GCIS Weekly News 2/24/17

Weekly Celebrations, Successes, and Up Coming Events!

We're not here to be average; We're here to be AWESOME!

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GCIS Office News

NO SCHOOL Wednesday March 1st.

Due to weather and having to cancel our Winter PBIS Trip we will be rescheduling for Friday March 3 (THIS FRIDAY)

My Conference sign up will be sent out this week! Conferences are Tuesday March 21st and Thursday March 23rd.

Principal Shoutout!

Lots of planning is going on to ensure the best possible transition for next year. Teachers and staff have been meeting and talking about schedule, planning to have time for students to visit the middle school, and support students in their questions as they come up. If you have any questions that we can help you out with please let me know. Our goal is to ensure the best transition possible for our students and families.

4th Grade Happenings!

Science - This week we started a new unit in Earth Science. Students are learning about plate tectonics, the physical features in our world, and what caused these landforms to look the way they do. At the end of the unit, students will be working on ideas and solutions to reduce the negative impacts of natural erosion and disasters that shape our world.

Literacy/S.S- We have been working on identifying whether a text is a primary or secondary source. We have been able to incorporate this skill into our social studies lessons covering the Civil Rights movement. For example, Martin Luther King Jr.’s speech is a primary source from this time period. This week we also did a gallery walk. Students viewed several pictures taken during the Civil Rights movement and wrote down their thoughts as a caption for the pictures. A lot of the students are in agreement that it is hard to imagine people treating one another so poorly, and it really was not that long ago. Some of us were also able to make connections to the protesters we have seen on the news recently.

Lastly, we finished our Ruby Bridges biography and autobiography read alouds and started watching the Ruby Bridges movie. We are comparing and contrasting similarities and differences between the books and movie. We also discussed that the movie would be a secondary source! Next week we are looking forward to learning more about the Civil Rights movement as we work towards beginning our Civil Rights projects. We are also going to start discussions about cause and effect.

Math- We are continuing to build on our fraction skills. Not only are students extending their understanding of fraction equivalence by solving number stories involving equally shared quantities, but this week we started using an area model to recognize and generate equivalent fractions. We enjoyed using our fraction circles and pieces to make these connections!

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5th Grade Happenings!

Lit/SS - In Lit we are working on Book Genres. The students had the opportunity to research, in groups, book Genre characteristics and book examples. Each group presented what they discovered with their assigned Genres. This was a great chance to showcase their speaking and listening skills! In SS the students are working hard on their native American informational reports. We are practicing our typing skills with this report.Soon, we will be peer editing these,as we wrap this unit up! Please encourage your child to continue filling out their home reading trackers for 20 minutes of reading a night. Thank you:)

6th Grade Happenings!

In lit/social studies, we are diving head first into our Peace and Conflict Unit. We have been reading many articles, poems, and looking at pictures about conflicts in history and conflicts that are currently happening. I encourage you to talk with your child about current events that are happening in our world.

In math, we are finishing up our skittles project. Within the skittles project the kids are working on ratios and changing fractions to decimals and percents. They are also graphing their results along with writing about how they solved the math problems in this project.

In science, students are learning about stoichiometry. Stoichiometry is basically looking at chemical reactions and focusing on the numbers. Students make sure that there are the same number of each atom on each side. They have also looked at how the mass stays the same if the reaction is done in a closed system. We are just getting the basics down now so that it can be expanded on later.
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Marble Run Presentations

The 6th grade TAG group presented their marble run to their classmates.
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Special Education News

4th grade reading students are focusing on reading vowel patterns and finding evidence in the text. In writing, they wrote about their favorite invention. In math, fractions are the main topic and review for an unit 2 test.

5th reading are learning about genres.

5th grade math continue their journey in decimals and place value behind the decimal.

6th grade reading are working on figurative language and writing short stories.

6th math are working on ratios, decimals and percents.

