Wise Owls Newsletter April 22, 2013

The Wise Owls Newsletter

April 22, 2013

Earth Day

Earth day is today!  All year we’ve been discussing how to help our earth by reducing, reusing, and recycling and now the students are starting to see why…we have so many amazing animals and ecosystems that it is important that we help keep them safe and sound.  They cannot do it themselves…we have to do it for them.  It starts with just one person making their carbon footprint a bit smaller.  Here are some ideas we brainstormed in class that we can all do to make the world a better place:

  • Turn off the lights
  • Turn off the water when you are brushing your teeth
  • Take quick showers
  • Buy food in bulk (think big boxes of Goldfish) to save on packing.
  • Use less packing
  • Reuse your plastic fork at school each day versus getting a new one and throwing it away each day
  • Rinse out and reuse your ziplocks and other containers
  • Pass down your clothes and toys to younger siblings, cousins or friends versus buying new things
  • Carpool
  • Really look at your trash…can you make it smaller by reducing, reusing and recycling materials? 
  • Compost food scraps

What else can you do to make our world a better place for us all?  Please discuss this over dinner one night this week as part of your homework!

 

Free Rice Homework

Please read about this homework on the back of this newsletter, then  go onto my blog and click on the “free rice” site under World Outreach on the right.  Spend at least 10 minutes a day on the Free rice website doing math and vocabulary.

 

Ecosystem Homework

You need to visit the library and find a book on your child’s animal!  Please use sticky notes to highlight the important parts of the book.  Please send the book to school when you are finished so we can use it as a resource in our animal research.  Thank you.

Word Work (spelling, writing and reading).   Please practice daily!  There will be some word work homework in the homework packet!

 

magma                           lava

 

core                             crust

 

mantle

Just One World:  Africa Bridge

Are you reading to help raise money for the underprivileged children in Tanzania?  Please read, read, read!  Also, we will be having pizza and jamba juice as part of this fundraiser on May 10th.  An order form is in your child’s folder.  Please fill it out and return it with the money as soon as you can.  All of the proceeds will go to support Africa Bridge.

 

 

Upcoming Dates:

 

April 24:  Early Release day at 12:10.

 

May 9:  Africa Bridge Read to Feed envelopes and money due from reading

 

May 10:  Jamba juice and pizza sold by 3rd graders.  All proceeds go to Africa Bridge.

 

May 22:  Early Release day at 12:10.

 

May 27:  No School.  Memorial Day

 

Wise Owls Newletter April 15, 2013

The Wise Owls Newsletter

April 15, 2013

 

Science:  Ecosystems

 

Our ecosystem unit is going strong in class!  We are studying about the ocean, mountains, desert, rainforest, polar and savanna ecosystems.  A  The activities in this unit will provide students with practice in the skills of problem solving, reading, research, recording information, critical thinking, problem solving, cause and effect, and making comparisons.

 

The children are starting to ask some amazing questions such as:

  • Why are animals endangered?
  • What can we do to help the animals?
  • How do people affect the animals and their environment?
  • How long does it take for plastic to decompose?

We had some great discussions about reducing, reusing and recycling.  Each day at snack and lunch we are looking to see what goes in the trash, what can be recycled, and what can be reused from what they ate or brought to school to eat.  What a great learning opportunity to teach your child about helping out the world.  Can your child help you organize their snack into small containers from the big boxes you buy them in so that there is not so much trash in their lunch box?  Encourage your child to have discussions to help them understand their part that they play in our world’s ecosystems.

Snack and less trash

So, after many discussions and looking in our lunchboxes, we noticed a ton of energy bar wrappers going in the trash because they cannot be recycled.  SOME of the kids said their moms made energy bars!  Here is a recipe from Cathy Henninger, Mia’s mom:

2 cups quick cook oats

2/3 cup dried cherries

1 cup all natural peanut butter

6 Tablespoons honey

2 teaspoons vanilla.

