Sunday, March 27, 2016

Week #27 in Review!

CLASSROOM NEWS
Last Thursday was Loon Lake's Variety Show! There was a fantastic variety of talent and the staff even had a little number!  It was a fun event!



Mr. Hess (the Executive Director of Instruction, Technology, & Assessment for the Walled Lake Schools) was a surprise guest reader in out room last week! He read us the book Stand Tall Molly Lou Melon by Patty Lovell.

 






I wanted to thank my class, friends, and co-workers for a fantastic birthday this year.  It was a big one and I really felt loved and not so old.  The baby pictures that were hidden around the school were especially surprising and fun!  Thank you Mrs. Heinke!


We've officially run out of Lysol disinfectant wipes. If you have an extra container you don't mind donating we would really appreciate it!  We like to keep surfaces clean.  Thank you!


LANGUAGE ARTS












The third graders were able to see each other's non-fiction research reports last week.  Mrs. Heinke and I switched classes and had a museum type set up so we could all see each other's work.  Students were able to give feedback and celebrate!


We are a little behind starting our mystery unit.  The book that the third grade teachers are reading aloud has not arrived yet.  It should be here Monday.  Then, we will be moving on in reading to mysteries!  After break each reading group (A.K.A. Book Club) will be introduced to the mystery genre and will explore the vocabulary, characters, and plot structure they are likely to encounter when reading a mystery.

Over the next few weeks in writing we will be delving further in to opinion writing.  The students need to be able to use support a claim with using reasoning and evidence.  Word choices can help strengthen persuasive sentences. It is also important to consider the audience, the purpose, and the reasons for your point of view.
   
o    Identify the audience.
o    Be clear about your purpose.
o    Give supporting reasons for your opinion.
o    Use persuasive word choices.

MATH
The unit 5 test was last Wednesday.  I will have the results to you this week.  Unit 6 begins Monday! The class has also been taking fact tests.  This is not set up in a race format.  Each child tries his/her personal best to complete each set, pass them, and then move on to the next. Click HERE for the Parent Letter that explains more AND has answers to the Home Links!
 







SCIENCE
The science unit has been completed.  Our last concept was on evaporation!  A BA review packet should be in your child’s binder to review.  I allowed time in class to work on this. The BA is scheduled for March 31st.   
 







MICHIGAN STUDIES
The history of Michigan is so interesting!  The BA for this unit will not be until AFTER the spring break.  I do not have an official date yet but the students DO have a study guide started that they can begin to study. 

We’ve learned about the first people (Native Americans) and important survival facts, the French landing here when they were trying to find China, the voyageurs, a famous priest, the French and Indian War, Pontiac’s Rebellion, and the British taking over control of the land.  Next up is the Toledo War, Lewis Cass, Stevens T. Mason, Andrew Jackson, Henry Ford, the Model T and much more!

Timeline
1618 - French explorer Etienne Brule arrives claiming the land for France.
1668 - The first European settlement is established at Sault Ste. Marie.
1701 - The city of Detroit is founded.
1763 - The British gain control of Michigan after winning the French and Indian War.
1763 - The local Native American tribes unite and fight the British in Pontiac's Rebellion.
1787 - Michigan becomes part of the Northwest Territory of the United States.
1796 - The British finally leave Detroit.
1812 - The British retake Detroit at the start of the War of 1812.
1813 - The Americans take back Michigan and Detroit after winning the Battle of Lake Erie.
1825 - The Erie Canal is opened providing easier travel to Michigan.
1837 - Michigan becomes the 26th state.
1847 - Lansing becomes the capital city.
1903 - Henry Ford founded the Ford Motor Company.


Sunday, March 20, 2016

Week #26 in Review!

