February

Whats up in 4-2?

And I thought January was a quick month! Welcome back from vacation and snow days! I blame all of my out of state kids for this terrible weather they brought with them….Rhode Island is not EVER this cold!!! Luckily, April is only 5 weeks away, and with that comes mud. :)

Reading

As I hope you know, we wrapped up City of Ember, the kids LOVED it! I hope they talked about it at home. We’re currently reading the sequel People of Sparks as a read aloud in school. The prequel is not as good, but can be skipped, and the Diamond of Darkhold is an excellent choice for some independent reading after we finish Sparks.


All of the students chose a subject to study for their upcoming biography projects. I asked that they began to read these books over vacation, and I’m hopeful that all kids will have them completed with notes taken by the beginning of next week. This should not be a problem, as the reading level of these books is quite appropriate. This project will be completed in school, with each student working at their own pace. There will be a lot included in the project such as timelines, biocubes, webs, and avatars.


In addition, we will be continuing, and stepping up our work on identifying main idea and supporting detail. You can help with this by asking kids to determine the main idea of TV shows you’re watching, movies, etc. I’d like for them to really see that this is a literacy skill that they use in life all the time. Kids will be working on some more short nonfiction texts.


We did just finish up some nonfiction texts on animals. Please ask your child to show you their presentation on their chromebook. They are short, sweet, and very impressive!


Reminder: Students should be reading a minimum of 20 minutes per night. Reading aloud to your child is always encouraged too! Reading each night is so important to your child’s growth, please don’t “back burner” this!
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Math

I can’t thank you enough for your support and hanging in there with this new way of teaching math. I am NOT exaggerating when I tell you that the most a student got incorrect on the last multiplication (double digit by double digit test) was ONE wrong. ONE! I am SO proud of this group of kids. They are working so hard and it is showing!


Division is our new monster that we’re tackling. It is a slow process, stay with me on this...they will be there by the end of the week. I know it is a little different from how we learned it, but in the end it is so much easier, and makes SO much more sense. Attached is a quick video for you.


And here is the nagging portion of the newsletter:

If your child still has not memorized their times tables, PLEASE help them with this. There are only a few kids that don’t have them down pat, and they are the kids that are beginning to struggle. Please keep quizzing the kids, even if they know their facts just to keep them fresh. xtramath.org (they can use it on any computer) is a great program the kids know how to use. Make it part of their nightly routine!!

Science

Stay tuned for our upcoming Electricity Show! I’m thinking it may be next Friday at 1:00….but that is not set in stone just yet. Kids will be displaying their knowledge of electric circuits and switches. You are welcome to come in and view their creations!


We will soon be beginning a unit on ROCKS! Rocks rock. This is my favorite Science unit of the year. Did you know there is a rock in Beavertail that is made of the same exact components as one in Africa, showing evidence of the continental shift??!! Did you know there is a fault line under Zeek’s Creek? You live in such a cool place. Anyway, I will be sending out an email looking for some very strange supplies, please keep your eyes peeled for that one.

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Social Studies

Our study of the States is well underway. The projects the kids have been completing have been amazing. I’ve had some students present to the School Improvement Team, and some are presenting to the School Committee this week! I am blown away by how creative they are! We will be presenting the Midwest Floats today, I’m very excited for this!


The Southwest is our next region to tackle, I’m in the process of coming up with a project for them, so I will keep you posted. These kids challenge me!

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Writing

In Writing, we will be finishing up a unit on poetry. I think the kids have really enjoyed this one. We have been reading Sharon Creech’s Love that Dog, and analyzing all sorts of poetry by Robert Frost, Walter Dean Meyers, Valerie Worth and more! Kids have been writing some original poetry and writing some inspired by the above poets.


Next week or so we will begin Persuasive or Opinion Writing. Be aware that kids will be learning how to ask for things in a more than convincing way…
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EXTRA

PARCC testing is coming up late in March. We will be giving the kids a dry run I believe next week. I am confident that they will do quite well. Please be sure kids have plenty of sleep and a big healthy breakfast the day of the test.


My due date is March 28, and I’m planning on sticking it out to the end...I’m trying not to complain too much, and appreciate how the kids are picking things up for me as gravity is the ultimate enemy.


Thank you for all your continued support!


Julie Geary