In the Loop February 2, 2020

IMG_3645Assignments for the Week:

  • Language:  Final drafts for Writers Workshop will be due at the end of the week. Students my handwrite in pen or word process (with a parent’s help, if needed) their final drafts.  There will be an etymology assignment, and as always, daily Home Reading. For Reader’s Workshop, students will continue to record well crafted phrases from their novels.
  • Math: Students will have individually assigned math work and a problem-solving assignment. Many students will be moving from fraction work to decimal work. (As below, students should be able to show fractions as parts of a whole and parts of a set.)
  • Culture: For chemistry, we will look at the behaviour of matter before studying physical and chemical changes.
  • Science Fair:  Students who are designing and conducting experiments should have their introduction, purpose, procedure, and hypothesis created. They should also have data/observation tables and materials ready to conduct their experiment by the end of the week. (Students should know there is a chance they will have to retry or tweak their experiments to make them successful–that is to be expected.) Students who are pursuing a big question should have done most their reading and note taking by the end of the week, and be ready to organize their notes into writing.  Please see the “Timeline for Science Projects” on the back of the science fair packet. I am expecting that most of the project work will happen at home. While I have given all students feedback on their ideas, realistically, students will need help from parents to make sure their projects have a clear, scientific focus–and in the case of experiments, that they have designed a “fair test” with a control.
  • Health: This week we will talk about some of the physical changes that will occur during puberty. Last week, we talked about how to make our room a safe space for learning about this topic.

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  • PE: During our basketball unit, please be sure your child has proper footwear on Tuesdays and Thursdays in order to participate in PE–even if it means bringing a change of shoes during this wintery weather.


  • Monday, February 3: Field trip to Science World: Please be reminded that students should: 1) be in the classroom at 8:30, 2) dress for the weather and walking, 3) bring Compass Cards as needed, and 4) bring a snack and lunch. We will be back by 3pm. We have three goals: 1) to participate in a hands-on workshop “Chemistry Matters”, 2) to see an Omnimax film, “Arctic Wonder”, and 3) to freely explore the museum. As a reminder, if your child brings a Science World membership card, I can reimburse about $5 of the cost of the trip. We are grateful to the Montessori PAC for subsidizing the cost of the field trip by one-third.
  • Tuesday, February 11: Field Trip to Carousel Theatre to see Axis Theatre’s “Th’owxiya”
  • Friday, February 14: Professional Day–No school for students.
  • Monday, February 17: Family Day–No school for students and teachers.

Words, Words, Words: With the cold weather outside, this is a great time of year to dive into our books and really focus on our writing. In both Reading and Writing we are focusing on specific ideas and clear, accurate and vibrant words and phrases. We are building a community where students share ideas and feedback on their books and their creative writing. Here are some photos of students’ deep concentration:

Which One Doesn’t Belong?: During January 21st Professional Day, Janice Novakowski, a math specialist from the Richmond School District, showed our staff creative ways to teach math. The Which One Doesn’t Belong? activity is one that we have all taken to. Each number has one or more reasons why it might not fit with the others.IMG_3630 2

Chemistry: We had fun messing around with measurement last week. We even found out who had the heaviest backpack.

Art: Stay tuned to see work from our sketchbooks. Talk about deep concentration!

Published by gretchenbartlett


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