Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Classroom Notes

Greetings!

This week, we began the Write_On Challenge to write 30 letters in 30 days for the month of April.  To launch this project, we watched the Write_On Challenge video, talked about “why handwritten,” brainstormed who we could write to and reasons to write, talked about letter format, and created an editing/revising checklist.  Egg Press, a greeting card company, design studio and letterpress print shop based here in Portland, Hello!Lucky, Chronicle Books, and Mohawk Paper generously donated over 2,000 cards to Lewis fourth and third/fourth classrooms.  Each day, kids choose from over a dozen card designs.  You are welcome to join us in this letter writing project!

Formal state standardized testing begins on the morning of Monday, April 11th.  This coming week, a major emphasis school-wide (and likely district- and state-wide) is helping kids become familiar with the testing format and procedures.  We will take a practice test so kids can become familiar with the online interface, item types, and the supports that will be available as they take these tests across many days in April.  Parents interested in opting their child out of state testing can learn more about this process on the district web site: bit.ly/pps-opt-out.  Opt out forms are also available in the office from Tracy.  If you have any questions that I can answer for you about the upcoming standardized testing, please let me know.  You are welcome to stop in and chat with Mr. Lauer, as well.  There is a lot of information out there and I encourage you to be informed.

In other news, kids are analyzing the data from their survey projects and beginning to write articles to share their findings.  We are examining how to measure angles in a variety of ways during math.  Kids are doing great on our multiplication quizzes every Monday and Friday.  Thank you for supporting their practice and use of strategies.  We are continuing our study of Oregon history, learning about westward expansion with a focus on the Lewis and Clark Corps of Discovery Expedition and the Oregon Trail.  We are watching National Geographic and PBS films on the topics and kids are taking some notes to guide our conversations.  The watercolor landscapes that kids painted during art with Ms. Gina during the past two weeks are now on display in our hallway.  We began reading The Fourteenth Goldfish by Jennifer Holm.  Our classroom temperature has been quite warm lately and quite unpredictable, reaching close to 80 at times.  I have been dressing in layers so that I can adjust my clothing to match the temperature and encouraged kids to do the same.  Last, but not least, is a reminder about our upcoming field trip to the Oregon Historical Society on Tuesday, April 12th.  I will send a reminder about who ordered a school lunch on the day prior.  We will wear team t-shirts.

Mark

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