December Updates 4-245

December 2, 2019

Dear Families,

It is hard to believe it is already December! Thank you all for attending Parent-Teacher Conferences and for your continued support of your students at home. They’re growing and learning more each day, I am so proud of the progress each student is making.


Important Dates:


Winter Holiday Publishing Party is on Thursday, December 19th beginning around 8:20 AM. Stay tuned for more information from Julie. I hope to see you all there!


I’ve also attached the Native American Packet, which includes the outline for important dates, to this post. Please ensure your child is staying on track with these dates. Especially important is that the mini-project is due on Tuesday, December 17th. Please ensure the project is completed and brought in on this date.



Here is an overview of what we are up to:


In reading, we are working on both informational and fiction reading. Students are tackling information text through both reading non-fiction information texts of their choice, information texts of my selection such as articles, and through their research of Native Americans. We are focusing specifically on skills such as determining the main idea, text structure and summary/synthesis of information. These are all crucial skills in the coming months and important for the students to practice. We will continue to practice these skills to strengthen the students’ abilities to interpret information text and prepare them for what is to come. Simultaneously, we have continued our partnership reading of fiction texts and students have been practicing keeping track of important elements of story both through their discussions with their partner and through their writing in their reader’s notebook and longer responses. Ensure that students are continuing to read 30 minutes at home and write an entry each night.


In writing, our main focus is currently our Native American essay. We will be studying the qualities that make a strong essay, practicing adding in different types of facts and information for elaboration, inserting quotes and text features and studying how to sound like an expert on our topics. Further, students will be utilizing various transition words and complex sentence structures to make their comparisons clear between their two tribes and sound both sophisticated and knowledgable. Students will also examine introductions and conclusions and we will practice crafting these in ways that are engaging for our reader. Additionally, students will continue writing longer reading responses with their partner books that will maintain their strong ability to write about ideas in fiction text and cite evidence in doing so.


In math, we have begun our unit on fractions. We have examined fraction equivalence, determined some rules around comparing fractions and begun adding fractions with like and unlike denominators. Students continue to use models to represent their fractions and understand what both the numerator and denominator represent in relation to the “whole”. We will continue this fraction work for most of December as this is foundational for students to understand. We will continue to practice our math language around explaining our ideas about fractions and the various ways in which to compare fractions or prove equivalence.


In Social Studies, we will continue our study of Native Americans until the completion of our projects. We are focusing our study on the New York Native American tribes while the students study tribes both in and outside of New York. We are also analyzing the perspectives of Native Americans during the beginning stages of colonization through our read aloud, Sign of the Beaver. We are examining the various perspectives between Native Americans and white settlers to imagine how these perspectives differed. Our Wingspan work will continue to build upon these ideas through the writing of our play.


As always, if you should have any questions, please feel free to reach out.


I hope to see you all on December 19th! Wishing you and your family a happy holiday season and a very happy New Year!