Assistant Handbook Area
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From first grade through seventh, everybody's excited to be practicing their presentations, reading their papers to the class, and helping each other remember details.
We can't wait to show what we know!
Today is Writing Wednesday and this afternoon we will be looking specifically at how to turn a collection of facts into groups, and turning those groups into paragraphs with headings. We will be reading a student example draft and completing some work together emphasizing topic sentences and grouping details. We will also get a graphic organizer for paragraphs.
Students have had some limited extra time in the afternoons, aside from Wednesdays, to work on projects. This week they will have more time in the afternoons and work for the week is limited to allow for more of the homework time to be devoted to the project.
Students 5th grade and up should be drafting their facts into a document which has a heading, title, is double spaced with a 12 pt plain font. The last page should list their resources (at least 4) in MLA format. Many apps and websites will do this for you but it's important to do it before you turn books back in to the library or forget where you found "that one website".
4th grade may still write their report neatly double spaced.
Papers are due on Monday the 26th and we will be working on boards & presentations in the days leading up to Special Project night of the 28th. (7:00-8:15 pm)
Presentations for 4th grade and up should be around 2 minutes and hit the highlights of the most interesting research. Boards and presentations are required for credit as a part of the project.
Support your students with help as needed and reminders along the way.
Brrrr. The temperature is low this week and colds are afflicting a significant portion of the school. The good news is that each day stretches longer ahead of us toward Spring.
The buzz around school has a few themes.
-NW Native American treasure trunks
Market Day was a proposal that came from the students at one of our "Talk of the Town" meetings where new ideas are proposed, old ideas are evaluated, and problems are brought to the attention of the community for brainstorming and solutions. It's one of the Academy's important tools to teach participatory government or as we like to call it; democracy. Discussions can be contentious and long but the patience we demonstrate for each other and the shared investment in the process is very important. We vote to pass any legislation!
Market Day is a day when students can make something (nothing purchased) and bring it to school to sell. The students had a lesson on currency. We talked about the symbols on our money and what they mean. We also discussed how money came about as a symbol for trade, to make it more flexible. We designed our own Academy Currency and each student will be given a certain amount to spend on market day. It is not required for students to have a "product" to sell to participate but many are crafting something. Market Day will be held in the afternoon of this Friday.
We are also enjoying our opportunity to explore NW Salish peoples' artifacts from the Burke Natural History Museum. These are called "Burke Boxes" and they are a treasure trove of touchable and interactive objects that are a part of the Burke's educational collection. While not quite worthy of display, they are excellent teaching tools for students to handle and learn from. Salmon cooking tongs, stone mauls, trade beads and shells, mat needles, adzes, spindles and whorls, basket sections, woven blankets, are just a part of the list of items that we'll be looking at over the next few days.
Special Projects are underway! An annual favorite, Special Project night will be on January 28th at 7:00 pm. Students have already taken a field trip to the library as a class where they got a primer on how the nonfiction decimal system works along with the computer catalog. Special Project night is an opportunity for students to gather resources, research, record and group facts. Then they will organize them into a research paper and display with presentation. Like most projects, the students are participating at different levels based on age/ability, but all projects should have a written and visual part, don't forget name and title! Any writing should be as error free as possible.
-First graders are finding 10 facts to write down with proper conventions. They should memorize them and be ready to tell what they know. They should also draw a picture or make a poster to help them remember and/or communicate to an audience of parents and students on Special Project Night. Extra credit would be to write down information about the source of the facts.
-Second graders should try to find 20 facts from at least two sources and organize them into groups with headings, similar to wikipedia article. They should attempt to put the facts into their own words. They should start with a basic definition of their subject. Second graders should write down the title and author of any books, and the name of any website they used. They may write their report neatly on lined paper and then use a small tri-fold display to organized their information. Memorize 10 facts or a one minute presentation.
-Fourth graders should have at least 30-40 facts organized into a paper which can be written neatly or typed, along with a tri-fold display. They need at least three sources listed at the end of their paper, one of which must be a book. Practice a two minute presentation.
-5th-7th need in the neighborhood of 50 facts, organized into a paper of approximately 5-6 pages double spaced. At least four sources listed at the end of the paper in the proper MLA format (many websites or apps can do this for you). A tri-fold display reflecting some of the information in the report should be neat, organized, creative. The student should be conversant on the material and practice a 2 minute presentation which might include being asked questions at the end.
Some of you may have noticed that the website went dark awhile ago. After a redesign to freshen things up, the Village Schoolhouse and Academy each have independent domains. You can still jump from one to the other through buttons if you find a need. At this point they are pretty basic but we will be adding more functions and sections for currently enrolled families as the year goes on. Please refer any interested families and students to these new addresses. You can find the preschool website at
The Academy website is now at
Conferences were added to the school calendar late this year, in part because of my intention to move them to late January. January 29th and 30th will be scheduled conference days and school will be closed. If you would like to schedule your conference you should visit the parent community page of the Academy website and book your appointment there with the widget that I am trying out... We would welcome your comments and thoughts about the website's look and feel and functions that you might like to see in the future.
-We are reading Mistress Masham's Repose, by T.H. White, together as a class.
-Physical science remains a focus moving from energy to motion.
-We recently conducted a hands-on motion investigation with cars and ramps!
-Older students will be working on a ph levels lab soon
Let's get those colds and wet coughs over with! Early bedtimes, lots of water, vitamins, handwashing! Ms. Tay performed a big sanitation today.