Issue 18-December 12, 2014


Treks out west, with the early pioneers; excursions to the planets of our solar system; and adventures with division, figurative language, and memoir editing: We were true "Pathfinders" this week! For more information, blaze the "trail" below!

1. Math: Multiplying with decimals explaining patterns in the placement of the decimal point when a decimal is multiplied or divided by a power of 10, became our area of expertise. Students played "Kickin' with Decimals" as one way to become proficient at this skill.

2. Reading: Our goals were to determine two or more main ideas and explain how they are supported by details/summarize as well as to explain how an author uses reasons and evidence to support points. We used science and social studies-related articles while using these skills: "Diamonds in the Sky," about star color and constellations; "Living and Working in Space," about life about a space shuttle; and "Lewis and Clark," information filling in some of the "spaces" about their epic journey into the Louisiana Territory.

3. Writing: We discovered that, when writers revise the portions of their memoir that explain their ideas, they think about how those ideas link, one to the next. They want their ideas to be easy to follow. Writers also reveal themselves not only by bringing out their internal thoughts, but also by spotlighting details that reveal whatever it is they want to show.

4. Social Studies: We analyzed a "portrait of a pioneer" and read a short biography about John Fremont, "The Pathfinder." Each student then immersed themselves in myriad pioneer biographies. Students then set forth on a project, "Mapping the Frontiers."

5. Science: What makes up our solar system? We investigated the inner planets and the outer planets and sought to find out "How Far is it to Pluto?" We also discussed that the names of the planets were derived from Roman mythology. Students then did some "Weighing in on the Earth and Her Neighbors."

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Spelling, Unit 17

On Friday, your child will take the Unit 16 spelling test--and the Unit 17 spelling pre-test. Therefore, he/she should bring home his/her Unit 17 spelling list--and the Unit 17 spelling homework. Here are links to the words--and the Unit 17 spelling homework--in the event that you need an extra copy.


Our trip to Exchange City will be on Thursday, December 11. We will depart Liberty Oaks at 9:10 A.M. and return at about 2:00 P.M.

Your child will need a sack lunch--but NO DRINK (Drinks will be available at the Corner Café!)

Solar System Information

Here's a comprehensive website, featuring our current science unit:

Who was John Fremont?

Here is a website detailing the accomplishments of John Fremont:

The Importance of Structure

Article excerpted from

Structure and routine helps your children make sense of the world. They learn their place in the bigger picture and what's expected of them as they grow up. Take advantage of every opportunity to establish routines, rituals and traditions to open up your young children's mind and teach them how to navigate the world. Place them in different contexts, such as early learning activities and play groups, to help them learn structure and roles and the behaviors expected to accompany those roles. Structure helps children know where they fit in within their various circles, including their families, friends and other groups to which they belong. From early childhood, routines help organize an overwhelming world. Imagine what life is like when you don't have enough language to describe what you're experiencing, and people around you control everything you do. Routines help make life regular, predictable and consistent and prepare children for the often-regimented, rigid schedules of school and work life. Structure and routine, including set schedules, play a role in your children's emotional, cognitive and social development, according the American Academy of Pediatrics. Being able to predict what's going to happen next provides a sense of security and comport in young children. This can help cut down on behavior problems, such as tantrums. Furthermore, allowing your children a mix of planned and individual activities and reasonable choices can result in what the academy calls a "high rate of child engagement." And, you can count on the structure to remain in place, at Galaxy 313, right up until Christmas vacation. We will not be letting down until 2:45 P.M. on Friday, December 19!

Academic and Social Skills

Within structure and routine are many opportunities for children to learn. Take dinnertime conversation, for example. It exposes children to language and teaches them important speech techniques such as narratives, explanations and elaborations, clarifications and your family's style of relating to people. Bedtime story routines can foster early literacy, an active imagination and a lifelong love of reading and learning. As children get older, they naturally want to have some say in how routines play out. Asserting independence allows children to learn to negotiate and go after what they want.

Establishing Trust

Structure and routine help establish trust in children. They show children that the world is a safe place and their family members are reliable and will be there to help them along the way. Trust is an important foundation in establishing and cementing all of the emotions that bond children to the people around them. In the same way that inconsistent behavior by other adults in your life kills trust, inconsistency destroys trust in children. It's important, therefore, that parents model the behavior they want their children to copy. Being dependably consistent sets a standard your children will strive to reach.

Cyber Chase Math Game

Does your child crave more math practice opportunities? If so, send him/her to this website:


The 'Hour of Code' is a nationwide initiative by CSEdWeek and to introduce computer programming to 10 million students and encourage them to learn programming. Students, in Galaxy 313, participated in an Hour of Code, beginning on Monday. Be sure to ask your child about his/her experiences and progress!

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:

Upcoming Events


12/2-12/6- Liberty Food Drive Community tree

12/3- CiCi’s Pizza Night, 4:30-8:00 pm

12/4 - 4th Grade Music program 5:30

12/8- PTA Exec Board meeting

12/11- All Pro Dads 7:00 am (library)

12/11- Kindergarten Music Program, 2:00pm

12/19- Winter Parties, 2:20-2:50/1st Sem. Ends

12/22-1/5 Winter Break


1/5- NO SCHOOL (Teacher Work Day)

1/6- School resumes

1/7- CiCi’s Pizza Night, 4:30-8:00 pm

1/8- All Pro Dads 7:00 am (library)

1/13- PTA General Meeting 7:00 pm

1/22- Family Trivia Night

1/19- NO SCHOOL- Martin Luther King Day


2/4- CiCi’s Pizza Night, 4:30-8:00 pm

2/10- PTA Exec. Board Meeting, 7:00 pm

2/12- All Pro Dads 7:00 am (library)

- Valentine Parties, 2:20-2:50 pm

2/12- Parent Teacher Conferences, 2:50-8:00 pm

Scholastic Book fair

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


2/16- NO SCHOOL- President’s Day

2/19- Papa John’s Night

2/19- 2nd Grade Music Program 5:30 pm

2/26- 3rd Grade Music Program, 5:30 pm


3/4- CiCi’s Pizza Night, 4:30-8:00 pm

3/10 PTA General Meeting, 7:00 pm

3/12- All Pro Dads 7:00 am (library)

3/20- Family Fun Festival

3/24- Kindergarten Round up 5:30-6:30

3/24- Baskin & Robbins 4-8pm

3/30 to -4/3 NO SCHOOL, Spring Break

Next Week's Specials

Here is the specials schedule for next week:

Monday, December 15: P.E.

Tuesday, December 16: Art

Wednesday, December 17: Library

Thursday, December 18: Music

Friday, December 19: P.E.