December 4: Mid-Quarter
December 20: Christmas Concert 
December 23 - January 3: No School

Instructional Reading Update: Our first theme was "How America Began". We read informational articles. Reading skills covered in this theme: figuring out the main idea and finding key details in these nonfiction passages and learning how to summarize the information. We also are practicing reading fluency, comprehension and understanding academic vocabulary.  We ask questions and find answers using text evidence or make inferences. Our 2nd theme was "Who Am I?".  In this theme we learned about who narrates each story (first or third person point of view), we continued to ask and answer questions about these stories and learn about character traits. Our current theme is "Investigating Weather".  We will focus on cause and effect. We are now doing small group reading in the classroom.  Students choose a nonfiction book/magazine/article they are interested in, they read it/reread it until they know it, write a summary about it, illustrate an interesting part and look up any unknown words in a dictionary.  We meet together to go over their work.  

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, these are determined by their most recent STAR Reading assessment and what each student chooses for points they feel they can earn. *Students who double their point goal and those who earn 100% on all their AR quizzes, receive special awards at the end of each quarter.  PLEASE ENCOURAGE YOUR CHILD TO READ books they are interested in. Starting October 15th, the Pizza Hut Book It program began!  Students who read 240 minutes at home each month will earn a certificate good for a free personal pan pizza at Pizza Hut! Let's read!

Science Update:  Our Unit 1 theme was nutrition and scientists. Unit 2 theme introduced the scientific method* to students; in this unit they asked a question, investigated the answer and learned the result.  We are currently in Unit 3, students are learning about what scientists do in their careers and daily life. Students are 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 and how to write a friendly letter by writing to our pen pals!  Then students wrote a personal narrative. Students used the 6 step writing process to help them write their narrative story in steps. Step 1-they pick what they wish to write about; Step 2- they fill out a simple outline of the beginning, middle and end, which they will use to write their draft, in paragraph form-Step 3;   Step 4-they revise their draft using a simple check sheet; Step 5-they meet with a room editor to go over their revised draft and see if it is ready to write their final copy-Step 6! Currently students are writing a proper paragraph about kindness. Paragraphs indent, and contain several complete sentences; spelling, capital letters and punctuation will be required as well.  All writing assignments are graded using a rubric.

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.