Monday, August 13, 2018

Updates and announcements

One week down, 37 left to go! Our scholars started the school year strong. We are still going to be reviewing and practicing our procedures, but now with more of our rich curriculum added in.

Last Friday, I led a short lesson with our class on how to use Quizlet. This year, I will not make a Quizlet for each unit, however, students are encouraged to make one using their study guide. It is free to sign up, however students should get your permission as it does require an email address.

Please note the Birthday Treat policy below. We holding to this policy quite strictly this year. Here is the excerpt from the family handbook:

Birthday Treat Policy

Celebrating birthdays is a good way to show the students in our school that they are special and loved.  There are many different ways to mark the occasion, but we want to be careful about students eating too many sugary, processed snacks.  If each child were to bring in cake or donuts for his/her birthday, that would mean 30 unhealthy lunchtime desserts every year.  Some parents would rather their child not eat this type of food and the effects of these sugary snacks can disrupt the learning environment.  In fact, we strongly suggest a non-food item if parents wish to mark the occasion. Pencils, books, or other souvenirs can be just as special, don't require clean-up, and won't affect whatever diet parents wish for their children.  Some teachers may allow a healthy snack for their classes as an exception (to be eaten in the lunchroom), but please reach out to the lead teacher for details.  Make note that sugary treats will not be served to students, and will be sent home with the child that brought them in.

The academy suggests non-food items or healthy snacks for birthdays. Please see your child’s teacher for acceptable treat options, as well as alternatives to food items.
  • Food must be in its original packaging with the ingredients listed.  Fresh fruit is the exception.
  • No peanuts or other nuts
  • No cupcakes, cakes, cookies or other treats with frosting
No pop-culture references

Our week in learning

This week, students will learn about the idiom “Bite the hand that feeds you” and begin their first poem, “The Eagle”. Students will recite the poem on Wednesday, 8/29. As a routine, students will have two weeks to memorize their poems. This will be a regular rotation and the recite date will be on the “Due Dates” section of the board.

Students will continue learning Greek and Latin roots, learning equus, caballus, and hippos. Students will have a weekly quiz over these roots next week. Students should expect a similar roots quiz every Wednesday.

In spalding, we will work through the rule pages. They will start spalding homework using the words from these rule pages. We will have our first spelling test on Thursday using a selection of these words from the rule pages.

In Literature, we will read through the third chapter in “Voyage of the Dawn Treader”. We will focus on summaries and identifying and defining vocabulary words from the chapter. Students will also get to identify character traits in Eustace as a class, then a character of their choosing for homework. Please note that not all classes will be in the same part of the chapter every day, but should end the week on the same chapter.

In Writing and Grammar, students learn about analogies and the rules for punctuation. There will be a short quiz on capitalization, punctuation, and analogies on Friday. Students will continue “Outlining Wednesdays”, focusing on expanding their one level outline to a two level outline.

In week 2, students will continue learning about the scientific method and how to apply it to their own experiments. On Monday, students will be introduced to experimental and control variables and their importance to an experiment. We will go through several “dry runs” of different experiments as a class as we prepare for hands on experiments in the coming weeks. On Friday, students will take a short quiz over what constitutes a good hypothesis and the point of an experimental variable and a control variable. Students should use the vocabulary in their notebooks to help them study for this quiz. Students will also begin designing a paper glider, along with modifications, to practice designing independent variables.

This week in history students will finish their first unit, on world lakes. They will have a quiz on Tuesday on the location of the lakes of Eurasia. The Unit 1: World Lakes test will occur on Thursday (students were given a study guide the previous Thursday). On Wednesdays going forward we will be studying U.S. Geography, this week covering New England. On Friday we will begin Unit 2: The Maya, Aztec, and Inca Civilizations.

In math, we will continue our unit on whole numbers. Students will continue work on estimation, and review factors, multiples, prime factorization, exponents, and multiplying by powers of 10. Please note that we will have frequent quizzes in math. When a “b” quiz comes home for homework, that means there will likely be a quiz the next day. This means there will be frequent, low stakes math quizzes.