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April is National Poetry Month!

March 31, 2020

Dear Students and Families,

April is  National Poetry Month. To learn more about this, visit the Academy of American Poets website. To celebrate, I will post a new poem on this blog daily from April 1st-April 30th. Students and families are invited to respond to the poem by replying to my post here or via email at my teacher account: This is not an assignment or an expectation-but I would be curious about your thoughts and interested in your responses!

To recognize and connect with my upper grade students in the after school writing group (College, Career, and Community Writer’s Program, or “C3WP”) who really enjoyed a writing task called “Would You Rather?”, I will be posting a “Would You Rather” prompt daily, as well. C3WP students, I can’t wait to read your Claims, Reasons, and Evidence in response to the “Would You Rather” prompts.

I look forward to connecting with you all virtually throughout the month!


Ms Seyan :o)

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The Last Day of School


Thursday, June 6th is the last day of the 2018-19 school year:

  • 8:00 AM   School Starts
    • 5th graders must be in line at 8:00 AM
    • Families of 5th graders: Please wait until 8:05 to park and walk onto campus.
  • 8:30 AM   5th Grade Promotion Ceremony in the outdoor amphitheater
    • After the ceremony and a short reception with treats, 5th graders may go home with families.
  • 12:46 PM  Upper Grade Dismissal
    • The 4th graders’ day ends at 12:46. 5th graders who were not checked out may stay with their class for a final cleaning day and the class movie.

Before Summer Starts….

  • Report Cards
    • Final report cards will go home with your child tomorrow. If yours is misplaced or you need duplicate report cards, please email me at, and I will reply with a soft copy. Please note that the soft copy is a non-editable PDF and official report cards are saved online.
      • NOTE TO 5th GRADE FAMILIES: I did NOT choose the new letter grade option for 5th grade report cards. Your child’s report card still follows the 1,2,3, 4 scoring format.
  • “Silver and Gold Awards“-5th grade only
    • 5th Graders may receive Silver or Gold awards for academic excellence. Silver awards go to students with scores of 3 in all academic subjects and solid ROARS behavior. Gold awards may go to students with at least 1 score of 4 along with all those 3s, and great classroom citizenship.
    • Grades are based on a variety of measures across curricular domains, over time. One of the measures we use is a student’s Lexile reading level as measured by the Achieve 3000 LevelSet. Students in 5th grade whose Lexile reading level is 850 or above are considered “at” or “above” grade level in reading, with scores below that “approaching” or “below”.
    • In order to provide consistency across classes, we have made sure to adhere as strictly as possible to the guidelines for these awards. That said, many students from both classes were often very close on one measure but just didn’t make it to a report card “3”, despite being incredible all-around students.
    • My perspective for families: These awards measure students by grade level standards. This provides some objectivity when bestowing the awards and a clear value for each award designation. That also means that Silver and Gold awards do not tell us where students are now compared to where they were at the beginning of the year. It does not tell us how much your children have grown. It is a measure of scores, rather than your child’s heart. For this reason, please keep the Silver and Gold award presentation in perspective, and remember that all of these 5th graders are absolute GOLD in my heart! ❤
  • Summer School and Tutoring
    • Mrs Chitwood sent B7 families an email and letter home with an offer of a place in Summer School at Terrell Elementary for 5-10 students from our class. If you are interested in this opportunity for your child, fill out the form you received and get it back to us-either via email or by hand-ASAP.  Please refer to the information you received for more details!
    • If you are not interested in summer school but would like more support for your child, Mrs. Carroll will be offering 1:1 tutoring this summer. Please email Mrs. Carroll or myself if you would like to get more information. BTW, I also tutor, and will offer a $10.00 per hour discount for students from my class this year.
  • Blended Learning Access this Summer
    • The best way to access Blended Learning- Dreambox, Lexia, Achieve 3000-is through the Carson Blended Learning page. Today, Mr. K sent home information about how to find the page at home. For your convenience, I am linking it here.
    • More about Blended Learning over the summer:
      • Students can’t advance in levels over the summer (only during he school year), but they can get lots of practice!
      • Have your child spend less time more consistently in these programs. 15-20 minutes 3 times per week will lead to better gains than 45 minutes once per week.
      • When in Dreambox, please make sure your student chooses the AssignFocus lessons (the 2 icons with the desktop calendar icon next to them) first.
      • Another tip for Dreambox: Make sure to complete a lesson before leaving that activity for another. That’s the only way to advance in Dreambox! It may seem too hard, or like it does not teach how to do the activity before assigning it. Think of the first foray into a Dreambox lesson as a pretest: Why wold it teach a student a lesson if they knew the material? When students dive in and try the tasks, the program adapts to their thinking and adjusts itself to the student for the next lesson. Give it a try and see what happens.
  • Thank you!
    • Thank you for sharing your children with me this year. ;o) Ms. Seyan


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Last Week of the 2018-19 School Year

June 3, 2019

Dear Families,

Here is an update of school and class events this week.

