Thursday, October 30, 2014

Using Movenote in the Classroom

Today I introduced the students to Movenote.  Movenote is a web tool and mobile application that allows users to add webcam narration to uploaded slides or pictures.  Movenote makes it easy to upload PowerPoint presentations, Google presentations, PDFs, or pictures from your computer. We  will be using Movenote in a variety of ways in the classroom.  Since we are studying Westward Expansion, the students were given the task of creating a presentation that demonstrates all they have learned about traveling west.  Then, they had to share their learning though Movenote. Let's see what some of the students have learned so far!
Simran Tippabhatla

Terry Watson

Michaela Lanier

Didn't the students do a great job with their first Movenote presentation? Using Movenote is going to be just another way to show off student learning, keep you informed of what's going on in the classroom, and share classroom presentations for students to use at home!

Service Learning Project

Our first Service Learning Project for both campuses is supporting Pawmetto Lifeline right here in the Midlands.  We are collecting items to help support this shelter which helps homeless pets in our area.  

Some items we are collecting:
dog/cat food-any brand
batteries (AAA or AA)
dog collars
dog/cat toys

Please help if you can! We are collecting supplies through Friday, November 7th.  We appreciate your support!

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Using Elaborative Details

In writing, the students have been learning how to stop and describe a critical story character, object, or setting using elaborative details in a narrative. Today, we brainstormed a list of elaborative details that describe autumn, then students wrote a segment describing an autumn setting.  Here are several examples of the students' writing:

     When I walk outside I can't help but to notice that autumn is here.  The crisp, cool air whips through my hair making me shiver.  The colorful red, orange, and yellow leaves are blowing around making a pile of assorted leaves.  The smell of fresh apple pie coming from chimneys is so strong I can taste it.  Off in the distance, I can hear kids playfully laughing and shouting.  The happiness around me helped determing that autumn is my favorite season.
~ Simran

     Oh, this is my favorite time of year, I thought to myself as I entered the outdoors.  I could just see all of the extraordinary colors of fall.  From the leaves to pumkins on the porches, everything looked perfect along with the scenery.  I could smell the pumpkin pie and the turkey that my family would eat tonight.  The feel of the crisp autumn breeze rushed over me as if I were a wave.  I could hear the children playing down the street as the crunchy leaves gave in under my feet.  I just love this feeling. I hope it never ends.
~ Michaela

     I walked out of my house this morning and looked out into the park.  I sipped the hot chocolate that was in my hands and the chocolately sensation melted in my mouth.  I saw the kids playing and heard the blue birds calling.  The smell from the wood fired wafted into my nose.  The decorative orange ripe pumpkins on the green grass added to the fall spirit.  As I ran out into the park I could hear the crackling leaves crunching under my feet.
~ Sonne

Please encourage your child to practice writing elaborative segments at home.  For example, they could write a segment describing their bedroom or their favorite toy. Tomorrow, the students will write an elaborative segment about a scarecrow!

Magnet Programs

Our district has several options for students who are entering middle school.  The link below will take you to a page that provides more information about each middle school magnet program.  

I encourage parents to attend the magnet school fair that the district hosts later this semester.  It will likely be some time in early December from 6:30-8:00 at Westwood High School.  At the fair, representatives from schools, centers, and magnet programs will be on hand to answer questions about the many educational opportunities available in the district. Many magnet programs also will have open houses next semester to provide opportunities for families to learn even more about the benefits of the specific programs.

The application process to each magnet happens all at the same time.  The online application window will be open during January.  The programs that require interviews and/or writing samples usually schedule these with families during February and March.  

Another option for middle school is utilizing the Expanded Choice Program.  The link below explains this process.

Basically, right now families may begin exploring the district website to discover the various opportunities Richland 2 has for middle school students.  Then, the applications for Expanded Choice and Magnet Programs are all due in January.  Decisions about placement are usually announced in March.  Families are responsible for applying online in January and preparing for and attending interviews if needed.  The teacher recommendations and records of grades and test scores that the programs look at are all shared and completed in-house.  You do not need to do anything with those.

As I find out more information and specific dates, I will share them with you all.  

Honor Roll Recognition

Students will be recognized for achieving 1st quarter honor roll next week on the morning show. The morning show airs each morning at 8:10am.  5th grade will be recognized Friday, November 7th.  You are welcome to come watch the show in our class that morning!

Monday, October 27, 2014

A Message for Mrs. Rowell - Science Lab Teacher

Dear Parents,

In science lab, fourth and fifth grade students are conducting scientific investigations using variables.  This work is done collaboratively but each student is graded individually.

Learning to control and manipulate variables in a scientific investigation is essential for all grades in both middle and high school science classes.  At LCEU we want to make sure our students have an excellent understanding of variables.

I want to let you know that these investigations are graded by me but will be placed in your child's homeroom teacher's gradebook.  This is heavily weighted due to the extensive amount of time that is spent on the work.

The initial grades are on the papers in fifth grade and will now be placed on fourth grade papers.  Please ask your child first how he/she is doing on the project prior to contacting me.  I am trying to make the students responsible for their learning.

Anytime a student needs extra time or help, early morning school is from 7:40-8:00 each day except Friday (recycling day).  

