Math HW for Week of 6/2

CRITICAL ALERT: It would appear that there are but six class days remaining for our math class, and yet we have only just begun our final unit on long division! It shows the impact the shortened school schedule has had on our kids. It is extremely important parents remember this fact during the summer months and work with their children. No need to worry about complicated material such as algebra and geometry, but do make sure your child has truly memorized the times tables. Also take some time to review and practice long division, multi-column multiplication, and basic fractions. Math students, earn an extra point for your mathketball team by whispering to Mr. Lewis the answer to this math problem: Solve for n. 3/4 plus 2/8 = n. First five students will earn points. Here is the homework for the remainder of the year: Wednesday, June 2; Thursday, June 3 and Tuesday, June 8; Wednesday, June 9 and Friday, June 11.

Dates of Importance

We’re heading in to the final weeks of school, but there is still much left to do. We’re starting new play groups this week, all based on classic short stories (The Nose, The Open Window, and Rikki Tikki Tavi). Whether or not we’re able to perform them will depend on student commitment. Speaking of classics, be sure to check out the Kafkaesque paragraphs the students recently posted on their individual web pages. The four-day school week has left us hopelessly behind in our survey of history. With just 15 school days remaining, we still have an entire century to cover! We’re also trying to work in some hands-on science during these last few weeks. In fact, the Science Fair is among our list of important dates:

Fri., May 28, Science Fair Projects due in classroom
Wed., June 2nd, 1 pm, DARE Graduation (Music Room)
Thursday & Friday, June 3 & 4, Science Fair (Gym)
Fri., June 4, DARE Day (Family Fun Center)
Thu., June 10, Lava Beds Expedition
Fri., June 11, Classroom Play Performances
Fri., June 11, 5th Grade PTO Party
Tues., June 15, Roller Odyssey trip (tentative)
Wed., June 16, 5th Grade Baby Picture Program (Gym)
Wed., June 16th, Roadrunner Day
Thu., June 17th, Last Day

Math HW for Week of May 25

Students completed their unit on multi-digit multiplication with a chapter test last week. Check back in a few days to find out the class average. We went into the test knowing that many of the students still do not have mastery, and after much analysis and discussion, we believe we know why. First of all, even at this late date in the year, many of our students still do not know their times tables. Students should exit third grade with the tables committed to memory. Students who don’t know them should be spending time at home practicing on their own. Secondly, we’ve had a rash of students of late who are not completing their homework. The homework is designed to provide practice for the skills taught each day in class. Students who do not complete it are not getting sufficient practice. If your child did poorly on the chapter test, look first to these two areas in order to guide your student toward future success, It’s no surprise that the students who did well on the test know their multiplication facts and routinely complete their homework. This week, students are moving on to long division, where memorization of the math facts and homework practice are even more essential. Here’s the homework for this week: Wednesday, May 26; Thursday May 27; Friday, May 28. By completing their homework, students earn points for their mathketball team . . . and here’s an added bonus. The first five students to quietly approach Mr. Lewis and whisper the answer to 6 x 7 will earn an extra two points for their team.

State Testing Trauma

After what seems like months upon months of State testing, we have finally finished all these blasted exams. I’m sure the students are just as sick of them as the rest of us. Frankly, parents should be sick of them too. While standardized testing has its purpose, the present day over-emphasis detracts from time spent actually teaching and learning. Though catering to the results goes against my philosophy, I’m sharing the following results to acknowledge the hard work of CPE’s teachers, support staff, and administration, as well as the super effort of my fabulous Room 15 kids. In Grade 5 Reading, 81% of the class met or exceeded the State exam. Evan and JC tied for the top score. In Math, 91% met or exceeded with Emma topping the list. In Science, a subject we have little time to teach (due largely to the emphasis on State tests in Reading and Math), 75% of the class met or exceeded, with Katryna leading all students. Two-thirds of the class met or exceeded on all three exams, and JC exceeded on all three. Room 15 kids exceeded state averages on all the tests, proving once again that this is a super class. Thanks for all your hard work at home!

There are just 19 school days left, yet we have a ton of tasks yet to do. Here are a few of immediate importance: Kids should be working on their Science Fair projects, which are due June 3rd. DARE Graduation is coming soon. We’ll confirm the date ASAP. Students have also taken home permission slips for our year-end trip to the Lava Beds on June 10th.

Room 15 Update

Our student-teacher, Mrs. Odell, is presently doing the bulk of the teaching in Room 15. This week students will be continuing their nutrition study, learning about a handful of important and not-so-important inventions from the late 1800s, working on homographs within their Super Sentence practice, practicing their new plays (The Lightning Thief, Babe, and Nars), and creating a movie poster depicting the independent Book Club they were to have completed by Tuesday the 11th. Students can earn an extra $100 for their classroom checkbook by doing a calorie count for a family meal sometime this week. All they have to do is write down what they ate and how many calories each food item contained. It needs to be from an at-home meal with at least three food items representing at least three food groups. Finally, students are to be working on their Science Fair proposals, which are due prior to Memorial Day.

Arbor Day Tree Plant

Room 15 students joined high schoolers from the Crater School of Natural Sciences for the City of Central Point’s first ever Arbor Day event. Students planted 62 trees and shrubs as part of the Daisy Creek riparian zone restoration near Snowy Butte Station in Central Point. The project is designed to help with flood prevention. Special thanks to participating parents and to the community leaders who stopped by: Board Member Jolee Wallace, City Council Member Carol Fischer, Superintendent Randy Gravon, and City Administrator Phil Messina and his wife, Susan. The event was wonderfully organized by City of CP staffers Stephanie Holtey and Sarah Garceau.

Math HW for Week of May 4

Learning the steps for multi-column multiplication is typically challenging for many students, so repetition and patience are the prescribed responses. As students complete their homework at home be sure to have them re-write the problems on notebook paper, taking care to neatly line-up the problems. In class we say “stack” the problem. Students need to be reminded where and how to “carry” and to add in the carried digit in the next column. They also have to be reminded about writing down the place-holder zero. We’ll be working on multi-digit multiplication for the next three weeks or however long it takes to master it. Of course, long division follows. Here’s the homework for this week: Tuesday, May 4th; Wednesday, May 5th; Thursday, May 6th; Friday, May 7th.

You Are What You Eat

Or so the saying goes. This week our student-teacher, Mrs. Odell, will be helping Room 15 students uncover whether they’re a bunch of turkeys, a bushel of sweet potatoes, or a skillet full of sausages. The kids will be learning how to read food labels in order to make informed decisions about the foods they eat. They’ll also be planning a day’s worth of meals. Their small groups of four (simulating a traditional family) will be required to plan breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Each group has just $25 to “spend” in our imaginary classroom store. Their meals must meet the standards identified in the Food Pyramid and be between 1800 and 2200 calories per person. Students will also be counting their grams of fat, sugar, and protein as well.

Also this week students will be attending our Arbor Day field trip (see below), reciting DARE essays, hearing about “The Indian Wars” during history, and reading from their independent reading selection. Students were required to select a novel last Friday from which to read from each night. They’re expected to read for about 20 minutes each night and record a summary in their vocabulary/homework journal. This summary requires an adult’s signature for the student to receive credit.

Parents who wish to join us on the Arbor Day plant should be at the school by 8:45 on Friday. Students need to wear clothes and shoes appropriate for the event. If possible, each child should bring a pair or work/garden gloves. Thanks for your support of this event!