Dear 5A and 5B Families,

It’s hard to believe 2017 is drawing to a close so quickly! The 5th graders have had quite the November, and our December learning is already well underway. Thank you as always for your continued support and partnership in your children’s learning. It has been such a wonderful experience getting to know each of them and watching them learn and grow, even in such a short time.

In reading, we have dedicated hours of passion and thoughtful research to our Inquiry Research Projects, which we are currently in the final stretch of completing. Working both collaboratively and independently to ask thought provoking questions about our topics, synthesize our sources and subtopics, and grow new knowledge about our interests has provided the students with skills they will continue to use in middle school and beyond. From building Hamilton to exotic foods, and optical illusions to the Miami Dolphins, the research the students have completed using articles, books, interviews, and by evaluating personal experiences has laid the foundation for what is sure to be an exciting and educational series of shares and presentations in the next few weeks. I have already learned so much from everyone, and I am excited to see how far this research can take them!

The first half of our journalism writing unit is also wrapping up, and the students are putting their new skills to the test as they write news reports for our class newspaper or newscast report. Writing articles that showcase the happenings of Lower Lab and the New York City community, the students have been honing their skills writing catchy headlines, strong leads that include the “who, what, when, and where,” and interweaving quotes from interviews to add depth and character to their articles. To release their hard-hitting stories to the press, some students will work together to assemble a newspaper that will be distributed around the 5th grade, and some students will get their moment in the spotlight as they read their articles in front of the camera! The footage will be edited together to create our own “newscast report” to be screened by both classes. Both the journalism articles and inquiry research have kept us working hard, and the students’ efforts have certainly showed in their pieces and projects.

In the upcoming month, we look forward to continuing our journalism unit, extending our skills as we learn to write feature articles to add to our reporting repertoire. We are also beginning a new reading unit, which will focus on the importance of reading while keeping writing about this reading in mind. December is sure to keep us busy and productive!