Andy Mason, the husband of a former Rivendell student, came to school today to sing and play his guitar for our kids. They loved it. His website is www.andymasonmusic.org.
Hello Rivendell families, this is Hilary, I come in on Tuesdays to have a little writing fun with your lovely kids. Today we went over editing and revising. This is often the most challenging part of the writing process. Jane and I had them do some peer editing, we emphasized reading it aloud to find awkward portions, correcting grammar and punctuation, and word choice. It is hard work, but our kids are doing a great job.
Older Kids’ News
October 15th – 19th
Conferences are Friday, October 19th and Friday, October 26th. Please be sure to sign up for a conference time if you have not done so already. If the times and dates listed do not work for you, please contact your child’s teacher for other arrangements.
We are posting reminders, pictures and updates daily on our class webpage. Please be sure to check in to see what is happening in Older Kids. Posting pictures and information during the day is a great way for us to share our experiences with all of you. The link to our website is www.rivendell-school.org/olderkids.
As there is no school on Friday, October 19th, the Vocabulary Test will take place on Thursday at 10:30am. Please encourage your child to study for the test. Taking extra time to read over Part E in the lesson is a good way for kids to be better prepared.
Our students began the year reviewing adjectives, nouns and verbs. We are presently working on recognizing different types of adverbs. Next week our students will begin making parts of speech boxes. These boxes will be used as a hands on way to diagram sentences. We have borrowed this idea from Maria Montessori and instead of spending hundreds of dollars on Montessori’s beautiful wooden boxes, we will improvise and have students create their own boxes. Each box will have a section for each part of speech and each part of speech will be color-coded. Students will write words on strips of paper that correspond to the color of that part of speech. After completing the construction of boxes and words, our students will use them to construct sentences and diagram those sentences. We have had tremendous success with all different types of learners with this method. Kids learn where words live in relation to each other and they begin to recognize how words can change from a verb to noun to an adjective depending on a suffix or how they are used. Please ask your child about this activity later next week; we will post pictures on our website of the process.
For all fifth grade students and parents, a reminder was sent out last week regarding Fifth Grade Math with Pat. Pat gives homework after each class meeting, and that homework is due the day before students are scheduled to meet with her again. Students meet with the same group, on the same day each week. Pat uses the graded homework in the following class, so it is imperative that students turn their work in on time. Please remind your child to complete his/her homework on time.
Have a great week!
Ashley, Jane, Inta and Michele
October 15th – 19th
- 40 Book Challenge: You should always be reading a book for your 40 Book Challenge. Tonight, we want you to read or work on a Reading Response. The responses are on our webpage if you need any information regarding those.
- Study for Vocabulary and Spelling Tests
- Math-spiral, 20 minutes. Please, start with corrections
- Study for Vocabulary and Spelling Tests. Tests are tomorrow at 10:30am
- No School Tomorrow! Enjoy the 3 day weekend!
Students should come prepared to share history of their food that they chose to bring for their classmates for recitations. Kids will be presenting this information to peers in the morning. We will then be changing into Greek costumes after lunch to get ready for our Greek Celebration; from 1-2:30.
Individual school photos will be taken in the morning. Therefore, we ask that kids come dressed appropriately. They will have time to change into Greek attire after lunch.
Please remember to bring your reader’s theatre script back to school!
Children’s author, N. D. Wilson, will be visiting Rivendell tomorrow at 11 am. Students will get to listen to a published author talk about the writing process and ask questions. Books can be purchased during this time and will be signed if time allows. Cash or check will be accepted. We are very excited and grateful for this opportunity!
Older Kids’ News
October 8th – 12th
Conferences are right around the corner. As teachers, we always look forward to conferences because we love having the opportunity to meet with parents individually to talk with you about your wonderful children and the hard work they are doing in school. Conferences also allow the teachers to share concerns and plans with parents to help our students move towards individual goals. There is a conference sheet outside each Older Kid’s classroom. Please sign up for a time/day that best works for you. If the times/days listed do not work with your schedule, please email your child’s teacher, and we will do our best to accommodate your needs.
Our Greek/Roman Day will be on Friday, October 12th. Recitations are due on Friday morning and will be the main focus of our Greek/Roman Day. Kids are to bring in a food to share with the class and bring clothing to dress appropriately. Festivities will begin after lunch and continue until the end of the day. We will assign kids parts in various reader’s theatre scripts that they will perform in small groups for both classes during this time. Please do not send your child to school in costume. We ask that you send clothing with them, and they will be given time after lunch to change.
As our topic work focus shifts from Ancient Greece to Ancient Rome, students will be assigned an important person or place from Ancient Rome. They will research their topic in Computer Class and put together a short powerpoint presentation to present to their classmates. Most of this work will be done at school, however, students that do not finish in the time given at school may be asked to finish work at home.
