Exciting Things are Happening!

Wright, Crockett, and Curtis Quest

Update: 4/10/16

Please Join Us!

iDream projects will be on display for viewing by parents, grandparents, friends, teachers, and other guests at the Quest iDream Showcase on the following days this week.


Wright: Monday, April 11, 5:30 - 7:00 in the cafeteria

Crockett: Tuesday, April 12, 5:30 - 7:00 in the Quest room

Curtis: Thursday, April 14, 5:30 - 7:00 in the cafeteria


The Showcase is a "come and go" event. Guests arrive anytime during the specified time and stay as long as they wish. Students will not be doing individual presentations of their projects. However, some always enjoy sharing their knowledge with guests when asked.


If you have any questions or concerns, please contact me.


My Schedule is:


Monday: Wright (817) 598-2828 ext: 4960

Tuesday and Wednesday: Crockett (817) 598-2811 ext: 4429

Thursday and Friday: Curtis (817) 598-2838 ext: 4556

Our Year is Coming to an End!

Your student's Quest day this week will be the last for this year. We end our year in April so that I may test students who have been nominated for the program.


If you would like to send a healthy snack (something with a low sugar content) for the class to enjoy, please feel free to do so. Students are going to use class time to play the various games some of the children made for their iDream products. They will also get to choose to do some of the other things we have available. We will relax!


I have truly enjoyed working with all of the students and you this year. I love what I do and feel so blessed to be a part of a wonderful community! Thank you for allowing me the opportunity to teach your child!

iDream Passion Project: Update 4/3/16

This week, all students will bring their projects and products to school to share their new-found knowledge with their peers.


Please make sure your child has his/her project and product ready to bring to school on Quest day. The students have been given a rubric to guide their progress. They will fill it out during class.


Again, thank you for all you have done at home to ensure this project has been a success! It has been a true school/home partnership!


Parents who want to come watch the presentations are certainly welcome! Presentations will begin in the morning and continue as long as necessary. Please email me if you would like to know the best time.

iDream Passion Project: Update 3/27/16

Our newsletter is short this week since our project is winding down.


If necessary, students will continue working on their bibliographies using Easy Bib. Some have finished so they may choose what they want to do. I have a list of options for them.


Students may bring their completed projects to school this week if they wish but projects are not officially due until next week.


The Tuesday and Wednesday classes will not meet due to STAAR testing for fourth and fifth grades. Please make sure your student is well-rested and has eaten breakfast on his/her test day.


See Quest iDream Showcase and Two Important Dates below for reminders of upcoming events.


As always, if there is anything I can do to help or if you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact me. I am always happy to visit with you.


My email: ccheshire@weatherfordisd.com


My Schedule is:


Monday: Wright (817) 598-2828 ext: 4960

Tuesday and Wednesday: Crockett (817) 598-2811 ext: 4429

Thursday and Friday: Curtis (817) 598-2838 ext: 4556

Give Credit Where Credit is Due

I am teaching students how to create an academic list of sources of information or bibliography. We will use the website Easybib to guide the process. If you are not familiar with this great tool, please take some time to click on the link above and look around. "Back in the day" students had to cite their sources "by hand." It was very tedious. With our modern technological advances, students are able to write a correctly formatted citation with just a few clicks of the keyboard.

Two Important Dates

Two important dates are quickly approaching for the iDream Research Passion Projects.


The first is the date the students are to bring their projects to school to present their new-found knowledge to their peers.

The second is the date when all projects will be on display at the annual Quest Open House or as we are calling it this year, the iDream Showcase. Students’ projects will be on display to share with families, friends, teachers and others.


Please refer to the calendar I mailed along with the letter this week to find out the specific dates for your student. The calendar is also available in your student's research folder and on my Wright, Crockett, and Curtis websites under their grade level.


This project began back in November, and we have worked on it in class taking small steps each week. As you know, the assignment has been for students to select a topic about which they are passionate to research and then choose a way to share what they have learned with others. There are two components students need to complete. This year, the students had a choice in creating a digital or an analog (paper) presentation. Some students have chosen to do both. They are also required to create or make some type of product that will show what they have learned from the research and explain their topic.


See Update: 2/28/16 below for more information about the product.


I need your help in order to make this event successful for your student. At this point, please make sure that your child is working at home on his/her project so that it will be ready to turn in the first week of April. We have been working on the project at school, but time is running out. I truly appreciate you! We cannot do this without you!

Please email or call me if you have any questions.

iDream Passion Project: Update 3/20/16

Happy Spring! I hope all of you had a wonderful break!


As a reminder, I made the decision to just update the newsletter originally begun in February. I started doing this because I realized the information about the iDream project would be much easier to access if you did not have to search for previous newsletters. Please feel free to scroll down to the bottom to review the project requirements.


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In 3 weeks, the iDream project will be due. This project, which began back in November, has been a huge collaboration between the school and home. I appreciate all you have done to ensure that your student has been successful.


