Issue 12-October 30, 2015


"The British are Coming! The British are Coming!" Paul Revere's heroic ride was the focus as we gallop through the following:

1. Math: Our ultimate goal was to divide decimals. Along the way, we also read, write, and compare decimals to thousands. Read and write decimals to thousandths using base-ten numerals, number names, and expanded form, e.g., 347.392 = 3 x 100 + 4 x 10 + 7 x 1 +3 x (1/10) + 9 x (1/100) + 2 x (1/1000). Students are preparing their own games to practice these concepts!

2. Reading: We sought to explain how a series of chapters, scenes, or stanzas fits together to provide the overall structure of a particular story, as in "LAFFF," a science fiction tale about a scientist and his time machine. An "Inventions Fair" is scheduled for Thursday, October 29!

3. Writing: We discovered that writers don’t just chronicle their life, record their lives. Writers interpret. When analyzing their life stories, writers ask, “What are the big ideas here?” and then they look for themes and issues that appear again and again in their entries and memories. We also discussed that writers do not write about big watermelon topics, but instead about small, seed stories. Wrestle with the fact that their themes and issues resemble “forbidden” watermelon topics, ergo the bigger the topic, the smaller you will need to write.

4. Social Studies: The Revolutionary War has begun! We strove to demonstrate an understanding of how the American Revolution began with the battles of Lexington and Concord. From there, we experienced the Battle of Bunker Hill. It was then time for Paul Revere to make his momentous midnight ride. We delved into a biography of Paul Revere and analyzed the historical accuracy of the poem, "Paul Revere's Ride," by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow! Students used Animoto to create presentations about this era of history!

5. Science: How can weather patterns be observed? We discussed "Hot and Sticky," which involved calculating relative humidity. We then launched "Dripping Wet," an investigation featuring six "wet bulb/dry bulb" thermometers, to compare the humidity in and around Jurassic Park.

Big image


Here is the link to the You Tube version of this week's newsletter:

Spelling, Unit 11

On Thursday, your child will take the Unit 10 spelling test--and the Unit 11 spelling pre-test. Therefore, he/she should bring home his/her Unit 11 spelling list--and the Unit 11 spelling homework. Here are links to the words and the homework, in the event that you need an extra copy.

12 Things You May Not Know About Paul Revere

Check out this website, featuring some little-known facts about Paul Revere:

Teaching Organizational Skills

The following article is excerpted from

Teaching your child the organization skills that are necessary for lifelong success and productivity is enormously valuable. Organization is an essential skill for school-age children who must meet increasing educational demands. A child with solid organization skills can manage his daily responsibilities and has the ability to plan ahead.

Step 1: Motivate your child to learn organization skills by explaining the benefits. Children who are organized spend less time on homework assignments and experience less frustration. Include your child in the development of organization strategies to promote a sense of ownership and personal responsibility. Avoid having your child view organization as a punishment by maintaining a positive outlook.

Step 2: Develop a daily schedule that allows your child to effectively manage her time. Assign a specific time each day for homework and studying. Some children may want to complete their homework as soon as they arrive home when they are in "school mode," while others may need time to relax. In addition to homework, your child's schedule should also list after-school activities, playtime, chores, meals and bedtime. Display the child's schedule on a poster board in her bedroom or a central location in the home.

Step 3: Teach your child how to make a daily checklist by using a planner or notebook to list homework assignments and other daily responsibilities. Encourage the child to check off each task as he completes it.

Step 4:Break down large assignments into small manageable tasks. If your child is assigned a book report, encourage her to plan ahead. Remember to add each task to the child's daily checklist. Praise your child for success!

ZAP Distractions

This article is excerpted from

Kids are doing a lot of multitasking these days—from surfing the Web to texting, instant messaging and listening to their iPods®—constant distractions compete for their attention. With so many potential interruptions, it can be difficult for children to stop and focus on the task at hand. Yet, helping children develop self-discipline, effective focus strategies and concentration skills at an early age is a basis for long-term success in high school, college and the professional working world. Here are some practical and manageable tips parents can use to help their children focus, complete their homework and ultimately succeed.

1. Set Expectations Early
Explain to your children that just as you have many important responsibilities (at home, at work, in your community, etc.), learning is their most important "job" right now. The earlier you set your expectations and establish a routine for learning, homework and studying, the easier it will be to maintain. Make it a family practice: Allow older children to set an example for younger children—include younger children in homework and study hour by having them quietly color, look at books or do some other learning activity during this time.
2. Manage Distractions
Although eliminating every possible distraction is nearly impossible, there are ways to manage and minimize the number of things that can pull a child's focus away. Start with technology: no television, phone or computer until homework is done. Total silence isn't required, because research has found that certain types of music help people concentrate better, especially classical and instrumental music, such as soothing cues from The Price is Right
3. Establish Rules for Homework Time
There is nothing more distracting than a knock on the door and an invitation to play when it's homework time. Require that your children's homework and studying be completed (neatly and correctly) before going out to play. As seasons and activities change throughout the year, be flexible and adapt to changing schedules

Great Students

This article is excerpted from

Many students do not know what it takes to be successful in school. The following is a list of some characteristics of great students.

1. Successful students listen and train themselves to pay attention. If they miss a day of school, they make sure they get all missed assignments (by contacting the instructor or another student), and understand specifically what was covered in class. Successful students take responsibility for themselves and their actions.

2. Successful students are attentive in class. They don't talk, read, or stare out windows. In other words, they are polite and respectful, even if they get a little bored. They also participate in class even if their attempts are a bit clumsy and difficult.

