Cluster 1 Newsletter

For the weeks of January 14 and 21

Hello Parents, Guardians, and Caregivers!

We understand that many students are or will be out for various reasons right now. If your student is feeling up to it, they can follow along with the class through Google Classroom, or we will help catch them up when they return. Please reach out if you have any questions!

All our best,

Cluster 1

English Language Arts Update

We just wrapped up our narrative writing unit; students did a fantastic job applying the strategies they learned to their final writing pieces. I am so proud of their willingness to take risks in their writing, adding figurative language, dialogue, sensory language, and a deeper meaning to their narratives. Please have your students share their final narrative with you if they haven’t already.

Our next unit is a whole class novel, Refugee by Alan Gratz. The novel involves three narratives; a Jewish boy fleeing Nazi Germany, a young Cuban girl leaving Havana under Fidel Castro’s rule in the 1990s, and a Syrian boy during the present day civil war. This is an engaging historical fiction story; please encourage your students to keep up with the reading at home, as it is imperative they come to class prepared.

Math Update

We kicked 2022 off with a new unit: dividing fractions! We started by drawing tape diagrams for division with whole numbers. Students have been interpreting division as breaking a total into equal groups. They are practicing reading division equations as “How many groups of _____ can fit into ______?”.

We are going to start connecting these diagrams to the fraction division algorithm in the next couple of weeks.

If families would like to preview what we are working in the Dividing Fractions Unit please click here for resources to support your student.

Science Update

Science students are experiencing a life changing experiment! We have started the new year with a new unit: Biology! First, qualitative and quantitative observations were made of 5 mystery substances. Now, daily observations of each substance are being made. Students are looking for evidence (traits of living things) to support their claims that each substance is living, non-living, dead, or living and dormant. Next week, we will cellibrate our hard work by having the big reveal.

Our next big unit will be to study the building blocks of life: cells.

Social Studies Update

We began the week with an assessment regarding The Code of Hammurabi. Students needed to analyze a court case and apply the law to determine the correct judgement. They also had to explain how different Babylonian values, such as harsh punishment and civic duty, were reflected in the legal system. We then moved on to starting a CER (Claim Evidence Reasoning) essay, where students needed to argue whether the Code of Hammurabi was fair or unfair. Students found textual evidence in both an article and the laws themselves to support their claims. They also developed explanations as to why their evidence supported their claim, or in other words, their reasoning.

Next week we will finish our CER’s by color coding and revising them. We will then move on to our last Mesopotamia assignment where students will apply the AP World History themes of S.P.I.C.E. (Social, Political, Interaction, Culture, Economics) to the Mesopotamian civilization.

Zachary Allen - English

Jessie Daigneault - Science

Megan Lipson - Social Studies

Jim Duffy - Special Education

Amanda Skypeck - Guidance