CLASSROOM NEWS
As I reflect on last week I wanted to share a story.  The third graders were very frustrated with a new math concept (breaking apart facts).  Long story short, they did not give up! I had a handful of students stay in to get extra help during block recess. I did not make anyone stay in. I merely offered the help and left it up to them.  Tears turned to smiles by day two and students were begging me to give them “more of those problems.”  “I love math!” and “Now I get it!” and “That was fun!” were some of the comments I heard.  I am very proud of all my students for taking on a challenge, not giving up, and overcoming the fear of math. 


LANGUAGE ARTS
Last week we celebrated reading month with Flashlight Friday.  The children had the opportunity to read independently as well as with a buddy. 


We will be moving on in reading to mysteries!  Each reading group (A.K.A. Book Club) will be introduced to the mystery genre and will explore the vocabulary, characters, and plot structure they are likely to encounter when reading a mystery.


A Dr. Seuss Scavenger Hunt?  Yes!  Mrs. Carlson and her helpers created another wonderful interactive hall display!  Our third graders helped their kindergarten buddies with the scavenger hunt.  FUN!





































Last week the young authors practiced a few "quick writes" which allows me say one topic and they are able to be creative and have some freedom while not getting frustrated about not having a topic. 



  

Over the next few weeks in writing we will be delving further in to opinion writing.  The students need to be able to use support a claim with using reasoning and evidence.  Word choices can help strengthen persuasive sentences. It is also important to consider the audience, the purpose, and the reasons for your point of view.
   
o    Identify the audience.
o    Be clear about your purpose.
o    Give supporting reasons for your opinion.
o    Use persuasive word choices.

MATH
Unit 5 has come to an end.  There is a chapter test on Wednesday, March 23rd.  A review guide went home on the 18th and we will be reviewing in class as well. The class has also been taking fact tests.  This is not set up in a race format.  Each child tries his/her personal best to complete each set, pass them, and then move on to the next. Last week the third graders used Moby Max, XTRA Math, and Connect Ed (EDM4) to practice facts and problem solve using the Chromebooks.  Click HERE for the Parent Letter that explains more AND has answers to the Home Links!






SCIENCE
Last week the students tested out water freezing by measuring 50 mls of water with a syringe and freezing it to see what happened.  They are learning that water EXPANDS when it freezes: (O degrees Celsius).  Our first field test in this unit involved observing water on different surfaces.  The students have discovered surface tension using pennies and eye-droppers.  Also, they learned about properties of water (surface tension being one of them) and the 3 states water can exist on earth.  Click HERE to learn more about this science unit. 









MICHIGAN STUDIES
The history of Michigan is so interesting!  We’ve learned about the first people (Native Americans) and important survival facts, the French landing here when they were trying to find China, the voyageurs, a famous priest, the French and Indian War, Pontiac’s Rebellion, and the British taking over control of the land.  Next up is the Toledo War, Lewis Cass, Stevens T. Mason, Andrew Jackson, Henry Ford, the Model T and much more!

Timeline
1618 - French explorer Etienne Brule arrives claiming the land for France.
1668 - The first European settlement is established at Sault Ste. Marie.
1701 - The city of Detroit is founded.
1763 - The British gain control of Michigan after winning the French and Indian War.
1763 - The local Native American tribes unite and fight the British in Pontiac's Rebellion.
1787 - Michigan becomes part of the Northwest Territory of the United States.
1796 - The British finally leave Detroit.
1812 - The British retake Detroit at the start of the War of 1812.
1813 - The Americans take back Michigan and Detroit after winning the Battle of Lake Erie.
1825 - The Erie Canal is opened providing easier travel to Michigan.
1837 - Michigan becomes the 26th state.
1847 - Lansing becomes the capital city.
1903 - Henry Ford founded the Ford Motor Company.


Thursday, March 17, 2016

M-STEP

Dear 3rd, 4th, and 5th Grade Families,

As we head into the spring season, schools all over Michigan will once again begin the process of completing our state assessments for students in grades 3-8 and 11.  Last year, we transitioned our state assessment to the Michigan Student Test of Educational Progress (M-STEP). 

