Rivendell Middle Kids

Here we come Spring!

 

Image result for spring buds emerging

Here we are in the final week before Spring Break!  This time of year sure flies by. The Middle Kids did a fantastic job last Friday with their Science Share presentations!  It is always so fun to see what they come up with.  We all learned a lot!  And so many of our kids entered their projects into the Science Fair – even kids who weren’t required to!  The display boards look amazing.  Thanks to you parents for supporting them and helping them to get these completed on time.  We know this requires quite a bit of your help at their age, but each year you will find that they can do more and more on their own.  Please be sure to set aside some time to walk through the Commons and learn something new!

We have started a new topic unit on Dinosaurs which will continue through mid April.  We started last week with a discussion of what the kids already know about dinosaurs and what they hope to learn throughout this unit.  Today we are spending some time learning about how dinosaurs are classified.  During this unit, we will also learn about fossilization, the dinosaur timeline, herbivores vs. carnivores,  and the different adaptations dinosaurs had.  On the Friday after Spring Break the middle kids will be doing recitations about a chosen dinosaur so that we can learn about them in more detail.  Of course, we will be sending home instructions for this recitation on Monday, March 19th.

We hope you all have a fantastic Spring Break next week.  We all look forward to having this time.  Whether your family is off on a plane to another part of the world or country, or just staying here in  wonderful Colorado, we hope you enjoy every minute of it!

Remember to purchase your tickets for the Rivendell Spring Event, Havana Nights! You can purchase tickets here. This year Manabi, a local salsa band, will be playing at The Rio: Agave room. Rivendell will host Kid’s Night In for only $15.00 from 6:00 to 10:30 PM, so come out and enjoy a night of games, bidding on student projects and community experiences, good food, mojitos, and dancing!

Sign up for Kids Night In at the front office. Thank you!

 

Love and Science!

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.

Rivendell Has Heart!

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.

Timeline for the upcoming Science Share and Science Fair:

Last week: Overview of the upcoming Middle Kid Science Share project and ideas for projects was sent home in folders.

This week: Work on and research project ideas. Think outside the box. NO VOLCANOES. There is a difference between a fun demonstration and an experiment that answers a question. We are looking for the latter.

Next week: We will send home a sheet where kids need to record their 1) Question 2) Hypothesis and 3) List of Materials. Please spend this week gathering materials and preparing to do the actual experiment.

Week of Feb 19th: Kids will record their 4) Procedure, perform their experiment, record their 5) Observations and write up their 6) Conclusion.

Week of Feb 26th: Middle Kids with projects that take longer may need this week to complete their experiments and observations. Regardless, this week will be available for finishing up projects and preparing for the in-class Science Share Recitation that will be happening on Friday, March 2. Some sort of visual will be necessary to show the class during Recitations. Some kids bring in photographs, others bring in the actual experiment. Middle Kids should be confident enough to talk freely about the process and results of their experiment. This means they should have the lead role in performing the experiment.

Week of Mar 5th: 3rd graders are required to display their projects in the Commons at the Rivendell Science Fair. They must follow display guidelines that were sent home. 2nd graders are welcome to enter the Science Fair as well if they desire.

 

Good luck! Let us know if you have any questions.

February!

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.

Oh, so this is what winter looks like!

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.

Happy New Year!

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…

  • MLKJ Day is next Monday (1/15/18) and we do not have school
  • Re-enrollment forms are coming home in folders today (Thursday) Get these back to your classroom teacher or Madeline in the front office by Jan 30!
  • 2nd Conferences will be done mid-year this year. Sign up sheets are available outside of each classroom. Please sign up for a 30 minute slot. The dates are Friday, Jan 26 and Friday, Feb 2.

 

Joys of the Season!

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.

December Is Here!

It’s December already, but in Middle Kids, we are continuing to work on independence, responsibility, initiative and integrity. In Spelling Work Sessions, some of our first year MKs are experiencing great success as they work hard to accomplish above and beyond the minimum page requirement! Second year MKs are getting the hang of Vocabulary and feeling more confident!
In Reader’s Workshop, we are practicing the difficult skill of “inferring.” Making an inference is drawing a conclusion from the text that the author did not explicitly state. We use our background knowledge and the author’s words as clues to make accurate inferences. Middle Kids are getting a lot of practice with this skill during our Read Aloud times, too!
In Writing, students continue to add to their informational booklet on their assigned Native American tribe. Kids are impressing us with their research skills, summarizing skills, aesthetic ability (for page layout) and independence!
Please see the details about our upcoming Transition Night. This is especially beneficial to those of you who are either new to Rivendell or have kids moving up to a new level next year. 🙂
Rivendell Transition Night

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.

Below is the schedule for presentations:
Younger Kids    5:30 – 6:00 PM     Rachael’s Room
Middle Kids       6:00 – 6:30 PM     Anna’s Room
Older Kids         5:30 – 6:00 PM     Suzanne’s Room

The Holiday Hustle!

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!

Rivendell Transition Night
 
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.

Below is the schedule for presentations:
Younger Kids    5:30 – 6:00 PM     Rachael’s Room
Middle Kids       6:00 – 6:30 PM     Anna’s Room
Older Kids         5:30 – 6:00 PM     Suzanne’s Room