How are you?? I miss your third graders so much, and I hope they are doing well. I completed my drive-by visits last week, and it was definitely the highlight of this whole crazy situation. Something I’ll never forget! All of the videos for the model rocket assembly are in the Science section of the Google Classroom. I’ve seen pictures of some finished rockets…they look amazing! I can’t wait for launch day, whenever that will be!

For the past 17 years, for me, the beginning of May has meant projects, a mini field trip to Discovery Park to launch rockets, a final astronomy night, curriculum wrap-up, final assessments, end-of-year class party planning, and so many other things that this pandemic has altered. I’m sure none of us could have imagined May of 2020 being the way it is.

After spring break, we normally would have a few astronomy presentations each day in the classroom. I’m so glad that before the break, each student got to go to the front of the classroom, one at a time, and briefly show their astronomy poster. Then we hung them all over the walls, where they would wait until each presentation after the break.

I know my students were so eager to share their presentations and explain their posters to the class. So I want to still give them a chance to do that, through submissions of videos of the presentations that I will share with the class on Google Classroom. Show and tell was a good trial run last week, and it worked great! I need a signed permission form to do this, so if you haven’t had a chance to sign the one on the April 6 email, I am attaching it to this email as well. You can sign it either by printing, signing, and taking a picture or signing by typing on the PDF and saving. Then send it back to me via email or text. As stated on the permission form, this video will ONLY be accessible to members of the class.

Here’s how the astronomy presentations will work. First of all, they are going to need their poster and their written report. Right now, those are sitting in the gym, along with all of your child’s other materials that were in their desk and cubby. If you did not receive the email from the school last week, here is what it said about picking up those materials:

We now have all your personal items ready to be picked up! We will have a drive-through pick up of your students’ materials. Pick up will be on the following days:

Tuesday, May 5th from 10:00 am to 1:00 pm
Wednesday, May 6th from 10:00 am to 1:00 pm and 5:00 pm to 6:30
Thursday, May 7th from 10:00 am to 1:00 pm.

You will drive through the back car-line for pick-up. Parents, we ask all to stay in their vehicles. A staff member will come and get your children’s names and then get them from the gym and bring them to you in the car-line. Please follow the cones as you come on campus.

Once they have their poster and written report, find a well-lit area where you can either attach the poster to a wall or set it on a stand. Then take a video of your child doing their presentation. Please turn your phone sideways and take a horizontal video for the presentation instead of a vertical one. This will make it easier to see and will allow students to make it bigger on their computer screens in Google Classroom. Then send me the video by either emailing it or texting it to me. I think the quality will be a little better if you email it.

The presentation can be anywhere from 2 to 5 minutes long. They should not read their report, other than the first paragraph. Here is what the report should consist of:

  • The topic you chose
  • Why did you choose that topic? 
  • Read the intro paragraph of your written report.
  • Set written report down and explain the poster. Point to each part briefly as you begin explaining it.
  • Share any other facts from your written report that you want to add.

That’s it! I think it will be so fun for these kids to see and hear each others’ presentations, even though we can’t be together. If possible, if their presentations could be submitted by next Friday, May 15, it will give everyone a chance to see everyone else’s before the last day of school (May 22).

Let me know if you have any questions! I’m happy to help in any way that I can! This is going to be fun!