The Mangus Messenger

2/11/16

Dear Parents,

It is with a heartfelt "thank you" that I express my gratitude for all of your support, feedback, kindness, caring, and genuine love. You are there, you support me and your kids, and you are helping to increase their confidence. This confidence is evident, not only through our classroom environment, but in our latest classroom iReady data. Not only are they killing it, they are making a difference in each other. They are asking questions, helping out where they can, and starting to branch out and ask for what they want or need (from me and/or each other). I love seeing them growing up into caring young adults and it wouldn't happen without your support. So, once again, thank you!

On a side note, I cannot believe that the second trimester is almost over! What happened? Next week, we will be preparing for our Student-led Spring Conferences by reflecting on our goals, gathering evidence to support having met those goals, and setting new ones for the end of the year. I cannot wait for the students to share their successes with you!

Valentine's Day Party

Thank you all so much for your contributions to our Valentine's Day festivities. It's always fun to have a party and we thank our lucky stars for our amazing room parent! Lunch, electronics, games, treats, and BB8 as a guest. Fun!

It was great to see Mr. T, Ms. Smith, Mrs. Hollis, Mrs. Cody, Mrs. Mulvaney, and Mrs. Hays take us up on our invitation. Thanks for coming to see us even though we were very busy (and half of them probably didn't even notice you were there)! I am not sure any of the games actually got played, but there was lots of laughter. Always a good sign! Thank you, Mrs. Sousa, for all of the goodies and supplies to make our day so special.

Spring Conference Sign Up

Our SignUpGenius went out early Wednesday morning. If you did not get the email from SignUpGenius, here's the link: Spring Conference Sign Up

Remember that conferences are going to be student-led, so the students need to be present for them. If you choose not to sign up, your student will bring home their paperwork, share their goals/reflections with you, and then be required to bring back a signed PEP. We will be prepping for our conferences throughout the next week, so your questions are encouraged.

Black History Month Project

As you all know, February is Black History Month. Each student has chosen a famous African-American to research. This was assigned on Wednesday, 2/10 and, due to the holiday weekend, they have the next week to complete their project. All projects will need to be ready to print (in Google Drive) by 6:00 am on Friday, 2/19.

The directions and the Facebook template (it's just a screen shot) are located on their Google Drive accounts in their "Shared with Me" folder. We have not covered how to navigate the page and edit the text boxes in class. So, if they are having difficulties, please let them know that we will cover it on Tuesday. In the meantime, if they are using their weekend, they can have all their data gathered, notes taken, and sources cited on notebook paper.

The State Standards covered with this project include Social Studies, Reading (Research), Writing, and Speaking/Listening.

Social Studies Test

This week, we completed our History and Culture Unit Assessment in Social Studies. The students have been working on reading and taking notes, so we had an "open note" assessment. I was pleased to see so many students actually using the notes they had in front of them because we are still trying to remember to "use the tools available" to us. We even had a couple of students realize that they should have used their time more wisely and actually taken more notes. This work has been assigned both in-class and for homework, so I am proud of them for putting forth the effort and showing ownership of their learning.

Parent & Student Surveys

To those of you who have completed the Parent Survey, thank you! I greatly appreciate the feedback and we value the questions as we prepare our conferences material. If you included your name, thank you for giving me the opportunity to follow-up with you to discuss any concerns.

The students did a great job completing their surveys during our Tech time on Tuesday. They all shared some great classroom ideas and/or personal needs. I've already implemented some of their requests, so they are pleased.

End of Trimester, Grades, and Late Work

The end of the second trimester is on February 25th. Grades will be completed by March 9th and report cards should be ready for you to view/print from Infinite Campus on March 11th. Any missing work needs to be submitted on the morning of February 25th for credit. Submitting late work at the end of the trimester will not be an option for the third trimester.

In order to prepare our students for the future, we are making a change to our late work policy for the end of the year. Excused absences will still follow the rules set forth by the Charter, but their daily work really needs to get turned in on time (especially projects that are allotted a full week to complete). Hopefully we can stress the importance of turning in the work after they spend the time actually doing the work. I know our grades will greatly benefit from it.

Reading and Writing

We are reading about the American Revolution in our informational literature book. Ask your student about the Battle of Bunker Hill, Concord, and why the American colonists were so mad. You should get some great answers as the discussion has been rich!

We have been working hard on our Personal Narratives and they are truly amazing! Students have had three peer review sessions where they discussed word choice, questions they had, and worked together to build conclusions or re-work sentences. The work I saw them doing was incredibly respectful!

Now we get to type them up and have a couple of our classmates add comments. This will help us catch our typing mistakes before turning it in. We are extremely excited to share these with you at conferences, so please do not peek beforehand. Thank you!

Kahoot

We had a fill-in teacher this week. Mr. Matsuda, we all know him as Eli, graciously prepared a couple of Kahoots for us. Not only did he take the initiative to create two incredible interactive activities, he lead us through them. We had a 12 question math game that reviewed math vocabulary and then we were given one with 17 questions as SS test prep.

He had complete control of "his" class and made sure everyone was on task. I honestly could not have picked better questions myself and we are all loving the instant feedback Kahoot provides us. Let's just say the whole experience was priceless. Thank you, Eli!

Ps If you haven't heard of Kahoot, ask your student or look it up online at getkahoot.com.

Calendar Reminders

  • Mon, 2/15 - NO SCHOOL
  • Fri, 2/19 - Black History Project Due
  • Fri, 2/19 - ECC (wear green shirts and bring swimming gear)
  • Tues, 2/23 - Conferences
  • Wed, 2/24 - Conferences
  • Fri, 2/26 - NO SCHOOL
  • Wed, 3/2 - Early Release Day

Happy Valentine's Day and have a wonderful weekend!