Dana's Weekly Update 3-6-15

posted Mar 6, 2015, 10:57 AM by Cynthia Friedman
Dear Families, 

Science Fair Homework (week 3): Students have now chosen their science teams and questions for our upcoming Science Fair. They are now ready to do some background research on the topic they have chosen. This research will help them think about their experimental setup, variables and will help the teams create their hypotheses. Your child’s homework this week is to complete the attached worksheet that will guide them through the process of finding keywords, asking questions and exploring previous experiments on their topic. The homework is also coming home in your child’s Friday folder as a hard copy. Feel free to contact me with any questions or for clarification of the homework or the upcoming fair, which will be taking place April 30th. 

UO Science Fair applications: In addition to the science fair homework, you will find an application to the UO Science and Invention fair in your child’s Friday Folder. If your child would like to enter their Ridgeline project in the UO Fair, please fill out the form and either send it back to school or mail it to the address given. The entry requires a $20 fee, which helps support the SPICE program that has been sending scientists to our class and also covers some of the expenses of putting on the fair. If your child would like to participate and you would like to get a scholarship for the entry fee, please check the box on the application form. 

Pi Day 2015: Every year in Room 8 we celebrate Pi Day, which falls on March 14…..3.14, get it? ;) This year is it particularly significant because it is 3/14/15 (3.1415 are the first 5 digits of pi.) It is a great day to celebrate numbers and their importance in our lives. On the days surrounding the official Pi Day we learn about the history of pi and how it got its name. We look at what pi represents by comparing the circumference and diameter of a wide variety of circles, marveling at the idea that, no matter the size, each circle’s ratio of circumference to diameter would generate the same number, pi! We prove this ratio of 3.14 visually with string and by graphing. We also discuss how pi can be used to find the area of a circle. In addition to the math of pi, we do other activities like making art out of circles, writing pi poetry, or making visual representations of pi that illustrate the varied digits of pi and show its non-repeating nature. Each year I also challenge students to try to memorize as many digits of pi as they can. We have many students who recite them in front of the class and they always amaze me! And last, but certainly not least, we celebrate Pi Day by….eating pie of course!!!    

So here is where we are hoping you come in! We need pie donations for our final celebration day. Pi Day this year falls on a Saturday so we will have some Pi activities both the week before and the week after. Our final day of Pi this year it will take place on Friday, March 20th. We will need a minimum of 5 pies. If you are able to donate a pie for the occasion, please let me know by Wednesday, March 18th. 

State Testing Parent Meeting – Mark your calendar and plan to attend an important parent meeting that will explain the upcoming changes in the new Smarter Balance state tests for grades 3-8. This is a great opportunity to gather information and to find out ways you can support your child. Please join us here at Ridgeline on March 19th at 6:30. 

Book Reports: Students recently completed in-depth book reports to wrap up their current novels. Students wrote a three paragraph book report that included a book summary, a discussion of their favorite character or event, and their opinion of the book. Each part of the essay required specific evidence from the book to support their reasoning. They did a great job overall on what was a first book report for some of the students! They are now reading from our anthologies, which focus on particular grade level skills in a variety of fun stories, author studies and other activities. For example, 4th grade students are looking at mysteries, 5th graders are working on inspiring stories and 6th grade students are currently engaged in a poetry study. 

Academic practice opportunities for home: 
Math facts: flashcards, writing facts, xtra math website*
Math skills: Khan Academy*
Computer skills: Khan Academy Hour of Code*
Keyboarding practice:

*= students have an account and know their password and login and can access these programs from home 

Upcoming Events 
· Saturday 3/7 OBOB Regional Tournament 6-8th grade
· Friday 3/13 No School (professional development)
· Saturday 3/14 OBOB Regional Tournament 3-5th grade
· Thursday 3/19 6:30 PM Smarter Balance State Testing info session
· Monday 3/23-Fri 3/27 Spring Break 

Thanks for your support! Dana and Rozelle