Sparks' Notes

12-08-15

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Holiday Party - Please sign up for an item to bring on Class Messenger (texting service).

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What We Are Learning This Week

Great Expectation Life Principle: Giving


Math: Measurement

Science: Soil, Weathering, & Erosion

Social Studies: Colonization of Texas

Writing: Research Essays

Reading: Poetry

Language: Parts of Speech, Prepositional Phrases, Opening Clauses


Don't forget your books for library on Tuesday.

Academic Fair


The Chavez Elementary Academic Fair showcases what we’ve learned and will take place on Tuesday, January 26th, at 6:00 p.m.


In class,, students will be researching and writing an essay about a Texas-related topic. They will prepare an a second portion at home that will be orally presented in class January 25th.

The students in our class will have a choice of the following projects:


  • Dress in character - Student will present a historical figure from Texas history.

  • Model - Student will create and present a model of their topic (for example, Battle of San Jacinto, Spindletop, a dogtrot cabin, etc.)


The costumes and models based on this research will be completed at home.

Due Dates: These due dates are all part of the final grade

  • 12/15 - Topic (completed at school) and project choice due

  • 1/07 - A plan or sketch of the project; include a list of materials or supplies (submitted through Edmodo)

  • 1/19 - A summary or photographic evidence of the project in progress (submitted through Edmodo)

  • 1/25 - The completed project is due at school

Congratulations to Nick, who we selected as our classroom Student of the Week, for showing the life principle of courage!

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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!


Cristian, Michelle, Clay, Lucas, Addison, Isabelle, Nicholas, Emily, Amina, Doris, Ashlyn, & Mikaela


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. slow change - when something become different over a long period of time
  2. weathering - breakdown of rocks by atmospheric conditions
  3. erosion - process of wearing away Earth's surface
  4. deposition - process of adding material to land
  5. wind - natural movement of air
  6. complete sentence - a complete thought with a subject and predicate
  7. combine - to bring two sentences together that make sense without repeating ideas
  8. prediction - a statement made about the future
  9. prefix - a syllable in front of a root word
  10. suffix - letters put at end of word to change meaning
  11. fact - something that is true
  12. opinion - a belief or judgement held without proof
  13. effects - results brought about by a cause or agent
  14. summary - brief account of the main points of something
  15. narrative poetry - a type of poetry that tells a story
  16. free verse - a type of poetry without a rhyme scheme and reminds one of talking
  17. lyrical poetry - type of poetry with a rhyme scheme and musical rhythm
  18. Tejanos - Texas settlers who came from Mexico
  19. Texicans - Texas settlers who came from the United States
  20. giving - generous, freely sharing


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!)

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

Tuesday, December 8th

Book Orders Due (Class code: GRH8G)


Thursday, Dec. 10th

Taco Talk at 6:30 am


Tuesday, Dec. 15th

Chavez PTA Family Reading Night


Weeks of December 21st - January 4th

Christmas Holiday


Tuesday, Jan. 5th

Students resume school


Friday, Jan. 8th

Awards Assembly (Fourth Grades at 8:00 in the gym)


Monday, Jan. 18th

Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday - No School