This week was crammed full of activity! Hours of reading, writing, and math, along with special visits from our ECO ladies and a presentation from Professor Scott Burns of Portland State.
On Wednesday, we worked on maintaining our outdoor classroom (near the j.v. baseball field). Sarah and Betsy from ECO guided us as we dug up Himalayan blackberries and other invasive plants. Future visits will include mapping the area and working on a brochure.
Also on Wednesday, Scott Burns spoke to the intermediate classes. He is a geology professor from PSU and the author of a book on the Missoula Floods. After an informative presentation, he visited each classroom to talk more informally with the students and answer questions. Such a lot of amazing stories!
Every student read through at least one poetry book this week, and chose a favorite poem. One copy of the poem was sent home, and another copy tucked away in a folder at school. Students need to read over their poems dozens of times in the next week or two. During the week of September 30th, each student will present his/her poem to the class. They will begin by announcing the title, poet, and reason they picked the poem. No need to memorize it, but fluent, expressive, clear presentation is required.
After much assessment, spelling groups were formed, and words assigned according to level. On Tuesday, each group sorted their words, often by vowel sound. For instance, one group identified short a words, long a words with a silent e at the end, and long a words spelled with ay. Another group focused on beginning sounds, and another group analyzed compound words.
Categorizing words in this way helps students to learn basic patterns, which help in reading, writing, and spelling unfamiliar words. Word cards went home, which can be used for drill or games. The words were also written on the green homework log. Please work with your child over the weekend so that he/she masters the twenty words on the list. Tests will be given on Tuesday and new words on Wednesday next week.
In geography, students identified the oceans and major seas of the world. They need to continue practicing the continents and also add oceans to the mix. On Thursday, I will hand out a blank world map and expect them to correctly label the seven continents and five oceans. (Yes-five oceans. Geographers have added the Southern Ocean since I was in school!)
As I mentioned before, your child has a few minutes at the beginning of the school day to practice keyboarding skills. It would be extremely helpful if they could work more at home. Simply log in at http://www.typingweb.com/tutor/. Each child knows their user name and password for their free account, tied in to my teacher portal.
We will be using our typing skills to create messages to correspond with other students around the world. Next month, we will be matched with another class and exchange information about our country and culture. It will be helpful if everyone knows their way around the keyboard!
PS-Please contact me if you have not yet signed up for a fifteen minute parent-teacher-student conference. Let me know which date (October 2nd or October 3rd) and which time period (4-6 p.m. or 6-8p.m.) will work for you.