Hey Platypuses!

chilleanrose001Hey Platypuses, it’s back to class! I’m looking forward to seeing all of you again. We have a ton of great things going on this week. We’ll be starting new book clubs (two Roald Dahl classics and a George Washington novel), creating new Matheketball teams as we move into fractions and measurement, re-starting our Friday Clubs (but on Thursday instead), and introducing our mealworm science project. The biggest question of all, though, is this: has Nightmare, our class tarantula, come out of hiding? There’s also an assembly on Tuesday, which begs the question, who will be the Students-of-the-Month for March?  Here’s the math homework for this week: Monday, March 30th (part 1 and part 2); Tuesday, March 31st; Wednesday, April 1st; Thursday, April 2nd.

Room 15 Update for Mar. 9

We’re still trying to get our plays performed. The kids are ready, it’s simply a matter of being able to gain access to the stage. Grade-level performances by the first and second graders have us waiting in the wings. While we wait, students should be trying to come up with simple costume items to help distinguish their characters. The most likely scenario is that we’ll perform all three on Monday, March 16th at 9 a.m.. Thanks for your patience.

We also didn’t get to new book clubs last week, and with Spring Break just around the corner, we’ll now wait until April. The kids do have a vocabulary exam this Thursday, and another math quiz on Friday. Here’s the math homework for the week: Tuesday, March 10; Wednesday, March 11; Thursday, March 12.

Our floor hockey games have been thrilling. If you haven’t seen one, we encourage you to watch of games with Mr. Kuhlman’s class on Wednesday at 11:00 a.m.. Our fourth graders have gone 2-1-1 against the fifth graders. Wins against Mr. K could give one or both of our teams a shot at the championship, which is on Tuesday, March 17th at 12:45 (followed by the 5th grade vs teacher game).

Finally, conferences are scheduled for Wednesday through Friday of next week. Be sure to schedule one by clicking on the Spring Conferences tab above. I’ll send out a confirmation e-mail soon.

Checkbook Season

Kids are excited about rolling out the Checkbook Project. They’re anxious to spend, but what the program really teaches is how to earn, organize, and save. The Checkbook Project is a classroom economy that teaches “real-world” math skills while motivating students to do their best. We use it throughout the 4th and 5th grades at CPE. If you care to read more about the project, click here, and if at any time you have questions or concerns, please e-mail me.

Spring parent-teacher conferences are coming up. You can sign-up for a time slot by clicking on the Spring Conferences tab above.

In class we’ll be working on a new set of vocabulary words, trying to get our plays performed, and continuing our study of long division. Here’s the math homework for the week: Monday, March, 2nd; Tuesday, March 3rd; Wednesday, March 4th; Thursday, March 5th. For reading, kids should be reading from a book of choice until we start new book clubs late in the week. Finally, the school’s Sportsmanship Floor Hockey Tourney is underway. Family members are welcome to come watch our games. This week our two teams, The Golden Roadrunners and Los Locos play Ms. Strand’s third graders on Monday at 12:45, Mrs. Torrey’s 5th graders Wednesday at 11:30, and Mr. Hadley’s 5th graders Thursday at 11:30.



Jeopardy Champions!

Congrats to to our winning History Jeopardy group, which consisted of Sophie Q., Peyton, Giovanni, and Ana. They prudently wagered their winnings and correctly responded to the Final Jeopardy item, “When the Jamestown settlers took Pocahontas to London, they gave her this English name.” (Ask your child for the correct response). Kudos to all the students for presenting a strong Jeopardy competition. They also seemed to have done a good job on the history test that followed the next day.

hockey-clip-art-floor_hockeyCongrats to the Coca-Cola Crew and the Doughnuts, the top two teams in our classroom floor hockey tourney. They’ll play for the championship on Monday (the 23rd) at 10:00 a.m.. The school tourney, meanwhile, starts on Friday with an assembly for the 3rd, 4th, and 5th graders at 12:45. We’ll be watching the first two games of CPE’s Sportsmanship Floor Hockey Tourney at that time.

More congrats, this one to Yuri for winning a lead role in the Crater Performing Arts play, “Mary Poppins.” Yuri will be playing Jane, the child lead in the story. Yea, Yuri! Yuri’s also playing Abe Lincoln (believe it or not) in our class play, “A President’s Day Dream,” which we hope to perform the week of March 2nd. We’ll continue to work on our plays, including “The Secret Soldier” and “Tearing Down the White House,” this week. In addition to reviewing their lines each night, students should be developing their costumes, which need only be enough to distinguish one character from another. Yuri, for example, might simply be sporting a stove-top hat and a beard. Yuri, by the way, is also running a drama club for our Friday afternoon club time in class. Other clubs include a crocheting club (Kara’s), a knitting club (McKenna’s), a science club (Alyssa’s), a drawing club (Rayden’s), and a history club (JB’s). The student-created and student-led activities give our kids a chance to develop their leadership, collaboration, and teaching skills while pursuing areas of personal interest. Friday’s first-day effort went decently well!

Students are expected to finish their independent chapter book by Thursday morning this week. They will also be editing and revising their latest Perfect Paragraphs, working on dialogue sentences with the speaker at the beginning, looking closely at the American Revolution in history class, and learning the traditional algorithm for long division. Here’s the math homework for the week: Monday, Feb. 23; Tuesday, Feb. 24; Wednesday, Feb. 25; Thursday, Feb. 26.


Congrats to Our Students of the Month!

Valentines Party 2015Congratulations to Mya B. and Hailee H., our Students-of-the-Month for January, and McKenna D. and Kara H., or Students-of-the-Month for February. These students have consistently demonstrated academic excellence, good citizenship, and an enthusiastic attitude. Great job, ladies!

