December 19 All day O&A to Oregon Symphony
December 23 Winter Break Begins
January 6 School Resumes
January 6 Library Visit
Homework Due by Friday, December 13th
1. Read for at least 20 minutes every night.
2. Complete at least 30 minutes of math practice (click here for DreamBox).
3. Complete 20 minutes of typing practice.
4. Optional: Compete Paragraph of the Week writing assignment.
Prompt: We’ve all interacted with an animal. Some families have pets. Some people have been on pony rides or visited a zoo. Write about an experience you have had with an animal.
Upcoming Out and Abouts
This month, we will use our Out & About time for Fairy Tale Engineering Labs! This week, students can either construct a raft for the Three Billy Goats Gruff or a house for the Three Little Pigs. Next week, we will do another engineering project on Wednesday and then we will go into Portland to see the Oregon Symphony's Nutcracker Cirque!
1. Breakfast Donations - Needed this week and next!
2. Library Chaperones - Needed 1/6
3. Out & About Chaperones - Needed 1/23 for Oregon Children's Theater and 1/28 for Oregon Ballet Theater
Classroom Economy Updates
Last week, the Plovers made their first rent payment! Students earn up to 10 dino dollars a week for completing their classroom job, which they have held since October. One way students can always earn bonus pay is by completing the "Paragraph of the Week" writing assignment that I post in the homework section above. They can also earn bonus pay by keeping their book cubby clean or completing extra assignments in class, like vocabulary packets. Finally, students can win free rent or up to 100 dino dollars when they spin the "Prize Wheel" for completing their weekly typing and math homework!
The classroom economy helps students learn valuable life skills such as organization, the value of saving, and delayed gratification in an authentic way. Rather than being told about the importance of these skills, they actually experience them. They are also given documents to deal with—for example, weekly job reflections and bank slips for deposits and withdrawals—to emphasize the importance of record keeping and attention to detail. Some goals of our classroom economy are for students to:
- Learn the value of earning a paycheck by completing their classroom job responsibilities.
- Demonstrate stewardship and citizenship.
- Learn how to budget their spending, balance a checking account, and make scheduled rent payments.
- Discover the importance of saving money to purchase what they want from the class store.
- Find out that every decision has an opportunity cost.
Last week, students completed their first fairy tale engineering project! They either constructed a parachute for Jack to escape the giant (Jack & the Beanstalk) or a zip line to carry Little Red Riding Hood's cookies to her grandma's house. Ask your Plover to tell you about the project. Here are some questions to guide you: Was your design successful? How could you tell? Did you try any designs that didn’t work? What surprised you about the project? What frustrated you about the project?
Over Winter Break, you might try your own parachute or zip line challenge at home! For the parachute, you will need a variety of lightweight materials such as plastic grocery bags, tissue paper, newspaper, and more. You will also need string or even dental floss and an action figure. Parachutes overcome gravity by collecting air and floating to the ground. It is important for them to be lightweight and have a wide surface area. They are gathered in the center because it creates a pocket or a bubble to hold the air. The action figure will weigh it down, but the pocket of air creates drag which will slow down the force of gravity and keep Jack in the air longer. This makes a fun family challenge! See who can create a parachute that stays in the air the longest!
For the zip line challenge, you will need some twine. Tie one end to a tall object or window, and tie
the other end to a shorter object to create a downward slope. Then, try building different contraptions that can travel down the zip line using a variety of materials from home such as straws, clothespins, pipe cleaners, and more. To travel down a zip line, the contraption will need to reduce the friction created between the line itself and the device. Many “real” zip lines use a pulley and a wheel. Gravity will also affect the success of the zip line; try to find a way to use gravity to your advantage! Something too light will not have a strong enough pull of gravity. Something that is too heavy (or unbalanced) will cause the twine to pull down too far which will either make a really bumpy and slow ride or will cause it not to move at all. If you try either challenge at home, I would love to hear how it goes and even see pictures!
Please contact me with any questions or concerns. Parents and students can e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also leave a voice message on the class phone or set up a time to meet with me before/after school.