Next Parent Meeting: Thursday November 15 Next PAPERWORK Due: Friday, November 16
I hope that your students are sharing what we are doing in class, and that my updates are keeping everyone content with what is happening in the classes. The students work so well together, it is hard to believe that there are so many here. From what I hear, the students are content with the size, but I am evaluating what the top end should be. Please tell me if your students feel overwhelmed by the class size.
Pre-Assessments: I still do not have everyone’s assessments. Once I receive all of them, I will correct them, and will talk with each family. In particular, it will help with our writing as individuals, and within the class.
NOTE: Hopefully classroom course work works with your homeschool format as well. Remember that I am more than willing to be flexible with how you incorporate our classroom activities in to your homeschooling on the other days. So! If you want to not journal at home, or if you want me to give more structure to how in incorporate writing at home, or if you do not want to work with the history outside of class...or want more…just connect with me personally.
REMEMBER! Be sure students bring a lunch (and snack?) & shoes they can play in each school day!
CLASS NORMS (created by the students)
1. Respect others
2. Pay attention
a. Keep yourself interested
3. Treat others how THEY want to be treated.
4. Support the group
· Writers Workshop: As a whole the students have been great in writing in their journals at home, and bringing them back to class. We do not share their ‘seed thoughts’, nor do I read them. THIS WEEK, I asked them to choose one journal writing and to expand it into a first draft piece. This should be either a memory, or a personal narrative…not more than a page or so in length. This draft should be completed and brought to class next Tuesday, Oct 23. From this draft we will be discussing the 6 traits, and working on edits and revisions for the next couple weeks. I will keep you updated through emails and the website. If your child has special difficulties with writing, please tell me so that I can work with them more 1-1.
· Common Sense Media: Hopefully you have looked at their website a bit. http://www.commonsensemedia.org/ I will be using this curriculum only sporadically, now that we are beginning our Projects. We had one lesson, and I have found that the kids are so savvy, that we can work through the ideas/curriculum pretty fast. I also know that there is a wide difference in computer use between families in the class, as well as a big difference between the technological ‘maturity’ of the students. I will keep this in mind as I choose the materials and the discussions we have.
· World History: The students are working in groups researching about the silk road, and developing 1-2 paragraphs about what they have learned. We have yet to transfer these paragraphs through Wordle, but that is the next step. Wordle ought to be a fun way to decipher keys points that were understood, and why is it important to write a paragraph in a understandable order to have the ideas best understood! I am also using this time period to share with the class about credible sources and summarizing text (using Wikipedia). This will come in handy with their Project Presentations!
· Project Presentations: The students should have brought home their project ‘contract page’ to share with you. Most of the students have chosen their topics, and ALL (that were in class) have chosen a date. We went over the steps needed to complete the project, and how to start from t he due date and think ‘backwards’ (and forward) on the steps needed to complete in order to get done on time. We discussed, with students who have done projects in the past sharing their expertise, approximately how long each step towards completion will take. I am hoping that they told you that I would like them to work with you to put actual dates on their timeline in the project contract. I would like them turned back to class on Tuesday for me to review ALONG WITH questions to frame research done and brought back to class. Some of them are still figuring out what they want to study and some still need to narrow down their topic some. There are some great topics!
Here are the due dates the students set for themselves:
have still to have Bryce & Liam to sign up)
· Core Thursday: What a great collaborative, respectful, supportive group of students you have given me! They are so nice to work with. We have been having PE each day as much as possible, with a shorter period on Thursday where we are emphasizing endurance and stretching. I place P.E. here because it is a great way to work with cooperation. And this year I see great work with the PE groups…regardless of the grouping or game so far. Normally there is complaining of unfair teams, seeing kids not participate to their fullest; so far, one month in, I see none of that! Our conversations in circle share also show a high level of respect and openness in actively listening to and connecting with each other’s thoughts and intent.
· CLAY CLASS: So far, so much fun! J Thanks to all of you who gave me the clay donation. If there is anyone who as not done so, I still think we are a little short with the contributions, but I was handed so much cash without an envelope of who it was from that I…maybe forgot who has and has not paid yet. L
· PHOTOGRAPHY: I have yet to take the cameras out for the students to work with, though many have aksed and I am so looking forward to it. This is partly to do with the fact that I have only 5 cameras, and sharing would be difficult with the number of s tudents we have now. My plan is to purchase at least 1-3 more. I believe I have money for at least one with donations in the school budget from previous years…I just haven’t been able to do it yet. I plan figure this out and get them going as soon as possible.
· SCIENCE: Wade has begun his science class. He will continue on Tuesdays through the rest of the year. He will be working on 3 distinct units. More to share in the coming weeks!
EVENTS, FIELD TRIPS COMING UP:
Drive For School Tickets!!! Last days!!
· Town Hall Meeting October 25, 7-8:30 pm. Hopefully everyone will come and have a voice in budgeting our funds, and in the direction of our school programs!
· Banana Slug Band: Oct 26. Fall Creek Amphitheater
· NOVEMBER? Any ideas? The parents unanimously decided to NOT have a November field trip.
· Berkeley Rep Play, the White Snake Dec. 6, 2011 $12.00
o Ann is figuring out who has paid so far. I currently have 41 tickets spoken for. I would like to offer any additional tickets of the 50 I bought to other families in the Charter…particularly to the SLVHomeschool families. We will discuss carpools next month. Those that drive will get gas support from the families they are driving.
· DISCUSSION ITEMS:
· Planned parent-led courses : (Still no solid dates)
o Mary A. is planning a sea foraging field trip
o Esther is planning a first Aid certification course in the Spring sometime
o Mary Z: either Yoga or Art based around our History theme: she and I are still ruminating about which one or when to sort these in. ---I am leaning toward the Art to connect to the history. The on-site space for Yoga has yet to be found….
· December Holiday party or special event?
· Camping (Something new? Pinnacles again, more days? Prep activities?)
· Field trips for the year?
· o Community activities? (Homeless Garden, Senior Center, Holiday Adopt a family?) THIS TOPIC DID NOT GET DISCUSSED.
o Blooms Taxonomy A HANDOUT WAS GIVEN AND A BRIEF INTRODUCTION. IT WOULD BE NICE TO TALK ABOUT THIS AGAIN AT A LATER DATE.
IMPORTANT DATES/ Reminders:
· Holiday, Monday: November 12
· Parent Meeting: Thursday November 15
· PAPERWORK Due: Friday, November 16
· Holiday, Wednesday Nov 21-Friday, November 23
· Berkeley Play: Thursday, December 6
Other activities options:
· Capture the Flag is offered through the SLV Homeschool program, generally twice a month. There is no limit to the participants and is a wonderful way to play and get to know everyone.
· Fun Run: A once a month opportunity to visit one of
the many park trails throughout the valley. Fun Runs are designed to get
you where we’re going. Each run/walk is approximately 2.5 miles.