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Parent Meeting , Dec 16

posted Dec 28, 2012, 8:55 AM by Rhonda Schlosser   [ updated Oct 27, 2014, 7:38 PM by Laurie Becker ]

Next Parent Meeting: Friday January  18th   @ 1:30 to prep for January Field trip and confirm othe   

We could make it a parent luncheon J

Next PAPERWORK Due: Friday, January 18, 2013


Dear Parents,

December, and January and another New Year, another mark that your children are growing up.  J.  2013 is just around the corner!!!

January is the month when we spend time on our 1-1 conferences.  PLEASE SIGN UP FOR YOUR MEETING before we leave for the holiday break.




PRESENTATION FOCUS: Individual projects are now taking precedence over the Writing and World History activities.  I will still add in World History projects when time allows. I hope your child is learning from the presentations they are hearing.  Please make sure to ask them what they learning about the topic, as well as how the presentation itself worked.  And if your child is one that has completed theirs, I hope you felt it was a rewarding experience.  P.S.  I WOULD LOVE FEED BASK; WHAT WORKED FOR THEM, WHAT DIDN’T.

Writers Workshop: I have corrected most students writing from last assignment a bit ago.  A few students have given me another revision.  I am keeping these writing pieces and will review then with each family at the semester planning meeting.  AND, many students are staying after class on Tuesday for a Homework/Study Hall hour.  I am giving 1-1 time and some assignments on writing during this time, if anyone else would like to participate in this.

World History: I believe we will have completed the small activity I had on Feudalism before we start the break.  I would like to students to go a bit further with this, and will hand out and post on the website an assignment for those who would like to go a little deeper with this them before we move on.

Science:  Here is a tentative outline of the topics that Wade is doing with the students

               Chemistry topics (Dec. 4, 11, 18)

o   Chemical reactions

o   Properties of water – cohesion demo, surface tension demo

o   Acids/bases; lab activity using cabbage as an indicator

o   Enzymes – catalyst demo, Saltine activity

o   Macromolecules/Nutrition/Exercise; possible nutrition log activity

-       Digestion (Jan. 22)

-       Possible field trip

Unit B: Biology - Cells, Photosynthesis, Cellular Respiration, Genetics

-       Characteristics of Life

-       Cells (Feb. 5, 12, 19, 26  Mar. 5, 12)

o   Possible computer lab – program pending

o   Cell City project

o   Microscope Labs – skin cell, onion cell, pond water, Elodea

-       Genetics (Mar. 19, 26)

o   Inherited trait activity

o   Mendelian genetics

o   Making a Baby activity

o   Protein synthesis activity?

·    Core Thursday:  This day, too, has been focusing on presentations, clay, and smattering of discussions.  Clay Class: Will end December 20.  It has been a wonderful class for everyone. 

·    Photography:  We have a field trip coming up. Also, I plan to spend several Thursdays hiking in Fall Creek, we will spend the entire day there when the weather is clear, taking photographs, having our P.E. and CORE conversations and group activities. 


·       Holiday Party:  Thursday, Dec 20.  PLEASE ARRIVE @ 10:30 to participate in the crafts, and board games OR come @ 12:00 for the food time only.




·       Chinatown walking tour:  CURRENTLY SCHEDULED FOR January 31 from 10 am-2:00

I have confirmation for a walking tour in Chinatown.  The cost would be $5.00 per student.  I would like to have the parent fund pay for the parents and parking fee for the trip.  We will have two tour guides, as they usually want only 15 per guide. 

In 2013 the Chinese New Year will begin on February 10, (The year of the Snake), and it is a very special time for this area. I am going to suggest we try for Jan. 31, which should be early enough to see some of the preparations, but not get into the rather hectic activities and many, many tourists who come.  tours are generally about one hour (usually a bit more, though we try to keep it no longer than 90 minutes). We do want to accommodate the taking of photos, but please know that the area is quite crowded, especially the sidewalks. The tour includes some background information about the history of California and the City, a visit to a Buddhist Temple, exploring some of the alleys of Chinatown (including, and a visit to a fortune cookie factory, with free samples. 

And from one of the guides:

            I just wanted to check in with you and introduce myself.  I was a San Francisco public school teacher for 37 years, the last 34 of which I taught at the high school I myself attended.  From 1984 until I retired in 2005, I was the chair of the George Washington High School Social Studies Department.  I've also taught a number of English classes like Expository Writing, Creative Writing, English Lit and American Lit.  I'm a native San Franciscan.

I have a couple of questions.  First, how long would you like the tour to be?  Generally our tours are two hours, although I can certainly shorten the tour if you would prefer.  Or, even more easily, lengthen it.

Also, do you have lunch plans, and if so do you have a restaurant you intend to eat at or would you need suggestions?  Or are your students going to bring their lunches, and if so, would you like a suggestion of where to eat?

Also, are your students studying any particular area of Chinese or Chinese-American history?  Or do you have any areas you would like to be emphasized or to insure that they are covered on the tour?  I understand that they may want to take pictures.  That's fine, but it is important that they realize that they are not to be texting or using their cell phones for conversations or emails during the tour.

Finally, one of the places I take both students and adults to is St. Louis Place, an alley in Chinatown (we will go through a number of alleyways).  This is the place where Chinese prostitutes were auctioned off, just as pre-Civil War slaves in the South were auctioned off.  90% of the women in Chinatown were prostitutes (90% of the people in Chinatown were men).  I consider this an essential aspect of the Chinatown experience, though not all Chinatown guides do (I think they are mistaken, those who do not).  However, I realize this is a sensitive subject, and while I don't dwell on it and nothing in my presentation is even remotely x-rated, and if you like I can skip St. Louis Place altogether, or simply have us pass by...


·       Planned parent-led courses

·       ART: After the break, clay will end, and we will have Mary teach them some art tied to historical time periods.  More details will follow!  When she is not teaching art, I will be focusing on Photography.  I did purchase 3 additional cameras and they should be here when we come back!   

·       Camping  Pinnacles The students voted ad their first choice is Pinnacles, with their second choice being Kings Canyon

·       Field trips for the year?

o   Exploratorium & Academy of Science: possibly both

o   CULINARY school:  High priority for everyone?

·       Community activities? (Homeless Garden, Senior Center, other?)