November 5, 2019

Dear 4-243 Families,

We are at the 2 month mark and we are concluding some of our first units, launching our second.  Here’s what’s happening:

In reading we are doing a few things simultaneously. Our class unit is studying informational texts–non-fiction.  We will read complex texts and do the work readers need to do to fully understand and analyze informational texts.  Areas of focus will be on determining main idea, examining different text structures and using features (photos, tables, graphs, glossaries, etc.) to support our reading comprehension.  Most of the hands-on reading will be in our Social Studies unit-Native Americans (more on that later).  Additionally, we will be launching reading partnerships.  In these partnerships, students will be paired with a classmate at a similar reading level to read books (mostly fiction) of their choosing.  Discussing books is a great way for readers to build comprehension by having ideas elaborated on or challenged by a partner.  Work during these partnerships will include being responsible to a partner to be prepared. That means not only doing the agreed amount of reading but also coming to school ready with ideas to discuss. Children are encouraged to not only read and jot but to keep track of pages they want to refer to during their book talks.  Formal reading responses will be the obligation of partners upon completion of each book in the partnership.  Details will be discussed with students in school.

In math we are wrapping up our review and extension of multiplication and division. Students should be comfortable with a variety of strategies for each operation, be able to check work, answer word problems, and evaluate the work of others.  In addition, we covered the Order of Operations expected through 5th grade standards.  Next, we will review concepts of Area & Perimeter for a few days before moving on to fractions.  Please continue to work with children who are still mastering facts.

Back to Social Studies…we have already launched our study of NY Native Americans.  Soon, children will begin their first research project on Native Groups from around the Americas.  More details will be provided to students very soon so please make sure you look for the packet describing the project expectations and due dates.  This will be 4th graders’ opportunity to learn about time management along with the skills needed for researching and note taking. The final project will be in conjunction with our Informational Writing Unit and our Technology Classes.

If you have not yet signed up for conferences, please do so.  Also, remember that we have a Wingspan presentation on November 22nd.

See you soon,

Donna