Weekly Update

Cluster 5 - Week 3

Cluster Announcements

Wednesday (9/29) Early Release Day - 12:30 pm

Math Assessment on Monday (9/27)

English/Language Arts

This week (9/17), students enjoyed developing their academic and personal goals with a targeted group video showcasing their hopes for the year- building off the viewing of, “This Is Gonna Be My Year” Zombies video. It was amazing to watch students joyfully planning and implementing technology video recording and editing for an authentic presentation- the students had lots of laughs and social growth through the process.

Starting next week, students will begin their first narrative writing unit using the short story, Being Mean by Gary Soto. The story involves adolescent siblings participating in some seriously mischievous activities. Ask your student about the story- and at some point, maybe they will share their completed narrative with you (at the end of next week).

Please encourage your student to independently read each evening.


We just took our first quiz on Topic 1.1. Take a look on Google Classroom to see how your child is doing with our work so far!

Weekly Learning Targets for 9/27-10/1:

  • I can describe how convection currents in the mantle are the driving force of
    plate tectonics.

    • I can describe how objects or materials of different densities can interact with each other.

    • I can use models to explain how convection currents cause plate tectonics.

    • I can describe how heat can be transferred through convection, conduction, and radiation.


We had a great week in Civics learning about and exploring our American identity as part of our “We the People” unit. We watched a short Facing History and Ourselves video called “American Identity: 3 Words,” where people around the world are asked to describe the United States. We then had rich discussions about how others in the world see us, and how we see ourselves.

This week we also started our final assessment for the “We the People” identity unit, which is a whole-class giant identity map of the United States. Each student has chosen a small part of the map to be in charge of, and they will be researching and visually representing the answers to our essential questions:

  • Who are we as Americans? What symbolizes America and our American ideals?

  • How can we show these ideas through art? What do we celebrate about our country?

Next week we’ll continue the project, and we can’t wait to take pictures and show you in the next newsletter!


Next week we will be having our first assessment on Monday. This assessment will be on transformations.

Students should be prepared to:

1) Rotate (Spin), Reflect (Flip) and Translate (Slide) shapes on a square and triangular grid

2) Identify rotations, reflections and translations

3) Write coordinate points in the correct form ( x, y)

Also, next week students will be learning about congruent shapes.

English Language Development classes

Entering ELD

This week we learned the names of locations in the school building and simple directions in English, such as “left, right, straight, upstairs and downstairs.” We also discussed the school’s expectations around fire drills, evacuations, and other emergency procedures. Students compared this to what they did at other schools.

This week we also launched our Imagine Learning competition! Ask your student for details and encourage them to participate. The program is easy to do at home and when it is used regularly (40-60 minutes a week), it rapidly increases learning the English language.

Next week we will study numbers, the months of the year, dates, and telling the time.

Emerging ELD

9/20-9/24: This week we will learn subject and object pronouns and their location in sentences. Additionally we’ll learn the differences for singular and plural pronouns, and how that relates to the verbs “to be” and “to have”.

9/27-10/1: This week we will transition our pronoun learning to possessive pronouns, and we will introduce prepositions. Our goal in learning small words at the beginning of the year (pronouns, prepositions, articles, singular and plural, to have, to be) is to propel towards writing complete sentences. We will also be using sentence starters to begin practicing describing and explaining visuals.

This week we also launched our Imagine Learning competition! Ask your student for details and encourage them to participate. The program is easy to do at home and when it is used regularly (40-60 minutes a week), it rapidly increases learning the English language.

Developing ELD

This week we began reading fables and discussed the author’s purpose and what values the stories represent. We will continue this next week and also practice different reading strategies like looking for context clues.

Expanding ELD

Students have started reading a book of short stories called America Street, which celebrates authors from diverse backgrounds. The stories feature middle school-aged main characters and the themes center around challenges immigrants face when moving to the United States. To help increase student comprehension, they have practiced 6 reading strategies, as well as started to learn literary terms. Students have also started choosing Independent Reading books, so we visited the WMS Library for instruction on resources, as well as applications for a WFPL card.

Transitioning ELD

This week the students have had fun using making their year goals into song lyrics. They are currently recording their lyrics to make video performances in groups.

Next week, they will edit their video projects and present them to our class. After this, we will begin our unit on reading and writing narratives by preparing vocabulary journals and reviewing the necessary language to discuss literature.


9/20-9/24: This week we will continue with matching sounds to letters and blending them into 3 and 4 letter words. We will begin learning high frequency words and introduce digraphs wh, ch, th, sh, and ck.

9/27-10/1: This week we will practice identifying and pronouncing digraphs in nonsense words, practice scooping phrases and sentences, and dictating sounds, words, and phrases. We have our Unit 1 test this week, which includes dictating and identifying digraphs, high frequency words, and individual speaking assessments.

Past Smores