Welcome to Ms. Arnold's Class
Name: Judith K. Arnold
Title: 5th Grade classroom teacher
Welcome to Marshall Magnet School. This will be my eighth year teaching at Marshall. I am pleased to be working with Marshall's fifth grade students and the school's team of excellent teachers. This is a fine arts and science magnet school, which means your student will benefit from many specialized and outstanding programs throughout the year both within and outside of our own classroom.
I am pleased to have you and your family join our team of supportive learners. As a team, we can achieve even beyond our own individual dreams. We support each other, student to student, teacher to parent, parent to teacher, and parent to student. I am good at keeping parents in the know, and I hope you will communicate with me at any time you feel the need as well.
Are you wondering what this classroom will be like? Everything you've heard is true! I demand a lot, but I will provide your student with the support they need to succeed. Oh yes, and I'm sure you want to know up front about that homework question. Yes, it is required Monday through Thursday, so they should do it faithfully. I strongly believe it raises performance and provides practice for strengthening basic skills. It is my best way to see who needs extra help, especially in math. I assume that if they couldn't do it at home, they didn't learn it in class and they will need to spend lunch recess with me for tutoring so I can help them learn it. I believe that every one of my students can succeed with support. We all love success!
I believe strongly in experiential and thematic learning. That means that every time we are able, we will be learning in a hands-on manner and that, during learning, subject areas will be interconnected to pull ideas together provide the strongest learning possible. That said, we will be going on a number of field trips this year. I will need your help to get those permission slips filled out in a timely manner, and perhaps you would like to come along as a chaperone to help keep things running smoothly. These field trips will be for both social studies and science. We also will need volunteers to help with a number of projects. If you are an expert in any subject and you would like to share that expertise with us, let me know and we will work together to make your visit with the class the richest experience possible.
Hopefully this class of students will be working with the usual Monarch Project. Due to this year's extreme dry summer conditions, the number of insects and caterpillars are in very low numbers. I have been directing my classes in the Monarch Project for the past six years. The first years we made local and state news. Three years ago, we were published in Natural History Magazine for doing vital scientific research with national significance about monarch butterflies. We worked with NAU's Elizabeth Blaker, the University of Georgia and the University of Minnesota to further monarch data and research about local parasites. In the past, we were able to obtain a SEDI grant to honor and perpetrate the learning. I think the important thing about all of this was that the students acquired an attitude of "I can do anything!" and they will have this experience as encouragement for the rest of their lives to support them as they reach for higher goals and believe they can reach them. That is always the biggest obstacle to achievement...believing and being confident. I believe that together, we can do anything, and I believe we will!
Last year, our class was able to obtain a grant from Altice for studies on Black History. The students worked hard, learned a lot of history and produced an amazing presentation despite having numerous people watching them and with pictures being taken all the while. This year, I was able to obtain placement in an NAU and Yale University joint partnership to write culturally relevant Navajo curriculum to be taught in schools with Navajo students. I've spent an intense season becoming immersed in Navajo tradition, culture and conditions. The unit I was asked to write is about water on the Navajo Nation, which affects all of us, both on and off the reservation. The students in my classroom will be test piloting this curriculum before Yale posts it for common usage.
I believe in students working as a class team with every member of that team doing their personal best. I know these students are their best because you are the best. I realize the great value and influence parents, grandparents and guardians have in their student's success in education, and I would like to thank you for your dedication and guidance in their lives. We have many exciting projects coming up, and if you would like to volunteer to help us, please e-mail me here at the school, give me a call, or write a note. Thank you. You are appreciated!
How do you collect growth data for a monarch caterpillar?
A monarch chrysalis right before the butterfly emerges
The newly emerged monarch
Arizona Science Museum
Newton's Laws ~ Rocket Launch