12/11 – 12/15

Posted by waples_s on December 11, 2017 in Uncategorized |

We have reached the last school week of 2017! This has been an amazing fall and start to the school year. Everyone has been working so hard and made some great gains. I am excited to keep this momentum going in 2018. This week is another busy one and I hope that everyone can make it to school on time every day ready to learn! We are going to end the week with a party in the afternoon to celebrate our hard work in school and how hard we worked to incorporate our character strengths.

On Monday we are headed to the University of Oregon for our first field trip. They have a very fun-filled schedule for us and I am so excited to see the demonstrations and experiments! Here is what we will be learning:

  • Squishy Circuits: Learning about conductivity and circuits. Students will use conductive and non-conductive (insulating) play-dough to create light up sculptures with mini LEDs.
  • Balloon Rockets: Learning about friction/laws of thermodynamics and hammering down the scientific method. Students will have 3 different string types (yarn, twine, and fishing line) and try to get a balloon rocket to go the farthest on each string.
  • Energy Transformation: Learning about renewable energy source and different forms of energy. Students will discuss and participate in a demo on solar energy. Students will then use modulator kits to “build” a circuit to create a light source. They will then connect kid-appropriate audio source to that circuit system that will relay the song to an external speaker that is receiving the music through the light source (the technology behind Bluetooth).

This field trip will prepare us for our next science kit, Energy!

I will be passing out note cards and posters to anyone who needs them for the break. Remember, our next book talks will happen after the break and I hope that you can come and watch your child’s presentation!

Have a wonderful week!


12/4 – 12/8

Posted by waples_s on December 5, 2017 in Uncategorized |

If you walked into our room you would have no idea that we were so close to winter break! We have been so productive during the day and everyone is working so hard to finish their assignments. I have been so proud 🙂

Our school booster leading up to the break is themed there is snowbody like you. Each student decorated a snowman with a character quality they want to focus on these two weeks. The character traits are: kindness, teamwork, fairness, self-control, honesty, humility, forgiveness, gratitude, and respect. I posted their snowmen on the door so that we can reference them throughout the week. When staff sees a student demonstrating these traits they will give them a snowman, which enters them into a drawing for a special lunch with a friend. We also have a Hall of Fame to acknowledge students who show these traits at recess or in the cafeteria. Please ask your child to share their goal and how they are showing these character traits at school!

On Tuesday we are going to build our salt dough map of Oregon. And then on Thursday we will be able to paint them! The final step will be to label each location from the map key. Thank you for sending in the flour and salt mixtures. We sure had fun making the dough today!

I told all the kids today to bring their book talk books every day until the break. Each day that they bring their book I will give them a WOW! Hopefully they will have some time to work on their introductions. Please keep checking in with your kids about their book talk book and asking them about their book.

Happy December!



11/27 – 12/1

Posted by waples_s on November 26, 2017 in Uncategorized |

I hope you had a nice 5 days off and were able to spend time with friends and family. I am always so thankful for this little break as we get ready for the last stretch of 2017. There are 3 full weeks of school before the break and it is so important that your children are here on time every day! We will be very busy, as usual, and it is hard to get caught up when you have been gone. That being said, there have been some yucky bugs that are going around and your child needs to be fever and throw up free for 24 hours before they can come back to school. This helps us stay as healthy as possible and not spread illnesses among each other. Thanks for your help and understanding on this!

In social studies we are finishing up our study of Oregon and it’s people and will be making our salt dough maps. If you could send a gallon Ziploc bag with 2 cups of four and 1 cup of salt that would be great! We will add water when we are ready and then each student will knead their dough before making our maps. If you were able to send 2 bags that would also be appreciated!

Our next book talk is coming up! Student’s have chosen an award-winning book and need to finish reading the book by December 15th. Please help them bring their book to school each day as we might have 10 minutes here and there to get some reading done! They will have the break to practice their speech and make their visuals for the book talk in January. If you are interested in coming to watch I will gladly work around your schedule. I will also send home the dates and times before the break so that you can plan accordingly.

