Thanks to everyone for another special year

At home, my family has finally become accustomed to my habit of calling my students, “my kids.” For example, I’ll see something on television that’s funny and will say to Sam and Sophie, my son and daughter, “My kids would love this.” For a time, they looked confused. Now they understand that in a tug-of-war for my attention and affection on an extended, daily basis, 27 fourth graders are formidable foes.

I begin each new academic year certain that my previous class was the “best ever.” Just as certainly I am proven wrong. This class was diverse, bright, and always challenging.  They will be forever special and treasured by me because they, as it has turned out, are the last group of fourth graders I will teach at Legacy Academy. I’m going to miss them all. Keep them reading and writing this summer and have them stay in touch (drop me an email at dave.tallent@legacyk8.org).

My heartfelt thanks to everyone that volunteered this year. I couldn’t have done it without you, especially my Room Moms Mmes. Baum, Egan, and Land. Nearly everyone participated in some way (often multiple times) whether hosting classroom/birthday parties, guiding field trips, setting up/tearing down for the Medieval Feast or Market Day, assisting in the dissection of sheep hearts, taking pictures or video, sending me postmarked postcards, or working one-on-one with students in the classroom. The list goes ever on. Don’t get me started on the spontaneous gifts of coffee, chocolate, baked goods, and gift cards. I only hope I haven’t left something or someone out.

Also, you long-suffering parents: thank you for your comments, ideas, constructive criticism, support and patience throughout the year. Thirty odd weeks of car pools, tutorials, projects, and homework should earn you a citation. All I can offer is my sincerest “thank you.”

Sneakers

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Week 36 (May 20-23, 2013)

iPads and chargers (with cords) will be returned Tuesday, May 21. You will be billed for the cost of any missing equipment and your child’s report card will be held as ransom until it is paid.

MobyMax math baseline testing results for the 2013 (only) academic year will be emailed to you this week.

Paint Mines field trip, Wednesday, May 22. Click here for the basic lowdown on the field trip paying particular attention to the equipment list.

The Wednesday, May 22th weather forecast for beautiful Calhan calls for a high temperature of 71 degrees and a 5-10 mph wind out of the southeast in the afternoon.  No rain is predicted. It looks to be a perfect day for hiking. That said:

  • the UV (sunburn) index will be “very high,” so bring your sunscreen,
  • dress appropriately (i.e., in layers). We arrive around 9:30am and it may still be cool.
  • bring enough water (about 32 ounces, i.e., 8 ounces per hour) and
  • trail food in addition to your disposable lunch and drink (examples: granola bars, toaster pastries, cookies, trail mix, dried fruit, Fig Newtons, M&M’s, sunflower seeds, hard candy, crackers, candy bars, or cheese)

Field Day and early dismissal (at noon) takes place this Thursday, May 23 at Casey Jones Park.

  • Help is needed (all volunteer hours are doubled) to run stations, lead a group of students, supervise, pictures, and a variety of other jobs.
  • Please contact Mrs. Chamberlain (1st – 4th grade) at maggie.chamberlain@legacyk8.org.
  • There will be a meeting for all field Day Volunteers on Monday, May 20th, at 3:15pm in the cafeteria.

Now, Billy 971811_569464729753581_1053099162_n

 

There will be no new homework assignments this week in any subject. Any missing work and makeup testing must be completed by Tuesday morning.

 

Vintage Social Networking

What to do this summer. Your kiddos will be able to use two powerful websites, both accessible from any computer or smart device (not just Apple products), throughout the summer. So, before they unload their backpack for the summer, write down their usernames and passwords for:

If young minds do indeed soak up information like sponges, then it is reasonable to suppose that their little brains, like sponges, will dry out and shrink if not put to use. In that spirit, Instructor magazine from Scholastic offers:

1sRuXuT

Paint Mines field trip, Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Paint Mines formations

Our science field trip to the Paint Mines Interpretive Park in El Paso County is scheduled for Wednesday, May 22. It’s my favorite activity of the year and is both challenging and unusual.

The link to where you can complete the online permission slip was sent two weeks ago to all fourth grade parents via email (the deadline to complete it is Monday, May 20th). Once the form is completed online, all that is required of you is to send $9 for your student’s bus fare (parent volunteers ride for free).

