I hope you enjoyed your weekend. We are off to a great start. Our scholars are quickly learning the routines and class procedures and it has been a lot of fun getting to know them. This week, our schedule will start to look more typical. What won't be typical (I promise) is this long update. It is longer than usual and full of important information about homework!
Each Monday, scholars will receive the homework assignments for the week. The assignments are due the following Monday. I would like to help your child learn time management, so I will make suggestions throughout the week as to what should be done each night. It might seem like a lot of homework altogether, but it should take about 40 minutes each night (not including independent reading time). If it is taking longer, please let me know. Also, feel free to have your child type the assignments if he or she chooses.
- One of the assignments due each week is the "I'd Rather Read" log and response sheet. This is an ongoing assignment that is intended to develop critical thinking skills and mastery in writing a Response to Literature. Students are required to read 100 minutes each week, ideally broken into daily twenty-minute chunks (to nurture strong reading habits). The first sheet will be given out next Monday (August 31) and will be due Tuesday, September 8.
- My spelling and vocabulary instruction will follow the Reading Olympians program, which focuses on word parts (Greek and Latin root words, prefixes, and suffixes). A list of 100 frequently used word parts has been broken into ten sets. Each set is named after a Greek or Roman god/goddess. We will work with each set of ten word parts for about two weeks. Using the set of word parts, students will be given ten spelling/vocabulary words. They will be quizzed on the meaning of the word parts, as well as the spelling and meaning of the ten spelling/vocabulary words. We will begin our first set tomorrow, the Nike Set. The quiz will be Thursday, September 3.
- As they learn, find, and use the word parts, they will earn reading beads and ultimately reading tags for each set. Students earn beads for "Found Words" in class or at home. All they have to do is tell me the meaning of the word part and the word. They can complete an online form or printed version. You can help by pointing out words that contain the word parts. This is an optional, but powerful activity that will undoubtedly increase vocabulary.
- Periodic reading and writing assignments.
- Poem of the Week assignments will be given once or twice a month. Most of the work done at home will involve boosting students' comprehension of poems. They should read the poem several times over the week, both silently and out loud.
- The math homework will consist of problem-solving and skill practice sheets. I will begin to differentiate homework in the next few weeks, as it is my belief that students should be able to complete homework independently. I get most excited about seeing my students discover new ways to solve problems as they uncover patterns and relationships in math. Not everyone shares my excitement about word problems at first, and your child might feel anxious about solving them. You can help ease the transition by asking them to start by pulling out the facts, and then identifying what the question is asking. ("What do you know from the problem? What are you trying to find out?") Drawing a picture or a diagram is VERY helpful and we practice this in class. If you find that your child is stumped on a problem, ask him or her to come to me and ask me about it.
- Students are required to show their work. When proving their answers for the word problems, students should explain how they found their answer and try to show their work in two different ways. This will become easier to do as the year progresses and we learn how to prove our answers in different ways in class.
- In a couple of weeks, we will start our Earth Science unit, Rocks and Minerals. At that time, students will have a weekly science assignment about what we are learning in class. It may consist of one to three questions and act as a summary of the week's concepts, or it will include reading and answering questions.
- Occasionally, students will work on at-home STEAM projects. The focus will be on the Science and Engineering Practices that are part of the new science standards.
- This will not be every week. Students will read and answer questions from one of the two textbooks we use, or from CA Studies Weekly, which is a weekly social studies newspaper.
- Periodic geography worksheets.
Other assignments and activities will work their way in and out to keep homework feeling fresh. I will even post Alternate Homework Assignments your kids can do when they have the homework blues (more on that later!).
Thank you for completing my parent survey. You've all given me a lot of information that I will use to help your children. I am slowly piecing together a class email list based on the surveys I received. Once I get everyone's back, I will have a more complete list. I'd like to make sure everyone has gotten this update. Please email me to let me know you have received it. I will give a printed copy to those who don't respond by Tuesday afternoon.
- This Tuesday morning, I am hosting an informal Meet and Greet in room 10 from 7:45 - 8:10 a.m. Stop by for some coffee and a quick bite before starting your day.
- Back to School BBQ - Sunday, August 30 from 4 to 7 pm. I hope to see you there!
- Book Fair: We will visit as a class this Friday morning.
This Week's Homework Assignments:
1. Read, "Should Kendra Become a YouTube Star?"
- Using text evidence, complete the table and form an opinion.
- Answer the multiple choice and constructed response questions.
- Complete the "Write an Opinion Essay" graphic organizer.
- Practice Sheets (we will start the problem-solving sheets soon).
- Geography sheet
- Study for continents and oceans quiz (September 2)
- Complete the Nike Set journal we started in class. In the packet, be sure to include context clues in your sentences.
I hope I didn't overwhelm you with information!
Have a great week,