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Room 120 Announcements 2013-2014
February 3, 2014
Monday, February 03, 2014 11:50 AM

Dear Classroom 120 Families,

It was great to see so many of you at our portfolio sharing party! It’s a wonderful way for students to gain confidence as they see a compilation of their best work, and receive compliments about how far they’ve come this year. It also sets the stage for mid-year conferences as we address what we hope to get better at by the end of the school year. About half of the students have scheduled a conference with me; if you haven’t sent back the paper with the available times, please do so at your earliest convenience. In addition to the listed times, I can also meet with you before school at 7 a.m. or at specialist time at 12:30. I did send home a small yellow chit with students, in confirmation of the forms I’ve received and the scheduled conference time.

We have finished reading the first book of the Flat Stanley series, have brainstormed some possible questions we might ask in our letters, reviewed the 5 parts of a friendly letter and even begun writing our sloppy copies. If you’re planning to send in an address, it would be very helpful to have it by this Wednesday, February 5th, otherwise we will begin to share some of the extras we have gotten from a few families. It would be awesome if I could put them in the mail next weekend.
Spirit Week will run from February 10-14th. At the all-school morning meeting on Friday, (2/7), students will model the spirit wear so all students know what to wear; these days were chosen by middles students who voted on the days.
February 10th – Sports Day
February 11th - Get Up and Dance Day
February 12th – Hat Day
February 13th – Barton Spirit Day
February 14th – Rainbow day
Kinder – Blue, 1st – Yellow, 2nd – Red, 3rd – Purple
4th – White, 5th – Black, 6th – Green, 7th – Orange, 8th – Pink.

If you’re interested in donating a small snack or juice boxes for the class on Valentines Day, just let me know.
*We started our music rotation this week.

Sincerely,
Jane and Kerry

November 25, 2013
Monday, December 02, 2013 6:45 AM

Dear Classroom 120 Families,

We had a great field trip to the Mill City Museum on Friday. We were kept busy and moving for the entire three hours! We started seeing a fast paced movie on the history of the Twin Cities. We then moved into a scavenger hunt in the main gallery finishing the morning with the water lab where we had a hands experience with miniature falls and locks with water tables. After lunch we went the baking lab where we made “drop biscuits” and followed the trail of wheat from the farmer’s field to the grocer’s shelf. Following the lab, we took a ride on the “Flour Tower.” Students sat in a large elevator that made stops at several floors. This experience gave us an up close look at the inside workings of a flour factory. We even witnessed an explosion in one of the furnaces! Our ride ended on the top floor where we got a bird’s eye view of the St. Anthony Falls and a fast ride back down on a glass elevator. I want say a big “THANK YOU” to Nasra, John and Nora, our volunteer chaperones. Each took charge of a group of students throughout the tour. We couldn’t have done it without them!

On the morning of December 2nd, the Minnesota Sinfonia Orchestra will be performing at Barton. A musician will visit our classroom to share his/her instrument and then we will attend the 8:30-9:15 A.M. performance in the commons.

I have also been meaning to thank those of you who donated books from the Wild Rumpus Book Fair. We are enjoying reading the books you added to our classroom!
Have a great week and a Happy Thanksgiving!

Jane
 

November 17, 2013
Monday, November 18, 2013 6:50 AM

Dear Classroom 120 Families,

All students have completed a page for our hallway display and book: “Some of the Best Parts of Classroom 120”. The photographs are great and students really dug deep to write what they especially like about that part of themselves. We have been receiving many compliments as others in the building enjoy seeing and reading about our students. We are now working to list memories from when we were younger; many have begun expanding in detail on those memories as everyone is writing an autobiography.

We have also started our first science unit in the classroom: electricity. Each student was given 1- Battery, 1- 6 “ wire w/ ends stripped and 1- miniature light bulb. They were then presented with the challenge to see if we can all light the bulb. We had a great discussion about safety with electricity and the difference between a wall outlet and a small battery. It was exciting to hear the popcorn of voices as they shouted out when their light bulb lit. Every student did have success. As true scientists, we have recorded what we tested and found to be the “special places” on the battery, predicted and tested pictures of circuits that were provided to them and of course their own circuit that was successful. The vocabulary word for the day: circuit. I asked the students to estimate the number of light switches they have at their home. The range of estimates went from 1 to 100. As a way of connecting to our learning, you may want to have your child count the actual number of switches. This may also be an opportunity to use tally marks in groups of five.

I am looking forward to our big field trip to The Mill City Museum this Friday, November 22nd!

