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October Newsletter

posted Oct 20, 2013, 9:26 PM by Rhonda Schlosser   [ updated Oct 27, 2014, 7:38 PM by Laurie Becker ]
OFFICE HOURS:
Rhonda: Tuesday Mornings and Wednesday afternoons by appointment.

Marcy: Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursdays; 1:30-3:00

CLASSROOM UPDATE: Tuesday /Thursday:  We are rolling right along with the projects.  We  will continue to update everyone on our progress through weekly or biweekly classroom updates.  Please remember that if you have ANY questions, please come in in the mornings when you drop your child off and ask me anything in how you can help, or what your child should be doing at home to help in staying up with the class, and completing step in the project.  

*Feedback from the parents about the class.     -What are you hearing from your kids?

Social Emotional Learning/Leadership:  These are the primary focus.  We have decided to add greater focus on the activities that support these themes due to how new the majority of the group is to our program and Like skills expectations of behavior.  We will be doing more team building, leadership, and collaboration group activities to strengthen the cohesiveness of the group.

The Heritage/Immigration ‘class’ will end with a writing assignment, some time the end of November.  We will be finishing up our research part in the next couple weeks and start with the writing part soon after that (end of Oct-ish based on the child’s level or preparation). I do not have firm deadlines regarding a lot of this research around the family and their immigration story to America, nor do I have firm deadline about how far you take the research at home.  That I leave to you and your knowledge of your child’s academic need and ability.  Many families have chosen to take this project and go far/deep in the making of the family tree, the research of one or more of their family ancestors.  Others have a short, current story about their families emigrating to America.  

This week, we talked a bit more about how note taking using the Cornell Note taking system can help this.  We also worked with primary sources when we talked about push and pull reasons for immigration.

The students’ Project Presentation planning and research is coming along as well.  This week, they have all chosen a date that they will be presenting their projects. Choosing a date will help to organize and schedule their time to ensure completion by the due date.   Some, at least half of them have also written their questions for their main ideas to help guide their research.  Many others have also started their research.

Biodiversity:  We are trucking along with our vegetation surveys, moving toward making compiling our data and recommendations, and writing them up for presentation to the Nature Academy.  Each child should have done (or be doing) a vegetation survey at home (or at a natural place nearby).  Please have your child bring their tally sheets back to class so that we can compare them.  We’ve been doing quite a bit of math as part of our research. Most of it has touched on the four operations with decimals and fractions, and (yesterday) percents.  It might be a good time to do a little review work in those areas to help support what they have been using.  In particular, what is the relationship between the three (fractions, decimals & percents)?

Parent-Led classes?: We have mentioned parent led classes at our last meeting, and have had a couple parents mention that they are interested in helping out in this way.  Thank you!  We will be getting back to you if you are indeed interested…..  Are you??!

Wednesday parent volunteers:  As you know Marcy works with the class half of the Wednesdays without the help of team teaching with Rhonda.  We both think it would be great to have parent support on this day for many reasons.  This is a new group, with only 7 of the students from previous years in CRMS, learning the expectations and leadership and collaboration skills we focus on teaching in order for the group to work safely, smoothly and positively together.  Volunteering is a great way to have your students see you, a great way or parents to have the exposure and awareness of your student’s and other students’ interactions, and a great way to learn about pre-adolescent dynamics. Parents who attended the meeting signed for days to help and now the sign-up sheet is full, but if you would like to come and help, please let Marcy know because most parents signed up for multiple days so there is definitely room for your participation.  Another way to support the group and be more a part of it is to accompany us on field trips.

Field Trips:  Our group is pretty new so you might say that we don’t function like “well-oiled machine” yet.  This makes going out into the field a little bumpy, so your participation on field trips is greatly appreciated!  Ideally we want a 5:1 ratio of adults to students.  Parents are an important part of supporting the cohesiveness of this homeschool group.  So far we have given scholarships of $702.00.   At this rate, we will dry up our parent fund quite quickly.   Fortunately, the remainder of the field trips we have scheduled for the year are less expensive than the first two.  If helping to support our monthly Field Trips is difficult for the majority of you, it may be best to reevaluate how many Field Trips we are taking throughout the year.  Our next one is scheduled for November 13 to the History Park in San Jose.

