Peter's class began in October with serving dinner with the rest of the 5/6 classrooms to follow till the end of the year.
Scott Medina, Coordinator of Volunteer Programs, for Bridge House spoke with the 5/6 students to tell about his involvement in helping the hungry and homeless in Boulder. His story of connection and empathy inspired many students to ask questions and look forward to their volunteer opportunity this year feeding the hungry at Path to Home's new central location on 30th Street.
Peter's class began in October with serving dinner with the rest of the 5/6 classrooms to follow till the end of the year.
On Casey Andriga's ski helmet, these words remind him to question whether he is afraid of failure. The Horizons Alum and 2018 Olympian freestyle skier reminded the K-6 grade students to not let this fear hold them back from what they, in their hearts, want to do. He recounted his last few years of facing many setbacks yet still holding on to his dreams of becoming an olympian.
"Goals sometimes look difficult and hard, but when you find something that you're passionate about and give it your 100%, at the end of the day it feels so good to truly know that you gave it your all. Whether that's finding the cure for cancer, changing the world, or living entirely waste-free and doing that with all your commitment, you are going to find happiness and have a great life."
As part of our physical education program, students took lessons in alpine skiing, snowboarding, and snowshoeing. Children were encouraged to take lessons in a sport that is new to them. We spent February 15, 22, and 28 in the mountains.
Your fifth and sixth graders have been working hard and joyfully in their first two of four arts, movement, music classes and tech classes! As you may remember, this four-session rotation provides all 5th/6th grade students the opportunity to explore their
The 5-6 team has designed this series of skills-based lessons using Horizons Council-approved funds to provide musical, artistic, and kinesthetic experiences for our students. A grant through the Kids Who Fly has allowed Frequent Flyers instructors to bring aerial arts to Horizons fifth and sixth graders.
Performances for the classes will happen on Tuesday, 2/13 and Monday, 3/19 from 6:30-8:00 PM.
Whew! How does our time together go so fast? It seems like we were just on outdoor ed together and we are already heading into winter break. We’ve been so busy learning with your students that we have been remiss about updating this website. Hopefully you have been seeing evidence of your child’s learning through their SeeSaw accounts. Please accept this update with a bit more of the teacher’s perspective and thank you for your patience with us. :)
As you saw at fall conferences, students completed a vignette on as aspect of their outdoor ed experience that provided them a growth “step outside the comfort zone” moment. Writing craft focus lessons included slowing down time, adding sensory details, and beginning more topic sentences in a variety of ways including occasion position statements using AAAWWUUBBIS words and playing with numbers.
Traveling notebooks have been mailed and are on their way to their first recipients! This creative integrated project had students working with not only their written and oral expression, but also with geography, science, and history (both personal and of hometowns) through a collection of informational pieces.
Up next in January...Argumentative writing!
Our literacy work has also included learning about the BHH or Book, Head, Heart approach to reading and understanding text. This idea from the work of Bob Probst and Kylene Beers is helping us to dig deeper into the meaning behind the words we read while providing an opportunity to meaningfully connect with purpose. If you’re curious to learn more, take a look at the book Disrupting thinking: Why how we read matters.
Students have also been learning about reading comprehension strategies called Notice and Note. These strategies have us asking certain kinds of questions as we read to help identify parts of the story narrative and also why an author might choose to write in certain ways at certain points in the story. The conversations and in-class work around both of these strategies through our read aloud and independent reading have been inspiring to see.
Our read aloud, Fish in a Tree, has been the source of many deep conversations about being kind and compassionate to others. The book has reminded us about how we all learn differently. Some classes are also using Get Epic! This online library allows students to choose from a variety of fiction and non-fiction texts. Nearly all students have finished taking their mid year iReady reading assessment. Please watch for communication from your child’s homeroom teacher for more details on results. We are taking this data to guide special literacy instruction through academic lab
Social Emotional Learning:
Students have been continuing their work towards becoming self-directed learners through the process of developing SMART goals for reading, writing, math and social emotional learning/executive functioning/community contributor. Thank you for your insights and advice around crafting goals that can be most meaningful as students head into the new year.
