The Halfway Point

We have officially reached the halfway point of our school year. Although it’s hard to believe we have reached this point already, your students have begun to notice that the workload and expectations have risen somewhat as we prepare them for the transition to 6th grade. Any help you can give your child at home to stay organized and on top of their assignments is always appreciated. All 5th grade students should be using their assignment notebook to write down their homework each day. If you need to verify any assignment they’ve written, the 5th grade homework doc is at the bottom of this email.
Due to the shortened week, we will not have new spelling sorts this week. Instead, we will focus on the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. with two different informational articles. We will also explore other important figures in the Civil Rights movement, including Rosa Parks and Ruby Bridges. An assignment on Common Lit about Dr. King is due on Tuesday. The Common Lit assignments are short reading passages that ask four-five multiple choice questions and often a short answer response as well. The assignments are graded and students are given a score based on the number of questions answered correctly and comprehensively. All questions, incorrect answers, and any notes I’ve left for the students can be viewed on the Common Lit site. If any student would like to re-do an assignment, they can ask me to re-set the assignment for them. In this case, they will have to answer all of the questions again, since I am unable to re-set only portions of the assignment. Several students have re-done past assignments already to improve their scores.
We have been talking to both classes about increasing their stamina while reading. I can’t stress enough how important it is for all students to do the 20-30 minutes of reading every night. Starting this week, we will be sending home a weekly log where the students can record the number of minutes read at night. Each student will be asked to complete the log, obtain a parent signature, and return it to school on Friday.
In social studies, your students have been hard at work researching their National Park. Although not all of our note-taking is finished, we have asked each class to pause their research to complete an outline of the information they have found so far. Students were given 30 minutes of classtime on Friday to complete these outlines with the information from their notecards. On Tuesday and Wednesday, they will be writing a Flash Draft using the information from this outline. I do not expect the draft to be a complete report. It is meant as a way for each writer to check in and synthesize the information learned thus far. Once they identify any gaps in their outlines and flash drafts, all students will go back and fill in with more research on their topics during class and Study Hall the rest of this week.
Congratulations to our finalists from our class spelling bees last week. Henry Estrick, Danny Rock-Hughes, Gautham Ashok, and Malak Mohamed will compete in the all school Spelling Bee on Thursday at 10:30. This year the all school bee will be held in the Wright Library rather than the gym.

The Kid’s Heart Challenge has begun and the American Heart Association needs your help. Please help PCCS reach our goals of raising $10,000 for the Kid’s Heart Challenge. If you can’t raise money, you can still help PCCS reach our goal of having over half the students sign up online. The class that has the most students sign up online will receive a recess basket of new equipment. Be sure to sign up online! http://www2.heart.org/goto/prairiecrossingcharter. Also, next Tuesday is our Kid’s Heart Challenge Assembly and we are planning to have a Red Out. So please remember to have the students wear red on Tuesday!!

 

Important dates to remember:

Monday, January 20: No School (MLK Jr. Day)

Tuesday, January 21: 5th Grade Math NWEA (12:30 — 2:00 PM)

Wednesday, January 22: F2T

Thursday, January 23: Final (school-wide) Spelling Bee (10:30 — 12:15, in Wright Library)

Monday, January 27-31: PCCS CARES Week (combining School Choice & Peace Week)