Sunday, December 9, 2012

Information for the Next Week

As we wind down towards the end of 2012 and the beginning of Christmas break, I wanted to send some pieces of information your way.


  • Passing of the Cans is this Friday, December 14. We have done a great job of bringing in items for Passing of the Cans. So far, this group has brought in more items than any other class I have been a part of. On Monday or Tuesday, we will begin taking a count of how many items we have before we begin looking at nutritional labels, servings, and so on.
  • On Wednesday and Thursday we are participating in two virtual field trips. Wednesday's virtual field trip is about the Mars rover. That is all the information I have at the moment since I'm waiting to hear back with more details. Thursday's virtual field trip is our monthly field trip involving Colonial Williamsburg. This VFT is called "Colonial Idol" and focuses on the music and dance of the colonial period. This includes the song and dance of Native Americans, the wealthy, slaves, patriots, and the British. Everyone in class in very excited about this VFT.
  • In reading, we will continue reading William Steig. Our conversations and discussions around Steig have been marvelous. Steig provides great examples, blatant examples, of various literary elements. Students have been talking about the usage of time (Steig uses the seasons as a way of passing time) and tension (there always seem to be some problem in his books). 
    • By studying Steig and studying these literary elements, we hope to include these elements into our own writing. 
  • In writing, we have been looking at grammar as way of varying our sentence structure. For instance, we have looked at what are called absolutes - two word phrases which include a noun and -ing verb such as "heart pounding." Using absolutes changes sentences such as "I ran to the store." into "Heart pounding, I ran to the store."
  • In social studies, we are finishing up our study of the explorers before moving, in January, to colonial America. Most likely we will have some kind of test on the explorers.
  • In math, we will be finishing up multiplication. So far we have been studying 1 and 2 digit multiplication, lattice multiplication, Napier's rods (another version of lattice multiplication), and Russian peasant multiplication. Before we end multiplication, we will study how the Egyptians used multiplication. On Friday, we will have some kind of test on all these versions of multiplication.
  • In science, we will begin discussing weather data collection and how to read the weather graphs which track CFI's weather station's weather data (hope that made sense). Here is a link to CFI's weather station: CFI Weather Station.
As always thanks for all your help and support. Have a wonderful week!

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Information for this Week

Hi Everyone-

I wanted to send out a few pieces of information out your way:

  • Please don't forget that we are collecting non-perishable items for Passing of the Cans. Passing of the Cans is only a few weeks away (Friday, December 14). We will use the items we collect to do some work in math involving servings and calories.
  • This Tuesday at 9 pm, the History Channel is showing "Mankind: The Story of All of Us." I have been watching this series, and as a history nut, this series has been great. On Tuesday, they will be talking about the explorers, especially Christopher Columbus. While I wouldn't recommend watching all of it (the show ends at 11 pm), I think this show will be extremely informative.
  • Don't forget this Tuesday is an early dismissal.
  • This week we will continue studying the explorers by looking at explorers such as Magellan and John Cabot.
  • In math, we will continue studying multiplication. We have been working on single and two-digit multiplication and everyone has picked up on it quickly. I enjoy studying multiplication because we will study how multiplication has been solved from the Egyptians to modern day multiplication.
  • In writing, we will look at grammar and how to use grammar to write using a variety of sentence structures.
  • In science, we continue looking at weather. While we will look at different kinds of severe weather, we will also begin looking at weather data, how to collect it, and how to read it.
  • In reading, we will begin studying one of my favorite children's book authors - William Steig. You may know him as the author of "Sylvester and the Magic Pebble" which was a popular book picture book in the 80's. Steig blatantly used a wide variety of literary elements in his popular picture books.

Field Trip - Camden

We had a great time in Camden and I wanted to thank our chaperons for doing a wonderful job looking after everyone. I also wanted to thank your children for being on their best behavior. Everyone learned a lot about the Camden, South Carolina, and Revolutionary War history. Besides watching the local cat eat a mouse, students loved the quill writing and colonial games. The tours through the Kershaw and Craven house were insightful and informative.
Quill Writing
Group photo at Kershaw House

Craven House