PE Info

Finished up our bowling unit and had a great time. The Woodruffs at Spare Time Lanes was amazing to work with. This week we started with fitness Ping Pong, working on eye hand coordination.

Band News

Reminder that solo and ensemble recital will be on April 15th in the band room at the Intermediate building.


4th grade students are studying the art of Wayne Theibaud. He is an artist that does paintings of sweets… cakes, pies, donuts, cupcakes, etc. In looking at his work, it made us hungry! So now the students are creating a background wall and a tablecloth with patterns, and then they are learning how to draw a donut in perspective and attaching it to their background, complete with a napkin!

5th grade art students are making 3D drawings by using three different sizes of paper and putting them together like a diorama. They are learning about background, middleground and foreground.

6th grade students finished their animal eyes. They are being hung up in the hallway and it is fun to try to figure out the animal that each eye is attached to. I love displaying their talents!


Today the 4th grade group finished up their working volcano! They taped the “cone” to the mouth of the bottle so that when the lava comes out, it will go down the outside of the volcano. They talked to their teachers and came up with the time to show it to the rest of the 4th grade classes today. Since the volcano is messy and it is nice outside, they went outside to set it off! It worked just like they thought it would!

Battle of the Books has snuck up on us! The 5th grade Battle is next week!!! (Thursday, March 2nd) Parents are welcome to come and the battle starts at 4:00 at the Ames Public Library. Here is a link to some frequently asked questions...


6th grade TAG students presented their Marble run to Mr. Brown’s and Miss Manken’s classrooms and they will be presenting it to Mrs. Hoyle’s and Miss Bardole’s classrooms next week. They also worked on putting together an electrical circuit to make a paper lantern… (they just started on this.)

The Lights! Camera! Math! Program was AWESOME!!!! The math enrichment kids couldn’t stop talking about it on the way home! The mathmagician involved the audience in his tricks (Including McKinley) and incorporated math in every single one. He even gave every student a magic trick book that explains every trick he did! That was great! The students want to create their own mathmagic show… they just can’t decide if they want to do it for each grade level separately or for the whole school at once. What do you think?

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Media Tech Lit

What is 3D Printing? (Part 2)


The 3D Printing Process

Printing a three-dimensional model is more complicated than opening up Microsoft Word and printing to your 2D printer. At a high level, to create a 3D model you follow these steps:

  • Find a model or create a model with Blendr, SketchUp, or OpenSCAD software. (**We are using Tinkercad at GCIS.**)

  • Prepare your model for printing, for example, ensuring the model is watertight with no gaps.

  • Create an STL file which converts your model into code the 3D printer understands, using Netfabb, Meshlab, or similar software.

  • Print your 3D model, adjusting the printer as needed.

You might do some or all of these steps, depending on whether or not you have a 3D printer or use a printing service.

Materials Used in 3D Printing

Non-resin 3D printers use mostly ABS and/or PLA plastic which becomes pliable when heated, then solid. There are other possible thermoplastics used. Some printers use metal wire. And newer printers can print ceramics or with food materials. Materials are fed into the printer with a spool that has plastic or other material wound around the spool.

Resin 3D printers use custom formulated plastic resin poured into a tank. The resin is light sensitive and hardens when laser light heats a spot within the resin.

Counseling News

In Life Skills we have been exploring our personality types and discussing how one’s personality figures into career choice. It’s been fun taking some of the short personality quizzes online and interesting to see how brain-based research can pinpoint one’s personality so accurately.

Pennies for Patients, a fundraiser for blood cancer research, begins on Monday, February 27. Pennies for Patients is a three-week program for Elementary and Middle Schools where students collect change and raise funds online while learning about service and philanthropy.

Look for an informational letter to be coming home with your child soon. Thank you!

Nurse News!

According to the reports from Iowa Department of Public Health, the number of influenza cases continues to rise. One important way to stop the spread of influenza is to stay home if you have symptoms. Please keep your child home if they have symptoms that include elevated temperature, headache, cough, body aches, and sore throat.

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