Archive | January, 2013

After School Program News: January 2013

ON-SITE EXTENDED DAY STUDENT CARE WILL BE AVAILABLE ON THE FOLLOWING “EARLY DISMISSAL & NO SCHOOL DAYS:” February 8th; March 1st & 8th; April 26th; and May 3rd.  Please register ONE WEEK BEFORE in order to receive the Early Bird Discount.  Also, please remember that you MUST give us 48-hour WRITTEN notice to cancel any pre-registered care without being held financially responsible.


REMINDER: NO ON-SITE STUDENT CARE DURING BREAKS OR ON CERTAIN HOLIDAYS.  This includes:  January 21st; February 18th-22nd; April 1st-5th; May 27th; and June 12th.


SPECIAL CLUBS.  There are still openings for the following after school special clubs:






Music Lessons Music Lessons Music Lessons Music Lessons Music Lessons
Spanish=FULL Italian Black Belt RECESS=FULL Chess
  Art K-3 Art 4-8    
  Swim Lessons Daisies/Brownies    
    Dance Team (4-8)    

Please pick up a registration form from the after school programs bulletin board down the hall from the parent mailboxes.  We are still working on offering the following clubs and activities (please contact us at afterschool@hc.wash.k12.mi.us if you or someone you know is interested in coaching/teaching a special club or activity):


4H, Ballet, Baseball, Basketball, Breakdancing, Campfire, Capoeira, Chinese, Cooking, Crafts, Dance (K-3), Drums, Eco-Maniacs, Electronic Music, Football, French, Garden, German, Girls on the Run, Guys on the Go, Gymnastics, Harp, Hip Hop, History Club, Knitting, Open Swim, Orchestra, Photography, Pilates, Rocks & Robots, Rockets, Sewing, Skateboarding, Spanish (K-2 & MS), Spiral Scouts, Soccer (K-8), Study Skills, Tap Dance, Tech, Tennis, Theater, Tutoring, Writing, Yoga, Youth In Government, Zumba.


PLEASE CARE WHAT YOU WEAR.  Recess will be outside every day.  Except for hazardous weather conditions (lightning, severe storms, wind chill below -10° F), we will always go outside for recess.  There is limited indoor space that allows the children opportunities to move around energetically.  Children should always dress for the weather.  Students must wear snow pants, boots, coat, hat or hood, and mittens or gloves in order to play in the snow and sled.


Technology News: January 2013

In 2/3 technology, students have been creating their “All About Me” presentations with Google Docs. They have been very excited about making a project that captures who they are and what they are interested in, and have been sharing these with me using the collaboration features of Google Docs.

In the 4/5 technology classes, students have been working on a new cross-curricular project that integrates technology, language arts, and social studies, based on the “Pure Michigan” ads. Students wrote poems during Language Arts time, and have now been working on recording themselves reading these poems aloud using our USB microphones and GarageBand. They’ve also been searching the Web for images that relate to the Michigan place their poems are about, and building a movie in iMovie that pulls these images, sounds and words together.

The Middle School technology classes have been working on a new place-based education project dealing with technology and its relationship to our society. Students have been using the inquiry process of asking questions to learn more about the local businesses next to our school that make asphalt and construction materials, and gaining a deeper understanding of why these businesses exist and how they impact our society and environment.

In the Middle School technology elective, students finished their second major project, which saw them using the engineering design process to create devices that will produce clean, drinkable water. They are now working on a research project dealing with transportation technology in a 3rd world country.

Media Center News: January 2013

We’re back after a wonderful winter break, ready to keep on reading and researching.

The 2/3 students will be working on traders and Native Americans, and then on states of matter, and we’ve pulled out support material for these projects.  The 4/5s will soon start reading historical fiction, and a collection of these novels has been set aside for them to make their selection easier.  The K/1s will be reading “how to” books, of which we have a nice variety.

