The Bissinger Beacon

January 8, 2016

Thank You!

Happy New Year! I hope everyone had an enjoyable winter break. Thank you all so much for your generosity! I feel so lucky to spend my days with your children.

Writer's Workshop

Authors examined strategies essayists use to support their thesis. Students created parallelism by listing ideas in their own writing. Students also added conversational prompts such as “this makes me realize…” or “in addition...” to their supporting details. Next week we will listen to a very famous essay, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech. The speech illustrates the use of repeated phrases and focus words to make a strong impact.

Social Studies

Students recognized the goals and motives for immigration between the years 1840-1920. We took an interactive online tour of Ellis Island and continued gathering and recording immigrant information. Students researched individual accounts and listened to personal experiences. Students took the identity of an immigrant, and created their personal “journal”. Students brainstormed their first entry as if they were an immigrant still in his/her home country. Students had to describe the struggles they were facing which would lead them to immigrate to the U.S. Actors has a blast performing a reader's theater script about immigrants struggles at Ellis Island!

Reader's Workshop

Readers drew conclusions and made generalizations based on text details as we read, Dear Mr. Winston. Students also used non-fiction text features such as graphs and charts to better understand the informational text, Field Guide to Snakes of the Southwest. We identified conjunctions in compound sentences, recognized antonyms in analogies, and studied commas in a series.


Partners went on a "Supermarket Sweep" and were challenged to purchase food items as a way of practicing adding and subtracting with decimals. Metric units of length were introduced as we compared U.S. customary units vs. metric units. Many students came out for breakfast club to review for our unit 4 assessment.

Mathematicians practiced rounding sums and understanding situations where estimating is appropriate. We can estimate whether a product will be in the tens, hundreds or thousands.

A Pep Talk for 2016...

Up & Coming

1/12 Elementary Winter Concert 7pm

1/18 School Closed, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day