Your student will need a disposable sack lunch and drink and lots of other stuff – more on that later.

I have 14 parent volunteers to ride on the school bus and act as field guides. Volunteers will receive their list of the kids in their group by Wednesday morning. If you’re one of the gluttons for punishment and have questions about your chaperone duties, please contact Mrs. Koenen or me.

Paint Mines formations

Super important information. I’ve warned the kiddos that this “ain’t no hippie field trip:”

  • Have your student eat a good breakfast and take in lots of fluids.
  • There is no shelter on this trip other than the outhouses at the beginning and end of the hike. Also, there is no potable water available.
  • Students will be outdoors the entire time (about 4 hours) on high, wind swept plains and will hike a minimum of 4.3 miles on designated trails.
  • There are no outhouses along the trail.
  • Students must bring a backpack large enough to carry their own discarded layers of clothing, field guide and pencil, trail snacks and two or three containers of water.
  • Other suggested gear: sunscreen, handkerchief, hat, sunglasses, windbreaker, hand sanitizer or wipes, binoculars, gloves and camera.
  • Kiddos can wear street clothes that conform with Legacy Academy’s dress code for our trip.  Regardless, it’s über important to dress your student in layers in anticipation of temperature fluctuations (i.e., don’t put them in a t-shirt and ski jacket).

Week 34 (May 6-10, 2013)

Spring Fling. So many parents from my classroom attended Spring Fling that I received a gift for their participation from PTO. It was a groovy night all around. Please send me any pictures of my band, Martyrs, taken last Saturday (with, of course, any flattering images of me) for our website. Thanks.

So, how was your day?

So, how was your day?

For your calendar:

  • Monday. After today, your student becomes a fifth grader in 12.5 “school” days.
  • WednesdayLibrary books are due and Star of the Week
  • ThursdayStar of the Week
  • May 6-10 (all week) Spring MAP testing (reading, writing, math; science), for an hour each morning.
  • May 9-10 (Thursday and Friday), Mother’s Day Flower Sale, Library, 8-4.
  • May 22 (Wednesday), Paint Mines field trip, Calhan, 8:30-2:30.

Idealist Realist Surrealist

iPads. Please make certain your student brings a fully-charged iPad each morning.

How we’re working in the classroom:

  • Spelling. All spelling words are on your kiddo’s iPad in their Google Drive. They know how to access them. Also, if they’ve done their Monday classwork, they will have them entered into their spelling app and can take pretest after pretest at home throughout the week.
  • Vocabulary. The class will use flashcards created on Quizlet.com to study the week’s vocabulary words. Again, their vocabulary words are listed each week in their iTunes U language arts course.
  • Reading. Please have your student listen to the story at least one time at home during the week.
  • Math.  Ask your student to show you her/his progress in Moby Math. Review with them any practice sets where they scored lower than 70% (they will be highlighted in yellow).
  • Science. All work will be done in the classroom using Discovery Education.

Rube Goldberg 6854654976

Week 32 (April 22-26, 2013)

Various 2012-13 photos can be seen here.

Race to Read (Week 5). Mr. T’s class is currently in 3rd (from last) place:

  • While optional, students are highly encouraged to participate in this 6 week incentive program to encourage reading at homeRace to Read started March 25, the Monday during our Spring Break.
  • Additional log sheets can be obtained from Mrs. Littlefield.
  • We are emphasizing honesty when filling out the log sheets. A parent’s signature is required with each completed sheet.
  • Just read, man!

iPad made of trees 375953_601436179867742_789766527_n

For your calendar:

  • May 4 (Saturday), Spring Fling Fiesta.” This is Legacy’s big annual fundraiser (my band, Martyrs, will be playing. Hope you can make it). Volunteers are needed with your hours tripled (details here).
  • May 9-10 (Thursday and Friday), Mother’s Day Flower Sale, Library, 8-4.
  • May 22 (Wednesday), Paint Mines field trip, Calhan, 8:30-2:30.

World's Pie Chart

iPads. Please make certain your student brings a fully-charged iPad each morning.