We’d like to thank Tammy Hall, David VanLoo, and the Hills for their recent donations of stuffed animals to enrich our read-aloud time with the younger students.  We now have enough critters that every student in a class can have an animal to hold while they listen, and later read to and select books with.  Students have become very responsible in returning each animal to its designated “house” in a storage unit in the Media Center before they return to class.

We’ve been enjoying sharing space with our reading/math interventionist, Dianne Baker, and working with both her and the Title 1 material that is now housed in the Media Center.  The material is being cataloged steadily, starting with the items that are immediately needed each week.  We’ve also worked with her and some of her 4/5 students on report-writing.

Winter is a great time to settle in with an enjoyable book; encourage your students to always have a fun reading item available for free reading time.

Physical Education/Swimming News: January 2013

Starting in the new year students in physical education will be starting several new units. Over the course of the next several weeks, students will work on volleyball, bowling, floor hockey, and speed stacking. In addition to the new units, students will be continuing their growth as physically active persons and completing more FitnessGram Fitness Assessments. In the pool, students are continuing to grow as swimmers. Before winter break, several students were able to advance to a higher swim group. Everyone is doing great!

Art News: January 2013

I hope everyone has enjoyed their new year so far…we are certainly off to a wonderful start with art!  K/1 classes are learning about the beginning basics of perspective and painting winter trees with their first project of the new year.  2/3 classes are continuing to work on organic/geometric lines and patterns with their project, while 4/5 classes will be starting a paper collage project in the coming weeks.  Middle School classes are working on their part of a mural about the concept of peace, while elective is finishing up their semester with final touches on their sculpting project.  I look forward to showing off our students’ talents at the curriculum celebration and on artsonia.com!  Happy 2013!


Middle School Math News: January 2013

December was quite busy and productive in Middle School Math…
In Algebra we dove into Linear Functions… you remember Ax + By = C or y = mx + b or (y − y₁) = m(x − x₁).  There are so many ways to represent a line, it can be confusing.  And the graphing, they just love graphing lines – she says with a little sarcasm.  This month we will begin using those newly earned skills in creating a piece of art using Linear Functions.  Look for their art at Curriculum Fair.
After finishing the first part of the Map Dilation Project late November, Course 3 studied a short unit on Graphs, Functions, and Sequences.  It included how to graph equations, identify which equations arefunctions, and how to identify and write rules (equations) for arithmetic sequences.  This month we will complete part two of the Map Dilation Project.  For the Curriculum Fair we will be transforming the gym into a large map of Washtenaw County, we’re excited and a wee bit nervous.
As I mentioned previously, Course 2 has been working on Applications of Rational Numbers with a specific focus on reviewing and expanding our understanding and uses of fractions.  In December we began a project that involved ruler, fractions, and problem solving.  The project is called Amateur Architect, they will be constructing an amateur version of a blueprint for a house.  You will be able to see their work at the Curriculum Fair.
Course 1 has also been working on understanding and learning to work with fractions and perform operations with fractions.  The project we will be presenting at Curriculum Fair was completed early December as reinforcement in our work with integers.  The High/Low Integer Project had us online searching for the highest and lowest elevation points in each state, then calculating the differences… I think our map will be quite interesting.
I look forward to seeing you at the Curriculum Fair on Friday, January 18.

Middle School Language Arts News: January 2013

In middle school Language Arts, we have just finished up reading fantasy novels and writing literary analysis (for the first time ever).  This was a challenging task for some as it involved coming up with a critical claim in regards to plot or character, or even a critique of the novel they read.  It has been an interesting process, watching students formulate essays on literature, one I hope we can do again.  As we move in to the second semester, students will continue essay writing, except this time on a problem or issue they see in the world, in the nation, in their community, or just their own personal lives.  They will do independent research and develop persuasive essays.  Watch out as middle schoolers stretch their arguing muscles!


