November PEAK



1. Complete the third Edmodo Personality Profile. Your child can take the quiz and can either explain in a post online what he/she is (extrinsically or intrinsically motivated) or you can print the test and bring it in for class discussion. This is due November 11, 12, 13. The extrovert and introvert profile is due this week!

2. As of Tuesday, November 12 students should be nearing 40 note cards. Ask your child how many note cards he/she has (or you can email me). If your child is not close to 40, then I encourage he/she to use my morning work sessions to catch up.

Morning Work Sessions:

You can join me on the following mornings to work on PEAK assignments or get extra help. If it is your PEAK day - please let me know you are coming so I can let your school know that you will not ride the bus to PEAK because you will already be here! I am trying to vary the days so every day will get an opportunity to come in early and work. Shoal Creek students may attend any session.

  • November 4 - 7:45 AM
  • November 6 - 8:00 AM
  • November 14 - 8:00 AM
  • November 15 - 7:45 AM
  • November 18 - 7:45 AM
  • November 20 - 8:00 AM


Critical Thinking: We continue to learn and apply critical thinking words :

›Clarity – easy to understand

›Accuracy – free from error

›Precision - exact

›Relevance – related to subject at hand

›Depth – going beneath the surface

›Significance - Focusing on what is most important. Not everything that is relevant is equally important.

Elements of Reasoning Skills: We are focusing on how to tie together our critical thinking and elements of reasoning skills. The words we have introduced and are applying daily are:

›Purpose – end or goal in sight

›State the Question- drives our focus

›Gathering the Information - The information is the facts, evidence, or experience you can use to figure things out.

›Inferences – Inferences are conclusions you come to.

›Concepts and Theories- Ideas you use in thinking to help you understand what is going on (the BIG IDEA)

Enrichment Centers:

  • Topic Study: Students have written an essential question to drive their topic study research. All research must be relevant to this essential question. You can view your child's essential question on a Google Doc in your child's email. This has been a challenging task. Each week, we revisit how does our research AND project all support AND relate to the essential question. Students should be moving into project planning and creating. My focus in topic study this year is to allow the students the opportunity to show their depth of knowledge with very few modifications from me. I will guide ideas and keep pointing students back to the essential question but it is up to the child to make sure that his/her project is answering the question and showing depth of knowledge. Your child will have his/her essential question on display with notes on how he/she answered this question.
  • Math - We continue to solve very difficult math problems. We will conclude our problem solving unit in December and begin Algebra in January.
  • Science - Science is rich in content. Students are in the process of writing a series of science experiments to test independent variables for our solar collector unit. The ultimate purpose is to find the best materials to conduct solar energy and the best materials to retain solar energy. Students work as a group to write the experiment. Each experiment only tests one independent variable at a time. The experiment is written on a Google Doc so everyone can participate and contribute to the science lab. Students conduct the experiment, average results, construct data tables, make graphs, and write conclusions. Once an experiment is complete, the students start planning the next experiment. It is exciting to hear the science discussions among the students.

Theme Study:

  • We continue to press forward in note taking. Students have become very adept at using our note-taking computer application: EVERNOTE. I meet with students each week and also provide written feedback on the note taking process. Students are reminded to refer back to their heading and subheading sheet to guide the note taking process.
  • We have had two very successful trips to the library. The librarian has conducted two excellent lessons on how to access information from mid-continent databases and how to reserve and check out books. Students have had the opportunity to work in the computer lab to take notes.
  • Your child should be nearing 40 - 50 note cards on Evernote.
  • During the month of November, we are learning how to write feature articles. Students will write an angle for their research (think essential question) topic and support this angle through their research. Feature articles are much more in-depth than a breaking news story one would find in a newspaper. The feature stories cover topics in depth, going further than mere hard news coverage by amplifying and explaining the most interesting and important elements of a situation or subject. Feature stories are journalistic, researched, descriptive, colorful, thoughtful, reflective, and thorough writing about original ideas! I can't wait!!!!
  • We will examine a feature article each week and then add a "tool" to our writing tool box. Some tools include --- how to write leads, transitions, add details, conclusions, etc.


Topics we are covering:

  • Optimism vs. Pessimism
  • Introvert vs. Extrovert
  • Extrinsic vs. Intrinsic motivation
  • GRIT
  • Self-regulatory behavior
  • Responsibility and accountability to ourselves and each other

New Apps are where it's at ---

We have learned the following new Technology Applications:

  • Evernote ---for Theme Study
  • Symbaloo - "PEAK PAD"
  • Drop Box
  • S'more poster
  • Padlet
  • Google Docs
  • Create a Graph
  • Live Binders --- for Topic Study
  • Edmodo

Up next ----

  • Thinglink
  • Kid's Blog