Room 9 Updates

Monday, April 25, 2016

Hi Parents,

Just a quick update...

Our field trip is in less than two weeks. At this point I have seats for 27 kids. We need 2-3 more drivers!

Carroll Mayer

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Hi All,

First of all, thanks for the kind deeds throughout the week. I enjoyed a lovely bouquet, some delicious treats, and a latte! However, that's not too unusual this year. You all have fussed over me many days, and it's always appreciated! Thanks so much!

This week 4th Grade will begin standardized testing. We will be working on the tests 1-2 hours per day, so that kids are at their freshest and most energetic. I will not be using parent volunteers during this period, as our schedule will be shifted around daily.

On Friday, we will be Jogging for the Arts. The kids look forward to this event every year, and it assures us of the funding for arts. Thanks in advance for your work and donations for and to this fundraiser. Coincidentally, we began our first art lesson last week. The kids will be learning about watercolor. Their first project was a California-themed treasure map!

Finally, because of testing, I will not be sending home a normal packet, or math, for the next few weeks. The kids will be bringing home a Science Fair project that they should work on during the next weeks. There is a portion of the project to turn in this Thursday, so please review the assignment with your child right away. I will also put the handout in the Google Classroom, so kids can access additional copies if needed.

Have a great week,
Carroll Mayer

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Hi All,

What a beautiful weekend!

First of all, my compliments to your beautiful children, who sustained a polite, independent "Grand Conversation" on the book Coolies. For 45 minutes they respectfully shared their thoughts about this historical fiction picture book on the Chinese workers who built the transcontinental railroad. Kids mentioned discrimination, family loyalty, asked questions, and made comparisons to other books we've read like Wonder and our Reflections text. Their conversation ended Friday on a bright and powerful note!

On Friday we were also fortunate to have a terrific assembly by the Banana Slug String Band, sponsored by Soquel Creek Water District. In addition, we squeezed in the spelling and vocabulary test and the mid-module test on fractions.

This week will be the final week of RTI, and our last week of spelling words in the homework packet. ( We will still be reading and will still have homework packets!).   Packets during the remainder of the year will be project-oriented. The first project will be a science experiment and  presentation, which will be due on Tuesday, May 10th. Information will be coming home on next week's packet, but kids can start thinking about simple science experiments now.

Fourth Grade will begin state testing in a week, and parent volunteers will be cancelled during the two week window. While we won't be testing for hours and hours each day, our normal schedule will be shifted about somewhat. We will continue with math lessons on some days, but I don't intend to send math homework during the two weeks of testing. As I mentioned above, RTI will end after this week. Instead, our class will be reading the novel Esperanza Rising, by Pam Munoz Ryan, and will have independent Reader's Workshop time as well.

It's hard to believe, but our class has used all the pencils, end cap erasers, wipes, and Kleenex sent in at the beginning of the year. If you can send in a bit more (especially pencils), we'd really appreciate it!

Finally, on Monday I'm sending home permission slips for our field trip to Monterey's Custom and Pacific House museums. It is scheduled for Friday, May 6th. Please return the permission slip and $3 ASAP. Email me if you are able to drive on that day, and already have cleared TB tests and fingerprints on file.

Have a great week,
Carroll Mayer

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Hi All,

We will continue with our normal routines this week (in terms of homework.). I've been assigning more activities using technology, so if computer access is an issue for your child, I encourage attendance to the After School program at least once a week. Computers are always available during the second hour. We will have 2 more weeks of spelling, and then weekly homework will include some special projects.

State Testing begins for some grades next week, but we won't start for 2 more weeks.

We will be beginning Golden Gulch this week, which is a simulation activity that the kids work on in teams. We will learn a lot more about the gold rush, as well as team work.

Have a great week,
Carroll Mayer

Monday, April 4, 2016

Hi All,
Sorry to be tardy; it's hard to give up the last few hours of Spring Break!

Generally, we are following a normal schedule and will have the usual amount of homework, etc. We will stay with that format until state testing. It will begin for Fourth Grade in about 3 weeks, and at that time homework format and content will vary from day to day. When testing ends, we will continue with more varied homework for the remainder of the year.

We are also increasing the amount of time the kids use the Chrome Books. A lot of our writing assignments are being completed digitally, in order to practice those skills for testing and beyond. On that note, I'm encouraging the kids to bring personal headphones if they are able.  I believe the in ear ones will work, as well as any other styles you have on hand. With headphones, the kids will be able to view Brain Pop and You Tube videos, as well as read articles online.

Thanks, and have a great week,