Newsletter 28 – 4/13/14


We have had two big things going on: 1, we finished our play HONK! Jr. (which you probably already know)  and we just finished our Mini MAW!

On Tuesday, April 8th, students in the 4/5 class participated in their annual school play – HONK! After hours of rehearsals on Monday and Tuesday, we put on quite the show at the Ivy Tech Waldron for an audience of over a hundred. We really pulled together the production with so much help from Mr. Chris and Ms. Sara. Students are still humming and singing the HONK songs each day, and we’ll be sure to reflect and revisit their efforts throughout the rest of the year. 

For the Mini-MAW, every person in the class chose a group, and we made smallish presentations about the topics. Here are some of them: Sharon Creech books, HONK, Visual Arts, Invitations. We had many families come to celebrate our work from the first part of our second semester. It gave students a taste of what the end of year MAW will be like. 

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Readers Workshop

This week in readers workshop we continued our study on fantasy. Students zoomed into their texts focusing on imagery after we did a read aloud of the book Shrek by William Steig. We talked about how imagery s the name for the words that help to create our mental movies as readers. Students began to cite evidence from independent reading of imagery. We also discussed personifcation, and how it impacts a story. After reading through some pages of Shrek again, we discussed why personification influences our reading. One student pointed out that in Shrek, personification emphasizes that every thing in nature opposes Shrek. On Friday, we re-visited our conversations about theme. Someone cited that the theme of Shrek is “someone will love you warts and all” – a reference to one of our HONK songs. Tying all these literary concepts together helps readers engage with the writing of their text, noting the intentionality of all these elements. 

Writers Workshop

In writers workshop this week we compared and contrasted real and fantasical elements in our pieces. Students have started drafting, meaning they are actually writing multiple stories and plots in their writers notebooks. We discussed how most fantasy based characters have many “real” character traits – it’s the role of the author to slowly reveal the fantasical traits over time. We never want to rush into a description of everything magical in our pieces because then the reader is not able to understand the character as a character, and identify with them. Our next lesson was similar – when we consider setting, how do we make some elements fantasical, but not everything. We want to imply that our setting is central to our story, it should not over take our reader with all of the fantasy elements. Students are very excited to move into story writing. 


Our P3 time over the next few weeks will be spent doing science! On Friday, we took a pre-assessment for this unit – which you can view here. If you are interested in coming in and talking about engineering or bones with our students, we’re hopeful for some community members to come in and teach!

Math Workshop

In Ms. Kalei’s math group this week, we reviewed long division. If you have any extra time at home, we’d love to have you practice this algorithm with your student. We are starting a unit on fractions, decimals, and percents. On Friday, we discussed how to represent tenths and hundreths if we view a hundreds grid as a whole (and single) unit. In Mr. Jim’s math group this week we are working on tightening our computation. We’re continuing our work with decimals, and working on making change. 

Questions to Ask Your Child:

  • How did HONK go for you – the rehearsal and the performance? 
  • What story are you writing in writers workshop? 
  • How does the fantasy book you are reading (or any fantasy book you have read) have imagery, personification, metaphor? What is the theme of a book you have finished? What about a movie? 
  • What was your station at the mini-MAW? What was the origin of the project you were representing? 
  • How are you feeling about the upcoming science unit? 




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