Thursday, December 11, 2014

Winter Activities

Ms. Kathy and I have been so busy  this year and it is hard to believe that 2014 is nearly over.  Our sixth graders have some lovely activities planned and are in the process of creating a flyer about them, but I also wanted to send as much early notice as possible.  Next week, our classroom will be doing the following activities:

Secret Santa
Each student will draw a name and anonymously give a small gift or two throughout the week.  Ideally these gifts should be little or no cost and include handwritten cards or letters and any other used books or toys that may be of interest that you are not using.  Each student will create an idea list that will be drawn together with the student's name.

Hanukkah Presentation
One of our students is planning to make a presentation about the Hanukkah.  If you know of anyone who is Jewish who could be of assistance, or happen to have any plastic dreidels, tokens or coins, please let us know. 

Compliment bags
This year the students will sew drawstring bags to fill with compliments for their fellow classmates.  If anyone has any extra fabric or ribbons that they would like to donate, please send it with your child by Monday.  We still have several scraps leftover from last year's project, but fewer choices.  Students will take their bags home on the last day of school.

Holiday Concert:  December 18
Our class, along with Mr. Joe's class will perform at the Citadel retirement community in Mesa at 2p.m. (on Broadway and Higley) After the performance, our students will be have the opportunity to interview the residents.  Students should be picked up at 3:30 directly from the venue.  Parents are welcome to pick up early if needed.  Further details will be sent home and posted on our class website:  www.mecroom102.blogspot.com We are also planning a similar concert for parents in the evening in January.

Candy Engineering
This year the students want to take their skills with gingerbread up a notch from last year.  We will send a link with volunteerspot to help ease the process in signing up to bring items, or you can click here: http://vols.pt/K7dtmT  
 We will design and assemble our structures on the morning of Friday, December 18 and enjoy a G rated movie afterward.

Fun Friday
We will eat lunch and play at the nearby retention area (near Poston) for the remainder of the afternoon on Friday.  

If your child will be missing any days next week, or leaving early on Friday, please let us know so we can make sure they have their projects and gifts to take home ahead of schedule.  Thanks so much for keeping informed and doing whatever you can to support our in-school activities.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Important Upcoming Events

Conferences
We are thrilled to have the opportunity to meet with parents and students to showcase their progress. Please call or visit the office to sign up for a time before or after school, or during the day on Friday, December 5th.  Parents of siblings should select two time slots. Students are encouraged to show their finished work and lead the conference.  If you have any questions or need to schedule a phone conference, please feel free to contact us in any way.

Tutoring:
Morning tutoring will be cancelled from November 24-December 4, unless there is not a morning conference scheduled. Children may still come into the classroom early if I unlock the outside door.  Afternoon tutoring is cancelled from December 1-4 in Mr. Joe's room.

Thanksgiving Feast: November 26, at noon
Parents are invited to join their children in our classroom for a Thanksgiving feast.  This week students will work in teams to select a recipe that can be prepared mainly in class through the use of crockpots, breadmakers, hotplates, microwaves, and refrigeration.  Next Wednesday, students will be expected to bring their food and prepare their dishes in the morning.  Parents are welcome to join us from noon to 1:30 to partake in the deliciousness that the children have made.  Please understand that this is the children's work and often mistakes are a valuable part of the learning process.  Many recipes were modified last year due to unforeseen challenges in the cooking process, but it is a happy learning experience for all.

We thank you again for all your support and for sending your amazing children to our classroom each day.  We are so pleased with how far everyone has come on this journey of learning. If anyone is leaving early for the holidays, please let us know so we can make sure your child is caught up on their work.  

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Visit our Far Away Lands and Cultures Wax Museum

Dear Parents,
Over the next few weeks, the upper elementary will be researching important
historical periods in time and will create a living wax museum on the Friday before 
Halloween (10-24-14).  Students will have time to work on this project in class, and 
we will research the time period, the lives of the people, and the historical 
significance of a civilization.  Students will need 3-5 scholarly resources, two of 
which must be books.  
We are planning to visit the library in small groups on Monday, 9-22, to 
gather our resources. Students must have a valid Mesa library card in their name 
or their parent’s name in order to participate. Students who do not attend the field 
trip will work with our Outdoor Environment teacher on their online resources and 
will be required to get a minimum of three books for homework.

