What fun we had!
What fun we had!
Happy Valentine’s Day to all of our wonderful families! The kids are all so excited for our party this afternoon. They will spend some time opening their own Valentines from their friends, and then we are headed to the preschool room so that they can help their bookpartners open and read their cards. After that, we will head back to our room and have our party! Thanks to all of the parents who planned the party, donated supplies, and who are willing to come in and assist. You are all appreciated!
As you have seen by now, part of the Middle Kids’ homework this week is to begin their write up for their Science Share projects. Their job is to neatly fill in their Question, their Hypothesis, and the list of Materials they will need. This pink sheet is their final copy and will be turned in next week. They are supposed to be filling it in using their neatest handwriting, with a pencil, and without spelling errors. Parents’ assistance and checking will be much appreciated!
Next week and the following week they will be filling in the final three steps – the Procedure, Observations, and Conclusion as well as preparing some form of recitation to present to their class on Friday, March 2nd. If it works better for your family to do the experiment over one of the next 2 weekends, that will be perfectly acceptable as well.
Science Fair display boards are available from Kari for $6.00. All 3rd graders (and eager 2nd graders) will need to get one! At this age, the kids will still need some help from a parent to create a well-laid out display. Of course we encourage them to do the majority of the work themselves, but an eye-catching display requires typing and printing text as well as photos, graphs, tables etc. and this can be pretty tricky for 2nd and 3rd graders to do on their own.
The kids brought home a Science Share Timeline and checklist last week, and should be following it and checking things off as they go. Please let us know if you have any other questions.
This week leading up to Valentines is a special week we like to call Rivendell Has Heart week. Jessica, our school counselor, made these Kindness Bingo Boards for the Middle Kids and we are encouraging students to fill up the board with acts of kindness! You should also check out the heart display hanging in the Commons that all the kids made in Art Class with Tina – it is beautiful! Go with your student and find their heart.
Good luck! Let us know if you have any questions.
What’s happening in Middle Kids this week??
Reading – We are still working with Nonfiction texts, asking why do we select certain nonfiction books over others? What are we looking for and hoping to find? How do we read these books? How is this different than the way we read novels? How can we use text features to help us navigate Nonfiction text easily and efficiently? The kids have selected a nonfiction book that interests them and are enjoying finding facts about many topics!
Math – Both classes hare working hard. This is our final semester to make progress in math books! 2 or more pages a day is our goal.
Topic Work and Writing – We are writing paragraphs on the animals of the African savanna using transition words, proper formatting, and good sentence structure. It’s hard work but we individualize to meet each child where they are while still challenging them. We will eventually put these paragraphs on posters similar to the Rainforest ones we did last week. Be sure to take a look in the commons!
Parent Teacher Conferences – Our final day for conferences is this Friday. There will be no school. Setting, meeting, and adjusting goals is a huge part of what we do each year at Rivendell. Each child is unique and their progress can be affected by many different things. Feel free to approach us with any questions you may have about your child!
Valentine’s – Yes! We celebrate Valentine’s Day at Rivendell. Each child should prepare a valentine for all the students in their class. Of course, they may also prepare valentines for teachers! Class lists will be going home later this week for reference. In short, Anna’s class has 13 total students, Bryce’s class has 15.
Hello All, and welcome to winter – finally! It may be the only sign of snow we have for awhile, but it’s kind of cool while it’s here!
Thanks to everyone who was able to make it to school last Friday to watch the Middle Kids’ musical! We thought they did a great job. There were a LOT of lines, songs, and moves to remember! Another great thing about this performance was the fact that they really learned a ton about geology along the way. Thanks again to Tina for all of her hard work.
We have a fairly normal week this week, aside from conferences on Friday. There is no school or daycare on Friday. Thanks to parents who have come in and reserved a time to talk with us about your kids’ growth this year. It is important that we meet with each of you, so if you haven’t selected a time yet please do so.
In topic work we will continue our study of Africa this week. We are going to move away from the rainforests to the savannas. We will learn about the plants, animals and climate of the savanna, and compare and contrast them to those of the rainforests. They will create another poster similar to the ones they made about the rainforest. Their rainforest posters are on display in the commons, so please stop in and take a look.
In Reader’s Workshop we are going to take a short break from our novels and look at the features of nonfiction books. We will learn how reading a nonfiction book is very different than reading a chapter book. We read nonfiction books to gather information, and learning to navigate using the different features is important. We will also spend some time talking about all of the different nonfiction reading people do on a daily basis. The average adult spends much more time each day reading nonfiction than fiction!
