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News and Notes 11-11-11
Tuesday, November 15, 2011 12:15 PM

Good afternoon,

The week that was:

Reading:  We are finishing up the dog books (some tears were shed over "Where the Red Fern Grows").  Please ask your child about the bookmarks they've been doing while reading to show their thinking and ask them if they need time this weekend to finish their book.  At least one book from our dog book series needs to be totally completed by Monday.

Science:  It's been all about fish. We've had dropped aquariums on the floor, gallons of water spilled, dead fish, fish burials, "visiting" fish, experiments to discover how fish respiration causes acidity in the water, and finally the first "feeding" of the fish.  I am glad to see their excitement upon getting to the room each morning and finding their fish still alive.  The "big idea" continues to be to show them how conditions in the environment affect growth, development, survival and reproduction possibilities.  

Word Work:  This week it was about dogs to connect with their reading.  I continue to advocate for you checking over their work with them on Wed. evenings.  They too often do not check for the quality and accuracy in their work I expect to see.  It's difficult at this age to separate the happiness over being "done"  (a good value in and of itself of course) from the additional task of going through it all again for true quality.  I do the best I can to help them notice errors during worktime on Monday through Wed., but find that I can't get to everyone every day and more help is always needed.  It will also be beneficial for your child to notice you (as parents) and I both working together to expect "best efforts" in all of their work.

Jay came today to work with acting groups and tell a fairy tale that needed a new ending.  Ask about the truly "Grimm" tale and what groups did to change it up.  We are noticing some very nice growth in their skills of taking a scene and making it come alive.

The students are also working on a book and group art project connected to "On the Day You Were Born."

We had the first fall options class on Wed. afternoon and started art this week with Meri.

The week to come:

Reading:  The students will have a menu of project options to complete that accompany the book they've read.

Word Work:  This week we have cameras I have borrowed from a DNR connection to work on digital photography with nature.  The words will connect to this project.

Science:  The digital photography will connect observation skills with the aquarium fish, the outdoors, and writing for the week.

We will spend significant time sharing the Environments homework projects on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.  On Monday they will sign up for their sharing day.  They do not need to bring the projects until the day they actually share. Please be sure they also bring the calendars reflecting their time spent when they bring the project.  If your child has made a Power Point presentation as their project they will need to bring it in on a Jump Drive that I can plug into my computer.  We have found in the past that emailing it does not tend to work.


Homework projects due this week  - please help with final "practice" for presentation.

Tuesday, Nov. 22  Annual 204 Thanksgiving potluck feast (I’ll need adult helpers this day, think ahead about if you could make yourself available from about 11:30 – 1:00 please.)

Friday, 12/16  Field trip to MN History Center in St. Paul  (will need chaperones this day also – 10:00ish through 1:45)

Enjoy a wonder-filled warm (according to the reports) weekend.


Kathy Scoggin
Barton Open School

"The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious.  It is
the source of all true art and science."
 - Albert Einstein