In addition to the news items below, the Monthly Newsletter for December is available here too.
NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month)
Esin Tayanc (Kaia's mom who is a professional photographer) joined us last Wednesday to get students to start creating and designing customized covers for their novels. Students looked for common features in published novels, brainstormed ideas, and created a rough sketch. She will join us again next week to discuss graphic design elements such as font, color, and layout. Finally, she will be setting up a photo-shoot in January for students who would like to incorporate a photograph as part of their cover design.
Author Steven Johnson (father of Clay) joined us on Monday to share out his experiences with writing and publishing novels. There were so many questions and interested students that I barely had a chance to get my questions in!
Last Friday, we teamed up with 3rd-graders from Mr. Davis's class to help them learn how to design Keynote presentations. We showed them how to add titles, pictures, and animations to a presentation. Some students then presented to the whole room!
We are nearly finished with The Sign of the Beaver, an historical fiction about a boy who lives in the 17th-century and his experiences with a Native American tribe. Each student has the story on their iPad as an iBook which allows for students to take notes, define vocabulary words, and customize the font size and style.
We were treated to an excellent performance of "The Pirates of Grammar Island" earlier this week by Mrs. Bjeldanes's 3rd-graders.
Below is a special message from Nathan Jacobson, PE teacher:
December brings the dance unit to Bel Aire PE classes. California State Standards dictate that fifth grade students should be able to design and perform a dance. The theme will be country, and I have posted a few examples of dances the 3rd and 4th graders will be performing in the student section of the Bel Aire Physical Education website. I would like the fifth grade to watch these videos to learn moves like a do-si-do or an alaman left, and get an idea of dance counting and developing patterns. Please have your young cowboys and cowgirls watch the videos so they can do-si-do like pros in class.
Have a great weekend.