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News and Notes Email - Nov 21, 2009

The week that was:

Science:  We did a few more experiments with our fish, plants, and a chemical indicator to exemplify that the living and non-living elements of an environment do affect each other in important, yet often invisible ways. The indicator chemical showed that the CO2 from the fish elevated the acidity of the water as did blowing into the treated water with a straw.  Now we are in the process of continual observation of the aquarium environments - and hoping the fish stay healthy.

Reading:  Most kids have finished their novels and are well into the process of the author study projects.  Please ask your child about what they have learned about the "authors craft" for their particular author and several of their favorite lines from their books.  If you visit school in the next month you'll be able to see the final projects for the author study in the hallway near 204.

Math:  I don't usually write about math  as your children are spread between many classes but this week all the 5th graders in my math class began practice with the "First in Math" website.  They all have login capability and can practice a multitude of math skills through games at this site.  Many of the kids in the other 5th and 6th grade math classes have this option also.  Please ask your child about it and encourage challenging math game play with this program at home.

Meri G. (art) and I are working in tandem to help the kids explore styles within contemporary art.  The class worked on clay cups this week, art in the style of Andy Goldworthy, and expressing time through a line.  Ask about these experiences and how their artworks are progressing.

Environments Project  Sharing:  What you've done at home to help them prepare is really showing!  The presentations so far have definitely been a step up from the past.  We've learned about layers in the Pacific Ocean, the Atlantic Ocean, the Great Barrier Reef, a Cloud Forest in Costa Rica, the Tongass  rainforest in Alaska, the Sahara Desert, Yellowstone National Park, the Galapagos Islands, the Nile River, Lake Superior, Lake Harriet and the New Jersey Shore.  The "listeners" are all keeping a world map of our imaginary "travels" to other environments and I hope you will take time to chat about interesting things they are learning from each other.

We did not get to the art work that I am planning with the baby/toddler pictures.  This will be an extension of what they are doing with Meri and we will see if  we can fit it in with our  project sharing next week - otherwise it'll happen the week after Thanksgiving.

Ask about their Wed. options class and what they did this week.

The Middles Team shared a bit about our Wolf Ridge experience at the all school Morning Meeting this morning  - ask about this too.

The week to come:

Author study projects completed and project sharing take center stage.

Wednesday we have our celebratory 204 "feast" and thank our lucky stars for our great school and each other.  Please come and share this time with us if you are available.

If you are able please discuss your contribution to the feast this weekend we'll make a sign-up chart at school to help us look at the balance.

Wishing you a wonder-filled 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