  • Monday, June 3rd: San Jose Sharks at Carson (9:30 or 10:30 for our class)
  • Tuesday, June 4th: B7 Class Party in the afternoon
  • Wednesday, June 5th: Field Trips
    • 4th to Vista Park
    • 5th to Golfland
  • Thursday, June 6th: LAST DAY OF SCHOOL
    • 5th Grade Promotion at 8:30 AM
      • 5th graders may be checked out after the ceremony ends.
    • Grades K-2 dismissal: 12:36 PM
    • Grades 3-5 dismissal:  12:46 PM
  • Report Cards and student materials- math books, personal items- will go home Thursday, June 6th.

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Class News: Field Day, Sharks Visit, Class Party, and 5th Grade Promotion!

Wednesday, May 29, 2019
Dear families,
The following is a brief update on class activities through next week.
  • Field Day tomorrow starts right after the annual 5th Grade-Teacher Kickball game, which starts at 8:30. Parents, feel free to come and join us for the game and/or to help us go through the Field Day activity stations on the field. The event ends at about 11:15 AM.
  • Please make sure your child is ready for an active day tomorrow: Sunblock, comfortable shoes, and uniform wear that can get wet or a little dirty with no worries will keep your child safe and comfortable.
  • Some of the San Jose Sharks will visit Carson briefly on Monday, June 3rd, time TBD. Teal blue waivers are going home with your child tomorrow; please sign them and send them back to school Friday or Monday! We have also emailed you a soft copy of the waiver in case you need to print out another.
  • Mr K and I will host a Class Party on Tuesday, June 4th. Students are 3 points away from the 20 they needed to earn to get the party-but we know they are good for it and will rack those points up! ;o) We are accepting donations of cash, party supplies, and snacks that fall within SJUSD Nutrition Guidelines. Please see the Thursday envelope flyer or the attached soft copy for details.
  • A copy of the 5th Grade Promotion information sheet will go home tomorrow.
If you would like to donate or help out with the class party, have questions about 5th grade promotion, or desire any information beyond what we have provided here, please reach out to Mr K and I at and
Thank you!
Ms Seyan and Mr. K


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No School Monday, May 27th-Enjoy your Memorial Day!

May 24, 2019

Dear Families,

The end of the school year is fast approaching. The class calendar is continually being updated; click here to review what’s on our schedule.

Thank you to families who helped their students get June 5th Field Trip permission forms in by today! Remember that we need to have the very back side with Emergency Contact information filled out. New forms will be going home shortly for the San Jose Sharks’ “Sticks in Hand” program visit. Members of the team will be here on Monday, June 3rd. Look for those forms to go home by Tuesday, May 28th.

Mr. K and I have had a great time working with your children these past two weeks! In case you haven’t had the opportunity to meet our new classroom teacher, Mr K prepared a letter to families that went home yesterday. I have included the text of the letter below in case you missed it.

Have a great three-day weekend, and we will see you on Tuesday, May 28th!

Ms. Seyan and Mr. K

Friday’s Inspirational Video: Dream

Student Request: Cute Dog Video


Hello parents of B7,

Wow, what a great two weeks it has been!  I have had the pleasure of meeting many of you before or after school, or at Invention Convention, and I’m sure your kids have told you about a lot of the fun things we have been working on in B7.  If not, let me formally introduce myself – my name is Robert Kossayian (“Mr. K.”) and I will be finishing the school year in our classroom.

For the last two weeks we have been working hard on a few projects that will be our end of the year culminating activities.  In our Reader’s Workshop, we have been focusing on digging into our Social Studies texts and other reading material with an emphasis on Coding Strategy (how to mark up our reading for information we already know, information we didn’t know, exciting information, and information we still have a question on) as well as identifying the Main Idea of a text, and key and supporting details in the text, and how they all relate to the Main Idea.  This is a major project and it is our hope that the students will put in a final 100% effort towards a book that will definitely be something you want to save and remember! This is our final Writer’s Workshop Project.

In Math, Ms. Seyan and I have been diligently working with creating a bridge to 5th/6th grade math that they will see next year.  Many of the concepts build on strategies and tools they have already been using throughout their entire school career. We are currently making great headway in “Book B” of our Origo math series.  Be sure to start a conversation about what they are learning in math, and try to help them explain the concepts to you! Reinforcing these skills with outside worksheets and math games is a great idea over the Summer.

