January 2016

A note from me:

I hope everyone enjoyed their break! I so enjoyed some extra time with family. We stayed in Tulsa this year for the holidays...our family got a puppy for Christmas. The Starr children have fallen in love with her and have also learned some important life lessons about responsibility (including how little sleep you can survive on with a new 'baby' in the house).

Happy New Year to all; it is so nice to be back in the swing of things and to be reunited with all of my SPARK kiddos. Hoping this update from the SPARK class will give you a glimpse into what we're doing as we begin our 2nd semester.

Jennifer Starr

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First and Second Grade News

First graders are working through logic puzzles this week. We are using a book called Coin Clues to solve our logic puzzles. Students are learning the values of coins AND solving the logic puzzles at the same time. I'm attaching an image of a sample. We go through these together as they're written in English. Some students are able to help me read the clues, we discuss the puzzle and they solve them at their own pace as we move through a page or two together.

Second graders are completing their PowerPoints on their landforms. As they complete these projects, they are sharing them with their peers in class. Then 2nd graders will be also be working on Coin Clues logic puzzles as well.

First grade Chess Club will start next Friday! This is an optional time for the teachers to send me their SPARK students so that they can battle their peers at the game of chess. Our time slot for this will be Fridays from 9-9:30. I'm excited to watch their knowledge of chess grow!

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Third-Fifth Grade News

Third through Fifth graders have been introduced to Google Classroom this week. I will outline how to login below. Through Google Classroom, we will have assignments to complete on our own or with our classmates. Some assignments will be mandatory (in-class assignments, not homework). Some assignments will be optional at-home work. Students will learn how to submit documents, spreadsheets, etc for me to grade. Each class already has their first assignment uploaded to their Google Classroom website. Third graders will be viewing a self-portrait painting and writing a paragraph as though they are the person depicted in the painting. They'll submit a document with a short paragraph for me to view. Fourth and Fifth graders will be viewing a video about some students in Thailand and a problem they had to overcome. This video goes along with the Fixed and Growth Mindsets we have been studying. They will then write a couple of paragraphs summarizing the video and then telling me why they think I assigned this particular video for them to watch. I'm excited about the possibilities Google Classroom will hold for us!

To login, students can use an iPad, iPhone, tablet, Kindle, laptop or home computer. They can download the Google Classroom app if it's a tablet, ipad or Kindle. If they're on a computer they need to go to To sign in, their username looks similar to this: (it's their first name, last initial, birth month and day)

Password is their TPS ID # (they'll know this as their library #).

If you have any difficulties, please let me know and I'd be happy to help.

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