Weekly News - October 28, 2016

October 27, 2016

Classroom News

Today your children brought home just a goal sheet.  We’re deep into preparing, researching, and planning for our next writing piece and we didn’t have anything yet worth sharing.  The students are working on combining a personal narrative about an experience with one of the animals at the Safari Park with information they are researching about that animal.  Before we went, we read many different kinds of examples of books and stories in which the authors combined story and information and analyzed them for how the authors did that effectively.  We also looked at these stories to see what the author’s message was and discussed how very few books were written simply as entertainment.  We asked them to be thinking about their experiences while on the trip so that they would be prepared to pick something that actually had a meaningful message they could include in their writing.  Once we got back and they knew what they were writing about, they started researching the animal that their story is about.  And that’s where we are now.  Next week they will start planning and orally rehearsing their story as they look for places to use some of the author’s craft moves we’ve found and make sure they are clearly conveying their story and their message.  It’s a big piece to write, full of new challenges for our writers, so if anyone wants to come in and help support our writers, we’d love to have you this Monday or next.  Various students will be working on these all day.

We are planning on turning these writing pieces into a class book, illustrated with photographs from the trip, so if you have pictures from the trip, please send them in!  You can do that via a website, or put them on a jump drive, which we will return right away.  We’d like pictures from all four groups so that everyone’s experiences can be represented.  

You should have also been given another field trip slip today.  As this is a presidential election year, we like to take the students to a nearby polling place so that they can see what they look like and feel like they are a part of a moment in history.  When we’ve done this in the past, if the polling place isn’t busy, they have let the students look at the practice voting machines to see how they work and have sometimes given them nice talks about civic responsibility and pride.  In addition, the polling place is at the Centinela Adobe House, which is a beautiful historic building, so it’s a wonderful place to see.  We’ll be leaving school around 9 and be back before recess (it’s a short walk), so nothing special as far as lunches needs to be done.  If you’d like to come walk with us, please feel free.

We hope that everyone has signed up for a parent-teacher-student conference time on Sign Up Genius, as conferences are coming up soon.  Please be aware that our conferences will take more than the usual 20 minutes.  You will have 20 minutes with us and your child, but your child will also be sharing his/her paper and electronic portfolios, as well as other classroom experiences and projects.  This sharing time can take place before your time with us, or after, or some combination of the two.  You should plan on 20-30 minutes for this sharing, though some parents have been known to spend longer than that.   


Scholastic News:  The new Scholastic News magazine and map will go home on Tuesday.  The question on the map is asking students to find information about something written about in the article.  These will be due on November 8th.

Problem of the Week:  We will be continuing our work with finding and using patterns to help you solve problems.   This next problem won’t involve pictures, so careful reading of the information in the problem and really paying attention to what is being asked so that you can answer the question being asked with the right information are both really key.  It will be due on Tuesday, November 8th.

Word Study:  The octagons and heptagons will be getting new words on Tuesday and will have their work due on November 15th.  The pentagons’ and hexagons’ work is due on November 8th.  With the new sets of words we will also be introducing Spelling City, an online spelling practice site.  We will be including Spelling City activities as options in the 5 activities that need to be done every two weeks.  Assignments that are done in Spelling City are recorded and sent to us digitally.  Students can choose to do all of their work in Spelling City, all on paper, or some combination of the two, as long as a total of 5 activities are done.  Please be aware that it’s important to save your work in Spelling City rather frequently, especially in the sentence writing activity, as last year we found that, if left idle for too long, the work sometimes disappeared or was unable to be submitted.

Expiration Date: 
Jun 30