# Mrs. Jackson's

## Happy New Year!

I hope you had a relaxing, enjoyable winter break. I am so excited for the second half of the school year to begin!

We hope all of our readers enjoyed some new books over the break! This week readers will begin pioneer book clubs. Students will be working in small groups to read and discuss books. Readers will also be working on responding to their texts, giving them a chance to continue to practice structured paragraphs and using text evidence in their writings.

We will also continue to examine point of view. Over the next few weeks we will be analyzing how the point of view shapes a story, and how the story would be different if told from a different point of view. Readers will be expected to compare and contrast the same event from various points of view, including how the descriptions and word choice would change. Readers will also write about the same event from different points of view.

Writing Workshop and Word Work

Much of our writing work over the next few weeks will be woven into the work we are doing with book clubs and with point of view. However, writers will be bench-marked for spelling this week, and we will begin more structured spelling groups next week. We will return to the format we used first quarter. Spelling cycles will be two weeks long, and students will be expected to complete activities from a spelling board during each cycle. Look for new word lists and new choice boards to come home next Monday, January 12th. Choice spelling boards are due Thursday, January 22nd and our first spelling test for third quarter will be Friday, January 23rd.

Math

Today your child will be bringing home their Chapter 5 test for you to review and sign. Signed tests are due back to school tomorrow, January 6th. This week mathematicians will really work on using the knowledge they’ve gained during the first two quarters to complete performance tasks. Performance tasks are multi-step problems that require students to use problem solving skills and the mastery of various concepts to answer. At the end of this week, and next week, students will then begin Chapter 6—Fraction Equivalence and Comparison. This unit starts with students investigating and generating equivalent fractions. Students will also learn to put fractions into simplest form, as well as learn how to identify common denominators.

Fact fluency is critical as we move into this chapter. If your child has not showed mastery of the multiplication facts using XtraMath, they have not met the fourth grade benchmark requirement. I have been very impressed with the results from our XtraMath on-line practice sessions. ALL but five students have mastered the basic multiplication facts in less than 3 seconds, and MANY students have mastered their division facts, also! Third quarter will require students to master the division facts in less than 3 seconds, so practicing 12 times in the month of January will be expected. Thanks for all of the additional support at home to get the students on the computers before and after school for 10 minutes to complete this assignment.

Speaking of computers, we are ALL getting ChromeBooks in the new year! This is exciting because we will be able to incorporate some of the on-line resources that accompany our math books. The students will be getting a password for on-line reteaching/explaining that matches their lessons each day, so be sure to look for that paper (or contact me if you don't see it come home early this week). I look forward to seeing how the videos and extra practice can help the students preview or review the content we are learning in class. like this (just a few adjustments since I didn’t introduce on-line resources yet!)

Social Studies

Over the next few days, historians will focus on early exploration of the United States by European nations. We will discover how and why Europeans began to come to North America. With the arrival of Britain and France, the Ohio Valley region was a site of conflict during the 1700s. Students will discover the causes of the French and Indian War, alliances with Native Americans, and the course of the war itself. We will conclude with the war's political outcome and its effects on Britain's and the colonies' economies.

## Important Dates

Thursday January 8th: Little Red School House Field Trip

Friday January 9th: 2nd Quarter Report Cards Released (digital only)

Monday January 19th: Martin Luther King Day (No School)

## School Supplies

Now that we are half-way through the school year, some school supplies need to be replenished.

Individual Needs

*Crayola Twist-able Colored Pencils

*Blue Dry Erase marker (math)

*Markers

Class Needs:

*Pencils

*Erasers

*Glue Sticks