Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Leap Year

We are so lucky this year.  We get an extra day!  February 29th comes only once every 4 years, and 2012 is one of those years!  In a leap year, the calendar has 366 days with 29 days in February, not 28 days.
Even though it's not an actual holiday, it seems like a great reason to celebrate! The frog is the unofficial mascot of Leap Year.  So after reading the science and history behind a leap year,  students had some fun folding origami leaping frogs.

Students learned quickly, and frogs were soon leaping around the room. Parents, your students are asking for the pattern to fold even more frogs.  You may download it at home by clicking here.  A great big thanks to davis.jaque for sharing.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

MAP Testing

All students in fifth grade will take the MAP (Measure of Academic Progress) test this week- Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday. These tests are given in reading, language arts, and math. 
Please speak with your child about the test experience. It is important that students approach the test with confidence. Parents can help in the following ways:
  • Make sure that your child is well rested and ready to do his/her best work. Try not to schedule many activities after school.
  • Please ensure that your child eats a wholesome, nutritious breakfast each day.
  • See that your child arrives at school on time and relaxed.
  • Comfort counts. Have your child dress in comfortable clothes. 
  • Encourage your child to do the best work possible and to have a positive attitude.
Students have received rigorous instruction throughout the year. Through classroom assessments, I know the majority of students have been proficient in learning the academic content of the standards at grade level. 

They're ready to celebrate growth!

Friday, February 24, 2012

Author's Visit

During the month of February, fifth and sixth graders at Norfolk Middle School participated in a school-wide reading of The Saphire KnightEach student received a copy of the book because of the generous donation by the author. 
Today, Michael Sullivan, author of  The Saphire Knight, visited the school and shared his love for writing with our students.

When students get the chance to meet the author of a book they've read, a special connection is made. They are energized, inspired, touched with a new appreciation for reading.  Thank you, Mr. Sullivan!

An author's autograph went home with several students.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Girls' Pajama Party!

Box Tops Contest determines “WHO RULES THE SCHOOL”

The latest Box Tops Contest was a boys vs. girls challenge to determine “Who Rules the School” – at least in terms of Box Tops!  With Mr. Strong serving as our boys team captain and Mrs. Robinson leading the charge for the girls, it was a fun competition.
Today the girls celebrated their victory with a pajama party. Students agreed the real winner was the school - over $800 was raised. 
Please continue to collect box tops. Click here for a complete listing of participating products.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Valentine's Day

While surfing the internet recently, I came across a Random Act of Kindness post. In that post, the author writes about finding a note in an unexpected place and how it made her smile. I shared this story with the students.
Room 102 began to think of places to leave little notes that teachers and students would find, hoping the note would bring a smile to someone's face.
Students decided this would be a worthy project for Valentine's Day.  Plus their teacher was giving them permission to pass notes!  The note had to be random, never knowing who would find it or what effect it could have on their day.  
Students caught on real fast and scattered throughout the building tucking their notes in random spots. Students discovered the "sweet" fun of Valentine's Day.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Recycled Crayons

This year, Room 102 is connecting our Valentine’s Day celebration to a service-learning project. Since Room 102 had a lot of broken, stubby pieces of crayons, we agreed to pop them in the oven, melt them down, and share some brand new crayons with little fingers.
Tomorrow these recycled crayons will be delivered to Head Start Preschool.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Flu Bug Hits

Thank you, parents, for your emails and kind words. That "bug" ruined our time together for parent/teacher conferences. I am willing to reschedule, so I'll give you a call. Until then, I am conferencing individually with students. I've asked the kids to reflect on their learning, review their grades, and set goals.  During our mini conference, the students and I are discussing goals to finish the year strong.

We had "sweet" plans for February conferences with lots to show parents. These notes will be coming home to you in a manilla envelope with samples of your student's work. Please take the time to visit with your child about his or her progress.

Student Self-Reflections
(Click to enlarge)

Friday, February 3, 2012

Sweet Pen Pals

This year Language Arts students in 6th period have been corresponding with pen pals in Glendale, Arizona. Glendale is home of the NFL's Arizona Cardinals and the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl. However, fifth graders were excited to learn this city also hosts the Glendale Chocolate Festival every February. This event attracts thousands. 
The Chocolate Festival starts today, February 3.  Students in Room 102 were able to share in the fun with a chocolate truffle. Many students tried these treats for the first time today. Truffles are amazing! 
Arizona pen pals are a whole lot of fun!

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Groundhog Day

photo courtesy of Danielle Sullivan
posted on February 2nd, 2012 at 7:27 AM

In the U.S., the "official" groundhog is kept in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania. Every February 2 "Punxsutawney Phil"  is pulled from his den by his keepers, who are dressed in tuxedos. Phil whispers his weather prediction into the ear of his keeper, who then announces it to the crowd.  Groundhog Day is all about fun! 

Room 102 went to computer lab to complete a web quest on Punxsutawney Phil and Groundhog Day. 
It's a fun celebration and a great tradition. Students learned it is Phil's keepers who secretly decide the "forecast" in advance of Groundhog Day.
After their research, Room 102 was asked to help Phil with 2012's "forecast."