Given the online nature of this assessment, your child will need to become familiar with the digital tools that the assessment system offers.  To prepare your child, we are working with classroom teachers and our media specialist to offer exposure to these practice items that model the use of the digital tools.  If you would like see the practice items or help your child practice with the online tools, you may do so through the Michigan Department of Education site: https://wbte.drcedirect.com/MI/portals/mi/ott1.   Please note that this site must be viewed using Google Chrome as your browser.

A schedule of the state assessment windows is included below so that you can plan for any absences due to appointments or other things that may not be able to be done outside of the school day.  A more formal schedule of the dates of testing at Loon Lake will be shared at a later date.  Please note that there is a window of assessment for each grade; students will not be testing everyday within this window. 

5th Grade: 4/11-4/25
4th Grade: 5/9-5/27
3rd Grade: 4/25-5/9       

All students will take Math and English Language Arts (ELA). Our 4th graders will also be assessed in science and our 5th graders will also be assessed in social studies.

Please share with your child the importance of these assessments as they are an indicator of your child’s progress within the Michigan Common Core and State Standards and assist us in knowing the progress of our student body at Loon Lake.  If you would like to know more about the M-STEP, please visit the Michigan Department of Education M-STEP website: http://www.michigan.gov/mde/0,4615,7-140-22709_70117---,00.html.

Thank you for your support and cooperation!


Sincerely,
Anita R. Qonja

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Week #25 in Review!

CLASSROOM NEWS
MARCH IS READING MONTH!

Last week (Thursday & Friday) the PTA helped Mrs. Ziegler and I attend the MACUL (Michigan Association for Computer Users in Learning) conference in Grand Rapids.  This was our first time attending and I was overwhelmed with curiosity, excitement and I truly felt like a kid in a candy store.  The main keynote speaker was Jamie Casap who is the Chief Education Evangelist for Google!


There were so many great sessions about digital learners, coding, online books, project based learning (PBL) and  much more!  I am so thankful I had the opportunity to attend.  I can’t wait to go back next year when Detroit hosts the MACUL 2017 conference!

We had a guest reader come in the classroom this week.  Mr. Gutman (the superintendent) read to our class last Friday. 
He read a book titled ONE. 


LANGUAGE ARTS
As we move forward in writing we will begin learning how to read and write opinions pieces.  The M-STEP is approaching (end of April/beginning of May) and in order to prepare, we will be working on reading and writing stamina.

The students read books about water in groups and finished last Friday.  Coming up in groups we will be moving on to reading mysteries! 

I have two more chapters to read to the class in On My Honor.  Will Joel tell the truth?

The young authors shared their writing last week and they are learning how to give feedback as well as receive feedback by their peers.




Lastly, I signed our class up for a site that offers online reading called Schoolwide ZING!  Just click and type in the code below:



MATH
We are just about done working in Unit 5 which is all about fractions.  There is a chapter test but the date has not been set.  There is a study guide that will go home prior to the test.  Click HERE to see the Khan Academy explain fraction basics and take a quiz!  Click HERE for the Parent Letter that explains more AND has answers to the Home Links!


SCIENCE
Last week the students tested out water freezing by measuring 50ml of water with a syringe and freezing it to see what happened.  They are learning that water EXPANDS when it freezes: (O degrees Celsius).  Our first field test in this unit involved observing water on different surfaces.  The students have discovered surface tension using pennies and eye-droppers.  Also, they learned about properties of water (surface tension being one of them) and the 3 states water can exist on earth.  Click HERE to learn more about this science unit. 

MICHIGAN STUDIES
The history of Michigan is so interesting!  We’ve learned about the first people (Native Americans) and important survival facts, the French landing here when they were trying to find China, the voyageurs, a famous priest, the French and Indian War, Pontiac’s Rebellion, and the British taking over control of the land.  Next up is the Toledo War, Lewis Cass, Stevens T. Mason, Andrew Jackson, Henry Ford, the Model T and much more!  Click HERE to learn more about how it all happened!  Click HERE to learn more about Michigan facts!

