Saturday, September 8, 2012

A Lot Going On . . .

Usually I don't have a lot to post but it seems this week is the exception. So I'm going to get right to it.

Our Special Areas schedule seems to be finally set in stone. The most important part of this schedule to remember is PE since your child is asked to bring their tennis shoes in order to participate.
Monday (12:30-1:20) - Art
Tuesday (12:30-1:20) - Library
Wednesday (12:30-1:20) - Music
Thursday (12:30-1:20) - PE (please bring tennis shoes)
Friday (12:30-1:20) - Technology

We should be heading out to the Richland County Library in the next few weeks. I would like students to begin bringing their library cards. The library provides a great variety of books. It also offers me a great opportunity to make book recommendations from a larger variety of literature.

Our first 4th grade gathering will be next week (Friday, September 14 @ 2:20 pm). For our parents who are new to CFI, during their week, each class comes up with a thought for the week which is usually related to what students are learning in class. On the Monday of the week that class is in charge, that class leads the rest of the school in Monday gathering, a time when the school comes together to celebrate learning. During the week, that class shares morning announcements as well as bits of their learning. On Friday, the school comes together for a final learning celebration in which that class shares what they have been learning about.

Our thought for the week is "Coming to the New World." For our classroom, this had two meanings. One, we have begun learning about how during the Ice Age, natives to Asia followed the mammoths and other large animals across Beringia (a land bridge from Asia that connected Alaska) and into North America. Over time, these natives migrated to other parts of the North American and South America continent. Second, our class felt they had migrated from 3rd grade to the last leg of their elementary journey called 4th / 5th grade. Some could call this thinking a stretch but I think it's brilliant!

I am also trying something new that I need your help. Traditionally, we have done "Me-Boxes" which is when a child brings in a box, about the size of a shoe box, and places items into it that are significant to them. This year, we are creating what I call "Me-Bricks" (when I come up with a different name I'll call is something different). Instead of placing items into a box, significant items to your child will be placed on the walls of the classroom within the confines of one of the bricks on the wall. It turns the walls of the classroom into an art installation of items we find significant.

For these "Me-Bricks," I would like students to bring in a picture of their family but small enough to fit within the size of a shoe box. If you do not have a picture of everyone in the family, several pictures is fine. In our family, we have not had time since our twins were born to have a whole family pictures so on my "Me-Brick" I have a picture of my wife and I have another picture of my kids (I'll post a picture of my "Me-Brick soon). Either send pictures to school with your child or email them to me and I can print out some small versions. Your child will also need to bring in items they find significant to them but light enough to be stuck to the wall (things they collect, a bracelet, picture, a rock). I will try to use rubber cement or double-sided 3M sticky stuff (not sure what they're called) to stick items to the wall. I can also use a glue gun for larger items. The bad thing about glue guns is the glue can sometimes be difficult to take off.

I have a few other things to share but will post those things in the next few days. Please be on the lookout for a few more update emails.

Scott Johnson

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