Ms. Jessup's Newsletter

March 15, 2014

Class Moto

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Spring Break Note

Happy Spring Break!

Dear Families,

It’s hard to believe that 3/4 of the year has already gone by. I just wanted to take this opportunity to let you know what a joy it is to teach your child. Each year, it seems every teacher and student is nervous and anxious about how the year will go, unsure of what it will bring... but this year has by far surpassed my expectations.

These kids have grown to be VERY special to me, and I will always cherish each one of them. Thank you for allowing them to spend so much time with me, for supporting and challenging them at home, and for being patient as there are many things we have learned together. I hope that each of you have a blessed Spring Break and an enjoyable St. Patrick’s Day.

Thanks again for all you do as parents, and for all the times your selfless job goes unnoticed...


Ms. Jessup

D2L Parent Access Survey

Dear Parents of 5th Grade FLiP Students:

Thank you for participating in the Parent Access pilot for the Park Hill School District’s learning management system Desire2Learn. Throughout the last three weeks, you have had the opportunity to access your student’s course content in Desire2Learn. At this time, we are requesting that you complete an anonymous survey so that you can provide input to help us improve Desire2Learn Parent Access for Park Hill families. Your feedback regarding this pilot is critical to the Park Hill School District as we prepare for district-wide implementation of Parent Access.

Please go to the following link and complete the anonymous survey.

Thank you for participating in our D2L Parent Access pilot.

Jill Watkins

Instructional Technology Facilitator

Department of Instructional Technology

Levy Community Discussion

Q: Do you know what the math book said to the teacher? (keep scrolling for answer)


9-9 More Adding and Subtracting Fractions

Fractions with unlike denominators can be added or subtracted by replacing fractions with equivalent fractions with like denominators. The product of the denominators of two fractions is a common denominator of both. (We learned how to solve problems by adding and subtracting fractions with unlike denominators.)

10-6 More Adding and Subtracting Mixed Numbers

There is more than one way to add or subtract mixed numbers. (We used addition and subtraction of mixed numbers to solve problems.)

9-10 Problem Solving: Draw a Picture and Write an Equation

Information in a problem can often be shown using a diagram and used to solve the problem. Some problems can be solved by writing and completing a number sentence or equation. (We learned how to draw pictures and write equations to solve problems.)

10-7 Problem-Solving: Draw a Picture and Write an Equation

Information in a problem can often be shown with a picture or diagram, which can be used to understand and solve the problem. Some problems can be solved by writing and completing a number sentence or equation. (We learned how to draw a picture and write an equation to accurately solve a problem.)





  • create opinion pieces that are fully sustained and consistently and purposefully focused on topics or texts, supporting a point of view with reasons and information
    • introduce a topic or text with a clearly stated opinion that is strongly maintained and communicated within the context
    • provide a concluding statement or section related to the opinion presented


  • create an organizational structure in which ideas are logically grouped to support the writer's purpose (e.g. introduction, body, and concluding paragraphs)
  • link their opinion and reasons using words, phrases, and clauses (e.g. consequently, specifically)
  • logically progress their ideas from beginning to end
  • create an effective introduction and conclusion for audience and purpose


  • provide thorough and convincing support/evidence for the controlling or main idea that includes effective use of sources, facts, and details
  • provide logically ordered reasons that are supported by facts and details
  • smoothly integrating the use of evidence from sources that is comprehensive and relevant

Produce and Distribute Writing
  • develop and strengthen writing as needed by planning, revising, editing, rewriting, or trying a new approach in collaboration with adults and peers
  • produce clear and coherent writing in which the development and organization are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience
  • use technology with guidance, including the Internet, to produce and publish writing as well as to interact and collaborate with others
  • demonstrate sufficient command of keyboarding skills to type a minimum of two pages in a single sitting

  • conduct short research projects that use several sources to build knowledge through investigation of different aspects of a topic
  • draw evidence from literary or informational texts to support analysis, reflection, and research
  • apply grade 5 reading standards to literature (g.e., "Compare and contrast two or more characters, settings, or events in a story or a drama, drawing on specific details in the text [e.g. how characters interact].")
  • apply grade 5 reading standards to informational texts (e.g., "Explain how an author uses reasons and evidence to support particular points in a text, identifying which reasons and evidence support which point[s].")
  • summarize or paraphrase information in notes and finished work and provide a list of sources


A Closer Look at FLiP


  • Read with sufficient accuracy and fluency to support comprehension by reading on-level text with purpose and understanding.
  • Use context to confirm or self-correct word recognition and understanding, rereading as necessary.