We have been fortunate to work with our younger buddies. Recently 5th/6th graders worked with their ½ buddy class to help them write their animal reports using the Step up format.
Annie’s 5th Grade Math
We spent October exploring relationships in our place value system, including looking at decimals to the thousandths place. We worked on representing decimals using base ten blocks, expanded notation, and in word form. We worked on comparing decimals, as well as adding and subtracting decimals. We have recently been focused on multiplying whole digit numbers using flexible strategies. Some of these strategies include using pictures, arrays, area models, and box method/partial product. Students started to guide their own number talks in which they solve problems in their heads (mental math) and then share different strategies for solving these familiar problems. During these number talks we have begun exploring multiplying decimals through looking at place value relationships.
Diane and Lynn’s 5th Grade Math
Over the last few months, students have been solidifying their understanding of place value and decimals operations - addition, subtraction, multiplication and division through pictorial representations and standard algorithms. More recently, students have been studying addition and subtraction of fractions (Module 3 in the EngageNY curriculum). We use number lines to visualize fractions and fraction operations. We also use rectangular models to aid in finding equivalent fractions with like units to facilitate the arithmetic. This provides students with a concrete understanding of equivalence. Students will be demonstrating their understanding on the mid-module assessment before winter break.
Rachel’s 6th Grade Math
Our class continues work with the 6th grade Connected Mathematics Project curriculum. We completed the “Prime Time” unit which focused on LCM and GCF, order of operations, as well as prime numbers. Students final project around their favorite number was a way to synthesize the learning into one culminating project. We have moved on to the “Bits and Pieces” unit learning about ratios and rates. Students continue to practice fractional skills utilizing Woot Math.
Peter’s 6th Grade Math
Over the past two months, we have completed the CMP unit Bits and Pieces which included investigations into skills in using fractions, decimals, ratios and percents to measure and to compare quantities; using ratio language and notation to compare quantities; distinguishing between fractions as numbers and ratios as comparisons; using a variety of scaling and partitioning strategies to reason proportionally; thinking of fractions and decimals as both locations and distances on the number line; moving flexibly among fraction, decimal, and percent representations; finding absolute values and opposites, and use them to describe real world quantities; using fraction, decimal, and percent benchmarks to estimate numbers; using context, models, drawings, or estimation to reason about situations; using equivalence of fractions and ratios to solve problems; and using rate tables and unit rates to solve problems.
We have supplemented our study of fractions with Khan Academy to practice operations with fractions and percentage problems. In January, we will explore areas and perimeters of figures. Attention will be given especially to quadrilaterals and triangles as well as surface area and volume of rectangular prisms.
You say you want a revolution?! After our introductory units on geography and time/chronology and our study of Africa and the Arab world, we have been exploring one of our main themes and essential questions of our social studies learning this year--What is a revolution? What is revolutionary thinking? What factors might lead to a revolution in thinking, technology, belief systems, economics, artistic expression, written expression, and worldview. Small groups read and summarized a reading on the Scientific Revolution then viewed films on Galileo and Newton to gain some background knowledge. Over the last two weeks, students worked collaboratively to create a performance project delving deeper into the work of Galileo, Newton and theories of the universe. Please see the photos on the gallery to be impressed. Last week and this week, students will be demonstrating their Scientific Revolution performance assessment to their classmates. Students chose to create a science kit to demonstrate Newton’s Law of Motion; a student-written drama about Galileo; and models of the various views of universe. From the Scientific Revolution we embark on our study of the age of exploration - analyzing the justification for it, the findings, and the effects of it.
Students chose a topic to complete a Science Inquiry Project. Within our science classes, students worked on research skills including finding reputable sources, citing sources, plagiarism, notetaking, and creating a presentation. Students also participated in “Dancing the Spheres” led by a member of Boulder Ballet, Erin Tunbridge. The dances are posted on Seesaw, so if you haven’t already, please check those out! To kick off our water unit, wee went on a Water Quest Field Trip at the History Colorado Museum. Students explored different time periods and how water use has evolved over time. Utilizing a Water Cycle hyperdoc, students created Water Cycle Sketchnotes which led into our first full-fledged lab. Students were tasked with engineering their own water filter which we then tested with some grimy water. To culminate our focus on how water moves around the earth, students created a “Choose Your Own Adventure” piece of writing. This story is a narrative that follows the journey of a drop of water around Earth. These should be posted on Seesaw as well.
