Winter 2020          

Dear families,                                                         

Happy New Year!  With the culmination of the holiday season, we look forward to what is traditionally a strong instructional stretch.  Let’s hope that the weather cooperates!

Just before the holiday break, both Readers’ and Writers’ Workshop found us concluding our Literary Units.  In reading, your children deepened their understanding of literary elements within the framework of character action, plot event, and setting while sharpening inferential thinking skills in light of interpreting universal literary themes.   Writing dovetailed seamlessly with our reading as we learned to convey the results of that analytical thinking into a well-evidenced and supported five-paragraph essay format.  Newly initiated units in non-fiction reading and informational writing once again form a strong reading/writing partnership as we currently take a look at the role of Westward Expansion in our country’s history.  On subjects ranging from the hazards of the journey to the Trans-Continental railroad, from the Gold Rush to the Pony Express, we’re sharpening thinking and note-taking skills as we evaluate those facts from the reading which are most important to our research.  Conveying complex, written, analytical thinking about what we’ve been reading is a challenging task, and we’re working hard as we begin our first non-fiction, informational essays.

In math, we’re getting ready to wind up a rather lengthy unit on fractions and decimals.  Upcoming Bridges unit four addresses addition, subtraction and measurement.  We’ll be measuring length, distance, liquid volume, time, mass and weight within a problem-solving context.  I also urge you to carefully review the Bridges Unit 4 reference sheet which will soon be coming your way.  In addition to providing you with an overview of multi-digit addition and subtraction strategies, it addresses often-posed questions regarding the use of standard algorithms for adding and subtracting larger numbers. 

 Invention Convention activities in science are in full swing. We start building next week, and I can’t wait to see what your kiddos come up with!

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to call me.Thank you, as always, for all of your support!  It is greatly appreciated.