Issue 33-April 17, 2015


“There are in this world blessed souls, whose sorrows all spring up into joys for others; whose earthly hopes, laid in the grave with many tears, are the seed from which spring healing flowers and balm for the desolate and the distressed.” The novel, Uncle Tom's Cabin, provided a hub around which some of our week revolved. Here are more of the details:

1. Math: Our job was to convert among different-sized standard measurement units within a given measurement system (e.g., convert 5 cm to 0.05 m) and use conversions in solving multi-step, real world problems. We also honed our abilities to solve multi-step story problems. Games of "Beware the Buffalo" and "Nine" helped students achieve mastery.

2. Reading: The theme was Life on a Farm, as we read nonfiction texts revolving around animal mouth parts and whether or not pigs would make great pets. We also worked to picture the barn in Charlotte's Web, as well as utilizing schema to visualize a wigwam. We also read "Odd Aunt Erma Lynn," about a strange woman who lives on an even stranger farm. We also listened between the lines, making inferences along the way, with "Ebony and Ivory," with Paul McCartney and Stevie Wonder.

3. Writing: According to Emily Post, who wrote a book on etiquette: The close of a business letter should be “Yours truly,” or “Yours very truly.” “Respectfully is used only be a tradesman to a customer, an employee to an employer, or by an inferior, never by a person of equal position. We discussed that writers think about how to best capture the information they need, and then they dive into research, taking notes in the way that best suits them and best sets them up to think a lot and to write a lot.

4. Social Studies: Our goal was to describe the causes and effects of the Missouri Compromise and the Compromise of 1850--and explain the cause of violence in Kansas in 1854. We played "The Struggle Over Slavery Tic-Tac-Toe" to amalgamate this information. We also drew conclusions about how Dred Scott and John Brown affect the split between the North and South; compare the views on slavery of Abraham Lincoln and Stephen Douglas. We also examined the impact that Uncle Tom's Cabin, by Harriet Beecher Stowe, had on the North's perceptions of slavery.

5. Science: We used synthesizing skills to make sense of plants, via an informative video, Eyewitness: Plant. We also differentiated between reproduction with seeds and with spores; and we were able to "Dissect-a-Seed," using corn kernels and lima bean seeds, to understand the differences between monocotyledons and dicotyledons.

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Spelling, Unit 32

Spelling, Unit 32

On Friday, your child will take the Unit 31 spelling test--and the Unit 32 spelling pre-test. Therefore, he/she should bring home his/her Unit 32 spelling list. Here is a link to the words in the event that you need an extra copy:

Science Night Extravaganza

Science Night will be on Wednesday April 22 from 5:30-7:00!

Come and see Mad Science present “Science of Superheroes”, Liberty High School Robotics Club, KC Zoomobile, LO Science Club presentations and more!

The Smarter Balanced Assessment is Coming!

We will be testing every day, MORNING AND AFTERNOON, Monday through Friday, during the

Weeks of April 27 through May 1

AND May 4 through 8.

It is IMPERATIVE that your child be at school, if at all possible, each of those days, all day long. If at all possible, please schedule appointments for 3:00 P.M. or later!


Your child will be completing the MAP (Missouri Assessment Program) test during the following week(s):

· 3rd Grade April 20-24

· 4th Grade April 27-May 1

· 5th Grade April 27-May 8

This is the first year the test will be online. Students in grades 3 and 4 will take a Math test as well as a ELA (English Language Arts) test. Students in 5th grade will take a Math, ELA and Science test.

During the testing window, the student Chrome books will remain at school. Please make sure your child has a pair of headphones or ear buds to use during the test.

If you are interested in looking at a practice test, please visit the following website:

Also, we have a YouTube video that will show you in more detail how to navigate the site to get to the practice tests:

Please let us know if you have any questions.

Radical Challenge is Coming on Tuesday, April 21!

The Radical Challenge is a program developed by the Earnest Shepard Youth Center to promote communication, teambuilding, and cooperation through adventure games. Youth are placed in situations that demand leadership, trust, risk-taking, listening, creativity and physical effort. We will leave Liberty Oaks at 9:15 A.M. and return by 2:00 P.M. Your child will need a sack lunch and a drink!

PARENT VOLUNTEERS MUST REPORT TO EARNEST SHEPARD YOUTH CENTER AT 7:00 A.M., ON THE DAY OF OUR TRIP, FOR TRAINING. Also, my students will be engaged in productive academics before--and after--this field trip!

In the event of inclement weather, this field trip will be cancelled. Most likely, it will be impossible to reschedule.

Discovery Middle School Attire


Pre-order T-shirts for Discovery Middle School, offered by DMS PTSA

· Go to DMS website, click tab to PTSA page, and follow the link to place your order

· Pick them up at Back-to-School days in August

At this time, only online orders are being offered.

Camp Invention

Camp Invention is where BIG ideas become the next BIG thing! Join us as we celebrate our 25th year of reinventing summer fun!

In partnership with the National Inventors Hall of Fame, Liberty School District 53 is pleased to offer the nationally-acclaimed Camp Invention program to children entering grades one through six. It’s an exciting, weeklong summer adventure with lessons that explore connections between science, technology, engineering and innovation. Children will work together to seek solutions to real-world problems, turn ordinary into extraordinary and sharpen critical 21st century learning skills while rotating through several fascinating modules.

This unforgettable week begins on July 13, 2015, when Matthew Krohne will direct the Camp Invention Illuminate™ program at Liberty Oaks Elementary School.

