Friday, November 7, 2014

A November to Remember

Axl Rose might have found it hard to hold a candle in the cold November rain, but in Room 110, there is a bright light shining with no trouble at all. Buck up, Axl. We'll show you how it's done.

Thursday, we hosted the All School Meeting in the Gym. We basically rocked it, but what was fun to watch--and what so many teachers have commented on--was how everyone found a way to take their role and make it their own while at the same time being a part of a cohesive group... and that's what it's all about. Monday the 10th is Spirit Day and each class is choosing a color to wear. Our class will wear blue, so please be sure to show your MCS and Room 110 spirit by having a Blue Monday!

In my email brief earlier this week, I let you know that we had tweaked the dance on November 14th from an evening event to an after school event but I neglected to share the the new time and schedule.  My plan was to do that today and all was well until, thanks to the eagle eye of Mrs. Murray, we had a late-breaking averted crisis on Thursday afternoon. Mrs. Murray noticed in the MCS newsletter that the Saint Michel's College volleyball clinic is set to happen in the Gym after school on November 14th. Argh! When we worked with Mrs. Knox to change the time of the dance (and convert it to a Fun Fest), we forgot to resubmit a facilities use application. Had we done this, Ms. Castle would have informed us of the conflict. It's no matter, we have alerted our in- house chaperones and are going to work toward a reschedule of the reschedule next week. Given the lingering Fridays in November, it will likely be a December affair once all is said and done. You might recall that the purpose of the Fun Fest is for us to raise money to buy some MUCH-NEEDED shelves/cubbies for our personal supplies and book bins. Storage is at such a massive premium in our room, so stay tuned to watch us in all of our fundraising and events management glory!

It's nearly the end of the trimester and I am beginning to think about report cards, which will go home on Friday the 21st. The students have a long-term writing assignment due on the 14th, which will comprise their Writing grade, as will work on the Humanities Wiki that we have been working on. Reading homework "perfect scores" for the trimester will be awarded with a free book coupon from Scholastic. Lots of students have their eyes on this prize!

Speaking of Humanities, we have been having a wonderful time working as a 5/6 team on our Human Rights mega-unit, this month's focus being immigration. The students are learning about the immigrant experience with a heavy focus on Literacy tasks like reading and writing. We also introduced Book Groups and a project associated with each of the historical fiction novels. The students will be working on these projects, due at the end of the month, in pairs. Class time will be provided, but time at home could be a likelihood.

On Monday, we will share the next prompt for the Weekly Wiki project and students will be researching their family histories (remember when I mentioned that seemingly months ago?!). They will each get a list of sample questions to ask their interview subject, which can be a parent, grandparent, relative, or anyone else with whom the student has a familial bond. It is not necessary that the students can trace all of their roots back several centuries by any means. More, it will be important for them to find out what they can and work on their interviewing and research skills. We certainly hope this project, which will be presented as a written response due on the 14th, lends itself to being informative and fun.

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