Home School News

March 2016

Parents,

Our 1st annual fundraiser is now complete and we couldn't have done it without you!


We all looked forward to our weekly "candy meetings" where we sat down in a group and worked on what to buy, how much to spend, and what price to set. The children have gained confidence in their math skills by using estimation, mental math, and multiplication. They've also learned how to handle money and save for a team goal. I don't think they even realized that these "candy meetings" were really math lessons in disguise. :-)


As of today, we've raised over $120.00 with Jamarion leading the pack in total dollars raised. A'Lasia and Jaden are tied and close behind, but there's still a few dollars floating around! Once all money is turned in, we'll determine:

1. Who will get our "Business Person of the Year Award!" for earning the most $

and

2. Who will win a prize for coming back for the most number of refills.


Amir & Idris have already won the prize for being the "1st To Sell All Their Candy."

Congratulations to everyone for doing such a great job!


Please make sure all money and unsold candy is returned by Monday, March 28th. Thank you so much for your willingness to help out! Now the children will be able to plan their own fun-filled trip with money they've worked hard to raise.

What We're Up To...

Math

By now the students should be able to add & subtract in their sleep. Most of them can also multiply and divide just as well - Which I’m really proud of because they’re not expected to master all of the facts until the end of 3rd grade! Math facts are important because they form the building blocks for higher-level math concepts. When a child masters his/her facts, upper elementary math will be significantly easier.


For the next few weeks, we’ll review time and money skills. This will include the study of:

a) calculating elapsed time

b) adding/subtracting intervals of time

c) using the fewest number of bills and coins

d) solving problems with different money combinations


At Home: Pull out the coins and dollar bills. Try to do this at least three times per week, for 30 minutes. Real money works best, but play money will work too. They should be good at counting single types of coins by now, so start working with two or more different coins. To practice, ask him to give you a certain amount of money like 59¢ or $1.35. Then add in bills. Start small and work to the larger bills.


Another great way to help is to take them shopping with you. Allow them to help you count the amount of money needed and the change back at the grocery store. Allow them to make a quick mental budget and use cash when you stop in the gas station or dollar store. If they want a toy or something, give them the money to save up for a few weeks, and then pay for the item themselves. You can also make it a fun family night with a game of monopoly!


Writing

Our three week long writing project was a success! We spent a lot of time learning how to organize a story into a clear beginning, middle, and end. Everyone did an awesome job staying on topic throughout all three paragraphs. We practiced adding adjectives, adverbs, and other forms of descriptive language. Then we learned how to put it all together and form dialogue to make the stories come alive. Their stories were graded by the k12 teachers, so feel free to check kmail for the final grade. I also have them posted on the bulletin board.


History

Since we had to spend the majority of Black History Month working on our required writing portfolio, we are studying “Ourstory” for the next month. We will begin with the unit study; Welcome to Africa! The children will identify, locate, and describe key countries, regions, and places on the continent. They will also learn about the great kingdoms, wealthy rulers, and riches of the land long before European exploitation. This unit study will incorporate reading fluency and comprehension as we read, discuss, and research the land of our ancestors.



Science

The Atlanta Science Festival is here! It is a week-long celebration of all things science, for curios learners of all ages. There are over 100 events (many are free) around the metro area with the grand finale at Centennial Park on Saturday, March 26th. Get more details here: http://atlantasciencefestival.org/.


We’ve learned about how objects move through force and motion. We’ve also studied friction, simple machines, and how they make work easier. We will end that unit of study with a few hands-on activities. First, we’ll complete two group projects. One is to build a robotic hand with realistic gripping movements. Then we will turn a metal can into a walking, wobbling robot monster. Finally, each student will be graded on their ability to use tools to build (and explain) their own small machine.