How you can support your student during each step of this research project:

Return the permission slip for the library trip as soon as possible and 
make sure your child has a library card that is free from fines or holds 
(they need their pin too).
Have discussions with your child about possible research topics and 
guide them toward narrowing their choice.
Have ongoing discussions about your child’s research to help strengthen 
their understanding and help them begin using their own words for what 
they have learned.
Help provide support in finding scholarly resources on the internet. 
(They will have lessons and we will provide further guidance in this, but we 
don’t have as many computers as we would like, so it is helpful to give your 
child more time to hunt for appropriate resources at home).   The following 
link has a guide describing what is considered a scholarly source: http://pegasus.cc.ucf.edu/~janzb/courses/scholarly1.htm
Help with putting together a costume that matches their historical person 
of interest (for example, they could be a farmer in the middle ages). This 
should be very simple—we do not expect expensive costumes (we will also 
provide some time for this in class).
Obtain a trifold project board or similar presentation material.
Attend our open house on October 24, from 10am-11:15!

It is imperative that each child do the majority of their work with as little outside
assistance as possible.  Students will be compiling their research in class and 
receiving as much guidance as necessary in order to become competent and 
independent researchers.  Thanks in advance for your support!

Important Dates:
09/22/14
Library trip to gather research materials.
09/26/14
10 Source cards and note cards due.
10/03/14
20 cards completed from a minimum of 3 sources.  
10/17/14
Written report completed with bibliography.
10/20/14
Bring presentation board to work on in class.
10/24/14
Wax museum. Join us from 10:00-11:15am.
Sincerely,

Ms. Liza and Mr. Joe

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Please Come to our First Annual Show Me Night

You are cordially invited
to our

Upper Elementary
“Show Me Night”

Tuesday, September 30th,
from 5-6:30pm
in rooms 101 &102

Please use the following schedule of attendance
in order to reduce parking challenges:

Last names:
A through L 5:00 p.m. – 5:45 p.m.

M through Z 5:45 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.

Here your child will show off some of their favorite works
and give a brief demonstration of some of their learning.

Siblings in lower el and primary are also invited to attend.



Thursday, August 21, 2014

Homework and Planners

The first few weeks, I always focus on practical life skills, which are integrated in the Montessori curriculum from infancy to young adulthood.  We have talked about homework they can do that encompasses practical life that includes cooking, packing a healthy lunch, organizing homework space, following recipes, taking care of pets, and financial literacy.  Each student must record  what activities they chose for homework and get a parent signature in their planner each week.  Those who have turned in their signatures in their planners will be able to participate in additional outdoor environment, art, science, and music enrichment activities.

As the weeks go on, we will include other subject areas for homework and we are already seeing students completing quite a bit of academic work at home.  Our new planners arrived on Monday and most students have been pretty diligent in taking them home and returning them to school each day.  In these planners, students record work that they have completed during class time and in the final square of each day (labeled social studies) they are to record the work they do at home.  Students will receive extra guidance during recess as needed. It has been our experience that it takes 2-3 weeks for the homework habit to fully form.  

Many students have asked to complete their spelling studies at home and that is encouraged, particularly since we now have 20 spelling and vocabulary words to learn each week. In this planner, you will be able to see the work your child is completing on a daily basis as well as lessons given.  Because the students have been busy with multiple assessments, experiments, classroom conferences, and teambuilding, there are more empty spaces than you would typically see in a week's time.  If you have any questions, feel free to call or email us at any time. 

We thank you so much for supporting your child at home and preparing them to be wonderful learners each day.  We have enjoyed getting to know all our new families and witnessing the growth of our existing students.

