Friday 4-21

Learning Targets: I can show that my notes are complete for the first article of the magazine project.

I can continue reading Esperanza Rising.

Today, students checked in with me about their progress on their notes for article one of the magazine project. Students are answering the following questions:

main article questions.png


Next week, students will be writing the rough draft for the first article in class. If their notes are not complete, students will not be able to complete the rough draft in school, which will mean more homework for them. Students need to be up to date on their notes by Monday in order to be ready for our work on the rough draft in class.

*Homework- Finishing any notes that need to be completed.

We also had a guest speaker visit Block Two to talk about an organization that is helping young people who are experiencing homelessness. It was wonderful to learn more about the organization, and what we can do to help.

Students also ran/walked in the school Fun Run today. They did a fantastic job!

Thursday 4-20

Learning Targets:

  • I can continue to answer the questions for my notes for my first article in the magazine project.
  • I can be an active listener during service learning presentations.


Today, students had work time to answer the following questions for their magazine research project.

main article questions.png

Answers to these questions are due tomorrow. If students are waiting to pick up book sources from the library, they can add that information to their notes over the weekend. Students may also add to their notes this weekend.

Students also had wonderful service learning projects today:

Silja created planters from scratch for urban gardens for Joyce Uptown Food Shelf. She will be maintaining the gardens throughout the summer along with her family.

Cameron made dog toys for Secondhand Hounds. He also talked about his original plan, and how he had to revise his project to make sure that it was successful. Way to show persistence!

Sal picked up trash at Lake Nokomas with his family. Sal wanted to set an example to inspire other students to stop littering and to recycle.

Avery created a project where she sewed animal toys with her grandma. She learned how to sew for her project. Avery talked a lot about how the toys actually benefit the animals for behavioral reasons.

Cooper collected trash around our school. Cooper talked about his process, and how his family decided this would be a great project for him.

Lukas talked about his visit for Feed My Starving Children. He shared some videos from his visit with the class.

Lucy created blankets for Midwest Animal Rescue Services, which is where she adopted her dog from. She made 40 blankets!

Bella created a project to create a much needed crosswalk by school. This project was inspired when her brother was hit (but thankfully not injured) by a distracted driver.

Mason created raised money to donate to the humane society. He talked about his fundraising strategies during his presentation.

Andrew created dog and cat toys for the humane society. Andrew talked about his process in creating the toys and raising money to donate.

Elizabeth and Addie worked on a project together where they raised money for Children’s Hospital and Clinics, created tie blankets, and donated toys to children who were spending extended time in the hospital.


Well done, everyone!!

Wednesday, 4-19

Learning Targets: I can continue my research for the magazine project.

Today, students continued their work on their first article notes for the magazine project. The questions that students are answering for this can be found below:



Students also received their MCA reading test scores today. We did not go over them in class, and I asked them to wait until they were home to review them with parents. I just wanted to let you know that they were on their way.

Students also visited the library today!

Monday April 17th


What a lovely, sunny day we had today to begin MCA testing!

Learning Target: I can try my best on the MCA Reading Test.

Today, students did a great job focusing and using their class time to begin their MCA Reading test. Students will continue their test tomorrow. Students may have as much time as they need, but most will probably finish tomorrow.

Have a wonderful evening!

Friday, 4-14

Learning Targets: I can identify what a homograph is.

I can identify what a proverb is.

I can prepare for the MAP test.

Today, students learned what a homograph is. Students practiced identifying simple homographs and shared in the class with other words that they knew that were homographs. Students also identified homophones and reviewed those words as well. Students completed this assignment:

homograph assignment

Students also had work time to continue their notes for the magazine project. As students are writing the notes for their sources, they should be answering the following questions:

Screen Shot 2017-04-14 at 3.43.14 PM.png

Students also had a chance to talk about their goals for MCA testing, and we were able to review their scores from last year. Due to these mini-conferences, the check in on sources has been moved back to Wednesday, April 19th.

*There is no homework over the weekend. Remember, the MCA Reading test begins on Monday. You should get a good sleep on Sunday night, and eat a big breakfast on Monday morning. You are going to do wonderful!

Thursday 4-13

Learning Targets:

I can continue to work on my sources for my magazine project.

I can continue to practice or write my poem/ song for Esperanza Rising.

I can identify important parts about service learning projects. (Please scroll below the notes to hear about service learning projects from today!)