Thank you to those students who are faithfully working on and turning in their homework. Each morning, we like to check in with our kids, assess how they are doing, and check off the homework they completed. Although all have an occasional off day or reason for not completing work, we stress the importance of this task in an effort to teach responsibility and follow-through. Sometimes, we will have a child stay in for part of their break to complete work that they neglected the night before. As parents, please let us know if the homework load becomes overwhelming or stressful on your child.
The new Older Kid’s website is up and running. We are diligently posting new information and weekly newsletters on the website. The idea is to communicate all information with you through our website. Therefore, we will no longer be emailing you the newsletter, but will be emailing you the link to our website where you can access the newsletter and any information that we feel is important to share with you. By Monday afternoon, all assignments and projects will be posted on the website. Please be sure to check the website often for any new information, pictures or posts. The link to our website is: https://www.rivendell-school.org/academics/older-kids
Have a fantastic week! ~Ashley, Jane, Inta and Michele
October 8th – 12th
- No school! No homework!
- Vocabulary cards for lesson 3. Due Thursday
- Work on recitations
- Continue brainstorming for your Underland Project. Write down your ideas on note cards to help keep your thoughts organized.
- Vocabulary cards due tomorrow
- Work on recitations
- Recitations: Due tomorrow. Bring in your food to share with your classmates and the clothing you will be wearing during our festivities.
- Practice your Reader’s Theatre script
Older Kids’ News
At Rivendell we are constantly trying to meet our students’ needs and to connect to their individual learning styles. The last ten years has seen a tremendous evolution of the older kids’ curriculum. We have gone from book reports to the writer’s workshop model of teaching writing. Several years ago the entire staff at Rivendell participated in the Colorado State University Writing Project workshop where all teams at Rivendell learned how to better present and teach different modes, genres and traits of good writing to their students.
Three years ago we replaced reading textbooks with the reader’s workshop model, the 40 book challenge and an in depth literature study. In both workshops: concepts, theories, figures of speech, word attack strategies, etc.are introduced in a mini- lesson to the whole class. These mini lessons do not usually exceed 10 mins, as most recent research points to the fact that the more teachers talk the more students disconnect. Kids need to be actively engaged in their learning by doing and discussing with their peers or pondering on their own that which has been presented. After mini- lessons kids apply whatever was presented to their own reading or writing, then they confer with the teacher about how that process is working.We feel that the workshop model with the conferencing component is the perfect vehicle to deliver a more truly individualized education to each and every one of our students.
The background knowledge we share before launching into a literature study is more extensive; our discussions surrounding these novels, more in depth. Determining how these books connect to and are important to our students’ lives is a focus that helps our students make more connections. We believe that our energy spent to make novel study better and better has resulted in a richer experience for our students.
Our 40 book challenge across genres has resulted in our students reading more and reading more widely. Some kids end up reading 20 books and some 80 depending on their reading speed, but we can assure you that most of our students are reading more than they did in previous years. The self selected aspect of our challenge gives more ownership to our students. The ultimate goal here is to create lifelong readers who read for a variety of purposes.
Our math program continues to be strong and has always included a conferring piece. Over the years, we have noticed that kids can easily follow a pattern working in their individual math books, but then they do not seem to grasp the greater concept or skill when conferring with their teacher. In response to this disconnect we have added more mini-lessons to our math work sessions. We use these mini-lessons to introduce and reinforce skills and concepts that need to be practiced in small and large groups. This has enabled teachers to check for comprehension while students explain what they are doing and why. Please talk to your child about their math. Recent research emphasizes the importance of students talking about math and being able to explain both abstractly and concretely what they are doing.
Several years ago we switched from a spelling program to a vocabulary program. Now we are using the best aspects of both by taking the grammar and word study from the spelling book and combining that with the rich vocabulary study in vocabulary book.
Our topic work , both science and social studies, has always been a strong unifying element of our curriculum. It so varied and rich; we continue to use elements of topics that we have loved and worked well, while constantly updating and adding new knowledge to the mix.
As older kids’ teachers we have put in a tremendous amount of time, energy and research into these curriculum modifications and updates in order to better serve our students. We view ourselves as teachers and as researchers constantly reinventing and tweaking our curriculum to better serve our students. If you have a desire to better understand your child’s curriculum please plan on attending the first in a series of curriculum meetings entitled Cupcakes and Curriculum designed by Carol McLean and Teresa Russell to better explain our vision, our goals and our curriculum to parents. The first meeting will be October 2nd from 6:30 to 7:30. There will be special activities for children while parents get an overview of the literacy curriculum with teachers.
