September Newsletter

Sept. 7, 2015

Back-To-School Night is this Thursday, Sept. 10 @6:30

Please be sure to make this informational hour a priority


We have been working on a number of math activities in that area where words, sequencing, logic, and numbers intersect - matrix logic, Thinker Math, etc. as preparation for problem solving. Number Talks have been going well and I have been impressed with the intelligent observations that the students have shared. We have just begun our study of place value and will continue to do so for the rest of the month. The My Math materials are instructionally sound and student-friendly. This is a very social group and they seem to enjoy playing games that reinforce new and previously learned concepts. Jiji, of course, does her part in making big mathematic concepts easy to visualize.

Next week we will also begin our Rich Math Task problem solving. The students will work in small groups to solve a challenging problem. At the end of the allotted time, each group will do a short presentation in which they state their agreed upon answer and show their process. Then they will be responsible for justifying their answer and their mathematical thinking. Dry erase boards (low tech) and iPads (high tech) are the presentation tools of choice.

Computational fluency (addition and subtraction) is another first trimester focus. Automaticity is the goal with fact recall. Timed tests will be a part of the routine. The fluency component in ST Math (jiJi) is very helpful.


Every child has begun their Luvtareed River Reading Log. As of today, your child should have read at least 100 pages in a modern realistic fiction book of his/her choice. I will be checking every two weeks to make sure your child is making adequate progress. Please help by monitoring this nightly homework assignment (15 -20 pages per night or about 20 minutes).

Instructionally, we will be talking about how to choose a good book. We will share genre and author preferences. We will be discussing methods for judging the difficulty of the text. Then we will practice ways to increase one's reading stamina and fluency. Then I hope to coach each and every child to set a personal goal for the next two months.

Next week we will begin a novel, Drita, My Homegirl. We will read and discuss it together. Lots of instruction on the elements of a story - point of view, setting, characters, key events, theme, etc.


Our first Show and Sell will be Sept. 24. All students will be required to share a book with their classmates. Everyone needs a 60 second pitch (notes are allowed, but not a script) and a prop. The book should have been read independently in the last three months.

Also, before the end of the month your child will need to interview someone he/she knows that is a voracious reader. Someone whose nose is always in a book. It can be a family member or a friend. Interview of a Print Addict.


All School Write

Celebrations and a Commemoration




Our First Engineering Challenge

42 cups to a height of 37.5 inches. Many towers tumbled. Try, try again. Watch the video.

Class Dojo

I think that Class Dojo is working well. Students seem to be very clear about my expectations and eager to earn points. I will be sharing information about parent access at Back-To-School Night . Once you have logged in, you will receive a reminder every Friday to check your child's report for the week. All their points are shown in a donut graph and then listed individually below. You will only receive a reminder that the report is available. I am going to begin clearing each week's points on Monday morning so that everyone starts with a clean slate. Each child should be attempting to make 25 points per week. There will be rewards for those that do. You can check any time, but it would be most informative if you checked sometime between 2:30 pm on Friday and 10:00 pm on Sunday.

Apps We Are Using This Month

Chittenden Locks Field Trip

Monday, Sep. 22nd 2014 at 8am-1pm

3015 NW 54th St

Seattle, WA

Our first field trip is to the Ballard Locks. We will have a guided tour by a member of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. There will be plenty of salmon in the fish ladder. Also, the gardens will be in bloom. This is a quick trip as we are going on a Monday. We will leave Blakely at 8:05 and will be on the 8:45 boat. Our hour long tour starts at 10:00. After the tour, we will have time for a quick lunch on the grounds and a short trip to the Visitors Center before we get back on the bus. We will board at 11:50 in order to make the 12:20 ferry. Students will need to be picked up at 1:00 AT THE FERRY TERMINAL. We need 7 chaperones. RSVP if you are available and interested.

RSVPs are enabled for this event.