Special thanks to all the families who contributed snacks for our Valentine’s party. We’ll be using the abundant leftovers for in-class snacks during math and for prizes for in-class contests. Thanks also to all the folks who sent in Valentine’s gifts for this ol’ teacher. The thought is appreciated!

In class this week we’ll be continuing our study of division, playing History Jeopardy, taking our semester History exam (Friday–here’s Wednesday night’s study guide), and writing Perfect Paragraphs in the imaginative mode. We’ll also be taking our play practice to the stage (the kids need to be thinking about developing their costumes). Here’s the homework for this week: Tuesday, Feb. 17th; Wednesday, Feb. 18th; Thursday, Feb. 19th. For reading, students should be reading from their poem, their plays, AND their independent chapter book, which needs to be finished by the end of February. Thanks for keeping the kids reading!




Schedule Change

Due to the large number of activities this week (Valentines, Spirit Week, planting the Douglas Fir, awards assembly, etc.) we’ve decided to postpone History Jeopardy and the History exam until next Thursday and Friday. That’ll give kids a little more time to study on their own and us a bit more time to review material in class. That also means the third study guide activity from the previous post will be assigned next Wednesday night instead of this week. Thanks for your understanding.

Thanks to Parents

A special thanks to the parents who were undeterred by the forecast of high winds and heavy rains to join us for the tree planting trip last week: Mr. Kilbane, Mr. Liles, Mr. Martin, Mr. & Mrs. Bugarin, Mrs. Ceremony, Mr. Wood, and Mr. Qualls. The weather turned out to be surprisingly decent and, thanks in large part to all of you, the kids had a great experience. Although the tree planting was done in Josephine County, most Grants Pass-area schools cancelled, leaving the bulk of the planting to three hardy groups of District 6 kids from CPE, Mae Richardson, and Sams Valley. Kudos to our kids for stepping up!

Big events this week include History Jeopardy on Thursday and the semester history exam on Friday. The kids will be bringing home study guide activites on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday nights to help prepare them. On Friday we’ll also be having a Valentine’s Party in the afternoon. Students are working on their mailboxes either at home or school. Students are not required to participate, but if they choose to give out Valentine’s, they’re expected to give one to each of our 36 students. A class list will go home on Monday. On Friday we’ll also be attending an awards assembly in the gym where we’ll be naming our Room 15 Students-of-the-Month for January and February.  In class this week we’re working on our plays, starting independent chapter books (for homework reading), crafting Super Sentences, and working on division. Here’s the homework: Monday, Feb. 9th; Tuesday, Feb. 10th; Wednesday, February 11th; Thursday, February 12th.

What’s Up in Room 15

In Room 15 this week, students will be finishing their current book clubs, tackling a new set of vocabulary words, and preparing for our upcoming Tree Plant field trip in Josephine County on February 5th. In math, the students did a great job on their multi-column multiplication chapter test. We’ll be reviewing this concept often. This week we’ll be moving on to… Here’s the math homework for the week: Tuesday, Jan. 27th; Wednesday, Jan. 28th; Thursday, Jan. 29th. There is no school on Monday, Jan. 26th due to teacher inservice, a day in which the shoe is on the other foot and all us teachers have to sit in class and listen to an instructor blather on. It gives us empathy for our own students.

Update for Jan. 19

Dr. King in 1964. (Public Domain)Happy MLK Day! On Friday, students read a play about Dr. King’s childhood and a non-fiction article about his legacy. In class this week students are continuing their new book clubs with daily and nightly reading assignments and finishing up their unit on multi-digit multiplication with a chapter test on Thursday, among other subjects. Here’s the homework for this week: Tuesday. Jan. 20; Wednesday, Jan 21st; Thursday, Jan. 22nd.

Congrats to out 500 Club members: Josiah, McKenna, JJ, Jaden F., Rayden, Hailee H., Jazmin, Kara, Jonathan J., Alyssa, Symphony, Sidney, and Molly. These kids have each logged at least 500 minutes of homework reading over the last five weeks. They’ll celebrate their endeavor with a 500 Club party at lunchtime on Thursday, Jan. 22nd. Meanwhile, students who logged 300 minutes or less during that period took home progress reports on Friday that must be signed by an adult.

Room 15 kids completed their radio plays: The Emperor’s New Clothes (starring Hailee H. as the Emperor and Emma as the Empress); The Sword and the Stone (starring Ricky as Arthur and Jordan as Merlin); and Cidro-ella (starring Sidney as Cidro). Click on the title to listen. To download and save on your own device, right click on the media player that pops up and select “Save Audio As.”

Finally, don’t forget about our tree plant field trip on Thursday, Feb. 5th. It’s one of the best trips of the year and we need lots of chaperones. Let me know if you can join us.


Room 15 Update for Jan. 11

2014 Josephine County Tree PlantRoom 15 kids will be starting new book clubs this week. Two of three groups will have nightly homework reading. Students from the third group (The Giraffe, the Pelly, and Me) will read the entire book in-class, but they’re expected to read at home for at least twenty to thirty minutes each night from a book of choice. We also hope to record our radio drama plays this week, which with any luck will appear on the Platy soon. In math, we’ll be continuing our work with multi-column multiplication. Here’s the math homework for this week: Monday, Jan. 12; Tuesday, Jan. 13; Wednesday, Jan. 14; Thursday, Jan. 15.

An important date upcoming is the Tree Plant field trip on Thursday, Feb. 5th. We need parents to serve as chaperones. Each chaperone will lead one small group of approximately five kids as they plant tree seedlings in the Josephine County forest property. It’s a marvelous trip. To see highlights from previous trips, click here.