As I'm writing this, I'm looking out the window at the field where your students are running the mile in PE.  Some of them are truly flying! And some of them look like they are on the brink of collapse. :)  It's pretty cute. 

Yesterday in our assignment calendars we wrote down that there would be a division test on Wednesday.  We've been working hard in class at division, and also have taken a couple trips to the computer lab to practice with IXL. I would encourage everyone to practice this weekend and in to early next week.   The IXL skills that would be the most helpful are H.3  and H.4.  If you don't have a computer available, we've been dividing three digit numbers by one division, with and without remainders.

On Monday we will have a Harvest Party. Several volunteers have pitched in and have planned awesome games and treats. It sounds like it will be fun. Please remind your students that we don't wear costumes to school. Also, on Tuesday, please be on the look-out for a candy stash making its way to school. :) They can eat some at lunch, but otherwise, that's not a good snack for the classroom. 

Next week please look for both a reading test (Hatchet) to come home, as well as a recent test on early colonies (Roanoke, Jamestown, Plymouth). It's amazing what these kids are learning!
Have a great weekend!
~Erica
actone@svsd410.org
 
 
I handed back the multiplication math test this afternoon. On our assignment calendars we also wrote a reminder to share the test with our families... If you haven't seen it, please start asking your student! 

On the front with the break down of the skills from the test, I included the IXL skill numbers so that you have a focused place to practice.  These would also be good skills for your student to come back to in a few weeks to practice.  

We are supplementing our math program with IXL, and I hope you will make use of it at home!  We are going to try and go to the lab once a week at least for IXL, but it will be more impactful if you can allow your kids some computer time at home. I am keeping an ongoing list if skills we have already worked on in class:

IXL Mastery List

These would be good choices if your child is working at home.  If your child doesn't have other classwork/homework to finish at night (like the Social Studies paper or camp story tonight), this would be a good way to spend 20 minutes or so.  

~Erica
actone@svsd410.org
 
 
Today was the day the kids have been waiting for...We made our websites!!!  I love it when they cheer when I tell them what we're doing for the day. :)  We worked for a little over an hour on getting websites up and running.  The thing we have talked about the most is making sure that anything on their websites is school appropriate -- language and pictures. I told them that they should be able to show Mr. Jester anything on their site (I think that's a good barometer!).  This week they will be doing their weekly blog on their website. I hope you will put your child's website in your favorites and check it often.  You will be able to add comments to their blogs, and check out work we are doing in their portfolio page (there is a matter collage up right now).    As your kids are working on their websites at home, it would be great if you could help me with a few things:  positive comments only, no links on their pages, and no music.  The no links may not make perfect sense, so let me tell you my thinking on that. Ultimately I'm responsible for their websites, and I don't have the time to check all the sites they want to link to make sure they are all okay for school.  Same with music -- I concede that I'm not "hip" when it comes to music and I would have to research that as well.  Have fun looking at their sites!
Student Websites
~Erica
mailto:actone@svsd410.org
 
 
Due to a very generous donation from an Opstad family, we now have school-wide access to ixl.com.  If you were in my class as a 4th grader, this is the site we used towards the end of the year. I'm very excited about the possibilities it provides for practice on current content, re-teaching and enrichment. The site offers grade level practice for Pre-K through 8th grade.  We will use it at school, but it is also a resource for you at home.  If you would like suggestions for your kids to practice, I would be glad to provide that!

We will look at the site tomorrow (Friday, 10/7)  as a class so they can see how it works, and students will come home with a pink sheet that provides their username and password. In case the page gets lost  :) here is the information:

username:  zero followed by their 6 digit school  ID (lunch and library number)
password:  opstad

One of the things we will talk about in class Friday is the need for paper and pencil (or whiteboard and marker) to do the work on.  Without a resource to write on, students will be more apt to guess. 

It would be great to sit down with your student and look at the site together. We will do this Friday, but purposely put in a wrong answer so you can see the explanation.  That is one of my favorite features!

If you have younger kids at school, their username password will follow the same pattern once the teacher activates the account. 

www.IXL.com/signin/opstad    
~Erica
actone@svsd410.org
 
 
Do you feel like you hear that every year?  :)  Since I have done the 3rd to 4th to 5th grade circuit, I know that multiplication rears its ugly head every year.  I'm mostly just kidding -- I'm a math nerd at heart, and love multiplication. It's actually the first thing as a child (in 3rd grade) that I remember just "getting".  The teacher told us to just memorize the facts, and I felt relieved.  There was no figuring, just remembering.  Third grade is when the theory behind multiplication is introduced, and fourth grade is where it is supposed to be mastered. By fifth grade, it is just an assumed skill. This week we are reviewing all parts of multiplication (multiplying by 10s, estimating, multiplying by one number, by two numbers and beyond).  What I have noticed is that there are still a few kiddos out there that need to memorize their facts. Most every step from here on out relies on multiplication. We will be starting weekly timed tests to try and get kids up to speed. While there is a section of the awards ceremony at the end of the year for math timings, the main focus is on personal growth.  We will be graphing results and setting goals.  It's not too late to pull out the flash cards and increase that math fluency!
Happy Multiplying,

~Erica
actone@svsd410.org
 

Camp

10/2/2011

 
I hope you heard some wonderful tales about camp. It is always my favorite event of the year, and I think it's possible that the kids have even more fun than I do!  This year we had some great high school counselors that really made the experience fun for the kids, and helped us teachers get a little more sleep (okay, not that much more...). 

In a quick poll on Friday I found that the general consensus was that Reptiles was the favorite class.   The staff really does a great job on the education part of the class, and then there is the favorite part of interacting with and holding the reptiles.  I took some great pictures, but as many of the kids pointed out, did not touch one of the animals!  Check out photos under the "Photos" tab.

Other classes kids participated in were: canoeing, marine biology, cooperative learning, orienteering and squid dissection.  I think I can still smell the squid dissection room... 

Other favorite activities were the Night Hike, Skit Night (oh, how I laughed!), Rec Time (archery, canoeing, rock wall, reptiles...), Cabin Time and so much more!

The wonderful thing about camp is that I get to see your kids outside of the classroom. It is fun to interact with them in a less structured way and see their real personalities. You have great kids (and I'm not just saying that!).  I hope they have all gotten caught up on sleep for the coming week -- I'm close!  :)  
~Erica
actone@svsd410.org