In Spanish 1A, students have been working on acquiring vocabulary that can be most helpful to use in basic conversations - vocabulary and phrases related to greetings/goodbyes; things one likes or dislikes; talking about the Spanish speaking world; describing what characteristics people and things possess using the verb ser. Over the last two weeks, students have been working with a song story (una historia) called “Soy Yo” that incorporates all the grammar concepts we have been working on so for. In January we will beginning reading and discussing our first novela completely en español.
Through Spanish language games, songs, student-scripted conversations, art projects, total physical response (TPR) - language learning embedded in commands that have students up and moving - and some focused language-structure study, students are gaining more and more comfort and facility with subject-specific verbs, nouns, related vocabulary and short phrases. The students are capturing some of their language learning in projects that include book writing and personal introductions. Most recently, their cultural studies have focused on developing an understanding of dia de los muertos, an important Mexican/Mexican-American holiday, including some of the language and practices associated with it.
Ask your child to show you their SeeSaw reflections on the Collage Self Portraits and their Eyes Have It projects. These projects were completed before fall conferences. For the last month, students have been working on clay mobiles. These lovely works of art went home with students before the break.
In PE class, students continue to work collaboratively while building their strength and endurance. More recently they have been focusing on learning the skills necessary to play basketball.
Scott Medina, Volunteer coordinator from Bridge House, visited the 5/6 students to speak about homelessness and hunger in Boulder. Through an interactive talk, students added their experiences, questions, and feelings around these issues. He gave students a background about the impact of Bridge House in their community and how their efforts contribute to Boulder's social safety net including their Ready-to-Work and transitional housing programs. Scott ended our time with these words, "I hope this gives you a sense of what's going on in the lives of the homeless and hungry of Boulder. I hope that the next time to see and interact with them, you can be a little more compassionate and know that it's an honor for you to serve people what may be their only meal of the day."
We will explore issues of hunger locally and globally as homeroom classes before we prepare and serve meals at Mountain View church across from our school. Below is our schedule. Look for a sign-up for dates and times in the next week:
October 17 and November 28: Rachel's Homeroom
December 19 and January 16:: Lynn's Homeroom
February 20 and March 20: Peter's Homeroom
April 17 and May 15: Annie's Homeroom
Welcome to our first ⅚ weekly update for the 2017-18 school year! We will update this a couple times a month providing a more detailed look at the “why” behind the “what” we are doing. We hope this will help make the learning we are doing even more meaningful to you as parents and caregivers. Thanks for following along with our learning this year.
Before we left for 100 Elk, each homeroom discussed and defined expanding our comfort zones. Students chose three ways to push out of their comfort zones before heading to 100 Elk and reflected and wrote about that experience. If you have not yet perused the gallery of photos and video from the week, please do. A written reflection on a particular moment that demonstrated growth is coming.
The 40 Book Challenge has begun or soon will in each ⅚ classroom. Students have been challenged to develop themselves as avid readers by working toward a goal of reading 40 books during this school year or a goal of their choosing. Students are reading self-selected books in homerooms over a multitude of genres and accounting for their reading in their reading notebooks and responses. Students are accessing and reading non-fiction in both social studies and science, including reading information on websites. The second week of school, all ⅚ students completed a fall reading diagnostic called iReady. We share the results of these assessments with our students to create meaningful reading goals for the year.
Writers are working toward publishing their first piece: a profile feature story about a classmate which will be turned into a classroom newspaper. Students interviewed a classmate and wrote an article describing two interesting facts about that person. Our lessons have supported working through a writer’s process of planning, writing a rough draft, revising, and editing. Author’s craft work has focused upon organization, using strong leads, and using complex sentences.
