Learning Links

Heather Smith & Adriane Reinelt

November 20, 2015

Classroom Calendar

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

SPE Holiday Shopping

Please remember that there is a unique shopping experience at SPE on Thursday, December 3. Click on the link for more info Holiday Shopping at the SPE Collection.

PTA Reflections

Please consider having your child participate in our SPE PTA Reflections program. The theme this year is "Let Your Imagination Fly". Submissions are due December 11.

Leader of the Week

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


Unit 1 - Adding and Subtracting Whole Numbers Using Place Value

We assessed addition and subtraction learnings this week. I will provide you feedback on your child's progress after our Thanksgiving Break.

HOME LEARNING...Counting Collections:

We are looking for collections of 100 small objects to launch our multiplication unit. Examples include: noodles, Popsicle sticks, buttons, etc. Please have your child create his/her own counting collection and send it to school in a ziploc baggie on Monday, November 23rd.

Math Home Learning Conversation:

  • We have create another video this week. It will be ready to view on Monday. I'll send you the link in a future email. Take this opportunity to have your child share our latest creation.

Word Study

Students have began word study with their first list of words. We are focusing on learning the basic structure of word study and how to find patterns in words. This list focuses on words with the word families -an, -en, -in and -un. Students are doing a great job with noticing patterns with sound, word structure and word families. We will not be assessing these words, they are solely used to help students understand the basic principles of word study.

Word Study Home Learning Conversation:

  • Have your child explain the different types of sorts they are learned. Answers should include: closed sort- students are given a list of words and a sorting mat with the categories, blind writing sort- I say one word at a time and students must write the word in the correct category and group sort- students get into a small group and take turns sorting the words.


Readers have been focusing on 2 very broad concepts with reading this week: inferences and following alongside the life lessons learned by their characters. Inferences require students to read beyond the text and really make an educated guess about what the author is wanting them to understand. Readers became clue finders this week when looking for inferences! They are doing a great job and we will continue to improve using this strategy throughout the year. Readers also looked for life lessons that their characters learned. The concept of a life lesson proved challenging but students are doing a great job looking for the real lessons in their story.

Reading Home Learning Conversation:

  • Have your reader share with you the 2 things you need to make an inference. (Text clues + schema-they should be able to define this word as well) Also have your reader give a couple examples of life lessons they have noticed in their books. Challenge your child to justify why they believe their character learned that specific lesson. Make them give you evidence!!

Writing & Leader in Me

This week, writers focused on tying together their writing with leader in me. First, writers created haiku poems to explain Habit 1 Be Proactive. Room 408 loves poetry!! They did a great job with their haikus and they also are choosing to create acrostic poems in their free time. :)

Next, we watched an amazing Kid President video: How To Change The World (a work in progress) that inspired us to want to change the world! Writers brainstormed a list of ways they could work on making the world a better place. Students made sure to focus on small, achievable goals. Examples included: donate unused toys, spread kindness by smiling, recycle, help teachers and pick up trash. It is truly amazing to watch our Leaders become so passionate about wanting to help others! After we brainstormed, we created a poster that we will hang in the hall. We want to show one way that we can change the world and hopefully inspire others to follow with us and take small steps to spread kindness.

Writing & Leader in Me Home Learning Conversation:

  • Have you leader share their main idea of how they can change the world. Challenge them to explain how they are going to fit that goal into their everyday life. Students are focusing on following through with goals and not simply saying something and not doing it. Encourage them to help change the world at home as well!

Social Studies

Unit 1 - The Geography of Michigan

Our Geographers are continuing to examine Landforms and Bodies of Water in Michigan. After conducting research last week, we worked on displaying our understanding of Michigan's special landforms and bodies of water by creating our own maps that told a "special story". We will be sharing our maps next week.

Geography Home Learning Conversation:

  • Take the opportunity to have a conversation with your geographer about his/her understanding of special Michigan landforms and bodies of water.


Earth Science - Earth Materials & Surface Changes

We have continued examining rapid forms of weathering and erosion (earthquake, volcano, flood) and have selected a natural disaster to research for evidence of weathering and erosion. We are communicating our understanding through a poster and will give giving presentations to our class next week.

Science Home Learning Conversation:

  • Take the opportunity this weekend to have a conversation with your scientist about his/her Natural Disaster Weather & Erosion poster.