ELA & SS Updates

From the desk of Mrs. Sullivan

Parents & Kids Reading Together

Wondering what to read next? Maybe you should read Lincoln's Grave Robbers by Steve Sheinkin. It's our first Family Book Club Selection! On Tuesday, February 11, the Black Wizard Team will host a Family Book Club event. Parents and students who have read Lincoln's Grave Robbers are invited to gather in room 31D for a short book discussion before school from 7:00-7:30AM. If you are interested in attending this event, please let us know by registering here. If you are interested in ordering the book or e-reader version of the book through Scholastic, you may do so using our class code, which is GPGZR. This Scholastic order will close on Tuesday, January 12.


Reuse, Recycle and Repurpose in 2014!

Did you resolve to do things differently in 2014? Maybe you've pledged to keep your closet clean, help those in need more or live with less clutter... Getting to know the DMS Student Exchange Center might just help keep you on track to all of those resolutions! The Student Exchange Center is a place where Deering students drop off/ pick up gently used articles of clothing for themselves and/or family members. Deering students are aware of how quickly middle school students outgrow their clothes, often before they even wear out! The Student Exchange Center helps the Deering Community take advantage of that by washing, sorting and displaying gently used clothing, outerwear, blankets and more for students to 'shop' before and after school. Mr. Oral, a DMS math teacher, began this project just over a year ago and it is growing. He has even created a satellite location at the Recreation Center down the street so that students may access donated items outside of school hours. If you have recently cleaned out a closet or found that some of last year's clothes no longer fit, please consider donating to the Student Exchange Center. They are especially in need of strong hangers for clothes right now. I will be volunteering to fold, sort and organize donations on Fridays at DMS from 2:15-2:45 and hope that some students from our team will join me!


Engrade

Thank you for your patience during trimester 1 while I got to know Engrade. While I loved the simple communication with families through Engrade, there were other features I felt I needed for the proficiency- based and standards- based record keeping I use in ELA, that Engrade just did not offer. Therefore I have begun using Aspen, our district's Student Information System, instead. I am working closely with our district's technology specialists to make the transition as smooth as possible. I will share additional details with you soon.

Supply Request

Students are taking great pride in the interactive notebooks they are creating in social studies. These notebooks are turning into valuable reference books. One key supply that helps us work efficiently is tape. If you see a deal on clear tape (Scotch tape or similar), we would love some extra rolls. We typically use 5 rolls every week or two, so any donations would be greatly appreciated. Also, if you haven't seen one of these notebooks yet- ask your child to bring his/hers home and share!


Our Current Book Groups...

Some Exciting News

Thank you all for supporting our Donor's Choose Chromebook project early in the school year. Because of the support of so many donors, we were able to purchase three Chromebooks for our classroom. Students have impressed me in their use of web tools for communication, collaboration and creation. As part of the Global Read Aloud Project, we read Out of My Mind earlier this year. Students participated in online discussions with each other, about the characters and events in Edmodo. They also Skyped with classrooms in Iowa and New Jersey who were reading the same book. More recently, students created digital comic strips using Toon Doo, animations in PowToon and even edited their own video clip as a component of a recent project. Students have been developing their research skills through the use of Learnist, an amazing tool that helps organize online content. Students recently evaluated their own progress in NoRedInk, an online grammar tool that makes it possible for students to progress at their own speed. Students reported that they felt motivated to improve when using this program, because of the instant color changing feedback and helpful hints provided. A webpage that one class created has inspired me to consider beginning development of a book review site for our team. I couldn't be more excited about the learning we are all doing as we continue to integrate technology into our day to day learning experiences. Because of the students' hard work and affinity for technology, I spent time over vacation writing a proposal for a class set of 25 Chromebooks. In it, I detailed our learning, our struggles and my goals for integrating technology in our classroom. Today, I received wonderful news- our class was selected for this pilot program!