Our Reading Like A Fan-Author Study Unit has just drawn to a close. We tapped into some of the power of knowing, loving and studying an author’s work. Throughout the month, we eagerly anticipated reading many works by ‘our author’, and were enriched by the craft and life lessons these author’s books provided.


We thought about and noticed:

  •    The topics and theses that the author tends to address
  •    The similar and different ways that an author approached the same theme throughout his or her writing


We really are fans & are thinking about our own writing in brand new ways!



We recently completed our literary essay unit. Students published three writing pieces. They deepened their literary skills by writing from a digital source, a short text and developing a persuasive speech, petition et al.

Social Studies:

We recently completed our study on European Exploration. Students completed an organized outline that displayed their understanding of an explorer.


Test Preparation: Beginning this week, we will begin test preparation. This “test prep” work creates a bridge between our authentic work, and the specific language and structure of the upcoming NYS ELA exam.



In order to deeply understand the test passages, students will benefit from reading each passage two times. The first read is to get “the gist” and the second is to return and have a “closer read.” Students will be “road mapping” and annotating the text.

Ask your child to share their special bookmark with you, and explain how it helps them  remember the road-mapping skills for annotating a text.

Throughout the month… We will look carefully at:

  •      Connecting thoughts to build interpretations
  •      Character’s traits/feelings/motivations
  •      Character’s  perspectives/relationship questions
  •      Setting questions
  •      Central message/theme /main idea
  •      Vocabulary questions
  •      Part to part/ part to whole questions
  •      Nonfiction ~ including narrative & expository
  •      Poetry, Folktales and other genres


One of the fun things we will engage in each week is a “reading marathon.” During this time we will channel students to read a variety of texts for long stretches of time. (Approximately 90 minutes!)

Throughout the month ahead, students will work on strategies to successfully answer multiple choice, short response, and extended response questions. Once a week we will devote to center activities that will deepen this important work.

Social Studies

Moving West…

We’re jumping into a horse covered wagon headed west!


Westward Expansion

We recently began looking at the African American’s experience during Westward Expansion. In March we will study the women’s experience during the time of Westward Expansion. (As time allows) Following the ELA state exam, we will embark on a month long study of Westward Expansion. This research work will be woven into our reading and writing units of study.




We are fraction experts now!  Students should be comfortable adding, subtracting, multiplying and dividing fractions and the week before break we completed a mini unit on calculating a fraction to a percent and finding a percent of a number (tip: first, use your knowledge of place value to find 10%, then use that to find 1%, 5%, 22% etc.).  


During the month of March we will focus on volume and measurement.  Students will use their knowledge of area and perimeter to think about volume of cubes, rectangular prisms and irregular prisms (for example, ‘L’ shaped figures).  We are collecting boxes (shoe box size or smaller) to conduct some hands on volume experience so if you have some boxes, send them to Room 218!  During our measurement work, students will practice and memorize conversions within the customary and metric system and use them to problem solve in a variety of ways.




Our work in Landforms continues with topographical map making and reading.  Our recent science lab introduced the vocab words elevation, sea level, contour line, contour interval, base and summit through studying Mount Shasta in California.  If you have any topographical maps at home to share with your child or our class, please do!


Science Fair has begun!  Ideas are due Thursday, March 2nd through Google Classroom.  I have asked the students to share their documents with you so when I leave comments and questions, they should be visible to you as well.  


Thank you for all your  continued support, please email with comments or questions!

We look forward to meeting with you next week during parent teacher conferences.