Another awesome autumn is upon us! This week our fine State has summoned me to serve as a trial juror and I have a pretty low service number meaning, odds are, I will be selected (or by the time you have read this, have already been selected). Apparently I can only defer so many times. Alas, I have arranged for Mr. Mason to be our guest teacher in the event of my absence. Mr. Mason was a student teacher with Ms. Rily and a long-term substitute for Mrs. Hundrup last year and is a part of our culture here at Denali Montessori; I am excited to have him in our classroom this week.
Just around the corner is the end of first quarter which means parent teacher conferences! I am so excited to discuss the progress of your children over the past quarter and eager to hear more about how things are going on your side of their education. This is a time to celebrate achievements and reflect upon goals and progress. If you have any concerns or a desire to talk in length, you are always welcome to schedule an additional and/or separate time for before or after school. Of course, invitations always stand for any families to visit the classroom while we are learning if you would like to see us in action!
For information on parent teacher conferences go online to http://www.asdk12.org/parents/conferences/ . To locate a good time for you, make sure you select “mix” for grade of student. I have made my schedule available Wednesday and Thursday afternoons, as well as Thursday morning. If you feel that you cannot make it for these times, please contact me so we can try to arrange something that will work for both of us. Students are invited and encouraged to be part of this meeting, though it is not necessary depending on your own personal preferences and availabilities.
This week we are excited to be studying salmon more and begin transitioning our bulletin board into a giant cycle of life! We are also continuing our study of the industrial revolution and will begin doing some small group reading and reflections on some ASD provided texts regarding the topic.
In math we are continuing in our math groups with assignments nearly every day. Many projects we complete in the class span a week or more meaning time management is important to ensure math is kept up on. Checking in with students each evening asking if they finished their math for the day is a good step towards enforcing accountability. Next week and the week thereafter we will begin working in even more groups to provide “Response to Intervention” (RTI) opportunities. RTI is based upon the AIMSweb testing we did last month; results and plans will be discussed at conferences.
We are also excited to announce a new pen pal project with a 5th grade class in Kwethluk, Alaska, (just upstream of Bethel). Although students will still occasionally have a homework assignment to write the pen pal that they picked at the beginning of the year, I couldn’t resist the invitation to share and learn with children on the other side of Alaska as well. Our Kwethluk pen pals will be class-work instead of homework.