Room 9 Updates

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Hi All,
I hope you all are enjoying our beautiful spring weather; I know I am!

This week, on Wednesday, we will begin CSTs. Because of this, I will not need Parent Volunteers for Wednesday through Friday of this week, or any days the following week. In addition, please make sure your children get to bed on time, and eat a good breakfast before school. Students may bring sugarless chewing gum to have in the classroom during testing, but please send enough to share. It is also helpful if you avoid scheduling doctor and dentist appointments during these weeks, particularly in the morning.

If your third grader has not yet printed an article on their chosen animal for animal reports, please have them do so right away. The kids are very enthusiastic about this project and it streamlines the process if students locate their research materials at home. Second graders are making great progress on their animal reports, which are being written during Rotations with their second grade group. And a reminder: second graders and all interested third graders should also have their Science Fair projects well under way.

Finally, please stay on your kids about homework. There have been several kids who have not turned in Lit. Circles, which are due every Friday. If your child forgets their Lit. Circle, it effects the entire group. A sense of responsibility is an important component of homework process. For the third graders, fourth grade --with graded homework-- is just around the corner. Students in both grades should also be studying nightly for their math timed tests. If your child is stuck on a particular level, it's time to re-evaluate his/her math practice sessions. However, during the testing period there may be some days when your child will not have the regular math homework because we will be doing CSTs in math.

Have a great week! As we enter this testing period, I will be working to keep the environment in school both focused and relaxed.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Hi All,

We have another busy week ahead!

On Thursday, our class is heading to San Jose to visit the Discovery Museum. All students must bring lunches on that day, as we will be gone from 8:00 until about 1:30. All of the parents who signed up for the trip are needed as I have exactly the right number of spaces for our class. Parent drivers need to send in money for their own tickets to the museum, as well as their kid's. At this point I have permission slips and money from all students but one, however many drivers need to send in their money. Thank you to all of the non-drivers who sent in extra cash to offset the cost of parking in San Jose. Drivers on this trip are: Mr. Bettencourt (3), Mrs. Benson (3), Mrs. Kolassa(2), Mrs. Jaque(3), Mrs.Lanagan(5), Mrs.Broxton(3), Mrs.Woodley (3). Thank you so much for your help.

This is our last full week before CSTs begin. We are doing some practice tests in class, which gives us an opportunity to review concepts addressed earlier in the year. Practice tests are also a chance to expose 2nd graders to the testing format, as this will be their first "state tests." Testing (for real) begins on 4/28.

We are also beginning our second block of Spectra Art. Claudia Stevens will be teaching drawing and painting for the next 5 weeks on Monday afternoons from 11:45-12:45. We are happy to have a real art teacher. Thank you, parents, for the fund-raising that makes this possible!

Third graders are beginning mammal reports this week and should locate articles on-line. Please help your child print a readable (to them) article. They may also bring books with information about their mammal. Details about the at-home component of this project (the diorama) will be coming later this week.

Third graders have spelling homework again this week. In general, some students are getting less reliable with homework, particularly Lit. Circles and math. Remind your child that it is his or her responsibility to carefully complete the homework, and get it from home to school.

Finally, a reminder to keep going on science projects. These are required for second, optional for third. However, many of the third graders are eager to do a project, which they didn't get to do last year.

Thanks again, and have a great week.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Dear Parents and Students,
Welcome back! This week we are back to the routine of 3rd grade spelling homework, as well as the nightly math assignments, Lit. Circles, and 2nd grade Red Hot Readers. The third graders will also begin mammal reports. During the break, students were encouraged to select a mammal, but were not expected to work on the report. This week we will send home guidelines so that students can locate articles on their chosen mammals. Our second graders have already begun their animal reports, on animals other than mammals.

Just prior to the break, I sent home Science Project organizers with the third graders. This is an optional activity for third grade, but it is one they didn't do last year in second grade. Several of the third graders expressed an interest in doing a project this year. It is mandatory for the second graders. The projects are due in May, so there is plenty of time to develop a hypothesis and test it out. The second grade plans looked great!

This week we will also begin reviewing for CSTs. The testing window is only a couple of weeks away, so we will spend some time practicing with the testing format, and reexamining concepts addressed earlier in the year. In addition, if you have not turned in your parent education survey, please do so.

Finally, we are still short on drivers for this Wednesday's field trip to the MAH. This is a very cool field trip; the kids learn a lot about local history. We also need drivers for the field trip to the Discovery Museum the following week.

Thanks to all,
Carroll Mayer