Dear Fifth Grade Families,

It has been so busy these past three weeks that I have hardly had any time to sit down and reflect upon our progress.  The start of a new school year always brings with it so many, many changes, and also challenges-- even with the same children in the classroom-- and it is a daunting task to meet all the changing needs of children, and parents, and colleagues in the hours of a single school day. Often I will say to myself, "I need to talk to/sit down with ________, or call/email _________, because …," or "I need to catch _________ after school and mention…," only to discover that I was unable to get to it. For me it is by far one of the most challenging aspects of working in this job.  Yet finally, this morning, in spite of my failure to do it "all", as I took the time to review the past weeks, I couldn't help but feel gratified by the images that popped up for me:
  • Absolute exuberance over the new subject classes of Woodwork, Handwork, Movement and Games
  • Motivated recorder players re-familiarizing themselves with their formerly dormant instrument
  • Musicians playing the duet part to Perpetual Motion on the violin after only one week of work on it
  • Pencils scratching with surprising comfort with basic mathematics.  (The summer had not erased it completely!)
  • A sea of children's hands in the air with questions and thoughts about the plant world
  • Beautiful drawings and fun writing in the main lesson books
  • Illuminating and often entertaining Personal Narratives written about summer happenings
Our Fifth Grade train has rocketed out of the station and is chugging quickly down the tracks, and though there are still so many things to do and improve upon, the children are doing beautifully. I hope you too have had the opportunity to witness wonderful things happening within your own child at home as well.  If I can ever find the time to talk to you, I'd love to hear about it!  Ha!  

Angelo Coast Trip: Tuesday-Friday
I hope your packing for our upcoming trip is going smoothly.  We will be loading up on Tuesday morning at the normal arrival time- 8:20am.  Please remember to drive to the back area of the school where our trucks and cars are parked, and not the front of the school.

If you need another copy of the packing list, feel free to download one from the class website by clicking on the Botany Trip link.  This will also be the place where I'll be posting an evening update during our stay on the reserve- depending upon the dependability of cell access, of course.

As you pack with your child, please remember:
Label EVERYTHING
Pack everything in one or two large bags if at all possible (also labeled).
Please no plastic garbage bags.
Remember it will be cool in the night and early mornings, so pack for warmth, including the sleeping bag.  Err on the side of being too warm if there is a choice!
If you have any questions please let me know.

We hope to return on Friday, between 4:30 or 5:00pm.
    
That's all for now.  See you on Tuesday.

Justin
 


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