Thank you so much for your support. 

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Fall Service Learning Project

We will begin our fall Service Learning Project this week - Pawmetto Lifeline.  We will be collecting items to donate to this organization from October 27th - November 7th.  Below is a presentation with more information on this Service Learning Project.

Service Learning
Click the image above for more information.

Book Fair

The Book Fair has finally arrived at LCEU! It will be in the upstairs part of our media center from October 27th - October 31st.  Students will be allowed to go to the Book Fair only if they have money to purchase items.  We will be doing a quick preview of the book fair so that students can get an idea of the items they would like to purchase and the cost.  This will give you an idea of how much money you will need to send with your child to purchase books. 

Camp Discovery Field Trip

This past week your child brought home a permission slip for our field trip to Camp Discovery.  The cost of the trip is $18.00. We will be going to Camp Discovery on November 11th. The bus will leave LCEU at 9:15 a.m. and we will return at 11:30 a.m.  This field trip ties in with our unit of study on ecosystems.  If you have not sent in the payment and permission slip for this trip, please do so. A special thank you to Dr. Davis, Mr. Watson, and Mrs. Barrs for volunteering to be chaperones for this field trip!

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Coffee Talk with the Principals

You are invited to attend a Coffee Talk with the principals.  Please see the invitation below.

Coffee Talk with the Principals 

Please join our Principals, Dr. Berry & Mr. Williams, for an informal coffee talk meet & greet
 When:  Thursday, October 30 from 7:30-8:00am
Where:  Upper Campus in the PTO Room
(located in the 4th Grade Wing)
 Light refreshments will be provided
Please register via Volunteer Spot so we can plan for appropriate food & beverages 

Simply click on this link to register - http://vols.pt/RjcPyT 

Friday, October 10, 2014

Dividing Decimals Newsletter

Next week the students will learn how to divide decimals.  Below is a newsletter to help you to better understand the strategy the students will use in class.  This is also a great tool for you to use if you would like to help your child at home.  You may click on the image to print out a copy of the newsletter.

Dividing Decimals Newsletter

First Weekend Homework Assignment

Your child received his/her first weekend homework assignment.  Students are to read thier Reconstruction USA Studies Weekly Newspaper. Once they have read the newspaper, they are to complete the take home test.  Students may use their newspaper to help them answer the questions.  This will count as a quiz grade.  Please remind students to complete this weekend assignment as I will not be accepting any late assignments.  Thank you!

Ten Marks

Students will begin using Ten Marks Math in class. Ten Marks Math reinforces classroom instruction and builds deeper conceptual fluency. The thing that I like most about Ten Marks is that the students will be able to practice math skills at their own pace! Students will also be able to use Ten Marks Math at home when they need extra practice with what is being taught in class. I think you will like the fact that you, as parents, can stay on top of what your child is doing via your own account!  Please child your child's Green Folder for a letter assigning your child his/her username and password and directions for signing up for your account! Students also have four assignments they can work on over the weekend!  

Here is what the students will experience while using
Ten Marks Math

1.  The Right Way to Practice
The questions cover the core concepts in a variety of ways, and ensure that students apply a range of problem solving skills.
2.  Embedded Instruction
Every question has 3 hints, which scaffold conceptual foundation. Video lessons reinforce core instruction.
3.  A Second Chance
Students get one chance to correct their mistakes. Research shows they use hints and video lessons to do so.
4.  Real-time Intervention
“Amplifier” diagnoses root cause and provides targeted instruction. Research shows timely and targeted intervention improves outcomes.
5.  Engaged Learners
Improvement in performance builds confidence. Certificates and games help with student motivation.

If you have any questions, please let me know!

A Special Thank You!

I would like to thank the Watson Family for sending in the remaining items from our Class Wishlist! You all are the best!   

Thursday, October 9, 2014

House Ceremony

You may recall in our Parent Orientation that we discussed using a "House System" for team and character building.  After a few glitches and speed bumps in the first few weeks of school, we are finally ready to go ahead with our House Sorting!  We will be having our Sorting Ceremony next Wednesday, 10/15.  We will send more communication about the details of the ceremony soon.  Below you will find a brief overview of the House System and why we are implementing it as a school-wide approach.   Thank you for taking the time to read it, and if you have any questions, please let me know.
Thanks so much!

Click the image to download the entire document.

Friday, October 3, 2014

A Message from Mrs. Hansberry

Parents, thanks for sending in $12 for the orchestra trip. I would
love to have all money in by next week so I can order the recorders and start learning their music.  Receipts for payments already made will be handed out in the next music class.
Thank you,
Mrs. Hansberry

Muffins for Moms & Donuts for Dads

Dear Families,
As you may have heard already, the Smart Snacks in Schools federal legislation began on July 1, 2014.  Due to the new federal regulations and strict guidelines regarding the food that may be served to students before school, we have decided to cancel our Muffins for Moms and Donuts for Dads events this year.  Although we looked into "healthy" options, we were concerned that they may not be very tasty.  Please know that moms and dads continue to be welcome to visit both campuses for breakfast or lunch any day!  Thanks for your support and involvement with our school.

Mr. Williams & Dr. Berry