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Feb. 15, 2021

For Grades K-4 , week of Feb. 15, 2021

1. Spring Training!

The opening of spring training is always a great milestone for Major League Baseball, because it signals the start of a new season. This week pitchers and catchers will report to team training camps in the states of Florida and Arizona, with “position” players reporting next week. The opening of training camps was made possible by an agreement last week between teams and the players on health and safety rules to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. Although details have not been released, the rules will cover such things as testing, social distancing and the number of fans allowed in stadiums during spring training games. In addition, travel will be limited for teams that train in Florida and play games in the “Grapefruit League.” Spring training is a time for baseball teams to get ready for the regular season. In the newspaper or online, find and closely read a story about a team that is looking to improve from last year. Use what you read to write a sports column outlining the biggest challenges facing this team and how it is addressing them. To view the records of teams last year, click here.

Common Core State Standards: Writing informative/explanatory texts to examine a topic and convey ideas and information clearly; citing specific textual evidence when writing or speaking to support conclusions.

2. A Floating Park

City parks provide green space and a place for residents and families to relax and have fun. But in many cities, there is limited space for parks and very little for new parks. In the European nation of Denmark, the city of Copenhagen has come up with an unusual solution. It is creating a park made up of floating islands in Copenhagen Harbor. The man-made islands are of varying sizes and are planted with grass and even trees for public enjoyment. People can use them for swimming, kayaking and boating, and they can be moved around the harbor to bring life to different areas. Called Copenhagen Islands, the park provides “a new type of public space,” organizers say. It will “create … immediate wonder for people passing by.” The creation of Copenhagen’s floating park is an unusual solution to a community issue. With a partner, use the newspaper or Internet to find and closely read a story about an issue or problem facing your community. Brainstorm a solution to this problem that is unusual or out-of-the-ordinary. Write a short editorial outlining your solution and why you think it would be effective.

Common Core State Standards: Producing clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization and style are appropriate to the task; citing specific textual evidence when writing or speaking to support conclusions.

3. Get Your Goat

All over the world, Zoom meetings have become more and more important for businesses, schools and other organizations. They are a great way to connect or conduct classes, but everyone admits they sometimes can be … boring. A farm in the European nation of England has come up with a way to fix that: live goats. Cronkshaw Fold Farm has been making its goats available to provide a little fun and laughter for Zoom meetings around the world — and they have become a big hit. The goats “crash” the meetings and appear as a surprise to everyone but the organizer. “I thought we needed a little bit of fun,” said Trish Bjorklund, who arranged for goat to pop in on a Zoom call at her non-profit group in the U.S. state of Minnesota. In 11 months, Cronkshaw goats have made appearances at about 10,000 calls at a cost of about $6 a call, according to the Washington Post newspaper. At first, “it was just to give people a laugh,” said Dot McCarthy, who runs the family farm “But what actually happened was people were like, ‘Yes, I need a goat.’ ” Animals can help people deal with stress, emotions or boredom. In the newspaper or online, find and closely read a story about an animal that is doing this. Use what you read to write a letter to the editor outlining the benefits that this animal provides people — as if you were the animal. Share your letter with family or friends and read it aloud in an “animal” voice. Have fun!

Core State Standards: Reading closely what written and visual texts say and to making logical inferences from them. Reading prose and poetry orally with accuracy, appropriate rate and expression on successive readings.

In the next activitiy, Please link the world “here” to this url :

4. Presidents Day

On Monday this week, the nation celebrates Presidents Day to honor the memory and achievements of George Washington, Abraham Lincoln and other presidents. Presidents Day is celebrated in February because both Washington and Lincoln were born during the month — Washington on February 22 and Lincoln on February 12. To mark the holiday, use the newspaper to find out what President Biden did yesterday. It shouldn’t be hard to find out — when a U.S. president does just about anything, it makes news. Write a paragraph in your own words that describes how the president made news yesterday. Be sure to stick to the facts — no opinions. For added fun, click here to see what the president is scheduled to do today. Write a sentence describing what you think will be the most important event or activity.

Common Core State Standards: Producing clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization and style are appropriate to the task; citing specific textual evidence when writing or speaking to support conclusions.

5. Long Lost — and Found

It’s often said that “good things come to those who wait.” But few have waited as long as 91-year-old Paul Grisham of San Diego, California. Not long ago he got a phone call from a man in the state of Indiana who informed him “Paul, I think I’ve found your wallet.” Grisham didn’t remember losing a wallet, and with good reason. He had lost it 53 years ago on the continent of Antarctica! He had been stationed there with the U.S. Navy to study polar weather with a group of weathermen. He had mistakenly left his wallet behind when he returned to the United States after 13 months. More than a half century later it was found behind a locker in a facility that was being torn down. “I was blown away,” he said, when he learned his wallet had been discovered. Grisham got the news from the head of a World War II veterans group who had tracked him down, the Washington Post newspaper reported. “My wallet was in really good shape considering how many years have passed,” Grisham said. “And my ID card was in beautiful condition. You can see that at one time I had dark hair.” Newspapers and websites often publish unusual news because it interests readers. In the newspaper or online, find and read an example of unusual news. Write a letter to a friend telling why this item would interest readers.

Common Core State Standards: Writing opinion pieces on topics or texts, supporting a point of view with reasons and information; citing specific textual evidence when writing or speaking to support conclusions.

Step onto any school campus and you'll feel its energy. Each school is turbocharged with the power of young minds, bodies, hearts and spirits.

Here on the Western Slope, young citizens are honing and testing their skills to take on a rapidly changing world. Largely thanks to technology, they are in the midst of the most profound seismic shift the world has ever seen.

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