Bruce Banter

September 16, 2016

News from the Ranch!

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What's going on in the Classroom

English Language Arts (ELA)

Reading -This week, we began a special project about the fiction books we're reading. Students will be developing questions about their books and putting them together to create a trivia-style board game. After looking at a couple of popular game designs (Candyland, Chutes and Ladders), they met in groups to discuss how their game will be designed. Students will develop skills in questioning and how to support their answers through text evidence, along with learning how to work in a group productively with peers. We began studying story elements and worked on setting of a story (time, place, environment).

Language & Spelling - This week, we learned about subject/verb agreement in sentences. We took the Unit 4 spelling test.

Writing - We wrote a paragraph about how a specific character from a story showed respect. Then, we talked about how each of us shows respect in our daily lives. One student's paper was chosen for the Blue Ribbon Character Writing celebration (I'm not telling'll have to wait and see!) :) We continue to work on basic paragraph form, as this is the building-block of writing.


We learned about how to add multiple addends, such as when you go to the grocery store and buy several items. We have been working on various addition strategies, and how to show work and check for mistakes. I've shown students my favorite strategy (number lines) but they continue to like "mom and dad math" (the way we learned it in school "carrying and borrowing".) They are getting good at realizing there are many ways to arrive at an answer as a mathematician.....the important part is recording and being able to justify an answer. Next week, our "Problem of the Week" routine begins; you will see that come home with students' homework each week.


We learned about food chains and the classification of organisms in the chain. (producers, consumers, decomposers). We talked about the numerous effects of removing an organism from a food chain. We've been drawing food chains, rapping about them (with North School's own famous composer/rapper Mr. Starke), and acting them out in a game.

Social Studies

The next unit we will do in Social Studies is Documents of Freedom (Declaration of Independence & Constitution) and the 3 Branches of Government.

Character Trait of the Month

The character trait this month is Respect. Respect is treating others in a way that is kind and polite. We have read several books this week about respecting ourselves and others' ideas. This week, we completed a writing assignment about a book character and how they showed respect in the story. Then, we discussed how we show respect in our own lives.

Mid-Term is Here!

It is hard to believe, but we are already halfway through 1st Quarter! Please check your child's folder on Friday for their mid-term report. This includes their SRI (reading level) scores. After you review the report, please sign it and return to school on Monday.

Lasso Learning!

A Look Ahead

September 16- Midterms come home, Sept. Scholastic Book Orders due, Picture Forms come home

September 20 - Kid of Character/Blue Ribbon Character Writing Party (2 selected students)

September 21 - PTO Subway night at Subway Holts Summit 5pm - 8pm

September 26- Fall Festival Volunteer Forms Go Home

September 27- Fall Pictures (Picture money due)

Order Scholastic Books online Here

If you would like to order from the book order online, our class code is H636Y. Orders are due by September 16th.

Round up!

Weekly Work Routines

Each week, students have a homework sheet that goes home on Mondays. This sheet includes their weekly spelling words and reading log and NEW PROBLEM OF THE WEEK! I ask that students study their words daily and work on reading for 20 minutes. If you are busy one problem! Just have them catch up the next few days. This sheet is turned in on Fridays each week. As the year progresses, the assignments/minutes will change, but the routine of assigned-on-Monday-due-on-Friday stays the same. Brag tags are given at quarterly assemblies for students meeting homework goals.

On Friday, students take a quiz over their spelling words and math box sheets that come home each day in their folders. A good habit for them to get into is to correct assignments that come home and review them with you. Correcting work builds their confidence and helps them to study....they will see problems like those again throughout the year!