October 28th

I can’t believe how fast this month has flown by! Thanksgiving is just around the corner!

This week in Reading Workshop we learned how to build an interpretation of a story by reading and thinking about many aspects of a book and connecting different parts of the book so that we can think across the whole story. We practiced this using the class read aloud Tiger Rising. We looked specifically at Rob and noticed how he was sad and lonely throughout the book, but we also noticed two times when he felt really happy. What we discovered is that Rob feels happy when he is with people who “get him”, for example, Sistine and his mom. We then took this idea and tried to make it in to a “big idea.” Students came up with the theme: “People are happiest when they are with people who understand them.”

During Writing Workshop time students have been writing the final copies of their fiction stories. We will be sharing these in class soon. Ask your child what they wrote about and what they think of their finished piece.

In Math we have learned different methods to multiply multi-digit numbers by 1 digit. Students started with using the distributive method, then we learned the partial products method and final we learned the “shortcut” method (old school method that you and I learned in school). I am noticing that many of the errors are due to students not knowing their basic multiplication facts. It is imperative that your child have instant (correct) recall of all of their basic facts. This is a 3rd grade concept that was to be mastered in 3rd grade. We don’t have time in the day to practice math facts here at school, so please have your child practice at home. Moby Math Fact Fluency or the Timed Test app are great apps for practice. Flash Cards or practicing in the car on the way to and from school are also great!

This week in Science your child brought home their first science test. we also started our second Science unit: Organisms in Their Environments. We began by discussing habitats and what animals need in their habitat to survive (air, water, food, shelter). We then observed our school yard habitat. Ask your child what animals they saw! We have also added to our classroom zoo! We know have a tank with 16 African Dwarf Frogs, 10 Guppies and 8 Mystery Snails! Students observed the frogs yesterday and we looked at physical and behavioral adaptations. Students also compared two frogs side by side, noticing differences in size and shape. We discussed how bigger, longer back legs can give one frog and advantage over a smaller frog, the big frog can swim faster and escape predators or catch prey easier.

Wesco Popcorn Buckets – We still have 54 buckets left that can’t be returned and need to be sold. Please let me know if you would like to sell more or know of someone who would like one! Thanks!

Important Dates

Monday, October 31 – Halloween Parade and Party

Wednesday – Sunday, November 23-27 – Thanksgiving Break

Thursday – Friday, December 1-2 – Half Days (Records Days)

*Change in Halloween parade route- we will parade out the old K doors around the River St. side of the building through our bus loop  and pick up lane and not down River, Prospect and South Streets as mentioned earlier.

Here are a few pictures of our Rivalry gear and the Holmes Rave.









Conference Week!

It was great to see everyone at conferences this week. I enjoyed having the opportunity to meet with you and talk about your child!

During Reading this week we continued to look closely at the characters in the stories we read and develop theories about them. Students also learned how to find a debatable position in the books they read and how to construct a debate with reasons and evidence from the text that supports the position they are taking. It was a lot of fun to hear their debates!

In Writing Workshop we revised our drafts making sure we have stretched out the heart of the story, and we worked on editing our work for complete sentences, paragraphs, punctuation and capital letters. We will be writing our final copies next week!

This week in math we started Topic 3: Using Strategies and Properties to Multiply by 1 digit numbers. It is imperative that your child has instant recall of their basic math facts (this was a 3rd grade skill). Practice at home is a must! This week we worked on using the Distributive Property to multiply numbers. For example: 4 x 1,237= 4 x(1,000)+(200)+(30)+(7)

We will be moving toward the shortcut method (the way you and I learned) next week. Please don’t jump your child ahead, as it is important that they learn the steps in each method.

In Science we have finished up our first Science unit. I hope to grade the tests this weekend or early next week. Our new science Unit will be Organisms in Their Environment.

Ask your child about today’s Be Nice. assembly. They played their BE A Superhero song, on their recorders, for the entire school! WE talked about how we can all be everyday superheroes.

A huge thank you to all of the families that have donated items for our raffle! Thank YOU!

