Another full week ahead for us! After a successful caribou hunt last week I am excited for what is coming up this week.
First though, thank you to all those that volunteered or stopped by the carwash/bake sale over the weekend. It was a huge success! I will keep you posted on future fundraising opportunities. Also, we have three families already that joined the PTSA meeting last week. I am so proud and thankful for such involved families!
This Thursday is our school’s open house and is a chance for families to come upstairs and see the classroom and some of the things the students work on regularly as well as currently. I am excited to see all of you there!
Until then, our class will continue our work with adjectives as will begin also studying prefixes and root words with our skyscrapers. This language and grammar study has become a normal part of our routine and work sessions.
In cultural studies we have a collection of books on the industrial revolution from which students choose to write a paragraph about. This boom in technology will tie in nicely when we begin our ASD provided science kit that explores computer systems. For now, our science continues to look at different ways to identify the leaves that are beginning to fall. We’ll take a look at some leaves outside as well as some mixed salad greens to practice our naturalist eyes.
In math most of the class is concentrating on place values and surface area. This week we will continue to diversify our math studies.
A short a sweet letter this week as I’m sure we will chat more come Thursday at open house!
What another glorious sunny weekend we had! There’s no denying autumn is in the air though, with more crisp and chilly mornings and smells of biodegrading plant matter filling the forest. I love the change of seasons!
This also signals our readiness to finish getting into the thick of opportunities in class. We’ll be forming math groups this week and will begin exploring geometry concepts twice a week in addition to our normal operational and place value math. We’ll also be practicing our multiplication, division, or fractions on an individual basis throughout each week, finishing with a progress check on Fridays.
This week we’ll also be conducting our AIMSweb assessments. If you are not familiar with these, they are short assessments (less than 10 minutes) that measure math concepts and application, computation, and reading. They are great tools to measure progress and this week’s assessments will provide a starting place for the year ahead.
Speaking of the year ahead, each May our 6th graders do a field trip with Kenai Fjords Tours to explore some of the fascinating science in Resurrection Bay, from zooplankton to water turbidity. This unique experience is funded by each participating student where possible and by scholarships for those unable to cover the costs. Scholarship funds are generated through donations as well as different fundraisers throughout the year.
That being said, our first fundraiser is this Saturday morning, September 17. Volunteers, especially students, are needed to make this a success. A sign-up sheet went home with students on Thursday. Please let me know if you and/or your child(ren) can help for an hour or more. This is a great way to contribute towards our Denali community. It is expected that each family contributes 40 volunteer hours per school year.
Another great way to get involved and help out our school is through the PTSA (Parent Teacher Student Association). Our first meeting of the year is this Wednesday from 5:30 – 7pm and includes a potluck, childcare, and a meet and greet! I’ll be there as well!
I could also use help preparing, copying, building, and/or fixing materials, supplies, etc. in the classroom. Additionally, field trip chaperoning and driving is another great way to contribute (which by the way, the office also needs proof of insurance, driver’s license if these are your plans. These can be photographed/emailed, faxed, or you can stop by to have them copied). I really do appreciate all your help and involvement with our class and school. I believe the greater our partnership, the greater opportunities of success will be afforded to our children.
This Friday (Constitution Day) I will be sneaking out of town to (hopefully) harvest a caribou north of the Lake Louise area near Glennallen. We will have Mr. Mason as our substitute. Before this we will go over sub expectations as a class to make sure we are all on the same page.
Finally I wanted to share with you a project I put together through “Donor’s Choose” in hopes of bringing additional chances to grow life in our classroom. Chevron is granting $100k to Anchorage teachers for STEM projects like this so there is a high likelihood they will fund our entire request (so don’t donate yourself just yet). Click here for the project.
I hope the three day weekend afforded you all some fun time outside with each other! The first day of each week we always share something we did over the weekend and I imagine a few students will talk about their experience with Fair-hair or the record breaking pumpkin at the fair this year!
Although this week is only four days long we have a lot to do. To assist each student with their responsibilities that come with a freedom to choose work, we will begin using individual planners. Sixth graders have each been given a middle school student planner, designed for 6/7/8th graders to be used throughout the year. Fifth and fourth graders will be using an Assignment Tracker each week (see attached for example). These organizational tools are in addition to an “Assignments Board” that I update as different projects are assigned throughout the week.
In science we will continue to study the identification of leaves, working with 3-part cards, completion of different projects, and use of a leaf key. Part of this study will eventually be the collection of local leaves for identification. I would also like to culminate this unit with a fun art project we can integrate with a writing lesson, but will need the help of parents to collect leaves (perhaps after raking), dry out the leaves (perhaps in garage), and bring them into the class in the coming days. Please let me know if you can help with this.
Our language lessons this week begin transitioning from the many types of nouns (proper/common, abstract/concrete, collective, singular/plural, and gender-based nouns) to different types of adjectives. Our skyscrapers will be exploring different roots and suffix combinations.
In math we have been polishing our multiplication and division skills, shaking off the summer dust. This week we’ll continue these exercises while dusting our place value work. We are also doing a “daily math” exercise each day that is a way to get our math wheels turning.
Last Friday was our first spelling tests that went well. This week we’ll get a new list of words and have one less day to learn them. As such, extra care should be given in their study.
I have chatted and met with many of you over the past couple of weeks. I welcome these chances to communicate and collaborate towards our mutual goals and individual styles of each student! Enjoy the short week!