The Porter Press

Issue #8 December 1, 2014

Reading Workshop

We will be kicking off a new unit today—pioneers! This cross-curricular unit supports not only reading and writing standards, but social studies standards as well. We will be spending the month of December gaining background knowledge on pioneer life through research. Students will use a variety of sources, including nonfiction texts, historical fiction stories, websites, videos, and the experience at Pioneer Day to gather information about daily pioneer life. We will learn how to pull out important information from these sources. This research will help students build their knowledge on this time period, which will prepare them to participate in pioneer book club after the winter break.

We will also be studying point of view. Readers will learn to identify if a narrative is told from 1st person or 3rd person point of view, and also examine how stories change based on the point of view from which they are told.

Finally, readers will be learning about author Andrea Chang. She will be visiting IHES on December 17th, so we will learn more about her life and her stories to make our visit with her meaningful and relevant!

Writing and Word Work

This month our writing and reading will be closely intertwined as we learn to research and record important information. After we finish our research students will be comparing and contrasting their lives to pioneer life, using the skills we have learned to craft organized paragraphs.

We will also be transitioning to new word work. We will be focusing on homophones, including there, their, and they’re, too, to, and two, and where and wear. Students will be working to not only spell these words correctly, but to use them accurately in writing as well. Review packets will be coming home today and are due Thursday, December 11th. Our test will be Friday, December 12th. There will be no word work the last week before break.


Mathematicians worked very hard during Chapter 4 and really put in a lot of effort on their assessments last week. Chapter 4 tests will be coming home TODAY and should be signed and returned tomorrow.

We will be starting Chapter 5 today, which focuses on factors, multiples, and patterns. Students will use their knowledge of multiplication and division to identify factors of numbers. They will also learn basic divisibility rules to help quickly identify factors of larger numbers. Students will use this new knowledge to problem solve word problems, as well as learn to identify if numbers are prime or composite. We will be taking a Chapter 5 test before the winter break, so look for that announcement in planners sometime in the next couple of weeks.

Finally, we have FANTASTIC news! The online math resources for our GO Math! curriculum are now available! A letter will be coming home with your child TOMORROW that provides log-in information as well as a guide to using these resources. We hope you find the resources helpful, and thank you for all you do at home!

Social Studies

Historians are sharpening their historical thinking skills by locating, researching, analyzing, and interpreting primary and secondary sources, which will be used to develop an understanding of Ohio’s prehistoric and historic American Indians.

Important Dates

December 4th: Pioneer Days

December 10th: Pajama Day (in honor of meeting our food drive goal)

December 17th: Author Visit with Andrea Chang

December 19th: Holiday Party (2:30 - 3:15)