Category Archives: Akers Crew

Akers Crew 4th & 5th grade

Extraordinary October!

Oct 16: SELS Summit Day
Oct 21: Minimum Day
Oct 22: Empire Mine Field Work
Oct 30: Bear Walk
Nov 2-6: Minimum Days all week/Goal Setting Conferences
Nov 11: No School, Veterans Day
Nov 13: Gratitude Night
Nov 23-27: No School, Thanksgiving Break
Dec 9: Minimum Day
Dec 17: Celebration of Learning



We have had two incredible and successful overnights this fall! We are fresh from our Coloma overnight. We spent the day touring the park, filling a wagon with supplies to support a family on the Overland trail, panning for gold and making pokes to carry our gold that we found. The second day, students were immersed into living history as they meet experts in various fields from handwriting, rope and candle making, to a pharmaceutical person creating explosive concoctions. We even experienced the pomp and circumstance of a cannon being blasted. The students are very familiar with our first case study/learning targets and can not only describe in detail the three routes the 49’ners took but they can also demonstrate knowledge about the various professions people capitalized on during this time period (The Outliers).  The students are working on an informational writing piece that describes one theme (dangers/food/animals) woven throughout the three routes. The students have written letters home on each of our field works pretending to be Argonauts and described their surroundings as well as feelings, thoughts, and wonders for entering the gold fields. We will recreate intriguing letters home from the gold rush in an interesting format called “criss-cross style” meaning that once one side of a writing sheet was filled, the paper was turned ninety degrees and the second page of sentences was written across it. Prospectors could get four pages of letter writing on to one piece of paper. Our second case study will revolve around the varied profession that boomed during the gold rush period. I believe students have great background knowledge on this case study from our previous field works and will thoroughly enjoy case study two!

In language arts, we have been reading By the Great Horn Spoon, a book that fits well with our expedition. The students are participating in book clubs, reading to self and reading in pairs. We are able to make connections with the book using context clues to help us frame comprehension and it lends itself directly to our work on words with our daily three work. This week we are defining and finding synonyms and antonyms in the book, and rewriting sentences using synonyms and antonyms. We have been working in small groups with grammar. The 4th graders are on the hunt for articles and adjectives which are in front of the nouns that we find. The 5th graders have been working on commas and split commas. The have learned the buzzword words, “two adjectives and a test” to see if a comma is needed.


In Math, 5th grade students are completing Unit 1 and wrapping up with a Post Assessment.  Students are reviewing the array model for division, and are learning how to build arrays in multiplication and division via word problems.  We have been working on exit tickets and unpacking “My Favorite NO” on index cards throughout class.  I have emphasized the importance of Responsibility of Learning throughout the classes so far, as it is imperative that students engage themselves 100% in class and ask clarifying questions when necessary.  We continue assessments for learning on daily basis by partner check-ins, exit tickets, and Friday quizzes.

4th grade math students have been busy with models for multiplication and division through building and breaking down arrays, multiplication strategies, and problem strings. We have a great grasp on prime and composite numbers along with finding factors and multiples of numbers. We have searched for patterns in our daily work through our calendar, mad minutes and multiplication packets. We have also worked with multiplicative comparisons using a giant as our model and finding how many times more problems. We have charted 6 inches a day to compare feet and yards. We have covered and daily work on ways to grapple with math problems and persevere to work them completely through. Finally, we will wrap up unit one with a practice test before we take the final assessment.

As a crew we have been working hard with what integrity means and how we can show integrity daily in different situations. We have created an integrity club which meets once a week to discuss how we can catch SELS students showing integrity- yes we have been spying on crews to catch kids with integrity and plan to announce them at a community meeting.

This Friday is our SELS Summit day! Please make sure students have lots of water, sun hat, sunscreen, hiking shoes, a lunch and wear their SELS shirt. We will be discussing the importance of integrity as an individual and how that impacts our community.  We have another field work coming up next week as week as we travel to Empire Mine in Nevada City. Thank you to drivers in advance!

Bear Walk October 30th: The Bear Walk is our annual fundraiser put on by the PTC.  Students will be given instructions to ask for donations for our school based on how many laps they can run around the track (or field if the track is not finished by then).  On the 30th the students will run laps and are also allowed to wear costumes.

Goal Setting Conferences: Fall goal setting cnferences will be the first week on November. Students will bring a goals setting brainstorming sheet. It is helpful to talk about goals with your child and have some written out before our conference. They are responsible for an academic, social and habits of work goal. That is a lot to cover in 20 minutes – please come prepared!

Thanks for a great October!



Happy 2015 School Year Akers Crew!

Dates to Remember :
Strategic Plan Workshop: 9/10, 6pm – 7pm

Garden Party Work Day: 9/20, 9am – 1pm

Garden Party Work Day: 10/3, 9am – 1pm

SELS Summit Day: 10/16

Fall Family Photo Shoot: 10/17

Bear Walk (a-thon): TBA

Gratitude Evening: 11/13,
6pm – 7:30pm

Celebration of Learning: 12/17, 5:30pm – 7:30pm

Teacher Training: 10/5
Veteran’s Day: 11/11
Thanksgiving: 11/23 – 11/27
Winter Break: 12/21 – 1/1

11/2 – 11/6

The start of the year has been extremely positive! It has been such a joy melding our crew together. We are establishing strong ethics in the SIERRA Norms and Habits of Work through investigation of the Design Principle of the Month: Responsibility for Learning.  This language is unpacked every day and students and I refer back to it on a consistent basis to keep fresh on the mind.   We have started our HOW’s weekly goal setting with our first discussion Continue reading Happy 2015 School Year Akers Crew!