Cluster 2 Newsletter

January 18-28

Hello Parents, Guardians, and Caregivers!

Just a reminder that we still require all students ( and staff) to be wearing a mask during the day. While most everyone is complying, we do have a few outliers. Please continue to remind you child on the importance of masks in keeping our community safe!

Click here for updates from Specialist Teachers.


Cluster Two



We just wrapped up our narrative writing unit; students did a fantastic job applying the strategies they learned to their final writing pieces. I am so proud of their willingness to take risks in their writing, adding figurative language, dialogue, sensory language, and a deeper meaning to their narratives. Please have your students share their final narrative with you if they haven’t already.

Our next unit is a whole class novel, Refugee by Alan Gratz. The novel involves three narratives; a Jewish boy fleeing Nazi Germany, a young Cuban girl leaving Havana under Fidel Castro’s rule in the 1990s, and a Syran boy during the present day civil war. This is an engaging historical fiction story; please encourage your students to keep up with the reading at home, as it is imperative they come to class prepared.

I am excited to tell you that next week, we will be welcoming a student teacher into our classroom. Her name is Ms. Gordon, and she is a graduate student from the University of Southern California; she is so excited to be with us for the remainder of the school year!

Ms. Murphy's Class:

ELD (English Language Development)

Entering ELD

This week students did an excellent job showing their English language skills while taking ACCESS, the annual state test that assess how much English they have learned.

Next week, we will work on vocabulary for sequencing events as we read about the life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Emerging ELD

This week students reviewed telling time and sequencing words, and they were rock stars on the ACCESS test, where they are assessed on their English language progress. Next week, we will learn about Martin Luther King Jr, and use our sequencing words to retell his story. We will also begin using adverbs of frequency this week, and then take a quiz on time, sequencing, and adverbs of frequency on Friday. Ask your child what they always, usually, often, sometimes, and never do at school!

Developing ELD

We have been preparing to take the annual ACCESS test - the test all English Learners take once a year. We have been practicing speaking, listening, reading, and writing. Most students are finishing the test today. We are starting a unit on informational texts and will begin by reading texts about the civil rights movement.

Expanding ELD

Students continued to read the novel Esperanza Rising and began ACCESS testing, as well as start to dive into informational texts on Civil Rights and about the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.


We continue to work on weekly sight words and are starting to learn about vowel teams.


We kicked 2022 off with a new unit: dividing fractions! We started by drawing tape diagrams for division with whole numbers. Students have been interpreting division as breaking a total into equal groups. They are practicing reading division equations as “How many groups of _____ can fit into ______?”.

We are going to start connecting these diagrams to the fraction division algorithm in the next couple of weeks.

If families would like to preview what we are working in the Dividing Fractions Unit please click here for resources to support your student.


Science students are experiencing a life changing experiment! First, using hand lenses, qualitative and quantitative observations were made of 5 mystery substances. Next, using graduated cylinders, mystery liquids were added to each substance. Now, daily observations of each substance are being made. Students are looking for evidence (traits of living things) to support their claims that each substance is living, non-living, dead, or living and dormant. Next week, we will cellibrate our hard work by having the big reveal.

Our next big unit will be to study the building blocks of life: cells.

Social Studies

We began the week with an assessment regarding The Code of Hammurabi. Students needed to analyze a court case and apply the law to determine the correct judgement. They also had to explain how different Babylonian values, such as harsh punishment and civic duty, were reflected in the legal system. We then moved on to starting a CER (Claim Evidence Reasoning) essay, where students needed to argue whether the Code of Hammurabi was fair or unfair. Students found textual evidence in both an article and the laws themselves to support their claims. They also developed explanations as to why their evidence supported their claim, or in other words, their reasoning.

Next week we will finish our CER’s by color coding and revising them. We will then move on to our last Mesopotamia assignment where students will apply the AP World History themes of S.P.I.C.E. (Social, Political, Interaction, Culture, Economics) to the Mesopotamian civilization.

Special Education