Friday, May 20, 2011

Update Time

The amount of information to share with you at the end of the year is pretty insane. I will do my best to keep you updated.

  • First of all, Exhibitions are sneaking up on us. A sign up sheet is coming home for those of you who haven't signed up yet. Please choose some times from that sheet and send it back Monday. Or, you can sign up online at this link: Please note that only the times that are open are the sheet are available. If you already have signed up, your time is noted on this sign up sheet, too.

  • Milestone 4, a completed interest project is due WEDNESDAY!

  • Also, the 5K Walk/Run is on Belle Isle at the Bandshell on Saturday. Race starts at 9:00. You can register starting at 8:30.

  • There is no school Friday May 27 and Monday May 30.

  • Zoo Field Trip is Tuesday May 31. The cost is $8 per student. Every student will need a bag lunch. Chaperones are still needed. (You'll have to pay the $8, though).

  • The annual UPA Carnival is June 10 at 5:00.

  • The annual third floor Field Day is at Wayne State University on June 15. We are seeking $5 per students on this one to cover the cost of lunch.

  • The fourth/fifth grade awards ceremony will be June 16 at 9:00.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Exhibition News

The checklist is coming home tonight (along with a homework alert)! Please take a look at it and let me know if you have anything to ask. We'll start making Exhibition Organizers beginning next week.

Here is the sign-up form for the 3rd trimester Exhibitions, which will begin June 6. Because it's so close to the end of the year, there were be little to no "wiggle room" when it comes to rescheduling. Please keep this in mind and choose 3 times that will work for you. If there's anything I need to know or any special requests, please put them in the "additional comments" section.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

POW Postponed

Tonight's math review didn't get done in class by everyone, so I'll send the POW home tomorrow. The math review should be finished and brought back tomorrow.

The Days Are Flying By

Lots of info to share today...

  • POW will come home tonight. Due tomorrow.
  • Math test tomorrow. Review worksheet will come home tonight, too.
  • Book orders are due tomorrow. Every book you order helps me earn bonus points, which I use to buy books for the classroom library. The budget is tight this year, so these will probably be the only new books I'll be able to add to the library. Your help is appreciated.
  • The Celebration of the Arts is next Wednesday, the 18th from 5-7. This event combines the art show with a display of students' literature. There will be a Poetry Cafe with open mic. There will also be refreshments and giveaways! I hope to see you there.
  • Keepsake stories are due Monday!
  • Homework Alerts will come home TOMORROW!

Friday, May 6, 2011

New Homework Alerts

EVERY student will be bringing home a homework alert tonight. It highlights some important recent assignments that are missing. If your child isn't missing any (there were quite a few of these, yay!), there is a note to that effect. Please sign and return these to school on Monday. Thank you!

May's Writing Assignment: Keepsake Stories

In the spirit of Critiques of the Week and Slice of Life stories, this month students will be required to write a "Keepsake Story" every weekend. They'll have one story due each Monday for the next four weeks. I'm sending a note home about this and explaining it to students today (we've been talking about it all week), but just so I make sure the info gets to you, here is what's on the note:


Each Monday in May, students will be required to turn in a “Keepsake Story.” A Keepsake Story is what I call a story that gets passed down from one generation to the next.

Here’s how it works. Students will interview a family member of an older generation (parents, grandparents, etc. NOT siblings) and ask them to tell a story they remember from their childhood. It can be a story about a special event or a small story about something minor. Students should encourage the people they are interviewing to tell the story with as much detail as possible.

Then, students will write these stories down in their own words. It’s important that the students write them themselves. They should stay true to the story, but they need to use clear writing and all the skills we’ve learned this year (Using proper grammar, using proper punctuation, using quotation marks, etc. etc.).

They can turn these stories in on a sheet of paper OR (even better) type them up in Google Docs.

Stories will be due every Monday in May (the 16th, 23rd, 31st—Tuesday after Memorial Day) and the first Monday in June (the 6th). We’ll create final drafts of each one and publish them in our final class book of the year, which will make its debut at our final Publication Celebration sometime during the last week of school in June.

If you have any questions, let me know. I’m very excited about this project, and I can’t wait to read the stories!


Yea, so remember that one time when I blogged about a contest where we could win an author visit via Skype? The winners would be determined by votes...which were to be left in the comments section of the blog that is hosting the contest.

Well, I can't believe this, but we won! Author Hillary Homzie will be visiting our class via Skype sometime in the fall. Is that crazy, or what?

Now it's time to thank the voters who made this possible: our fantastic art teacher, Ms. Seikaly; Mr. El-Amin, Ezekiel's dad; and Mrs. Temske our online 39 Clues & Regarding the Fountain book club partner from Roswell, Georgia! It was actually Mrs. Temske's vote that put us over the top.

I seriously cannot believe it. You gotta love Fridays.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Weekend Update and Other Announcements

I might have set a new record for days without blogging! Almost two weeks! So sorry...on to the news:

  • First, a huge thank you to Ms. Wyckoff and Ms. Cooper for chaperoning our DIA trip. I think it was a really good experience. The DIA is one of my favorite places in the city. I was so glad to be able to share it with the kids. They really seemed to like it a lot. We're hard at work revising our poems. The final drafts of them are due next Thursday. Which brings me to...
  • Milestone 3 is due next Thursday, the 12th. For this milestone, students must have completed three things: 1. Their DIA poems must be typed into Google Docs. 2. Their storyboard for their Newbery project must be completed and turned in.  3. Their script for their Newbery project must be completed and turned in. Milestone 4 will be due Wednesday, May 25th. For Milestone 4, students must turn in their completed Interest Project (this can be a board, digital presentation, etc.) AND must have their completed Exhibition Organizer turned in. The Organizer will start getting filled out in school next week. On Monday of next week, you'll receive a checklist for the Exhibition and a sign up sheet for appointment times.
  • The last round of MAP testing starts Friday, May 6. We'll take a test in Reading, Language, and Math again. I'm looking forward to analyzing this data to help me set goals for next year. As their teacher, I know they've all learned so much this year. It will be fun to have test data that supports that conclusion
  • The amount of things we have to do before June 17 is mind-boggling. Just so you know, I work until the final buzzer, and I expect students to do the same. May and June are not times for coasting to the finish line. I'll drop the sports metaphors and try to say it clearly--we'll be working hard every minute of every day until the end of school. We have lots to do. Personally, I think the last two months are the time when you have to work harder than you have all year. And that's what I intend for us to do.
  • Mark Your Calendars...the first annual "Celebration of the Arts @ UPA" will be held Wednesday, May 18 from 5:00-7:00. It will feature an art show, music performances, and a student writing showcase (including a Poetry Cafe...organized by guess who!). Oh and also good food and great giveaways. I hope you can make it!
  • Mark Your Calendars again...our fourth grade end-of-the-year field trip will be to the Detroit Zoo. Fourth graders learn about living organisms in science class and this trip will help us in that pursuit. Cost has not been finalized yet, but I expect it to be $5-7. Chaperones will be needed, so please contact me if you are interested. The date for the trip is Tuesday, May 31.

Phew! That was a lot. That's what I get for not blogging often enough. More soon.