Upper Elementary Curriculum Night

Please come to our Curriculum Hour on Tuesday, August 26, at 5pm.  You will learn more about our Montessori materials, activities and curriculum and how to support your child at home.  Free childcare is provided; please fill out the form sent home with your child.  We hope to see everyone there! 


Also feel free to email us with any questions at MECroom102@gmail.com
We look forward to getting to know all our wonderful parents better, and making plans for a fantastic school year!

*Please Note: Curriculum night will be held 2 days earlier from the originally posted date  in the welcome letter, due to our Skate Night fundraiser.  We apologize for the inconvenience.  

Friday, August 15, 2014

The Great Lessons of the Montessori Curriculum

This week, our classroom has been busy with learning the new classroom layout and materials, language and math assessments, and most importantly, the first Great Lessons.   Dr. Montessori coined the term, "Cosmic Education" to describe the lessons for grades 1-6.  This is because all subjects, including art, and music, are integrated with history, science, reading, and math, and the lessons are designed to nurture appreciation for the cosmos, and help children discover their role in the world, or cosmic task.

The first Great Lesson is known as the creation story, or "God with no Hands"  This lesson is designed to help children gain an appreciation for the size of the universe and the scope of the changes that occurred in forming the earth.  I always use the disclaimer that there are many creation stories from many different cultures and that even different scientists have varying theories.  This lesson is not meant to be taken literally as much as its purpose is to ignite interest in the world, universe, and other living things.  Maria Montessori wrote this story in a way to combine her scientific and spiritual beliefs in a way to spark children's interest in future lessons in science, history, geography, language, and math.  You can see a similar version to her original story here.

The next great lessons include, the Coming of Life, the Coming of Human Beings, Early Humans, the History of Language and History of Math.  In addition to opening doors to future learning, the lessons are designed to create an appreciation for those who came before us, or in other words, those who paved the way for the future we enjoy today.  We may not know who harnessed fire, or who developed the first alphabet, but we must be grateful for those unnamed people whose discoveries contributed to future innovations.  We explore these stories to create a desire within each child to do what they can to make the world a better place for their future.  More information on Cosmic Education and the Great Lessons can be found here.




Thursday, August 14, 2014

Daily Schedule and Other Announcements

In Montessori environments, children learn and work within 2 work cycles , one in the morning, and one after lunch.  It is important that children have this uninterrupted time to choose and complete work and conference with the Montessori guides throughout the day.  In this way, students are given the lessons that are most relevant to them according to their interests, abilities, and special needs. Montessori has a more fluid schedule than most schools, this allows for extra opportunities to fit in enrichment activities and mini skill lessons as needed.  Because of this, most children who are able to manage their time and choices and hold themselves accountable are able to greatly increase in academic, social, and emotional intelligence.

There can be a bit of a honeymoon period for those who are new to Montessori and used to having a teacher micromanage every block of time.  I assure you from my 12 years working in Montessori environments that in the end, with the right support at home and school, most children demonstrate tremendous growth in all areas of daily living.  Coming from a traditional teaching background, I find Montessori a superior method, both for gifted kids as well as children with skill deficits or special needs.  Please support your child by encouraging him or her to be prepared at home by doing  homework packing lunches independently (the first assigned homework), and encouraging them to be proactive problem solvers.  

It is also important that children arrive on time, with few absences and few interruptions during the work cycle, especially as we are getting to know your children and assessing their educational needs.  In early October, we encourage you to schedule an observation to see how the Montessori Method works in a typical day.  Our daily schedule is as follows:

Daily Schedule
8:30  Enter classroom, attendance, circle lessons, mad minute math

9:00  Work cycle begins

11:45 Clean up, songs or transitional activities

12:00 Lunch

12:30 Recess

1:00 Silent reading/writing, Literacy interventions and assessments

1:30 whole group geography, history, or science lesson

1:45 2nd Work cycle begins

2: 45 Cleanup, end of day music and games

3:05 Dismissal for sibling club

3:10 Dismissal for carline and After Care.

