Newsletter 6 – 9/20/14

Due to NWEA testing, this whole blog post is written by teachers. Students will resume writing next week we hope. 


This week we had our publishing party (which you’ll read about more in writers workshop, below). We also went to an opera performance at the library that showed featured the origins of fire. We started spelling groups, and we started our conversation about NWEA. NWEA testing will take place with most of the class on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday. Students with accommodations for testing will be testing throughout the next two weeks.

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Writers Workshop

This week we published and celebrated our small moment personal narratives. Many families came to our celebration to help us as we appreciated each other and our work. Students worked hard this first six weeks to take small annotations into long-form drafts. Most students ended this unit with at least two rough drafts and a final published piece. They incorporated thought, action, dialogue, and description into their final pieces.

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Readers Workshop

In readers workshop this week we celebrated the end of our launching unit with Book Buzz! Students created small newspaper-esque pieces using strategies taught in the unit as a whole. In small groups they shared their book buzz and nominated a book that had the most buzz, then sharing with other groups. At the end of the celebration we had seven books that had a ton of buzz that were shared with the whole class.

We have also started a short study of realistic fiction. As our launching day for realistic fiction, we discussed how realistic fiction is different than historical fiction and fantasy fiction. Students selected four books from our library that they would like to read during this unit that will take us until fall break. The unit will briefly address character study, setting, and plot. Students will be assigned a book (from their selections) on Monday and will need to finish it during this study.

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Math Workshop

In Ms. Kalei’s group this week, students made multiplication flash cards in preparation for our new study of multi-digit multiplication. Families will receive a letter later next week that explains changes in homework in order to make sure all kiddos are working to memorize their facts.

In Mr. Jim’s group, students are working on their area/perimeter projects. They are relating arrays to area, and learning about how dimensions relate to both perimeter and area in the design of a room/house.

In Ms. Kandi’s group we used arrays to review strategies for multiplying by 8 and 9.  We also played a game called Spinning Around Multiplication which provides practice identifying strategies for solving multiplication facts.

In Ms. Pam’s group, students are finishing their fix and finish for this unit and starting on unit projects.

P3 Workshop

In P3 this week we worked with maps to continue our study of geography. Students are working on learning and scribing down the states of Mexico and the provinces of Canada. Students are also mastering the seven continents and their locations.

Current Events/Issues

This week in current events, students read a newspaper that had articles about airstrikes in Iraq, bullying/empathy, the child migrant crisis, and a massive underground reservoir. In issues we continued our conversation on Ebola and read the perspectives of people who are close to the outbreak in Liberia.

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