February 19, 2018

Mother Nature

Dear Families,

Welcome back to the normal routine of sending your kids to school. I heard from some of you that it was a joyous week in many aspects. While the students may not admit it because that admission would be embarrassing, there were many joyous occasions this week in our learning.

A major focus in reading this week was on tackling unknown words and summarizing the main idea of a text. We continue to use the book “Everything Weather” by Kathy Furgang as a tool to help us improve our reading skills. When it comes to unknown words, we can oftentimes figure out how to pronounce them, but we might not have an idea on what they mean. Lessons this week focused on using clues, like what the text is about, and surrounding sentences, to help figure out the meaning of the unknown word. We then worked on summarizing the main idea of a text, and used a learning progression to help self-assess our progress, later in the week. What we’re doing is not simple, nor can it be considered a cakewalk. I’ve been proud of the students’ efforts and attention to improving their nonfiction reading skills.

The Amazing Race, our geography unit, is on a roll. Groups started to wrap up their studies of the first continent they studied. Each group now has six left to study. Each week, I plan on showing students videos from and/or about a particular continent, with topics from food to dancing to geology. This week, we watched some interesting videos about Antarctica that focused on the wildlife that thrive there and how scientists and researchers survive there.

The highlight of the week came in the final hour of Friday when we wrapped up our research-based argument papers. Students wrote a letter to Mrs. Hanes where they argued whether or not they believe chocolate milk should be banned from the school’s cafeteria. Enjoy the following excerpts from some of their writing:

Please please please don’t ban chocolate milk from our school. The chocolate milk at the school is so good. The chocolate milk is better for kids because who would want to drink milk out of some cow udder.  It is just nasty. You need some flavor in that milk. ~Mac

According to Melissa Dobbins of Midwest Dairy Council, “Research shows that children who drink flavored milk meet more of their nutrient needs do not consume more added sugar, fat, and calories, and are not heavier than non milk drinkers.” This shows that chocolate milk can actually help some kids. Because some children need sugar. And chocolate milk is one of them. ~Isabel

Okay let’s face it; chocolate milk, tastes good. I myself will drink more milk if it’s chocolate milk.  To back this up most kids will agree with me, my reasons are,

  1. It tastes good  
  2. It is good for your bones
  3. White milk will not be wasted ~Aiden

Reason three chocolate milk is better than regular milk. You can make your own chocolate milk at home. You can put chocolate syrup in milk, and that turns into chocolate milk. Chocolate milk just tastes better than regular milk. Chocolate has a very appealing taste.  That’s why I think that we should not ban chocolate milk. ~Brenna

I think chocolate milk should be banned from school because it has a lot of negative effects. When it goes in your body, it hurts your liver.  For example, I read the back of the chocolate milk and it has 33 grams of sugar and your human body is supposed to have only 20 grams of sugar. Twenty grams is your entire day’s worth of sugar.  Chocolate milk gets you wound up and you don’t do your best in school. You are so hyper that you start to do things without thinking of it.  Once you wear the sugar out, you get so tired and you space off a lot, and you don’t know what you’re doing. This proves chocolate milk isn’t healthy. ~Hazel

Just when we get back in the groove of things, Mother Nature continues to throw a fit. Enjoy your weekend, which might turn into a long one. Here’s a great nonfiction read if you’re interested in one.

~Mr. B

Idiom of the Week: A Game that Two Can Play (Two Can Play That Game)

Vocab of the Week: Reliable, Orbit, Technology, Prediction

Dan Barnard About Dan Barnard

Dan Barnard hails from the Green Mountain State of Vermont where he grew up skiing, biking, and exploring the nooks and crannies of the woods. He learned to drive on his parents' station wagons, learned to ski at Smugglers' Notch, and developed a love for traveling by participating in school trips to France and New York City. He worked in many jobs ranging from ski instructing to babysitting to an after-school program that helped him decide he wanted to be a teacher.

He enrolled in Wheelock College in Boston, Massachusetts and earned a BA in Humanities with a focus on history and a concentration in Elementary Education. After working for two years in a suburban Boston community as a fifth grade teacher, he decided to move west to discover the beauty and bounty of Oregon. He worked for four years as a third, fourth, fifth, and sixth grade teacher in Mosier, Oregon. While working in Mosier he enrolled in graduate school at Portland State University and earned a MS in Curriculum and Instruction from Portland State University.