Mrs. Steffen's GATE Classes

February 2016

February - a month to celebrate love and friendship!

Since this month has always been about recognizing those who we care about and why, I thought I would identify the "Top 5 Reasons Why I LOVE my GATE Job and my students".


  1. There is not a day that goes by that I am not excited to be here at Sharpsburg.
  2. This position gives me the flexibility to create incredible opportunities for my students to excel.
  3. The kids I see each and everyday cannot wait to come to my class and be challenged.
  4. I love seeing my students' continued growth and risk-taking.
  5. Due to the fact that I see students year after year in my classes, I am creating what are amazing and special relationships with each one of them.

February Dates to Remember:

February 5 - Wear Red to support Women's Heart Health

February 12 - Friendship Celebrations 1:00pm

February 15 - No School - President's Day

February 16 - Red, White and Blue Day

February 24 - Friendship Dance 6-7pm

February 25 - Jump Rope for Heart

GATE Goings On

Grade 1


First graders will be continuing to explore two and three-dimensional figures by participating in several rigorous math tasks that ask them to create composite shapes comprised of these figures. They will be making noticing statements and asking questions of themselves as they reinforce their knowledge and work through these rigorous tasks

Grade 2

Second graders will be using their previous knowledge of landforms from science to extend this into what causes changes in land. Topics to be discussed will be both weathering and erosion. We will be gathering and interpreting related data and graphing it using bar graphs to be able to come to conclusions about what they have noticed over time.

Grade 3

Students in grade 3 are beginning to work on opinion pieces. Right now we are learning what each piece needs in it to be a strong and convincing piece. Students have been practicing writing pieces. They just finished one about whether or not school was like a prison. Yikes, you should have heard some of those! We will ultimately be choosing a freedom fighter from our nation's history and trying to write to convince someone how important their chosen person was to our nation's development.

Grade 4

Fourth graders are revisiting the idea of divergent questioning. A question is divergent when it is open-ended and could have many answers. Students are being familiarized with the different types of divergent questions so they will ask more in depth questions of one another in discussions. This will prove to have life-long benefits for increasing their critical thinking skills.

Grade 5

Grade 5 students are almost done with their domino run designs that were to include each of Newton's 3 Laws of Motion. Next week,they will be showcasing each run and making presentations to their classmates. Next up, we will be investigating geometric solids and creating a Geo City that must include a given set of solids and criteria.