Dear 4-243 Families,

I think that we are finally up and running on our website. That’s exciting.  Here’s what’s happening.

We are reading a lot of non-fiction, particularly in our Native American Social Studies books and handouts. Students are identifying text structures and learning to use those structures to identify the main idea and supporting details.  We are also learning to take notes in order to support our understanding of historical events.  Students also continue to read independently in their choice of texts.  Most are working towards one or more goals, many of which include diversifying the genres they are reading. Students have been recommending books to one another and we are building a section in our notebooks labeled “Future Reads” to keep track of books we are looking forward to.  Parents can look through the reading log in the back pages to see if there is too much fantasy for example and encourage children to try something new–perhaps historical fiction or a biography.

Our next writing unit will be an informational essay on our Native American research.  As you probably know by now, students are comparing different tribes or groups across a topic or idea.  We are in the research and note-taking phase of this project and will begin drafting in the near future.  We plan to have something to share with you before the winter break. Publishing / Holiday Party details will be determined very shortly.

We have also launched our word study program.  Students have been grouped and we will continue to introduce spelling patterns weekly.  For now, the schedule seems to be new words go out on Wednesdays, students do some homework over the next few days, Monday night 2x for each word to study for a quiz on Tuesday.  The menu of choices for independent practice should stay in the HW folder or at a desk/homework spot at home.

In math, we continue working on multiplication but with larger numbers. We are learning how to use the array model to represent our thinking and will also be looking at division and the array.  Any student who needs to should be practicing multiplication facts regularly. Additionally, we continue to solve CML problems.

Our class is thoroughly enjoying the Wingspan program and we look forward to seeing you for our in-class improv share this Friday.  It will be a short presentation of the work kids are doing thus far.

In closing, I would like to remind all that homework is expected to be done when assigned, in the proper notebook or paper, neatly and checked.  Math is always to be done in pencil, other subjects may be completed in pencil or blue or black pen.  If homework is not completed and returned, a pink “homework slip” will be sent home as a notice to you that this was the case.  Please sign it so that the student can return it along with the made up assignment.  Also, if children do not have the required materials, they should do what they can (call a friend, use looseleaf) and they will make any adjustments when they return to school.  Try to encourage the child to come up with a solution rather than solving the problem for them.  If your child is out sick, please do not worry about missed homework.  They should rest until they feel better.

I’m sure there’s more but this seems like plenty for now. See you Friday!

Donna