Dear Families,

We hope you all had a wonderful Spring Break!  It was so wonderful to see all of the children’s smiling faces back at school this week.

In Writing Workshop, we are continuing our study of Realistic Fiction.  The students have been creating some very interesting characters for their stories.  We have learned about a story arc.  In each story the students first create their character and then decide where the story will take place.  After that, they work on the action in the story, what is the trouble or problem.  We then have been working hard trying to include two failed attempts to solve the problem before ending with the solution.  Students have been writing many stories.  Recently we have begun to focus on developing as series writers.  They have been writing many adventures that include the same characters and the same setting.  They are working to develop their characters throughout a series of books.  In Book One, the students are introducing their reader to who the character is, where the character lives, what the character likes and dislikes, how the character feels, and who their friends are.  We want our readers to feel like they really know our characters.  We continue to work on bringing our stories to life.  Please mark your calendars for our next Publishing Party scheduled for Monday, May 7th at 8:30!

In Reading, we continue to build on strategies for word solving. As readers move into higher level texts this work is especially important.  Our readers will be encountering more multisyllabic words, a higher number of words with complex spelling patterns, and a wider range of vocabulary.  In addition, readers are expected to be able to solve words “on the run” with minimal interruptions to fluency.  We know that figuring out the words is only one of our jobs as readers!  Our readers will be learning that readers must always-every time they read work hard to understand their books.  We hope that students will be moving towards doing independent “quick checks” for comprehension & recap what they know so far.  Our readers will learn that just like when they run into trouble on a word, they can stop and do something, such as rereading to clarify, when comprehension becomes a problem.  Finally, we will be incorporating some technology by investigating an audiobook reading to discover what an “audiobook reading star” does to make their reading sound so great!

In Math, we are entering our unit titled “How Many Stickers? How Many Cents?”  This unit, focuses on the place value of 2-digit numbers and operating on those numbers within 100. We hope that students will come to see 100 as 10 tens and multiples of 100 as being made up by some number of hundreds.  They will be solving a host of story problems, including but not limited to: put together/take apart with one or both addends unknown (12 + b = 64 or 53- c = 25), add to and take from with the result unknown, problems with an unknown change or an unknown start.  It’s important to note that students will also be identifying, reading and writing numbers to 500, and adding and subtracting 10 in that range.

Our Architecture Study has gotten off to a great start!  We have just completed our work with Heidi from the Friends of the Upper Eastside Historic District.  We have learned how buildings speak to us.  We are developing a very extensive architectural vocabulary.  Our neighborhood walk was very exciting and educational.  It is amazing how many interesting architectural details we can find on the buildings surrounding our school.  We will begin our work next with an educator from the Center for Architecture.  The program is Learning by Design.  This will build on what we have already learned.  We will learn about building/drawing to scale, what a blueprint is, sustainable building, and urban planning… just to name a few areas of focus.  Each of the children will have the opportunity to design and build their own building for our neighborhood.

Our Pajama and Bedtime Story Drive is well underway!  Donations can be made anytime this week.  The Drive runs from April 9th– 13th.  Thank you to all who have made donations already!

Thank you all for your continued support.  As always, please feel free to reach out with any questions, comments and/or delights.

All the best,

Kristin and Sarah