Here is my supply list. (I know the office put the link out for everyone, but I thought it might help to put it here too.)
I've been back in B-9, organizing and cleaning and getting ready for the year. I look forward to seeing everyone soon!
We just spent several days on learning advanced techniques for persuasive writing. I told the class they were learning how to argue effectively with adults. They thought I was being a traitor to my team. I said not really. Parents would rather have their children present their case logically, rationally, persuasively instead of emotionally and dramatically, with tears and tantrums and begging and slammed doors. I hope these lessons help you at home!
Here is the work we did together!
Mrs. Kragen's Class Persuasive Essay: Stability Ball Chairs for the Classroom
The students of Mrs. Kragen’s class would like stability ball chairs in our classroom--the ones with the legs so they don't roll away. Not only are stability ball chairs fun and comfortable, but they actually help students develop better posture. Stability ball chairs even help with education! Stability ball chairs are also better for classroom safety, and even allow students to get exercise while doing work. Comfortable and soft stability ball chairs are a huge improvement from the horrible, old, creaky, hard, chairs that are in our classrooms now.
One reason for stability ball chairs is they are safer than normal plastic school chairs. Stability ball chairs do not have long legs that people can trip over and hurt themselves. People can stub their toes on the long legs of the chairs we have now, but they couldn’t on stability ball chairs. Also, stability ball chairs don’t tilt so kids can’t fall off them. Stability ball chairs won’t hurt anyone if someone siting on one rolls out on the person behind them.
According to The Mayo Clinic, stability ball chairs also help improve children’s posture. Kids will learn to sit up straight because there is no back on stability chairs, which forces children to sit up straight, leading to kids paying better attention in class. Our current chairs also hurt if you sit on them too long and they can cause back pain, but stability ball chairs are comfortable and don’t cause pain.
Another reason to buy the stability chairs for our class is that we could use them for exercise. For example, we can get our wiggles out when it is not recess, and we can turn to face our group easier. A study done at the State University of New York at Buffalo showed that stability chairs burn 4.1 times more calories than the hard, horrible, old chairs we have now.
Lastly, believe it or not, stability ball chairs will help in our classroom for educational reasons. If students have Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder (ADHD) or Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD), a small amount movement can help keep them calm. Being able to move your body also helps all student focus, and when they focus they have a better overall performance. Students also get more work done because they will be able to get in a comfortable position more quickly and will be able to spend more time getting there work done. Also, stability ball chairs will not creak because they are all one piece and the absence of squeaking will allow students to work without getting distracted as easily. In addition, the stability ball chairs will exercise both sides of the brain because the owner of the brain will be trying to stay upon the ball so they do not fall off and get hurt.
You should get stability ball chairs for us because the other chairs can keep students from learning as much because they are hard, squeaky, and uncomfortable. Considering how stability balls would help with safety, posture, exercise, and education. We think that you should be happy to buy stability chairs for our class.
We figured out due dates for the oral book reports for the third trimester--the last reading due dates for the year! I added the due dates to the May calendar page and posted the updated calendar on the elementary stuff page. Now is a good time to print the May page and post it on your refrigerator!
The five kids who turned in job applications got the jobs they wanted.
You need to turn in a job application for the job you want! I put the template for the letter and the list of jobs on the elementary page.
And have a great vacation!
Everyone signed up for their book projects for April! Now is a great time to print the April page of the calendar and post it on the refrigerator door!
Next week we will do all the CBA presentations! Most of the students opted to make websites although a few decided to make exhibits.
Everyone will read their project to the class, teaching the class what they learned in their research. I suggested printing their text on 3x5 cards if they have a printer that will let them do that. Otherwise they can just print out their final clean copy on regular paper.
I'm really looking forward to some exciting projects!
Aiden--Child Labor Laws
Evyn--Trench Warfare in WWI
Bailey--The Battle of Britain
Kepa--The Battle for Moscow
Camden--Pearl Harbor (Japanese Side)
Kahn--Pearl Harbor (US Side)
Ian--Japanese Internment Camps (US Side)
Alec--Japanese Internment Camps (Japanese Side)
Noah--Fire Balloon Bombing in WW2
Lucas--The Berlin Wall (US Side)
Anna--Berlin Wall (German/USSR Side)
Keagan--The Cuban Missile Crisis
Kaeden--The Space Race: Mercury and Gemini
Carter--The Space Race: Apollo
Blaize--Brown vs Board of Education
We are done writing our CBAs. Nearly, anyway. Some students still need to do some clean up on their written work. I've graded everything, though. You have the rubrics and graded papers coming home today--first AND second drafts that I've read and marked, all in an effort to have super-clean copies for the finished work for the presentations.
