April & May Newsletter
Wallace & Priscilla Stevenson Intermediate School
Just a couple weeks ago we closed out the third quarter and are now only a few short weeks away from the end of the school year. It's amazing how quickly time is going by. Students and staff have been busy this past month with a variety of activities.
One of those being getting ready to take on the new state wide Smarter Balanced Assessment. Fourth through sixth grades will begin testing the week of April 20th. and testing will continue through the first week in May. This test replaces the last years MSP test in reading and math. It will measure your students level of mastery of the new common core standards in reading and math. The fifth graders will also be taking the statewide science test in May that will measure student growth towards achieving mastery of the science standards. Your support is very important, and you can help your student by making sure they are getting a good night's rest, and encouraging them to do their best.
With just a short amount of time left this year; it is also important to start planning for next year's classroom assignments. Parents will receive a letter with a parent input sheet that will be helpful in planning next year's classroom placement. Keep in mind that while we welcome input on your students strengths; we can not honor specific teacher requests.
We look forward to another exciting month!
We are keeping busy in fourth grade! We’re identifying and measuring angles with protractors as part of our current geometry unit in math. Our What I Need (WIN) groups in reading are working on summarizing. In writing, we’re learning how to gather and synthesize information from several sources to create essays. Students will then share their final report in a poster presentation.
Our Artist in Residence, Melinda Strobel, is returning this year to lead students in drama activities, connected to our social studies curriculum about Washington history. Thank you to the PTO for funding our Artist in Residence! Speaking of the PTO, we would still like contributions for a garden themed basket the fourth grade is compiling for the PTO’s silent auction and ice cream social on May 1st. Ideas include garden gloves, garden tools, gift certificates or sunscreen. Please send items to school by April 24th.
Math - We are studying division and multiplication of fractions. Here are some of the standards we have been focusing on:
*Interpreting a fraction as division of the numerators by the denominator.
*Solving word problems involving division of whole numbers leading to answers in the forms of fractions or mixed numbers by using models and equations.
*Interpret the multiplication of fractions as scaling or resizing.
*Solving real word problems involving multiplication of fractions and numbers by using fraction models or equations to represent the problem.
*Using models and equations, divide a whole number by a unit fraction and divide a unit fraction by a whole number.
Math-a-Palooza on Wednesdays - for acceleration and interventions for the previously taught skills.
Writing - Poetry - Brief Joyce Sidman poetry study
Exploring different forms of poetry that has been written after some research by the author (Shape, Stanza, Rhyming, Key word repetition, Haiku - patterned syllable poems)
What topics are we focusing on? What I Treasure Most Poems and Endangered Species Poems
The 5th grade team is focusing on Integrating Science and Art curriculum with writing the poems(Environments & Slab Techniques in Clay provided by our Artist in Residence). The Art Project also integrates Geometry with Slab Clay techniques. The Artist in Residence who has aligned this project to our Common Core is Pam Springer.
Now and in the future, we are focusing on Persuasive Writing Strategies and Research through advertisement on Posters on Community Issues we are most passionate about and writing Endangered Species Essays. Topic: Why should my Endangered Species stay on the Endangered Species List? Focus: Learning how to research on the computer, and cite sources in MLA format. Learning how to take notes from articles on a computer as well as writing a 5 paragraph Persuasive Essay.
Reading - We are all reading a series of narrative nonfiction and informational non-fiction stories about important figures in the events that lead up to the Revolutionary War and the Revolutionary War.
Some Reading Target Skills include: Distinguishing Fact from Opinion and using details to Generalize and Conclude. We just finished reading Hero Biographies and presented our heroes in a Biography Wax Museum for parents and other classes.
Social Studies - The fifth grade has been studying events leading up to the Revolutionary War. Students have created Road To Revolution Timeline Maps as well as journals written from the perspective of a particular colonist (a chosen trade by the student) describing events leading up to the Revolutionary War. The 5th grade is getting ready to study the Declaration of the Independence in the next weeks.
