Kohler Cougar News

November 14, 2014

Reading and Writing Focus

This Week:

We began using close reading strategies to help us better understand non-fiction text. The strategy requires us to read a selection three times as we gather a deeper understanding each time by 1. identifying the main idea, 2. highlighting key ideas and powerful words, then 3. writing how these key ideas support our thinking. We used primary sources about the Roanoke and Jamestown colonies as well as the Mayflower Compact to practice close reading and gain a better understanding of the beginnings of our country. We identified persuasive strategies and completed writing organizers to develop persuasive statements about colonial life using various strategies such as using facts, emotions, trustworthiness, urgency, big names and bandwagon to persuade our audience.

What's coming up:

Reading: We will continue to practice close reading strategies with non-fiction and historical fiction text. The text being used will focus on learning more about colonization and interactions with Native Americans. We will also examine various text structures (cause/effect, chronological) to determine why an author would use a particular structure to convey the meaning of the text.

Writing: We will begin researching an assigned colony in order to develop a script for a commercial persuading others to come live there. We will be following the Big 6 Steps of research to locate resources and how to use the efficiently by focusing our research and taking proper notes. The students will be using books here in the classroom but are also expected to locate resources on their own to support their research. There is a link to a list of safe internet links from the Warren Library Learning Commons tab on Warren's homepage that can assist the students in their research. We will be exploring these link in class. However, the student will also have access to them from home to add to their research.

Social Studies and Math Focus

Social Studies

We will continue to learn about and research early colonies and their interactions with Native Americans. We will also learn about the conflict that began to grow between the colonists and King George. We began reading Blood on the River as our read aloud. It is a fantastic historical fiction book about a child's experiences growing up in the Jamestown colony. It's a great connection with our Social Studies topic.


We began Topic 5 near the end of last week. We completed lesson 5-4 today (Dividing by Multiples of 10). We have been learning how to use estimation to check the reasonableness of our answers as well as creating models to help visualize the process of division in order to connect it with the algorithm. We will continue our topic of division with 2-digit divisors and will test the topic before Thanksgiving Break.

*Again, please have the students practice logging on to their pearsonrealize.com account. Give them an opportunity to explore the site, perhaps having them show you the etext option. There, the students can access the book online, teach you the lesson we did that day, and even do practice problems to help support their learning at home.

Spelling Focus

Week 12: Using the suffix -ion.

Helpful Hints:

Words that end with t, te, or ce: drop e if needed and add ion.

Base word ends in se: drop e and add ion

Base word ends in d or de: change d to s and drop the e then add ion

Word ends with mit, mit becomes "mission"

Base word ends in ss, just add ion

Week 13: Suffixes -ation, -ition

Helpful Hints:

Sometimes you must add a vowel before adding -tion

If you say the word slowly in syllables, you may be able to hear the added vowel (in-spir-a-tion)

We will not have a Spelling test during the week of Thanksgiving and will pick up with Week 13 during the first week of December.

*Please practice spelling with your child every night for just a few minutes. The words are challenging and knowing the strategies to spell them and practicing every night will truly help support your child in understanding the strategy and applying it.

Other News


We celebrated Veteran's day by having a guest speaker, my father. The kids really enjoyed hearing his experiences and connecting them with their own. My parents enjoyed every minute and were so impressed by the questions and attentiveness of the class. It was a great visit and we're all looking forward to my mother coming in February to talk with us about Chinese culture and her life experiences being raised in China and what brought her to the United States!

Home Connection


Some students are still having a difficult time turning in their homework in a timely manner. Please be checking their assignment log as well as checking in with them about homework that needs to be completed and returned.

Spelling: Please take some time to study the week's spelling words with your child. The words are challenging and the more practice with them , the better. Even though we do go over the words at school and try to work with in some way throughout the week, they still need to practice them nightly. Using the Spelling City link at the bottom of the newsletter can be a great resource to get your child engaged. There are games as well as practice tests your child can take. The link will also say the words to help with pronunciation.

Leader in Me

Habit 2: Begin with the End in Mind and Habit 3: Put First Things First

Over the next few weeks, we will continue to have class discussions about having a goal or end in mind and what we need to do to reach that goal (putting first things first). Please support your child in using this language at home. We have been practicing Habit 2 by not only setting individual goals but classroom goals (getting free choice time if we've accomplished all of our objectives for the day). We always put a plan in place with the most important things first (putting first things first) to help us reach our goal.

Encouraging Each Other

Through Leader in Me, we begin to foster a climate of trust and identify our unique talents that help ignite the fire inside to become great leaders. Below is a Kid President Pep Talk to help light the spark to work together to make a difference. Please take a moment and share it with your child. :)

Reminders and Important Dates

Reminders: Please remember to check the information page your child brought home last week. It lists your current address, members living at the address listed, etc. This was due today. So, if you did not already, please send the form back with any correction, if necessary, and a signature so it is clear you reviewed the accuracy of the information we have in our records.

Important Dates:

November 21: Week 12 Spelling Test

November 24 or 25: Topic 5 Math Test

November 26-28: Thanksgiving Break (No Spelling Test)

December 5: Week 13 Spelling Test