Issue 21-January 22, 2016


Saddle up your horse, and gallop through this week's "Express Delivery":

1. Math: We continued to look for patterns when multiplying by powers of 10 as well as add, subtract, multiply, divide decimals to hundredths, using concrete models or drawings and strategies based on place value, properties of operations, and/or the relationship between addition and subtraction; relate the strategy to a written method and explain the reasoning used. We then shifted our focus to addition of fractions with unlike denominators. Students were "Going to Chicago," a unique Go Math! game.

2. Reading: "Rachel's Journel" gave us insights into life on the Great Plains as well as the opportunity to explain how chapters, scenes, or stanzas fit together to provide the overall structure. Students also heard "Tales from the Trail"; read "Westward to Freedom"; and had the opportunity to answer the question, "Important to Whom?" featuring the use of Time Kids magazine. The grammar focus was on making comparisons using good and bad.

3. Writing: We learned that the writer often gets full of the kind of writing he or she aims to make. Poets warm themselves up by reading poetry. Speech writers listen to the Gettysburg Address or other great speeches. And information writers, too, profit from filling themselves up with all that they know about how their kind of writing tends to go.

Researchers shift between reading to collect and record information and writing to grow ideas. As note-takers, then, researchers record and also reflect. When reflecting, researchers think, and talk and jot about patterns, surprises, points of comparison or contrast, and they entertain questions.

4. Social Studies: "Wanted, young skinny, wiry fellows not over eighteen. Must be expert riders willing to risk death daily. Orphans preferred. Wages $25 a week. Apply Central Overland Express." These were the words on posters advertising for Pony Express riders, circa 1860. We stopped at St. Joseph, Missouri, with William Russell, the founder of the Pony Express; likewise, we learned about Samuel F.B. Morse--and how the invention of the telegraph put the Pony Express out of business! Our next Jigsaw Tournament, featuring the Transcontinental Railroad, is scheduled for Wednesday, January 27!

5. Science: What forces affect objects on earth everyday? We experimented with varied surfaces and a marble in an investigation of "Science Friction." Student physicists were also able to "Get Going," traveling through centers to learn about Newton's laws of motion. We also delved into gravity by "Lifting Things the Easy Way" and answering the question, "All Fall Together?"

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Spelling, Unit 20

On Friday, your child will take the Unit 19 spelling test--and the Unit 20 spelling pre-test. Therefore, he/she should bring home his/her Unit 20 spelling list--and the Unit20 spelling homework. Here are links to the words--and the homework--in the event that you need an extra copy.


Conferences are coming on February 9 and 11! Your child gets to be a part of this conference. Check to see if you have reserved your time:

Classroom Diagnostic Tool (CDT)

Your child will be taking an online test, on Thursday, January 21, called the CDT (Classroom Diagnostic Tool) in Reading. The state has released this test to allow schools to experience a test that will be similar to the state MAP (Missouri Assessment Program) test.

This online assessment will give our students and staff an opportunity to sharpen the saw before our MAP test in April.

Moving the Mail West: Pony Express Game

Are you ready to carry the mail west, as a Pony Express rider? If so, click on the link below:

Teach Time Management

Article excerpted from

Every busy parent has tried to come up with ways to make more efficient use of their time. By establishing efficient routines and reasonable schedules in your home, you have the ability to do just that. YRhona M. Gordon, a speech pathologist, organizational specialist and author of Thinking Organized for Parents and Children, has these tips for parents to try:

Start early! To save time, everything in your house should have a designated place, including: back packs, lunch boxes, coats etc…Start practicing over the summer by having children put the items they use daily, such as swim bags or sports equipment, in a pre-arranged spot. It’s easier to find something if that item has a home.

Set up a monthly calendar with each child. Use your school district’s global calendar to add school vacation days, exams or other testing dates and any other important events. When school begins, help your child expand the calendar with a color coding system: red for tests or quizzes, blue for long-term projects, black for nightly homework and green for fun activities. This helps children plan and organize time more effectively.

Practice estimating time with activities such as a family dinner or sports practice. Begin by practicing this skill with everyday activities over the summer, and then encourage your child to use the same strategy with his or her homework. By recognizing the actual amount of time necessary for schoolwork, chores and fun activities, your child gains an awareness of the passage of time and the importance of managing time efficiently.

