CRMS Update for 2/8/15

posted Feb 8, 2015, 9:20 PM by Marcy Reynolds

Dear CRMS Families,

School Holidays: Mondays, 2/9 & 2/16, in honor of the Presidents.  This is the time of year when I am especially glad CRMS class days are not on Mondays!  You don’t need to keep learning logs for these days, but if you do it will add to the richness of your child’s portfolio.

Math Tutoring with Victor:  Wednesdays, 1:45pm-3:00pm.

Rosicrucian Museum Field Trip:  Wednesday, 2/25/15. 9am-2pm.  Please turn in attached permission slip and payment this Thursday to facilitate organizing carpools.  Siblings are invited to attend on this one as long as they can adhere to the museum rules.

Marin Headlands Overnight: Wednesday, 3/25/15.  I have reserved the 22 bed dorm at the Marin Headlands Hostel.  We’ll head up on Wednesday morning, spend the night, and then meet up with those not wanting to attend the overnight at the California Academy of Sciences on Thursday.  I’ll send out more details and a permission slip later this month.

Master Agreement Reminder:  Thanks to those who have signed and turned in their second semester home study agreements!  If you haven’t already, please stop by the classroom and do so this week.  Please print out the two pages, write in all the basic information about your student at the top, then have your child and yourself sign the back.  I will have some printed in the classroom if that is more convenient for you.  Please date the signatures 1/6/15 so that the agreement spans the entire semester.  Thanks!

Paperwork Party: Thursday, 2/19/15, 1:45pm-3:30pm.  All are invited to use the CRMS class space to connect with other parents and receive support in completing month 6 attendance paperwork.

Month 6 Attendance Paperwork Due: Friday, 2/20/15.  As usual, please turn in your paperwork to the Charter Office in Ben Lomond.

Planner Sheet Error:  Here’s how to change the year error in the online planner sheets, mos. 6-10:

1)      Go to the first day of the attendance month (e.g. first day of week 1, mo. 6 is 1/26/14)

2)      Click on the cell with the date.

3)      Change 2014 to 2015.

4)      Click off of the cell.  The rest of the month will automatically populate with the correct year.

5)      Repeat for months 7-10.

Parent Help Schedule:  I know that it can be confusing, but the first, left-hand column on the parent help schedule is for bringing snack for that week, not actually helping in the class.  As it turns out most of you will be bringing snack on a week that is not your week to help out in class.

Please remember that we like to keep the circle-check in on Wednesday morning a parent-free time.  If you are assigned to work in the class on Wednesdays, please plan to arrive at 9:30am.  Thanks!

Science Fair:  Congratulations to all who entered the Charter Science Fair this year.  It was so fun to see the different projects.  Homeschoolers are so creative! 


Summary of the week:

Plant Medicines: The last 1/3 of the group shared their medicinal herb fact sheets and what they learned about their herbs.  I’ll be posting the fact sheets over the couch if you’d like to come in and look at them.

Art:  Great thanks to April for all the hours spent marking the kid’s silk paintings with little x’s which spelled out the name of their herb.  Last Thursday she taught the kids how to cross stitch.  This was a bigger challenge than expected with tangles and needles unthreading.  The kids stuck with it though and most got a good start on their letters.

Neuroscience:  I gave each child an object and asked them to write down all the ways that they thought that object was like a brain.  It was hard for the kids to work individually at first, but then they got in the groove and most kids came up with quite a few analogies.  They shared their analogies with others at their table and helped each other come up with more.  Finally, we shared the analogies as a whole group.  It was great to see all the creative thinking going on!  After that we talked about brain anatomy from the skull through the cerebral cortex.  The kids each drew a diagram of the different parts.


We watched the first 16 minutes of the first episode of a PBS documentary called, The Secret Life of the Brain: The Baby’s Brain.  The showing actually took about 40 min. because of stopping and replaying parts of the video to help support taking Cornell Notes.  The kids were amazingly concentrated for that whole time, many making extensive notes on the amazing information that was presented about in-utero brain development.  I will continue to show small selections from this series as appropriate, focusing primarily on the science, and avoiding social content that could be unnecessarily upsetting.  If you are interested in watching the entire episode yourself, here is the link:

Vocabulary:  I’m making this into a separate section this week.  Last week’s key vocabulary words were gradient, scale, and continuum.  Here are this week’s vocabulary words: glial cells, stem cells, skull, meninges, cerebral-spinal fluid, blood vessel, occipital lobe, parietal lobe, frontal lobe, temporal lobe, brain stem, pons, cerebellum.  Feel free to help reinforce this vocabulary at home during the week.

Project Presentations:  If you haven’t already, it is time to start discussing project presentation topics with your child.  Most of the kids will be presenting in April and I’ll be asking the kids to sign up for a presentation date toward the end of February.  If you need a project presentation planning packet, or any other support, please let me know.  

P.E.: We played Cat & Mouse both days (Thursday shorter, though).  Wednesday’s game was especially fun because we played on the hillside.

See You Wednesday,

Marcy Reynolds

Coast Redwood Middle School

(831) 512-9331