Weekly News - September 20, 2019

September 20, 2019

We had quite a day today!  We did our own version of the Global Climate Strike that started today.  We began by learning about climate, global warming, and climate change.  Then we did CNN’s climate quiz to see what changes would have the greatest impact regarding reducing the amount of carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere.  (This was really fascinating and informative.  If you want to see it yourself, go to https://www.cnn.com/interactive/2019/04/specials/climate-change-solutions-quiz/index.html and see how well you do.)  The students found some of this information really interesting and some probably went over their heads, but they were very engaged with some of the ideas about how we could help our earth.  They brainstormed slogans they could use and made posters to express their thoughts.  We then went out on the yard for a mini demonstration, once before lunch, and then again after lunch with Purple Cluster.  Ask your child what he/she learned and keep the conversation going! (By the way, eat less meat was a big one, so you might have a selling point for them to eat their vegetables!)

Today we also started researching 12 of the animals that we will see at the Safari Park - lions, tigers, cheetahs, gorillas, elephants, rhinos, zebras, meerkats, flamingos, bats, giraffes, and antelopes.  We didn’t have a lot of time to read very much yet (activism took more time than we had anticipated!), but there was a lot of interest.  If your child wants to continue researching at home and bring in information, that would be great!  We will also be adding books on tree kangaroos, cassowaries, and wallabies next week, in the hopes that some people will make it up to the relatively new Australian section while we are at the park.  

We have started our math facts tests on Mondays.  Hopefully your child has brought home and shown you his/her math facts tests.  We’ve done two.  The goal is to complete all 50 questions in 5 minutes or less, with two or fewer errors.  If your child isn’t finishing yet, an extra copy to practice is given with the original test.  The best way to see what needs to be practiced is to watch your child complete the paper and take notes on which facts he/she takes longer to answer or gets wrong.  Then focus on studying just those facts.  Generally, with that method, it only takes a couple of weeks of practicing 5-10 minutes a day to master the addition and subtraction facts they don’t know.  Multiplication, when we get to it, might take a little longer and more focused attention.  We are still hoping to find a parent or two who can correct these for us each week.  This is something that can easily be done at home, so you won’t need to be here.  Please let us know if you’d like to give this a try.  This will help our aides have more time for other work in the classroom and with the students.

This Monday we are also starting our multi-digit computation work, which we call skillsheets.  The students did a pre-assessment to see what they knew how to do and then were assigned packets to cover the things they needed to review or to learn.  We schedule them all out so that the students cover what they need to cover before the spring testing.  You will be receiving a letter on Monday that explains this in more detail and has your child’s schedule and assigned work on the bottom.  There was a printing mess up and they printed aligned the wrong way, so it’s a two page letter.  If your child has 3-4 packets to do in any given period, they will probably need to be putting in extra time at home to be sure they master the grade level skills they need.  

If you wanted to place a book order, but didn’t get it in yet, we won’t be submitting the final order until Sunday, so you’ve got until then to put your order in online.

Remember that this Thursday and Friday, September 26th and 27th are minimum days.  Please be sure your child knows what his or her after school plan is.


Scholastic News:  This week the cover story is about visiting the Titanic.  Rather than a thinking map, the worksheet that goes with it shows the students how to organize a piece of opinion writing.  They are to form an opinion about whether or not artifacts should be removed from the Titanic and then use the paper to fill in their thinking in an organized way.  This may take some extra support, but it is a wonderful example of how to write your opinion on something.  The magazine and paper are due on Friday, September 27th.

Problem of the Week:  We worked on some of the classic crossing the river puzzles in class over the last couple of weeks.  This week’s problem of the week is an extension of the ones we did in class.  Some students started trying to solve it in class, but others didn’t get to it.  As we reminded the students, it is completely okay if they don’t figure out the answer.  We just want to see evidence of sincere efforts to try and solve it. We suggested using coins or other objects to stand for the things that are crossing the river and to write or draw what you are trying as you do it (it’s easy to forget what you did when you are done, whether you solved it or not).  If the first thing you try doesn’t work, move down on the page and keep track of your second try.  Seeing what you’ve done can also help you figure out other things to try.  The back of the paper can be used, and other papers attached as well.  It’s due on Friday, September 27th.

Getting to Know You Pictures:  We are going to be doing a project using a comic designing program called Comic Life.  In order to do this, we need 8-10 digital images from each student that help show who they are.  Family photos are the best, but some students also like to include other digital images, sometimes of art they have created, and sometimes from things they like to do.  Ideally, we would like these pictures by Friday, September 27th.  Please feel free to start working with your child to choose pictures this weekend if you would like.  If you have printed images, we can scan them at school, if that is needed.  Email them to yellow.clusteratme.com and please put your child’s name in the message line.  It is much easier and faster for us to get these as email attachments, rather than from an external site, so please send them that way. 

Expiration Date: 
Jul 31