Dear Room 414 Families-
Welcome back to Quarter 2! I hope families had a restful and enjoyable time with their children. We have lots of learning in store for this quarter. Here is what to expect:
Language / Social Studies > We will be starting a new book, The Egypt Game, to connect with our Social Studies unit. The Social Studies unit, is of course – Egypt! Each child should be getting his or her own copy of the book to use. Please remind them that this is still school property, and to be careful not to lose it.
Blogging > The Student Edublog Challenge just got started this week. Students will be posting at least one topic each week for 10 weeks. They’ll also be able to follow other students blogs in different countries to learn more about their cultures and schools.
Science > Life Science! Our science unit will cover plant and animal sciences, and more specifically cellular biology. San Diego is known for its innovations in the medical field. If you have information to share that can help students better understand biology research or environmental plant science, please let me know! I would love to have experts come visit.
We could be lost! > Our DonorsChoose Project: Find Me a Treasure needs just $600 left to bring GPS units to our classroom. The deadline is November 13th !! We intend to share these with all of the Camarena campus on Geocaching walks. If you would still like to donate, please visit the link here, or pass this onto your social networks or places of business. Every bit helps.
Camarena Fall Festival Silent Auction Basket > This year, Camarena is hosting a Fall Festival (instead of the Winter Wonderland). This will be the night of Friday, November 6th. Our class theme will be a Science Basket. If you can donate please visit this link so I can collect items. Last year, our Science Basket went for the highest bid of all the classrooms, at over $200!
6th Grade Camp > Forms went home for the Butter Braid Pastry fundraiser to help with camp cost. Students may fundraise until October 22nd. Orders will arrive November 5th. Your child will receive $6 for every pastry sold. YMCA Health History forms may also be filled out can be turned in any time between now and January.
Thanks for all your support!
If you have been following our student blogs, you will notice the recent posts were science-related.
Once post was a research project they completed in December for our school’s Gallery of Experts presentations. Individuals researched and wrote about a specific disease and argued what might be the best to address it.
The second post connects their current Earth Science unit on plate tectonics. After reading two first-person accounts of earthquakes in California, students needed to write a narrative from that point-of-view. Please feel free to comment on their works. As Californians, we have a unique perspective on these natural disasters. However, we would love to hear any experiences you have had with earthquakes or geology in your area.
Learn more about where earthquakes are on the West Coast! Check out these links…
Southern California Earthquake Data Center (SCEDC) – Earthquakes in Southern CA
Pacific Northwest Seismic Network – Earthquakes in Washington state & Oregon areas
US Geological Survey – Government page the watches earthquake activity across the country. (mobile version available!)
Virtual Museum of the City of San Franscico – first person account collections
I trust you and your children have had a restful, maybe indulging vacation! Can you believe we are already into 2014 ?! When you children come back to school on Tuesday, Jan. 14th, we will be exactly at the halfway point of the school year! I hope you were able to celebrate some of their accomplishments these last two quarters. Quarter 3 is going to go by very quickly, with many short weeks because of the holidays and camp. Here are some things to add to your calendar:
January 14th > Camarena students return to school. This is a FULL DAY.
January 20th > No School – Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday
January TBD > 6th Grade Camp Followup Informational Meeting- What to bring. An archived video recording of the meeting will be posted if parents cannot attend in person.
February 14-17 > No School – Presidents Day Weekend
February 24-28 > 6th Grade Camp! Students who do not participate, will still be required to attend school at Camarena, since at least one teacher will be staying behind to teach non-campers.
March 13-21 > Spring Parent/Teacher Conferences. Parents will receive their scheduled appointment dates by the end of February.
Winter Break Cultural Project > Your child has been asked to complete a cultural presentation about his/her family. The details were sent home before break, and digital copies are also online on their Edmodo account, and on our classroom website blog post. These are due when they come back Jan. 14th. I can’t wait to hear more about your families’ heritage!
Gallery of Experts Online > Your child did an exceptional job on his/her science presentation last December! Dr. Winters sent this email the next day to the 6th grade teachers, “Brilliant, brilliant, brillant!” The Ustream videos will briefly remain online this month, and then will be removed. If you’d like a chance to listen to your child, or any another 6th grader, please go to our Camarena Elementary Ustream Channel and scroll through the videos to watch!
Content Standards > This quarter, the 6th grade plans to cover these topics and integrate Common Core State Standards & Next Generation Science Standards. In Room 414, I plan to spend much more time on reading comprehension in small groups. Reading comprehension is an area I noticed students struggled with during our testing assessments.
- Reading- More small group Guided Reading strategies using varied literature
- Writing – Argument/Opinion genre
- Math – Positive & Negative Numbers and Using a Coordinate Grid
- Social Studies – Review of Egypt content, Greece
- Science – Earth & Human Activity
- Technology – Coding, increased book reviews & blogging
Science Expo Field Trip > We have been granted FREE bus transportation in March to enjoy part of the San Diego Festival of Science & Engineering! The exact activity and date is TBD. We will need chaperones, so please keep the week of March 17-21 in mind, when I do get more details.
VOICEMAIL! > Finally, we have voicemail. Please refer to the direct email that was sent to parents for Mrs. Hughes’ voicemail extension.
Whew!!! I think that is all for now. Looking forward to a great 2014!