Rivendell Middle Kids

Newsletter for September 9th

As we begin our fourth week of school, we fall into our regular weekly schedule.  The kids have settled into the routine, made new friends and are happy to work hard and learn every day.  This has been a wonderful start to the year.

On Tuesday we have Back-to School Night.  This is the best time to learn about the curriculum, our classroom expectations and have your questions answered. The Middle Kids’ presentation is 7:00-7:25. There is also a presentation by the Rivendell Board at 6:00 and 6:30.

We will be concluding our study of the Mayas this week with an expository writing about the mysterious decline of their civilization.  The kids will learn how to write a “hamburger paragraph” with a topic sentence, three supporting details and a concluding sentence.  We will work on organizing the paragraph with a T-chart and using this to help write the paragraph.  We will then begin to learn and compare the Aztecs and Incas.  Students who worked on this skill last year will work on creating better topic sentences and writing more than one paragraph.

In Reading Workshop we will work on making good predictions before reading.  A good prediction uses the title, images from the cover and background knowledge to make a logical “guess” as to what will happen in the story.  In Writers’ Workshop we will begin working on “Show not Tell”  in our memoirs. And, of course, we will be busy learning new concepts and working hard in books in our math work sessions.

This week for homework the kids will continue to work on Mad Minutes.  Remember, the goal of Mad Minutes is to complete the sheet quickly without using fingers.  We know that our students can figure out all the answers to the equations, but now we want them to work on memorization.  Also, this week we have our first recitation.  Recitations are a lot like Younger Kids’ Show and Tell, except now the students need to write out the speech.  A note about this week’s recitation is included in the homework folder along with a special piece of paper on which to write.  Parents will need to help a little with this homework.  We are asking that you check the finished product for complete sentences, capital letters and periods and correct spelling. This is a great opportunity for our students to practice neat handwriting and use all their grammar skills.  On Friday, the kids will share their speech with the class.  This helps build public speaking skills and confidence in a safe, friendly environment.