Dana's Weekly Update 11-8-12

posted Nov 9, 2012, 10:41 AM by Cynthia Friedman
Hello families, 

Another great week has flown by! Here are some of the things we’ve been doing: 

Read-In: On Wednesday, October 31st we had our first class read-in. We had a great time! The kids (and adults!) dressed in pajamas and brought blankets and our favorite books from home. We began the day with a silent reading time around the room, under desks and in cozy corners. Throughout the day we also had time to share about the books we are enjoying, read some student stories aloud and even performed some Reader’s Theater. After a great snack break that included hot chocolate, hot spiced cider, dried apples, pretzel, popcorn, and yes, we’ll admit it, a cookie or two, we went back to our reading-filled morning with read aloud and our weekly, student-led literary tea. It was a fantastic way to pass a cool and misty October day! 

Conferences: It was great to get to talk more with all of you last week at conferences! We had a fantastic turn out, with 29 families stopping by to talk with Jenny and me! It was great to see the kids leading the meetings; they did a great job sharing their portfolios, self-assessments and journals with their families. I was very proud of them, as I am sure you all are! Remember that the conversations don’t have to end there; be sure to contact me if you ever have questions, comments or concerns that you would like to share. If you were not able to come to conferences, please feel free to contact me with your possible times and we will schedule one for before or after school this week or next. Also, attached to this weekly update is a conference feedback form. Feel free to return this with any comments you would like to share with Jenny and me. 

Math: All six of our math groups took a break from the usual math to have some fun with pumpkin problems last week. We had groups solving story problems involving patterning, multiplication and division, other groups reading math stories and solving problems embedded in the text, and a group using the primary class’ pumpkin measurements to find mean, median, mode and more! All the kids seemed to agree that it was a fun and challenging math week! 

Field Trip: This week’s field trip to Cascadia State Park was fantastic! We had the best time hiking along the Santiam River, kicking up the leaves and marveling at the amazing trees, including one that is estimated to be 1200 years old! Our guide, Tony Farque, was extremely knowledgeable about the area and the Kalapuya tribe that lived there for hundreds of years. He pointed out the natural resources available to the Kalapuyas and explained how they used them to create their clothing, homes, canoes, beds, dishes, bows and more! He showed an area that had unparalleled fishing for the salmon that the Kalapuya used for their own food and for trading. He told us the recipe for, as he called it, the area’s first Powerbar! (Be sure to ask your kiddos about that one!) He also took us to the “caves” which were a major gathering place for the Kalapuyas and many other visiting tribes. This area is a world-renowed site for Native American petroglyphs, visited and documented by experts in the field of archeology. He told us the meaning of some of the symbols and the significance of the site to the tribes. The stories were exciting and fascinating to us all! Be sure to ask your students to tell you about this experience and share the five facts they recorded when we returned to the classroom. It was a super day of sun, friends and learning! Thanks to all my chaperones who made it possible: Adrena, Talicia, Robin, Cherri, Genie, David, Dan, Christy, Monique, and Chris!!! 

Thanks, as always, for the fantastic kids you share with us each day!
Dana and Jenny