Updates about ALPHA from Mrs. Casey

News for 3rd-5th Grade ALPHA Students

During class this past week, the 3rd-5th grade ALPHA students learned what their disappearing destination topic was. We reviewed the "research packet" and began our timeline. Every week students will update their timelines and set goals for the upcoming week. Most of this project will completed in class however if students are having difficulty staying on task in class, they will have homework. Please take time to discuss the research packet with your child. This week's goals are to get the contract signed by you and to purchase a package of index cards to bring to class next week. It is important that your child remembers their binder every week in order to stay on top of their project.

Also discuss in most classes (sorry, but Scarborough 3rd graders did not see this feature due to Town Hall meeting), was Google Docs and Classroom. All students in NISD have been given a Google account. Their user name is their lunch account number proceeded by a letter "s" and their password is their 4x4--first 4 of their last name and last 4 of their Social Security number. Example: user name--s123456 password: case1234. The cool feature of the Google Docs is that students are able to access their research notes from any device and it automatically updates. There is also a research tool that provides a smart search for their topic.

Next week, we will begin creating smart questions to guide their research. It is the expectation that 3rd graders will use 3 resources, 4th grade 4 resources, and 5th grade will use 5 resources to locate their answers. One resource must come from printed material and one must come from an Internet database. Any combination will work. Students will be guided on how to locate information. Also, if students would like to take the initiative and collect research at home, they may do so and add information to their Google Doc.

Please let me know if you have any questions about our projects.

1st-2nd Grade ALPHA Students

In class, we have been learning about the rainforest. Student created a PowerPoint booklet on the causes and effects of deforestation of the rainforest. In next week's class, we will be reading "The Great Kapok Tree" and creating rainforest animals that "speak" for saving the rainforest.


Oftentimes in class, I'll use the word metacognition. Basically it means to think about your thinking to improve learning. Here is an interesting article about the topic.

Family Field Trip

Our family trip will be held on Saturday, February 21 beginning 9:00am. We meet at Natural Bridge Wildlife Ranch for a drive thru tour (in your own cars) to explore and feed the animals of the ranch. There will also be an interactive discovery program which will give us an up close exploration of the Longneck Learning Center. The cost of the day is as follows: Adults $16.75, students 5th grade & under $7.50, and students in grades 6-12 is $11.00. More details will be sent home before the winter holiday break.

ALPHA Look Fors...

Please have your child remember their ALPHA binder on their scheduled class day and sign their weekly newsletter. Here is our schedule as a reminder:

Kay Franklin ES
Monday: 1st/2nd/3rd grades
Tuesday: 4th/5th grades

Scarborough ES
Wednesday: 1st/2nd/5th grades
Thursday: 3rd/4th grades