  • Summarize two or more main ideas of a text using key details through literature and informational text.
  • Summarize fiction text including all literary elements (e.g. setting, characters, problem/solution, and events).

  • Quote accurately from a text when explaining what the text says explicitly and when drawing inferences from informational text and literature.

Author's Purpose and Point of View
  • Explain/analyze how the author uses reasons and evidence to support particular points in informational text.
  • Describe how a narrator's or speaker's point of view influences how events are described.
  • Analyze multiple accounts of the same event or topic, noting important similarities and differences in the point of view they represent.

Literary Elements
  • Determine a theme of a story, drama, or poem based on the point of view and details from the text, including how characters in a story or drama respond to challenges or how the speaker in a poem reflects upon a topic.
  • Compare and contrast two or more characters, settings, or events in a story or drama, drawing on specific details in the text (e.g. how characters interact).

Text Features and Structures
  • Explain how a series of chapters, scenes, or stanzas fit together to provide the overall structure of a particular story, drama, or poem.
  • Use the overall structure (e.g. chronology, comparison, cause/effect, problem/solution) of events, ideas, concepts, or information in two or more texts.

  • Integrate information from several texts on the same topic in order to write or speak about the subject knowledgeably.
  • Draw on information from multiple print or digital sources, demonstrating the ability to locate an answer to a question quickly or to solve a problem efficiently.

Compare and Contrast
  • Compare and contrast stories in the same genre (e.g. mysteries and adventure stories) on their approaches to similar themes and topics.
  • Compare and contrast how visual and multimedia elements contribute to the meaning, tone, or presentation of a text (e.g. graphic novel, multimedia presentation of fiction, folktale, myth, poem).
  • Explain the relationships or interactions between two or more individuals, events, ideas, or concepts in a historical, scientific, or technical text based on specific information in the text.



Developing Investigations
The student will formulate a testable question and hypothesis that includes independent, dependent, and constant variables (e.g., related to the topic of force and motion) and determine the fairness of an investigation using the characteristics of a fair test.

Conducting Investigations
The student will determine the appropriate scientific tools to collect data, use the five senses to make qualitative observations, and measure and compare measurements from dependent variables collected from the inquiry.

Evaluating and Analyzing Results
The student will use quantitative and qualitative data to support reasonable explanations, use data as support for observed patterns and relationships, and analyze whether evidence supports proposed explanations.

Communicating Results
The student will communicate the procedures and results of investigations and explanations through symbolism, oral presentations, or writings.

Forms of Energy
The student will observe and explain that objects can only be seen when light is reflected from the object to the receiver.


Daylight Savings Time started last weekend, which means I finally won the 4-month standoff I've been having with my oven clock. -Stephen Colbert

Social Studies

The American Revolution
The student will describe the growing conflict with Britain that led to the American Revolution through the perspectives of Patriots and Loyalists.The student will explain the important principles in the Declaration of Independence.


March Book Madness

Author: Tony Keefer, 4th Grade Teacher, Ohio

During the month of March, like many people in the United States, I am consumed by college basketball. In my opinion the NCAA Basketball Championship is the greatest thing in the world of sports. The tournament starts with 64 teams, and through a series of one-game match-ups teams are winnowed from the tournament. In the end one team takes home the trophy.

One of the things in life I do love more than March Madness is reading great books. The amount of sleep I lose in March staying up to watch games between two teams I really don’t care about pales in comparison to the amount of sleep I can lose when I am in a reading flow.

So this spring I decided with the help of my class to combine two of my favorite things and have a battle of books that we called March Book Madness. This event didn’t get the national attention that the bigger March Madness gets, but in our room it was clearly the biggest thing going on for three full weeks. Every morning we anticipated who would win and move on to the next round. We discussed, voted, cheered, moaned, and discussed a little more. Some of us began rooting for new books when our favorites were vanquished.

The Set Up

To be completely honest, this idea sprung from the School Library Journal’s “Battle of the Books." However, I figured 16 books reviewed and argued about by celebrity author judges couldn’t match the excitement of over 50 books getting judged by the biggest fans and harshest critics of books for kids -- 4th grade students.

The books we included were all books that I had read aloud to the class this year plus books the class submitted. In order to submit a book, a student had to love the book so much he or she convinced somebody else from the class to read it.

Before each vote I would quickly summarize the gist of the story and answer questions from students who may not have read the book. This was actually a hard job for me, because I was trying to be as impartial as possible. For example, when Powerless (one of my new favorite books) came up for a vote I seriously tried to conceal my favoritism. In the few cases in which a book I have not read made the bracket, like 13 Gifts, I would let a student take my role as summarizer. Then students would talk in pairs or threes about the qualities of each book and which book they thought was better. After the discussions we voted.

