Issue 4-August 29, 2014


We trod on land and cruised through the air, this week, as we rose to the following challenges:

Math: Our goal was to explain patterns in the number of zeros of the product when multiplying a number by powers of 10, and explain patterns in the placement of the decimal point when a decimal is multiplied or divided by a power of 10. Use whole-number exponents to denote powers of 10. We also worked to fluently multiply multi-digit whole numbers using the standard algorithm. Games of "High Number Toss," "The Pit," and "Multiplication Target Practice" helped students gain mastery.

Reading: we sought to determine two or more main ideas and explain how they are supported by details/summarize as well as acquire and use general academic and domain-specific words and phrases. We worked to unravel "The Mysteries at Cliff Palace," an article related to our study of the Anasazi cliff dwellers. We then compared it to "The Birchbark House," a similarly structured piece of text.

Writing: We discussed that, when you write personal narratives, it is important to put yourself inside the skin of the main character (the character is the writer, just you in a different time and place), and then tell the story through that person’s eyes, exactly the way he or she experienced it. It also helps to pause, sometimes, and look back on your progress as a writer, asking, “Am I getting better?” and also asking, “What should I work on next? What will help me keep getting better in big and important ways?”

Social Studies: We discovered how people of the Eastern Woodlands developed a variety of cultures based on hunting and farming. We also developed an understanding of the culture of the Great Plains people changed after the horse was introduced--and how the need for water affected the Native Americans of the Southwest.

Science: We utilized myriad scientific inquiry tools--and the scientific method--to construct a helicopter (using only a slip of paper and a paper clip), a parachute (using coffee filters, yarn, and a clothespin), and a balloon rocket (using only a balloon and great timing)!

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The You Tube Version of This Newsletter

Here is the You Tube version of this newsletter:


Spelling, Unit 3

Tomorrow, your child will take the Unit 2 spelling test--and the Unit 3 spelling pre-test. Therefore, he/she will bring home his/her Unit 3 spelling list--and the Unit 3 spelling homework. Here are links to the words and the homework, in the event that you need extra copies:

Kid Blog

Here is an opportunity for your child to voice his/her opinion (while practicing his/her writing skills):

Teach Your Child How to Listen

The following article was excerpted from the Scholastic website.
Whenever possible, try to build your child's listening skills. Here are some strategies that will help:

ž Read aloud to your child on a regular basis — even after she has learned to read by herself.

žLimit television, computer, and video game time. While they're all entertaining, and can even be educational, they tend to promote tunnel vision. Make sure the time your child spends in front of a screen is balanced by time spent with other people, talking face to face.

žWhen you speak to your child, make eye contact and gently touch his shoulder or arm, to secure his attention.

žWhen giving directions, ask your child to repeat back to you what she heard you say — to make sure she really did hear, and does understand what she needs to do.

žModel good listening behaviors. When your child wants to talk to you, for example, stop what you're doing and look at him while he's speaking. When he's finished, say something that indicates you heard him, even if you only repeat back what he said: "So, you want to stay up a little later tonight to watch the All-Star Game."

žTeach your child that even if an adult is saying something he finds boring, he still needs to listen, look at the person, and show respect.

Mastering Math

The following article was excerpted from the Ontario Ministry of Education website.

Be positive about math!

žLet your child know that everyone can learn math.

žLet your child know that you think math is important and fun.

žPoint out the ways in which different family members use math in their jobs.

žBe positive about your own math abilities. Try to avoid saying "I was never good at math" or "I never liked math".

žEncourage your child to be persistent if a problem seems difficult.

žPraise your child when he or she makes an effort, and share in the excitement when he or she solves a problem or understands something for the first time.

Make math part of your child's day.

žPoint out to your child the many ways in which math is used in everyday activities.

žEncourage your child to tell or show you how he or she uses math in everyday life.

Include your child in everyday activities that involve math – making purchases, measuring ingredients, counting out plates and utensils for dinner.

žPlay games and do puzzles with your child that involve math.
žThey may focus on direction or time, logic and reasoning, sorting, or estimating.

žDo math problems with your child for fun.

žIn addition to math tools, such as a ruler and a calculator, use handy household objects, such as a measuring cup and containers of various shapes and sizes, when doing math with your child.

žWhen your child is trying to solve a problem, ask what he or she is thinking. If your child seems puzzled, give him/her prompts about how to reach a solution.

Homework Hotline

Think of me as the “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:



8/29- Baskin & Robbins 4-8pm

8/29- Spirit Wear orders due


9/1- NO SCHOOL- Labor Day

9/4- Culver’s Night (Teachers work) 5-8

9/9- PTA Meeting 7:00 pm

9/10-CiCi’s Pizza Night, 4:30-8:00 pm

9/11- All Pro Dads 7:00am (library)

9/11- Early Release, 12:50 pm, Prof. Dev.

9/12- No School

9/18- Papa John’s Night

9/18- Dads & Donuts 7:15-7:45 (Last name A-L)

9/19- Dads & Donuts 7:15-7:45 (Last name M-Z)

9/23- Baskin & Robbins 4-8pm

9/26 - School Pictures