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Classroom Update 11/6/11

posted Nov 6, 2011, 9:10 AM by Craig Yen   [ updated Nov 6, 2011, 9:19 AM ]
Thank you for returning the conference forms. Your scheduled conference time was noted on your child's weekly update this past week.  Report of Student Progress will be discussed and distributed during conferences. Do note that the last day of the first trimester is on Friday, December 2.

Thank you again to all the parents for helping to support your child's education.  Please note that we have booked our field trip to Sonoma on Friday, April 27.  Stations have also been set up through Spring Break.  You may sign up to volunteer for stations here.

Do remember that you must be follow the district procedure to be able to volunteer or to go  on field trips. Do sign in to the office each day that you volunteer.

This week, we had Heather Farms come to our school for a Keystone Species workshop. In January, they will come again for a composting workshop.

Also upcoming in January will be the Geography Bee (1/12, 1:00-2:40 preliminaries and 1/13, 1:00 finals) and Spelling Bee (1/24, 8:30). We will take a qualifier within class to choose six participants for each bee.

Language Arts
We continue to learn about different parts of speech. In particular, this unit has us working with singular and plural nouns. With our writing, we continue stress the importance of good organization as we write multiple paragraph pieces. This week, we will take a district writing prompt which will have the students working with a narrative style prompt.

We will also be taking the curriculum associates practice 2 ELA test this coming week to continue to evaluate where students are having difficulties and where we can continue to focus instruction.

We worked on learning more about figurative language this week, stressing the difference between a simile and metaphor.  Students were also introduced to hyperboles and personification. Within computer lab, we worked on an activity that had students choosing as to whether a phrase was a simile, metaphor, or personification.

Please continue to monitor your child's reading. They should earn at least 20 Accelerated Reader points. Good news with the program is that the PTA has approved the purchase of the web based version of the program which will provide access to all the quizzes that Renaissance Learning has for the AR program. This upgrade should be installed by the end of this year or early next year. With the upgrade, parents will be also be able to log in from home to monitor their child's progress.  More details will follow with regards to this upgrade to Accelerated Reader Enterprise.

We are wrapping up our algebra unit. Students did take the curriculum associates practice this week.  Perhaps our three chapter foray into algebra through the HM program has had an impact...  63% were at or above benchmark in practice 1 while 96% were at or above benchmark with an average score growing from 75.6% to 91.1%.  Another algebra quiz went home this past week and was sent home.

With our rotations and in our stations, we have been starting to work on long division. Through the use of marcy-cook tiles this past week, we continued to work on showing that link between multiplication and division. 

Number sense grew from the first practice from 69% to 81% with 88.9% at or above target. The otehr strands did not show as much growth, though valuable data was taken from them to be able to incorporate into future instruction.

We are wrapping up our life sciences unit as we conclude with chapter 2. Science chapter 2 test will be on Thursday, November 17. Do remember that vocabulary and outline sheets worth 10% of grade are due at that time.

Social Studies
Social studies chapter 2 test will be on Thursday, December 1. Native American choice menu activities will be due on Friday, December 2. Attached to the update this past week was the choice menu activities that students can choose from. Some links can be found from our class website.  Attached to this update is a copy of the menu activities.  Activities must be fact based and will be graded on content and presentation. At least three class sessions will be given for students to work on the activities and to provide feedback as they are working. In addition, some time may be required at home. A minimum of six points is required. Extra points earned will be additional credit towards student's Social Studies grade.
Craig Yen,
Nov 6, 2011, 9:10 AM