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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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