October 31: Classroom movie/afternoon Carnival
November 2: 1st Quarter ends
November 5: No School (Teacher workshop)


Instructional Reading Update: Our first theme in reading was "How America Began". We read informational articles. Students learned about our founding fathers, the Declaration of Independence and our Constitution.  Reading skill areas were: figuring out the main idea, learning key details in reading passages, reading fluency, comprehension and understanding academic vocabulary.  Currently our reading theme is "Family Fun".  These reading passages are fiction.  We continue to work on the reading skills listed above, but are now learning about character traits, point of view, setting, plot and what literal verses nonliteral meaning of words.

Independent Reading Update:  We continue to  pick a "good fit book" using the "I PICK" steps: I choose the book, I have a Purpose and Interest in the book I'm choosing, I must be able to Comprehend what I read (remember it and understand it) and I must Know most of the words in my book. After students have read their good fit book, they take an AR (Accelerated Reader) quiz on their iPad.  When they pass a quiz, they earn points.  Every student has a point goal to meet by the end of each quarter, which is determined by their most recent STAR Reading assessment.   PLEASE ENCOURAGE READING AT HOME!  

Science Update:  We will learn about the purpose of our skeletons, muscles, our digestive system and nutrition, in Unit 1. Students will be graded using rubrics for most projects.  Also, extra credit is always available for students. (these relate to our current science theme)

Writing Update:  Students learned how to write a simple opinion paper using a simple guide.  Students picked their "best" opinion piece and turned it in to be graded using a rubric. Currently we are learning the format for how to write a friendly letter.  We will be writing to pen pals at another school this year, so this format is very useful. Other units to follow are: narratives, research articles and poetry;  the 6 step writing process will be practiced and used throughout the year.       

Spelling Update: Each week new words are introduced using a particular "sort" pattern.  New word lists are sent home every Friday (typically) for students to look over before Monday's lesson.  Please make sure your child studies his/her word list every night before Friday's test.  Our brains need repeated practice to learn/remember long term these spelling patterns.