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May 13, 2013

Dear Readers,

How does language change over the time? The words we use now are different than the words we read on the Declaration of Independence, written over 200 years ago. How can we read these old documents and understand them in today’s world?Today, we’re going to talk about some strategies for reading such challenging texts. It’s important that you’re challenging yourself to read complex and difficult texts. That’s the only way you’ll grow as a reader. Plus, some of the best stuff is found in difficult texts.

While language changes over the time, math is timeless. The factors of 18 have not changed since 18 has been around, and those factors won’t change in the future. That’s what makes math such a fascinating field of stuff: it reveals truths about something fundamental about the world.

Take out homework page 130 and read to self silently.

Sincerely,

Mr. Heimbuck

May 7, 2013

Dear Persisters,

This world is full of mysteries, problems, puzzles, and conundrums. We can only solve them with a mixture of persistence, creativity, and insight.

Thomas Edison is probably the most famous inventor in history. He invented the light-bulb, record player, movie camera, and many other inventions that completely changed our lives in the 20th and 21st century. He was a very intelligent man, but most of his accomplishments were the result of hard work. He also had a lot of wisdom about the importance of hard work and persistence.

“Many of life’s failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up.”
― Thomas A. Edison

“If we all did the things we are capable of, we would astound ourselves.”
― Thomas A. Edison

“When you have exhausted all possibilities, remember this – you haven’t.”
― Thomas A. Edison

Sincerely,

Mr. Heimbuck

May 6, 2013

Dear Citizens,

“We hold these truths to be self-evident: That all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalieanble rights; that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness…”

These are among the most famous words ever written, and even though they were written 236 years ago, they still are the vision for our nation. And as citizens of this nation, we still disagree on exactly what they mean and how we should carry them out. That’s part of being a citizen. It’s part of living the good life. My hope for each of you is that you become active citizens with the skills you need to help shape and share your own vision for our nation.

Let’s have a great day,

Mr. Heimbuck

May 3, 2013

Dear Performers,

Today you get the chance to show all you’ve learned in math this year. Don’t be nervous. Be confident. We’ve worked hard, and now it’s time to turn that practice into performance. Think about your test taking strategies, read each problem carefully, stay focused the entire time, and be confident. If you do those things, I know you will perform your best.

Also today, we’re going to tessellate. We see examples of tessellation all over the natural and human-made world. Today we’ll look at some examples of each and create our own tessellated works of art. Creating art is not an easy task. It’s often lonely and boring and a lot of hard work. But without those things, art is just an idea, which no one else can see. I want to see your completed projects today.

Read to self at your seat.

Let’s have a great day,

Mr. Heimbuck

May 2, 2013

Dear Word Watchers,

It was great seeing your parents and families last night. They left with flashcards full of prefixes and suffixes for you to practice each night, so you become better readers and writers.

The English language is full of funny words, weird words, and words that don’t follow rules, but like all languages, it’s also full of patterns. We talk in math a lot about looking for patterns, but the same thing is true in language. More important than learning definitions of words is for you to learn how words relate to each other.  Then, you’ll start to see how easy it is to change words slightly to create new meanings and be more precise with the language that you use.

Play slide tic-tac-toe or Yut with a partner.

Let’s have a great day,

Mr. Heimbuck

 

May 1, 2013

Dear Woodshedders,

If you want to be great at something, you have to work at it. You’ve probably heard people tell you that over and over, but we repeat it because it’s true. And it’s not just true for important things like learning your multiplication facts or learning how to read, it’s true for everything. If you want to be a great kazoo player, you have to spend tons of time playing the kazoo. If you want to be a good Minecraft player, you have to spend tons of time playing Mincraft. If you want to be a good math thinker, you have to spend lots of time thinking about math. 

Most of our time spent practicing something is time spent messing up. You have to play a bunch of wrong notes on the kazoo before you can ever play one right note. Success is not the absence of failure but the persistence through it.

Play slide tic-tac-toe or Yut with a partner.

Let’s have a great day,

Mr. Heimbuck

April 30, 2013

Dear Individuals,

We don’t perform acts of kindness because we’re supposed to, and we don’t do it because we hope they will be repaid in the future (although they probably will). We perform acts of kindness because it’s what makes us human beings. Through kindness, we can get a glimpse into what life is like for others, and we can further our own understanding fo the world. Remember, we’re only one of seven billion.

Today we’ll talk about how to measure the volume of irregular things like rocks. Human beings have developed incredible methods for solving tricky problems like this. Our job in school is to learn from these methods and try to come up with some of our own, because there are still a lot of tricky problems left to solve.

Sincerely,

Mr. Heimbuck

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