Sarah's Class Weekly Update 12-7-12

posted Dec 7, 2012, 10:45 AM by Cynthia Friedman
Class Work Highlights
This week the class started a new geography project. We are looking at volcanoes, types of volcanoes and their parts. Students are going to be researching vocabulary associated with volcanoes, and will have a choice of making a model of, writing a story about, or investigating where to find examples of this volcano vocabulary. 

In Science we are learning about pulleys, and how they can be used to make work easier. I put a challenge out to the class to design a pulley system where they could use an object to lift something ten times as heavy as itself. They could also choose to create a puppet show in which a pulley manages to solve the major conflict. 

We have a number of writing projects going right now. Some students are finishing up scripts which they have been working on, and will be presenting skits to the class. Others are revising an adventure story which they have been working on, and others are writing descriptive essays and focusing on the introductory paragraph. 

Most of our math groups are dealing with fractions in some way shape, or form right now, whether they are ordering them from smallest to largest, or finding reciprocals. Some students are learning to find fractions of whole numbers, while others are learning to multiply and divide fractions. 

Classroom Needs
Students will soon be making their own play dough in order to create models of volcanoes. If you have flour or salt that you could donate to the cause, that would be greatly appreciated. 

We could also use pulleys, empty thread spools, and/or rope for the pulley challenge that we are working on. If you have any of these items that you would like to donate, we will certainly put them to good use. 
Thank You
I would really like to thank all the families who participated in the Barnes and Noble book fair fundraiser. We received some great additions to our book group library, thanks to donations from our class wish list. Each class will also get $100 to spend at Barnes and Noble. I’m very excited about all these contributions, and touched at how willing everyone is to help our community. 

Creative Expressions
Upper elementary and Middle School collectively participate in a series of electives on Wednesday afternoons from 2:30-3:15pm. It is challenging for office staff when children leave for appointments during creative expression as the students are mixed in various groups throughout the building and they are challenging to locate for an early dismissal. Students also are disappointed to have to miss part of this fun time. Please schedule appointments for another time, if at all possible. 

Confidential Family Income Survey
Last year, 39% of Ridgeline students qualified for free or reduced lunch. Based on the few forms that have been turned in this year, it appears that only 22% of Ridgeline students qualify for free or reduced lunch. I am confident that this percentage is much higher but we need families to complete the survey to verify this information! 

If we serve more than 41% of students who qualify for free or reduced lunch, Ridgeline may qualify for additional Title I funding! Please complete and return the Confidential Family Income Survey (attached to the eNews or available at the office) so we can accurately report the socio-economic demographic of our student population. The summary information provides valuable data to be included on grant applications, capital campaign publications and is shared with other charter schools and our sponsoring district. Individual family information is strictly confidential. Please contact Chrystell Reed or Amy Genz if you have any questions. 

Assignments for the week of Dec. 10 – Dec. 14
Students are currently in the middle of a volcano project. Part 1 of the project involves defining vocabulary. In Part 2 they collect further information, and in part 3 they create a product showing what they have learned. All three parts are to be turned in together.
DUE Dec. 21 

Complete a work packet on screws. A work packet includes three things: An informational reading, a learning activity, and a written follow up.
DUE Dec. 19 

4th grade – complete a set of synonym grammar cards and the usual follow up.

5th grade – Write 10 sentences that use adverbs to describe other adverbs. Choose 10 adverbs from these sentences as your vocabulary words for the week and complete the usual follow up.

6th grade – Complete unit 10 in your spelling workbook and two sets of grammar cards.
DUE Dec. 10 

4th grade – Edit your descriptive essay to include more specific detail. Write a second draft of your essay describing a setting in a book or movie.

5th grade – Edit chapter 3 of your adventure story to include more details about the action.

6th grade – Write a newspaper article about an event from your current reading group book.