Merriman's Memo

A Glimpse into Merriman's Menagerie

Writing Reviewed

This week we worked on reviewing our three types of writing in preparation for our writing test next week. Along with that we looked at how to answer text dependent questions. We talked about how smart people always double check their answers by going back into the text for proof and how that helps us in the long run because we then don't have to redo something.

Our focus was on reading and understanding historical texts. We read not only about the Oregon Trail and why people traveled West but also about what it was like for children to travel as well. We reviewed terms like main idea and supporting details, cause and effect, context clues, text feature and timelines. We also worked on fluency. We read together in small groups and were "judged" by our peers by our ability to read fluently (thumbs up if we read well together, thumbs to be side if we read pretty well, and thumbs down if we were not together at all). As the week progressed, we had lots of thumbs up:). We also worked on organizing our writing for informational writing. We used our TIDE graphic organizer to plan a paragraph answering the following question: what was life like for children traveling on the Oregon Trail?

On top of writing, we also continued working on our comma rules. We have learned that commas are used with a conjunction when combining 2 sentences, in a series, in dates, with location of city and state, when addressing someone, with transitions, and with dialogue. We will be having our next CFA, or check in, on commas and quotation marks. This will be after next week.

During content mastery, we reviewed opinion writing. We read letters written by Theodore Roosevelt to his children and read an article about children growing up in the White House. We then worked on reviewing the process of OREO in order to answer the question: Would you want to live in the White House if your parent was president?


From Plant to Grocery Store...

This week our focus was South America. We looked closely at two products that come from South America: bananas and chocolate. We learned how those products started out as plants and how they ended up in our grocery stores. We wrote a 4 sentence summary on the banana process. We also discussed that each region around the world have products that they are known for. When the product is is local, it is often cheaper than when the product is shipped somewhere and imported because there is the cost transporting it.

We also worked on reading and understanding timelines. We specifically read about Christopher Columbus's voyages. We learned that timelines can be used to sequence events in someone's life or events in history. We also learned about the difference between a monarchy and a democracy. We realized that we are thankful to live in a democratic country.

We are continuing our quizzes on our U.S. regions. Next week we will be introduced to the Northeast region landforms. We will finish up our individual regions with the Southeast. Our final quiz will be over all 50 states and their correct locations.

Kara Merriman

Next week is our first round of TNReady testing. It is so important to make sure your child is at school and on time. We will be testing on Monday (ELA writing), Tuesday (SS writing), Wednesday (Math part 1), and Thursday (ELA writing). The testing is completed on the computer and will be anywhere from 50-75 minutes. We will be working hard in the morning and then rewarding our hard workers with a more relaxed and fun afternoon. Please make sure your child gets a good night's rest and a healthy breakfast so that they can work hard and stay focused during testing.

Our Valentine's Day party is on next Friday. We are decorating cookies and crafting. A letter was sent home today with a more detailed explanation and a list of items needed. Please send back the letter by Tuesday, so I can let people know what to bring in. Thank you in advance for helping make our party successful!

Our Fun Run fundraiser has kicked off!!! The run itself is next Thursday; it is a glow run. Currently Merriman's class is at $10 per person per lap; Mankin's class is at $18. Great job! All money is going to providing more technology for our school. The kids will be running or walking 30-35 laps. Donations can be either a flat donation or an amount per lap. Any and all donations are much appreciated.

Our bowling trip was a huge success!!! We bowled like champions. The kids had a blast and spares and strikes ran rampant. We learned about the cost of bowling alleys, the history of bowling, and what it looks like behind the scenes. It was great to see parents and grandparents. Thank you for all that you do!