I am excited to announce that we will be going on our first field trip on Monday, December 11 to the University of Oregon! We will watch some physics demonstrations and then they have prepared 3 labs that we get to participate in! This will get us ready for our Energy unit that will start in January. I can take 4 to 5 volunteers who have their background checks completed for our school. If you are interested please let me know as soon as possible! We will leave the school at 8:45 and be back around 12:15 for lunch. I am so excited and hope that the kids enjoy meeting real scientists and getting to see what they do!

Lastly, as the weather gets colder and wetter, please remember to dress your kids appropriately: coats, closed-toed shoes, pants, etc… It is also helpful to label your kids clothing in case they leave it at P.E. or on the playground!

Have a great week!


11/20 – 11/24

Posted by waples_s on November 21, 2017 in Uncategorized |

Thank you to every parent that came to parent-teacher conferences! I truly enjoyed getting to know you a little better and getting to talk to you about your amazing kids.

This week is very short, however, we have kept very busy! We just finished our math unit on place value and addition and subtraction and are now on to multiplying multi-digit numbers. We are off to a great start and the class has really been enjoying multiplying large numbers. I am not sending any homework this week since many families are busy with their family! Enjoy the long weekend 🙂


11/6 – 11/10

Posted by waples_s on November 6, 2017 in Uncategorized |

This is our long, short week! It is a short week for kids since they do not have school on Thursday for conferences and Friday in observance of Veteran’s Day. It is long for teachers in that we have conferences until 8pm on Thursday. I really enjoy conference time because it gives me a chance to talk and answer any questions you might have. I will also update you on expectations, what we are working on, and how the rest of the year can be the most effective. Please make sure you are on time for your conference since they are booked back to back. If for some reason you need to make a change, please call the front office and they can help you with that.

Our goal this week is to get most of the first round of book talks done! I really enjoy listening to their presentations and seeing what they have created for their visual. The next book talk book needs to be award winning. I will be helping the kids pick out books at library over the next couple of weeks. If you are unsure if a book will work just ask me! These book talks will be after winter break and I will be inviting parents to come and watch.

Enjoy your week and happy November!


10/30 – 11/3

Posted by waples_s on October 30, 2017 in Uncategorized |

Happy end of October! Tomorrow students are welcome to wear their Halloween costumes if they wish. This will still be a learning day, and if costumes become a distraction they will need to change back into their regular clothes. This has never been a problem though! I really like coming to school in costume. It helps break up the sameness of our days. On Tuesday afternoon we will make some fun snacks and enjoy the end of the day. Just a reminder, there is a no candy rule at school so our snacks will also be candy free!

I am sending home your conference times today. Please make sure the date and time work for you. I will leave my conference schedule in the office if you need to make a change. Twenty minutes will go by quickly so please make sure you arrive on time. Many conferences are back to back.

This week I am not sending home any additional homework. Please use the extra time to make sure your child has finished reading their book talk book, written their speech, and made their visual!

Have a great week!


10/23 – 10/27

Posted by waples_s on October 23, 2017 in Uncategorized |

Thank you to everyone who had conversations with their kids about character strengths and the people who show those strengths. It seems that our world tends to focus on the bad or wrong that is going on, but there are so many great people out there doing amazing things. It was so fun to focus on the positives and realize that each of us also embody those strengths and bring them to our community. I noticed that when the kids were sharing there were a couple of character strengths that were repeated the most: bravery and kindness! We will revisit this topic again and I hope that you continue the conversations at home.

On Monday our writing lesson will be about strong introductions that include a hook. We will then be labeling and numbering speech cards for book talks. The speech cards are a great way to make sure that their book talks are organized and include everything. Students may add more if they would like, however they need to make sure that each note card topic is covered. Once they are finished writing their speech, please have them practice speaking clearly and making eye contact! Book talks will start the week of conferences, however, we will not be able to complete them all that week. I will be making a sign up sheet so that everyone know which day they are presenting on.

