Middle Grades: August 13 - 17

We had a busy week in the Middle Grades class.  We finished up our Main lesson on Form Drawing, and made some lovely pages for our our Main lesson Book.  The first painting class focused on blending the primary colors.  We need yogurt containers for our water/rinse in painting. If you could save and send them, our class would greatly appreciate it.  (We only need twelve.  More than twelve will go to recycling.:-))

*Field Trip!!!!  **The Phantom Tollbooth, *which we are continuing to read in class, will be presented as a play at the Cobb Galleria on October 17 at 10:15 a.m.  I have reserved 15 student tickets and 5 teacher/chaperone tickets for our class and the 2nd-3rd homeschoolers.  The 11:30 show was already sold out, so I acted quickly to reserve our spots.  If you would like to chaperone and drive, please email me.  All chaperones will need to be cleared as volunteers with a background check.  If you are not yet an approved volunteer, please check in with the Front Desk to get the forms needed to start the process.  The first four emails I receive will be the chaperones.  Updates to departure time, appropriate dress, etc. will be forthcoming.  If your child cannot attend, please let me know by Sept. 1. We need to send a 50% deposit by the 12th of September.

The first six weeks of school are critical times for both teachers and students.  This is the time that we establish our rhythms for learning.  I have reasonable expectations for behavior in the classroom, and I have spoken to the students about those expectations.  Our class motto this year is "A balance of thought, word, and deed."  It would be great if you could have a conversation with your child about what that means to them and to you.  I am continuing to asses informally their current skills in spelling,
grammar, handwriting, and math, and will be continuing to meet their needs as individuals, with whole group, small group, and individual instruction sessions.  As I develop the "tools" for learning, I would love to have some help cutting, laminating, and copying.  I will be adding that to the Volunteer List.

The first Spelling Bee is today!!

The Strings Class is doing great!  As a general rule, for right now, I would like for them to practice five times per week for 5 -10 minutes on the songs that we are learning in class.  I have not yet introduced the bow, so all of their classwork prep is to be done pizzicato - plucking the strings with their pointer/ index finger.  They received a handout on Wednesday that identifies the parts of the violin.  They will be quizzed on those terms on Wednesday.  When you arrive at school on Wednesday and Friday, please allow your child to bring their violin to the Strings Class Room and leave in on the table.  At the end of class, we move them to the hallway on the other side of the building so that you can access them easily as you leave.  We need for them to stay inside the building for climate control.  Any assistance you can give to making sure that your child's instrument is tuned when they come to school would be greatly appreciated.  Beginning this week, I will be teaching them how to tune their own instrument using the fine tuners, in the hope that only slight pitch adjustments are needed.   Second grade students go with Ki Melissa on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, and share story time and nature/creek time with the Lower grades, since they are not part of the strings program yet.

Many thanks to our parent representative, Holly Hollister for helping me and for communicating with you.  We will be using Bloomz only for unexpected announcements, quick reminders, and individual communications.  The bulk of our communication will be through the MondayMessenger, so please read the Messenger to the end!!!

We have decided to celebrate summer birthdays at the half-year this year.  When your child's birthday is near, please let me know if you want to send in a celebratory snack, and when you want to have the class celebrate.  We do have some food allergies, so if the snacks aren't gluten or nut free, please either let us know so that those children can have an alternative snack, or plan your snack around those food restrictions.  Thank you.

Until the new storage benches are completed, students need to take their rain boots/ water shoes home on Fridays and bring them back on Monday.  We managed to carve out time enough to go to the creek once this week, and it was delightful to watch them play in the water.  Don't forget to check your child's backpack for wet clothes!!

I'm almost finished.....  We will begin a main lesson on time on Monday.  The students will be memorizing Ecclesiastes 3: 1-8.  Here is a link to the poem.  https://www.poets.org/poetsorg/poem/ecclesiastes-31-8.  We will also be learning the song Turn, Turn, Turn, originally recorded by the Byrds.  The main lesson will begin with the longest measures of time and proceed to the smallest measures of time.  We will, like the ancients, construct a primitive measure of time - a stick in the ground - which will cast a shadow. And we will have a brief discussion of nanoseconds :-0.

Thank you again for sharing your students with me.  Next week I will include some information about what we are doing in Nature Study, Practical Arts, and Fine Arts.  Have a great week!  And take your vitamins.