Specials

PE:  Wednesday, 9:40-10:40 with Mr. Glen, Friday 2:00-2:50 with Mr. Joe's class

Art: Friday, 1:00-2:00 

Outdoor Environment:  Monday through Thursday for one hour.  Day will vary, depending on individual child.  Fridays are reserved for students who have completed in-class work promptly.

Music:  Practice, and theory lessons will be mingled with academic lessons throughout each school day.

Library:  Tuesdays, 9:30-10:30

Tutoring
Before and afterschool enrichment and interventions will begin in September.  My goal is to make it fun and interesting. Please stay tuned for more details!

Monday, August 11, 2014

Happy First Day of School!

We thank you for your wonderful support at the start of this new school year.  We feel so loved with so many supplies and extras that make the classroom such a nurturing and creative place.  We appreciate all you have done and for entrusting your amazing children with us this year.  This class is so full of love and enthusiasm and we have enjoyed getting to know each new member of our learning community and also seeing the incredible growth of those we have known previously.  Please feel free to contact us at any time if you have questions or concerns. 

Water bottles
This time of year hydration is so important and since our classroom has a water cooler and not a drinking fountain, students are encouraged to keep a water bottle that can be refilled throughout the day as needed.  You can find water bottles at target and the dollar store for as little as a dollar.  Please do not fill water bottles with sugary drinks or tea, which has been known to make messes since we eat in the classroom.  We will ask students who bring such drinks to consume them at home.  

School Supplies
A big thank you to all who brought supplies and then some!  If you have not had a chance to purchase the supplies on the list, we really only need a one inch binder with a clear sleeve, and a graph paper composition book for each child.  Feel free to forgo the other items on the list.  I did forget to include scissors, so if anyone has a pair to contribute to the community supply, that would be great!

Group Snack
Please note that snack this year is different. Students will only be responsible for snack for 27 people, once a month, instead of bringing an individual snack.  This new system worked really well today.  Please look at your snack calendar to make sure your child is prepared for their day.  Your child will have the opportunity to help prepare and set up their snack on their day.

Thanks again for all your support in getting this school year off to a fantastic start!

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Have a wonderful Summer!

Dear Parents,

We want to thank everyone again for the privilege of working with your children this year. We cannot begin to thank you enough for your help and support in making this a wonderful year.  We wish our new 7th graders all the best and want you to know our door is always open to come and visit. We look forward to watching our new 6th graders learn and grow much as their leadership roles expand.  Mr. Joe and I and our assistants have worked hard this week to clean and organize the classroom and plan an amazing year for next year.  Please keep an eye on the mailbox in a few weeks to see the exciting changes we have in store for next year as well as a sneak peek at the activities and events we have planned for the year.  If you have any questions, feel free to email me at any time.  I still check this account during the summer, but not as frequently.

There was a water bottle, a couple notebooks, a portfolio, and a yearbook left behind.  If you find you are missing something, please come and check lost and found which will be donated or discarded within the next week.  Once again, thank you for everything you and your child/ren have done for us, especially the sweet handwritten cards and handmade gifts we received on the last day.  We are so pleased with how much each student has grown and look forward to a wonderful new school year in August.  
Have a fantastic summer!

Sincerely,

Liza and Kathy

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Field Day Change for Tomorrow

As a result of the weather forecast for tomorrow, Mr. Joe and I decided to hold our field day at the basin at the school rather than away at the park.  This will give us easier access to water to stay hydrated in the heat as well as a quick getaway in case of rain.  Feel free to bring any water balloons for our games directly to the school and the children will take everything we need to the grass first thing tomorrow morning.  We look forward to some outdoor fun!

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Announcements from our 6th grade graduating class


It’s Spirit Week at M.E.C.!!!
In room 102!!!

