Thursday, October 4, 2012

Fall is in the air! October 4, 2012

 Dear Parents,
        I have truly enjoyed meeting with you for SEP conferences.  I enjoy getting to know the parents of my students and seeing where they come from.   It has been heart-warming to witness the deep concern you have for the welfare and success of your children.  I appreciate the concerns that were expressed during the SEP conferences.  Please know that I give those concerns a lot of thought, and
I am committed to do all I can to help.

       Coming up this month:
               October   8:  Walk to Braithwaite Art Gallery, SUU campus (1:00-3:00 PM)
               October 10:  Book Projects due
               October 16:  Next progress report comes home
               October 17:  1st term ends, and all work is due.
               October 18-22:  Fall Recess
               October 23:   Worker's Holiday
               October 24:  Volcano Explosion Day  (watch for a letter next Wednesday about this)

      Remember that spelling words are sent home Mondays, and tests are Fridays.  Since I have
three different spelling groups, it is hard to post each group's list on this blog, but if you ever need an extra list, I'll be happy to send that home.
     Beginning Wednesday 10, the 5th grade classes will bring home a keyboarding practice sheet.  We need students to practice typing at home for 10 minutes daily until they are typing 20 wpm.  That is the standard for 5th grade. 
      In February, students will take the DWA (Direct Writing Assessment), where they will need to write a 5-paragraph persuasive essay.  This is an on-the-spot assessment, which means that they will have no idea what subject they need to write about until they sit down at the computer that day and read the prompt.  They will then have to write, revise, and type the entire essay in one sitting!   (They are usually given around an hour's time).  I have begun teaching them how to write a persuasive essay, and I know they will be prepared to write an excellent essay when the time comes.  The typing is another matter.    Some of our students are still chicken-pecking on the keyboard, and type painfully slow.    I need your help at home in helping them get up to speed. 
      Congratulations to Jake, who is our #1 typist.  He has exceeded the 20 wpm mark.  His challenge now is to type as fast as me:)

     We will walk to the SUU Braithwaite Art Gallery Monday, 8 from 1:00-3:00 PM.

      A letter will come home about the Volcano project, but I will give a brief explanation:  Each student needs to build a volcano, either alone or with a partner.  The volcano can be made out of any material, from play dough to styrofoam.  Students need to cause an explosion using this volcano.  The explosion can be small (vinegar and soda), or big (using Diet Coke and Mentos).   The volcanoes will be set off on the playground the afternoon of the 24th.  Parents are invited to come watch.  We ask that no fire or explosives be used (like fireworks or dry ice in a closed container).  

     Student Book Projects are due this coming Wednesday, 10th.  They need to be prepared to share their project with the class and tell a little about the book.  I sent home a list of ideas they could choose from, but if they lost the list, I can give them another one. 

       Some of the project ideas include:
Design a book cover, make a wanted poster, write an editorial, make a comic strip, video tape, make up a poem or song or rap, write a letter to the author, make up a game, write a play, panel discussion, time line of events, diorama, design a map.  
       I expect students to spend an hour or more on this project and make it something they can share with the class and feel proud of the job they did.

     Happy birthday this month to:

              MELISSA,       KOLTON,       BRECKEN,       HANNAH   (yay!  hurrah!  yippee!)

       I love your children.  You are doing an excellent job in teaching and training them at home.
They all are trying to be respectful and kind, and they are working hard to succeed in school.

      Thanks for the support you give to me.  Please let me know of any concerns you have that we didn't discuss at SEPs.    

                                        --Jeanne Payne   (


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