Sparks' Notes

11-09-15

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What We Are Learning This Week

Great Expectation Life Principle: Compassion


Math: Data

Science: Force & Motion / Electricity

Social Studies: Texas Explorers

Writing: Persuasive Essays

Reading: Informational Text - Nonfiction Signposts

Language: Parts of Speech, Prepositional Phrases, Opening Clauses


Don't forget your books for library on Tuesday.

Congratulations to Elijah, who we selected as our classroom Student of the Week, for showing the life principle of being tenacious!

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Morning Tutorials Are Open - 7:10-7:40 am

We offer daily reading and math computerized tutorials that begin at 7:10 and go until 7:40. Students who have shown up on time and have come with fidelity (every day) have made significant gains.


In our class, students who attend will receive a healthy snack when they bring their attendance ticket to me.

Important!!! Be Sure to Join Us On:

Edmodo - Our Communication System & Protected Learning System


  1. Go to www.edmodo.com.

  2. Have your student sign in. (Username and password are inside front agenda cover.)

  3. Scroll down the left side of the page until you see Parent Code. Write this code down.

  4. Logout (upper right corner, click on “Me” and select Logout).

  5. Go to www.edmodo.com and select “I’m a Parent” (under blue box that reads “I’m a Teacher”).

  6. Enter your student’s code and set up your account.

  7. Click here to see what features you see as a parent.

  8. Make sure to go Account (upper right corner, click on “Me”) and select "Settings". You can select to have email or text alerts for specific items.


On our Edmodo site, you can see:

  1. Daily agenda (planner/calendar)

  2. Homework links (Folder->Classroom Information)

  3. Student progress

  4. Assignments

  5. Subject area links

  6. Classroom pictures

Chromebook Care

  1. Determine a fixed spot to plug in your Chromebook EVERY night so that it is charged and ready to go the next day. We have found that this step is crucial to keeping your Chromebook working properly. Keep your charger in your laptop bag when not charging.
  2. Please be sure to keep case free and clean. Stickers and moisture can damage devices.
  3. Make sure you bring your Chromebook every day in the computer bag/sleeve. This is an essential school supply, not an extra.
  4. Monitor your child's computer usage in a common area.
  5. If students are not taking care of their computer responsibly, computers will stay at school. If you would prefer that it stays at school, please just let me know.
Homework - Expect a Baggie Nightly

Homework Expectations: 1. Read a minimum of 20 minutes nightly and complete reading log. 2. Play math games for 20 minutes nightly and complete log using thinking stems (inside cover). 3. Practice vocabulary words. Test on Friday.

Please check your child's math and reading log nightly to ensure it has been completed.

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You've Won the Homework Lottery!

These students turned in their reading and math logs on Friday with all four nights of reading and math logs recorded! Great job!


Michelle, Maria, Nick, Addison, Morgan, Isabelle, Emily, Amina, and Ashlyn


If your child is not showing you the completed reading and math log night, ask to see it. If it is forgotten at school, feel free to bring him/her back to get it. I am here until 5 on most days. I've also included links to the homework above. Thank you so much for doing your part as a parent to help your child develop successful, lifelong habits!

This Week's Vocabulary Words

Each child will be tested on Friday. Students are expected to be able to use these words in sentences. These are words we use day-to-day, so a functional use is critical to learning and understanding.



  1. magnetic - having the property of attracting metals
  2. field - region characterized by a physical property
  3. circuit - a path, often for electrical current
  4. power source - energy used to make objects work
  5. electricity - electric current used as a source of power
  6. frequency table - a chart that tallies occurrences, amounts, etc.
  7. dot plot - a statistical chart consisting of data points plotted on a fairly simple scale
  8. stem-and-leaf plot - a display where the data is organized by place value
  9. frequency table - a chart that tallies occurrences, amounts, etc.
  10. scaled intervals - the distance between points is the same, such as counting by 2s, 5s, or 10s
  11. data - information
  12. metaphor - a figure of speech where one item is compared to another using "is" or "was"
  13. hyperbole - an expression that uses exaggeration
  14. onomatopoeia - the use of words that imitate sounds
  15. impact - resulting effect or influence
  16. accomplishments - things achieved or succeeded at
  17. Cabeza de Vaca - a Spanish explorer who later wrote about his time with Native Americans in Texas
  18. Francisco Coronado - a Spanish explorer who mapped the Southwest while searching for Cibola
  19. Robert de la Salle - a French explorer whose expedition failed
  20. compassion - a feeling of concern or sympathy for others


You can practice these words on Edmodo using the Vocabulary Spelling City app.

(Click on the 2x2 array of on the far right. When the apps window opens, select Vocabulary Spelling City, and go to Vocabulary Week 7 in the yellow section. There are lots of games to help you learn your words!)

Our Austin Trip

Parent Portal Link for Checking Student Grades

To set up your account, enter your email address as your username. If you don't' remember your password, click the link. If at any time you are prompted for your student's ID number, just ask her/him to tell you her/his lunch number.

Parent Homework

Please do the following with your child:

  1. Check and sign agenda nightly.

  2. Check that reading homework and log are completed nightly.

  3. Check that math homework and log are completed nightly.

  4. Look through Tuesday folder and sign and return the next day (keep the work).

Dates to Remember

Wednesday, Nov. 11th

Veterans Day Assembly at 8:30


Week of November 23rd

Thanksgiving Holiday


Thursday, Dec. 10th

Taco Talk at 6:30 am


Tuesday, Dec. 15th

Chavez PTA Family Reading Night


Week of December 21st

Begin Christmas Holiday