          This Friday may 23rd: crazy hat and hair day
Monday May 26th: no school (Memorial Day)
Tuesday May 27th: Pajama Day, yearbook signing
Wednesday May 28th:  Greek Mythology Day. (Dress as your favorite Greek Mythology character)
Thursday May 29th: Field and Sports Day (bring clothes you can get wet in)
Friday May 30th: Graduation ceremony for the 6th graders at 1:00 p.m. (Theme is geek and nerd; feel free to dress up as geeky or nerdy as you like. You may also bring a plain white shirt so classmates can sign it!!!)
 We will be celebrating the last week of school with a large amount of activities, which will include water balloons, pajama day, and many more. During our week not only will we be watching movies Tuesday afternoon, but we will also be exploring the amazing outdoors. This will surely be the most spectacular week ever!!!                                   P.S.
Parents are invited to come to the 6th grade graduation ceremony!!!
They are also welcome to dress up as geeky or as nerdy as they wish!!!  J     Sincerely,
Graduates of 2014                                                                                                                                   
         


                          


                                                                         

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Yearbook Coming Soon!


As the year is coming to a close, we are so pleased to see how much everyone has grown.  This is especially apparent as we look at the photos that Ms. Kathy and I have taken all year long.  I have made hardbound class yearbooks as an end of year project for nearly a decade, but this time we are particularly amazed at how quickly the yearbook has come together, thanks to our amazing 6th grade editors. We are so excited as we watch our latest group ready to leave the Montessori nest into middle school, making big plans and taking charge of larger works on their own, but we are also excited knowing that this year's 4th and 5th graders will be our future classroom models and leaders and they are definitely up for the challenge.    

We are almost finished putting in the final photos, art, and writing samples for the class yearbook and hope to have it ready to publish tomorrow night.  This was a challenge because my hard drive failed on my personal computer and I lost hundreds of photos of the class.  If you have any photos you would like added to our gallery, please feel free to email them to us.  I will share the link to our class photos shortly that we will also put in a photo gallery for graduation.  

Please note, yearbooks will be printed in black and white.  We hope to send you the color PDFs of our yearbook tomorrow so that if you wish to have a color copy to bind at school, you will have the opportunity to print it on your own in color. If enough people are up for printing their child's book in color, I could probably get a discount on the printing with enough willing to contribute to the cost.  The yearbook will have approximately 37 letter size pages printed on both sides.  We have the combs and cardstock for the binding that the children will use in class to make their own uniquely designed cover. 

Please be on the lookout for a new invitation for the End-of-Year Festivities that was developed and created by our amazing 6th graders.  The changes will also be noted on our class blog.  We thank you so much for making this a wonderful year.  We feel very privileged for the opportunity to work with your amazing children every day.  Feel free to contact us if you have any questions.


Tuesday, May 13, 2014

End of Year Activities

It is hard to believe the year is almost coming to a close.  After enjoying Pi Day, trips out to the Renaissance Festival and Chauncey Ranch, completing bookbinding and element research projects, as well as countless Montessori lessons, not to mention the AIMS and PARCC assessments and conferences, we are so excited to document our year with a student-made yearbook.  

Every student will take part in formatting two pages with their best writing and favorite photos and we will print up the yearbooks in black and white, but also send a color PDF for anyone wishing to print up their own color version at home.  Yearbooks will be bound as soon as all pages are formatted and ready to publish next week.  It is important that each parent sign the release form so we can download the photos into a website that is available to all the students and their families so that the photos can be self-selected by each student.  

Sixth grade students will have an additional published project that will be part of the final yearbook for room 102.  If you have any questions, feel free to email me at any time.


Spirit Week

The final week of school will have many different days of celebration.  Please take note of the following activities:

Crazy Hair and Hat Day:  Friday May 23rd.


Pajama Day: Tuesday, May 27th, .  We will watch a G-rated movie to be determined by the class in the afternoon.

Greek Mythology Day:  Wednesday, May 28.

Sport Day and Art Afternoon:  Thursday, May 29th.  We will walk to the nearby park in the morning and have a field day with Mr. Joe's class.  If you are able to donate any pre-made water balloons, please let us know. 