Science - We have been studying Terrestrial and Aquatic Biomes and the preferred environmental factors for organisms in individual biomes. We have created Terrariums and now we are creating Aquariums. We continue to study Environments for most of the month of April and then move onto Landforms. Some completed Environment projects include a research project to complete a Biome Poster on a chosen Terrestrial Biome as well as building 3 dimensional diorama habitats with preferred environmental conditions for the organisms that belong in that biome. This project also included some health problems that students were challenged to identify and solve!
In writing the 6th graders have begun our much anticipated fantasy fiction writing unit. Students will combine skills learned from past narrative writing units such as describing setting using sensory details, describing characters appearance and personality and building intensity through events and challenges characters face as they reach the climax. New skills will be including character change as the story goes on and "showing" character emotion instead of "telling" the reader. Grammar lessons will be taught throughout the writing unit as well.
In math, six grade students are exploring Ratio, the comparison of two quantities by division. They are practicing finding a unit rate when they compare two quantities with different units such as miles per hour or dollars per pound. In preparation for the Smarter Balanced Assessment, students learn various tools for representing ratios such as Tape Diagrams, Ratio Tables, Double Number Lines and the Coordinate Plane. Problem solving skills are encouraged through the use of story problems that reflect student's culture and concerns.
Currently, sixth grade social studies is exploring ancient Greece. We have investigated the geography that shaped Greek development, and are now examining the evolution of ancient Greek governments. We have our sights set on comparing Athens and Sparta before beginning our classroom based assessments (CBAs). CBAs are an important part of our year where students use skills they have learned over the course of the year to make conclusions about history using research and evidence. They share their discoveries in the form of an essay.
Geometry, Geometry, Geometry !
To prepare for the Smarter Balance test in math, both of Pfister math classes did an 'interium' test which is claimed to be very similar to the 'real' Smarter Balance test they will take at the end of this month. Geometry seemed to be a focus so we're delving into this area thoroughly in our classes in preparation.
Science: Kermani and Medenbach classes are now in Planetary Science with Mrs. Pfister while Pfister'sand Erkkila's classes are in Levers and Pulleys until the end of the year.
Visitors and Volunteers
Please remember to stop in at the WPSIS office and pick up a visitor's badge when coming in.
Absences & Tardies
Regular attendance has a direct correlation to a student's success at school. When students are absent they miss important instruction that can be difficult to make up. Coming late or leaving early can also be disruptive to their daily classroom instruction. Please try to schedule appointments outside the school day. Our regular school hours are 8:15-3:05.
Please keep in mind, if your student must be absent or tardy, the WPSIS office will need a note within 48hrs explaining the reason for their absence. Otherwise the tardy or absence will be marked unexcused.
Please see the link below for additional information.
School Happenings & Updates
SBAC testing Windows
April 20th-May 1st & make up opportunities May 4th- May 8th
Parent Input Forms Due
School Sweatshirts and T-shirts now available
We are ready to take orders on WPSIS school t-shirts and sweatshirts; swing by the office to pick up your order form. Our next building order for attire will go out Friday May 15th 12th, 2015.
School Beautification Date
Come join us on a work day to help make our building "beautiful" May 16th
Hard copy Request of the School Newsletter
If you’d like to receive the newsletter in a hard copy please complete the following and return it to the front office:
Student’s first and last name:______________________________________ Grade level:________
Electronic version can be found at: www.wsvis.wsvsd.org click on school publication found on the right hand side of the web page.
April 7th: PTO meeting 6pm WPSIS/HMS Library
April 8th: Early Release
April 9th: WPSIS Pictures
April 15th: Early Release
April 22nd: Early Release
April 23rd: School Beautification Work Group Meeting & 6th grade field trip & WSVSD Board meeting at 7pm in the WPSIS/HMS Library
April 29th: Early Release
April 30th: 3 Screen Production Assembly
May 1st: Silent Auction PTO
May 5th: PTO meeting 6pm at HMS/WPSIS Library
May 6th: Early Release
May 8th: Parent Input Forms Due
May 13th: Early Release
May 15th: Apparel order forms due
May 16th: School Beautification Work day
May 20th: Early Release
May 25th & 26th: No School School days
May 27th: NO EARLY RELEASE
May 28th: 4th grade Music Program 4:30pm & SOTW/ASB Field trip