Room 9 Updates

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Hello All,
I hope you had a joyful holiday.

This week we will be continuing with our study of ecosystems in science.  The kids will return to reading in the CA. Science textbook for a portion of their reading homework.  I've added a note to the homework about my expectations regarding the reading of the texts. (Reread the lessons first, then use the skimming and scanning strategies to find support with the questions on the back of the homework handout.) In math, we'll spend a couple of days reviewing the first portion of Module 3 and will have a Mid-Module Assessment on Thursday.

This Friday we'll be heading to the Monterey Bay Aquarium for our field trip.  Please note that we are returning to school late, and let me know if there is some special arrangement made for your child if you are unable to pick them up at our 3:00 arrival time. All students will need lunches for the trip, as well as a drink and comfortable shoes. Please don't send any money for snacks or souvenirs! Thank you to all that have volunteered to drive and chaperon on this trip!

Take care, and have a great week,
Carroll Mayer

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Hi Parents,
I'm looking forward to seeing you all this week. The kids brought home notes with your times, but feel free to email to confirm times. The schedule is tightly packed.

This week, the kids will be bringing home permission slips and information about our next field trip, to the Monterey Bay Aquarium on December 5th. Please return completed forms ASAP, especially if you are able to drive!

Take care, and have a great week,
Carroll Mayer

Monday, November 10, 2014

Hi Parents,

Sorry to be a bit tardy on my posting!  First of all, a big thank you to the parents that were able to chaperon our Mission San Juan Bautista field trip (Mrs. Kolassa, Mrs. Lauderbach, Ms. Harrington, Mrs.Varela, Mrs. Manchester, and Mrs. Harris ). The kids had a great time, and made a good beginning on this portion of California history, which we will be reading about in the Social Studies text quite soon. Our next field trip is coming quickly; we're going to the Monterey Bay Aquarium on December 5th! We will be leaving school at about 9:15, attending a Kelp Forest Lab, eating lunch, and then having some touring time in the museum.  Because we are not allowed in the museum before our 10:45 lab, I intend to return to school a bit past the regularly scheduled time (return to school about 3:00). I will need drivers for this trip.  Please remember that the state requires volunteers to submit a TB test to the district, and be fingerprinted.  When you've done this once, you'll be authorized for all your children's years in PVUSD.  This policy is for the kids' safety.
Please take the time to do this, even if you can only drive on occasional field trips. I would hate to cancel a field trip due to lack of drivers.

Next week is Conference Week, and almost all students have one scheduled at this point.  Please come to your conference on time, as many of them are scheduled back-to-back. The library's Scholastic Book Fair is also scheduled for that week, and purchasing books (including holiday gifts) is a great way to support our library's book collection. The kids will preview the Book Fair on Friday, and I'm sure they'll get back to you with their Wish List.

You will notice the homework is a little different this week, as we are stepping away from the Science and Social Studies texts to work on a short research project on phytoplankton. We will be working on it this week, and have watched a short video and read an informational article already. I reviewed the homework with the class on Monday, and gave them clear directions about my expectations about it on both the front and the back.  In addition, the kids appear to be working comfortably with the math these days, and are able to push through and ask questions when they're unclear.

Take care, and I look forward to seeing you all at conferences next week!
Carroll Mayer

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Hello All,

First of all, a big thank you to Brandi Manchester and Julie Harris,  Room 9's Room Parents who organized and hosted our Halloween party.  Thanks also, to their able assistants, Sandi Kolassa and Adele Lauderbach, who ran and supplied terrific party stations.  You ladies are all troupers and made a fun party, despite the rainy weather!

Last week I sent home a message notifying parents about the lack of cleared volunteers for this Friday's field trip.  Since then, one additional driver has fulfilled the district's requirements, so at this point we have space for 14 students.  If you were planning on driving, please come by the office to fill out your driver forms and make copies of your insurance information and California Driver's License. The office needs these forms on Monday, as they can't authorize a flurry of last-minute additions to the driving pool. 

As you will have noted, we began Module 3 in Math last week.  It is another challenging one!  I will work on posting example of in-class work in the blog and also taping some "Show Me" lessons.  In addition, Mrs. Deering, the school librarian, will now be available Monday- Thursday, from 7:30-7:55 in the library to help students with math. We will continue with math homework most nights, due the following day, as that seems to allow students' questions to be addressed. I will also limit the quantity of math homework, so that students can focus on their thinking and doing high quality work. Finally, I'm happy to report that most students performed well on the first district benchmark of the year, primarily 80% and above.

In RTI, we wrapped up our poetry unit and are now moving on to a Realistic Fiction unit, focusing on Common Core Reading Standard 2.  Students will be practicing finding the theme in various anthology stories, as well as writing summaries that include only the significant details from the stories.


Finally, if you have not yet scheduled a Parent/Teacher Conference (sign-ups began at Back-to-School Night), please contact me via email or leave a message at the school.

Take care,
Carroll Mayer