Team Dankoski

January 11th, 2016

Welcome back!

Winter Break was a much needed breather for my family. I hope you all enjoyed family time as well. However, I'm excited to get back to school and delve deeper into the learning that we all need to do in order to grow as people, learners, and citizens. I'm exhilarated by what this semester will bring!


Writer's and Reader's Workshop: We are working on our Fairytales, Myths, Folktales, and Fables unit. This week we read Rumplestiltskin and several other variations of Fairytale where names and naming a character are important. We read a story about Ijapa the tortoise from Africa, and Oniroku from Japan. These stories helped us learn about other cultures and how fairytales can have similar themes across cultures. We also use these tales to compare and contrast the different versions to find similarities and differences. The class created a Venn Diagram to help us track our thinking. Next week students will create a Venn Diagram to help assess their understanding of a fairytale they will read.

Before winter break we discussed opinions, and students were asked to share their opinion. We are taking that learning a step further by working on persuasion. Why do we persuade other? How do we do it? We read the "Circus Ship" a fictionalized version of a true tale of a ship with circus animals on it that wrecked and exotic animals "took over" a town. We conducted a debate and students pretended they were citizens of the town, they had to choose sides. Were they excited to have the animals? Were they scared that the animals might harm them? After students formed an opinion they got in groups and used their power of persuasion to try to convince the other side of their sides merits. During our town meeting very intense and heated debate ensued! I'll let your student tell you which side won.

Math Workshop: We focused on division and the different ways to think of dividing. We learned about dividing as sharing and dividing as repeated subtraction. We also discussed division and how it is the inverse operation of multiplication. We used times tables to help us solve division problems. We discussed how just like addition and subtraction, multiplication and division can be shown as fact families.

Science: We are beginning our Simple Machines Unit with a review of measurement. We have discussed the different types of measurement systems: Metric and Standard. We also focused on length and students completed an assignment where they measured, sketched and labeled 10 classroom items to the nearest 1/2 inch, then ordered them from shortest to longest. We will continue different types of measurement next week as we discuss and do hands-on activities about volume and weight.

Fact Fluency and Maintenance

Mastering and maintaining the basic addition, multiplication, subtraction and division facts is extremely important. Therefore all teachers are being asked to change how they progress monitor fact mastery. Starting this semester students will be meeting with me periodically for fact interviews. During these interviews they will be asked to answer different facts as well as periodically tell me how they thought through an answer. Those they are unable to answer correctly or take too long to answer will be added to their practice rings. Each day, students will spend a little time practicing these 5 to 10 facts with a partner. When they feel they've mastered the facts I will meet with them to interview again. The benefits of this are reduced stress/anxiety from the timed tests and I gain stronger knowledge of your child as a mathematical thinker. An added benefit is that we can differentiate learning to support students no matter where they are in their fact fluency journey. Students will be meeting with me every 1 - 2 weeks for an interview.


Students should read for 30 minutes each night.

10-15 minutes of math:

I sent home some fun math games to help with multiplication fluency. If your student is getting good on the facts from 1-6 while using dice, consider adding a twist and have them use playing cards with the J-K taken out. They can flip two cards and multiply the two numbers to

The MobyMax website is a good supplement to student studying as well

Teaching Tip: When your child finds a new word... Don’t immediately tell the unknown word to your child. Instead, ask him/her to:

•Break the word into parts

•Try a different vowel sound (long/short)

•Use illustrations for clues

•Skip the word, re-read sentence, and go back – what word would make sense?

VolunteerSpot: Updated

There are now Volunteer Spots up for 2016. Thanks so much to the Volunteers, you help is very much appreciated. The kids love it when you come in, too!

Here's how to volunteer in 3 easy steps:

1) Click this link below to see our Sign-Up on VolunteerSpot

2) Review the options listed and choose the spot(s) you like.

3) Sign up! It's Easy - you will NOT need to register an account or keep a password on VolunteerSpot.

Dress Warm

As the temperatures start to change please be sure your student is dressed appropriately to go outside. The HSE guidelines and CRE policy state that we will go out as long as the temperature/wind chill is not below 15 degrees.

Important Information

Specials Classes 1/11- 1/15

Monday: Music

Tuesday: P.E. (Bring or wear gym shoes)

Wednesday: Computer Lab

Thursday: Art

Friday: 1/2 day

Our Schedule

8:45-9:00 Morning Procedures

9:00-9:30 Learning Clubs

9:30-10:10 Science/Social Studies

10:15-10:50 Related Arts

10:55-12:35 Reading Workshop

12:35-12:55 Recess

1:05-1:35 Lunch

1:40-2:55 Math Workshop

2:55-3:30 Writer's Workshop


If there is ever a transportation change for your child please send your child into school with a note, or contact the office by 2:00 pm. I must have a note from you or the office stating a transpiration change. If I do not receive a note I will send your child home the usual way.

Upcoming CRES Events

December 14th & 15th - NWEA Testing for our classroom

December 17th at 7 pm - Musical Showcase

**Get this Special Event on Your Calendar**

April 22nd: CRES Fest

Snacks and Lunch

Snack: Students will be allowed to bring a snack in the morning since our lunch time is later in the day. Snacks need to be healthy and nutritious. Please refrain from bringing items with tree nuts due to allergies. Students can also bring a bottle of water to school each day.

Lunch: We will eat lunch each day from 1:05-1:35 in the cafeteria. Your child may eat school lunch or bring his or her lunch from home. Lunch options this year are hot lunch, turkey sandwich, peanut butter & jelly, chef salad, or pizza pack.

Lunch Visits and Background Checks

All guests and parent volunteers must have their background check completed prior to volunteering at school or having lunch with their child. The online background checks will take time to process. You do not need to complete a background check prior to visiting if you have had one done in HSE within the past 3 years. ALL guests must also complete an online anti-bullying training webinar.

For more information on background checks and the anti-bullying webinar, please visit: