Middle Grades: October 1 - 5

We have planted our first garden bed, and we are almost finished with a 3-pile compost system down at the garden!!!  We planted kale, spinach, and collards seedlings, and we're counting on their being harvestable by late November so that we can harvest and cook them for our Thanksgiving Feast.  As the weather cools, we plan to plant lettuce from seed and we might try to squeeze in some snow peas.  

As the leaves begin to fall, if you gather leaves for pickup in the large paper bags, and you have yards that are insecticide and commercial fertilizer free, we would love for you to bring those bags to the school for mulch and compost instead of sending them off with the garbage collectors.

We were supposed to start our first Farming block this coming week, but the temperatures are forecasted to still be in the high eighties most days, and I am not comfortable in having the children working outside for two hours in that kind of heat.  The following week the forecast is for somewhat cooler temperatures, so I am going to present the Flood Stories Block this week and save the farming block for the week beginning October 15.  For the farming block, I would like for children to wear boots to school, so that we can go immediately from the playground to the Farm or into the woods.  If you come early and usually leave boots and backpacks upstairs, please make sure they have their boots on by playground time and have their snacks and a water bottle at the picnic table, since we will not go back into the building until about 11:00.
Most of the class has mastered the multiplication tables for 2, 3, 4 and 5, as our math block comes to an end.  We will continue to work on math in the practice periods, and our goal is that all children will be able to recite the tables up to 15 by the end of the year.  Also, our upcoming measurement blocks will be filled with math, including an introduction to fractions.  Any opportunities you have at home to encourage "everyday" math calculations would be fabulous.  After the measurements blocks we will have a Money block, so there will be a lot of counting for the rest of the semester!!
Every student has made great progress this year with reading.  When you read at home, please read aloud WITH your child, and then transition to letting them read TO you.  This is a great way to build confidence. Reading for comprehension will walk side by side writing skills, which we will do more of as the year progresses.  Do not be surprised if your children start writing their own "booklets."  When they bring them home, be sure to read them.  There are some very creative young minds in our class.
If you missed the First Friday Assembly Friday, you missed being proud.  Our class hosted the assembly, and everyone was great!!  They introduced the other classes, they sang, recited, and several of them told jokes.  And they had fun preparing for the event.
Beginning next week I will be sending a Friday email out to the parents of the Middle Grades class.  It will basically be the same information as the Monday Messenger, but will be more detailed.  I will continue to send last minute reminders and information via Bloomz.  If you have not yet joined, please do this.  It is a great way to get pertinent info to you from the grade parent and from me.
If you have not already signed up for a parent conference next week, please do that right now.  After care is being provided, but you will need to sign up for that in advance to get the better rate.
If you are still reading, thank you.  I believe that you, your children, and I are in this process together, and the more we can support one another the better.  If you have concerns, questions, or just want to chat, feel free to call or text me, 770-654-7878 (before 10, please).  This is a very important year for our children, and I want it to be a positive one.
Have a great week!!  I'm looking forward to seeing you this coming week at the conferences.
Upcoming events in October:  
October 8-12 Half days for students.  Parent Teacher Conferences in the afternoon.
October 17 Trip to see The Phantom Tollbooth.  We need at least one more chaperone to drive, and two would be even better.
October 19 No school for students.  Teachers will be attending an Outdoor Education Symposium.
October 27 Kingdom of Halloween