Learning Links

Heather Smith & Adriane Reinelt

December 11, 2015

Classroom Calendar

Please click on the link button to view our classroom calendar for important events.

Holiday Party SignUpGenius

Our classroom party is Thursday, December 17 at 2:45pm. Please remember that there is no Kid's Connection at the end of the day.

A SignUpGenius link was emailed earlier this week. If you haven't visited the site, please click on the link below to provide much needed donations for the party...thanks!

Holiday Party SignUpGenius

SPE Can/Bottle Drive for Home Furever - Monday, Dec 14

SPE is partnering with Home Furever, a non-profit, no-kill, dog rescue.

This organization rescues the dogs most other groups will not help. They take in the injured, sick, old, or unwanted and do everything they can to get them healthy and into loving, forever homes.

Right now, they are in trouble. They have over $70,000 in outstanding vet bills.

Therefore, we are having a bottle/can drive to get them back out, rescuing dogs in need.

Here´s how you can help:

  • Send in your returnable bottles and cans by Monday, December 14th.
  • Have your students leave them outside their classroom doors.

That´s it! We will return them and donate the deposit to Home Furever!

If you would like to do more, please visit the following link to make a tax-deductible donation.


To learn more about this rescue, please visit their website at


Thank you for your support!

Leader of the Week - Alivia

Our next Leader of the Week and class President is Alivia. Thank you Claudia for your leadership this past week and continue to lead on this week as our class Vice-President!


Unit 3 - Informational Reading Readers have learned a variety of strategies to help them understand informational text and they are doing a great job practicing these strategies! This week readers focused on using prior knowledge to learn new information, becoming an expert of a topic to teach their reading partner and multiple ways to figure out the meaning of unfamiliar vocabulary words.

Reading Home Learning Conversation: Encourage your reader to engage in non-fiction reading at home and demonstrate the note taking strategies they have been practicing in class.


Unit 2 Information Writing: Personal Expertise Writers have been extremely focused on improving their writing skills in this unit and it is amazing to see! This week, writers settled on one topic and 3 related subtopics that they would use to write their expert book. Topics included Frankenmuth, Harry Potter, Christmas and football, to name a few. Writers then focused on crafting catchy introductions to grab a reader's attention and also began to work on chapter one of their book.

Writing Home Learning Conversation: Ask your writer to share with you the topic they chose for their book. Also, encourage writers to share the subtopics they will include about their specific topic.

Word Study

Students practiced doing a closed word sort. They are recognizing patterns between their words and are challenging themselves to think of different words that would also fit that same pattern.

*We will be having our first word study assessment next Wednesday, December 16th. Students will be asked to spell and correctly sort 10 words. Please practice spelling the words at home.

Word Study Home Learning Conversation: Ask your student to explain how their closed sort was organized. What were the categories they used to sort?

Leader in Me

Leaders have been working on beginning with the end in mind. We have set goals for the winter. We set personal, academic and social/behavioral goals. At the end of winter we will check back and see how we have done. Leaders were encouraged to set a goal they knew they could achieve and they were asked to write down how they could achieve this goal.

Leader in Me Home Learning Conversation: As your leader to share the 3 goals they set for themselves. Also, have a conversation about how those goals are going to be accomplished. It would be amazing if parents could be involved at home, checking on your student's progress with their goals! Leaders are encouraged to have goals throughout life, not just at school.


Unit 2 - Multiplication and Division

We have been introducing multiplication facts for 0-5. Click on the link Multiplication Strategies for "hints and tricks" for helping build a conceptual understanding. Notice the importance of mathematicians' prior understanding of adding doubles (2 + 2, 3 + 3, 4 + 4, and so one through 25 + 25) for multiples of 2, 3, and 4.

We have also been discussing the the Commutative Property of Multiplication that states that two numbers can be multiplied in either order. So 2 x 5 and 5 x 2 both equal 10. The order doesn't change the product (answer). This is very helpful to point out when introducing basic multiplication facts because I let our mathematicians know that if they know 2 x 5 = 10, then they already know 5 x 2 = 10 because of the commutative property.

We will continue learning multiplication facts for 6-12 after our break.

Math Home Learning Conversation:

  • Our mathematicians have multiplication flashcards for 0-5. Please have your child practice learning these facts a little bit each night.
  • Please use the following multiplication vocabulary with your child when taking about multiplication: 2 x 5 = 10, 2 groups of 5 = 10, factor x factor = product

Social Studies

Unit 2 - Economy of Michigan

We began our economy unit this week with introducing the concepts of producers and consumers. Producers create goods and/or services for others. Consumers purchase goods and/or services to for personal use. We connected these concepts to the holidays and brainstormed their personal Holiday Consumer and Producer wish list.

Economy Home Learning Conversation:

  • Have your child share his/her personal Holiday Consumer and Producer wish list.


Physical Science - Light

This week our scientists have been investigating shadows. We discovered that light rays travel in a straight line and the absence of light is created as a shadow when a light ray is unable to bend around an object.

Today we conducted research by viewing the video Bear's Shadow (click on the link to view). We made a claim that the angle of a shadow is determined by the placement of a light source. We provided evidence throughout this video that Bear's shadow did display different angles based on the Sun's location in the sky. We decided to test this theory next week by examining our shadows at different times throughout the day and recording our research in our Science Notebooks.

We also created "shadow sculptures" outside on this beautiful, sunny day and collaborated with a partner to create "shadow letters" with the alphabet. Check out our fun shadow sculpture pictures.

Our final display of learning will be demonstrating our understanding of shadows by creating shadow models using an indoor light source and an outdoor light source.

Science Home Learning Conversation:

  • Go outside with your scientist and "play" with shadows using the Sun as your light source or stay inside and play with indoor shadows using an indoor light source such as a lamp. Have your child describe the pattern needed to create a shadow using the following vocabulary: light source, object, shadow, direction of light.