 Some key terms we’ve covered are:
Wigwam
Birch Bark
Trade
Beaver Pelt
Mission
Voyageurs

Timeline
1618 - French explorer Etienne Brule arrives claiming the land for France.
1668 - The first European settlement is established at Sault Ste. Marie.
1701 - The city of Detroit is founded.
1763 - The British gain control of Michigan after winning the French and Indian War.
1763 - The local Native American tribes unite and fight the British in Pontiac's Rebellion.
1787 - Michigan becomes part of the Northwest Territory of the United States.
1796 - The British finally leave Detroit.
1812 - The British retake Detroit at the start of the War of 1812.
1813 - The Americans take back Michigan and Detroit after winning the Battle of Lake Erie.
1825 - The Erie Canal is opened providing easier travel to Michigan.
1837 - Michigan becomes the 26th state.
1847 - Lansing becomes the capital city.
1903 - Henry Ford founded the Ford Motor Company.


Sunday, March 6, 2016

Week #24 in Review!

CLASSROOM NEWS


MARCH IS READING MONTH!!


Last week Lisa Wheeler (Michigan author) came to our school to share her books and her creativity with Loon Lake! 

 


BOOK FAIR
The spring book fair is coming soon! March 7-11th.  The PTA will be providing support so that the book fair will be open from 9:30-3:00pm daily. Plus from 7-9 am on Tuesday morning for Donuts with Dads and Moms.  Classroom libraries are ALWAYS in need of books and teachers are ALWAYS very grateful for the donation.


LANGUAGE ARTS
As we move forward in writing we will begin learning how to read and write opinions pieces.  The M-STEP is approaching (end of April/beginning of May) and in order to prepare, we will be working on reading and writing stamina.

The third graders are loving the book I'm reading to the class called On My Honor. This is a book that pulls at the heart strings.  One bad choice can change lives.
 



MATH
We are working in Unit 5 which is all about fractions.  Click HERE to see the Khan Academy explain fraction basics and take a quiz!  Click HERE for the Parent Letter that explains more AND has answers to the Home Links!





SCIENCE
Last and this week we will continue investigating water and temperature: freezing (O degrees Celsius), melting (100 degrees Celsius), expanding, and contracting.  Our first field test in this unit involved observing water on different surfaces.  The students have discovered surface tension using pennies and eye-droppers.  Also, they learned about properties of water (surface tension being one of them) and the 3 states water can exist on earth.  Click HERE to learn more about this science unit. 

 



MICHIGAN STUDIES
The history of Michigan is so interesting!  So far we’ve learned about the first people (Native Americans) and important survival facts, the French landing here when they were trying to find China, the voyageurs, a famous priest, the French and Indian War, Pontiac’s Rebellion, and the British taking over control of the land.  Click HERE to learn more about how it all happened!  Click HERE to learn more about Michigan facts!

 Some key terms we’ve covered are:
Wigwam
Birch Bark
Trade
Beaver Pelt
Mission
Voyageurs

Timeline
1618 - French explorer Etienne Brule arrives claiming the land for France.
1668 - The first European settlement is established at Sault Ste. Marie.
1701 - The city of Detroit is founded.
1763 - The British gain control of Michigan after winning the French and Indian War.
1763 - The local Native American tribes unite and fight the British in Pontiac's Rebellion.
1787 - Michigan becomes part of the Northwest Territory of the United States.
1796 - The British finally leave Detroit.
1812 - The British retake Detroit at the start of the War of 1812.
1813 - The Americans take back Michigan and Detroit after winning the Battle of Lake Erie.
1825 - The Erie Canal is opened providing easier travel to Michigan.
1837 - Michigan becomes the 26th state.
1847 - Lansing becomes the capital city.
1903 - Henry Ford founded the Ford Motor Company.