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November Letter

posted Nov 13, 2017, 7:47 AM by Diane McFarland

Dear Parents, November 11, 2017

Conferences – Thank You! Thanks for coming to your child’s conferences and for remembering your time. It was great to connect with you and learn more about your children.

Science– WOW!  What a fabulous scavenger hunt we had a few weeks ago. The students had creative items and were very enthused to share. They learned a lot from this project ~ what a great introduction to water cycle vocabulary.

We've just finished our study of  Matter. The kids did great on their tests. We will be learning more about the water cycle now. We’ll be doing more experiments, asking questions, making a hypothesis (prediction), careful observations, and coming up with a conclusion based on the results. We will also do a bit with clouds and weather before moving on to our study of immigration in December.

Reading – The students are working on many skills in reading. One of the main focus areas is monitoring their reading and fixing it if it doesn't make sense. Several students are still making word guesses based on the first letter or syllable.  We continue to work on using reading strategies and improving fluency. Chunking longer words into parts and thinking of what makes sense is helping. The goal is for them to make their own corrections and read accurately.  It’s so tempting to give the word but by giving them “think time”, they can try their strategies and increase their reading abilities. Attending to the meaning and participating in discussions is ongoing as each group reads the anthology story of the week and works on their chapter book.

The kids have been working on a fluency program where they read the same story on five different days. They chart their progress and note the number of words read in minute. It helps them be more aware of reading the passage accurately and see how their progress improves. Their past two stories are being sent home on Friday.

Math – We’ve been working with numbers, adding and subtracting, and using clocks. We’ve done some work with measurement and area and perimeter. We’ve worked on x9, x5 facts and will do the square numbers (6x6, 8x8…) this week. This month, we’ll introduce x3 and x4 facts. The students need to work on memorizing their facts.We practice them for 5 minutes daily at school and they need to do just 5 minutes at home too.

Facts –Using a ladder, flashcards or some computer programs are helpful.

Writing / Language – We have just finished introducing all four “sentence expanders” of where, when, why, and how.  We’ve been using a picture as a basis to write sentences and now we’ll begin a short paragraph using these skills, stretching short sentences with the expanders to include more description. We're learning that a sentence can begin with one of these expanders, not just the subject or noun. (Since he was so hot, the boy swam in the salty ocean  before he stopped for lunch. This sentence starts with a “when”, has a noun, verb, a “where” expander and another “when”. )

We are also learning about/reviewing homophones, nouns, verbs, subjects & predicates and similes, and we will be writing about a raindrop that comes down to earth.

Several students aren’t using capitals and periods in their writing, which is a problem. They know where they go and they should be there.Students need to look over their work and edit when they’re finished.

Spelling – The weekly word list comes home on Mondays with vocabulary words for the week's story and the language skills we're discussing and learning about. The spelling test is on Fridays. Students correct their own with me, so they know how many they get right and can tell you how they did. They study the words at home.

Handwriting – Cursive is such fun for them.  We have learned c, a, d, g, h, t, p, e, l, as well as their names. They can write their names in cursive and practice but not write anything else in cursive until we have covered all of the letters.

Cooking - We had our first cooking experience this week ~ Dirt pudding. It was delicious and the kids really enjoyed sharing a treat that they made themselves. Thanks for sending in money to help buy the supplies!

Other Tidbits –  

Pencils The class needs pencil! The students need to bring in some sharp pencils every month. We use them for everything and it’s amazing how easily they are lost or used up by the pencil sharpeners!!!  Several sharp pencils are needed to start each day.

We can always use wipes and cups too.  : )

As you can see, we are very busy!  Thank you for your support at reinforcing the skills your child is learning.


Diane McFarland