News from Room 16 – November 25, 2016

We have been working hard on mastering the vertical algorithm strategy for multi-digit subtraction over the last few weeks and all the hard work is really paying off!  Some students are still a bit unsure when identifying whether a word problem requires addition or subtraction.  Please support your child on this week’s homework assignment as they work on strategies for word problems.

We wrapped up our study of the plant life cycle this week.  After reading an article from OPB about “food deserts” in East Portland, our farmers decided to create a new market stand to serve some of the areas in Portland that are currently more than one mile from the nearest grocery store.  Teams worked together to draw up blueprints of their new market stand; the creativity and thoughtfulness of each group’s stand was truly touching.  Many were portable (to better serve the areas identified as food deserts), and each stand had adequate signage and a rain cover (in case of unpleasant weather).  We are also going to keep watching some of the plants in our classroom grow as long as these short winter days will allow.

Finally, I hope all of you have a nice Thanksgiving holiday.  I am thankful for all of the enthusiasm, humor, and kindness that each of my students bring with them every day.

See you next week!

-Ms. Elissa

News from Room 16 – November 18, 2015

This feels like our first full week in a good long while and it has been delightful to finally find our groove.

We are cranking through our addition and subtraction unit and we are on track to wrap up by Thanksgiving break.  Students will take the post-assessment next week and I am looking forward to seeing some good growth from last month.  Our next unit focuses on Geometry and we will be studying 2D and 3D shapes and their properties.

In writing, students are just finishing up their rough drafts of their informational articles and we will head into the publishing phase soon.  This has been our first real foray into writing a 5 paragraph essay and these guys have really done a nice job.

We are also close to wrapping up our study of plant life cycles.  Next up we will examine the changes in states of matter.  We will examine the properties of water, learn about dissolving solids and evaporation, and do tons of neat experiments along the way!

Hope you’re staying dry out there!

-Ms. Elissa

News from Room 16 – November 4, 2015

The Theory of Knowledge presentations are coming along swimmingly!  It has been a treat to see the different ways students have chosen to show their learning.  I have also been impressed with the quality of the speeches thus far – I can tell that some of these guys practiced at home.  Projects will be sent home at the end of this week.

Our new writing unit focuses around writing a non fiction article.  Students will be working on writing a 3-5 paragraph essay and we will focus heavily on formatting in this unit: introductions, topic sentences, supporting details, and conclusions will emerge as we work.

We are making our way through our math unit on strategies for adding and subtracting larger numbers.  Students have shown great growth with their addition strategies, but many students are still shaky on their double-digit subtraction. Your child may still have some practice ahead of them before they are completely proficient with their strategies, so please continue to check in on their homework assignments each week.  Ask them about which strategies they feel most comfortable using to solve these types of problems and have them walk you through their thinking.

Our November book order is due next Tuesday, November 10th.  I hope to have them delivered before the Thanksgiving break.

Stay dry out there!

-Ms. Elissa

News from Room 16 – October 28, 2015

It was great to have some time to talk with so many of you last week at conferences.  Please let me know if there are follow up questions that come up for you after our conversation.

Theory of Knowledge projects are due on Thursday.  You may have already seen some amazing examples from Ms. Kennedy’s class in the hall. I am sending home some ideas and guidelines that your child can use to help them prepare their speech for next week.  Students signed up for the date of their presentation today, so be sure to ask your child when they need to be 100% ready.

Things are progressing slowly on Fun Farm.  We had a hiccup with the beans we planted… As it turns out, the beans were packaged about 15 years ago and were simply too old to grow!  So we are trying again with some newer seeds and hopefully we will get to watch them sprout and grow soon!  Our seeds that we germinated in paper towels are coming along well.  On Monday we had a chance to examine the embryo (tiny baby plant) that is beginning to emerge from within our lima beans.  We also got to see how the majority of the seed is actually food for the baby plant until it is big enough to produce energy on its own.  Neat!

Finally, I hope everyone has a safe and fun weekend!

-Ms. Elissa

Are you free on Monday afternoon?

Lisa Wilcke is coming on Monday, October 26 from 12:30-1:35 to take our class on a little walk around the school grounds to look at different types of trees as part of our plant life cycle unit.  It would be great to have a couple of parents join us for the walk to help support students be successful with their activity.  If you are available, please come on down!

Thanks for your help!

-Ms. Elissa

News from Room 16 – October 14, 2015

It’s hard to believe that we are already in mid-October!  I am looking forward to seeing all of you at Parent-Teacher Conferences next week.  Check your child’s folder for a reminder slip about your conference time.

Thursday is Run for the Arts at Lewis and this year we are encouraging kids to bring their own water bottles to cut back on the amount of waste we create from the disposable water cups.  It should be a nice day on Thursday – my weather app says it will be a pleasant 79 degrees!  Remind your child to wear some good running shoes and some comfy clothes that day.

We had an amazing time exploring seeds in class on Tuesday.  We looked at some samples of different fruits and vegetables, observed where the seeds were located (in or on the fruit), and examined the size and shape of each seed.  We even got to look at the largest seed in the world: the coconut!  Next up we will germinate some seeds and “plant” some seeds on our farm too!

I hope that all students have started doing some research and collecting information on their topic for their Theory of Knowledge project.  We will be talking about presentation formats and the expectations for giving a speech in the next few weeks.  Remember that your project can take any number of forms: poster, diorama, model, demonstration, slideshow, book, and more!  Be creative and do what works for you!

Finally, I added a new link onto the sidebar of our blog that I wanted to share with you.  The new link says KenKens – Math Puzzles.  KenKens are a game similar to sudoku – you use a set number of digits in each row and each column, with no repeats.  The twist is that there are some hints for sections of each puzzle that require some math computation to complete the puzzle.  Check them out if you are looking for a challenge!

See you next week!

-Ms. Elissa

News from Room 16 – October 7, 2016

We have been busy, busy, busy so far in October!  We are continuing to create the setting of our storyline on farms and the plant life cycle.  Each student created a farmer to work on our farm – they turned out great!! Next we will examine some climate maps and read through some seed catalogues to decide on what we would like to grow on our farm.

We completed our Who Are My People partner interviews on Friday of last week.  They have been saved to students’ google drives and you can take a listen at home if you’d like.  After we had some great family stories on our minds, we chose one to turn in to a written narrative.  We will be working to flesh out these stories over the next few weeks, focusing on having a strong beginning, middle, and end, and adding in sensory details to help make a mental image.

After our Caine’s Arcade Tribute on Wednesday, students might be feeling extra creative.  If you would like to extend their excitement and passion for creating, consider going to the Global Cardboard Challenge event being held in Hillsboro at the Cornell Business Park.  More details can be found at:  Have fun!

Finally, several students have expressed an interest in participating in the Oregon Battle of the Books (OBOB) this year.  I am sending home bookmarks with this years titles on the back so you can begin reading.  There will be an info meeting this Thursday for interested students and families after school in Room 23 if you’d like some additional information on this great opportunity.

Take care,

-Ms. Elissa