News from Room 15


Welcome to our class newsletter! I generally write a newsletter on a weekly basis. I will send the link to you on Friday or Monday.

I can't believe we have only been together for two weeks. Already, the room is humming with activity, and I am very proud of the interactions and work that I am seeing. We are getting to know each other, we've almost finished a book, and our writer's notebooks are filling with great ideas! I am looking forward to a very busy (and fun!) year!

Math Notes

After several days of portfolio task testing, we are beginning to settle into our daily math routine. Students have organized their math binders, created study cards, and we have begun our first unit (irionically, Unit 2 in the series). On Monday, students will bring home a concept guide that reviews all the concepts that will be tested in the unit. Next week, we will have our first math quiz. It will focus on:

  • expanded notation
  • traditional addition of whole numbers and decimals
  • traditional or trade-first subtraction (student choice) of whole numbers and decimals
  • place value from hundred-thousands to thousandths.

Writing, Spelling, and Grammar

Next week, students will have their first spelling and grammar test. The test will cover ALL Unit 1 and 2 spelling words and declarative, interrogative, exclamatory, and imperative sentences. Students have study cards for the sentence types in their spelling/grammar folder.

If your student is challenged by spelling homework or by studying for the spelling test, PLEASE contact me and I will provide alternate homework and/or a reduced study list.


My beginning-of-the year goal in reading is for all students to know how it feels to finish a book in 2-3 weeks. You will notice that we have been reading intensely for the past week, and we will finish our book on Tuesday. Students will have a vocabulary quiz on Wednesday. The list of vocabulary is linked on the homework page of our website and is located in the students' red reading folders. Knowing words that "Meet the Standard" help students earn a C or B. Knowing words that "Meet the Standard" as well as words that "Exceed the Standard" help students earn an A.

Audio files are available at my website for all reading homework that is based in a classroom book. Connect here:

As they read, students have been learning a discussion format called Symphony, which is student-led and encourages students to agree/disagree with each other as well as build off of one another's thoughts. The thinking they have shared this week has been WONDERFUL. Overheard in the classroom:

  • Peter should give his room to grandpa because grandpa's wife died. A death is a bigger deal than losing your room.
  • I think Peter's friends used peer pressure to get him to start the war.
  • I disagree. I think Peter's parents are responsible, because they know he is stubborn and wouldn't want to give up his room.

I look forward to continuing to build student thinking skills as we compare War with Grandpa to the book, Frindle, that we will begin next week.