Speaking of Summer, we will be sending home information about Dreambox and Google accounts so your student can access these learning tools that they have been using all year.  As our classrooms become more and more connected, these tools are something that they can grow with and learn to be more proficient at.

We are planning a Class Party for Friday May 31st.  If you would be interested in volunteering, donating supplies, or donating money to be used for supplies, please contact me right away.  This party will celebrate all the hard work the students have put in this school year, as well as act as a final goodbye to our Carson 5th graders.  We will also be celebrating wrapping up our final academic projects.

If you have questions or just want to touch base about your students, I would love to hear from you!   Please email me at

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Invention Convention: Thursday, May 16th from 6:30-7:30 in the Media Center

May 13-17, 2019

Homework this week:

  • Invention Convention planning, writing, research, field testing, and                           presentation practice

Upcoming Events:

  • Invention Convention this Thursday, May 16th, from 6:30 PM -7:30 PM in the Media Center
  • Upper Grades Music Performance on Monday, May 20th, at 1:40 PM
  • Field Trips on June 5th: 4th grade to Vista Park, 5th to Golfland
  • 5th Grade Promotion: Thursday, June 6th at 8:30 AM in the Amphitheater
  • Early out for the last day of school at 12:46 PM.

Google Drive:

Did you know that your students can access their Invention Convention work through any connected device with web browsing capability?

Open a browser and go to the Google main page at Click on the matrix-the 9 squares arranged in a 3X3 grid-in the upper right hand corner of the landing (home) page. When you do this, a drop down menu will appear. Have your child select the Drive icon or the docs icon. When prompted to log in ( if they or you are not logged in to another account), they may use their student number followed by “” as their email and their regular passwords as their password. This should give your child access to all their files.  If someone is already logged in to their Google account in their browser, click on the icon in the very top right corner and select “Switch User” or “Log In To Another Account” from that drop down menu.

I hope this helps!



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Invention Convention Details

I understand that some of you would like more clarity around the Invention Convention.  Here I will share information that I hope will support you in helping your child plan and create their project, if they need it or if you would like to step in.

The Invention Convention is an annual 4th-5th grade engineering & design project that culminates in an evening event where students display and explain their ideas to the public. This year, work on the project started a couple of weeks ago, including in your child’s class under the previous teacher. One of the most important things to remember: You don’t have to buy anything!

What is the nature of this task? Students are asked to think of a problem and design a model of something that will solve the problem. There are specific steps in this process: Problem identification, brainstorming solutions, envisioning a design, and creating a prototype. While the informational materials distributed to students are lengthy and contain lots of ideas and recommendations (please see below for more on that), the essence of the project is very simple. Make a useful product and create a display board to show your work and share your ideas with others!

Your child will be provided with the display board, materials to create the board, and lots of time in class to research, design, and work on their displays.

Due dates:

Friday, May 10:

•Written What-Materials-Steps-Problems sections in Google docs (share with me)

•A drawing of your intended finished product

•Ideas for what you want to do on your board

**Students will be able to take their boards home over the weekend, May 11-12**

Wednesday, May 15:

  • “Rough draft” of final board to present in practice sessions in class!

Thursday, May 16:

  • Final board ready and presentation to other kids’ families!

What do I need EXACTLY for the Display Board (again, students will get one from the school and be able to take it home over the weekend)?

  1. Title
  2. Problem
  3. Idea
  4. **Research** (Websites, experiments)
  5. Plan/Procedure (“Materials & Steps”)
  6. Sketch
  7. Creation (model; not actually on the board itself)
  8. **Field testing**
  9. Pictures (Downloads from web OK; I’ll help with this)
  10. Conclusion: How will this invention change the world?
    1. “I believe, based on_________, my invention will ….”

ONE MORE THING: Students may work alone, in a partnership, or in groups. Students are being asked to start their own Google Doc and do their own work, even if they are part of a group. That way, everyone is accountable for their own part of the project. If students decide to share a project board, it is up to them to decide together who will get to take it home, what will be placed on it, etc. Please contact me for any clarification on this.

This is basic information for you. Keep reading for more on the Invention Convention!

•There are a couple of short videos I like to share that provide some background knowledge of the process as well as inspiration for the task at hand. This video from the Buck Institute gives an overview of Project Based Learning (PBL), which is essentially what the Invention Convention is all about.

•Some videos I have used with second graders in the past include “Loop Scoops” by PBS Learning Media. “Juice Boxes” shows a student learning about a problem and coming up with a way to solve it. “Garbage” shows another student solving a problem, and invites viewers to come up with their own solutions.

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