Mr. Ross' Weekly Newsletter

September 26, 2014

"Life is not easy for any of us. But what of that? We must have perseverance and above all confidence in ourselves. We must believe that we are gifted for something, and that this thing, at whatever cost, must be attained."

- Marie Curie

What Will We Be Learning This Week?


We will be working on Unit 2 in Math Expressions. This unit focuses on the concepts of perimeter and area, and how to measure these for various polygons. Also, we will be studying units of metric and customary length and area.

Language Arts

We will return to our Words Their Way spelling lists this week. We will be splitting our class into spelling groups, so your child may have a completely different list than the last one.

We will be starting our guided reading groups. This week the groups will be reading different books but they will all be concentrating on the point of view of the different characters in the stories.

Social Studies

This week we will be learning about why the New World was valuable to European governments. We will be learning about the Columbian exchange, a trade route between the Old and New Worlds that included livestock such as cattle, horses, and sheep, and agriculture such as gourds, vegetables, fruits, and grains. We will also be exploring how the Columbian Exchange played a part in establishing the slave trade in America.


Although the children have been exposed to all the land biomes, we will spend the next week or so reinforcing their characteristics, similarities, and differences.

We will also begin learning about aquatic ecosystems. Aquatic ecosystems are categorized by the level of salinity in the water.

The ocean is the major saltwater ecosystem that we will be studying. It is is split into different zones based on water movement, proximity to shore, and the amount of sunlight that reaches into the depths. The shore/intertidal zone is close to the beach and is characterized by crashing waves and changing tides. Producers and consumers must be adapted for both. The open ocean is farther from land and spreads over most of the ocean, but only goes as deep as sunlight still penetrates. Deeper than that is considered the deep sea, where sunlight does not reach so there are no producers and consumers must be adapted to living in complete darkness. Coral reefs are also an ecosystem that we will study, closer to land and supporting a wide variety of producers and consumers.

Freshwater ecosystems include ponds, lakes, rivers, and streams. Ponds and lakes are similar, but ponds are smaller and have constant temperature throughout. Lakes are larger, some are so large that sunlight may not reach the bottom and they may have variances in temperatures within the same lake. The main difference between rivers and streams is mostly their size.

The main brackish ecosystem that we will study are estuaries. These occur where freshwater rivers meet saltwater oceans. Consumers and producers must be adapted to surviving with varying levels of salt in the brackish water.

We will probably have the ecosystems unit test the Friday after we return from Haw River. At this point students should be reviewing their study guides nightly.

Upcoming Events

10/8-10/10 Haw River Field Trip

It is almost time for our trip! Please remember that if you would like your child to bring any medications on the trip you will need to submit a Physician's Order to the office by 10/6, along with the meds.

Also, all payments are due 10/1.

Thank you!

10/17 Blackburn Blast

Fun for the whole family!


Daily Schedule

7:35-8:05 Morning Work and Breakfast

8:05-9:20 Language Arts and Social Studies

9:20-10:00 Remediation and Enrichment

10:00-10:40 Block (A - Art, B - PE, C - PE, D - Music)

10:40-11:10 Lunch

11:15-11:30 Read Aloud

11:30-12:40 Math

12:45-1:15 Recess

1:20-2:30 Science

2:30-3:00 Accelerated Math and Dismissal

Block Schedule

Monday 9/29 - Music

Tuesday 9/30 - Art

Wednesday 10/1 - PE

Thursday 10/2 - PE

Friday 10/3 - Music

Monday 10/6 - Art

Tuesday 10/7 - PE

Wednesday 10/8 - Haw River Field Trip

Thursday 10/9 - Haw River Field Trip

Friday 10/10 - Haw River Field Trip