Strategies to Budget Time

Article excerpted from

As adults we have learned to associate tasks with time. Children who learn this too will be better equipped to cope with the way people structure life. In other words, kids need to learn that there is always a finite amount of time. For example, they only have so long between waking up and going to school, or ending school and going to bed.

Time management chart. Regardless of age, everybody benefits from being able to map out their days and weeks. It’s a simple and effective way to show—and improves—time management for kids' routines, rhythms and limits during their days and week.

Analog and digital clocks. When they’re young, teach them to make the link between time with activities. Using the earlier example, how much time is there between waking up and going to school? What needs to be done? How much time will it take? Sit down together so they understand, and then involve them in planning out a routine. This naturally leads on to useful techniques such as time boxing.

Timer. A simple kitchen timer is a great way to quickly improve time management for children. Use it to put limits on any activity you can think of. Whether it is for TV time, a ‘ten minute tidy’ or any other time box activity, introduce it and link it to the benefits it brings them. When they use it themselves without any apparent supervision, you’ve nailed it! Visual timers are particularly useful.

Conversation Starters

Kids and talking—they go together like peanut butter and jelly, right? Yet many parents find it difficult to get their children to share even the smallest details of the school day. Below are some ways to start a conversation with your child.

1. On a scale of 1 to 10, how would you rate today (with 1 being terrible and 10 being terrific)? What made it that way?

2. What was the high point of your day? What was the low point?

3. What’s a thought or feeling you had today?

4. What happened, today, that you didn’t expect?

5. Tell me something good that’s happened since the last time we talked.

6. What’s something you’ve done recently that has made you proud?

7. What are you looking forward to these days?

Six Things You May Not Know about Samuel F.B. Morse

Do you think you're an expert on Samuel F.B. Morse? Click this link to find out:

Galileo Drops the Ball

Homework Hotline

Call me, anytime, if your child is has a question about a homework assignment, or if you have an inquiry about something that occurred at school. My home phone number is (816) 415-0368. I do not mind, at all, being called in the evening!

My Website

For the latest information about upcoming events and curriculum information, visit my website. It is updated regularly:



2/2-PTA Exec. Board Meeting, 7:00 pm

2/5- Family Trivia Night

2/3 CiCi’s Pizza Night, 4:30-8:00 pm

2/8 through 2/11 Scholastic Book fair

2/9-Parent Teacher Conferences, 2:50-8:00 pm

2/10-Valentine Parties, 2:05-2:40 pm

2/11 All Pro Dads 7:10 AM - LGIR

2/11-Early Release, 12:50 Parent/Teach Conferences, 12:50-8:00


2/15- NO SCHOOL- President’s Day

2/18-Papa John’s Night

2/18-2nd Grade Music Program 5:30 pm

2/25-3rd Grade Music Program, 5:30 pm


3/2- CiCi’s Pizza Night, 4:30-8:00 pm

3/8-PTA General Meeting, 7:00 pm

3/10- All Pro Dads 7:10 AM - LGIR

3/11-Family Fun Spring Dance

3/15 Kindergarten Round up 6:30-7:30

Spring Picture Day

3/21-3/25 NO SCHOOL, Spring Break

3/30 CiCi’s Pizza Night, 4:30-8:00 pm


4/14- All Pro Dads 7:10 AM - LGIR

4/4 through 4/13 Boosterthon Fundraiser

4/7- Moms & Muffins 7:15-7:45 (Last name A-L)

4/8- Moms &-Muffins 7:15-7:45 (Last name M-Z)

4/12- PTA Exec. Board Meeting, 7:00 pm

4/19 Radical Challenge FT-5th Grade

Science Night 5:30-7:00

4/21 Culver’s Night (Teachers work)


5/2-5/6Staff Appreciation Week

Bike- to- school Day

5/4- CiCi’s Pizza Night, 4:30-8:00 pm

5/5 Open House & Art Show, 5:30 pm

5/10-PTA General Meeting, 7:00 pm

5/12 All Pro Dads 7:10 AM - LGIR

All Pro Dads 7:00 am

5th Grade Picnic 11:30-12:30

Field Day

4th Grade Egg Drop

5th Grade Recognition Breakfast, 8:00 am – 9:00 am

5/23-Early Release & Last Day of School, 11:50 am