Happy Winter! I hope you are all safe, warm and dry in this very wet weather. The fact that school was cancelled on Monday means that you don’t need to keep a learning log for that day. Keeping learning logs started today. I know it is sometimes difficult after a vacation to get back into the routine of homeschooling. A couple things can help. One is our semester 2 planning meeting. If you haven’t signed up for a time yet, please do at the link below. I really look forward to talking to each one of you about how homeschooling is going and how we can keep it going! The second is attending Gillian’s Math Word Problems workshop this Thursday morning (please see description below). It should be an inspiring workshop that will provide practical support for working with your child in Math. Lisa and I will be providing childcare during that time. Weather permitting, we will be able to play games outside as well as offering activities inside.
Below I have listed key dates that you might like to enter in to your calendars. Here are also three links that you might find helpful for planning your second semester:
School District Calendar: http://www.slvusd.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/06/District-School-Calendar-2016-2017.pdf.
CRMS Parent Help Calendar for Second Semester: https://docs.google.com/a/slvusd.org/document/d/1oaoprgoa4uhyjIgBcP8u7FzOHtAssbkJe44K93g0PF0/edit?usp=sharing.
CRMS Semester Two Planning Meeting Sign-up Sheet: https://docs.google.com/a/slvusd.org/spreadsheets/d/1Q_1ZOSjfXjcy9XJqXkNDRUSkBHrF4FeOer5yEqcsO2w/edit?usp=sharing.
If you have materials checked out from the CRMS library that you know you will not be using this semester, please feel free to return them this at your semester planning meeting so that they will be available to others.
Ski/Snow Trip Idea, Possibly 3/15-17: The Sembrat family has a large cabin at Pine Mt. Lake that they are willing to let us use for a couple of week nights as long as we pay for the cleaning after we depart. Parents who attended last month’s parent meeting were enthusiastic about the idea. The cabin has enough room for all of the kids, plus enough parents to drive and chaperone. There are 18 beds total, and there is additional floor space for air matresses. If we want to ski, Badger Pass is 1.5-2 hours away and offers discounted packages for homeschoolers. Alternatively we could find a place to sled/saucer. I said I would look into whether the Yosemite Institute offers programs during that time as well. What do you think? Please let me know if you/your child would be interested in participating in such a trip.
SF Symphony Afternoon: At the parent meeting I mentioned that there are three museums within walking distance of the Symphony that we might want to visit when the symphony is over: the Tenderloin Museum, the Museum of Performance & Design, and the International Art Museum. I checked out the Tenderloin Museum over the holiday and am not sure that it is appropriate for all of our students, but could be for some. The Museum of Performance & Design does not seem to have open exhibit. The International Art Museum looks like a safe bet for those who are interested in their collection which highlights Chinese calligraphy. I invite you to look at these museums online to see if you might be interested in visiting any of them after the symphony program.
Coast Redwood Middle School
Dates to Remember:
Monday, 1/10-Tuesday, 1/31, Semester Two Planning Meetings. Please schedule a time to meet with Marcy on the sign-up sheet in the classroom.
Wednesday, 1/25, CRMS-QHIA trip to hear the San Francisco Symphony. We’ll send out more details about the trip next week.
Wednesday, 2/1, CRMS Trip to Chabot Science Center. Usually I wouldn’t schedule a field trip on our first day back, but this was the only time they were offering the robotics workshop that fit at all with our schedule. Details to follow later in the month.
Thursday, 2/2, First CRMS Classroom Day for second semester. Classes on Wednesdays and Thursdays should continue uninterrupted (except for the occasional field trip) through March 30.
Friday, 2/3, All Charter Science Fair! Even if your child didn’t sign-up to do a project this year, it is still an inspiring event to attend.
A reminder that our spending cap will be $15. I have suggested that the kids take advantage of this opportunity to get to know their partner and try to find a gift for them that really suits them, instead of picking something generic. Here are the names of the kids who have expressed a desire to participate in the activity: Daniel, Amelia, Willow, Brylie, Dylan, Sara, Chris, Hannah, Evan, Ellie, Erin. We will do our gift exchange this Thursday.
Summary of Class Activities from the Week of:
Secret Santa: It was touching to see that some real observation and thought went into choosing most of the gifts that were given. They really did fit the different personalities of the kids.
Art: The kids completed their partner bio posters. Many of the kids mixed tempera paints and painted their cubbies. We created a temporary art gallery with all the kids’ acrylic paintings. The class participated in a gallery walk to look at details in the paintings and then offered specific appreciations to the artists.
Partner Bios: The kids completed writing and publishing their partner bios. All the kids learned how to adjust text to fit size constraints.
Design Thinking: Most of the kids finished making and hoisting their hanging cubbies.
Project Presentations: We heard the final invention presentations for first semester –kudos to all! The last projects to be presented were on play stations and particle accelerators. For second semester the students are invited to choose whatever they want to research an present…though the ideas do need to receive approval from the teacher (me) and parent (you). It is not too early to start brainstorming ideas!
Natural Body Care: April came in and gave a presentation on the negative effects of chemicals in body care products and taught the kids how to make their own hand lotion. Hopefully you’ve been able to enjoy some of the finished product.
Class Business: I introduced the idea of us starting a classroom business second semester and encouraged them to think about creating a product that meets a need. I’ve already received an email from a student with an idea for a product, and hope to hear from more students.
Gardening: Some of the kids helped harvest gourds from the garden, including cleaning the gourds to prepare them for drying. At noon on the solstice we measured the length of the shadow cast by the student-constructed sundial in our garden.
P.E.: We played Capture the Flag.
SLVMS Winter Carnival: The CRMS kids had time during lunch on Thursday to participate in the middle school’s winter fundraising event.
Charter Workshops to Kick-Off Second Semester:
Thursday, January 12
Math Parent Ed Workshop “Taming Wild Word Problems”
10:00am to 12:00pm, Room 16 at Quail Hollow Homeschool - presented by Gillian Blair
Does your child hit a wall on word problems in math? Let’s bust through the blockade with some friendly strategies. Come to a workshop for parents of students Grades 2-8, where we will demystify and tame those gnarly math word problems. Childcare will be provided (by Marcy & Lisa).
Also…look for an announcement soon about Martha’s two-session parent-student workshop offered early in 2017.