Outdoor Discovery Center Field Trip

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Our class will be traveling to the Outdoor Discovery Center on February 5th to study winter ecology by snowshoe! We are very excited to go on this field trip.  Our classes will be able to explore a natural area in winter on snowshoes with a naturalist. We will be able to experience habitats, adaptations, and predator and prey relationships.

Your child will need all of their warmest clothing (mittens, hats, snow pants, and snow boots along with a lunch from home.  We will be outside for the entire morning, so PLEASE DRESS WARM!!

If you are interested in chaperoning, we can take five chaperones per class for free, but unfortunately you will need to drive. We will randomly choose five parents for each class to attend for free. If you are not chosen, you are  welcome to join us, but will need to pay the $4.50 admission. We will leave the school at 9:00 and will depart about 1:00.  Please email me if you would like to come.

Please send $2.50 to school with your child by Thursday, January 29.

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Gaga Pit

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Please remember to send in GAGA PIT DOLLARS because we’d would love to be the first class in the pit.  This would be a GREAT recess activity for the kids!
We have one more week to go!  Here’s a link to the blog post about the GAGA PIT CONTEST
Here are the current stats:  First Place- Mrs. Walenta Gr 5; Second Place- Mrs. Bohl Gr K; Third Place- Ms. Yankee K; Fourth Place -Mrs. Flory; Fifth Place – Mr. Kooiker 4.  We have one more week to GO…and we are half way to the goal.  The class that brings in the most money is first into the GAGA PIT!


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The children completed a variety of science experiments for our sound unit. This was a loud unit for the classrooms that were close to ours.  We were able to make horns and see how pitch changes with the length of the straw. We have been reviewing  the specific vocabulary terms for this unit. Your child should have brought home flashcards to practice at the beginning of last week.   An online quiz, matching game or printable flashcards can be viewed by clicking on the picture below:

If your child would like to visit websites that provide a review, as well as, allow them to experiment with sounds, instruments, pitch and vibration, click on the pictures below:



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I will not be sending home a specific paper with activities for each spelling unit. By not doing this we will conserve paper, especially seeing that the forms were often not returned. It is still expected that your child will practice his/her words 4 times weekly and read for 20 minutes 5 times per week.

Your child’s word list came home yesterday based on how well he/she did on the pretest.

  • Unit 11: smooth, move, tooth, moon, loop, good, number, cluck, skunk, spoon
  • Challenge Word List: attitude, scooter, confuse, noodle, shampoo, bedroom, accuse, balloon, consume, goose

Ideas to Practice Spelling at Home:

1. Create a set of flashcardsHave your child write the spelling word in pencil on one side an index card. There are some ways to use flashcards other than just using them to quiz. You can:

  • Trace the word in pen or marker to reinforce knowing the letters and shape the word makes when it’s spelled correctly.
  • Read the word, turn the card over, write it again and flip to check  accuracy.

2. Create a second set of flashcards with the definition of the word on it. If possible, use a different color index card then the first set.

  • You can read or show  the definition and tell you the word that goes with it.
  • Flip the card over and write the correct spelling word on the back.
  • Test self by writing the words on a separate piece of paper as he/she looks at the card.

3. Use both sets of flashcards to play spelling Memory.

  • Arrange the flashcards in rows, face down on the table.
  • Each player takes a turn to pick up a two cards, one of each color. If the word and definition match, the player keeps the cards. If not, she puts them back in the same place and it’s the next player’s turn.
  • The players will have to remember the position of the cards in order to match them up. When all the cards are gone, the player with the most matches wins.

4. Use alphabet magnets or Scrabble tiles to spell out each word.

5. Write the word  list on a piece of construction paper. Then cut the words apart into strips. Then, cut those words into letters and have your child reconstruct the list.

6. Type the spelling words on the computer. This will help to reinforce how to spell each words and help recognize what the words will look like in a book or other reading material. This will also help reinforce typing skills, especially if they are using the home row keys.

7. Write or type a story using all of the spelling words. The story doesn’t have to be a masterpiece, but it should show that he/she knows how to spell and use each word properly.

8.  Use the Spelling City website.  Parents can register for the free version  and input your child’s spelling word lists. Your child can then play games and activities or take practice tests on the site.

9. Use Discovery Education’s puzzlemaker toolYou can create word searches using your child’s spelling words.

10.  Alphabetize the word list. This can be done either by writing them in alphabetical order or by using the flashcards.

11.  Sit down with your child, two pencils and a piece of paper. Tell your child the spelling word you’ll be practicing and write the first letter of the word. Pass the paper to your child so he/she can add the next letter. You add the letter after that, repeating until the word is spelled.

12Create Mad Libs only using the spelling words. You can either buy Mad Libs books for just this purpose or find them online at Wacky Web Tales.

Math Update

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We are on Unit 4 in math. Your child will be participating in math activities that help him or her understand place value, rounding, and addition/subtraction of 3-digit numbers.

  • Place Value Drawings: Students learn to represent numbers with drawings that show how many hundreds, tens, and ones are in the numbers.
  • Addition Methods: Students may use the common method called, “New Groups Above” (which many parents know as borrowing), as well as two alternative methods. In the New Groups Below Method, students add from right to left and write the new ten and new hundred on the line. In the Show All Totals method, students add in either direction, write partial sums and then add the partial sums to get the total. Students also use proof drawings to demonstrate grouping 10 ones to make a new ten and grouping 10 tens to make a new hundred.
  • Subtraction Methods: Students may us the common method in which the subtraction is done right to left, with the ungrouping done before each column is subtracted. They also learn an alternative method in which all the ungrouping is done before the subtracting. If they do all the ungrouping first, students can subtract either from left to right or from right to left.