Annie’s math class began the year with discussions about Growth Mindset as it applies to mathematical thinking. We discussed the importance of making mistakes, valuing depth over speed, and solving problems creatively. We have been working on finding patterns in our place value system. Other topics include rounding to the nearest 10 and 100, multiplying and dividing by 10, and solving word problems. Students also began number talks in which they solve problems in their heads (mental math) and then share different strategies for solving these familiar problems. Math Reflection Homework has just begun, so please keep an eye out for that.
In Peter’s math class(es), we began investigations (including games) into number theory, including factors, multiples, primes, composites, prime factorization; order of operations, distributive property. Our goals are that students understand relationships among factors, multiples, divisors, and products; classify numbers as prime, composite, even, odd, or square; recognize that factors of a number occur in pairs; recognize situations that call for common factors and situations that call for common multiples; recognize situations that call for the greatest common factor and situations that call for the least common multiple; develop strategies for finding factors and multiples; and develop strategies for finding the least common multiple and the greatest common factor. We are using the Connected Mathematics Project which is a problem-centered curriculum promoting an inquiry-based teaching-learning classroom environment. Mathematical ideas are identified and embedded in a carefully sequenced set of tasks and explored in depth to allow students to develop rich mathematical understandings. A second group is exploring properties of polygons. Through work on tasks that require drawing, building, measuring, and reasoning about the size and shape of polygons, students will learn how to: sort polygons into classes according to the; find relationships of their sides and angles; find angle measures by estimation, by use of tools like protractors and angle rulers, and by reasoning with variables and equations; developing formulas for finding the sum of the interior and exterior angles in any polygon; and identifying the relationships of complementary and supplementary pairs of angles, such as those formed by interior and exterior angles of polygons, and in figures where parallel lines are cut by transversals. Please look for investigation reflections through Seesaw. Also, a class calendar and other resources can be found on the math class website. Our focus during academic lab (with Lynn’s math class) is a combination of math homework support and YouCubed: Week of Inspirational Math.
Rachel’s class began the 6th grade Connected Mathematics Project curriculum with a focus upon factors, multiples, primes and squares. Our investigations include much work around analyzing patterns and documenting thinking as well as writing neatly and accurately. Our 6th grade academic lab work has focused upon the work of Jo Boaler and YouCubed: Week of Inspirational Math. Students have watched videos about how the brain works and what helps us learn math (crossing over from Left to Right hemispheres as well as drawing models). Academic Lab students have a chance to ask questions about homework and then we work on challenge problems to work on mathematical grit and persistence.
Diane’s and Lynn’s classes got together during our first week of math for a fun, collaborative activity called the Great Marshmallow Challenge. Students practiced problem-solving, engaged in teamwork, and got to know one another as mathematicians. We have now settled into our respective groups, but we expect to come together periodically throughout the year for special projects. Formal lessons are underway, using the 5th Grade EngageNY curriculum (Eureka Math). We are now delving into place value, decimal and fraction equivalents, multiplying and dividing by powers of ten, and rounding. A consistent theme of this class is to explain mathematical processes (both pictorially and in words) rather than resorting to “tricks” or “short-cuts” that sidestep the underlying mathematical concepts. You may notice that your child is drawing place value charts, tape diagrams, and vertical number lines to aid them in supporting their thinking. We are already halfway through our first module of study, which means students will take the corresponding Mod-Module Assessment next week. Have your student show you how we use Google Classroom and Infinite Campus (IC)—two online tools that help them stay on top of their work.
Social Studies - Explorations and Revolutions:
Our Social Studies class this year is affectionately called “Explorations and Revolutions”. So far we have looked at what it means to be an explorer of the our local environment, the world, history, science and technology. We have also been reviewing and enhancing our map reading skills, bringing to the forefront of geographic knowledge of physical features, latitude and longitude. We have been making connections between our studies of ancient civilization last year and moving forward into previewing our focus areas of study this year using a variety of timeline activities. Next week, we’ll be moving into our study of Africa during the 1400s - including Ghana and Great Zimbabwe.