In the KartWheel™ module, children let their engineering skills glide them across the finish line as they build, enhance and upgrade their very own freestyle racing cart. Boys and girls will explore what it means to prototype a product from scratch as they become an entrepreneur during the Design Studio: Illuminatemodule. In the I Can Invent: Next Level Gamers™ module, participants will take apart broken or unused appliances using real tools to create a physical video game model in the 3rd dimension! Finally, in the Inducted™ module, personalized video challenges from National Inventors Hall of Fame Inductees are introduced along with hands-on activities like constructing super-structure mega-towers, assembling out-of-this-world space rockets and so much more!

Local educators will facilitate program modules and enthusiastic high school and college students will serve as Leadership Interns ensuring that one staff member is in place for every eight children.

Every registration includes a complimentary Camp Invention t-shirt. Availability is limited, so visit or call 800.968.4332 to secure your child’s spot today!

Motivating Your Child

This article was excerpted from the Great Schools website.

Here are more tips for motivating your child:

*Encourage academic and career goals: Talk to your child about his favorite subjects and help him make the school-career connection early on. Plan family activities that connect with what he is studying in school to emphasize real-world connections to academics.

*Set high expectations: Show your child that hard work is rewarded. Set up a contract with him to complete his schoolwork before going out or turning on the TV.

*Encourage kids to write whenever possible: Writing letters, e-mails, and thank you notes will help develop writing skills.

*Focus on strengths, encouraging developing talents. Even if your child didn’t ace his/her social studies test, he/she may have created a really great presentation for the Jigsaw Tournament. When he/she knows that he/she is talented in one area, he/she will be confident to try to achieve in others. “You don’t want to not offer challenges, but there’s always a transfer when you have your kid feeling good about who he/she is.

*Make sure that your child understands we are all born with different talents and abilities. Emphasize what your child does well and encourage him to develop himself more in that area, rather than just trying to erase his weaknesses.

*Assign your child chores to do around the house to build his sense of responsibility. Create a chart with your child's name on it. Reward his good behavior with check marks and promise a reward when he attains a certain number of check marks.

*Display your child's school or homework on the wall to show pride in his positive accomplishments. Invite his input when you're making family decisions.

Resisting Peer Pressure

This article was excerpted from

Here are some things you can do to give your child protective armor of self-reliance and a means to retain their family values under pressure:

1) Create strong self belief

Low status makes children vulnerable to peer pressure. Children with a strong self-belief in their strengths and abilities have greater self-esteem. They are less likely to feel the need to prove themselves in a hostile and competitive environment. Make sure your child gets regular positive feedback on their skills and personal attributes so they are secure and resilient under peer pressure.

2) Understand the role of status symbols

Status symbols are a substitute for inner confidence. Status symbols are hot currency in the 21st century as a way of proving yourself. Help your child to understand the difference between material riches and the true value of personal qualities and achievements. This is a life lesson which will encourage your child to develop themselves and not collect shiny objects like a magpie.

3) Encourage open communication

Children need a balance between private time with their friends and the opportunity to learn from adult experience. No child wants to tell their parents everything but knowing that you can air the difficult stuff without being in trouble is the best protection you can give your child. Children, who know that their

parents will help them when they have made a mistake, or feel under pressure from peers, are more likely to be open with their parents.

More About Balance

Discuss the different ways you find new information, whether you’re looking for gardening tips on the Internet or taking a class in American literature. Let your child see you in action: Choose an activity that is unfamiliar to you both, such as playing tennis or speaking Spanish, and schedule a lesson or pick up a couple of instructional tapes. “Parents are the single most important modeling agent in a child’s life, and if you demonstrate that learning is a life time adventure,” your kids will get the message. Ask about what your child is learning in school, not about his/her grades or test scores. “Even if your child doesn’t do well grade-wise, compared to other students, he/she might still be learning and improving, and you don’t want to discourage that.” Have him/her teach you what he/she learned in school today—putting the lesson into his/her own words will help him/her retain what was learned.

End Strongly

This article was excerpted from

Finishing this school year strongly is of paramount importance! Help your child to reflect on the following questions:

*What are three things you can do to help finish the school year strong academically?

*What is one thing you can do to help your classmates finish the year strong academically?

I will continue to encourage students to stay focused while maintaining the quality of their work. Hearing the same thing at home will reinforce this important message!

Uncle Tom's Cabin

Here is a kid-friendly version of Uncle Tom's Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe:

And information about Harriet Beecher Stowe:

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


4/8- CiCi’s Pizza Night, 4:30-8:00 pm

4/9- All Pro Dads 7:00 am (library)

4/9- Moms & Muffins 7:15-7:45 (Last name A-L)

4/10-Moms &-Muffins 7:15-7:45 (Last name M-Z)

4/14 - PTA Exec. Board Meeting, 7:00 pm

4/15-Chipotle night (4-8)

4/15- Opera at school

4/7-4/17- Boosterthon on Campus

4/16- Boosterthon Fun Run

4/21-Radical Challenge FT-5th Grade

4/22- Science Night 5:30-7:00

4/23- Culver’s Night (Teachers work) 5-8

4/24- Movie on the Playground

4/30- 2nd grade Field Trip


5/4-5/8- Staff Appreciation Week

5/6- Bike- to- school Day

5/6- CiCi’s Pizza Night, 4:30-8:00 pm

5/7- Open House & Art Show, 5:30 pm

5/12- PTA General Meeting, 7:00 pm

5/12- Baskin & Robbins 4-8pm

5/14- All Pro Dads 7:00 am

5/14- 10/15- Chipotle night (4-8)

5/14- 5th Grade Picnic 11:30-12:30

5/15- Field Day

5/18- - 4th Grade Egg Drop

5/18- 5th Grade Recognition Breakfast, 8:00 am – 9:00 am

5/20 Early Release & Last Day of School, 11:50 am

Next Week's Specials

Here is the specials schedule for next week:

Monday, April 20: Music

Tuesday, April 21: P.E.

Wednesday, April 22: Art

Thursday, April 23: Library

Friday, April 24: Music