In Mrs. Deverell’s science class, we are learning about motion and design. In this unit, students are learning Isaac Newton’s three laws of motions, including how gravity and friction affect motion, as well as related vocabulary. Students are working in groups of 2-4 and experimenting with K’nex cars they built themselves. As they progress, they are keeping a Motion and Design Science Journal to show their results along with way. They are experiencing hands-on learning while enhancing their ability to work with others as a team.
That bittersweet time of year is here again… I am melancholy about the end of the carefree days of summer, yet filled with anticipation of the year to come. My mind starts to race and I brainstorm ideas for teaching lessons, ponder potential field trips, look forward to new technology, and wonder what my students will be like.
Once again, my homeroom will consist of a blend of 4th and 5th graders. I’d like to welcome Mrs. Boulanger as our facilitating teacher this year. She will replace Mrs. Greenamyer who is replacing Mrs. List. I will teach 5th grade reading, writing, and math in the mornings, while my 4th grade students will be taught those subjects by Mrs. Boulanger.
There are some exciting things happening with technology this year. Thanks to a donation from a company contracted by Smart Technologies, I will be one of only two elementary teachers in the district to have a Smartboard. The Oregon Education Association approved a grant for me to purchase and iPad that will allow me to create instructional videos that are tailored specifically to our math lessons and to use Apps for instruction in the classroom. Hand-me-down laptops from the ESD that have been souped up with Windows 7 software are now available for student use. Also, thanks to the bond measure that passed this year, Bethel schools will start receiving new computers after winter break.
Anyone who knows me knows how much I love field trips! We already have our first field trip to Mt. Pisgah in the works. Keep and eye on your student’s Tuesday folder and my blog for updates on dates and times.
Home Access Center is a fantastic resource for parents and students to check progress and homework completion. Parents new to HAC will want to read the Home Access Center page on the Bethel website. If you have trouble finding your user name and password, contact the main office at Danebo for that information. I believe that communication is the key to student success so please feel free to contact me with questions or information regarding your student.
I am pleased to announce that the entire 4/5th grade at Danebo has received a grant for $2400, enabling all three classes to participate in a Marine Discovery Boat Tour on the Yaquina Bay. The boat tour will take place on our field trip to the Oregon coast on May 17th. PTO has also agreed to pay for buses. This amazing news means that students will only be required to pay for admission to the Oregon Coast Aquarium and everything else is free! Please watch your student’s Tuesday folder for more information to come.
Monday marked the start of our final trimester of the school year. This gives students an opportunity to make a fresh start and it is also a great time to work on establishing study habits that will help them to be successful the following year. Our class brainstormed some ideas on how they can be successful:
Manage your time: don’t wait until the last minute
Go back and check your work and/or have an adult look it over for mistakes.
Take notes and look back at them when completing assignments.
Read the directions.
Exercise or relax for a while before doing homework.
Eat a snack/dinner before homework.
Be prepared with the materials you need to get the job done.
Have a routine- do homework at the same time every day if possible.
Use reminders such as an alarm clock, cell phone notifications, or notes.
Work where you can focus.
Use your assignment sheet to keep track of assignments.
The class also discussed the grading system for 4th and 5th grade and how assignments contribute to their grades. Intermediate students receive letter grades that are based on points earned out of points received. Students and parents are encouraged to keep track of assignments on Home Access Center. In general, students are permitted to hand in late work or redo assignments for a better grade so please speak to the teacher if work needs to be made up.
Parents of middle and high schoolers in the Bethel school district are likely to be very familiar with the Home Access Center already. I am happy to announce that 4th and 5th grade teachers will now be using the online gradebook as well, giving parents the opportunity to stay apprised of their younger students’ progress. Gradebooks will be updated weekly, showing all graded assignments and what grade the student has earned for that assignment. This provides a convenient way for parents to check up on how their child is doing and is all the more important now that our first parent-teacher conference is not until December.
I encourage all parents to utilize the Home Access Center and to contact me with any concerns or questions.
Who was the master spy of Yorktown? What was the shot heard round the world? Who is John Hancock? These questions will all be answered in our next unit of study- The American Revolution. Espionage, battles, and amazing coincidences make this topic super-engaging. Check out the new social studies page under What’s Hot for more information about the American Revolution.
I find myself losing sleep these days… not because I’m worrying how we will do on state testing or even because I know that I still haven’t taken down my Christmas lights yet, despite the accusing looks of my neighbors… No, it is the universe that keeps me up at night. More specifically “How the Universe Works,” a series that is airing on the Science Channel late each night. Luckily, you can watch some clips of this incredible series on Astronomy and the origins of the universe on YouTube well before bedtime. It will make your brain tingle. Here’s a sample of what’s in store…
Through the technology of time-lapse photography, from the remote regions of South Dakota, we can see the sky as our ancestors must have seen it, before light pollution made it so difficult to view the heavens. Watch a video of the night sky in winter from Dakotalapse.com to see the constellations Orion and Scorpio. Look for the belt of Orion, three bright stars in a row, at 2:39 in the video. Can you see Scorpio chasing Orion out of the sky? You can also see the Milky Way as viewed from Earth and other interesting videos.