Learning Links

Heather Smith & Adriane Reinelt

December 4, 2015

Classroom Calendar

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

SOAR Videos from Clarkston Community Schools

Our district is excited to share this video series with you regarding our new System of Assessment and Reporting (SOAR) at the Elementary level. Our hope is that these videos provide you with information to build an understanding of this initiative.

As we move along in our journey with SOAR, we appreciate your partnership and feedback in growing this meaningful system to enhance children's learning.

SOAR: System of Assessment & Reporting Part 1
SOAR: System of Assessment & Reporting Part 2
SOAR: System of Assessment & Reporting Part 3

Kids Standard Magazine

Kids’ Standard's November issue, Growing Through Failure, is coming home with 3-8 grade students! This issue of the magazine highlights the importance of struggle in life and the value of failure and mistakes. In this issue, there are many interesting stories for children as well as insightful perspectives for parents and educators. Please read it with and to your students.

December issue, Peace of Earth, will focus on intercultural learning experiences and international travel to cultivate acceptance and tolerance. Please share your own stories and encourage your children to think and write about their experiences with people from other countries.

November issue of the magazine could also be viewed electronically -http://www.kidsstandard.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/Kids-Mag-Nov-2015-Issue.pdf

For more information on the magazine and submissions - kidsstandard.org

Leader of the Week

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

Book Orders

Books are a great holiday gift! Book orders are due on Wednesday, December 9th. If you would like to give the books as a gift, please let me know so I can keep them secret from your student. To insure that you get the books privately, you may pick them up from our classroom as soon as they arrive.

Word Study

Students have been placed into individualized groups and each group got their own list of words. This week students focused on looking for patterns in their list and working with the group members to try to determine how they could sort their words. We are moving slowly in word study but students seem to continue to do a great job noticing patterns and recalling information they already know about letter sound and how words are formed.

Word Study Home Learning Conversation:

  • Have your child explain the different patterns they noticed in their new list of words.


Unit 3 - Informational Reading

Readers began our informational reading unit this week. Readers seemed to really enjoy the genre change from fiction to nonfiction and have been very engaged throughout reading. We have focused this week on previewing text, paraphrasing and finding the main idea of a paragraph. Paraphrasing is a very hard challenge for students but we have made some nice progress so far and will continue to practice this skill throughout this unit.

Reading Home Learning Conversation:

  • Have your reader try paraphrasing. We defined paraphrasing as reading a section of text and explaining what you just read. We do this by picking out a few key words and putting the rest in our own words. For example, have you child read a section of non fiction text, a magazine article or a small newspaper article and ask them to tell you what they just read. The challenge for readers is to make sure that they are not simply repeating back word for word, rather they are using their own words.


Unit 2 Information Writing: Personal Expertise

Writers have started to brainstorm topics they know a lot about to launch our unit on information writing. By the end of this unit, writers will have written a book of expertise. Currently we are in the planning stage, brainstorming topics that we could write about using no additional research.

Writing Home Learning Conversation:

  • Ask your writer to share the brainstorming they did in writing regarding topics they know a lot about. They should have picked a topic and then have been able to explain subtopics they know that relate. For example: Bulldogs- what they look like, bulldog care and bulldog pets.


Unit 2 - Multiplication and Division

Unit 2 focuses on Multiplication and Division and how they are related to each other and other functions.

This week students began working with repeated addition and connecting it to multiplication such as 3 x 2 = 6 is another way of saying 2 + 2 + 2 = 6.

We also observed that multiplication is a quick way to add numbers! Students have been creating, modeling, and connecting ways to multiply numbers. We learned that 3 X 2 can be 3 groups of 2 (group model / Multiplying Using Equal Groups video) or 3 rows of 2 (array model / Multiplying Using Arrays video). We modeled this using manipulatives with our counting collections and building arrays. We will continue our work with multiplication and it’s relationship with number lines 3 jumps of 2 (Number line model / Multiplying Using a Number Line video).

Math Home Learning Conversation:

  • Using 3 x 5 = n equation, have your child demonstrate the 3 different models of multiplication: groups, array, and number line.

Social Studies

Unit 1 - The Geography of Michigan

Our Geographers have been focusing on using various tools to interpret and analyze information. We have been examining various maps. This week we have been looking at various charts and having conversations about the story of information represented in a chart. We have also practiced finding specific information from a chart related to questions about Michigan.

Geography Home Learning Conversation:

  • Click on the link Michigan Apples chart and take the opportunity to have a conversation with your geographer about the information within the chart and how it related to Michigan.


Physical Science - Light

We began our next unit of study...Light. We have been exploring this phenomenon using mirrors, flashlights, and the sun. We discovered that we can direct light rays using a mirror to different objects. This occurs because light reflects off all objects. We played "Sunlight Tag" outside to demonstrate. Ask your scientist for an explanation of the game.

In our Science Notebooks, we created light models that demonstrate the reflection of light rays from a flashlight through a series of mirrors. Through this investigation, we discovered that light travels in a straight path.

Science Home Learning Conversation:

  • Have your scientist demonstrate how to reflect light rays using a light source (such as a flashlight, lamp, or sun) and a mirror.