Friday 9/22/17

Here are a few highlights from the past week:

  • I will have photos next week!
  • Once again, we spent more time reacquainting ourselves with each other, the class, and the school. Sometimes it may seem like we do "nothing" the first few weeks of school and 5th and 6th graders feel like they already know all the rules and expectations, but EVERYONE needs opportunities to relearn and practice, plus it is such important work to build the foundation and positive climate for the rest of the year! We spent time this week on: class rules (with lots of time for practice), sharing, listening skills, things we do and don't like working in groups/partners, team building, earning bear paws, etc...
  • In Reading Workshop, all students are enjoying their independent reading books. They get time to read in class each day after a mini-lesson from me. They all know they should be reading each night at home too. More to come on this.
  • This week (and next) we have been doing more work on growth mindset- specifically in math! We are using lessons called Week of Inspirational Math https://www.youcubed.org/week-inspirational-math/ Each activity begins with a short video with a discussion, then an extended math task. We have been looking at working together to solve challenging problems.
  • This week everyone finished their hopes and dreams posters. Everyone designed their name the way they wanted it and then added their hopes and dreams for this school year. They are on the bulletin board in the hall if you want to see them!
  • We were able to take the MAP math assessment this week. After some technical difficulties on Wednesday (due to the company that created the test), we decided to postpone, but were able to take it on Friday morning.
  • Our Outdoor Learning this week was an all school hike in the woods behind the school. It was about an hour and a half hike to the big field where we played and had lunch. The hike back was only about 15 minutes. All 5/6ers had an opportunity to hike with one or two Little Buddies! They did so great!
  • We continued science work with carrots. Students are using the internet to ask questions about carrots. After some instruction on good searching techniques, we all worked together to learn the best way to store carrots. We picked them all, cleaned them, trimmed off the tops, and they're in the fridge to use when we need them over the next few weeks.
  • Students were able to start band lessons and chorus this week with Ms. Marian!
  • On Wednesday morning our class led our first All School Morning Meeting. We did a greeting, shared a few things, and played a quick game. Everyone did very well.
  • We continued with our first read aloud book: Wonder, by RJ Palacio. It's about a 5th grade boy who has a severe facial deformity and is headed to school for the first time in his life. The book has some wonderful lessons about acceptance, different points of view, and choosing kindness. It's one of my favorite read alouds to start the year.
  • In Writing Workshop, we are building writing stamina, by writing often. We are also working on ways to come up with writing ideas when we get stuck and don't know what to write about.
  • This week we were finally able to set up homework folders and assignment books, which should come home and back to school every day! You should help them check this each evening, to be sure they know if they have any work or any papers/forms for you. In general, I do not give much for homework (more to come on this later), but it is important for them to stay organized and keep track of important items.


Some upcoming dates, important notes, and things to look forward to in the coming weeks:

  • Tentative Outdoor Learning field trip in the morning on Wednesday 9/27 to Gibou Gardens. We are hoping to make this work, and will send a permission slip home on Monday if we can arrange everything!
  • This coming week our first Four Winds lesson!
  • We will continue with the benchmark testing.
        • We will take the MAP reading assessment this coming week. (See last week's updates for more info)
        • Before the end of September, we will also be doing our OSSU wide, On Demand Writing Prompt assessment. All students do one writing piece to help assess their writing early in the year.
        • Lastly, I will be meeting with students one on one over the next few weeks to give our F&P reading assessment. Students read a short story (part of it is read aloud) then answer some questions about the reading.
  • Now that we are done the Week of Inspirational Math, we will begin looking at math rotations and mapping out our plan for first units of study.
  • Now that we've picked the carrots, we can use them for the following:
        • Scientific observation and data collection.
        • Importance of precision in data collection.
        • Scientific drawing.
        • Data distribution and charts.
        • Asking questions and using those for Independent Learning about carrots.
        • Independent and/or group projects with the carrots which may include cooking and eating!
        • And more!
  • We will continue generating ideas for writing in writing journals.
  • And much more!