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Friday, January 30, 2015

Exploration and Technology

Today we performed a homemade play in social studies to begin our Explorer's Unit.
The kids had an absolute blast. We had to perform it two times so everyone had a role. I am looking forward to the rest of the unit as we discuss the explorers. Thanks to our wonderful guest teacher for helping me, Ms. Steele.

On a side note, I would like to announce a celebration today. Out of the 28 students in the class, the 22 that have been tested, almost everyone has improved at least 2 reading levels, and some even up to 5 reading levels. THAT IS AMAZING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 

So, what does your child's "letter level" mean exactly?


N-P      3rd grade 
Q-S      4th grade
T-V      5th grade
(we would like all of our 5th graders to be reading at a V at least by the end of the year, or close to)
                       W-Z     6th, 7th and 8th grades. 


I will be continuing with assessments until the end of next week. Congratulations to everyone! There is still a lot of time left until I test again in May. Keep up the GREAT work everyone! Don't forget to READ READ READ READ READ and log!! It totally pays off!! 


If you did not turn in your class selection sheet, please make sure that you bring them on Monday. 


Have an excellent weekend! I am super proud of everyone! Stay safe, stay clean, and stay healthy :)

(Who is watching the Puppy Bowl on Sunday? I know I sure am....)
Go PACKERS!

-Ms. Davidson 

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Survival of the fittest

Oh what a joyous feeling it is to be back!! I woke up this morning so excited to be reunited with the kiddos, and happy that I didn't feel as awful as I had the previous day.

When the kids came in, I stood by the door and held a Lysol container full of wipes out for the kids to take. They looked at me funny because I was wearing a surgical mask, but they looked at what was in my hand, and then the kids didn't even have to ask what it was for. They all came in, greeted me, grabbed a Lysol wipe and cleaned down everything at their desk and chairs. Some kids even went further than that and cleaned the counter tops (thank you to those students!)

Then once they came in after Encore, everyone was trying to fill me in on the last two days which apparently had many ups and downs, and they ensured me that they did everything they could to be good leaders. There is nothing in the world that makes a teacher more pleased then knowing that even when he/she is gone, the kids have their best interests at heart. 

We were so excited to be reunited that we wasted the first 20 minutes on just goofing around and giggling. It got to be so bad I had to turn out the lights and make them rest.

That took another 5 minutes. And I couldn't keep the grin off my face the entire time.

Then we all finally got to work, and had a fabulous day.


Thank you so much for being such wonderful and understanding families, I know it hasn't always been easy. I can't believe the year is half over and I only have a few months left with them!




Friday, January 23, 2015

MAPS

FINALLY!

The students have all finished their MAP tests with me today. It was incredibly frustrating, we had more problems happen in the last two days with it than I have had the 4 times I've proctored it. However, almost everyone has finished (aside from those who were absent today).

I am confident that they did well. :)

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Que Magnifique!

What a crazy and fun filled day we had!

To start our morning, most of the class went to La Petite, a french bakery across from West Town Mall. It was so amazing watching the kids take part in a cultural experience in the community! They were all so polite and friendly, as well as very patient. I am very proud of all the kiddos for representing themselves and KMS in public.

They definitely put on quite the show. They had to order all of the food in French (that's to Monsuier Voss' excellent teaching, he had a dialogue cheat sheet for the kids to use, as well as myself!!!). I was very impressed by how much they have learned in such a short amount of time. With the help from Nick T., Jose, Lian, Savian, Mrs. Shaw and Hansen, Ms. Davidson was able to order some delicious treats. Thank you to everyone for the assistance!

Also, it was a pleasure seeing many of you at the cafe! How wonderful it was for you to join the class!!

Here is a great video of them performing a poem at the end of the experience to express their "Merci"

The poem is entitled 
O Soliel
O Soleil, O Soleil
Montre-toi!
De Toute ta Lumiere
illumine-moi
Pour qu'a mon tour je puisse
Rayonner autour de moi. 

Oh  Sun, Oh Sun
Rise up
With all of your light
Illuminate me
so that in turn I may
Shine out all around me

video










Tuesday, January 20, 2015

On Demand!

Welcome back! I hope everyone had a fantastic weekend!

Tomorrow I will be starting the Fountas and Pinelle mid year reading testing. This is the form of assessment we use to help base your child's reading abilities and their "reading level." The goal for 5th grade is to be at a level U by the end of the school year. Hopefully, with all the reading they do in class and at home, the students should have moved up a letter or two by now, depending on where they started at the beginning of the year. This means that we will be having a guest teacher the next two afternoons. The kids know her- she's awesome.

They will be with me for writing both days, however.
Tomorrow, we will be doing an opinion on demand. The kids are already pretty frustrated with me because they just had to write their informative post on demand, (45 minutes of non stop writing) on Friday. The way our writing curriculum works is that we are assessing writing with a post test and a pre test. This is the "pre test" for opinion writing, and we wont be taking the "post test" until after we finish our argumentative essays in March-ish.

What that means is, the kids will be spending the writing period tomorrow writing about an issue and taking a stance on that issue. They are welcome to bring in any information that will help them prove their point.

Some ideas that I expressed today were:
1. Should we have longer school days?
2. Should we have a year long school year or keep summers off?
3. Should we drink chocolate milk at school? Eat pizza?
4. Should we have more recess
4. Should teacher's assign homework?

