Issue 3-August 22, 2013


The ability to "Divide and Conquer" served us well in each of the subject areas this week:

1. Math: Our goal continued to be to recognize that a multi-digit number, a digit in one place represents 10 times as much as it represents in the place to its right and 1/10 of what it represents in the place to its left. We also sought to find whole-number quotients of whole numbers with up to four-digit dividends and two-digit divisors, using strategies based on place value, the properties of operations, and/or the relationship between multiplication and division. Illustrate and explain the calculation by doing equations, rectangular arrays, and/or area models. Games of "Place Value Pyramid," "Planet Quest," "Lifeline," and "Your Choice," helped students to attain mastery of these concepts.

2. Reading: We worked to describe how a narrator’s or speaker’s point of view influences how events are described as we ascended to dizzying heights with"A Package for Mrs. Jewls." Students brought to life a "Reader's Theater" play, "Questioning Gravity" and continued to sharpen their "Lively Listening Skills" as they took on the "Attentive Listening Challenge." Our grammar focus was on writing complete sentences.

3. Writing: Narrative writing took several twists and turns as we

climbed inside the story, walking in the shoes of the character, experiencing the story as it unfolds and putting that onto the page so readers can experience it too.

We also discovered that writers read great stories in order to write great stories. An author’s stories and ideas will often spark the reader’s stories and ideas.

4. Social Studies: Worked to achieve an understanding of how early cultures, such as the Anasazi, developed in different parts of North America--and how powerful civilizations developed and spread in Mexico, Central America, and South America. Students were divided into three teams in preparation for the Anasazi Jigsaw Tournament, scheduled for Wednesday, August 27! (See article, "What is a Jigsaw Tournament?" below!)

5. Science: Used microscopes to look at--and sketch--plant and animal cells; investigated cicada shells; measured temperatures of ice, water, and cotton; differentiated between the use of a balance or spring scale; and used scientific inquiry skills to design a paper airplane.

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The You Tube Version of This Newsletter

Each week, you will receive a link to the You Tube version of the current newsletter. Here it is:

Spelling, Unit 2

Today, your child took the Unit 2 spelling pre-test. Therefore, he/she should have brought home his/her Unit 2 spelling list--and the Unit 2 spelling homework. Here are links to the words and the homework, in the event that you need extra copies:

Book Orders

Your child should have placed an Arrow (Scholastic) book club order form in his/her Friday Folder today. You are welcome to fill out this order form, and return it to school. Or, you may order online using these instructions:

Ordering online is fast and easy:

  • ENTER the Class Activation Code: GK4PX
  • CHOOSE from thousands of print titles, value packs, and Storia eBooks
  • SUBMIT the order to your child's teacher

EARN FREE Books for you and the classroom too!

If you are using the order form, please have it turned in by Friday, August 29!

What is a Jigsaw Tournament?

Jigsaw is a cooperative learning strategy that enables each student of a "home" group to specialize in one aspect of a topic (for example, one group studies one part of a larger chunk of information about the Anasazi Indians). Each student does research to become an "expert" on his/her chunk. He/she then designs a pre-test, makes a game, designs a poster--anything he/she believes will help with teaching the information to his/her team. With this strategy, each student in the "home" group serves as a piece of the topic's puzzle and when they work together as a whole, they create the complete jigsaw puzzle. A quiz is then given to every student. The teams with the highest average win an "icy cold" prize!

Wanted: Paper Towel Tubes

Please send to school any paper towel tubes that you have. In about two weeks, will be using them to construct "authentic" Northwest Coast Indian Tlingit totem poles! Thank you!

Encourage Reading

The following article was excerpted from the Scholastic website.

There is no way to overestimate the importance of reading. It not only enhances learning in all of the other subject areas, it exposes children to a wealth of information and experiences they might not otherwise enjoy. It stimulates the imagination, nourishes emotional growth, builds verbal skills, and influences analyzing and thinking. In fact, reading to or with your child every day is the single most important thing you can do — at every grade level.

žMake sure there are lots of different kinds of reading materials geared to her interests.

ž Treat your child like a reading expert, no matter what kinds of books he loves to read. If he's a horror story addict, for instance, say: "You've been reading a lot of those horror story books. Which one do you think is best? Why?"

žMake sure your child has some free time every day when she can curl up in a chair and read. Read your own books, magazines, or newspapers when your child is reading.

žKeep reading aloud to your child (to strengthen his vocabulary, comprehension, and listening skills, as well as his enjoyment of reading).

Padlet and Kidblog

I have encouraged each of my students to visit our class's Padlet and Kidblog sites. These can be found on the "Galaxy 313" website. The purpose of these sites is to encourage students to write their opinions about various topics--and to respond to what other students have to say. Click the links, below, to access these two sites--and see what the Station 313 passengers are saying: student's passwords are:

first letter of first name, last name, and student number. For example, "Ron McCoy" would be "rmccoy29."


Homework Hotline

Think of me as the “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:



8/29- Baskin & Robbins 4-8pm

8/29- Spirit Wear orders due


9/1- NO SCHOOL- Labor Day

9/4- Culver’s Night (Teachers work) 5-8

9/9- PTA Meeting 7:00 pm

9/10-CiCi’s Pizza Night, 4:30-8:00 pm

9/11- All Pro Dads 7:00am (library)

9/11- Early Release, 12:50 pm, Prof. Dev.

9/12- No School

9/18- Papa John’s Night

9/18- Dads & Donuts 7:15-7:45 (Last name A-L)

9/19- Dads & Donuts 7:15-7:45 (Last name M-Z)

9/23- Baskin & Robbins 4-8pm

9/26 - School Pictures