I decided to keep the voting process simple and secret. By this point in the year, my class typically can be very opinionated about books. We have no problem sharing what we like and don’t like. I think this is a great thing, but it can lead to the more powerful personalities swaying their peers. I would announce the winner after the vote and record the vote count like a score on our bracket. In the end a surprise winner emerged. Sidekicks by Dan Santat was champ.


When I think about what March Book Madness did for my class, nothing but positives float through my mind. I have narrowed my reflections done to four key ideas that have cemented the fact that I will continue to do this for the rest of my teaching career.

1. The elevation of thinking about books: I think I do a pretty good job pushing kids to go beyond “This book is awesome” or “I think Percy Jackson is cool,” but with each book vs. book battle, the kids had to dig more and more to justify thinking. When you are faced with a match-up of two books you have loved, it becomes very thought-provoking to consider “Which will I choose?” Since one of the voting requirements was “You have to vote,” tough decisions needed to be made. We had to become more thoughtful about why we loved certain books.

2. The power of choice: I have always been a steadfast believer in the power of choice in reading. March Book Madness provided me with incredibly visible evidence of this. Books that the kids valued consistently won the match-ups. Since I had no part in the voting, the kids took this over with the love of books they chose to read. The Final Four had only one book I had read aloud. In fact of the other three books in the Final Four, I had only presented one of them in a book talk. This showed me that when given a choice, kids will find books they love. Then they will convince others to read them.

This March was the best of my teaching career because every day my classroom was jumping with excitement about books, real books. When we were done, I had them write a reflective letter to me about our book tournament. I will leave you with some of their comments:

“I want to do March Book Madness every year. Can you tell the 5th grade teachers to do it?” -- Caroline

“I loved it. It was fun wondering who would win.” -- Mikey

“You should do this every year. It was awesome.” -- Sarah

“I read three books I didn’t think I would because of MBM.” -- Ilyas

“I wasn’t happy about my favorite not winning, but it was still great to vote on favorite books. I would love to do this again.” -- Grace

I encourage you to give March Book Madness a chance. Who knows? You might end up having as much fun as we did.


Ms. Jessup's Class' March Book Madness Bracket

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Is winter over!? Can we put sweaters and coats away!? (Please make sure students still have jackets, when needed. Thanks!)

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Summer School Enrollment

Thursday, March 27th 2014 at 3:30pm to Wednesday, April 30th 2014 at 3:30pm

6501 NW 72nd St

Kansas City, MO

Summer Journey packets will be sent out on Wednesday, March 27th. Enrollment will run from March 27th through April 30th.

Grades 6-8 will be held at Plaza Middle School, June 2-July 3 from 7:45 am-3:15 pm.

· Transportation is provided.

· Breakfast and lunch are available each day.

Park Hill Summer School 6-8

Spring Pictures

Friday, March 28th 2014 at 11:30am

5801 NW Waukomis Dr

Kansas City, MO

Please mark your calendar for spring pictures!

Pre-participation Sports Physical

Saturday, April 19th 2014 at 9am-3pm

4500 NW River Park Dr

Kansas City, MO

Please note that the District Pre-Participation Sports Physicals will be held Saturday April 19th from 9am – 3pm at Park Hill South High School (the athletic training room area). This is for student-athletes and/or any student needing a physical, such as for church camp; boy scout camp; leadership camp, etc.

Please ask your classroom teacher for a copy of the physical form so you may fill out pertinent information prior to coming for the physical exam. Physical forms are also available online on the Park Hill South website or on the MSHSAA website.

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to email or call.

Thank you,

Marcia Umscheid, ATC, LAT

Marcia Umscheid, MS, ATC, LAT

AP Biology Teacher/AP Environmental Science Teacher

Certified Athletic Trainer

Environmental Club Sponsor/Ski Club Sponsor

Park Hill South High School 4500 NW River Park Drive Riverside, MO 64150

Office: 816-359-5898 Fax: 816-359-4129

Plaza Tours- Mark Your Calendar!

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Line Creek Spotlight 2013-2014

March Leadership Luncheon

Students voted for this month's representative for the March Leadership Luncheon. Students vote and write a short summary on how the chosen candidate displays the 7 Habits trait of the month.

Please help me in congratulating this month's representative... Bailey Tims!

Previous Representatives:

  • Colby
  • Tess
  • Sydney
  • Justine
  • Bryston
  • Holden
Food Service in Park Hill

A: The math book said, "I've got problems!"