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News and Notes Dec. 14, 2007

News and Notes:  Dec. 14, 2007

The week that was:

Word Work:  On Monday morning I read Miss Alaneius: A Vocabulary Disaster for the class.  From this the kids were invited to choose their own 20 words from a list of 100 words to “spark vocabulary costume ideas” and then work to learn these words (spelling and
meaning).  In addition they were to create a vocabularycostume for our vocabulary parade and practice writing “alphabet”  sentences by going
through  the dictionary looking for interesting words and finding a way to creatively use 3 words that started with the same letter of the alphabet. Please ask them to tell you about at least 5 new words they
learned.

Reading:  We are still trying to get the mystery books finished up.  It seems there are many barriers to getting quality time for silent reading these past few weeks – luckily we have one more week to catch up.

Writing:  We worked on editing a group “list” poem by adding more descriptive language to create better visual images.  The class then each wrote an individual poem using similes to describe themselves.

Science:  We  bid a fond farewell to our remaining goldfish from the environments studies.  We also added varying amounts of salt to the brine shrimp cups which had been pure water to see what could be discovered about the range of tolerance for salinity and viability.

Today we also had the good fortune to visit the “Exploradome” brought to our school by the Minnesota Planetarium Society.  It was very cool way to learn more about our solar system.  Imagine a warm, dark igloo
with a planetarium show inside with actual satellite images currently happening in space. We visited Mars, Saturn,several constellations and the sun.

Our "adventure" of the week was a fortunately/unfortunately type of scenario involving the MTC bus and the “Babes in Toyland” field trip. Fortunately, all went well on the first leg of the trip – we even caught a “green” hybrid bus.  Unfortunately, another school was late to the play (which the company started a little late trying to accommodate them) and we missed our return bus by one minute.  Fortunately, the play is a fun musical with talented actors, a great set, and charming music.  However, more“unfortunately”followedwhen the bus for the route we needed was  not scheduled for another hour – and our transfer passes had expired.   Fortunately, the MTC drivers were helpful in thinking through an alternative way of returning – and took the expired transfers with a minimum of pleading on my part.  Drama all around!
Isn't that why we go to theater in the first place?

Today we “made the day” for our little buddies in room 102 by surprising them with snowmen treats made out ofpowdered sugar donuts and donut holes.  We  also showed off the vocabulary parade costumes for them.  The costumeswere great.  I have pictures of all of them. 
Very clever thinking went into this.  Please ask your child to tell you about their favorites.

The week to come:

This week will be a lot of “wrap-up” activities to prepare ourselves for the winter break.

Reading:  We WILL finish the mystery books.

Writing:  I am planning more poetry writing and practice editing experiences.

Science:   We will wrap up the brine shrimp investigations and analyze the data collected.

Social Studies:  We’ll do several activites to build interest for our MN sesquicentennial (150 years) studies. We will be studying MN history quite consistently for the remainder of the school year.

On Thursday we have the annual Middles Team roller skating trip. I sent the field trip slip home today.

Most of the class has chosen to take part in our “Sneaky Snowflake” games for the week. This is a “make their day” activity where one acts as a secret partner to do special things for another classmate during the week.   The kids made a chart today to share some of their favorite
treats and drinks.  The goal is to expend energy and thought into doing something fun and thoughtful for someone else.   Compliments, jokes, and surprises are encouraged - only small expenditures of money are allowed.  I will attach the flyer hanging in the room so you can view it for more specifics if you like.

Have a wonderful weekend.