*Homework: For class tomorrow, students need three book sources and one other source for their magazine projects. A sample notes pages can be found below. (Most students completed this in class.)

*Students should also complete their Esperanza-Miguel poem/song tonight (most students completed this activity in class). 

Source Notes for the Magazine Project.jpg



Today students once again did an outstanding job with their service learning projects!

James created blankets and toys for animals at the humane society. He found the directions on the Animal Humane Society’s website.

Ali shared an incredible sailing service learning project that she has taking part in for a few years. The proceeds from Ali’s project went to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society  through the organization Sail for Leukemia.

Meghan shared about a pollinator project that she is working on with her Grandmother. She plans on creating a pollinator garden this summer, and informed students about the best kind of plants to use for monarch butterflies.

Nora created reusable bags with Linden Hills Power and Light. If you are interested in taking part in future events that Linden Hills Power and Light offers, you can check out this website. Nora even brought in one of the bags!

Lewis created a website to teach people how to create origami! Lewis included some tutorials about how to create origami on your own. You can check out the website here. Lewis then went to the senior apartment building where his grandparents live and taught a group of seniors how to make various types of origami.

Samantha created an educational project about her trip to Washington D.C. to participate in the Women’s March. She educated the class about why the Women’s March was created, and what it was like to participate in the event. She created a video to show us what her experience was like.

Lillian brought in a speaker a few weeks ago as a part of her project, but she also did so much more. She came up with a list of things that the Golden Valley Animal Humane Society needed, and collected items in her apartment building. She delivered the items, and also educated our class about what we can do to help animals in need.

Max created a project that donated books to families and children in need who are spending time in the hospital. He invited his neighbors to donate books, and then created book bags to donate to a hospital. The book bags were then given to kids to help occupy their time if they were spending time in the hospital.


Wednesday 4-12

Learning Targets: I can identify similarities and differences between Esperanza and Miguel.

I can show my understanding for “Peaches” in Esperanza Rising.

Today, students read 219-224 in class investigating an argument that Miguel and Esperanza had. Students volunteered to read the part of Miguel and Esperanza.

Next, students began to write a poem or song about that argument. Students worked individually, or in groups of two or three to create their poem or song. Students will have the opportunity to earn extra credit if they perform their song or read their poem in front of the class on Friday or Monday. They may record their song or poem over the weekend if they like.

*Students did a wonderful job on this assignment! We look forward to hearing projects in class!

Students who are presenting tomorrow for service learning will begin at 11:30 and 2:30 if parents or family members would like to attend class!

Students also visited the media center today. Gretchen focused on National Poetry Month, which fit perfectly our class activity today! Students were able to create their own poems from the spines of books, and from the pages of books that are being recycled.

There is no homework this evening.

Tuesday 4-11

Learning Targets:

I can identify a concrete and an abstract noun.

I can show my understanding for the chapter “Peaches” from Esperanza Rising. 

Today, students began class by discussing the term chronological order. This term came up on the MCA practice test yesterday, and while many students had heard the term before, most students were fuzzy on the technical meaning. Block One created a jingle, and Block Two played a game called Terms To Know!

Block One completed a comprehension quiz from the chapter “Peaches” from Esperanza Rising.

Block Two read the chapter “Peaches” from Esperanza Rising. (Block One completed this yesterday).

Students then reviewed the definition of a noun: a person, place, thing or idea. What we focused on mainly today was the difference between nouns and pronouns, as well as what an abstract noun is, which includes most idea nouns.

Students completed an assignment in class where they identified nouns in sentences, as well as determining whether a noun was a concrete noun or an abstract noun.

Students had some time at the end of class to research for their magazine project sources.

*There is no homework tonight, and there is also no spelling this week. We are using our spelling time to brush up on common parts of speech this week.

Monday 4-10

Welcome back to school!

Learning Targets:

I can practice for the MCA test. 

Block One: I can read “Peaches” from Esperanza Rising.

Today, students were reminded that we will be taking the MCA test next Monday and Tuesday, April 17th and 18th.  Students took the practice test online, and unlike the actual test that they will take next week, students were able to see how they did on the test and which questions they struggled with more than others.

Many students worry about what exactly will be on the test and what it will look like. It can be helpful for students to practice so that they feel more confident on the test next week.

Students in Block One did not have as much time, so they will be able to continue the test tomorrow in class. Block Two finished the test.

Block One read “Peaches” from Esperanza Rising today. Block Two will catch up tomorrow.