Wednesday, January 6, 2010

January 6 "Year's end is neither an end nor a beginning but a going on, with all the wisdom that experience can instill in us." ~Hal Borland

HAPPY NEW YEAR, EVERYBODY! I hope 2009 closed on a happy note. (There was a "blue moon" on the 31st; did you notice?) I must tell you that my brother, who lives in Essex, called me on Sunday evening, January 3rd, to tell me he had over three feet of snow -- and I wondered if the first storm of 2010 would provide us with one additional day of vacation. Note to self: It's not a good idea to go to bed with that mindset...

Anyway, welcome back! I'm completing the design of a fun, activity-filled Explorers unit; in a day or so, I'll provide you with a syllabus to describe each activity and an outline of the final product. Today's assignment is to complete a mini-book describing the seven basic reasons that explorers, well, EXPLORED. See if your child can remember them without looking at his/her paper. (Just so you know, they are curiosity, wealth, fame, national pride, religion, foreign goods, better trade routes) (These mini-books are due on Friday.)

In Language Arts, we've begun writing a Basic Explanatory Essay--ask your child to describe how to write one. The format, once learned, will provide them with a "recipe" for creating a good descriptive essay. Helpful information! There will be a district writing prompt at the end of the month, and this will provide much needed practice in elaboration. (Second drafts of B.E.E.s are due tomorrow--they should look for ways to expand upon/elaborate on first drafts).

We're also back to doing Grammar, Vocabulary, and Spelling, so help me help them, please. I go over Grammar here, but in the off-chance it wasn't completed... Spelling tests are always on Friday (or the last day of the week).

With the new year comes a renewed determination to work hard and stay on track. The BEST of intentions, wouldn't you say? ...With our help, I think they just might pull it off!

It's good to be back in touch. Have a great evening!