Sincerely,
Jane
 

October 30, 2013
Tuesday, October 29, 2013 1:50 PM

Dear Classroom 120 Families,

On Thursday morning, we’ll celebrate the season with our Big Buddies as we make a craft project together. Barton students may not dress in Halloween costumes this year. Also, please note that Friday, November 1st is a student release day (no school). I hope you all have a fun (not too spooky) holiday and enjoy the long weekend!
Sincerely,
Jane
 

October 20, 2013
Monday, October 21, 2013 12:55 PM

Dear Classroom 120 Families,

I am happy to say that the MAP test is complete. It will be nice to get back to our more usual schedule, which allows for more reading and writing time though I did push forward with the second graders in math while the first graders were testing. We’re working on Unit 2 right now, which is a Geometry unit. The shape work lent itself well to quick pacing as the students really enjoy “playing” with the shapes. We have worked with “quick images” drawn shapes, sorted shapes, filled shapes with other shapes, combined 3d shapes to make other shapes and built 3d buildings. We will be learning about angles and vertex of angles and sorting quadrilaterals accordingly.

Every group has begun to read together and every student has a Readers Log in which they will record what they have read and reflections about the text; I am really excited to read more frequently as time opens up. Groups will remain fluid over the year as student needs dictate movement. It’s my goal to provide “just right” books to each student and facilitate rich reflection and discussion.
Last week I gave the students an interest analyzer. One common theme that came up was an interest in writing about themselves. I am working to put together 2 projects that will offer opportunities and would like to have some pictures of the students taken. If you are photographically inclined and would be willing to help out with pictures, please email me. One project involves a redo of a book I made with students several years ago that our class still enjoys looking at. It involves taking an up-close picture of a student’s chosen “A Favorite Part”. Each student will write about his or her picture, something like “I like my hand because it helps me write and pet my dog”. I will then assemble the individual pages into a class book. The second project would be part of an autobiography that each child will be working on in the upcoming weeks. It would be nice to have at least one picture that we could include in these books.

Today is our first day of our music specialist rotation.
I hope you all enjoyed the extended weekend!

Happy Fall!
Jane
 

Wear Orange on Wednesday, October 9th!
Monday, October 07, 2013 10:35 PM

October 6, 2013

Dear Classroom 120 Families,

Wednesday, October 9th is National Walk or Bike to School Day AND National Bully Prevention Day.   Take the opportunity to wear orange to show your support for anti-bullying and take advantage of what is supposed to be a beautiful day to walk or bike to school.   Even if you have to drive, consider parking a few blocks away so you can get a little walking in!  

I need to say a huge thank you to all of the families who generously donated to our classroom. With a trip to Target and another to Office Max, our classroom is set- thank you!

First graders took the Reading part of the MAP Test today (10/7) 7:45-8:45, the Math is on Wednesday (10/9) 7:45-8:45. Second graders from ours, and Linda’s classroom will have an extra two hours of math with me during these testing times. I look forward to finishing up unit 1 (most recently, story problem strategies and doubling equations) and starting unit 2- Geometry on Wednesday.

All students are working to “unfreeze flat characters” in their writing. We have touched pictures and tried to make them talk. This week we will meet with our writing partners to try to tell our story with “puppet hands” (should be interesting!).  We have also been reading books that show examples of how professional authors use dialog as they tell a story.

Our Media book checkout time got cancelled last week due to staff illness. A very few kids from our room got to check out. If your child had set a goal regarding book check out, we will surely work toward that this Friday.

Time for Kids has been ordered and I look forward to getting it in the next week. I am also working to plan a field trip to the Mill City Museum; I believe we will be attending the baking lab. The potential date is Friday, November 22nd; I’m still waiting approval from the office. More info soon to come.

Finally, I also want to thank every family that I have had the pleasure to meet and set goals with; your participation has been wonderful. The united front in support of children achieving their hopes and dreams makes a huge difference in our daily learning. Thank you for taking time for this meeting and I’m looking forward to the conferences that are still to come.
                        
Sincerely,
Jane
    

 

Picture Day, MCA tests and more.......
Monday, October 07, 2013 1:00 PM

October 6, 2013

Dear Classroom 120 Families,

Tomorrow, Monday, October 7th is picture day! We are scheduled for pictures at 9:15 a.m. (before lunch and recess). I also need to say a huge thank you to all of the families who generously donated to our classroom. With a trip to Target and another to Office Max, our classroom is set- thank you!