Earth Systems Science:
We’ve set up interactive science notebooks to record ideas, information, and to house labs and activities from the classroom. Students practiced using their interactive science notebooks to reflect on their experience using teamwork and scientific thinking to rescue a gummy worm. We launched our learning about Earth’s Spheres with a Digital Breakout that required critical thinking and reading skills. In addition to the Digital Breakout, students have enjoyed a variety of experiences as we’ve continued to study Earth’s Systems and how the four major spheres of the earth are interconnected. Students made connections between Outdoor Ed and the Earth’s Spheres by representing examples of interactions between the Earth’s Spheres at 100 Elk. We visited a local site—our pond —to observe and document connections between the four spheres. Students wrote poetry using observations from the pond and their preexisting knowledge of the Earth’s Spheres. All of the 5/6 students have been posting their science work to Seesaw, so make sure to check out all they have done so far.
In Lynn’s 1A class, continue our review of Conversación Básico (basic conversation), greetings and goodbyes, helpful phases, classroom terms, and the alfabeto español. Students will continue weekly quizzes. These quizzes will help us determine our level of mastery before we move onto our next topics. In the coming week, students will have their first written examen. If your students in Spanish 1A are not singing songs at home yet, please ask them to teach you something. They have quite a dynamic and varied repertoire at this point. Have your student show you how we use Google Classroom and Infinite Campus (IC) - two online tools to help them stay on top of their work.
Students completed their first class with our new Spanish teacher, Jeff Bushnell, this past week. Providing early immersion experiences en español, supported by lots of visuals, actions, videos, and the frequent inclusion of cognates (words in Spanish that are similar to their counterparts in English), the students began to see in a first hand way that they can indeed understand this new language with limited background knowledge. They jumped right with speaking, singing, drawing and dancing as they began to build community and get to know Jeff and one another better within this new context.. With the realization they can understand and with ongoing encouragement, their confidence will continue to grow along with their comfort in having-a-go with increasingly complex language structures.
Students have completed a collage self-portrait involving a layered paint background, photo and magazine collage elements representing who they are at this point in their lives. Look for these in the hallways and on SeeSaw along with some student reflection on what their pieces are communicating about their present state of being. Our next art project is "The eyes are windows to the soul" and also certainly reflect what’s alive in each of us. Over the next two weeks, students create another kind of self-portrait of their own eyes. They will be working with Kara on the artistic skills of observation, scale, perspective, color mixing and theory. Our eyes will be watching you soon as we apply finishing touches in the coming month.
Students have started Physical Education this year and have thoroughly impressed Bry (PE Teacher) with their enthusiasm for the subject matter and willingness to try new activities. We began the school year leading up to Outdoor Education with various Problem Solving, Trust Building, Cooperative Game Play, and Getting to Know You games. We coupled these topics with beginning fitness concepts as well and have implemented a “Warm-Up/Workout of the Day,” which consists of various cardiovascular exercises and strength training exercises. We have briefly discussed heart rate and the target heart rate zone for exercising. Post Outdoor Education, we have transitioned to a unit of Playground Games and Object Control Games. Students are working together on teams, learning about sportsmanship, and learning how to accept the outcome of the game, as well as their social responsibility within the game. Additionally, the long-awaited Bouldering Wall is now mostly complete in the gym, and students will begin climbing in the coming weeks.
All 5-6th grade classes have been working with Carol in the computer lab on a variety of topics since the school year began. Students have (re)acquainted themselves with Google email and drive so files can be used efficiently and effectively. We have taken a typing skills assessment to determine how our finger placement development, speed, and typing accuracy is coming along. We are also focusing on what makes a digital footprint, the impact of our digital presence, and conducting ourselves with integrity when online. In the next few weeks, students will communicate with online pen pals while learning about fact and opinion articles, reliable news sources, and fake news. The project is run through PenPal Schools, which connects students in 144 countries to learn together. PenPals collaborate through free high-quality online projects to learn about cultures and global challenges while practicing language and technology skills. Weekly lessons can be completed at any time from any device.
