Middle Grades: August 19 - 23

We spent three lovely mornings this week on the new floating classroom. As we continued our math block, the students measured different things - their arm from shoulder to the end of the middle finger, the length of their shoes, and how far each student jumped from one designated spot. Then we took those numbers, added them up, estimated what the average length was, and then divided the total by the number students to find the true average. I demonstrated and they copied a long division problem. Two of the days, like magic, the average was an even number. The last day we measured, there was a remainder, so I had the opportunity to show them how a remainder worked. We will continue to do problems like this every day this week, and then once or twice a week until they answer my questions before I ask them, and then I will begin to give them division problems to solve on their own. We have also been doing preparatory work to get ready for fractions, which will be our next math block.

We continue to do form drawing exercises that will get everyone ready for cursive, which we will begin in a couple of weeks. The spelling test will be on Tuesday from now on. Please help your child practice these words. More than 50% of them made 100% on the quiz last Tuesday!!

There was a lesson in dictionary orientation this week. Soon the students will be looking up the definitions of their spelling words each week and writing a sentence using each word.

This week we had a class in modeling clay. Most of the students finished their first needlepoint project - a bookmark, and in music class we had a guest trombonist talk about the brass family of instruments and then play several pieces. We are learning a quodlibet, which is a song that has multiple melodies that sound good together, so that when we have it performance ready, the music class will be singing in four part harmony! Next week we will be making a glass harmonica and learning to play a melody or two on it. If your child has a recorder, please send it to school. We will begin playing the recorder and a variety of other instruments by next week. I have been collecting Aulos and Angel recorders this summer, so I think I have enough recorders for everyone, but if your child does not have one at home, you might want to consider giving them one for a birthday or holiday gift. The Angel and Aulos brands are inexpensive and have a beautiful tone. Yamaha recorders are good quality also. Those who are continuing to take violin lessons should bring their violins on Wednesday of this week, and then on Monday and Wednesday going forward into the semester.

You will be receiving an email tomorrow with the details of our first field trip of the year, which is a two-night overnight on St. Simons Island at the Driftwood learning center. This trip will be September 30-October 2, and is part of our block on local geography. It will be such a great experience for them, and for me. I'm really looking forward to it.

There will be another email coming soon about book reports. Each child has chosen a book to read. There will be several options for book reports this year, and they can choose from the many options which one they think best fits the book they are reading. I am trying to get into a rhythm of their reading a new book and doing a report once every two weeks.

Many thanks to the Bensons for painting our bulletin board and helping to sew the table covers and donating several lamps for the room. It's beginning to look nice and cozy!!

Have a great week.