Issue 25-February 12, 2015


Gold seekers, outlaws, and the beginning of the Indian Wars of the West: Stay tuned for more of this week's Wild, Wild West!

1. Math: Multiplying fractions and whole numbers was the emphasis. Students had the opportunity to "Color by Number" as well as putt on the "Fraction Fairway."

2. Reading: We continued our excursion through tall tales, featuring John Henry, Mike Fink, and Pecos Bill as we sought to analyze how visual and multimedia elements contribute to the meaning, tone, or beauty of a text (e.g., graphic novel, multimedia, presentation of fiction, folktale, myth, poem). We also headed West in search of "Rose's Gold," an historical fiction tale about a girl whose father decides to become a gold miner. We also analyzed the artwork of Mary Cassatt; and we examined the figurative language used in the song "Everything is Beautiful," by Cat Stevens.

3. Writing: We discovered that, to write research that is compelling to readers, the study of your topic needs to be driven not just by a desire to collect facts but also by an urgent need to find the raw material that you can fashion into something that makes readers say that sought-after, “Whoa!” We also discussed that, the chance to read—to study—primary sources is precious, so take every opportunity. When a source survives across the ages, allowing you to go back and the original message, you’re being given valuable information. But it takes a special kind of close reading for you to make sense out of a primary source document.

4. Social Studies: We headed to "Californy" to learn about how James Marshall was the first person to find gold. Then student actors brought to life "Miss Louisa and the Outlaws," a play about a schoolteacher who outwits some ornery outlaws. (Student teams made YouTube videos of their performances!) From there, we paid a visit to Elizabeth Blackwell, "America's First Woman Doctor," before beginning to identify the changes that threatened the traditional way of life for Native Americans of the Great Plains. We delved into Children of the Wild West, to learn about the Native American way of life on the Great Plains.

5. Science: What factors affect motion? We investigated speed and velocity as well as acceleration and momentum. Student scientist experimented with "Speed, Eggs, and Slam" (See link below), an online investigation; and conducted an experiment, "Momentum Crash Test," with an emphasis on the formal use of the scientific method of inquiry. We then focused on Sir Isaac Newton's First Law of Motion. Student teams worked to design an experiment that exemplified a "fair test"; these experiments were documented using PowToon, YouTube, or Educreations.

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On Friday, your child will take the Unit 23 spelling test--and the Unit 24 spelling pre-test. Therefore, he/she should bring home his/her Unit 24 spelling list--and the Unit 24 spelling homework. Here are links to the words in the event that you need an extra copy:


Conferences are THIS WEEK! Your child gets to attend this conference, to share with you his/her academic triumphs. Here is the schedule:


What better way to test Sir Isaac Newton's laws of motion? It's Speed, Eggs, and Slam:


Hopefully, your child is truly enjoying our romp through tall tales. Here's a website designed to broaden his/her scope of knowledge in the field of fantasy:


Excerpted from

I once heard a principal say that he wished he had a dollar for every mother who came to school at 10 a.m. with forgotten lunches, homework and books. "Why are these mothers coming in to rescue their children?" he asked. "Let the children experience what happens naturally when they are irresponsible—and let the mothers stay out of it!"

I remember the first time my son forgot his lunch. I didn't live very close to the school. Otherwise, I probably would have brought it. But I heard that it would teach him to be more responsible if I didn't bring it.

As I drove to pick my son up, at the end of the day, I expected him to burst into the car and angrily ask me why I didn't bring it. Instead, he got into the car and happily chattered with his friends until I couldn't stand the suspense any longer. "Honey, I'm so sorry you forgot your lunch today." "Oh, no problem, Mom. Ben gave me half of his peanut butter sandwich, and Dan never eats his fruit anyway. I managed." My son found a way to take care of himself. He took responsibility and didn't call me to bail him out


Article excerpted from

Teaching your child how to give and receive a compliment will help him/her to appreciate others and to feel appreciated as well. Sincerity is the key to giving compliments. Voicing your favorable perception or reaction to someone or something is usually best simply stated. A true compliment comes from the giver’s heart and impacts the receiver’s heart. Compliments are often remembered long after they are spoken. They can lift, heal, and inspire great things.

Children 9 to 12 are very socially conscious. They enjoy receiving and giving compliments. Because they have watched and heard people interacting for a decade or so, they will probably follow the example and teaching you have given.