Contact List:  To help facilitate communication, especially around carpooling, we’ve printed a list with contact information for all of the parents.  We’ll also send it out to you in electronic file.  If you can drive/participate in any of the following field trips, please let Marcy know.

Upcoming Field Trips:

  • 11/13 History Park, San Jose.  “Coming to America” ($10 per student)
  • 12/18 Randall Morgan Preserve, Scotts Valley.  “Sandhills Habitat” ($5 per student)
  • 1/22  Tech Museum, San Jose.  “Star Wars” ($10 per student. May go up to $20 if we add a lab experience.)
  • Feb:  Jumping, if the kids seem ready, San Jose
  • 3/19  Exploratorium, San Francisco. ($8 per student)
  • 4/22 (Tuesday) Life Lab, UCSC.  “Investigating Agriculture” ($5 per student)
  • May:  Camp Out, probably at the Pinnacles.

Carpool Driver paperwork (copies of license and insurance and personal vehicle use form).  Thanks to those of you who turned gave this to Marcy yesterday.  We’d like to have everyone’s information on file so that we don’t have to scramble at the last minute to make legal carpools for field trips.

Booster Club:  The Booster Club’s General Fund has $5000.00 that will be voted on during the Town Hall meeting on, November 14   The proposals voted on will be funded for this Spring.  Rhonda is going to write a proposal for partial funding for camera repair ($40.00 per camera just to check what repairs are needed).  Another proposal idea is for partial funding for the end-of-year yearbooks ($35 a piece) to make them less expensive for families.  Other proposals might be helping with our field trip scholarship fund.  Parents can also write proposals.  Proposals are due Oct. 30.  Luann encouraged us to come to the town hall meeting, 7-8pm on Thursday, Nov. 14 to vote.  If no one from our group comes, there is less of a chance that our proposals will get funded.  It is also a great way to connect with other parents involved in the charter.

TOYOTA DRIVE FOR SCHOOLS FUNDRAISER: All tickets and proceeds from sales need to be returned today. Each program keeps 100% of the sales.   The drawing will be  held October 27 at the Boardwalk. All sales are tax deductible and you do not need to be present to win.

Month 2 paperwork is due by tomorrow:  If you can’t bring it to class today, then you can drop it off at Sharon’s office (Quail Hollow site, to the left and uphill from the district office) on Friday.  Both month 2 and month 3 attendance rosters are hanging on the wall as you walk in to the classroom if you need them.  Any questions?  Please ask!

Individual meetings Sign -ups:  We would love to see each and every one of you before the Thanksgiving break for a 1-1 meeting to see and hear how you are doing, and how we might be able to help you.  Both Marcy and Rhonda have sign-up sheets where you turn in your monthly paperwork.  There will be no classes the week of Thanksgiving.

Classroom Rosters:  These are now available.  They are hanging on the wall near the attendance rosters.  Please make sure to take one home!

Math and Writing Benchmark Assessments: We now have the Common Core Math assessments for you to take home with you.  If you have not turned in your writing, please do so, or we have copies for anyone who may need an extra.  We use these assessments to help you through the year and to show progress over time to you and your students.  These documents are in a file, so please let us know if you need one.  The math benchmark is due at your one-on-one meeting with your teacher of record.

*Box tops for education:  Clip, clip, clip.  This simple fundraiser goes on throughout the year.  Box is located in the classroom on the left hand side as you walk in.

Reminders:

  • All Charter Skate Day, Oct. 25
  • FIELD TRIP History Park: Nov.13
  • PARENT MEETING: November 13, @ 1:30
  • PAPERWORK DUE:  Friday, November 15
  • Holiday break: November 26-28.

Blessings,    

~Rhonda & Marcy

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