Thursday, January 21, 2010

Report Cards

The end of the semester is here! This means that report cards should arrive in the mail the first week in February. Please set up a time to discuss any concerns that may arise. Reading logs, book summaries and reports, daily math assignments, the multi-cultural project and weekly writing assignments factor into your student's grades. Please look for and discuss graded work which should come home each Monday in their plastic folders. This will give you a snapshot of the work that is being turned in. The third quarter starts Monday and everyone has an A.

Poetry Winners

In October, we submitted poems to the Celebration of Poets contest put on by Creative Communication. Last week, we received letters that two of the poems were excepted into the anthology. Hunter Waldren and Brandon O'Neil need one additional edit before publication. I will be ordering one of the books to keep in the classroom. Congratulations on being Owyhee's first published authors!
In February, they have an essay contest. I plan to talk to the teachers about submitting a few of the essays that will be written next week. Do your best and let's see how many author's we can publish in one year.

Field Trip

A change in our field trip plans came up after a discussion about the earthquake in Haiti. The class discussed three options. First, donate our field trip money to the relief efforts. Second, continue making plans to go ice skating for Friday the 29th. Finally, reschedule and attend a less expensive field trip and give some money to the relief fund. The students had all day to look at information and talk about the pros and cons of all three. At the end of the day, we voted (closed eyes)and 13 out of 24 students decided to give some money to the Haitian people and attend a Grossology Museum. I wanted to give everyone notice. Please talk to your student and provide any feedback on the topic. I hope this does not cause a problem for anyone.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Book Report

Steps for writing book report essay

1.In an intro paragraph, write the position on this topic giving some ideas from below.
2.Choice three or four of the ways listed below and expand each idea in three or four follow-up paragraphs. Please list other resources that you use in your paper.
V Values & beliefs-what most people believe

E/O Expert opinion-what experts say

S Statistics-summary of survey

A Analogies-if A then B

F Facts-proofs

E Examples-things found in nature

C Cause & effect-the outcome of something else

A Anecdotes-stories

T Traditions & customs-cultural explainations

S Special rules-

2. Use the T bar we used in class. Write a complete sentences about the topic and briefly identify. Then expand into a multiple paragraph essay.

Arguments against topic Arguments for the topic

3. In a closing paragraph, rewrite your opinion.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Forcing Bulb Fund Raiser

Today students will receive an envelope for our forcing bulb fund raiser. The envelope has a picture of what the package will look like and a picture of the plant once it matures. Each student is encouraged to sell three plants. The plants will cost $10 and include the bulb, directions, marbles and a glass container. We will be collecting the envelopes and money on January 22. This will give us time to order and construct the cute little gifts. Delivery will by on February 12th so that they can be given for Valentine's Day, St. Patrick's Day. They can be forced and also be a spring gift to that special loved one. Please help us make our goal of $4,000. The money will be used by Friends to improve your student's school experience(lunch program, playground, bird observation, or art program).

Haiti Help

How can we help! CNN published an article saying that clothes and other supplies can not be sent to the people in Haiti at this time. Red Cross states that money is needed. Friends would like to start a coin drive on Friday, January 16 through January 23. We will be discussing this during our agenda meeting tomorrow. Thank you in advance for any contribution you can make. We can make a difference!

Book Orders

I have exciting news. You can now place your Scholastic Book Clubs orders online! Browse all the great monthly Book Club selections at low prices and order online. Plus, our class earns a FREE book every time a parent orders online.

Here’s how it works:

  1. Use the information below to access the Scholastic Book Clubs Web site.

  2. Browse the titles with your child and place your order with your credit card.

  3. Your order will come to me, and your credit card payment will go directly to Scholastic’s secure server. There’s no need to send money to school.

  4. After I submit the entire class order to Scholastic, your order will be delivered to our classroom for your child to take home.

To get started, go to the Web address below and enter our class’s personalized user name and password in the sign-in fields on the right side of the page. Note: You do not need to create your own user name and password.

User Name: Berfield

Password: Owyhee09

Ordering online is the most convenient way to use Scholastic Book Clubs. You can order anytime, right up until the online order due date. You’ll also get instant access to over 500 additional titles plus online-only specials and discounts.

And don’t forget: Every time a parent places an order online, we earn a FREE book for our classroom library!

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact me.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Science Fair Projects

Science Fair time is here again! In class, the students have been introduced and have practiced the scientific method since the first few weeks of school. Now, it is their turn to show-off what they have learned. Students can select a project and begin the process: Title, Question, Hypothesis, Materials, Procedure, Observations, and Conclusions (many books which include science projects are in the classroom and can be checked out if needed). Please keep a science journal of work that is started, research that is found, and reading that is completed. As February 23rd approaches, have your student prepare a tri-fold board which includes the process from above. Pictures add a lot to the presentation and the journal needs to be included. Each classroom will have the opportunity to send the student with the best project to the State Science Fair. Let's make it hard for the judges to choose just one best from Owyhee. We will include pictures of some projects in March.