Graduation Day for 6th Grade:  Friday, May 30 at 1:00pm (Nerd and Geek theme)

Also, please note that tomorrow the students will be running a mile during PE and make sure your child is dressed accordingly.  Thanks for all you have done to support your child's growth and success at school.  We look forward to our upcoming activities and celebrations.


Thursday, March 13, 2014

Come "Round" to our Pi Day Celebration!

This week the children have been busy learning about data analysis and geometry concepts in one week!  We have had many math lessons and sensorial works to learn about the nomenclature of circles and gain a more concrete understanding of my favorite irrational number, Pi. To celebrate our learning we will also note the hour of 9:26:53 to share our calculations before we enjoy the "fruits" of each other's labors. (Pi day:  3/14/15, 9:26:53 vs. Pi: 3.141592653)

To be part of the Pi Day celebration,  please bring a circular item from home that you can share with the class. Examples include: crackers, donuts, cheese, candy, sliced fruit or vegetables, popcorn balls, paper plates, a pie, round brownies, etc.  Basically anything circular, spherical or cylindrical will work as a concrete and fun learning experience. Each child will record the measurements of their item in either inches, cm or mm depending on the size. Each student will then calculate the circumference, area, and volume of each item and then will share the results with the class.   If you don't have 30 identical edible items, please don't sweat it! My experience from hosting previous pi days has been that there is always more than enough food to go around after we make our measurements and calculations.  I myself plan to bring a round pan of brownies and will have my calculations made in advance as a model.  Children are welcome to do some measurements and calculations at home if they wish.  

This activity is designed to make math fun and we will provide necessary guidance for all students with all calculations.
We are also planning to do some circular art as part of our celebration. We thank you for all your support at home and wish everyone a happy Pi Day/Spring Break Eve!

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Algebra Fun

Dear Parents,
This week your child is on his or her way to becoming an algebra rock star!  We are amazed at how fast everyone is catching on.  I probably was a bit ambitious with one of the homework sheets that was selected.  If you want to know how to solve it, you can click here or do some simpler algebra problems that we did in class, using those worksheets or work found in the links further down.  

http://www.purplemath.com/modules/workprob.htm

If any of these problems are too hard, students are welcome to skip them and we will be able to go over them in class.  I don't want anyone spending more than 20 minutes a day on any of these pages because I want to prevent the level of math frustration that can make learning math more difficult in the future!

Here is a link for simple variable problems:


here is the link for a 5th grade level variable work:


Here is the link for 5th and 6th grade level variable work:

http://www.mathx.net/downloads/two-step_equations/MATHX.NET-Two-step_equations_integers_very_easy.pdf

To be clear, this is not required work, but we did promise the children that we would provide further opportunities for practice since we are getting so many requests for further algebra work to take home!  
Thanks for all your support at home.  The growth of everyone is phenomenal in math!
Liza and Kathy

Friday, February 21, 2014

Upcoming Activities: Renaissance Fair and Pi Day

Upcoming Activities: Renaissance Fair and Pi Day


We are so excited about two upcoming activities:  the Renaissance Fair (March 4) and Pi Day (March 14).  In order to prepare for these upcoming activities, we will be examining life in the Renaissance period, as well as covering the geometrical concepts needed to fully understand the value of PI.

Over the next week, students will research a chosen aspect of the renaissance and share with the class, in order to gain a greater understanding of this much-celebrated period in our history.  Stay tuned for more details!

 Pi day is to be a mathematical celebration of all things circular, where the children are invited to bring round foods and calculate the area, circumference, surface area, and/or volume of circles, cylinders, cones, and spheres.  Over the next two weeks, students will be busy measuring and calculating various geometric figures and forms as well as receiving the Montessori foundational lessons that concretely explain the concept of the number Pi.  Stay tuned for more details!