Spread into a rectangle on a foiled covered shallow pan.  Refrigerate for 2 hours. Cut as desired and store in the frig.  Enjoy!

 

Ecosystem Homework

Each child has been assigned one animal to research further.  The animal is listed in this homework packet.  One of your homework assignments is to print off at least one article from the internet and read with your child.  Specific directions are given in this homework packet.  Send in the highlighted article(s) on Friday with your homework packet.

Word Work (spelling, writing and reading).   Please practice daily!  There will be some word work homework in the homework packet!

rain                              sunshine

 

clouds                          wind

 

sand

 

Just One World:  Africa Bridge

We are excited to know that our entire Stafford community is now invited to be a part of the Read to Feed/Read to Build Reading Challenge Project started by our 2nd grade classes. On Friday Barry Childs, founder of Africa Bridge, was here together with Dr. Roger Woehl, our former district superintendent and current Africa Bridge board member. They gave us an update on our sister schools, Pakati Primary School and Katusyo Primary School. Dr. Roger, as he now calls himself, went with Mr. Childs to Tanzania last summer and was here on Monday to share more picture and videos from his trip.

In last week’s homework packet, letters came home explaining the reading challenge that will run for 4 weeks from April 8th-May 9th. We will challenge ourselves by reading longer, reading a new book series, increasing our reading level, starting a book group with friends or even starting a family reading challenge.  We are doing this all as a means of using our skills and talents to help change the lives of children less fortunate than ourselves. We are thrilled to be a part of this project.  We will be looking for sponsors for our reading by asking family members and friends to support us in our efforts.  Even a penny a book is something!  It IS about HELPING OTHERS. 

Third graders are also organizing a Pizza and Jamba Juice Day for Friday, May 10th which will be the day of the Africa Bridge Celebration. Our second graders will be doing African drumming and dancing for the entire school to enjoy. Everyone is invited to buy Pizza and Jamba Juice for lunch with all proceeds going to support our sister schools.   Order forms will come home this week and must be returned by the following week.

Africa Bridge does incredible work to help support vulnerable children.  Here is how the funds make a difference in their lives:

$25 pays for supplies for a child to attend primary school a year
$120 pays for fees and supplies to send a child to secondary school for a year
$250 pays for one family’s membership in a pig co-op
$1,000 pays for one family’s membership in a potato or cow co-op
$10,000 builds a classroom

As a Stafford community we have raised over $14,000 over the past 5 years and helped to build 3 classrooms and one toilet.  But this project is so much more than raising funds. Students have written letters to each other.  We have made videos for our new friends and they have done the same for us.  We can see and feel the bond of friendship that continues to grow with each year we are involved with this project. We learn to appreciate our own lives more as we strive to make better the lives of others.  How great is that?  Watch some of the videos and you can feel this for yourself. We will post some each week. Here is a video they made for us as a thank you!

 

 

 

Upcoming Dates:

 

April 24:  Early Release day at 12:10.

 

May 9:  Africa Bridge Read to Feed envelopes and money due.

 

May 10:  Jamba juice and pizza sold by 3rd graders.  All proceeds go to Africa Bridge.

 

May 22:  Early Release day at 12:10.

 

May 27:  No School.  Memorial Day

 

Wise Owls Newsletter April 8, 2013

The Wise Owls Newsletter

April 8, 2013

Science

We are studying about Ecosystems!  Here is the bulk of our study for the next couple of months:

Essential Questions

  1.  What is an ecosystem?  What are its parts?

(animals, plants, landforms, water, wind, light)

*An ecosystem is a complex system composed of an ecological community of organisms interacting with its environment.  All animals, people, plants, rocks and soil are interdependent on one another.  We must take care of our world, our ecosystem in order to live a healthy life and sustain a healthy planet.