Important Dates:

Monday, October 31 – Halloween Parade and Party – an email was sent about donations and volunteers
Wednesday, November 23 – Friday, November 25 No School – Thanksgiving Break

*Change in Halloween parade route- we will parade around our bus loop and pick up lane and not down River, Prospect and South Streets.

Here are a few pictures from our Be Nice Assembly.






October 14

Reminder: Parent Teacher Conferences are on Wednesday and Thursday this coming week!

In Reading Workshop this week we have been working to grow insightful theories about the characters in the books we read. We have learned to notice anything about a character (traits, details, objects) that the author repeats and ask ourselves, “Why is this important? Could it be…” We have searched for precise, true exact words that we can use to describe the characters in the stories we read and supporting our theories with evidence form the text. Example: Sistine isn’t just bossy and sassy, she is passionate about the things she believes in. Sistine doesn’t take no for an answer when Rob tells her that they can’t let the tiger go, she fights for the tiger and even says she will saw through the locks! We also discussed finding the arc of the story. We used this format to help us: “Somebody (main character) Wanted (What he/she desires) But (obstacles in their way) So (how does the main character respond) to help us. As books become more complicated, answering these questions becomes more difficult. We also are looking for what the author emphasizes or repeats, and asking ourselves why they may be doing this.

During Math students took their Topic 2 Practice Test and if needed the Topic 2 Final test. Students are still getting used to the language used in this program and the types of questions being asked. Rest assured, scores were much improved on the final test. Next week we will begin Topic 3 Multiplication! Continue to encourage your child to practice their basic math facts at home. I still see a lot of students counting on their fingers for addition and subtraction.

In Writing Workshop we continued to work on our fiction stories. We finished up our drafts, revised our leads by trying out different types of leads. and students learned how to “tag” their dialogue with who is talking, adding an action and scene description so that the reader can create a mental movie of the story. Today we also talked about how boring the word said is and came up with other words to use instead of said.

This week in science we came back down to earth and looked at fossils. Students examined different fossils and made observations. We also talked about the layers of the earth, from oldest to youngest. (oldest on bottom and youngest layer on top). Students then draw a model showing Earth’s layers. We will be taking our first Science test next week. A review sheet and vocabulary flip book will be coming home on Monday to help your child study.

Important Dates

Wednesday and Thursday, October 19 and 20 – Parent/Teacher Conferences – look for email to sign up online

Thursday and Friday, October 20 and 21 – 1/2 days

Monday, October 31 – Halloween Parade and Party – an email was sent about donations and volunteers (volunteers need to have volunteer forms on file with the office)

Week of October 6th

Last week in reading we discussed how we “read” people in real life and in our books. We look for patterns in their behavior and why they may act the way they do. We also discussed paying attention to those moments when a character acts “out of character,” and investigating what this reveals about the character. On Friday wrote a letter to Mrs. Lannon in which we take a few of our stop and jots from the week (which are our thoughts while reading) and then expand on them to go deeper. I am looking for evidence in their thinking of them using things we have talked about – visualization, motivations, theories, etc.

During Writing Workshop we continued to draft scenes 2 through 5 of our stories. We learned how to stretch out the heart of the story by using details to stretch the moment to fill a page. This week we will be writing our final scene and work on leads and tagging and punctuating dialogue.

In math this week we continued to work on rounding large numbers help us estimate answers. We also focused on adding and subtracting large numbers, and solving word problems. Currently, we are using a combination of paper and online homework, with the hopes of transitioning to all online. The concepts are easy at this point, but figuring out what the question is asking can be frustrating to students at times. This week will be the week of reviewing and testing for this unit.

In science we have continued to lear about the reason for the seasons on Earth and have created a few different projects to help understand the concept. We made a vocabulary booklet, a cut-out of the sun, moon, and earth to show revolution and rotation, and a season flip book. Ask you child if the can explain the reason for our seasons.

Important Dates

Wednesday and Thursday, October 19 and 20 – Parent/Teacher Conferences – look for email to sign up online

Thursday and Friday, October 20 and 21 – 1/2 days

Monday, October 31 – Halloween Parade and Party – an email was sent about donations and volunteers(volunteers need to have a volunteer form on file with the office)