Friday, January 26, 2018

We All Win!


This week the 2nd quarter ended and the 3rd quarter began. Cool! I'm excited about the activities in store for the 3rd quarter. 

The kids did a lot of work this week to close out the quarter. I met with each to discuss my 2nd quarter report card comments and gained agreement on their 3rd quarter goals. You will receive the report card in a few days. 

I think we're all set. 

Here are some snapshots from the week:

Now, even though I'm famously not a fan of screen time, I love that the kids like math on IXL. 

We all win! 

Most kids like RAZ-Kids too. Fun and useful practice at home? Yes, it's possible. And no complaints about homework when a screen is involved. 

Bookworms (to be continued...)

Amazing Tales! 
Ask your child about them. Ask what the main ideas were and any details (names, settings) she or he can remember. Exercise those memories and deepen learning. 

The Stylistics
Great show today, even with some audio issues, the kids stepped up. 

Enjoy your weekend! 

Friday, January 19, 2018

Persuasion Equations


Field Trippers! Yeah! Yeah!

Surfing the Pipe

First off,  a couple important announcements: 

Semester 1 ends this coming Wednesday. The time went super fast. I suspect semester 2 will fly by too. Therefore, time is of the essence. More specifically, the times table is of the... you know. Seriously, several students are quick to solve multiplication problems and a few kids are not so quick. It's normal. Luckily, you can practice the times table anywhere. Anywhere! Simply ask a question (e.g What's 6 x 7?), listen for the answer (42!) and praise or help as needed. 

You x Me = Sharp Kid Math Skills

The sooner everyone can (automatically) do basic multiplication, the easier division will become. Confidence and knowledge will rise too. So just pose a few multiplication problems from time to time. That's easy homework for you, eh? And know that we won't be able to go back in time. Thanks. 

You + Me = Greater reading success
Reading remains an essential activity at school, of course, and at home. In fact, reading is at the foundation of all school subjects, all, so reading skills are inarguably key to academic success. If your child has no interest in reading at home, chances are she or he has little genuine interest in reading at school.  Be that the case, up to 30 minutes a day of pleasurable reading (e.g. comics, kids' magazines, chapter books, RAZ-Kids, etc.) will keep us or get us on a winning path. Teamwork, right? 

Thank you for encouraging some reading at home. And remember, listen to your child read on occasion, so he or she is not just looking at pages, and always ask questions about any reading to check understanding. Keep in mind, after third grade, reading could get easier, with our efforts now, or much more difficult as subject matter becomes more complex. Imagine that.

Above all else
Last but not least, the most important thing you can do for your little growing human brain is arrange 10 to 11 hours of restful sleep to recover from a day in the world and make neural connections despite all the noise (e.g. skin insensitivity to clothing is one of an infinite number of brain jobs, everyday). Sleep soothes the noisy mind and then, maybe, figures out what of the cacophony to use. 

On to the photos! 

A new kid! as the kids say. Rami fits in perfectly and nails the times table. Welcome!

Before we went to SOMAGEP, to learn about Bamako tap water treatment, we made water filters at school. Cool, they worked! 

Insights and delights 
We received lots of helpful background information from our new class friend and water guide Anna.

Degas-esque snack fuel up

Smiles and information

The kids want to thank Ms. D, Ms. T, Ms. I and the wonderful guides at SOMAGEP for making tap water so interesting! It was an unforgettable experience. 

Just ask your child. 

Last thing, intrigue. 
We read a couple adventure stories for you to ask about too. One was over 3000 years old!

Enjoy your weekend! 

Sleep well!

Friday, January 12, 2018

Vacation Reverberations


Everybody returned just fine, pretty much.  Our minds, though, including mine, took a couple days to line up. 

This week's blog leans heavily on photos and, as always, what you ask your child to explain. 


The more impure the water, the greater the conductivity. 

WINTER BREAK ESSAYS (to be continued) 



That is, our 15 minute reading diagnostic. 


You had to be there. 


Thoroughly research-based answers to age-old questions. 

This 'amazing breakthrough' also prepares us to learn each day. Seriously, sleep, it's at a bed near you. Third graders should be getting 10-11 hours of sleep a night for peak growth, health, and performance.

As I've come to learn, most of us do not get the quality of sleep we think we do. The consequences can be startling. Don't kid yourself. Fortunately, Walker's jovial approach and fascinating research makes Why We Sleep anything but a sleepy read. Though he's cool with you falling asleep with the book.    


But be sure to read the Field Trip email, please. Until next week... 

Night night!