How we’re working in the classroom:

  • Spelling. All spelling words are on your kiddo’s iPad in their Google Drive. They know how to access them. Also, if they’ve done their Monday classwork, they will have them entered into their spelling app and can take pretest after pretest at home throughout the week.
  • Vocabulary. The class will use flashcards created on Quizlet.com to study the week’s vocabulary words. Again, their vocabulary words are listed each week in their iTunes U language arts course.
  • Reading. Please have your student listen to the story at least one time at home during the week.
  • Math.  Ask your student to show you her/his progress in Moby Math. Review with them any practice sets where they scored lower than 70% (they will be highlighted in yellow).
  • Science. All work will be done in the classroom using Discovery Education.

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Week 29 (April 1-5, 2013)

Science field trip:

  • I have permission slips from all but two kiddos (you know who you are).
  • Many students have not turned in their field trip money ($9) and it’s needed post haste. If no dough by Tuesday morning, they cannot participate.
  • Chaperones (I have all I need, by the way. Thank you): if you volunteered online, but have not received an email regarding your responsibilities and work schedule, contact me at dave.tallent@legacyk8.org.
  • If you still need to complete the permission slip, you can fill it out online at:

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/viewform?fromEmail=true&formkey=dDBESTlGVDNZeHI2Y3Q1M2g3U01VMVE6MQ

Race to Read (Week 2):

  • While optional, students are highly encouraged to participate in this 6 week incentive program to encourage reading at home. Race to Read started March 25, the Monday during our Spring Break.
  • The 1st and 2nd reading log sheets were sent home in Monday Folders the week of parent/teacher conferences. A “Parent Information Letter” describing the program is printed on the back of the 1st sheet.
  • We are emphasizing honesty when filling out the log sheets. A parent’s signature is required with each completed sheet.
  • Just read, man!

Some wise guy's conceptualization of the "real" Mr. T

For your calendar:

  • Monday. After today, your student becomes a fifth grader in 36.5 “school” days.
  • TuesdaySheep lung dissections in Legacy Academy middle school science lab with staff from the Denver Museum of Nature and Science.
  • WednesdayLibrary books are due and Star of the Week
  • ThursdayStar of the Week
  • April 19. All school Dress of Choice Day.
  • April 26. Teacher in-service (no school for students).
  • May 4 (Saturday), Spring Fling Fiesta.” This is Legacy’s big annual fundraiser (my band, Martyrs, will be playing. Hope you can make it).
  • May 22 (Wednesday). Paint Mines field trip, Calhan, 8:30-2:30.
Snakes_on_Planes____A_Study_by_bananagram

Snakes on a Plane

iPads. Please make certain your student brings a fully-charged iPad each morning.

How we’re working in the classroom:

  • Reading. Some students are working outside the classroom one-on-one with an instructor, in small reading groups, and/or using a computerized reading program.  Other students are reading selections at home and commenting on what they’ve read. Most students do these tasks in addition to their weekly Open Court reading.
    • Testing.  Students take weekly quizzes on spelling, vocabulary, reading comprehension, and daily language. Immediately after testing, daily language and spelling results can be emailed to you by your student. Reading comprehension and vocabulary test results can be found by Monday on Infinite Campus.
  • Vocabulary. The class will use flashcards created on Quizlet.com to study the week’s vocabulary words.
  • Daily Language Review (DLR).  Students use an annotation app to make editing marks on their daily practice sheets (ask them about the DocAs app). Students discuss and make corrections, save them in a “DLR” folder, and can email their completed sheets to you.
  • Math.  The routine is to pretest to see if what is being covered in the lesson has already been mastered by the student.  Next, unmastered or new concepts are (re)taught.  Finally, they test to determine if they have indeed mastered the concepts.  Testing informs me where learning gaps exist, e.g., lack of mastery with multiplication facts and how to divide. There is daily introduction and review of math concepts.  We use the iPad for quizzes and reinforcement, i.e., Moby Math.
  • Science.  With the exception of an occasional reading and video viewing on a science topic, all work will be done in the classroom using Discovery Education.

