Collins & Co. Room 204

Week 21 update: February 1st - February 5th


Hi Families,

The students had an exciting and fun filled week. They learned their parts for the musical, enjoyed the PTO Sponsored Pizza Day, experimented with gravity, and started a new read aloud book. Oh yea, they did some other learning too. Read below to find out about the rest of our week.

Parent-Teacher conferences are next week. If you need to schedule, or reschedule, but do not see a time that fits with you schedule please let me know and we can make the necessary adjustments. Your students brought home a reminder form today in their Friday Folders. Feel free to use the top half as a reminder of your scheduled time. Please return the bottom half to school on Monday. Also, if you haven't had a chance to fill out the Google Survey, below, please do so prior to our conference. This will help get some of the "logistical/housekeeping" items out of the way so that we can maximize our time together.

I look forward to seeing all of you next week,

Ms. Collins


Chapter 8A tests came home this week. Students were very excited with their results and were eager to share their successes with you. If you haven't done so yet, please review, sign, and return tests with your students.

We began Chapter 8B this week, Adding and Subtracting Decimals. This is a chapter from the Fourth Grade book that wasn't covered last year due to Common Core. So far, students have done well with adding and subtracting decimals. Ask them about the "song", or way to remember what to do with their decimal place!

Next week, students will learn and practice how to convert between two different units of measure. If you're doing any baking at home ask your students for help, this is great real-world practice! As of now, the 8B test is tentatively scheduled for next Thursday.

Supports for Students - D28 Family Math Connections

Click here to access the math links.

Reader's Workshop

This week students continued learning about nonfiction text structures. They made the connection that a big clue to identify a sequential text structure is when the author is talking about history. The students read an article about the evolution of sneakers. Ask them about what surprised them! (Hint: Adidas).

They also began to look at the text structure, Compare and Contrast. They found that when the article is discussing two different things and they use the clue words, "similarities and differences", it is most likely Compare and Contrast.

Next Friday students will vote for a favorite Rebecca Caudill nominee. They were encouraged to take home a new book this weekend to try and read one more before the vote! Ask them what they're reading!

Writer's Workshop

This week in writing, students continued to build their collection of persuasive pieces. They created a new folder in their Google Docs dedicated to persuasive pieces. As we continue through our unit, students will be encouraged to revise their work based on the lessons discussed in class. Editing has not been their favorite things in past work. Along with developing writer's technique, this will be our focus in this unit.

Students explored how to build solid, valid, and multiple reasons to support their ideas. By verbally rehearsing their ideas with a partner, students were able to come up with enough support that gave their reader more than one main reason to support their claim. Ask your student about some of his/her persuasive topics so far!


To "launch" our Space Unit, (pun intended), students looked at the app, Sky View, on the iPods to take a look at what can be found in space. They were excited about all the "things" that are up there. We also looked on our new classroom Instagram account to see posts from people like @explorenasa, @astro_terry, @stationcdrkelly, and @nasa. The students were fascinated with seeing their videos and photos.

Students began to explore the concepts of gravity. They conducted experiments in the classroom to find evidence whether they agreed or disagreed with four claims. They worked in groups to come up with a presentation for the class to explain their findings. This activity led to many great conversations that showed higher level thinking.

Students discussed air resistance, the idea of "up" vs. "down", and what would happen in regards to gravity if you could travel to and/or through the Earth's core.

Check out the video below and talk to your student about it!

Feather & Hammer Drop on Moon

Science Lab

This week in Science Lab, the students used a pendulum to discover how gravity affects the speed and motion of falling objects. They worked to find if adding weight to the pendulum would effect how fast it swings and if a longer pendulum would swing faster. Want to know the answers, then be sure to ask your child.

They also learned about launching a satellite into orbit around the Earth. In order to stay in orbit, a satellite has to be launched with just the right amount of energy. They used a ramp and marbles to practice this by balancing the forces of launch energy versus gravity. They recorded and graphed their results. They learned that several trials were needed to find the most accurate distance.

Ask your Student about:

• Science Lab

• Mr. Browne's February Precept

• Adidas

• New Seats

The Westing Game

• Pizza Day

• Musical Parts

• "Line 'em up, up, up"

• Yearbook entries

• Skyview App

• Food Network in Spanish

Second Step: (Social Emotional Learning)

This week's topic in our SEL progam was "Resisting Revenge". Revenge-seeking behaviors are likely to escalate peer conflicts. Students discussed identifying and thinking through the negative conseuences of revenge. Thy practiced applying the strategies from our learning to calm down lessons.

Valentine's Day Party

Our Valentine's Day party will be on Tuesday, February 9th at 2:45pm. Students are welcome to bring in a bag or box to collect their valentines. We will not be creating anything at school, so this should be done at home if they would like to make a Valentine's collection box. While students do not need to pass out valentines, please remember that it is school policy to include all students in the classroom if you choose to give out any valentines.

*Students may hand out candy included with their Valentines. However, they will not be permitted to eat it at school.

Things to come:

  • Tuesday, February 9th
  • Valentine's Day Party (2:45)

  • Wednesday, February 10th
  • Parent/Teacher Conferences (4:30-7:30)

  • Thursday, February 11th
  • 12:00 Dismissal
  • Parent/Teacher Conferences (1:00-8:00)

  • Friday, February 12th

  • Sunday, February 14th
  • Valentine's Day

  • Monday, February 15th
  • NO SCHOOL - President's Day