Dana's Weekly Upate 9-6-12

posted Sep 6, 2012, 12:10 PM by Cynthia Friedman
Dear Families of my fabulous fourth, fifth and sixth graders, 

We are off to an amazing start! Jenny and I have had such a fun time getting to know all of your children in the last few days! I have found them all to be excited and positive about the new school year. It is always a great experience to watch the students come together as a group as they begin to set up procedures and expectations.  

This week and next we will really focus on making personal connections and on outlining our class expectations on everything from how to respectfully share differing opinions with a classmate to what defines quality work. We are working on generating class rules that will allow us to create an environment that supports persistence, creativity, a love of learning, empathy and quality work.  

As we strive to create our classroom, we have also worked on assessing our strengths and areas for personal growth. We are completing the EasyCBM test that measures each child’s current academic level in math, reading comprehension, reading fluency and vocabulary. We are also assessing our learning styles in order to consciously decide how to be most effective during work times. Over the course of the year we will be setting both short and long term goals and revisiting our progress on those goals. 

In order to get to know one another better, each member of our classroom has chosen a day to bring an “About Me” bag. This bag should contain 5-7 items that tell something about your child. It can reveal information about hobbies, family, likes/dislikes, places you have traveled, goals and dreams, or anything else that your child would like to share about themself. Please check with your child to see what day they need to bring their bag to class. 

We have started off our science curriculum with a bang (literally)! Ask your child to tell you about the three physical states of matter and give you some explanations and examples. We had some fun looking at phase changes and some “discrepant events” that hopefully got the students questioning the world. We are going to focus on inquiry and the scientific method this school year so observation and questioning will be important concepts. 

When your child is preparing lunch for next week, please remind him/her to bring food in a microwave safe dish or to bring along an extra plate or bowl for heating. We do not currently have any dishes or silverware for student use. 

Thank you for sharing your wonderful children with us! Please feel free to contact me with any questions, comments or concerns. 
and Jenny