Many of the students have completed their projects and have already brought them to school. I have encouraged the students to bring their projects as soon as they have finished to share with us.


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With the upcoming holiday on Friday, March 25, the STAAR tests on Tuesday, March 29, and Wednesday, March 30, and Camp Grady Spruce on Thursday, April 7, most classes have just 1 class day left before their project due date. Please check your student's calendar. The students in the Thursday class and I will talk about their due date this week as it will need to be adjusted due to Camp Grady Spruce.


As always, if there is anything I can do to help or if you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact me. I am always happy to visit with you.


My email: ccheshire@weatherfordisd.com


My Schedule is:


Monday: Wright (817) 598-2828 ext: 4960

Tuesday and Wednesday: Crockett (817) 598-2811 ext: 4429

Thursday and Friday: Curtis (817) 598-2838 ext: 4556

Update: 3/6/16

This week, I mailed a letter to all of my students' homes in lieu of posting an update to our class newsletter. I used the address that is a part of your child's school records. If you do not receive this in the mail in the next few days, please email me, and I will get a copy to you. ccheshire@weatherfordisd.com I did post a digital copy on my webpages that are a part of the Wright, Crockett, and Curtis Teachers' Websites so you may view the letter there as well.


The letter contained information about important due dates that are quickly approaching for the iDream Research Passion Projects. The dates are specific to your student's Quest class day so this is why I did not send an update this past Sunday.


Below, I have posted the general information included in the letter.

If your student needs to work on his/her Google Doc, Slide Presentation, or Site...

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Kiddle: An Internet Search Engine for Kids

If your child is searching on the web for information or images for a project, have him/her use Kiddle. This is a Google search engine designed for kids. Click here to learn more about it.

Update: 2/28/16

Last week, I showed the students some examples of presentations and products that students completed in the past. Hopefully, the new students have a better understanding of the expectation and end goal. This week, please have some conversations with your student about his/her presentation and what he/she would like to make for the product piece. Remember a product is something that is made. I gave the students a paper copy of the information below that lists some examples. It should be in the iDream Research folder. Also, refer to the Presentation and Product section below for additional information. Thank you for all you are doing at home to help your student.
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iDream Passion Project Update: 2/21/16

As I met with students last week, I was very pleased with the progress that most have been making. The "veteran" Quest students know they must take advantage of every moment because April due dates and the Quest iDream Showcase will quickly sneak up on them.


If this is the first time your student has participated in the Quest "pull-out" program, I want to share some important information about the spring research project we are calling iDream Passion Projects this year.


All students are at different places in the process. This is an independent project so this is to be expected. However, if your student has not found 3 sources or finished taking notes, he/she is behind. At this point, all students should be finished taking notes and should be ready to work on the pieces for presentation.


Since I see students only one day a week, they will need to take some time every week to work on the iDream project at home. Here are some things students will need to do at home.


  • Find sources. We have worked on this at school. There are a few students who have not found any sources yet. If your student does not have at least 3 sources of information by now, this needs to be accomplished at home before their next Quest day. See the Topics and Subtopics section below for more information.
  • Decide on the sub-topics or areas on which to focus their study. See the Topics and Subtopics section below.
  • Write notes in the iDream Research folder. See the Topics and Subtopics and A Good Note Taker sections below.
  • Work on the tri-fold board or other display they are planning on using to share their knowledge with others. See the Presentation and Product section below.
  • Create a product that enhances and further explains their topic. Remember, a product is something that is made. It can be made from purchased materials, but the finished piece is something made by the student. See the Presentation and Product section below for examples.


At school, I will continue to help students with any of the above items, and I will help them create their digital presentation. I realize that some students do not have access to the internet at home. These students are using class time to type their information on a Google or Word document, and we are printing it to place on their tri-fold or poster presentation.


As soon as each student completes the project, he/she will share the new-found knowledge with the class. There are some who are very close to being finished at this time, so I am expecting them to do their presentation within the next 3 weeks. Again, this is okay because the students have been working at their own pace on this independent project.


The final due date for all presentations to be complete is your student's Quest day during the week of April 4 - 8. Check the calendar in your student's research folder for the specific date.

iDream or Pursuit of a Passion! 2/14/16

The following information was originally published on 2/14/16.


This newsletter contains a lot of information about the iDream or Pursuit of a Passion! project. I apologize in advance but felt it was all important for you to know.


Students have been working on independent research projects for Quest. This year we are calling it iDream because the students were assigned to choose a topic about which they are passionate. In an earlier newsletter, I talked about this assignment and what the expectation is. Click here to review Passion Projects: iDream on my personal website. You may need to scroll down to find it.


While I really want the students to have fun and enjoy the project, the ultimate goal is for students to build a foundation of quality research skills that will serve them throughout their school years and into their future careers. Most of us do not have an innate sense of how to organize our thoughts and information when we research to acquire information. Therefore, learning the process is equally as important as the final product. Students are given credit for small steps along the way, as well as for the final presentation.

