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Sunday, October 27, 2013

Endeavor 5th Grade Missions

This past week we had a lot of active and exciting things happen! Katie, Joyce, and Charlotte got their writing published in the YWP {Young Writers Project.} in the Burlington Free Press and the online YWP newspaper. Also, we had people run for student council. Some kids had their conferences throughout the week and others still have to have them. We have studying Astronomy, mostly gravity and mass. During number corner we have been studying the patterns of the calendar. Also in Number Corner we have been doing quick facts. These will help us with our facts, and also get us farther in Fastt Math when we get on. A few days ago, some older kids came in to talk to us about UNICEF. They told us what UNICEF stands for and asked us questions about UNICEF. If we got the answer right, then we got a piece of candy. UNICEF is an organization that helps children who need medicine, food and water. Now on to the PE class Fitness Gram. The Fitness Gram is a program that has a bunch of different mini programs in one, for example the pacer, curl ups, modified pull-ups, head ups, sit and reach, mile, and height and weight. Altogether, this week has been a busy and active week. Please read our next blog! ~Katie and Derek

Thanks Katie and Derek for getting this week's blog post started.  As they have stated it has been an incredibly busy and active week!  I always love hearing about it from their perspectives!  FIrst of all, thank you for taking the time to visit with me and have our fall conferences.  I felt so proud of each student as they shared their learning with you!  I was impressed with their honesty about their strengths and the areas where they would like to continue working!  It was also exciting for me to share what I am impressed by when it comes to each child!  Looking forward to next time and please email or call me when you have something to celebrate or something you are wondering about!

Some of our most exciting learning has been around our read aloud Out Of My Mind by Sharon Draper.  We are intrigued by the world Melody lives in and the frustration she deals with due to her inability to move and speak!  We are impressed by her intelligence and wish that all the characters in the book new just how amazing she really is!  We participated in a Skype session with 6th graders in Ottawa, Ontario and watched a video about Rick and Dick Hoyt, a son and father team that has completed 30 Boston Marathons, numerous road races and even multiple iron man competitions.  The remarkable part of the story is that Rick has cerebral palsy, like Melody in OOMM, and cannot speak or move himself, but thanks to his dedicated father together they have persevered to overcome the challenges of his disability!  The children were very moved by this story and are really gaining empathy for children with disabilities.  On MOnday we will Skype again with our friends in Ontario and this week we will make connections between Melody and Stephen Hawking and children in our school who have disabilities.  We will also visit the blog of students in Australia and read their posts on OOMM, we will leave comments for them, thinking about being kind, safe and responsible.    We may also try using our communication boards, can you imagine only having a few words on index cards glued to the tray of your wheelchair?

Friday afternoon we took a few minutes to share all the writing we have been working on!  We are living the writerly life as we write in our mini notebooks and in our Writer's Notebooks!

Do you recognize these brave girls?  Thanks Abby, Katie, Parrish, Lena K., Joyce, Lena A. and Charlotte for preparing amazing speeches about why each of them would be the best choice for 5th Grade Leadership Council!  Their speeches were unique and inspiring.  Using the democratic process we voted for who we felt would best represent us at this time!  Congratulations to Lena A. and Charlotte.  As a class we had a meaningful discussion about the voting process and how to be an informed voter and to vote from the heart for the candidate whose beliefs fall in line with your own.  We also talked about excepting the results of an election with a Growth Mindset.  Acknowledging our disappointment and thinking about our next steps and being proud of ourselves for taking a risk!  I loved hearing the speeches, the effort our candidates talked of, and also hearing the encouragement of our voters, we were all part of the process and I think our community is stronger because of it!

We visited our Kindergarten Book Buddies and once again read to them but also listened to them read to us!  Check out the smiles and the nurturing 5th grade buddies!

Your child brought home a UNICEF box this week!  We are encouraging all Endeavor students to participate in this community service event in some way or another!  So search for coins under cushions or in the car, empty those piggy banks or simply trick or treat with your box in hand!  Every little bit helps and continues to support us as we learn to show empathy for others all over the globe!

Friday, October 11, 2013

Yeah NECAPS are done!

Dear Families,
Once again thanks for supporting your children the past two weeks as they persevered through 8 days of NECAP testing!  They justified their thinking, wrote clearly and believed in one another as they accomplished this giant task!  Your healthy snacks were much appreciated and helped me make sure that we had the stamina to work for over 2 hours a day!

Each and every space vocabulary share that has come into the classroom has been amazing!  The effort each student has put in is so apparent in the information that they have found out and the visual display of the information!  I can't wait for all of you to see these posters when you come in for conferences!  During Team Time this week we explored the phases of the moon!  We used BrainPop and an article to gain knowledge about the moon phases and that put our knowledge to the test by creating the moon phases with Oreos!  We also spent time in the library this week using eBooks to learn about The Night Sky.  We read with a purpose by searching for the answers to 3 questions.  We took notes using digital sticky notes and now have evidence to answer the questions!  These notes will be used to create a constructed response in our Science Journals!  Your child can access these eBooks through Destiny Quest on the Library Website!

We finally finished reading WONDER by R.J. Palacio.  We celebrated this by having a Book Discussion with Miss Natalie's class!  It was so fun to get together with another 5th Grade class!  We prepared ourselves well to have thoughtful small group discussions about the story, the characters, the authors and the lessons we learned from reading this book!  We also started reading Out of My Mind by Sharon Draper this week.  We are participating in the Global Read Aloud by reading this book!  Not only will we connect with classes here at SCS, but we will be connecting with other classes in the US and around the world!  Stay tuned to hear more about this!

Have an enjoyable weekend!  Play outside, get some sunshine and rest!  Don't forget to observe the moon!

PS.   Here are some photos from Kindergarten Book Buddies last week.