In math the kids are busily trying to meet their individual mid year goals. Some have already surpassed them, while others may need a little more time to meet them. This is one of the ways we individualize, and setting and adjusting goals is an important life skill. We will talk with parents about their child’s goals during our conferences.
Have a wonderful week! Let us know if you have any questions.
Welcome back to school Middle Kids families! Middle Kids have jumped right back into the swing of things this week and are doing a good job remembering the expectations and responsibilities they have here at school.
In Reader’s Workshop, students are learning that good readers clarify any confusion they have when they read. Middle Kids know that the first step to clarifying is realizing and admitting your confusion. The easy thing to do is ignore it and just keep on reading, which usually leads to more confusion later on! We’ve talked about quite a few strategies that help readers clarify their confusion…re-reading, sounding out hard words, looking unknown words up in a dictionary, and asking for help, to name a few!
In Writing, we are beginning to teach the valuable concept of a proper paragraph. Second year Middle Kids remember this skill from last year and will be charged with composing a 3 paragraph essay. First year Middle Kids will focus on mastering a simple paragraph. Our first topic? The African rain forest’s animals and plants!
This brings us to our brand new TOPIC of 2018: AFRICA. We will study Africa in three parts: Rain forest, Savannah and Desert. Kids have been enjoying BBC’s production of Africa, specifically the Congo episode. We’ve tasked them with remembering facts from the clips to use in their writing. We have all learned a lot about the African rain forest in just a few short days!
A few short reminders for this week…
We want to wish all of our amazing families the very best this holiday season, whichever holiday you choose to celebrate! It is a joy to come to work each day, working with your kids. We learn as much as they do as we help them through their daily challenges and celebrate their daily successes. We feel so fortunate to be able to work with such dedicated families, and parents who value our collaborative effort of raising this incredible new generation of talented people!
With just a few days left before heading our separate ways for a couple of weeks of well-deserved R and R, we wish you all a happy holiday however you wish to spend it!! Cheers!
Reminder – Thursday is only a half day. Pick-up will be at 11:30, and there is no daycare available that day.
Do you have questions about your child’s experience as they transition to Younger Kids, Middle Kids or Older Kids? Please join us for our Rivendell Transition Night presentations on December 5th from 5:30 to 6:30 to understand your child’s progression from one level to the next with our individualized program and whole-child approach. No cost to join! This is a parent-only event, but child-care will be provided.
We hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving break with lots of time for family, recreation, and relaxation! This time of year tends to move along SO quickly! We have less than 4 weeks until winter break, and the Middle Kids will be hustling to get a lot accomplished!
We are continuing our work on Native American booklets. We are realizing that the kids need more time than we originally planned, so we will be overlapping topic units until winter break. They are working so hard and adding so much creativity to this project that we certainly don’t want to rush them! We will start learning about mountains and geology, but we will set aside time each week to work on these booklets until they are done. We have planned a recitation on Friday, December 15th, and that is when they will present their Native American booklets to the class.
In readers workshop we have been spending time learning about the importance of visualization while reading. As the kids become better readers, they are selecting chapter books with fewer pictures. It is their job as good readers to build pictures in their heads as they read to further their comprehension. This is something that comes naturally to some, and takes more effort for others. One simple way we practice this skill is by pausing while reading a book with them and asking them to tell about what they are picturing in their heads. The more detail in their explanation the better! This is something that can be reinforced at home as well.
And don’t forget about:
The Outerwear Exchange! – This Thursday morning from 7:00 to 8:00. Bring some, take some!
It seems that we may have finally left our mild, warm days of early fall behind! The Middle Kids are doing a great job of coming to school prepared to go outside in the weather. Thanks to parents for helping them pack up in the morning.
This week we will begin our study of Native Americans with a map of the country divided into regions. We will begin to take a closer look at each region and the Native tribes who originally made them their homes. The kids will begin to see how the lifestyles of these people were a reflection of the landscape and the natural resources of the region. After that, our plan is for each student to do a more in depth study of a specific tribe. We will have to cover a lot of information in a fairly short time since we have only this week and next before our short Thanksgiving week!
The Middle Kids have begun practicing for their annual musical performance. This year Tina has chosen “Geology Rocks” for the Middle Kids. It is a funny and informative show based on geology. It fits in well with our upcoming topic unit about mountains and plains. The kids have been given their parts for the show, and at some point they may be bringing their lines home for extra practice. Thanks in advance for helping them to memorize words and songs. More information about this show will be coming your way soon.
Have a great week, and stay warm!