Dana's Weekly Update 9-14-12

posted Sep 14, 2012, 11:23 AM by Cynthia Friedman
We are nearing the end of our second week of school and are starting to feel settled in at our new home. We are all really enjoying the luxury of our two rooms and are having fun getting to know the school.

The students have been sharing their “About Me” bags this week and have come up with some interesting and creative items to tell about their families, interests, experiences and goals. It has been a fun way to get to know them better and a great way to practice our public speaking and audience skills. I have been very impressed with the kindness and courtesy the students have shown one another.

This week we have been working hard on our writing. We have created “Alpha genres” with a writing idea for each letter of the alphabet, worked daily in our writer’s notebooks and begun rough drafts for the Young Writer’s Association’s annual Scary Writing Contest.

In social studies we have started small group projects researching the Native American tribes of Oregon. The students are conducting research to answer questions about the tribe’s traditional ways of life and to find out how their lives were shaped by the environment in which they lived. We will work on gathering and organizing information and then groups will present what they have learned to the class on Monday, September 24th. Each group has chosen a different Oregon tribe, which will give us a good overall picture and a look at similarities and differences. In order to help with information gathering, we will be taking a trip to the Natural and Cultural History Museum. It is tentatively scheduled for Tuesday the 18th but I will send out a call for volunteers as soon as the date is confirmed.

We have continued our science unit on matter this week, following up on last week’s study on the states of matter and the movement of particles. This week we discussed some of the properties of matter, including mass, weight, volume and density and had some fun building a density column. Next week the student’s will have some follow up experiments with these properties that they may choose to work on during independent work time.

Next week will also mark the beginning of our “Creative Expressions” enrichment unit. Our class is teaming up with Sarah’s upper elementary and Jon’s middle school class to take part in some very fun and exciting opportunities. The students from our three classes will sign up for a course of their choice, choosing from cooking, creative writing, choir, knitting, mask making, painting, drama, Tai Chi and drawing. These choices will allow student to explore and develop their interests as well as get to know other students and teachers. These classes will last seven weeks, with the final week being a showcase in which students can tour each of the classes to see what their peers have been learning. I am really excited about this great collaborative opportunity! If you have a skill that you would like to offer to students, please let me know and we will see if we can find a way to work it into Creative Expressions in the future. It is always fabulous to have an opportunity to learn from our parent experts! 

Thanks for sharing your great kids with me!