February 24, 2017

I hope everyone has been enjoying the warm weather! I hear it is going to get cold out again! Please remember to make sure that your child is dressed appropriately for the weather. They can be outside for recess for up to 30 minutes on some days. The weather changes quickly and many students have been coming to school with out jackets!

Last week in Reading we had a blast re-enacting the Second Continental Congress! This week in reading we are continuing to learn how to research. Students have been working on researching a new topic to add to their informational books they are writing. We have learned that it helps to read an easy text about a subject so that you can gain some background knowledge before you read a harder text about the subject. We also learned how to tackle complex words, you don’t know a word just by knowing its definition. You really know a word when you can give an example of it, explain how it goes and tell about different kinds of it. we practiced using the word boycott. Students read 3 different passages about the American Revolution that had the word boycott. Students came up with a definition, gave examples of different kinds of boycotts and explained how boycotts tend to go.

In writing the students are continuing to draft their All About books. students focused on writing an essay that explains why the topic they are researcing was an important event in the American Revolution. Then students selected a new subject to write a 4th chapter about, some are writing about the role of women in the American Revolution, or comparing soldiers in the Continental Army to soldiers in the British Army. They are researching and wikk be drafting this next section on Monday.

This week in math we have been working on adding and subtracting fractions with like denominators. The math has been relatively easy so we have added the challenge of reducing fractions to their simplest forms. I have noticed that many students do not read word problems carefully and make careless mistakes vecause of this.

In Social Studies we are finishing up our Black History month studies. Each student is creating a “quilt square” on paper that depicts a famous person and event from both slavery and civil rights.  Our next Social Studies unit begins next week. We will be studying the government of the U.S. Starting with the Constitution and the Preamble to the Constitution.

Important Dates

Thursday, Friday, and Monday, March 9, 10, and 13 – Parent Teacher Conferences (March 9 and 10 are half days)

Friday, March 31 through Sunday, April 9 – Spring Break

February 10

I hope everyone enjoyed their Mid-Winter Break! We spent the weekend in Jackson for MAHA District hockey playoffs! Clayton’s team ended up losing in the semi-final game so we were able to make it home just in time for the Super Bowl!

This week in reading students are continuing to read non fiction and historical fiction accounts of their American Revolution focus topic. Students have learned that it is important to pay attention to the details that make history come alive and make it memorable. We learned that you read narrative non-fiction (written as a story) differently than your read expository non-fiction. Good readers are aware of when the text changes and adjust their reading and note taking styles accordingly.

In Writing Workshop we learned how to add details to our drafts to make what we had already written come alive and be memorable. We also practiced teaching about our focus topic. We learned that teaching about your topic to a real audience helps prepare you to write about your topic, being able to anticipate and answer questions your reader may have. Next week we will be adding in a first person story from our focus topic.

The week in Math we have been working on finding equivalent fractions. Students began by using fraction bars and number lines to find equivalent fractions and then learned how to use multiplication and division to find and generate equivalent fractions. (Wow! Knowing those basic multiplication and Division facts really pays off here!)

This wee we began our Social Studies Units for the year. We have started with a Black History Month study. Students began by learning about slavery through read aloud books and videos, we discussed abolitionists, the underground railroad, Harriet Tubman and many others. We will be moving on to The Civil Rights movement next week.

Growth Mindset: Last week we completed a growth mindset activity with Mrs. Smits. Students had to create a structure to protect something. They did not know what the object was to start. They later learned it was a potato chip, and Mrs. Smits dropped a book on their structure. They then had time to rebuild and retry. This week we tried another challenging activity. I showed the students a sample of a paper structure that I had created. They were then tasked with recreating it on their own only using a notecard and scissors. They could look at the structure, but not touch it. We had many failures that encouragd us to not give up and to try a new approach. It was interesting to see all the different ways students tackled the problem and their levels of perserverance.

Important Dates

Friday, February 10 – Chaperone lottery and the notes will come home

Friday, February 17 – Holmes Parents Club Bingo Night 5:30-8:00PM