Bacon's Weekly Bits

Friday, April 1, 2016

Summer School

Have you signed up?! Please take advantage of this amazing opportunity!! Deadline for bus transportation is Tuesday, April 5th.


Summer school programs can be an excellent choice for your child. Sending your child to school in June is a great way to help him or her get ahead and excel academically and take classes based on student preference. This time provides the opportunity for students to continue to practice mastery of skills. The Liberty Oaks summer school program is comprised of a morning session( students receive math and reading learning opportunities) and afternoon session ( 3 student electives). Electives include: art, music, games(board, digital, and team sport) as well as science and math. New curriculum was designed for the 2016-2017 Summer Adventure program.


Again, the deadline for bus transportation is Tuesday, April 5th!

If you have any questions, please feel free to call and inquire at 736-5600.

Week-At-A-Glance

What a week! We returned from Spring Break, we had a Field Trip, and we have been busy learning in Room 304. If fact, I would like to encourage kids to be here every day. We are reviewing and learning new information that is difficult to learn when kids miss the activity or learning that will make it the most meaningful. So, what did we do last week?


We reviewed fractions; with review, we learned that we had forgotten about renaming fractions after a week off. So, we spent our math time relearning renaming. We practiced, practiced, practiced. Wednesday, we took our "Check-In" to prove they know it. The work was returned to students on Thursday to provide specific feedback on their learning. What did we notice? They rocked the work. They can change mixed numbers to fractions, improper fractions to mixed numbers, and they can rename fractions to add and subtract. What else? We noticed that sometimes when we rename with adding or subtracting we have an improper fraction in the answer, and when we are asked to do that in the directions we are able to...so...we need to apply our learning about renaming when we find our sums. Still, awesome! We also started relating fractions to decimals (chapter 9). In addition to this, we have added math to the last 30 minutes of the day to review/reteach geometry. They are very confident and know they learned this in 3rd grade, and we are realizing the need for review because they forget to write the line symbol or angle when naming lines, rays, segments, and angles. We will continue to do this throughout the 4th quarter.


We also began learning about Government. Using what the kids already know, we defined government in their words. They collectively decided that a government is "a group of people, called a political unit, that makes laws and life-changing decisions." We also mapped the concept with everything we know about government. Then, we were allowed to use any source to find additional information about government. After adding to our concept map, we were asked if our classroom was like a government? Most responded yes, so we have been comparing and contrasting the function and system of government to our classroom. Some decided that it may not be just our classroom, but our school that is like a government. No one used or added the word democracy, so their homework was to look up or ask someone about democracy. This is pretty much were we left off.


In ELA, we have reviewed the informative writing purpose and tone. Additionally, we have been working on verb tenses: past, present, and future. We have also reviewed how to collect information as we research and to cite our sources. Students have been given time after each mini-lesson to begin researching their Famous Missourian.


For Science, we attended our Field Trip to Science City. The kids were overly excited about all the awesome "things" there and they bounced from station to station. The opportunity for learning could have been outstanding! They needed lots of direction to read the signs and apply the scientific concept/how it worked. See pictures. No pictures of the lever, as I was participating (http://www.unionstation.org/sciencecity/attractions/giant-lever). So, we will use this experience to start learning about Energy next week. We began Energy prior to Spring Break as we discussed Natural Resources and Fossil Fuels.


I hope that you will take the time to talk to kids about both Science and Social Studies, as both learning concepts are very real life: Government and Energy. Everything we do involves Government, ultimately, from taxes to laws. Energy is also consumed and used daily, but do they realize it? Thanks for supporting our learning at home!

Next Week

Math - Decimals/Geometry and iReady

Spelling - Unit 27

Reading - Book Clubs (inferring, summarizing, context clues) and iReady

Writing - Research

Grammar - Complete Verb Tenses and start Ordering Adjectives

SS - Government

Science - Energy

**Test Taking Strategies at Pride Time**

MAP Testing

Well, the time of year has come when we begin preparing and discussing MAP testing. With that being said, it is simply that...a test. It is one measure of your child's growth in school. It is a snapshot of this point in the year, which isn't over yet. The real indicator of your child's learning begins at the beginning of the year and ends the last day of school. The growth of multiple assessments and skills reported on throughout the year. Their everyday work and ability proves their learning.


With that being said, we are spending 30 minutes every day discussing and practicing test taking skills. These skills are not something they need for just a test, but they need these skills for critical thinking. The skills, specifically, that we are teaching include:


  • Read the directions!!! (The struggle is real.)
  • Read the question and answers first.
  • Read ALL the answers.
  • Eliminate answers that are wrong, silly, or don't make sense.
  • Use context clues. (We have been learning this all year; explicitly from the text)
  • Underline/Highlight key words. (again, this gives you a clue)
  • Plug-in answers.


There is a practice test online, and I have modeled/asked kids to respond using the skills above. They did awesome in a learning setting. We hope these skills will carry over. If you are curious about what it will look like or want to talk to your kids about it, you are able to access the practice test at https://wbte.drcedirect.com/MO/portals/mo.


The kids know this test is not the end all be all; they also know that I expect their very best. Additionally, they know we have learned this information and this is just one way to show they have learned it. They know it! They were adorable when we discussed this...every time they would say they needed to get a good night sleep and eat a good breakfast, it allowed me the opportunity to let them know I HOPE they are doing that every day. I want them to see this as a day like taking the iReady. It should be a normal day, when you put forth your best effort...like normal. :)