Issue 8-September 26, 2014


Seeking gold and settling into North America with the Spanish and the English: This week, we were on "The Golden Road"! More information can be found on the "trail" below:

1. Math: We continued working to find whole-number quotients of whole numbers with up to four-digit dividends and two-digit divisors, using strategies based on place value, the properties of operations, and/or the relationship between multiplication and division. Illustrate and explain the calculation by using equations, rectangular arrays, and/or area models. Students worked to "Divide and Conquer," "Travel on Leftovers," and solved a "Divisibility Dash."

2. Reading: We used a "One Minute Schema Determiner" as a prelude to "Off and Running," a story about student politics that gave us the opportunity to compare and contrast characters, settings, or events, drawing on details. Students analyzed a poem, "Paradise," by Kaitlyn Stone--and their own books/writing--for figurative language use. We also held our own class election for president and vice-president! Students created their own election campaigns, featuring posters and "TV commercials." In the grammar realm, we worked to write compound sentences as well as use helping verbs correctly.

3. Writing: Each student went for the gold as he/she worked to put the finishing touches on his/her personal narrative before looking at other people’s writing differently. Like all readers, they let the writing affect them but then they also look behind the meaning to note, “What is the clever trick this writer has done to affect the reader this way? Must try this.”

4. Social Studies: Developed an understanding of how Spain gained great wealth from the settlement and growth of New Spain as well as how England found Jamestown, the first permanent English settlement in North America, in 1607. Student teams amalgamated information about the Virginia Colony to design presentation. We also compared short biographies about King Philip and Pocahontas.

5. Science: What are kinetic and potential energy? Investigations included "Going Up!" and "Energy Release." Student teams designed their own investigations. We then turned our focus to what causes weather while "Comparing Changes of Temperature," using thermometers in soil, water, cotton and sand. We also focused on the atmosphere and investigated "How Strong is Air Pressure?" We also sought to ask the question, "How High?" a project, from NASA, featuring the layers of the atmosphere.

Big image


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

Spelling, Unit 7

On Friday, your child will take Unit 6 spelling test--and the Unit 7 spelling pre-test. Therefore, he/she will bring home his/her Unit 7 spelling list--and the Unit 7 spelling homework. Here are links to the words and the homework, in the event that you need an extra copy.


On the Trail of John Smith

Since we have settled into the Jamestown Colony, this week, the following game may very well spark your junior historian's interest:

Your Child's Voice


Article excerpted from the book The 10 Commitments: Parenting with Purpose

Below are suggestions for when to encourage your child to speak up and words he might use when he does. Use the suggestions to help your child create her own voice so she can become an empowered, confident youngster.

Children need to speak up when . . .

1. They don’t understand something.
Children can become frustrated as they try to comprehend the mysteries of the world around them. The more clarification children can get from adults, the better they’re able to grasp the abstract nature of their world.

2. They need help.
Children need help stacking blocks, reaching toys on a high shelf, writing a thank-you letter, understanding a math concept, handling a peer relationship, and in many other situations as they move through each developmental stage. Some situations they can handle themselves. A key component to becoming independent is knowing when and how to ask for help.

3. They want something.
Wanting something and needing something are two different things. Yes, it’s okay for children to ask for what they need. It’s also okay for them to ask for what they want.

Just because a child learns to speak up and ask for what she wants doesn’t mean she will get it. Sometimes what a child wants is unhealthy or unsafe. It is our job as parents to deny those requests while respecting the child’s right to vocalize her desire to get what she wants.

4. They have an idea.
Children are great thinkers, especially if we encourage their thinking. They see the world from a different point of view than we do. Their ideas are just as important to them as our ideas are to us. Allowing children the opportunity to share their ideas and encouraging them to do so empowers them, stimulates their imaginations, and builds ownership.

5. They have a solution to a problem.
Encourage your child to speak up and offer possible solutions when problems arise. Involve him or her in solution-seeking meetings. Invite him to join in the brainstorming of possible solutions. Include her input as you attempt to reach consensus on a workable solution. There is always more than one way to solve a problem. Your child’s solution may be the one that works best for her. By taking her suggestions seriously, you encourage her thinking, help her see herself as a problem solver, and increase the chance that she will offer solutions in the future.

6. They are asked a direct question.
Recently, we asked a four-year-old how she was doing. The mother spoke for the child and replied, “She’s feeling kind of shy today.” The child never looked up. There was no need to. The mother was her voice. When you speak for your child, you teach her there is no need to activate her own voice. The message you send her is, “Your voice is not important. There is no need to use it. I’ll take care of your thinking and responding.” When you speak for your child, you encourage her to do less speaking for herself in the future.
7. Someone is in danger.

“I don’t want to hear any tattling” a parent recently told her son as he began to tell a story about his older sister. But what if the older sister was stuck in a tree and was hanging from her broken ankle? What if the sibling was playing with matches?

Teach your child the difference between getting someone IN trouble and getting them OUT of trouble. Help your child identify when a dangerous situation is present. Children gain skill and confidence by speaking up for themselves.

More Speaking Strategies

This website, from Disney, has great strategies to help your child develop his/her voice:

Break Away Math Game

Here is a great math game:

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:

Next Week's Specials

Here is the specials schedule for next week:

Monday, September 29: P.E.

Tuesday, September 30: Art

Wednesday, October 1: Library

Thursday, October 2: Music

Friday, October 3: P.E.


Friday, September 26-Fall Pictures


10/6- Flu shots 11:15-12:30 staff

10/7- McDonalds Night (Teachers work) 4-8

10/8- CiCi’s Pizza Night, 4:30-8:00 pm

10/8 - Walk to School Day

10/9- Early Release, 12:50 pm, Prof. Dev.

10/9- All Pro Dads 7:00 am (library)

10/10- NO SCHOOL Elementary In Service

10/14 -PTA Exec. Board Meeting 7:00 pm

10/17- Fall Family Square Dance

- Scholastic Book fair

10/23- Parent/Teach Conferences, 4:30-8:00

10/23- Early Release, 12:50 pm Elementary Conf.

10/24- No School Secondary In Service

10/31- Fall Parties, 2:20-2:50 pm


11/5- CiCi’s Pizza Night, 4:30-8:00 pm

11/11 - PTA Meeting 7:00 pm

11/13- All Pro Dads 7:00 am (library)

11/13- 1st Grade Music Program5:30 pm

11/18- - Math and Science Night

11/20- 4th Grade Earthworks Field Trip

11/20-5th grade & Choir Concert 5:30

11/26-11/30 Thanksgiving Holiday-