December 13, 2017

Week of September 30th

It was wonderful to sit down with so many families this week and share thoughts and hopes for the school year. Thank you for making the time to meet together. If you missed out on conferences, please let me know of a day that would work for you, and we can meet either before or after school.

We just completed our first writing unit on true small moment stories. I was able to meet individually with the majority of the class and talk about their goals for the story, the best part of their writing, and possible skills to work on next. Many students worked incredibly hard to elaborate the heart of the story, balance dialog, action, feelings, and details, and/or capitalize, punctuate, and spell correctly. I plan to send copies of the stories home next week, so you can see the results for yourselves.

This week, students each presented their chosen poems to our class. Most were rather humorous, though several were of a more serious nature. It’s amazing how many students had to be encouraged to speak up, when the usual reminder is to quiet down!

Our ECO (Ecology in the Classroom and Outdoors) ladies visited once again. This time we used GPS to mark important spots in our outdoor classroom. The waypoints will be used as we develop a map and brochure for the site.

We began our science unit on Earth Materials this week. Students were given mock rocks and have been working to identify the materials of which they are made. First, they used a nail to pick the rocks apart, and discovered gravel and shell pieces. Then, the remaining gray material was crushed and mixed with water. Three layers were identified after settling. The class suspected that there might be something dissolved in the water, so evaporation is taking place over the weekend. We’ll check on Monday to see if anything is left!

By now, you should have seen the results of the continent and ocean test. Congratulations to those who correctly identified all of them! Those who haven’t yet mastered them need to continue to study at home. Visit for a tutorial and leveled practice. Students need to let me know when they are ready to be tested again.

The Sheppard Software site mentioned above has much more than World Geography. Your family may want to check out some of their activities, puzzles, and games involving science, vocabulary, math, and much more. It’s all free!

Here are two other sites that I have mentioned before:

Keyboarding practice at

Your child should know his/her user name and password. We have two very short periods each week at school to practice, so more time at home would be marvelous. Progress is saved, so he/she can begin on the next exercise.

Math games for the whole family at

At this point, I recommend Numskill and Kakooma, but feel free to explore the other options. Again, it’s all free!

Don’t forget Picture Day on Tuesday next week. Order forms went home earlier this week.


  • Monday, October 7th – Fire Safety
  • Tuesday, October 8th – Picture Day
  • Monday, November 4th – Alice in Wonderland play at MHCC
  • Monday, November 11th – Veterans’ Day Holiday
  • Friday, November 15th – Friday School
  • Thursday, November 21st – End of First Trimester
  • November 28th-29th – Thanksgiving Holiday
  • December 20th-January 5th – Winter Break





About Susan Handy