Learning Links

Heather Smith & Adriane Reinelt

January 15, 2016

Classroom Calendar

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

TypingClub Student Information

This year our class will be working with TypingClub in the classroom and at home.

TypingClub is an educational program that will help students learn to type quickly and accurately on a standard computer keyboard. The program is fully web-based so students can use it to practice keyboarding in class, at home, or anywhere an internet connection can be found.

To log in to TypingClub account, go to the following login URL:


The students will be using their Clarkston Google Accounts to access Typing Club. They will be typing in their Google username and password that they use at school.

If you would like to help at home, the most important thing for your child to focus on while practicing is to avoid looking at the keyboard while typing.

We are very excited to share TypingClub with you and to work toward developing your child's keyboarding skills. Together, we can help develop a skill set that will be indispensable to your child’s learning.

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Leader of the Week - Braden

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

Social Studies - Entrepreneur Project due Friday, January 22

Unit 2 - Economy of Michigan

The information below was sent home on Tuesday in a document planning our project...

We began our journey as entrepreneurs in Social Studies this week by watching Tim’s video about his restaurant and how the Snap Cap company began.

After some time to think and reflect, you were presented with the following Driving Question: “How can we, as entrepreneurs, start a small business in Michigan?” This question will “drive” our learning in Social Studies as we explore Michigan Economy.

We will study:

  • productive resources (human, natural, capital)

  • economic decision-making (scarcity, choice, incentives)

  • business choices (type and location of business)

  • trade (specialization, interdependence, global trade)

  • role of state government (public goods and services, taxes, fees, and fines)

To begin with, we have brainstormed potential products for our small business in class. Here’s your chance to be creative and present our class with your product idea! Remember, we have some guidelines we need to follow that were established in class.

Product Idea Guidelines:

  • Must be created using “at home” materials. Anything that would be thrown away or recycled. Using tape, glue, nails, paint to construct is fine.

  • Must be something that can be reproduced easily. Think about your materials and how accessible they are to create more of your products.

  • Must be made by you. Parents and other adults may help with idea and gathering materials.

  • Think about how the Snap Cap idea came to be - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kB7bGNBPaCM Talk to your family, neighbors, friends to find out what they might need or want that they do not have.

  • Make notes about how much time it took to create your product, how much money it costs, and how much money you think it would sell for.

  • Think about Tim’s restaurant and his motto - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y6He0FWoFj0 We are working on creating a positive, happy, and warm feeling for our consumers and small business.

  • Visit our classroom website bit.ly/smithreinelt for possible product ideas. Click on Learning Links and scroll down to Social Studies Links to the highlighted Recycled Craft Ideas section.

If you have any questions or feedback, ask me! We want our learning to always be fun and exciting. I appreciate all of your input and advice. Bring your potential product to school on Friday, January 22. We will plan for a business expo for the following week where we will invite parents.

Economy Home Learning Conversation:

  • Create your product at home and remember to make notes about how much time it took to create your product, how much money it costs, and how much money you think it would sell for. Bring your completed project to school Friday, January 22.

Story of Learning Portfolio

Your child will be bringing home his/her "Story of Learning Portfolio". We are using this portfolio as another way to provide feedback to your child's growth over time. Please take the opportunity this weekend to review your child's learning. Keep all contents within the portfolio and return it to school Tuesday, January 19. Your child will continue to add new learning artifacts to his/her portfolio and will be bringing it home periodically to share his/her progress with you.

Story of Learning Portfolio Home Learning Conversation:

  • Please engage in a conversation with your child around the learning observed through your child's learning artifacts. Please complete the "2 Stars and 1 Wish" activity in the front of the portfolio: 2 Stars = two things that shine about your child's learning / 1 Wish = 1 area that requires continued focus/effort.


Unit 4 Mixed Genre Series Clubs Readers have wrapped up our unit on nonfiction text and we have launched into book clubs!! Students are placed in groups of 4-5 and are asked to read the same book and meet as a club to discuss their book. Readers will be reading multiple books in the same series so they can see how their characters develop over time or how their actions are consistent and stay the same.

Reading Home Learning Conversation: Encourage your reader to explain what book they are reading in their book club and how the dynamic of their club is going so far.


Unit 2 Information Writing: Personal Expertise Writers have been doing a great job at creating their final draft expertise book. We have focused on glossary, about the author and table of contents this week. We hope to finish all of our books by next week.

Writing Home Learning Conversation: Ask your writer to share with you what they included in their about their author. They were encouraged to include interests, books they have written before and details that their reader would want to know.

Word Study

Students practiced their words and sorts this week in class to lead up to our test on Friday. Everyone is doing a great job with word study and I am very excited to hear about all the practice you are doing at home! This work will help your child be a better spelled, as well as, be able to identify patterns in words. Look for this week's graded tests in Friday folders.

Word Study Home Learning Conversation: Review your child's word study test. What did they do really well and what could they continue to work on. Have them create a goal or a plan on how to do better or continuing doing well with word study.

Math - Multiplication & Division

Unit 2 - Multiplication and Division

We are continuing to explore multiplication and division this week. Our mathematicians were introduced to a new math tool...a Multiplication Chart. We've been exploring patterns within this chart and noticing how this tool is handy when thinking about multiplying and dividing numbers. Watch the video below to see some of these patterns. Your mathematician has a multiplication chart on page 10 of his/her daily planner for use at home.

Math Home Learning Conversation:

  • Using a deck of cards, practice multiplication facts playing "Reading Multiplication Minds". The directions are below or click on the link to see the entire book "Acing Math: One Deck at a Time".
  • Reading Multiplication Minds (Grades 3 - 6) / Players: Groups of three (groups of four or five for more advanced) / Materials: Deck of cards / Skill: Multiplication, product / How to Play: In this game for three players, one student is the leader and the other two are the “mind readers”. The two players each draw a card and, without looking at it, hold it up to their foreheads so that everyone else can see it, but themselves. The leader announces the products of the two cards. Each “mind reader” must figure out which card is on his or her own forehead and say it aloud. When both “mind readers” have figured out their cards, a new leader is chosen and the game continues. With Reading Multiplication Minds, all players get practice with products and factors in every round.

Science - Refraction of Light

Physical Science - Light

This week our scientists revisited refraction of light with the "Broken Straw Investigation". We discovered that our original plastic glass in the investigation effected the outcome because the glass was wavy and the glass alone refracted the straw by making the straw look wavy. We performed the investigation again using a clear glass and could see that the straw appeared to be broken.

Our discovery of using a wavy glass created a wonderful opportunity to retest our investigation. We learned that scientists often retest investigations too. This was a great learning opportunity to experience first hand the trials and tribulations of "doing" science.

Science Home Learning Conversation:

  • Have your scientist replicate our class investigation at home using a clear glass filled half way with water and an object such as a straw. If you don't have a straw, and straight object will work.