News From Room 116

January 2016

Happy New Year!

Welcome to our first classroom newsletter! My plan at this time is to send at least one newsletter, via email, per month. In the newsletter you will read about topics of study, fun activities, and important dates. If you have any suggestions for things you would like to see in the newsletter, please let me know! I will do my best to accommodate!


In math, we continue to work with multiplication and division. We are focused on finding the area of rectangles using a tiling method (breaking the rectangle into smaller pieces), and will learn the multiplication formula for finding area, as well. We will take the end of unit assessment the week of January 18th. Students will also take a facts fluency assessment at the end of the quarter, which will be their math fluency grade on their second quarter report card.

Students are taking multiplication and/or division timed quizzes several times each week. It is very important that students practice their math facts each day at home for at least 10 minutes. There are many websites that can be used for facts practice. Other ideas for practice are: flash cards, writing facts out on paper, playing dice games for practice, even being quizzed by a parent or older sibling in the car is a great way to learn those facts!

Students have been introduced to the website to help them strengthen their math skills. They are able to access this at home, as they do have their own username and password in their assignment notebooks. Below is a list of topics students should practice, as they relate to our current and past units of study.

IXL Topics:



Understand Multiplication

Understand Division

Estimation and Rounding (P1-P2)


In reading, we are finishing up our unit on non-fiction text. We have looked at several types of non-fiction books, and analyzed features in each. Students will be assessed on our non-fiction unit the week of January 11. This will involve reading a passage, answering multiple choice question, highlighting text evidence, and two short, written responses. Our next unit in reading will be Social Studies: Communities: Past and Present.

Please make sure your child reads every day at home for at least 20 minutes. You can view their progress toward AR goals, and see how they did on all AR tests taken at school by visiting the Murphy School website, navigating to "Students," then "Renaissance Place." You can log in with your child's username and password, which are in their assignment notebooks.

Social Studies/Science

Currently, Mrs. Van Horn's class is studying social studies, and Mrs. Rooney's class is studying Science. When the third quarter begins, this will change. From February until the end of the year, Mrs. Van Horn's homeroom will go to Mrs. Rooney's room for Science, and Mrs. Rooney's class will come to Mrs. Van Horn for social studies. This way, all students will have been taught the same content in each subject area.

In social studies, we are currently finishing up a unit on communities and their needs. We have talked about workers, and goods and services. We will also look at a community's need for leaders and discuss the difference between rules and laws.


We have just begun our unit on persuasive/opinion writing. We wrote short, persuasive speeches to convince Mrs. Futterer to allow us to have a class pet! We will continue our persuasive writing by writing about someone who should get recognition, and continue to discover different ways to come up with ideas for our writing.

Important Dates

Week of 1/11: STAR Reading and Math testing

Tuesday, 1/12: AIMSWEB (reading fluency) testing

Monday, 1/18: No School - Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s Birthday

Friday, 1/22: End of 2nd quarter

Thursday, 2/11: Dismissal at 11:40. Parent/Teacher conferences 3:00-8:00 p.m.

Friday, 2/12: No School - Parent/Teacher conferences 11:00-4:00 p.m.

Monday, 2/15: No School - President's Day