Collins & Co. Room 204

Week 17 update: January 4th-January 8th

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Welcome back to school! The students came back excited and ready to learn on Monday. It is amazing to see how much they grew over a quick two week Winter Break! They were well rested and eager to get back to our every day routine.

Before we left for break we had a great Holiday party. Thanks to Mrs. Gordon, Mrs. Maisch, and Mrs. Wilson for running a wonderful party! The students had great fun playing the games and writing holiday letters to patients who may need some additional holiday spirit.

On Tuesday, Mrs. Able showed a video in the auditorium to remind us of our hallway expectations. The students enjoyed watching many of our teachers act out "What NOT to do" and "What TO do". It was a fun video and a great reminder for the new year.

We hope you had a wonderful weekend,

Ms. Collins and Mrs. Cucco


We took a slow re-entry into math this week. We reviewed the concepts from Chapter 4 that we learned before break and played games to have some fun with it. The students were surprised with how much they remembered and were ready to learn something new.

Next, the students discovered how to divide fractions by a whole number and vice versa. Here is a rhyme we said quite a few times a day to help us remember the rule for dividing fractions: "Second fraction, don't be shy. Flip yourself and multiply."They also began to apply their new learning to real-world problems. We will continue this next week and also take our test. (Aiming for Wednesday or Thursday.)

Students received a purple review packet on Friday. This includes vocabulary, practice problems, and real-world problems to help them study. The packet is not "due" but it is recommended for extra practice. Mrs. Sanchez's class made a quizlet to help study the vocabulary words. It can be found at:

Don't forget that the "Math Links" website can be used to help review by watching videos and playing games.

Supports for Students - D28 Family Math Connections

Click here to access the math links.

Reader's Workshop

This week we reviewed "Metacognition", reading is thinking. We practiced how to give a book review and share our thinking. Our book discussions should not include a summary. Students practiced sharing their thinking using thinking stems while reading several picture books. They then recorded their thinking in an online reading log through Google Docs.

To ensure that students are reading nightly at home, students are required to submit a "Thinking Entry" on the Google Doc on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday evenings. They have a thinking stem cheat sheet in their take home folders that they can reference for ideas.

It is getting close to the time to vote for a favorite Rebecca Caudill nominee. The voting will take place in school during the month of February. The students are encouraged to submit a vote after reading at least three of the nominees. (See list below) If you are looking for a new book to read, these all come highly recommended!

Writer's Workshop

To get back into the swing of writing, students worked on a fun piece called, "If I lived in a Snow Globe." They read the picture book, The Snow Globe Family by Jane O'Connor for inspiration. Next week they will make a "real" snow globe to go along with their story. We discussed the elements of a narrative story that they should keep in mind to help make sure their story has direction and focus from beginning to end.

Next week we will polish our stories by including an interesting hook in the introduction and a detailed conclusion.

Social Studies

In Social Studies, the students started a new unit on Westward Expansion. We began our learning by looking at John Galt's painting, American Progress. Students made wonderful analyses of what each piece of the picture represented. They were able to define "Manifest Destiny" and determine how this painting represented the desire of the pioneers to move west.

The students learned about Thomas Jefferson and the contributions he made to the improvement of our country. They discovered all of his unique inventions and his desire to purchase the land west of the Mississippi River from France.

Students practiced close reading to learn about the Louisiana Purchase and Napoleon Bonaparte's plans.

Students practiced sharing their thinking in a Google Classroom "silent conversation". Each student posted their thoughts to a question or quote and then replied to a classmate. The conversations were wonderful and included a variety of wonderful, unique ideas about Thomas Jefferson and the Louisiana Purchase.

The students watched another Schoolhouse Rock video, "Elbow Room" and a BrainPop video about the ideas discussed this week. They were also introduced to the very old computer game, "The Oregon Trail" (remember that one??) to learn about the hardships the pioneers faced while making the trek west. (It's on our Social Studies page if you want to play- don't forget how addicting it is!)

Second Step

This week in our Social Emotional Learning program, the students learned about techniques for calming down when emotions get out of control. This is a valuable skill that can help the students cope with unexpected situations and emotions. Together we identified situations in which they might need to calm down.

Some ways to calm down:
* Take a few deep breaths
* Walk away from the situation
* Distract yourself
* Positive self-talk
* Count to 10

Mrs. Mowrey's discussion this week was on respecting other's opinions/perspective. They role-played on how to respectfully respond when someone has a different opinion or perspective on a topic.

Ask your Student about:

• How their first week back was

• The end of our read aloud book, "Auggie & Me"

• "If I lived in a snow globe"

• Some of Thomas Jefferson's inventions

• Oregon Trail

• Go Noodle- "Yo-Kai"

Things to come:

  • Monday, January 18th
  • No School MLK Day

  • Tuesday, January 19th
  • Field Trip to The Grove (Sanchez & Collins)

  • Friday, January 22
  • School Spirit Wear Day
  • GB Family Event (6:00)