Students should be able to :

  • write an intro
  • state your opinion or claim
  • give reason and evidence
  • organize your writing
  • acknowledge counterclaims
  • use transition words
  • write a conclusion 



On another note, our very own, Hansen, will be competing in the District Spelling Bee tomorrow night at the PAC! We are so excited for him to represent our school and our class! Good luck Hansen! We will be cheering for you!!


Wednesday, January 14, 2015

The Authors

Watch out Oscars, and the Academy and goodbye Golden Globes, The Authors has now arrived and has established itself as the elite award show at Kromrey Middle School. 

Reported with help from the Kromrey News, Mrs. Davidson (the real Mrs. Davidson) and Ms. Davidson. 


The first annual "Authors" award ceremony was a huge success! Aside from the lack of background and classy music, the show was a huge hit. There were only a few tears, but lots of smiles.  We even had some musical free-styling from Nick T and the Bliss Band!

Thank you to all the parents who came and supported the celebration! Hopefully next round we will have more time! What a fun ending to our writing successes.



Some snippits:
"Oh Stephen, who is your date that you brought with you today, and who are you wearing?"
Stephen: um...I don't have a date. And I am wearing nothing. I mean no one."

Ms. D: Wow Zack Bliss, I see that you have won the award for Best Vocabulary! How does it feel?
Zack: It feels so great. I like words.
Ms. D: So Who are you wearing and who did you bring with you today as a date?
Zack: Uhhh, I didn't bring a date, and I'm wearing Nick T.!
Ms. D: Oh wow that's an original tie by Nick T. I hear everyone is wearing him. He's an up and comer'. Tell me about this tie of his that you are wearing. What is it made out of?
Zack: It's made out of ductape.
Ms. D: Well it's just fabulous.

Thank you to the 7th and 8th grade phy ed students for the applause!



Stephen kissing his award for "Best Teacher Voice"




Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Celebration

Tomorrow we are having our Writing Celebration during EL time (3:17-3:48) You are all welcome to join in the fun.

We are planning on hosting our own Golden Globe style award ceremony, entitled, "The Authors". Please have your child wear "fancy" clothes. (Whatever they feel best in!)(( we can construct our own ties and tiaras if needed!))

Also, this month's book orders are due THIS FRIDAY, the 16th. The more books your purchase when you use the classroom code, the more books I can buy for the kiddos in our slowly depleting library. :D




Monday, January 12, 2015

Trial #1

Today starts the beginning of the end of easy EL time.

If you are in the "Read and Write group" for either session, please read the following article and fill out the response questions on the board.

http://www.timeforkids.com/news/person-year/201896

Questions to respond to:


  1. In 2014, what major award did Malala win?
  2. What did Malala say to the United Nations?
  3. In our discussion about Power today, how did Malala's actions shift the Power from the Taliban?
  4. Who were the other people nominated for the award?
  5. What are your thoughts about this award?



Friday, January 9, 2015

Recap

Wow! What a great first week back!
The kiddos were very tired the first few days- an anxious for a snow day/cold day- but regardless, they still put the petal to the metal and worked very hard. It's been hard trying to get back in the routine (as I am sure it was not easy getting them out of bed all week!!) but they are slowly removing the cobwebs.

I have been working very hard all week on trying to set up a new schedule for Extended Learning time. The kids know it's coming and we will go over expectations next week.
SO far the  plan is this:

EL time will be split into 2 times. 3:21-3:35 and 3:35-3:49
Mondays and Wednesday will be Reading focused days
Tuesday and Thursdays will be Math focused days.

On Reading days, the kids will do two of the following activities: 
Book Club with Ms. D, Read and Writes, Word Work and Reader's Theater.

On Math days, the kids will do two of the following activities:
Math Club with Ms. D, Moby Max/EDM games, Math Masters and Dreambox.

Not everyone will do all the activities all the time, some activities some students will not qualify for. 
This is being done to ensure that every student's needs can be met. 

Keep in mind, some students will have band lessons or other services to attend. The class is also required to partake in Guidance lessons 2 times a month, as well as some library time as well.  I will allow some days for students to work on independent reading or math homework for one of the two sessions.

This is an experiment that I hope goes well. I am not sure when we will rotate activities (weekly, or monthly) but I will figure out an answer to that shortly.

For writing, the original plan was to be completely done by Monday- however, there were a few impromptu lessons from myself and  Mr. Miles (technology). I would like the kids to have their drafts completely typed up, so we can revise and edit easily on  Monday and Tuesday, then celebrate on Wednesday.

Working on planning a celebration for writing...would any parents be interested in coming in and listening to some information writing?

Send me an email if you are interested.

Have a great and warm weekend!!

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Thursday, January 8, 2015

French Class

If your child has French this quarter,  they are headed to La Baguette for a field trip with Monsieur Voss. The permission slip needs to be turned in TOMORROW, the 9th. All of them have received a slip to take home, but if he/she misplaced it or did not bring it, it should be in your email inbox.

The trip is on the 22nd. Do not send money until the day of the trip.

-Au Revoir, que magnifique!
7424 Mineral Point Road Madison, WI 53717
(608) 827-6775

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Welcome!

Welcome to 504!



What an incredible first semester we have had! I made a new years resolution to do better at many things for the oncoming months- and communication was on the top of the list. Hopefully, I will be able to keep up and inform all of you on what has been going on in our classroom community! Feel free to post and reply! 


-Ms. Davidson