Sunday, January 8, 2017

Week of January 9th, 2017

Happy New Year and welcome back to school! I look forward to seeing your kids' smiling faces in the morning. We will ease back into our school routines and brace for a week of rainy day recess! I'm very excited about the coming weeks with these fun fourth graders. 

I want to thank everyone from the bottom of my heart for the thoughtful holiday class gift that I received before the break. I was greatly touched by your generosity.  I feel incredibly lucky to teach in a community where I am so supported and appreciated by my students and their parents. Thank you, thank you!

There are many exciting events coming up soon for our class! Please read on for the details.

California Wax Museum!

This week, I will introduce the California Wax Museum Project. The Wax Museum is a quintessential fourth grade experience! Over the course of this project, every student will learn a great deal about a famous Californian and push themselves to write an engaging monologue in an attempt to capture the voice of their assigned Californian. The project culminates in an exciting celebration of their hard work and all that they've learned.  All fourth grade families are invited to join us on Thursday, February 16th at 6:00pm to watch the students perform their monologues.  

This project begins with each student picking a famous Californian. Next, they will research that person and write a monologue about that person’s life and why he or she is so special to California. After that, they will design a background and costume for their Californian’s monologue presentation. Finally, on February 16th, they will present their monologue to families at our California Wax Museum! Please let me know if you have any questions as we move forward with this project.
Project Timeline

Monday, Jan. 9th:     Project Introduced
                       Character Selection Started

Thursday, Jan. 12th:    Top 5 Character Choices and 2-3
    Sentence Explanations DUE
Friday, Jan. 13th:        Characters Assigned

Monday and Tuesday, January 16th and 17th: NO SCHOOL
Friday, Jan. 27th:        Research Packet DUE
                        Sketch of Poster DUE

Friday, Feb. 3rd:        1st Draft of Monologue DUE

Friday, Feb. 10th:        Poster DUE
Final Draft of Monologue DUE

Monday, Feb. 13th: Costume picture DUE 
(by email or in person)

Tuesday, Feb. 14th:        Locations Assigned
                          First “Rehearsal” + Information
    Session (during school)

Wednesday, Feb. 15th:   Rehearsal (during school)

Thursday, Feb. 16th:    Dress Rehearsal (during school)
                           6:00pm Wax Museum!!!

February Talking Calendar Assignment

Due to the scheduling of the California Wax Museum project, the February Talking Calendar assignment will be completed in class. I didn't want the students to become overwhelmed with several long term projects going on at once.  The students should focus their efforts at home on doing their personal best on the Wax Museum project in the coming weeks. Please let me know if you have any questions!

Sutter's Fort

This is a reminder to mark your calendars for the mandatory parent meeting about Sutter's Fort, which will be held on January 25th, 2017 at 6:30pm. At least one parent from each family needs to attend this meeting to ensure that your family knows how to prepare for the trip.
I look forward to seeing you there and sharing lots of important information about this wonderful adventure!

Marin Symphony Day Field Trip

On January 27th, our class will go on a short field trip to the Marin Civic Center to participate in Symphony Day with the Marin Symphony. All 4th graders in Marin County have been invited to this concert which will feature world famous violinist Midori performing a movement of Mendelssohn's Violin Concerto. 

Thanks to those of you who have returned signed permission slips and signed up to drive! I will be in touch this week with more details about the trip. Please return these forms as soon as possible if you have not done so already. 

A Touch of Understanding

The 4th grade team is looking forward to a visit from A Touch of Understanding on January 31st, 2017.  On this special day, the students will hear from individuals who have disabilities about their experiences and how their disabilities have affected their lives.  They will also have the opportunity to try out tools that disabled people utilize, such as wheelchairs and canes. They will learn about prosthetics and how they can be used to help a wide range of individuals. We will also talk about invisible disabilities, such as dyslexia and autism.  Every year, this presentation has a huge impact on our fourth graders. It's a Kiddo! funded program and I am so grateful to take part in it each year. 

Two messages from this program stand out loud and clear to me:

Though some people may look differently than you or use tools that you do not, they are still the same on the inside. They have the same kinds of thoughts and feelings that you do.

Even when life presents you with extreme challenges, as long as you do not give up on your dreams, you can succeed.

After our special day with A Touch of Understanding, please ask your child about their experience with the program. I am confident that you will be blown away by what they share with you.

Interactive Art Show

This year's Interactive Art Show for our class will take place on Monday, February 6th from 2:15-3:05pm.  All parents are invited to join us for this creative event and make some art with us!  Jackie LaLanne, our art teacher, and I would love to see you there!