News From Room 116

February 2016

Halfway There!

Here it is, our second classroom newsletter! My plan 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 have begun our unit on fractions. Students are developing their understanding of fractions as a number, rather than a part of a shape. They will show fractions on a number line, compare fractions, and explain equivalent fractions.

Students are still 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)

Fractions (W9-W13)


In reading, we are working on a new unit: Social Studies: Communities: Past and Present. We are using a variety of content-based literature to answer the question, "How and why do communities change over time?" Later in the unit, students will research a building located in Chicago, studying how it has changed over the last 100 years.

Please make sure your child reads every day at home for at least 30 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.


Mrs. Van Horn's class is now going to Mrs. Bretwisch (Mrs. Rooney's substitute) for Science on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. Currently, they are studying predators and prey. Students will continue with Science three times per week until the end of the year.


We are finishing up our unit on persuasive/opinion writing. Students chose an opinion they felt strongly about, researched the topic, and wrote a persuasive paper. We worked on summarizing research, along with appropriate paragraphing and using convincing language. We are sharing our papers this week, and will begin our next unit, Information Writing, next week.

Important Dates

Thursday, 2/11: Students may pass out valentine cards to students (see separate note)

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

Friday, 2/19: Murphy Spirit Day

Friday, 3/4: No School - Teacher Institute

Tuesday, 3/15: No School - Teacher Inservice

3/28 - 4/1: No School - Spring Break