Thursday, January 7, 2010

January 7 ~ "Winter is the time for comfort, for good food and warmth, is the time for home." ~ Edith Sitwell

a Vermont scene by artist Mona Brown

Hi everybody - Sorry for the late post; I had class tonight. It sure makes for a long day...

Students are rallying to improve the quality and timeliness of work, and as part of that initiative, we have posted a colorful chart in our room to keep track of assignments. Something as simple as a visual reminder has proved to be a great motivator for everyone to complete and turn in work! (I think it feels good to systematically check completed work off on the chart.) I'm proud of everyone's enthusiastic response and their willingness to utilize this helpful tool.

Well, Basic Explanatory Essays are coming along nicely. This is a process piece; that is, students are made to really look at how they develop a piece of writing through multiple revisions. It's nice to see kids accept the challenge to move out of their comfort zones and trust the process as it unfolds. (That process includes opening themselves up to openly sharing their work and receiving constructive criticism...) Thank you for encouraging them as they read their first drafts to you. That's exactly what they need--our faith in their ability to be successful. Tomorrow we'll type our current drafts (2nd) in preparation for future editing and revising on the computer.

I really like the way Social Studies is going, too. Each activity is designed to actively engage students in learning particular concepts about early explorers. Mini-books are due tomorrow (they were due today for 5th graders). Next, we'll move on to a lesson about early navigation and how explorers located and used the North Star as a compass.

Grammar, Spelling and Vocabulary packets are due tomorrow, at which time we'll take our Unit 12 Spelling tests.

That's about it for tonight... It's time to close. Take care; I'll be in touch soon-