpool yet, don’t worry - that’s partly why we are doing this.  Once we have this information from everyone, we can then make arrangements for everyone who hasn’t yet.  


Scholastic News:  The new magazine will be coming home on Tuesday.  The map that goes with it will have the students look for the main idea in each section of the article and then the details that support this idea.  This can be a challenging concept for our students.  We practiced it a little bit in class this week and will continue to practice it all year, so please feel free to support your child as needed.  One thing we talked about was the difference between main idea, which includes information, and topic, which doesn’t, so that might be a good thing to ask your child about. It will be due on Tuesday, 10/11.

Problem of the Week:  We have been working in class on problems in which clues are given about peoples‘ ages and the students have to figure out how old each person is.  Most students have been using the guess and check strategy to solve the problems - finding sets of numbers that fit one of the clues and manipulating them until they find the set of numbers that also fits the other clue or clues.  We have been stressing the importance of making a chart to keep track of your work so that what you’ve done before can inform your next guess or guesses, so please remind your child of that as needed.  Students then need to “prove” their answer by taking the numbers and showing how they fit the original clues.  It will be due on Tuesday, 10/11.

Word Study:  The octagons and heptagons have their work due, and their spelling test, on Tuesday, October 4.  The pentagons’ and hexagons’ work is due on Tuesday, October 11th.


Expiration Date: 
Jun 30