Parent-Teacher Conferences are just around the corner and it is one of the only times that I get to talk with many of you. I really enjoy conferences as it gives me a chance to let you know how your kids are doing and make sure we are all on the same page. On Monday conference sheets are being sent home. Please fill those out and send them back to me as quickly as possible so that I can schedule sibling conferences and then let you know the final conference time. I understand that many parents need a conference form for each parent, however, parents should work with each other to decide on one conference time if possible. Thank you for your cooperation in this request!

As always, feel free to email me or message me on Class Dojo with any questions or concerns. Have a wonderful week!


10/16 – 10/20

Posted by waples_s on October 16, 2017 in Uncategorized |

I apologize for not updating the blog for two weeks –  with the short week I got carried away and ran out of time. We finished our first math unit and students should have their end of unit tests in their folder. If they do not it is because they did not finish or were absent on Friday. We are going to skip forward a little and move on to Unit 4 which talks about large number and place value. Please check the math page for the updated information! We are also skipping to Lesson 5 in Journeys. I have posted the vocabulary words for the week on the page as well as a link to Think Central. If your child can get onto Think Central during the week and read or listen to the story that would really help their comprehension!

This week is safety week at Willagillepie. We will be reviewing many safety drills throughout the week and talking about safety in many different situations. Our school follows the A.L.I.C.E. protocol and we will be talking to students about the expectations during a lockdown or if someone dangerous enters the school. This can be a very sensitive topic and I would encourage you to talk with your child as well about these situations. Students always have many “what if” questions that I simply cannot answer. My answer to them is that we learn what to do in most situations so that if we are ever in danger we can use one of the solutions or strategies. If you notice your child is having a hard time with the topics please let me know so that I can help them at school. Having a plan is always best!

We are getting close to book talks and parent teacher conferences. I have been checking in with students regularly to make sure they are reading their book talk books. They should be finishing their books in the next week or two. On Monday the 23rd, we will label the index cards for their speeches and talk about a strong introduction. Book talks will start on November 6th. November 8th and 9th are parent teacher conferences and I will be sending home a sheet with times for you to choose from. Please start thinking about what times can work for you. With such a large class I cannot schedule everyone for after work hours and appreciate your willingness to come during the day. I always look forward to getting to talk to everyone!

I hope you have a wonderful week!


10/2 – 10/6

Posted by waples_s on October 2, 2017 in Uncategorized |

Happy October! The first month of school went by quickly and we are moving right along in class. We are up and running with all of our groups, we took our first reading tests on the computer, and we are getting the hang of in-class responsibilities. I think that some of the class is feeling a little overwhelmed with everything that we are doing, so this would be a great time to check in with your child and see how they are feeling about school. I keep them very busy during the day and expect them to get a lot done!

We are going to have another busy week here at Willagillespie. The fourth and fifth grade students who are running for student council have been making posters and practicing their speeches in preparation for the elections this week. You are invited to attend the election assembly where each student will give their speech in front of the 4th and 5th graders. When we get back to our rooms we will vote and the student council members will be announced by the end of the day. It is so fun to see them work so hard and for some of them it might be a tough week especially if they don’t make student council. I will be wishing all of them good luck!

Friday is the Willagillespie Fun Run. Fourth graders will be running from 11:45-12:30. You are invited to come and run with your child, mark cards, or just watch and cheer them on. I hope to see you there!


9/25 – 9/29

Posted by waples_s on September 25, 2017 in Uncategorized |

We are officially in the groove of school! Last Friday we had our first library day and many of the students picked out books to check out. Students can keep books for 2 weeks before they need to be renewed, and they can renew them once. We talked briefly as a class out their first book talk that will be due in November. Our goal is to have a book picked out by the end of this week! Please contact me if you have any clarifying questions about book talks!

This week we will start groups with Mr. Cerbin and Tammy C.! These are flexible groups that are meant to meet students where they need to be met. The fourth grade team is very excited to have Mr. Cerbin’s help and expertise!

The Willagillespie Fun Run will be on Friday, October 6th. This is our school’s biggest fundraiser and the funds raised help classrooms with field trips, special art supplies, events, and much more. Our goal is for each student to raise $25. Please help your child ask family members and friends for a donation in support of their running in the Fun Run!

I hope you are finding this blog helpful and that the start of the year is going smoothly for your family.

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