# The Wheatlands AT News

## Welcome to 2015!

I hope all of you enjoyed a long winter holiday and are looking forward to a fabulous second half to our school year! Second quarter math grades will appear your child's report card available on Home Access next week. As always, feel free to email me if you have questions or concerns.

## Reading Night on January 29th

Be sure to check out the fantastic hero/shero projects, completed by the 5th grade AT Reading students! They will be on display at The Wheatlands Reading Night on January 29th. Students researched a hero/shero who was/is a positive change agent and had/has a positive impact on the world. Posters include information about the hero/shero, why they are considered a change agent, and how this particular person is significant to the student. Enjoy!

Students just completed their study of some amazing math vocabulary and the concepts associated with them. Ask them to explain the difference between an expression and an equation. Ask them how they can translate a word problem into a mathematical equation with the use of a variable. Then have them evaluate the equation for you. You will be impressed with their learning I am sure!

As MAP testing is being completed, students will miss a couple of AT math class times. We will be working on an introductory task to our fractions unit that will take several days of in class time. This will allow them to pick right up where they stopped working prior to their testing session. There will be a few days that homework will not be a written assignment. They can always use Planet Turtle, practice multiplication facts, or play math games on those nights. We will be working on fractions for several weeks, so talk about how you use fractions in your everyday life too! :)

As always, thanks for your support at home!

Students in 4th grade began their study of fractions this week with a pizza party problem solver! Have them explain equivalent fractions, common factors, and simplest form (reducing to lowest terms to many of us parents:). We will continue this fraction introduction by comparing fractions, understanding mixed numbers and improper fractions, and be ready for our test on this chapter by then end of January. Any time they can explain these concepts to you while utilizing precise vocabulary and language increases their understanding. Ask them to tell you how they know a fraction is in simplest form. (answer: the greatest common factor of the numerator and the denominator is 1. If the GCF is greater than 1, the fraction isn't in simplest form.)

As always, thank you for supporting their efforts at home!

5th grade students began their study of fractions this week with a complex bike trail task. Many determined that they "pity the people who have to figure this out in real life!" The task was challenging and led to great conversations about concepts involved in working with fractions and the application to real world situations. This was an inquiry task and was focused on their process not whether they ended up with the "right" answer. Therefore, they received credit for completion of the task. If they didn't share this with you already, ask them about it! :) If we progress as planned through the concepts related to the introduction of fractions, they will be ready for their chapter test on January 27th. We will then move on to operations with fractions.

Also, students that are in 5th grade AT Math only, will be joining the AT Reading students for the next few weeks leading up to our Challenger field trip. There are several lessons that we will complete leading up to this exciting trip! I am so happy that all students can attend!

Thank you to all of you who mentioned your willingness to chaperone the trip. At this point, our adult to student ratio is met with school personnel. I will keep you in mind should something change. Thanks again for supporting our efforts!

Thanks to all of you that ordered books through Scholastic. Every dollar that we spend is translated back into new books for our classroom library. This is always optional, but much appreciated!

3rd graders finished our study of The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane this week. Most of us agree that it is one of the BEST books of all time. They are working now to write a response explaining how Edward changed in response to events in the plot. They will be working on these next week.

4th graders began a biography unit this week. They will be comparing texts about the same person and examining the text features of biography. We begin this study with close reading of sections of Promises to Keep, by Sharon Robinson. This text is about her father, Jackie Robinson. Students will then proceed to read another text about Jackie Robinson and one about Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. This unit integrates English Language Arts informational text standards and social studies concepts, as well.

5th graders from AT Math and AT Reading will be working together on the lessons to prepare for our Challenger field trip during AT Reading time until February, 6th.

As always...Keep reading, writing, thinking, and communicating!

## Mrs. Reetz

Striving to inspire the students of The Wheatlands Elementary School to think, learn, question, try, grow, listen, and understand something today that leads to a better tomorrow.