Sparks' Notes

12-15-15

Holiday Party - Please check Class Messenger (texting service or cell phone text messages) for your sign up. Thank you for all the quick responses!.

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What We Are Learning This Week

Great Expectation Life Principle: Generosity


Math: Measurement (test Thursday)

Science: Soil, Weathering, & Erosion (test Wednesday)

Social Studies: Colonization of Texas (test Wednesday)

Writing: Research Essays - Starting Academic Fair research

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

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, Maria, NIck, Dominick, Addison, Morgan, Isabelle, Nicholas, Emily, Amina, & 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. renewable resource - a natural supply from Earth that doesn't deplete
  2. nonrenewable resource - energy resource that cannot be replaced
  3. coal - a black rock used for fuel
  4. conservation - act of not wasting nature's resources
  5. oil - thick liquid from earth that is burned for energy
  6. nutrients - ingredients in food and soil important for life
  7. spring scale - a tool used to measure force in Newtons
  8. perimeter - the length of a boundary enclosing a plane (add all sides)
  9. area - two dimensional measured space (length multiplied by width)
  10. elapsed time - amount of time that passed during some event
  11. dictatorship - absolute power taken by one person
  12. agriculture - science of farming, taking care of crops
  13. independence - freedom from control or restraint
  14. irrigation - the artificial application of water to land
  15. Stephen F. Austin - an empresario known as the Father of Texas
  16. Moses Austin - an empresario who Spain granted the right to bring settlers to Texas, but died before being able to do so
  17. Martin de Leon - an empresario who brought settlers from Mexico and settled what is now Victoria, Texas
  18. freedom - absence of coercion or restriction
  19. abolitionists - people in favor of the eradication of slavery
  20. generosity - willingness to freely share with 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 16 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, Dec. 15th

Chavez PTA Family Reading Night 6:00-7:30 pm


Friday, Dec. 18th

Classroom Holiday Party 10:30-11:15 (see top)

Early Dismissal at 11:20 am


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