Research Folders

During the last 3 weeks, I met with students briefly while I was testing Kindergarten students to check their progress, provide help with obtaining resources, and answer questions. They all have been given a pocket folder with brads to organize and compile their notes. You may have seen this. If not, please ask to see it. The folder contains a calendar, the “What I Love/What Really Bothers Me” brackets they completed before the holidays, information on how to take notes, notebook paper, and for some, paper copies of information they found from sources on the internet that we printed at school. This folder is to be used to guide their progress, and students need to bring it to Quest every class. The calendar is especially important because it outlines important due dates which keeps students on task and goal oriented. Students are at different points on their timeline/calendar. As you look at the calendar, notice what is due on your student’s upcoming Quest class day. Most students have decided on a topic, found their sources of information, and now are in the process of taking notes. A very few have already completed all of these steps and are now working on their presentations. However, there are some who have still not taken all of the notes. These students will need to work on this at home to get caught up.

Topic and Subtopics

After students selected a topic, they were suppose to find at least three sources. A source can be a book from a school, public, or personal library. Other sources are magazine articles, encyclopedia articles or entries, or websites just to name a few. Some of the students are connecting with experts as one of their sources. Keep in mind these are professionals in their fields who have gone to college or special schools to earn degrees or certifications. They also may be individuals who have several years' work experience in the area.


Once they found their sources, students identified at least three subtopics on which to focus their research. I showed them how books and encyclopedia articles are already divided into subtopics called chapters and subheadings. I told them they could select those as their subtopics if they wish or they could come up with their own focus of study.


They wrote the title of each subtopic on a separate piece of notebook paper in their folders. This is where they are to write the information they find. There is suppose to be at least one page of notes for each subtopic if possible. Please take some time to read over your student's notes.

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A Good Note Taker...

The first formal lesson the students heard was how to take proper notes. I gave them a paper titled, "A Good Note Taker." We read and discussed the points outlined on the page, and I explained the importance of not writing complete sentences when taking notes. A good note taker only writes words, phrases, or enough information to recall key points. Copying information word for word, sentence by sentence from a source (book, website, magazine, encyclopedia, etc...) is never appropriate. For one thing, it takes up too much time. For another, it leads to plagiarism. My desire is for the students to learn early-on what plagiarism is and how to avoid it. Please take some time to review your student's notes and give them feedback.


I have posted a couple of videos on Edmodo and my website for students to watch that give some great tips. They are called Big 6 Steps to Research and How to Take Good Notes.

Presentation and Product

The next step will be to create a presentation and product to share their new knowledge with others. One reason this is important is because this gives students the opportunity to learn from their peers. Another important reason is the projects will be displayed at the Quest iDream Showcase, aka, Open House, in April for all the families and other guests to view. (See the calendar for the date.) This year, students are choosing what they want to create. The only requirement is that each student should complete two pieces:


  • one digital/technology presentation, or non-digital presentation, like a tri-fold board or other type of poster or paper presentation.

  • a product that illustrates or further explains the topic. A product is something that is made by the student. It can be created from purchased materials, but the end piece must be made.


Presentations:

I am helping the students create their digital presentations. Some students are creating websites, others are creating slide shows using Google Slides or Powtoon. A couple are also using this newsletter tool, SMORE, that you are reading right now. There are a few who want to create videos. These students will need to do this at home and make sure that it is in a format that can be shared. If you are not sure about this, please contact me, and I will help.


Some students want to create a non-digital presentation. They are using Google Docs or Microsoft Word to type the information at school. Then they will print it so it can be attached to the tri-fold board or poster. While I am completely okay with them choosing this option, I am encouraging this group to also try a digital tool once they finish this. Today's students need to be savvy in creating digital presentations. Please help me encourage them to stretch their level of knowledge.


Products

Products are things that are made as opposed to purchased. Of course, materials may be purchased to make the product.


Products can be many different things such as costumes, masks, murals, dioramas, games, models, a map, timeline, or paper mache. These are just a few of the limitless options available. All creative ideas are welcome! For the most part, this needs to be completed at home. Students may bring their supplies to work at school if it is not too cumbersome for traveling.

Finally...

Thank you so much for all you are doing at home to ensure that this project is successful. As I mentioned earlier, the students' work will be displayed at the Quest iDream Showcase in April on the following days.


Wright: Monday, April11, 5:30 - 7:00 in the cafeteria

Crockett: Tuesday, April 12, 5:30 - 7:00 in the Quest room

Curtis: Thursday, April 14, 5:30 - 7:00 in the cafeteria

Carla Cheshire

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact me.


My Schedule is:


Monday: Wright (817) 598-2828 ext: 4960

Tuesday and Wednesday: Crockett (817) 598-2811 ext: 4429

Thursday and Friday: Curtis (817) 598-2838 ext: 4556