iCrew News: Sept. 19

Newsletter for classes of Mrs. Berns & Mrs. Kochheiser

All Crews News

Pre-Testing:


  • NWEA: Our class will take the NWEA tests next week (Sept 26 week). Students will be tested in the areas of Language Arts, Reading and Math. Assessments are given via the computer, and results will assist teachers in planning and differentiating instruction. Students will also be able to establish their own personal learning goals. This assessment is then repeated in the winter and spring to track progress toward the learning goals for each individual student.
  • AimsWeb: Student are in the process of testing for reading fluency between now and September 23.



Powerschool: Grades are updated regularly, so please continue to check in often and discuss the importance of your student putting regular time and effort into their work (whether at home or at school). We will also send out remind notices to check Powerschool periodically.


Please see our website at icreweast.weebly.com for photos we take in class. You can save photos of your student here and print them out.

Just Some FYI--In case you missed this last time!


  • iPod Binders: Students have “iPod” 3-ring binders. We put all homework and in-class notes/assignments in these binders to help keep students organized. Homework for Mrs. Berns class will be copied on blue paper, and homework in Mrs. Kochheiser's class will be copied on pink paper. All other in-class work will be copied on white paper.




  • Remind.com: please sign up for your Remind.com account with your homeroom teacher. You can receive messages via text or email. Sign up only for your homeroom teacher.
  1. Mrs. Kochheiser’s class: Text this: @icre1 to this number: 81010
  2. Mrs. Berns class: Text this: @icrew2 to this number: 81010





  • Newsletter: We will be sending this newsletter out in 3 ways: 1) Remind.com; 2) icreweast.weebly.com (News tab); and 3) Hard copies to those who need it (those NOT on Remind.com).

Language Arts with Mrs. Kochheiser


  • Spelling continues this week with short vowel sounds: (all Language Arts homework) is on PINK paper. Word Sort and Spelling Choice board sent home on Monday along with a study guide for Reading Street Friday test (spelling words AND vocabulary words).

  • Writing--concluding assignment: Students are finishing their personal narratives. Students are working to add details and include the four different sentence types in their writing: declarative, expository, interrogative and imperative.

  • Writing--upcoming assignment: Students will begin a new writing project this week to identify role models who exhibit one of the 7 "habitudes" (character traits) of successful students: passion, perseverance, imagination, self-awareness, adaptability, curiosity, or courage. Students will be writing a six-word description that captures the essence of this "candidate" for a class inspiration "dream team." We will select some of these six-word character descriptions to enter in a global contest called Six Contest: What Does Character Mean to You?

  • Grammar: Last week students learned about the four sentence types: declarative, exclamatory, imperative and interrogative. This week, students are learning about fragments and run-on sentences. Students will have an opportunity to look at their personal narratives to identify if they have written any sentences that are run-on or fragments.

  • Reading Street: Students finished Old Yeller last which which focused on setting and plot. Students were focused on how people care about each other. They also read about how dog's are used in service capacities. This week, students will read the mentor text Mother Fletcher's Gift which takes place during the Harlem renaissance and is written by Newberry-award winning author, Walter Dean Myer. Students will study Myer's development of character, and discuss character traits in this story. Students will view a video about Harlem and its importance in the development of our arts and culture.

  • Students should be continuing their goal of reading 10 books per quarter (end of quarter is October 30, 2015). All students received a Passport where they will receive stamps for completing genre requirements. Students have begun to blog about their books, too!

Math with Mrs. Berns

Math: We have reached the mid-point of our first math unit. The main skills that have been covered so far are long division, prime factorization, least common multiple and greatest common factor. Students have learned to use these skills to help solve multi-step story problems.

Our new math curriculum, GO MATH!, is quite different from the previous math curriculum. There are new strategies and techniques (as well as some traditional ones!) that I will be using to teach the students how to solve problems. Each student has a math notebook where he/she is keeping track of the different skills and strategies. Students are welcome to take the notebooks home, but it is VERY important that they are brought back every day for use during our math block.

During the second half of this unit, there will be more homework assigned. The homework may be a page ripped out of the book or it will be run on BLUE paper. Some of the skills we will be focusing on are: addition and subtraction of decimals, multiplication of decimals by whole numbers and division of decimals by decimals.

Social Studies with Mrs. Kochheiser

Social Studies: Unit 1: World Geography: Foundations of World Geography: Students have begun to learn key vocabulary related to geography. Students are selecting a country that they will, over the course of the year, become "experts" on, and through which they will apply geography concepts to demonstrate their understanding of these concepts. This week, students will be introduced to the five themes of geography.


Constitution Day: Friday, September 16 was Constitution Day. Students watched a brief video on the constitution and then studied the Preamble to the Constitution, breaking down the phrases that the founders wrote in order to better understand its purpose. This week, students will conclude the constitution lesson by looking at the three branches and play a game about the responsibilities assigned to each branch of government.

Science with Mrs. Berns

Science: As we continued our study of the scientific method, students' observation skills were put to the test when they were asked to study 9 items for one minute and then recall/describe as many items as possible. Students were then able to collaborate in groups to form a more complete list of the items. This lesson helped the students appreciate how important teamwork and precise language can be in science.


This week students were also faced with "The Garden Problem". As we move through this unit, students will work to try to figure out why the plants are not growing at a fictional elementary school. On Friday, students observed and compared two types of soil and make inferences about what may cause one soil to help plants grow more than another. Next week, we will analyze the soils further as well as learn to identify the organic and inorganic elements within the samples.