This week, we will continue to learn about people who have made a difference and will begin to put together a community service plan. Visit the Language Arts page and click Unit Project Info + Links for updated information as the unit progresses. We are choosing projects that we would like to do, but we don't actually HAVE to do them. Therefore, most of the work will be done in class over the next five weeks. I have encouraged scholars to choose something that can be done with minimal assistance from an adult, so it IS possible that they can finish the projects, if they'd like... it's up to you.
To begin preparation for the future Smarter Balanced Assessments that will replace the CST and LAUSD periodic assessments, I will be giving a monthly assessment online through Pearson. We will have our first assessment this Friday. It will cover Topics 1-4 and 6. There will not be a pre-quiz on Thursday. Please make sure your scholar is practicing basic facts at least five minutes a night.
There will be an Earthquake Drill in school this Thursday. It is a good idea to review what to do at home in case of an earthquake. Visit The Great California ShakeOut website for more information.
Halloween is fast approaching. More information will be sent out shortly, but students are allowed to wear costumes this year. We have PE that day, so students should wear something under their costumes and wear comfortable shoes. Obviously, no blood, gore, or weapons. We will not have a party, but a small, fun celebration in class at the end of the day, with students winning a small prize for participating in my Halloween critical thinking activity - "Characters Dressed as Characters" (adapted from Byrdseed: Gifted Education).
The gist of it is this: Over the next couple of weeks, we will begin making lists of characters from specific literature, movies, comics, etc... or real life historical figures we have read about, and imagine who the characters might be for Halloween. The idea is to make a connection between two characters from different stories. For example, The Cat in the Hat might dress up like Captain Jack Sparrow, since both create chaos, but in their core are good-hearted. Or, Martin Luther King, Jr. might dress up like Dorothy from The Wizard of Oz, since they both had a dream.
I don't want you to have to go out and buy something specific, but it would be great if students could consider adding a layer to their own Halloween costumes, and come as a character dressed as a character. :)
We are adding California Studies Weekly to our curriculum for Social Studies. To login at home, visit http://www.studiesweekly.com/online/home. The username is your child's first name and the first letter of his/her last name. Please note that only the first letter of his/her first name and the first letter of his/her last name are capitalized (for example: ChristinaP). The password is room8.
Almost done! Only a couple more announcements:
The Language Arts page of my website is better organized now... The weekly skills are posted and include the spelling and vocabulary lists, plus other skills we will focus on during the week in language arts; we have a new poem of the week; the reading log is posted in case you need to download it.
I would like to do more on the laptops we have in the classroom, but it is hard without headphones. Some students have brought in earbuds. It would be great if everyone could have a pair. If you have any extra headphones or earbuds, please consider donating them to me! Thanks.
Lastly, we will launch our news website (News 8) this Wednesday. We are VERY excited about it! It will be a great way for the students to share with the world what they are learning.
Have a great week - and as usual, please email me or stop by if you have any questions.