Saturday, August 24, 2013

First Week of School

Welcome back to a new school year! It is so nice returning with the same group of students. We have been able to jump right in to school and classroom procedures, adjusting to new schedules, and getting used to our new roles as the "elders" of the school.

Here a few pictures from our first day of school. By far the best part was meeting our lunch / reading buddies. After meeting our lunch buddies, we headed over to the cafeteria to each lunch with them. We will start reading with our buddies in a few weeks, after Mrs. Klosterman has had some time to help the kindergarteners adjust to school life. We are definitely looking forward to these times.

Besides getting used to the classroom schedule and helping kids get back into thinking as readers, writers, and mathematicians, we have begun investigating citizen science projects all students will participate in. I have been a big proponent of citizen science because it allows students to participate in the collection of data that will be used by others. Last year, our class citizen science project was collecting phenology information. In other words, we observed two trees, recorded changes in the tree, and sent that information to the US National Phenology project (https://www.usanpn.org/). This year, students are looking at several other projects including one helping transcribe ancient texts, precipitation collection, and ladybug counting. As we solidify this information, we'll send out a list so you have an understanding of what your child is participating in. To help you understand what citizen science is, I have included a link that defines citizen science as well as include sample citizen science projects.

As of now, the most important information to share is making sure your child signs up for carpool duties. Our class is in charge of carpool for the next nine weeks and we need every child to participate in order to fill every position and not put undue work on other students who have to fill in for those who don't sign up. As another reminder, the sign up is located at http://www.signupgenius.com/go/10C0D45ACA82CABFE3-first. Please take time to help your child sign up by Monday since this is the official beginning of our carpool duties.

And lastly, since we are now 5th graders, we will be participating in our first 5th grade gathering in a few weeks. As we get closer I'll send out more information.