Mrs. Neidhardt collected information about students' ethnic identities then displayed them on an interactive map via amcharts.com. The class reviewed this data during Morning Meeting.
Our class reporters: Talia and Ellie
We are collecting cans for a school wide community service food drive called “Can Slam”. We are collecting canned food to give to people in need. Please help the can cause by sending in as many cans as you can! The last day will be Tuesday, June 17th.
As you may know, the school year is almost over, but the school library still is missing some books! If you have any books just lying all over the house, please check them and send them in if they belong to the library. Thank you!
Finally, the Molin Picnic is this Tuesday the 17th. Ms. Rossi sent another request for volunteers yesterday. According to the volunteer coordinator this morning, our class has some of the most parents volunteering their time. Thank you, thank you, thank you for rearranging your schedules, taking time off of work, etc., to support this fun, end of the year activity. If the predicted forecast comes to fruition, I will be wilted within minutes but the student-teacher egg toss at the end of the day will keep me going!
We arrived back at school by 1:00, so the kids are engaged in a crossword puzzle and Spanish/English vocabulary page from the post-field trip activity suggestions from Margaritas. Below are some of their answers to the traditional question, "What did you learn from this field experience?"
· A lot of work is put into the handmade art displayed in the restaurant chain.
· All of the food that was served to us was typical of the Mexican culture.
· The Mexican artisans put lots of effort into their carving and painting of chairs before shipping them to our country. Many of the workers create molds in which paper mache or clay is placed then dried or fired for casting into the different animals and symbols.
· They hand made all of the tiles that are throughout the restaurant, which took a long time to create.
· It also takes work for the items to be taken off of the trucks after shipping. Only 5% of their inventory is damaged during shipping, mostly during unloading.
If your child has a school library book at home, please return it as soon as is possible. Not only is Mrs. Menesale looking for her inventory to be complete before the last day of school, she has to pack up for the construction work that will continue this summer. The earlier the better would be most appreciated!
* Margaritas field trip on Monday
*Wednesday night, June 4th, is the meeting about the fifth grade instrument program. Please attend if your child is interested. If you are unable to attend, I recommend you contact Jamie Sokolowski (firstname.lastname@example.org) for further details.
* On Thursday, students will be released early at 11:30. Thank you for ensuring your child knows his or her dismissal plan. That morning, we will walk around the library and explore the 6th Grade Expo. In the past, each sixth grader dressed in a costume representative of the country he/she studied as well as prepared a poster board then answered attendees' questions.
With June first fast approaching, lots of end-of-the-year activities will be happening soon. One of these activities is Step-Up Day where third graders from Bresnahan preview the Molin School. (Fourth graders will meet with the fifth grade team, too, but on a different day.) As many of your children were, these third graders will be excited, nervous and highly curious about this place and staff.
This brief get-to-know-your-school event has been going on for years. A new component Ms. Rossi started was to have a couple of fourth grade students run a Q & A with each teacher's tour group. Peer-to-peer interaction will present the incoming fourths with experts on what the transition to the Molin was like and how they adjusted to this new grade, new place, etc. The advice your children wrote for homework, in anticipation of this event, and perhaps being chosen as a representative, was informative, delightful, thoughtful and or humorous. Some highlights:
On Monday, our class will travel to a Margaritas Restaurant for a video presentation, viewing of artwork, food demonstration, and a buffet lunch. This relates to the fourth grade study of Mexico in Social Studies.
In November, students met artisans who crafted and painted wooden animals. Epifanio and Laurensia's art, along with other authentic art, tiles on the tables and chairs from other Mexican crafters, can be found throughout the restaurants under the Margaritas' name.
The videos will walk us through the artists' step-by-step process from rough material to beautiful art, as well as share more about other aspects of Mexican culture. Before the buffet, our presenter will show the ingredients for and make guacamole and salsa fresca in front of the children. They may sample it and it will also be available on the buffet.
The buffet meal will include seasoned ground beef or chicken for tacos, toppings of lettuce, tomatoes, cheese, Mexican rice, beans, chips and salsa, soda or water, and churros with chocolate sauce for dessert.
A permission slip was sent home yesterday and needs to be returned by Friday with $12. (Please make checks out to the Molin School or cash. Thank you!)
One day last spring, I walked into the building via the loading dock. After about ten steps in, it occurred to me to look up. There were no ceiling tiles! All of the wiring was exposed. It was an unsettling surprise at first. As my colleagues have, I've become accustomed to the building being under construction. To a fourth grader, the wires and pipes, insulation and HVAC units must seem really strange still.
I had no idea that the children would be so fascinated by observing what sits above the ceiling tiles in some of the different hallways. I speculated that it would be mildly interesting and they'd enjoy walking around, using their flashlights. From the moment they started pointing and asking questions, I was thrilled we scheduled the time to do this activity.
CultureGrams is one of the databases available through the Nock/Molin library for states research. The username is nocklibrary. The password is library. Enjoy using this wonderful resource!
Last week, students focused on how to plan, also known as brainstorming and pre-writing, for the MCAS Long Composition using the released prompts from 2007 forward. They spent fifteen minutes building their own graphic organizer and outlining the details they wanted to include. Afterwards, we reviewed student exemplars that scored the best, 6, to the lowest, 1. The class noticed that students who scored higher often included similes, dialogue and well-organized paragraphs.
Taking the time to prepare like this can help decrease the nervousness around this writing task. Our yoga instructor, Miss Beth, incorporated visualization techniques and empowering statements about doing well on a test as students stretched in different poses. Miss Kate reinforced the importance of maintaining the mind-body connection during testing with specific movement breaks that could be done while seated. From the academic to the physiological, this class has worked hard to prove each student is prepared to put forth his or her best effort. Mrs. Remley, Miss Kate, Mrs. Volpone, and I saw this so clearly last Thursday morning as the class brainstormed then wrote a rough draft about the 2013 prompt.
The 2013 prompt presented an additional challenge for some students, beyond going through the entire writing process in one day and the expected physical endurance of sitting so much. It read:
"Imagine that you are digging in your yard or in your neighborhood and you find an old trunk. When you open the trunk, you discover something very different than what you expected. Write a story about finding the old trunk. Be sure to describe what you find inside the trunk and what happens after you open it."
What is a trunk? An elephant's trunk? Trunk of a car? Tree trunk? A noun like that with multiple meanings presented difficulty for students who didn't recognize a trunk as some sort of container or chest.
We discussed the different meanings of this word and how they could have an effect on the essay. After that, they brainstormed then wrote a rough draft. We were so impressed with the good writing behavior we saw across the room:
*Putting up "Beginning", "Middle" and "Ending" headings
*Using bullets or asterisks to itemize ideas under the headings
*Listing writing techniques like similes and dialogue on the side as trigger words for
some things to include that may improve one's score
*Starting the rough draft with a hook to engage the reader
*Crossing off ideas from brainstorming once they are put in sentences
The list could go on and on, truly. They are all capable of creating paragraphs to address a prompt. They have movement break ideas to support their bodies as they write. From what else could they benefit this week? Relaxation, a good night's rest each night and, perhaps, a lighter schedule.
There will be no homework assignments given out this week. However, I will have math activities available if your child would like something to do, just ask.
Here is an image of the states from which the children have collected postcards as of February 28th. Only 13 to go! Thank you for reaching out to colleagues, friends of colleagues, third cousins twice removed and former neighbors. When the kids see the stack of post cards come in, they're anxious to read them all.