A new recitation will be assigned this week as we turn our attention from Ancient Greece to Ancient Rome. Our students will immerse themselves in the food and literature of Ancient Rome. The culmination of our next recitation will be a toga party where students serve food that they bring in and present plays to each other. With Sarah, our computer teacher, they will create a powerpoint presentation of an important person, place or event in Roman history. Our students are finishing up their myth writing and will begin to focus on creating a suspense-filled Halloween story that we hope to have on display by the time Fun Fest comes around.They will also begin their final project for the Gregor the Overlander novel study which will be creating a world much like the underland in our novel. We think the kids will have great fun with this project.
Leaves are falling off the purple ash in my front yard. As leaves accumulate around my front porch I am reminded of the dichotomy of Fall. On one hand we have just started a new school year full of fresh faces and promise and on the other hand our natural world is sending us harbingers of the winter, so we prepare our home and ourselves for the changes to come.
Enjoy these colorful Fall days,
Jane, Ashley, Inta and Michele
October 1st -5th
- Finish up section E of vocabulary book if you did not finish in class
- Spiral math home work on it for 20 mins.
- Study for vocabulary test
- Create an outline for your Gregor the Overlander setting exploration. Keep in mind that this project is the culmination of this novel study, and you should use the notes and ideas you have put together during the study to create a world of your own.
- Prepare for vocabulary test tomorrow
Older Kids’ News
September 24th – 28th
Older Kids will be going to Denver on Monday, September 24th. The bus will be arriving at school at 8:30 am and will be leaving Rivendell promptly at 8:45 am. Please make sure your child wears appropriating clothing and comfortable shoes. Each child must bring a disposable lunch, a water bottle and snacks with them for the day. We would prefer that kids do not bring electronics with them for the bus. These items can easily become lost. If your child does bring an electronic item, Rivendell is not responsible for items that are lost or stolen.
We spent class time this week assisting students in writing their expository and persuasive paragraphs for their cereal boxes. They will be bringing their persuasive rough draft paragraph home this Friday. Please have them use this as a springboard for the paragraph that is to be attached to their cereal box, unless one has already been completed.
We are excited to announce that our teacher, Ashley, is expecting her second baby!
She told the class on Friday and we are all looking forward to finding out if it’s a boy or girl! She is due in February, and the Older Kid’s team is working closely with Kate to make the transition of Ashley’s maternity leave as smooth as possible.
As soon as we have concrete plans figured out for the last few months of school, we will inform parents and students.
Please remember that recitations are due on Friday, September 28th. Students have been working very hard on these projects, and we are excited to see what they have created! Cereal boxes will be displayed in the Commons.
Have a fantastic week!
Inta, Michele, Jane and Ashley
- Work on Recitation
- Vocabulary Cards for Lesson 2 – Due on Thursday
- Work on Recitation
- Key Math: Work in your book for 20 minutes; begin with corrections
- Vocabulary Cards – Due tomorrow
- Work on Recitation
- Recitation – Due tomorrow!!!!!
Older Kids’ News
After spending last week giving our students background information on gods and goddesses, we are now in the process of preparing to write our first creative, narrative story. Last week our students participated in mini lessons on the genre of narrative and the characteristics of a myth.They are now applying that knowledge to McPass. We use McPass as a prewriting activity or as an outline for narrative writing. McPass is an acronym we use for the essential elements of a creative story.
Each and every element of McPass must be included in all narrative writing. Once our students have finished their McPass outlines they will begin organizing and writing their own myth. We will spend time in class: writing, revising and illustrating. They will publish their myths and share them with peers.
We will be going to Centennial Village this Thursday, Sept. 20th at 10:45. We will eat a very early lunch (please send a disposable sack lunch) before we depart and will have a snack before we head back to school. If you have volunteered to drive, please make sure Leslie has a copy of your insurance for liability reasons. Also, thank you in advance for making these excursions possible for our students. These excursions give our students a chance to do, to see and experience that which is unique and unforgettable in the learning process. If you have not returned the permission slip, please send it in ASAP. We will return to school by 3:20 for dismissal.
We are also going to Denver, Monday September 24th to see the Pompeii Exhibit at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science. We are going by bus and will depart at 8:45 a.m. and will return by 3:20 p.m. We also need kids to bring a disposable lunch for this trip. Students often ask if they can bring ipods or electronics on the bus and, we would prefer if that those gadgets stay at home. Thanks!
Have a wonderful first week of Fall!
Michele, Inta, Jane and Ashley
~Recitation- begin putting your cereal box together
~Purple (spiral math) book- 20 minutes
~Recitation- continue to work on your cereal box
~Study vocabulary words
~Vocabulary Test- make sure you read and study your spelling words and definitions