First graders are scheduled to take the Reading part of the MAP Test tomorrow (10/7) 7:45-8:45, the Math is on Wednesday (10/9) 7:45-8:45. Second graders from ours, and Linda’s classroom will have an extra two hours of math with me during these testing times. I look forward to finishing up unit 1 (most recently, story problem strategies and doubling equations) and starting unit 2- Geometry on Wednesday.

All students are working to “unfreeze flat characters” in their writing. We have touched pictures and tried to make them talk. This week we will meet with our writing partners to try to tell our story with “puppet hands” (should be interesting!).

Our Media book checkout time got cancelled last week due to staff illness. A very few kids from our room got to check out. If your child had set a goal regarding book check out, we will surely work toward that this Friday.

Time for Kids has been ordered and I look forward to getting it in the next week. I am also working to plan a field trip to the Mill City Museum; I believe we will be attending the baking
lab. The potential date is Friday, November 22nd; I’m still waiting approval from the office (a new procedure). More info to come.

Finally, I also want to thank every family that I have had the pleasure to meet and set goals with; your participation has been stellar. The united front in support of children achieving their hopes and dreams makes a huge difference in our daily learning. Thank you for taking time for this meeting and I’m looking forward to the conferences that are still to come. If you need to schedule with me, I do still have time on the Conference Release Day, which is Wednesday, October 16th.
                        

Hope you had a great weekend,

Jane
    



 

Gym starts Monday 9/30/13 - remember gym shoes! and other announcements...
Sunday, September 29, 2013 11:25 PM

September 30, 2013

Dear Classroom 120 Families,

We are settling into a great school year in classroom 120. Students have been busy building friendships, working and playing with Big Buddies and assisting each other as each one has a writing partner in the classroom.  Two of the literature groups have met and the others are scheduled to get together this week. Word Wall, printing practice, Friday media book check out and Friday News are regular routines and our Writers Workshop has been extremely rewarding. Students are working to sketch, write, revise and share their stories. We continue to “zoom in” “and tell about a tiny watermelon seed rather than the whole watermelon” with the stories we’re writing.

Both math classes are working to count carefully, find addition combinations and solve story problems. We’re playing math games, working in our Activity books and sharing our strategies.

Gym starts today (Monday the 30th; it’s possible you may get this on Sunday night) please have students wear or bring tennis shoes.

If you did contribute to our classroom fund, thank you! I am short of contributions by 14 students, which has put our classroom account in the red. I was hopeful that there would be a fund to draw from as the year progresses but the starting supplies, Time for Kids and Printing Practice tapped us out as we fell further behind with greater requests. So, if you have forgotten to pay the requested start up ($25), or for the TFK/ Printing Practice ($13.00), please know even part of it would be appreciated. If you’re one of the extremely generous families who have contributed beyond the request and still want to help get our fund up a bit, I am sorry to say that I would happily accept deposits. I’ve been shopping for reading notebooks and folders, everything seems to get expensive when multiplied by 27 and I like to get supplies that I think the kids will like.   If you can help out, thank you! Please know that your contributions are appreciated and will make a difference.

Upcoming events:
MAP testing for 2nd graders- Math- Tuesday, October 1, 7:45-8:45
                Reading- Wednesday, October 2, 7:45-8:45
MAP testing for 1st graders- Math-Monday, October 7, 7:45-8:45
                Reading- Wednesday, October 9, 7:45-8:45

Friday, October 4- 7:30-8 All School Morning Meeting

Conferences are off to a great start! Thank you so much for your positive contributions and for taking time for this important meeting. I truly enjoy each and every conference!
                                
Sincerely,
Jane Spicer
 

 

Somali Family Dinner and Meeting and All School Parent Information Night
Monday, September 09, 2013 7:25 PM

 

Hi Classroom 120 Families,


Please remember that this Thursday, September 12th is the Somali Family Dinner and Meeting and All School Parent Information Night.   
Our schedule for the evening is as follows:  



5:00 – 5:45:   Somali Parent Meeting and Dinner – Media Center  


5:45 – 6:15: Round #1 Presentations: Grades K-6, AM K   


6:25 – 6:55: Round #2 Presentations: Grades K-6 Repeat, PM K

Hope to see you there!
Jane Spicer 

supplies_4.jpg
Supply List 2013-2014
Friday, June 07, 2013 8:35 AM

This year the teachers will shop for basic school supplies for every student. A $25 donation is requested to get us started on purchasing the basic supplies. Our office supply budget has been completely cut.  We are also doing this so we can get the specific materials that we need and that fit in the storage areas in each classroom. See the letter from Jane for details...