The lunch program started just three months ago. Students dined on chicken tamales today! Some minor problems manifested themselves, but we have tried to fix them. To help clear the air, I would like to explain the procedures related to lunch. Owyhee requested a change in order because we just seemed to always be late(sound familiar). When called, hot lunch people are sent to line and the cold lunch people clear the tables and cover them with table clothes. When people begin returning, we sit down and eat for thirty minutes. If we don't get our full thirty minutes of recess, I told the students that we would make-up the recess at the end of the day or the following morning. As we move into the next three months, we will explore new options to these problems.
Owyhee students participate in the preparation, serving, and cleaning of lunch every Tuesday. As of this week, groups of 3 to 4 students work for two hours in the kitchen(one group in the morning from 10:30-12:30, a second group from 12:30-2:30). This way students are only working in the kitchen once a month. I hope your son or daughter is enjoying the opportunity to be part of this unique food program.

Valentine's Day

Every year, HDMS observes Valentine's day as a day of friendship. We share cards that have been handmade at home, one for each person in the class(27). This gives us an opportunity to practice letter writing, addressing envelopes, grace, and courtesy at gatherings. This date coincides with the 100th day of school. This day gives us a time to review place value and discuss the number 100 and larger numbers. The celebration will take place at 2:00pm and will include the passing out of letters, sharing homemade rootbeer floats, and other activities that relate to the curriculum. Please take some time to discuss how your child will show their friendship with all of his classmates. We will have an album of ideas in the school, if you get stuck. If you would like to donate items for the rootbeer floats we need the following: yeast, gallon containers with lids, root beer flavoring, ice cream makers, salt, cream, vanilla, or vanilla ice cream. These materials need to brought in by January 29th because it takes two weeks to make it.
Valentine's brings up the discussion of health. HDMS encourages students that choose to bring treats to make snacks with a small amount of sugar, no processed foods, and individually wrapped for easy distribution and consumption over time. I hope that this gives you enough information. Any comments or suggestions can be added by clicking the comment box or clicking on the E-mail Me link at the bottom of the page(it should be fixed now).

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Ice Skating

Should we have the ability to go on a field trip to the ice skating rink? Jamie posed this question to the Owyhee students on Monday. The students read, discussed, and took notes on how field trips play an important part in providing new experiences for children. The reading presented the lost of instructional minutes as a valid justification for limiting all outings. The students listed activities related to ice skating that could meet state standards before, during, and after the experience. Kurt challenaged them to research the effects of physical activity on school proformance, but nothing materialized, yet. We set a tentative date for Friday, January 29th. Students will continue to work on projects with related topics until the day. To ice skate or not to ice skate? That is the question.

Bike Rally

What is bike rally? This project started two years ago by a couple 6th grade boys and grew out of the need for something to do other than play on what used to be a field of rocks and sand. Student bring their bikes and ride. Don't want to bring yours, we have a few that will be provided for ten-fifteen minute intervals depending on the supply and demand. This year Maya and Tiffany Joy got the ball rolling. They explained the necessary rules to the students, talked about the procedures, and found a safe location to ride. Maya, Tiffany, and one adult will be supervising the bikers in the parent parking lot during lunch recess behind the closed gate. Give it a try on Tuesday, Thursday, or both!

State Writing Test

Grabber, zinger, SVVP, and dead verbs are words you might have heard at home. Ideas, words, and strategies used to assist our students in blowing away the state writing assessment. This test will involve all students in grades 3rd-6th, but only the 5th grade work will be scored by the state and factor into the school's over all Annual Year Progress Evaluation. Please check out the writing fix link at the bottom of this blog and talk with your student about doing their best to write exciting and detailed paragraphs without using is, are, was, and were.

6th Grade Projects

Each year, our sixth graders take on a final upper elementary project. Presented in May, the students give a glimpse of the facts and their views on the topic, to the student body and parents. The five minute presentation consists of power points, stop animation, models, and information. The process starts the week of January 11, 2010. We will be asking students to choose a topic, seek out the necessary resources, find mentors, organize outings, and generate an essential question, which will help guide the in-depth research. Parents of sixth graders are encouraged to attend this meeting to receive the project packet.


Thursday Night, the parent’s group gathered to collect opinions about school uniforms. After a number of great issues on both sides were presented, the group agreed that we needed to modify the schools dress code. Many ideas to address safety during outings were discussed, but no final solution was determined. Please add your ideas and comments, so we can include them in our next discussion.