Saturday, January 2, 2016

January 2, 2016

Adam, teaching us how to stay warm Cro-Magnon style

Happy New Year!

Holiday Feast:  Thanks to all of the help on Quest, the holiday feast was again a huge success.  Thank-you for your contributions, your enthusiasm for our young performers, and for your time.  We all look forward to it each year.

The play Annie! was wonderful.  It was excellent to see so many Quest students up on stage.  If we need some FBI agent / detectives, we know who to ask.

We wound down our study of Early Humans both in Language Arts and in IS.  Thank-you for your help in any of the LA projects. They were fantastic!


Language Arts:

During the month of January, students will be engaging in an inquiry project based on their own interests.  Most students chose topics in December.  Those students who have not chosen topics received an email asking them to send me an email with a topic.  The main goals for the project are for students to pursue a topic which interests them, engage in research (observation, interviews, primary sources, text), critically read text, find multiple points of view, craft introductions and conclusions, and conduct a "seminar" to teach others.

Please ask your student what topic they chose.  If they respond "I don't know," please have them check their email.  I will be purchasing books this weekend based on their interests.  If they are having a difficult time deciding, have them look through the ideas I sent in that email.  Thank-you!

Their POW this week will be short, regarding their topic.  I will explain this to students on Monday.


We will be delving into an Astronomy unit for the month of January.  We will be talking about how the early humans became more aware of their natural world, and how the stars and planets became more important to their daily lives.  We will be creating "astrolabes" with compasses and washers, and we will begin our moon journals.  Students will be expected to go out 5 out of 7 nights a week to write observations of the sky.  This will only take 5 - 15 minutes a night, but most students need help with the discipline of these observations.  Please help your student to remember!  These moon journals will begin Friday, January 8th, and will continue through to Friday, February 5th.  Information will be coming out this Friday.


We have snow!!  We still have team recess every day for 1/2 hour, except on Thursdays.  This recess is at 9:45.  Both Curtis and I love winter outdoor recess!!

All students will be expected to go outdoors for recess every day unless there are dangerous temperatures / wind chill.  Rules for outdoor recess gear:

  • All students are required to wear a jacket.  A hat / hood is always suggested, and required when it is particularly cold.
  • Students need boots to play on the soccer fields or on the recess equipment.
  • Students need snow pants, gloves (or mittens), and a hat to play on the hill / go sledding.
  • Other recess rules apply such as no snowballs thrown, and other safety rules.\
Please help your student remember this gear.  Some students choose to keep their snow pants in their locker for the week, which is fine.  They usually take them home on the weekend.

Winter Unit / Ski and Ride
On Wednesdays, students will either be participating in the ski and ride program in Stowe, or in an outdoor / winter education / science program provided by Mr. Taylor and myself :)  On each Wednesday, all students need coats, hats, mittens, boots, and during most classes, snowpants.  Students who stay at school will be spending from 1 - 1 1/2 hours outdoors during these days.

Questions to ask:
  • What is your research topic for Language Arts?
  • Do your boots fit? :)  The Bargain Boutique usually has a decent supply of boots!