A big thank you to the outpouring of love we received on Valentines Day!  Ms.Kathy and I were touched by your many kind words and sweet gifts.  We will keep those words in our hearts forever! We also are pleased with how independent the children have become as they take a greater role in classroom celebrations.  It was especially nice to see how well everyone set up for our party and created and distributed the food and treats in such an organized way!  That is the ultimate goal in Montessori: to create a learner that is able to fully take part in society, not only through learning, but also by doing!  I will soon be posting a link to our photo gallery that documents all this beautiful learning.

Boookbinding Project

The last few weeks, students have been putting a great deal of effort into writing. We are so pleased as we have watched our community of writers develop a passion for putting their ideas on paper and developing a cohesive story, using their understanding of literary elements to guide and shape their ideas.  Since January, we have been exploring those literary elements and putting that knowledge to practice in an integrated unit of study.

 Students have been working extensively in the revising and editing process and many stories are now ready to publish into a hard-bound book for each student. This has been a lengthy process, where many have needed to rewrite and revise extensively in order to create a descriptive narrative that is fit for publication. We have examined structure of paragraphs, introductions and closings, word choice, and supporting details. While some still need more time, the majority of writers in our learning community are ready to proceed to this final step in the writing process.

In order to have enough materials for each student to be able to make their own hard-cover book, I am requesting that students bring the following materials to school if they happen to have them at home or could bring them:


  • thick pressed cardboard (not corrugated) that is found on the backs of pads of paper and some food boxes (we will cut it to size in class) 
  • spray glue
  • old fabric scraps
  • colored or decorative paper (letter size) for end-papers
  • fine tipped ink pens


If your child has typed their story at home, I need the original attachment so that I can easily format each story to be printed in bookfold form with page numbers.  Thank you for your support in this project that combines multiple disciplines and brings together Montessori lessons and state standards. We hope your child is excited about the opportunity to publish their writing for this important culminating project.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Homework For January

Dear Parents,
This week, we are continuing work with commas.  Anyone who is not able to complete the comma worksheets correctly will get additional grammar practice in school for the following week in order to improve writing and editing skills.  Also, we have been working on fraction, decimal, and percent equivalency for the last few weeks and students are to show 20 examples of each equivalency listed on the worksheet to take home.  This work should be done on a separate sheet of paper and be written legibly. Please encourage your child to ask questions at school if any of this work is unclear.  I am always happy to help with homework questions at specific times during the day. Also, any student with incomplete homework for the week will have to make up that work during outdoor environment time. Thank you for supporting your child in completing their work thoroughly, correctly, and in a timely manner.
Sincerely,
Liza and Kathy

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Welcome Back One and All!

Dear Parents,
It feels so great to be back in the classroom after a wonderful break with family and friends.  We had to start last week with several assessments to measure growth.  The school is also adopting a new and improved assessment system that will measure student progress in a more detailed way and provide more usable and measurable data that is able to separate mastery for each student according to each state standard!  The students were wonderful sports about taking so many assessments and for the most part showed tremendous growth.  This system will also help us give more challenging work for the higher achieving students as well as additional interventions for those on the lower end of expected mastery levels.

Upcoming Field Trips
We are planning a couple field trips including a trip to the renaissance fair on March 4, and a trip to the science center at a date to be determined in February.  If you have a science center membership or are willing to drive for either of these trips, please send me an email or text. Mr. Joe and I are still waiting to confirm our date change with Chauncey Ranch.  Our original date for the last day in April, did not work for his ongoing Montessori training and we are now shooting for one of the two weeks before or after.  We will keep you informed as we know more!

New Punctuation Homework
For the next few weeks all students are required to complete weekly packets on punctuation.  This will help our students in this weaker area for them in their writing.  This counts as the free choice as part of the homework requirements, so students will still need to complete a daily language, math and practical life work for homework.  Anyone that does not have a properly completed homework form with all attached homework will miss out on outdoor environment as a natural consequence.

Thanks again for all you support.  It continues to be a pleasure to be Montessori Guides in room 102!
Sincerely,
Liza and Kathy