4D Classroom News

February 17-21, 2014

Academic Update

Language Arts

Our focus in Reading throughout the second trimester continues to be on the comprehension and analysis of nonfiction texts. Last week, we explored the importance of asking questions before, during, and after reading. We referred back to the text to seek answers to our questions. In some cases, we discovered that our questions weren't answered in the text alone. This week, we will continue with asking questions, but extending it further. The goals for student thinking and learning this week include:

  • Keep questions in mind as students read to discover answers
  • Use a variety of strategies to answer questions such as skimming and scanning, inferring, sharing, discussing background knowledge with classmates, and doing further research

Again, we will practice through whole class mini-lessons with shared nonfiction texts, but this will also be reinforced in guided reading groups with nonfiction texts at the appropriate reading level.

Word Study groups will continue as usual this week. Patterns covered include the following:

  • Short -o, Long -o (CVC, CVCe, CVVC, CVV)
  • Syllable juncture (VCV, VCCV)
  • Prefixes (pre-, fore-, post-, after-)

Students will not have Daily Language homework this week. Instead, we are working through vocabulary lesson 3 in our Wordly Wise book and studying pronouns. There will be a short homework assignment each night related to the weekly vocabulary words or grammar topic of pronouns. You can access the vocabulary lists and review games at this website. As always, the goal for vocabulary and grammar would be for students to apply what they are learning to their own writing.

Lastly, we will spend some time this week reviewing paragraph structure in writing. Students will learn how to form a cohesive paragraph that includes a topic sentence, supporting details with transitions between sentences, and a concluding sentence. We will start with one paragraph and in subsequent weeks, students will learn how to write a more detailed piece with multiple paragraphs.


In Math, we are currently in lesson 5.2 and students are now learning how to find the mode and range of a set of data. In addition to this, students will continue to make and interpret line plots. Students will participate in quite a few hands-on activities this week to further explore these topics.

I will also be sending home the Chapter 4 test related to tables and line graphs. Students have already seen these tests and have done test corrections independently in class. Please review the test with your child and return it by Friday, February 21st. As with the Chapter 3 test, you will also see an attached cover sheet further explaining the types of problems on this test.

Social Studies

This week marks an exciting point in the trimester! We have officially finished two StoryPath units in Social Studies related to Understanding your Community: The Newspaper and Understanding the Marketplace: The Toy Company. The students did a fabulous job at the Toy Fair and many adults commented on how impressed they were with their expertise of their products. In addition to this, The Crusader Gazette is also finished and we were able to celebrate our hard work and enjoy all of the wonderful articles and new stories in class on Monday. I will post the pdf of the newspaper and photos from the Toy Fair on our class Haiku page for you to view and download. Enjoy!


As we have just wrapped up our latest Social Studies unit, this week we will now make the transition back to Science. We will begin our energy unit and will be exploring the various forms of energy, such as heat, light, and electricity to name a few. This unit will be different from our past Science units in the sense that it will be "flipped." This means that throughout the unit, students will be asked to complete some homework related to what we are studying in class. For example, they may be asked to read something at home or watch a Brainpop video and take a quiz over the content, in preparation for the next day's lesson. This will allow us to maximize our classroom time and do more investigations and experiments related to our energy unit.