November 7: Topic 4 Math Test
November 11: Veteran’s Day Observed, No School
November 15: Explorer Assessment, Picture Retake Day, Operation Gratitude items due (see below)
November 22: Term 1 Ends
November 27: Pajama Day/Early Release
November 28 & 29: No School, Thanksgiving Holiday
This is our ‘Trait of the Month’ for November! In keeping with this theme we will be collecting items to send to Operation Gratitude, an organization that seeks to lift spirits and meet the evolving needs of our Active Duty and Veteran communities, providing volunteer opportunities for all Americans to express their appreciation to members of our Military. You can learn more here (https://www.
operationgratitude.com/) We will be collecting the items on their wishlist and sending them along with cards to be part of the care packages that they put together and send out! Please see the wishlist at the end of this message for items needed. (Cards will be made as part of classwork or homework.) Small monetary donations are appreciated to help with the cost of shipping!
We’ve really dug into our Lucy Caulkins fiction unit titled Interpreting Characters: the Heart of the Story. I’ve been modeling and we’ve been working together to apply strategies in our read-aloud ‘The Tiger Rising.’ The students are doing a huge amount of higher-level thinking as we read and analyze this book. We’ll continue on with this work in the final bend that focuses on bringing observations together to interpret themes of the novel. Everyday students read independently and work to apply the strategies to their own texts. Be sure to check in with your student often about what he/she is reading. Ask about character theories and evidence from the text to support those ideas. (For example, what are some of your character’s traits? What is his/her motivation, or what does he/she really want?) Whenever your student comes toward the end or finishes a book, it’s a great time to explore what the theme(s) might be.
Unit 2 in our Lucy Calkins series is titled Reading the Weather, Reading the World. To start this unit we will review how to approach nonfiction texts and then move into the formidable task of recognizing text structures and reading them in the best manner possible for comprehension. We will also focus on defining unknown vocabulary and summarizing nonfiction.
We will continue this month with our narrative writing unit. So far we’ve focused on crafting entertaining story beginnings, generating vivid elaborative detail and creating suspense. We’ll move forward to focus on stretching out the main event of a story and writing an extended ending. We will also continue to review grammar skills in November.
Students are continuing to persevere through the enVision 2.0 Math Program! I have noticed an increase in confidence with the program as we have gained momentum and routine. In Topic 3 the students learned strategies and properties to multiply by 1 digit numbers. They also used estimation to check their answers to make sure they were reasonable. As we finish up Topic 4, students will be using strategies and properties to multiply by 2 digit numbers.
Topic 5 will be introduced mid-November and that will involve using strategies and properties to divide by 1-digit numbers. Please continue to work with your child on their facts at home. If multiplication is fluent, division facts would be a good next step!
We will be wrapping up our unit on Energy & Motion this month. Your child has learned about the different forms of energy and how they can be transferred or transformed into another type of energy. They built circuits to make a lightbulb turn on, ran a motor by creating a circuit with a switch and used a circuit to distinguish objects that were insulators or conductors. We will be beginning Topic 2 Human Uses of Energy. In this topic, students will learn how natural resources can be converted to energy.
The students completed a mini research project about an explorer from Europe and have presented their information to the class. We are adding that information to our Exploration Lapbooks. We are also mapping the voyages of these 7 European explorers who were important in the early history of our country. The students are discovering why they came and making a timeline of their journeys. We will discuss the results and aftermath of their explorations. Students will complete a study guide before showing what they know with a simple assessment. Upon completion of this unit we will study the early development and expansion of the United States.
Thank you for all you do at home to help keep your student organized and ready for school each day! Let’s continue to build enthusiasm for reading and learning; I truly appreciate our partnership.