Mrs. Steffen's GATE Classes

October 2015

Is it really October already?

I cannot believe that classes have been going on for over a month now! Students in GATE having been working hard in the midst of some rather difficult and challenging work.


This month, students will begin a new Habit of Mind - Managing Impulsivity. If your child's class has started using calendars to assess each habit, he or she will be bringing a completed one home for September. Any day that is marked with an X, is one where he or she was either absent, we didn't have class, or grades were not given. Feel free to contact me with questions about any rubric scores. Remember , the target score is a 3!

Important October Dates

Oct. 5-9 - Book Fair

Oct. 6 - Stride Night for Pre-K and K

Oct. 8 - Math Night for Grades 1-5

Oct. 16 - No school - Association Day

Oct. 20 - Crazy Hair Day

GATE Goings On

Grade 1

Students will begin continuing to work on a learning experience that asks them to comprehend Counting Crocodiles a book heavy in divergent thinking and questioning. We read the book, identified the story elements, and came up with multiple ways to solve the related math problem. Students will now be given more data to include and will be asked to apply these strategies. They also will be asked to devise another way for the monkey in the story to solve his problem

Grade 2

Students are continuing to interact with the Junior Great Books story, "The Monster Who Grew Small". We have read the story twice and placed stickies where important things happened, showing our ability to analyze the story. They will be taught the beginnings of Socratic circles to analyze the text, as well as to identify the central theme of the text through its details (RL.2). Students will also be asked to write a narrative about a different way the monster could have got what he wanted in the story, Tied to this will be a list of items that the monster could have purchased to help him and they must use their math strategies to add, subtract, and estimate within 1000 to help them problem solve. (NBT.A.3 and NBT.B.7)

Grade 3

Students are now experts on the concept of change and its generalizations! So proud of them. They are in the midst of reading Caporushes, and are loving it! Their final assessment will be to read Cinderella and Caporushes , a Junior Great Books version of Cinderella, idenfying examples of the change theme. They then will pick a point of view from either story and write a narrative from that point of view explaining one of the change generalizations and its impact to the story.

Grade 4

Almost all students have a completed community map. Letters have been mailed out to community members and we are anxiously awaiting communication back. Hopefully, many will want to come in and be interviewed about their business so we can add the videos to our maps.

We will be starting an exploration into the human brain as it relates to structures. They will explore the functions of the brain, how it works, and what it is responsible for. We will answer the question of how knowing about the brain will make you a better student

Grade 5

Students are knee deep in evaluating Olive Garden's Never-Ending Pasta Pass deal by analyzing the deal, determining what resources are needed, performing problem-solving and math calculations 5.NF.B6 and B.7). In the end they will write business letters to the corporate headquarters of the company evaluating the deal and supporting a claim of whether or not their deal was beneficial for the company. (5.W.1 and 5.W.2)


The students were introduced to the app, "Seesaw", a digital portfolio that allows them to take pictures, write notes and captions, and add files and links. This is a means for them to showcase all the fabulous work they will do this year in GATE.