Friday, December 20, 2013

The week of December 23, 2013

This is a special time of year.  Whether you celebrate on of the season's "Big Three", Hanukkah, Christmas, or Kwanzaa, or just look forward to a holiday vacation, this is a great time to celebrate the things that are special to you.

As I thought about my blog entry, I thought "What is special about Special ED?"  In the spirit of this season the things that are most special to me are the dedicated people who make up the team here at CCS.

First of all are my hard working, creative, and flexible paraprofessionals.  Sarah Watson and Pat Masi ably handle the support needs of our middle school students, both in the classroom and the resource room.  Tricia Collins supports me carrying out the variety of services for the K-5 students.  This includes interventions in phonics, spelling, reading, and math.  These women are an invaluable resource for me and for the students.  They are dedicated, caring, and attuned to the needs of each of our charges.

Jandi Hanna is the Speech and Language Pathologist here at CCS.  Although she works here part time she is able to attend to the needs of children who require intervention in speech sounds or language development.

Karen Lindstrom has stepped into the school psychologist role and is able to provide students with counseling and conducts assessment when needed.  Her expertise in behavior management is always beneficial in helping all students succeed at CCS.

Ginni Block and Angie Coleman are the Physical and Occupational Therapists who consult with our team for students with motor concerns.  The positive effects of their suggestions are seen from the playground, to the gym, and into the classroom.

Finally, Martha Schwaikert, Supervisor of Special Education, provides our school based team with support and advice that keeps us working together for the benefit of all CCS students.

I hope everyone finds reasons to celebrate during this special season and looks forward to the promise of the future in 2014!

Happy New Year to all,

Elizabeth Clarke
Resource Teacher

Friday, December 13, 2013

Updates from Math!

6th Grade Math

As the first trimester wrapped up, so did the third unit in sixth grade math on integers. As this new trimester begins, sixth grade has started to dive into our first unit in algebra! With algebra comes lots of hands on activities to discover the relationships between numbers and variables. Our current unit looks at order of operations and algebraic expressions. After the holiday break, we will begin to look at algebraic equations.

7th Grade Math

As the sixth grade is starting up their first unit on algebraic concepts, the seventh grade math class is completing their first unit on algebraic concepts. They just finished up a unit that focused on writing and simplifying algebraic expressions, which gave us lots of opportunities to play and learn with manipulatives! Our next unit will move onto solving algebraic equations and will continue to present opportunities to play and learn with more manipulatives!

7th Grade Pre-Algebra

The seventh grade Pre-Algebra class is in the middle of a unit focused on ratios, proportions, and percents. We have been looking at graphs of proportional relationships that will help lead to an understanding of linear relationships that is a large focus in the Algebra I curriculum. As we come to the end of looking at proportional relationships in this unit, we will use what we learned to investigate the connection between percents and proportions.

8th Grade Math

The eighth grade math class is finishing up a unit focused on algebraic concepts as well. We have spent the last couple weeks practicing solving all different equations! One-step equations, two-step equations, equations with variables on both sides, equations that involve combining like-terms, equations that involve the Distributive Property, and equations that involve all of the above! Equations with one solution, equations with no solution, and equations with infinitely many solutions! This deep understanding of equations will help lead to a deeper understanding of linear relationships, which we will study later this year.

8th Grade Algebra I

The Algebra I class is currently learning about linear relationships. Although we spend a few units focused on linear relationships, we are currently working on graphing. We have been practicing graphing linear equations in slope-intercept form, y=mx+b, and in Standard Form, Ax + By = C. We have enjoyed watching some videos that students and teachers have created to help us remember the steps for graphing these equations! Our next unit will continue to focus on linear relationships, but move towards writing equations.

Enjoy the holiday break and time spent with family and friends! 

-Miss Krueger

Monday, December 2, 2013

Spanish (Week of December 2)

Thanksgiving is a time when I pause for a moment to reflect upon the many things for which I am grateful. At the top of my list this year is the educational trip I took to Fuengirola, Spain in July.  This trip was made possible through the generosity of CCSFE (Cornwall Consolidated School Fund for Excellence).  Thanks to CCSFE I became a full-time student again, participating in an intensive Spanish course for two weeks.  This was an around-the-clock experience; every moment was spent absorbing the Spanish culture.  My days there were full and exciting and I look forward to, both formally and informally, sharing my adventures and insights with the students at CCS.  Thanks again to all who made this trip a reality!

I am also grateful to be working in a school where families value education.  I enjoyed the time we spent together during conferences discussing your child's progress in Spanish.  Your feedback is enormously helpful and I appreciate the conversations that we had.

As we start a new month, these are the topics that we will be working on together in Spanish class:
Grade 8 will focus on the universal themes of health and human emotions.  By the end of this new chapter, students will have the ability to talk about feelings and navigate a basic visit to the doctor's office.  Grade 7 students are learning how to talk about their families and homes.  This week students will start creating a family tree.  In grade 6 students are learning how to describe themselves and others.  Next week they will start writing an "Album de Recuerdos" (memory book) about a selection of their friends and family members.