Elizabeth Scott

Middle School Science News: January 2013

Our Earth Rocks! unit ends at curriculum celebration with our presentation of our different models that help us understand how the Earth works.  At the end of January we will switch to our new unit investigating the human body and the systems that combine together to work as a well oiled machine.

Middle School Social Studies News: January 2013

In Social Studies, we’re wrapping up our unit on the Mayans, Incas and Aztecs.  Students are working diligently on getting their projects done in time for Curriculum Celebration.  Many will actually be sharing their projects with the community via interactive presentations.  Look for a flyer to come out within the next week.  Please feel free to sit in on one or more of the presentations, even if you don’t have a student in the middle school.  After this unit at about the time of the semester’s end, we’ll do some cleansing of classroom and binder folders and start fresh with a new unit on the Spanish conquest of the Aztecs.  I’ve set it up as sort of a choose-your-own-adventure.  Students will have to theorize on the decisions of the major players when faced with some challenging options.  For example, how does Moctezuma II keep an impending Spanish force from entering his city without an all-out war?  Or should he have started an all-out war before the Spanish arrived?  It’s a fascinating history, one that I really enjoy teaching.

Later Elementary News: January 2013

Later elementary has a lot to look forward to as the new year begins!  January will begin by wrapping up our many curriculum celebration projects.  We will also be spending some time preparing for our upcoming field trip to both the University of Michigan Museum of Art and the Natural History Museum in Ann Arbor on Wednesday, February 6.  This trip is, in part, sponsored by the Fine Arts Committee and will collaborate with Lindsay to supplement her teaching of our students’ art standards.  Many thanks to this committee for their support and planning!  The other half of our trip will extend students’ knowledge of the geography and geology standards they have been learning in science and social studies.  The field trip will culminate with lunch at the University of Michigan Union.  Students will have the choice to bring their own lunch or buy from one of the many vendors there.  Look for more information coming home mid January.

In literature, we are finishing our Hatchet portfolios and taking some time to read and reflect on non-fiction articles.  We’re also revisiting figurative language.  Look for some amazing projects, both from school and home, at the curriculum celebration January 18.  After that, we are looking forward to beginning Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry.

January and February are going to be a whirlwind!  In Science, we are studying geologic processes.  We have covered Earth’s layers, Plate Tectonics, minerals and their relationship to rocks.  We’ll be moving onto fossils in particular, and their part as evidence of geologic time.  We have had the opportunity to view minerals up close and personal, and learn to identify them using the (ancient but very thorough) “Murphy’s Minerals” game.  My Minecrafting crowd loved the ancient graphics and mining of minerals!  “Murphy’s Minerals” is a free download, just search the internet and you’ll find it.  We’ll be running through a rock cycle lab using crayons as the rock material. We’ll be visiting the Exhibit Museum at U of M, as walk-through guests where a scavenger hunt of geologic proportions is planned! Guest speakers will be rounding out the excitement, we have Dr. Rob Van Der Voo joining us to speak about volcanoes and plate tectonics, John Krispin from Barrett Paving and a geologist friend of his to speak about Michigan Geology, glaciation in particular, and the resources Michigan has.  Our own Dr. Serena Poli will be bringing micropaleontology our student’s way – and possibly a visit from yet another parent whom I just learned was also a geologist!  What a wonderful human resource we have here at Honey Creek!  My thanks to all of you for all you offer to our kids.  It makes their education exceptional!

Following all of this rock – we’ll roll into a study of the Human Body. Be on the lookout for an e-mail asking for volunteers to speak to the kids about aspects of the body systems.  Teresa did this unit two years ago and many of you stepped up to teach the kids about your area of expertise.  The children loved that unit and really learned the material more thoroughly, so we’ll try again to make it happen for our current batch of 4/5’s!

In Social Studies, the children are learning about Michigan and are creating Pure Michigan ads in conjunction with Bill’s technology classes.  They are continuing to use their mapping skills and land form knowledge, now applying it to our great state.

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