Week 28 with sheep heart dissection field trip permission slip (March 18-22, 2013)

Science field trip:

  • Field trip permission slips and money ($9) for the April 2nd sheep heart dissection labs are due Wednesday, March 20.
  • In my email sent last Friday to all parents, I mentioned that the permission slip is to be completed online
  • You can also volunteer to chaperone (at no charge) at one of the three labs using the same permission slip.
  • After completing the form online, all that’s necessary is to send money to me with your kiddo.
  • If you missed the email or had trouble viewing or submitting the form, you can fill it out online:

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/viewform?fromEmail=true&formkey=dDBESTlGVDNZeHI2Y3Q1M2g3U01VMVE6MQ

Teacher cartoon

For your calendar:

  • Monday. Fourth quarter begins. After today, your student becomes a fifth grader in 39.5 “school” days.
  • WednesdayLibrary books and field trip permission slips are due; parent/teacher conferences 4-8pm.
  • Thursday. Parent/teacher conferences 8am-noon (no school for students)
  • FridaySpring Break begins (no school for students).
  • March 4-20. TCAP (make-up testing only).
  • March 21-31. Spring Break (no school for students).
  • April 2Sheep lung dissections in Legacy Academy middle school science lab with staff from the Denver Museum of Nature and Science.
  • May 4 (Saturday), Spring Fling Fiesta.” This is Legacy’s big annual fundraiser (my band, Martyrs, will be playing. Hope you can make it).
  • May 22 (Wednesday). Paint Mines field trip, Calhan, 8:30-2:30.

Michelangelo's Parent Teacher Conference

iPads. Please make certain your student brings a fully-charged iPad each morning.

How we’re working in the classroom:

  • All subjects. No testing this week. Students will be selecting work to display during conferences.  They will be reading excerpts from “Music and Slavery,” rotating through Reading Plus, and blogging.  Math and science as usual.
(Image credit: unknown)

(Image credit: unknown)

Sheep lung dissection (in-school) field trip date has been determined

Save the date:  all day, Tuesday, April 2, in Legacy Academy’s middle school science lab.

NO PERMISSION SLIPS HAVE BEEN CREATED YET, so cool your jets (they’ll go out the second week of March and be collected before Spring Break). Cost: $9 per student.

I will need 15 volunteers total, to be utilized as follows:

  • five volunteers at a time
  • in one of the three 90 minute labs spread throughout the day
  • Volunteers will supervise one of five stations related to the circulatory system as four students at a time rotate through.
  • Volunteers will be supervised by staff from the Denver Museum of Nature and Science.

It will be most excellent.

Some pictures from previous sheep heart dissection labs:

Image

Image

State capital field trip, February 26: Rules of the Road

Sorry to those parents who were not selected to chaperone this field trip. Between the two classes, we were inundated with requests. Fret not, however: anyone not making the statehouse trek will have priority for our remaining field trips in April and May.

Our state capital golden dome, from Colfax Avenue (c. 2013)

Our state capital’s golden dome, from Colfax Avenue (c. 2013)

Basic rules of the road for students:

  • wear your school uniform and dress warmly–it might be snowing Tuesday afternoon
  • bring a disposable sack lunch and drink
  • no iPads. Bring a book.
  • stay in your seats while on the bus
  • use low, low, low, indoor voices or you will be yelled at by the nice bus driver and/or guards at the state capital. Oh, and I might speak firmly to you, also.
  • stay with your group
  • Chaperones should only have to give directions once. Chaperones are to be shown respect at all times. Treat them like you’d want your classmates to treat your mom.
  • You are representing Legacy Academy. Act appropriately, like you have been out in public before. Be excellent.

If you are a parent who is not riding the bus, but will meet us at the capital: you can obviously accompany your student, but your student must stay with their chaperone and group.

Chaperones. You may travel with other chaperones and their groups, but you are responsible for the kiddos in your group:

Mrs. Arciniaga:

  • Isabella
  • Brendon
  • Jack
  • Madison
  • Hunter

Mrs. Baum:

  • Dalton
  • Trace
  • Drew
  • Nathan

Mrs. Smith:

  • James
  • Rain
  • Owin
  • Sami
  • Amelia

Mrs. Brown:

  • Trey
  • Carson
  • Cole
  • Cullen
  • Cameron

Mrs. Martinez:

  • Bella
  • Griffin
  • Caleb
  • Mitchell
  • Grace

Mrs. Zimmerman:

  • Nick
  • Quentin
  • Lauren
  • Brianna
Good advice for any field trip (credit: unknown)

Good advice for any field trip (credit: unknown)