Wednesday, October 21, 2009

October 21- "Don't set your wit against a child." -- Jonathan Swift

It's supposed to rain on Saturday. I kind of like those "stay inside" days, warm by the fire....

Well everybody, assessments in their many forms have been completed at long last, and we can finally settle into a comfortable, predictable routine. Beginning on Monday, October 26, grades 5 and 6 will have Science and Social Studies twice a week for 70 minutes instead of daily for 30 minutes. On Mondays and Wednesdays from 10:15-11:25, Grade 6 will have Social Studies. On Tuesdays and Thursdays at that time, they will have Science. (Allowances will be made for snow days or holidays.) This will eliminate the choppiness of frequent transitions and shorter lessons, and provide the necessary time to work on projects and labs. Also, Reading groups start on Monday from 12:30 to 1:05. Math resumes in all its glory, too, from 1:45 to 2:45. Of course, Writing remains in the 9:10-10:10 time slot.

Hopefully your child brought home their American Indian information to continue working on this weekend. We went over a variety of strategies for taking notes and documenting sources. Next week, we'll put the written part of our project together ("Presentation Quality"). We'll also create live podcasts to post on the blog. These podcasts will be a brief (1-2 minute) summary of our information, complete with music and other special effects. What an excellent way to build fluency and technology savy, and make the blog more exciting to boot! Part of the project involves creating a replica/diorama of a shelter (
tipi, wigwam, longhouse, etc) used by each tribe set in the appropriate habitat for that tribe. I'm hearing wonderful stories about what some families are working on together. Other ideas to make the project more fun (food, clothing???) are in the information packet. I'd like to have everything done and ready to present on November 5th.

On Monday, October 26th, I'll give an independent book project for everyone's second book of the month; it'll be due on Friday. Ask your child how many books they've read so far this year--pretty amazing!

Well, it's time to go home. I hope you'll all have the opportunity to unwind and enjoy a little peace and quiet this weekend.

Talk to you later-