Winter Updates

Dear All,

I hope everyone enjoyed a restful Thanksgiving break. Students shared that they spent time with family, went camping, traveled near and far, and had lots of cozy indoor time catching up on some TV! I traveled to Placerville to see my husband’s side of the family where we enjoyed lots of time in the snow!

Back here at school, this week we have our third round of DISCO. Students are learning to code using the free website code.org. Students will have access to this program at home as well if you’re interested in checking it out.

In the classroom, we’re wrapping up our exploration of the rock cycle with an end of unit project. Students are working in groups with Rachel’s class to create a stop motion video of the rock cycle. Next, we’ll begin to learn about how plants and animals survive in their habitats, as well as things that negatively or positively affect their survival.

In conjunction with this next science unit, we’ll be planning and carrying out our service learning project. Students have been working in groups with Rachel’s class to brainstorm ways we can make our community a better place. They’ve decided on organizing a beach cleanup along three of Westcliff’s most popular beaches- Mitchell’s, It’s, and Main Beach. They’ve contacted Save Our Shores who has agreed to help us host and organize the event! Right now, they’re working on setting a date, planning out our January First Friday presentation (which will be January 10th, not this upcoming Friday December 5th as was mentioned in previous correspondence!), creating social media posts, and contacting local businesses for prize donations.

In math, we’re continuing unit 2 which focuses on multi-digit multiplication and early division. Most often, students are using area models and ratio tables to do this work. In number corner, we’re chugging along with a new month of activities. The focus this month is on geometry- identifying congruence, line symmetry, and parallel and perpendicular lines in figures.

For our next writing unit, students will be choosing a topic they’re interested in, completing background research, and organizing their facts before drafting an informational essay.

And lastly, we’re wrapping up our last couple weeks of study about California regions. For our culminating project, we’ll be creating a salt dough map of the state. We’ll be asking for volunteers to help make the dough at home, please keep an eye out for that email coming soon! Next, we’ll be learning about different native Californians tribes. More specifically, we’ll focus on how the climate, geography, and natural resources of each region influenced the different tribes’ lifestyle.

Lots of dates and events coming up:

  • Thursday 12/5: Tina will be teaching for Brianna.
  • Friday 12/6: December First Friday. Rain or shine! Will likely be held in the gym if there’s rain.
  • Wednesday 12/11: Spirit day- wear your PJs to school!
  • Thursday 12/16: substitute teacher for Brianna
  • Wednesday 12/18: Gateway’s Winter Solstice event- come share in an afternoon of community merriment, joyful “snow” play, and solstice crafting while sipping warm coco and cider! The GFA will be hosting a Winter Solstice Fundraiser after school at 2:45pm featuring a “snow” play area in Kinder Island, a hot coco and apple cider bar in the Hannelore Herbig Room, and DIY crafting utilizing natural materials. There will also be the chance to browse and shop for some last minute gifts, while supporting local Gateway crafters/makers selling their goods.
  • Thursday 12/19: Starlight sing 6-8 PM.
  • Monday 12/23- Friday 1/3: Winter Break- no school
  • Friday 1/10: First Friday presentation, 4th grade presents!
  • Friday 1/17: No school- staff inservice
  • Monday 1/20: No school- MLK Day

Some gratitude shout-outs:

  • Thank you to those who brought goodies for our Publishing Party and to everyone who was able to attend! It was so fun to hear the student’s stories come to life.
  • Thanks to Caprice and all the volunteers who helped at Grandfriend’s Day, it was a huge, delicious success! It was wonderful to meet the students’ Grandfriends and celebrate the work that the students have done in Lifelab to make our luncheon happen.

Goals check up/ check in: Please revisit your student’s goals with them sometime this week. They should be able to log in to google drive to see these. We do semi-regular check ins here at school too!

Thanks for all you do for your child, our classroom, and our school!

Fondly,

Brianna