Cluster Four Weekly Update

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EL with Ms. Schoenbeck

Entering ELD

This week we began our Imagine Learning competition! Ask your student for details and encourage them to participate. They can make good progress over the long weekend.

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.

This week students showed off their ability to direct classmates around the school using the names of school locations like the library and nurse’s office and directions. We ended the week studying the months of the year and writing and saying dates in English.

Next week, we learn how to say the numbers in English from 0-1,000,000,00, say the time, and use the present tense of “to be” to explain dates, time, and ages.

Emerging ELD

This week we will begin our unit on feelings and family. We will start with the vocabulary of feelings and expressions that happen when we have those feelings. Towards the end of the week we will be talking about our families and their corresponding titles (Mom, Dad, Stepmom, Cousin, etc.).

We also have our ongoing 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 have learned about cause and effect. We read a myth and will discuss how the different events in a story are connected. Next week, we will be drawing plot diagrams and read more myths.

Expanding ELD

Students learned and practiced comprehension strategies with the America Street story “Sixth Grade,” by learning the literary terms “conflict,” “climax,” and “resolution,” as well as using a Plot--Story Arc chart. Also, students did some more practice on verbs on, and Independent Reading book checks.

Transitioning ELD

This week, students demonstrated their vocal and video talents by presenting music videos about their goals. We also launched our narrative and short story unit by reading Bloch’s “Men Are Different,” which takes place in the far future. Ask your student about their visions for the future!

Next week, we will continue analyzing the elements of narratives by reading Gary Soto’s “Being Mean.”


This week we are beginning Unit 2 which focuses on differentiating between a digraph and a blend, but also digraph blends. We will be advancing to blending and segmenting four and five sound words this week, after previously only working with three sound words.

Social Studies with Ms. Lorigan

Social Studies students have begun their second unit of study focused on the theme of “Humans and the Environment.” Students will work to answer the question, “How does where we live shape how we live?” based on a variety of case studies in the ancient and modern world. This unit began with a written assignment, trying to answer the unit question with existing knowledge and understanding of the world. They will answer it again later in the unit, with more specifics and the ability to compare.

Students also worked through their first “Question Formulation Technique” where they practiced asking questions about an image connected to our theme of humans and the environment. They admitted that following the rule about not “judging” other people’s questions might be hard, but agreed to try. We reviewed open and closed questions and discussed the advantages and disadvantages of both.

Next will be skills practice: basic geography review, cardinal directions, and note-taking (2-column/sketch notes).

4 Coming of Age Films that help students cope with change

Math with Mr. Martin

This week we worked on using real-world distances to calculate scaled distances and create their own scale drawings. We also looked at multiple scale drawings of the same object using different scales. Next week we will practice what they’ve learned so far in this unit as we prepare for our Unit Test on Friday.

Here are our Learning goals as we head into the end of the unit.

  • Choose an appropriate scale to represent actual distances on a limited drawing size, and explain the reasoning.

  • Accurately draw a complex scale drawingCalculate distances on a scale drawing when given a drawing with a different scale.

  • Determine the scale of a scale drawing.

  • Justify whether two scales are equivalent.

  • Create a scale drawing given the actual dimensions of the object and the scale.

  • Compare and contrast scale drawings of the same object using different scales, and describe how scale affects lengths in a scale drawing.

Big picture
Big picture

Science with Ms. MacAulay

This week in science students practiced classifying organisms. Students learned the taxonomic designations as well as how organisms are grouped into each category. In class, we practiced writing out the taxonomy pyramid, pronouncing the Latin words and distinguishing between common and scientific names. Students showed what they know on a short quiz on Thursday, which will be visible to you when you log into Power School for a progress report this weekend. See Principal Martin’s S’more for specifics on that process.

English Language Arts with Ms. McDonagh

We are continuing our “Where I’m From.” unit. This week, students have been working on learning how to revise their writing. Working with different partners has given students a chance to get feedback from different voices and inspiration from each other’s work. Students have been working on author’s craft with mini-lessons on word choice and emulating the author, George Ella Lyons.

Independent reading has a profound impact on learning. In ELA, we have a strong emphasis on building the habit of daily reading. Talk to your student about their books at home! Read the same books! Model by reading your own books alongside them.

Heads up - I sent home ELA progress reports today. Please encourage your student to reach out to me if they have questions.

English Language Arts with Mrs. Sullivan

The class focused on the introduction of higher order teaching through comparing and contrasting poems.

The writings of George Ella Lyon and Kwame Alexander brought good discussion as students categorized the similarities and differences of childhood memories. This discussion prompted students to share their memories realizing that we are all from very different backgrounds. Sensory detail was presented through anchor charts and author examples. As the class prepares to revise the first draft, each is encouraged to choose more specific words and to “show” not “tell.” Students are encouraged to take time at home to refine their writing. Next week, the class will focus on using strong language and imagery combined with figurative language. Please open up the link below to read Lyon’s poem. Your student will soon have one of their own!

Where I'm From