The 5th-8th grade PeaceJam Club has begun meeting during lunches on Tuesdays in Lynn’s room. PeaceJam is an international organization that has its roots in Denver and Horizons has had a chapter for over 10 years. It works to bring the the lessons of Nobel Peace Prize winners to young people through student developed service projects, curricular lessons and leadership conferences - one in the fall called a “Slam” and a weekend long conference in the spring called a “Jam”. Both of these conferences will have a number of Horizons students representing our school and service work to make the world a better place. Our PeaceJammers took on their first service project this past week by educating the Horizons community on the International Day of Peace. They have created an interactive bulletin board i the front hallway by the cafeteria on which everyone is welcome to place their own commitment to a personal action that bring more peace into the world.
Getting organized as ⅚ students:
As shared during Back to School Night, there are a number of avenues through which we work with 5/6th grade students to help them with their organization. The paper spiral planner holds all assignments given and the due dates; Google Classroom is used to hold resource materials like hyperlinks, videos, scan or actual documents students might have missed if they were absent or in need of additional practice with a concept; Infinite Campus (IC) for ⅚ holds a database of their class assignments and sometimes in-class assessment scores to help students develop their skills of accountability; and SeeSaw is being used as place to electronically store some pieces of student work and reflection that can later be part of a wider portfolio of demonstrated student learning between school and home. If you have not yet seen these tools in action, we encourage you to check in with your child specific to demonstrate. As always, if you need assistance, please contact your child’s homeroom teacher.
To prepare us for our upcoming Discovery Concert in February 2018, four members of the orchestra visited us as part of the Boulder Philharmonic's educational outreach efforts. Their preview helped students appreciate the composers and themes of this year's program-- Reach for the Stars; A program that offers an exciting space exploration theme in honor of NASA’s – and the Boulder Phil’s – 60th anniversary. The musical pieces explores concepts of history, courage and innovation, while featuring some of the very best and most engaging orchestral music ever written! We can's wait to wear our best when we head over historic Macky Auditorium on the CU campus in a few months.
5th & 6th Grades📚: Donation for Classroom Supplies $125.00
This amount will include: movement/music/art/performance classes, student planners, consumable and non-consumable classroom supplies, office supplies, art supplies, materials for curricular projects, funding for outreach programs, playground equipment, performance funding, science and social studies excursions, and other expenses as they arise.
Our movement/music/art/performance classes will include the hiring of specialists who will help provide high quality instruction to all of our ⅚ students. Please note that our funds from Council only cover a portion of these expenses.
(1) 2-inch binder with clear pocket view covers, Portfolio. For incoming fifth graders and sixth graders who are new to Horizons
(1) Single subject spirals. 1 for Spanish 1A (daily Spanish classes)
(1) Composition books: Language Arts
(5) 1-1/2 inch binders: Language Arts, Social Studies, Science, Math, Spanish 1A only (daily Spanish classes)
(2) Packages of graph paper with holes punched for Math for 6th graders ONLY
(1) Spiral notebook with graph paper for Math for 5th graders ONLY
(1) Homework organizer such as an expandable file with at least 6 sections OR zippered 3-ring binder to transport & organize work in progress between school and home
(1) Labeled earbuds to access online content
(1) Box of 24 pencils (either woodcased or mechanical)
Downloadable Supply List
We encourage you to use supplies from previous years. Do not feel you need to go out and purchase everything new. Remember that you’ll need a backpack, reuseable lunch bag, and labeled water bottle.
Community supplies include colored pencils, highlighters, post-its, etc. available for shared use in the ⅚ classrooms. We will be providing our ⅚ students with academic planners and look forward to helping them learn how to use this organizational tool as they navigate between classrooms. Students have the choice to bring their own pencil case with personal supplies if desired.
The only additional expenses families should encounter will be the costs for Outdoor Ed ($290.00) and Winter Sports. Winter Sports costs vary greatly and average $100. We have tried to include our known field trip costs into the $125 fee above. More information on these expenses will be available in August and December respectively. We will collect this money when we know the exact pricing for this trip.
Note: Total approximate cost per student is $515. A portion of this cost will be covered by the “experiential learning” money donated by Council.