Monday, February 3, 2014

January was Joyful!

Hello families!


2014 is off to a great start! This month we explored seasons, and learned a differentiated version of how seasons work. Rather than tackling the concept on the tilt of the earth and orbiting the sun, we talked about season being due to proximity to the sun. We learned that we are on Earth (a planet in the solar system) and that the sun (which is hot) is also in the solar system. When we are near the sun, it's hot. Summer! When we are far, it's cold. Winter! Using our spatial concepts that we're practicing, and talking about this simplified version of this big concept, many of our students are now able to tell us the 4 seasons, where the earth is in relation to the sun during each of them, how to dress for each season, and at least one thing that describes each season. Way to go!

Banks and Student Store

Our new banking system is off to a fantastic start! Each day, students earn money for following the rules at school, working hard, trying new things, and being helpful friends. On Friday afternoon, with the help of teachers, the students count their money from their banks and get to buy one prize from the student store. We're into our third week, and so far things are going great! The kids are really motivated by the store, and are understanding the concept that they are earning money. We're very excited to see the new challenges we will rise to with some extra motivation!


In music this month, we have been exploring different instruments, and learning how to play along to music. We are loving this! Especially the violins!


In February, our thematic unit is sports! We are very excited about this unit, and think the kids will love it too! We are so excited to talk about different types of sports, and also the Olympics, since they start next month!

The final celebration of our sports unit will be at Oregon Gymnastics Academy! On Monday, February 24th we will travel via public transit to OGA. There will be structured activities as well as free play time for our kids. For this field trip we will need:

$5 for discounted OGA admission

$4 for an all zones transit ticket

Cold lunch to eat prior to gymnastics (since we miss lunch time)

Beaverton School District permission slip

Oregon Gymnastics Academy waiver

Please turn in the above no later than February 10th. A big thank you to those of you that have already turned these items in! If you have any questions, or would like to chaperone, please let us know!

Upcoming IEP meetings

IEP time is approaching, so we will soon be sitting down to talk in depth about your child's progress at school, and plan for the next IEP year. At fall conferences, I shared our tentative IEP date with each family. Hopefully you have had the opportunity to check with your family and work schedules to make sure these dates work. A few weeks before your child's IEP, I will contact you again to confirm the date. Please make sure to let me know as soon as possible if this date has become problematic--our amazing specialists are at multiple schools, so they have meetings almost every day after school, so rescheduling becomes tricky, so the more time we have to reschedule the better. Once the date is confirmed, I will send you a formal meeting notice. This is just for your records, there is nothing that you need to do with it. Approximately one week before your meeting, I will send home a draft of your student's present levels and IEP goals. These are things we will discuss at the meeting, but I like to make sure families have the opportunity to look through them ahead of time so that you can think about any questions you may have, and also so we can spend meeting time talking and not just reading! I am looking forward to sharing with you about your child! Each of our students have grown so much this year!

Outstanding behavior in Technology!

Each month at our assembly, the school gathers together to hear about the special members of our school that are leaders in their outstanding behavior. There are several categories, including each of the specials. Two awards are given each month per specialist (one for upper grades, one for primary). For the month of January, our class received the golden mouse for outstanding behavior in technology! Hooray!

Check out the video below to see our class get announced at the assembly!

Library due dates

Below is a list of our library days for the next 2 months. Every library session that your child brings a book, he gets to check out a new one! Wahoo!

February 3
February 7
February 13
February 20
February 26
March 4
March 11
March 18
March 31

Happy February!