3. Successful students turn in assignments that look neat and sharp. They take the time to produce a final product that looks great, and reflects of a care and pride in their work. Successful students seem driven to complete their assignments. All work and assignments are turned in, even if some of their responses are not brilliant.

Halloween Party

Our Halloween party will be on Friday, October 30, from 2:10 to 2:40 P.M. If your child chooses to wear his/her costume to school, that is fine with me! It should not be a distraction, however; productive learning will take place until 2:10! The costume should also not include weapons, blood, or gore.

Halloween Safety Tips

While kids’ costumes can be scary-looking, they shouldn’t be scary to wear. When selecting a costume, be sure that it fits correctly so your kids can avoid trips and falls. If your child’s costume includes a mask, make sure that the eye holes are large enough so that it doesn’t cover the eyes or otherwise make it hard to see where they’re walking.

When choosing a costume, select a light-colored one that is visible at night or attach reflective tape to the costume so that your kids will be visible in the dark to motorists and other pedestrians.

Helpful Tips:

  • Encourage kids to keep masks off when walking between houses during trick or treating, or consider face paint/makeup in lieu of a mask.
  • Glow sticks are a fun way to provide light so kids can see when walking. They also make them more visible to everyone else.
  • Any accessories such as swords or wands should be soft and flexible.

Safety Alert!

  • Remove any makeup before the kids go to bed to avoid any overnight irritation to skin or eyes. Usually just water and a washcloth will work.

Trick or Treat Safety

As with most child safety issues, adult supervision is a must to ensure trick-or-treating remains fun. Children under the age of 12 should not trick or treat without an adult present. Teach children to cross streets at crosswalks and to obey all traffic signals. Remind them how to look both ways when crossing the street. Enforce a stay-on-the-sidewalks rule or if your neighborhood doesn’t have sidewalks, instruct kids to walk facing traffic as far from the roadway as possible.

Helpful Tip:

  • Give children flashlights as part of their trick-or-treat gear. They’re fun and help kids to see and be seen by others.

Tell children not to enter a stranger’s house unless you’re around, and to remain in sight at all times. Avoid cutting through alleys and other dark, unoccupied areas. This might be a good time to revisit your “stranger danger” talk.

Let kids know that they should not eat any candy they collect until you have examined it later at home. Kids love to empty their bags and examine their loot. This is a good time to look it all over before deciding it’s okay to eat. In most cases, homemade treats should be avoided just to play it safe. Unopened, commercially packaged treats are usually safest.

Safety Alert!

  • If you’re driving a car on Halloween, remember to drive slowly and carefully, keeping an eye out at all times for trick-or-treaters and other pedestrians.

Pet Safety

Keep your best 4-legged friends healthy and safe during Halloween by taking just a few simple steps. Keep candy out of reach so that Fido doesn’t get into it. Treats like chocolate can be toxic to dogs, cats and other pets. Decorative items can become a hazard as well. If you hang lights and other electric decorations, keep wires and cords tucked away where pets can’t chew on them. Keep candle-lit pumpkins out of reach so that a pet doesn’t accidentally knock one over and get burned or create a potential fire.

If you’re pet is the type that runs to the door every time someone knocks or rings the doorbell, keep them enclosed in another room or part of the house away from the front door so they don’t cause a problem.

Helpful Tip:

  • When opening your front door for trick-or-treaters, make sure your pet doesn’t make a run for it. Keep ID tags up to date and securely on your pet

Homework Hotline

Call me, anytime, if your child is has a question about a homework assignment, or if you have an inquiry about something that occurred at school. My home phone number is (816) 415-0368. I do not mind, at all, being called in the evening!

My Website

For the latest information about upcoming events and curriculum information, visit my website. It is updated regularly:

Upcoming Events


10/30- Fall Parties, 2:20-2:50 pm


11/4- CiCi’s Pizza Night, 4:30-8:00 pm

11/10-PTA Meeting 7:00 pm

Retake Fall pictures 7:15 AM

11/12 All Pro Dads 7:10 AM - LGIR

11/12-1st Grade Music Program 5:30 pm

11/19-5th grade & Choir Concert 5:30

11/25-11/27Thanksgiving Holiday- SCHOOLS CLOSED


- Liberty Food Drive& Community tree

12/2 CiCi’s Pizza Night, 4:30-8:00 pm

12/3-4th Grade Music program 5:30 pm

12/8-PTA Exec Board meeting

12/10 All Pro Dads 7:10 AM - LGIR

12/10-Kindergarten Music Program, 2:00pm

12/18-Winter Parties, 2:05-2:40/1st Sem. Ends

12/21-1/4 Winter Break


1/4-NO SCHOOL (Teacher Work Day)

1/5-School resumes

1/6- CiCi’s Pizza Night, 4:30-8:00 pm

Classroom Group pics and new student pics 8AM

1/14 All Pro Dads 7:10 AM - LGIR

1/12-PTA General Meeting 7:00 pm

1/18- NO SCHOOL- Martin Luther King Day


2/2-PTA Exec. Board Meeting, 7:00 pm

2/5- Family Trivia Night

2/3 CiCi’s Pizza Night, 4:30-8:00 pm

2/8 through 2/11 Scholastic Book fair

2/9-Parent Teacher Conferences, 2:50-8:00 pm

2/10-Valentine Parties, 2:05-2:40 pm

2/11 All Pro Dads 7:10 AM - LGIR

2/11-Early Release, 12:50 Parent/Teach Conferences, 12:50-8:00


2/15- NO SCHOOL- President’s Day

2/18-Papa John’s Night

2/18-2nd Grade Music Program 5:30 pm

2/25-3rd Grade Music Program, 5:30 pm