This is the age when your suggestions for appropriate responses to others will be well-received. Notice their successful encounters with others by noting the specific social grace they employed. Reflect back to them their sincerity or kind choice of words. Praise, as long as it is not overdone is a good reinforcement for positive behavior. If you wait too long to teach your child to give and receive compliments, you may find they resist your teaching and advice.
Older adolescents and teens have built-in radar for insincerity and may not respond at all to a compliment if they doubt the giver’s motives! If you have taught your child to respond to folks in a thoughtful and courteous way, giving and receiving compliments will become a natural way of responding to others. Just remember you may not see the true fruits of your instruction until they are grown. In the meantime, trust that you have done your job!

Main Points to Address:

*Children this age are receptive to instruction on social graces.

*Notice successful encounters with others by complimenting your child.

*Trust that your child has learned what you have taught even though there may not be much proof as yet!


Article excerpted from

Teach Values: Emily Post calls it the "Golden Rule of Parenting": Be the person you want your child to be (and that means all the time, not just when you think she's watching.) Point out to her the everyday good manners you use, such as holding the door for the person behind you and saying “thank you” to the cashier. In her book, Post warns: “Be on guard against unintentionally pejorative or condescending comments. Remarks such as …‘I’d hate to spend my life in a wheelchair’ may seem benign but can create the impression in a child’s mind that poverty and disability are character flaws.” Teach your child the value of selfless acts; encourage him (without forcing) to donate some of his toys to a holiday gift drive.
Raise a Good Sport: Your fifth grader should recognize good and bad examples of sportsmanship. Remind children of the importance of thanking losers and congratulating winners, even when the team lost by one point in triple overtime. Post says if your daughter’s favorite player throws his racket after losing a match, talk to her about this. Ask questions, like, “Was that right? What else could he have done to control his anger?” Post says this is a great opportunity to talk to your child about controlling their own anger in similar situations.

Encourage Communication: Next time your child has an argument with his friend, use it as an opportunity to practice resolution strategies and instill a sense of responsibility. Encourage your child to sit down with his friend and talk it out using “When I feel…” statements and basic negotiation techniques, such as “I’ll apologize for hitting you, if you apologize for taking my bag.”

Get Out-and-About: By fifth grade, you can allow your child out on independent ventures in a controlled environment. Post says that when her children were young they would all go to family night at the local ice hockey rink to watch the game. “I would let them run down to the snack bar with a group of their friends,” she says. “It builds self-confidence and social skills to be on their own.”


This week, we have emphasized the Scientific Method of Inquiry as we have investigated the factors that affect motion. Here's a website designed to help your child solidify his/her understanding of the Scientific Method:


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!


For the latest information about upcoming events and curriculum information, visit my website. It is updated regularly:



2/10- PTA Exec. Board Meeting, 7:00 pm

2/11-10/15- Chipotle night (4-8)

2/12- All Pro Dads 7:00 am (library)

- Valentine Parties, 2:20-2:50 pm

2/12- Parent Teacher Conferences, 2:50-8:00 pm

Scholastic Book fair

2/12- Early Release, 12:50 Parent/Teach Conferences, 12:50-8:00


2/16- NO SCHOOL- President’s Day

2/19- Papa John’s Night

2/19- 2nd Grade Music Program 5:30 pm

2/26- 3rd Grade Music Program, 5:30 pm


3/4- CiCi’s Pizza Night, 4:30-8:00 pm

3/10 PTA General Meeting, 7:00 pm

3/10-10/15- Chipotle night (4-8)

3/12- All Pro Dads 7:00 am (library)

3/20- Family Fun Festival

3/24- Kindergarten Round up 5:30-6:30

3/24- Baskin & Robbins 4-8pm

3/30 to -4/3 NO SCHOOL, Spring Break


Spring Picture Day

4/7- McDonald’s Night(Teachers work) 4-8

4/8- CiCi’s Pizza Night, 4:30-8:00 pm

4/9- All Pro Dads 7:00 am (library)

4/9- All Pro Dads 7:00 am (library)

4/9- Moms & Muffins 7:15-7:45 (Last name A-L)

4/10-Moms &-Muffins 7:15-7:45 (Last name M-Z)

4/14 - PTA Exec. Board Meeting, 7:00 pm

4/15-10/15- Chipotle night (4-8)

4/23- Culver’s Night (Teachers work) 5-8

4/23- Opera at school

4/24- Movie on the Playground

- McNights @ McDonalds (4:00-8:00)


Here is the specials schedule for next week:

Monday, February 16: No School

Tuesday, February 17: Music

Wednesday, February 18: P.E.

Thursday, February 19: Art

Friday, February 20: Library