Wednesday, January 7, 2015

January 7, 2015

                                                  HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Dear Parents,
       Can you believe we are already halfway through the school year?  The end of second term is already here, so all work must be turned in by Friday, January 9th, before 9:00 AM.  This will give me time to enter all scores so that students will know by the end of the day if they made Worker's Holiday.    I handed out progress reports today, along with a missing assignment sheet if your child has missing work.   I printed hardcopies, since so many parents asked for them, but you can check it on Power School, if you'd like.

      Worker's Holiday will be a sledding activity on Cal-Ranch hill.  That will take place on Monday, January 12, IF WE STILL HAVE SNOW.   If not, we will reschedule it for Friday 16th.  If snow doesn't come by the 23rd, we'll do an alternate activity.

      For this sledding activity, students will need:
       *Garbage Bag (large) to slide down hill (no sleds or tubes allowed)
       *Snow gloves and snow boots
       *Packet of hot chocolate or cider (we will furnish the hot water and cups)
       *Warm coat (or wear layers, so they can remove one as needed)

     Every year students show up for this activity with only thin gloves and tennis shoes.  They get wet and cold.  We teachers have given up our own gloves to students who have been ill prepared.   For their own safety, students will stay at the school if they have insufficient clothing.  However, if gloves and boots are an issue, please contact me.  Other students often have extra pairs that they are willing to share.

     SAGE WRITING TEST:  Coming up in February--and we are working hard to be prepared!
We jumped into writing an opinion essay as soon as we came back from Christmas break.  In this paper, students are learning how to cite quotes from a variety of texts and accurately use them to influence their audience.  That's a tall order for 5th graders, but after only three days of practice, their writing is becoming impressive!  

     TYPING SPEED:  Students should be getting pretty good at their typing skills by now, but I still have a few students who aren't up to 20 wpm yet.   Our top typist is Sam, who continues to clock in at speeds over 50 wpm.  (Hard to believe for an 11 year old).   I sent home another typing sheet for this week.  This is due next Wednesday.

     READING--40 BOOK CHALLENGE:  Since I gave this challenge, six students have reached the Presidential Award (16 books), and many others are closing in on it.  Three students have read over 20 books already.  Honestly, I have been blown away by the excitement students have shown toward reading.  They are reading more, and (because of their reading response journals), their writing has improved.  Thanks for  your support in this great "experiment".

       Remember that Martin Luther King day is Monday, January 19th (no school).  During that week students will watch a video about Martin Luther King, read his "dream" speech, and write a paper about their own dream.  Martin Luther King is one of my all time heroes, right beside George Washington and Abraham Lincoln.  I want my students to have a great respect for this courageous man.
     Please ask your child for the bright orange verification slip stating that you have read this newsletter and have looked at the progress report.

     Thank you so much for the help and support you give me.  I appreciate the communication through email, phone, or personal visits.  You have great kids!

                                                              Sincerely,  Jeanne Payne

PS.  I'm trying to decide whether or not to teach harmonicas this year.  I've been going back and forth.  If you have an opinion, let me know.  Harmonicas would cost approximately $5.00.


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