November 2016

Just wanted to start this post with some uplifting and positive messages courtesy of room 822.  A student made this sign for a friend.  It started the day off on the right foot.

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November News:  First, we are very pleased to announce a  new teaching assistant in our room, Ms. Magauran.

We also wanted to share our  visit from Jen and Joan Lester on Thursday, November 17th.  Joan Lester has done work with Native American tribes in New England for over 30 years.  She shared with the students that there are two sides to the Thanksgiving story: the one that we are familiar with from the Pilgrim’s perspective, and the story from the Wampanoag tribe’s perspective.  We learned new things; such as, there was a feast on Thanksgiving day, but the Native American people and the Pilgrims did not sit together. Woman and children were not even part of the feast. We also learned that this was not the Wampanoag’s first Thanksgiving.  They give thanks every morning and have 5 seasonal Thanksgiving celebrations a year.  The students truly enjoyed the presentation.  Thanks Joan and Jen!

December News: 

We have two projects going on in December.  One is in-conjunction with our ELA unit.  We are interviewing an older relative (i.e., a grandparent) about what life was like when they were younger.   We will be spending some time putting these projects together in class.

Our second project is our annual Secret Santa.  Every year, LABBB classrooms “adopt” children who are less fortunate and buy them gifts for the holidays.   This has been a great opportunity to talk about goodwill, empathy, compassion, and sharing with others.   The student will have the opportunity to go to the mall and buy gifts for the  child.   We will send home more information after Thanksgiving.

Important Dates:  November, December, January

11/23 half day,  11/24, 11/25 no school: Happy Thanksgiving                                                                 12/26-1/2  no school: December Break, Happy Holidays                                                                        1/12 half day: Professional Development                                                                                                     1/16 no school:  Martin Luther King Day

Curriculum Update:

ELA:  The students are finishing up a compare and contrast unit.  The culminating activity will be a research report.  Each student will write a three paragraph essay comparing and contrasting  two events,  two people or two animals.

In January the students will read the novel “Love Stargirl” by, Jerry Spinelli

Mathematics:   We are currently learning about how to write equations, using positive and negative symbols, and using algebra in “real life”.   We are going to begin working on exponents and solving practice problems for 10th grade MCAS.

Social Studies:  We’ve been studying the start of the groups of people in North America.   We’ve had opportunities to learn about different Native Americans and early explorers. We are beginning to learn more about the start of European Colonization.   We’re also continuing to follow current events.  We did a quick unit about the election and were able to utilize a game online that had us determining the important issues for the presidency.

Biology:  We studied viruses, bacteria, protists, fungi and lichen.  The group also practiced answering 10th grade MCAS questions that were related to the units we have covered.

Functional Reading:  The students used websites and store flyers to locate and comprehend the “fine print”in advertisements.  They also have worked on Emailing skills.

Functional Math:  The focus has been on MA sales tax.  The group learned about taxable items versus non-taxable items.  They calculated sales tax and practiced changing percents to decimals.  Lastly, the students rounded numbers with decimals to the nearest hundredth in order to add sales tax to prices.  They are beginning a unit on restaurant math, during which they will total bills, calculate sales tax and figure out tip.

Technology:   We are continuing through the Intro to Computer Science course (Code Combat) and learning the Python language.   The students are conquering many levels and able to solve problems.  Many of the students are now turning to other students to collaborate and help each other through levels.  It has been a great experience for us!