Class Notes for Feb. 2-6, 2015


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The class did a ton of writing last week. I wanted to get a mid-year look at writing skills, so everybody worked on a short piece of writing, going through the process of prewriting, writing, revising, and editing that is necessary for a finished product.

All ships have landed! The four new colonies (New Bison, Katalia, Nephthys, and Francistan –my spellcheck is going crazy here!) made it to the Eastern seaboard and have chosen their preferred spots on the large map. Now begins the actual work of making something of the colony. Each of the colonies is representative of the three types of colonies: 1) government sponsored, 2) privately sponsored, or 3) religious. There are benefits and drawbacks to each type of colony, as the students/colonists will find out in the coming weeks.

We are going to wrap up the geometry unit by the middle of next week. There will be a test, so going over homework assignments that have been returned is a good study technique.

Report cards come home on Friday, so be looking for them in backpacks. I want to alert you that there will be blank areas, especially in the math section. As the note on the report card says, “not all topics are emphasized every grading period. When the topic is not emphasized, a mark is not given.” Don’t hesitate to contact me with concerns about the report cards.

I want to point out two excellent digital resources that all students would benefit from using in the coming months. One is Newsela. is a site that the school has purchased to help with non-fiction comprehension skills. Every day they add interesting current events articles from news outlets around the world. The stories are written at different grade levels from approximately 3rd to high-school levels. If they log in with their Google account, students have a “binder” on Newsela that lists articles that I have assigned. This resource is especially powerful with an adult nearby who can encourage the reader to go back to the article to pinpoint how they came up with an answer. Time spent on Newsela counts as the required 30-minutes of nightly reading. Let me know if you have problems getting onto the site.

A second digital resource that I think highly of is Front Row Math. Again, this is best if there is a real human nearby to answer questions, because it does delve into some areas that we haven’t covered yet.

There just isn’t enough time in the day to get the students of Room 24 onto those sites as much as I’d like to, so please take advantage of them at home.


About Mr. Colvin

I'm a retired elementary teacher (classroom and music) who taught at Lewis and Woodmere elementary schools in SE Portland. I like to teach, play guitar, take photos, and ride my bike.
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