  1.  How are the components of an ecosystem dependent on one another? (How do the parts of an ecosystem work together?)
  2. How do ecosystems change?
    1. Adaptations
    2. Cycles (water, life cycles, sun)
    3. Changes made by humans (logging, building or roads, houses, etc.)
    4. Erosion and motion (rocks tumble down mountains to rivers and streams to the ocean and become sand; wind moves sand; sifting, sorting, balance, etc.)

 

 

Science/Ecosystem Homework

Last week your children learned about all of the ecosystems and chose one to study further.  In this homework packet there is homework that your child needs to do on their ecosystem.  You need to go on-line and research, on my blog, the sites I’ve listed on the “Animal Choice Homework”.  Please send in by Friday!

 

Flat Stanley

Send in your Flat Stanley’s from your spring break if you have not already done so!!!  We are putting them on a bulletin board in the hall.  As  you receive your Flat Stanley’s from your friends and relatives, send them in as well.  I know they will trickle in this month.  I hope it’s been a fun writing project as you get to know someone a bit better around the country and perhaps around the world!

 

Word Work (spelling, writing and reading).   Please practice daily!  There will be some word work homework in the homework packet!

ecosystem             air

 

water                    soil

 

rocks

 

Africa Bridge /Volunteer Work

We are helping kids in Tanzania, Africa with things as simple as books for their classroom, windows for their school, and basically a better future.   How can we  help?  By reading.  A brown manila envelope was sent home on Friday explaining the Read to Feed program, but more explanation is in this homework packet.  Please, sponser your child and their reading.  They already do this and it is an easy way to help someone else!

 

Scholastic Book Orders

April scholastic book orders went home last week.  I encourage you to look over the books with your child and see if there are any that interest him/her.  We want them to pick up a book on their own in their free time!  By finding books that are “just right” and interesting to them, they will.  They are due April 10th.

 

 

 

Upcoming Dates:

 

April 24:  Early Release day at 12:10.

 

May 9:  Africa Bridge Read to Feed envelopes and money due.

 

May 22:  Early Release day at 12:10.

 

May 27:  No School.  Memorial Day

 

Wise Owls Newsletter April 1, 2013

The Wise Owls Newsletter

April 1, 2013

 

Flat Stanley and Spring Break

Did you have great adventures with Flat Stanley?  We shared our spring break adventures with Flat Stanley today.  Flat Stanley went skiing with me 3 of the spring break days at Mt. Hood Meadows.  He went to Skamania lodge and hiking in the gorge for 2 days.  He helped me garden, work out at the gym and catch up with friends at several lunches during the week.  What a really nice spring break!

 

Word Work (spelling, writing and reading).   Please practice daily!  There will be some word work homework in the homework packet!

 

here                      kicked

 

gym                       laugh

 

house

 

Science

We will be studying about Ecosystems the next couple of months. What is an ecosystem?  It is a complex system composed of an ecological community of organisms interacting with their environment.  We will be studying not only animals and their habitats, but how wind, water, rocks and soil all make up their ecosystem…as well as how humans impact it.  It’s going to be an amazing, fun, learning unit!

 

Jr. Achievement and Community

A huge thanks to Nichole Hildebrandt (mother of Sydney) for coming in the week before spring break and teaching our kids about our community!  Nichole was trained in these Jr. Achievement lessons and then taught them to our kids.  The students learned about what it takes to be a member of our community, to interact and how to make it work…very similar to an ecosystem!

Thank you Nichole!

 

Math

We are continuing to learn about place value and math.  Once the kids understand how to break down a number, then they will be ready to be taught how to borrow and carry that number.  Please, email or call if you have any questions about this.  I know I talked with each of you individually at conferences, but I want to make sure you understand what place value is all about!  Thank you.

 

Volunteers

A volunteer list is on the back of this newsletter.  If you cannot come in or need to change your time, please let me know.  Or, if you want to volunteer and have not, please let me know that as well.  The students and I really appreciate you!!

 

 

Upcoming Dates:

 

April 24:  Early Release day at 12:10.

 

May 22:  Early Release day at 12:10.

 

May 27:  No School.  Memorial Day