Today I showed the class examples of National History Day (NHD) projects that made it to the national level of competition. (Grades 6-12 compete in NHD, so the work I showed them is more complex than what I expect from my students.) They were quite impressed!
Monday I will go over the directions on how to make a website, and I'll show examples of NHD websites.
At this point creating their presentation should be a matter of copying and pasting their finished paragraphs into their website or printing out (single-space and in a bigger font) their finished paragraphs and pasting them onto their displays.
Then they need to add:
Their presentations are due the week of March 21. Students know the date of their presentation. You can check for your child's due date in the file below!
We will go through the CBAs in chronological order. Everyone will stand up and read us their CBA and show us their pictures. Students should start practicing their presentations now!
We spent hours again in the classroom last week organizing notes and writing paragraphs for our sample piece comparing World War I to World War II. Then we spent hours in the lab so students could organize their own notes and write up their own paragraphs.
Everyone knows the BODY PARAGRAPHS are due on Wednesday, February 17.
The introduction and conclusion paragraphs and the List of Works Consulted--the rest of the text of the CBA--are due the following Wednesday, February 24.
I will post our comparison CBA here as a sample.
Your children now have their DUE DATES for the CBA presentations. They are all set for the week of March 21. Kids have also signed up for their oral book reports in February.
I talked to the kids about how the project I have them doing is designed to prepared them for doing a History Day project in middle school. I used a Power Point presentation from middle school to show the steps of research for a History Day project and told them how I would scale down the expectations for them.
After I got done I edited the Power Point to show the elementary school expectations so I could post that version on the website--one of the kids had asked me to post the slide show, and I figured I better make it one that didn't need me explaining how I would be altering the requirements!
On the elementary page go down to social studies. You will see the "Steps of Research Projects," which is the Power Point presentation. There is the "CBA Outline" which I posted in the last newsletter. There is also the "Conflict in US History CBA" which I have NOT yet shown the class. It is a more detailed outline for how to tackle the project. I also included a handful of graphic organizers since different students appreciate different ways of organizing their thinking. Finally, I added the "Rubric for CBAs." Again, I haven't discussed that part with the class yet, but you might want to see it.
If you look on the calendar for February and March, you can see my plan for how long I think we should take to complete the CBAs. I will give time in class to work on them.
It would really help if kids brought print material with them next week relating to their topic that they can use for taking notes--books, magazine articles, newspaper articles. I don't want them using online sources yet.
Most of the students had a topic in mind by Thursday, and most checked out books from the school library this week.
You can help by taking your child to the public library to look for more books relating to their topic. They ARE allowed to ask the librarian for suggestion. It's possible they might need to request a book from another library. If you or the librarian can show them how that's done, that would be a great skill for them to learn.
Thank you! And have a great weekend!
The first week back in January we spent an hour each day in the computer lab working on the paperwork for the second part of the science fair. I showed kids how to import a table into Word to do a final draft of their data charts for the Experimental Results and showed them how to use Excel to make graphs for their Graphs of Data. Then they worked on writing a pretty comprehensive Analysis of Results and a thorough Conclusion. I will add the sample document we used in the lab so kids can refer to it as they finish up their work at home.
This part of the science fair will be due on Tuesday, January 19, after the three-day weekend.
BTW, students should clean up any corrections on part one of their science fair project now too!
Meanwhile, we studied World War 2 in class and compared it to World War 1: causes, why the US entered the war, how the war was fought and won, and who won the war. We will look at short-and long-term consequences this week.
Students will be doing their own projects on a 20th century conflict in US history. They are not limited to doing a project on a war. We talked over some ideas in class and I told them to talk more with parents this week to come up with good topics.
Diet Coke and Mentos
Greek alphabet song
From Education Week--According to the latest research, the two best predictors of college success are not grades and intellectual ability. Number one is “conscientiousness” (dependability, perseverance, work ethic). Number two is “agreeableness” (interpersonal skills, getting along with other people, working well in groups).
From what I’ve observed, I would say the same is true for life after college—jobs and careers, marriage and family life. Success comes more easily for people who are willing to work hard and who are able to cooperate with other people.