Friday, November 21, 2014

Circle Letter 11/21/14

November 21, 2014

    Dear Families,
    We will finish our read aloud Matilda today!  An outlandishly crazy book with strong characters both likeable and not!  It has been fun “stepping into the shoes” of Matilda, Ms. Honey or Mrs. Trunchbull.  All in all we are quite glad we don’t have her for our principal (big fans of Mr. Foster!)  and we do wish Matilda went to our school J
    In math we have focused on the fact families with multiplication and observed that knowing your multiplication helps with division facts.  We continue to do games and activities to help learn the facts.  It would be great if your kiddo would practice multiplication facts and/or play multiplication games on the computer over Thanksgiving.  Remember the Everyday Math on-line games.  There are some good one. And also the Math Reflex site that came home last week.
    Writing this week has us thinking about all sorts of ideas, opinions and reasons to help persuade.  I look forward to reading the students Finish –It responses… should schools assign homework? We will continue persuasive writing after the Thanksgiving Break.
    We continue our weather unit and have done some investigations this week with water, fans, sunlight and clotheslines.  Today we got the opportunity to design, craft and build model windmills, as an enrichment project.  Anytime students get a hands-on creative project to do… fun is bound to be had!  Be sure to get the scoop from your child!
    And lastly, we are sad to say goodbye to Caden and will miss her.  Of course we wish her well with her move!  Happy Travels Caden J
    And… Happy Thanksgiving to you all.  I hope the food will be delicious and plentiful with good company to share it with.  Enjoy the time away from homework, red folders and lunch boxes! 

Friday, November 14, 2014

Circle Letter 11/14/14

November 14, 2014

    Dear Families,
         Early in the week we shared our “small moment” writing with Ms. Peternell’s class.  An important part of the writing process is to share with an “audience” and it has been a lot of fun.  The listeners comment on strong leads, endings, and strong details, make connections… and certainly offer lots of compliments!  Each student will bring home his/her personal narrative today to share with you.  Enjoy!  If you could please bring the narratives back to school, on Monday, we will put them into the student portfolio.  We are now working on persuasive writing…! Forming opinions, crafting a thesis statement and giving reasons why we hold this opinion. Wow!
            We have had an interesting week weather wise.  Our focus has been on the atmosphere and what goes on 4 miles up, 8 miles up, 12 miles up and so forth.   We discovered that most weather happens just a few miles up.  Also, we have investigated with water in the air using humidity strips. (lots of fun!)  In fact, your child can show you when they bring home a humidity strip today.  Lastly, the kids have figured out the “mystery object” that we have been taking measurement readings from… curious?  Ask your budding meteorologist more about it.
            Our multiplication unit has begun as you have seen from the home links.  We will introduce easy, fun games to play that help with fact recall.  Please make the time to play them at home as well. Also, information on Reflex Math came home yesterday, along with your child’s password.  This is a useful resource to practice addition and multiplication facts.  Check it out!
            Lastly, I am in need of some “behind-the-scene” help cutting and gluing student poetry books.  If you have a few hours to spare and like this sort of activity please send word!  Thank you for considering this in advance!   
            Tonight at 7 pm the Court Jesters play a basketball game at Traip Academy… this is a great fundraiser for our Kittery Rec Department and it is guaranteed good time fun for the whole family if you are looking to get out! 
            Lastly, our annual Food Drive has begun.  Food items can be brought to the front office all next week.  Thank you for your support.

            Enjoy the weekend~

Friday, November 7, 2014

Circle Letter 11/7/14

November 7, 2014

    Dear Families,
         We started the week with some voting ourselves and a little discussion about the voting process.  Our vote was a bit more playful… Oreos vs. chocolate chip cookies vs. orange slices.  I was surprised orange slices did as well as it did.  Get the scoop from your kiddo about the voting results!
We have just begun our new writing unit, Opinion and Persuasive Essay writing.  We will practice forming opinions about topics and issues we strongly believe in and develop sound reasons to defend our ideas.  We tried persuading Mr. Foster with an idea of ours as a warm up exercise.  Stay tuned with the results…    This type of writing will be a nice progression from our narrative writing.  And speaking of the personal narratives… we will team up with Ms. Peternell’s class on Monday to have a writers’ celebration and share and then the stories will come home for you to enjoy!
Our unit 3 Measurement focus in math has been engaging with opportunities to work in small groups and measure, work with geoboards or pattern blocks.  Our students have done a fine job.  Today we will take the end of the unit test.  Our next unit is the first of three multiplication units.  So soon we will add multiplication fact practice to the addition fact practice…  any way you can help out, especially with cards games to make fact practice more fun, will make a difference in the long run.
Today we are meeting our new music teacher for the first time.  We look forward to the year ahead together with plenty of song and rhythm. 

       Lastly, we will “kick off” Veteran’s Day with a recognition assembly Monday morning. It is a great opportunity to see how many Mitchell students come from military families. Lots and lots…!  We have really enjoyed the photos of military family members.   Impressive!