December 9, 2019

Dear 4-243 Families,

We are in the midst of many projects at the moment.  Students continue in their reading partnerships. Most partners have read 2-3 books at this point.  As a reminder, every student is expected to read about 30 minutes a night and the partner reading should reflect that.  Partners have been reminded that if there is a question about the amount of reading agreed upon, partners should call each other from home to confirm.  Jots in the notebook are expected at least 4 times per week.  We calculated that students should have approximately 50 separate entries at this point of the year.  Once partners have completed a book, an extended response (first and revised final draft) is due within 3 school days.  This final draft is due on looseleaf paper, written neatly in pencil or blue or black pen.  We have created a rubric and I have sent home multiple examples of high quality responses to use as a guide, along with written feedback on each returned response.

In addition to the partnerships, we are doing a lot of work on informational reading of non-fiction texts.  The main objective is to determine the main idea–what the text is mostly about.  Students have been instructed in how to determine the text structure, to separate important from interesting information, and importantly, how to take notes in organized, meaningful ways.  These notes will be important in Social Studies when we have our end- of- unit assessment on NY Native Americans later this month.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 Social Studies/Informational Writing of Native American research is coming along smoothly.  The students are typing their first drafts and then it will be time for revision and editing before our publishing party on December 19th.  Please refer to the handout packet for specific information but as a reminder, the final paper and “mini-project” are both due December 17th.

In math, we are continuing with our fraction work.  I feel that students have a better foundation in the concepts of equivalence and comparing fractions, so now it is time to begin doing mathematical operations of fractions.  This will be a blend of 4th grade standards and the “accelerated” 5th grade standards.  We will begin with addition and subtraction of fractions using a variety of strategies and models.  Please try to avoid teaching your child “tricks” we all learned when we were in school.

As always, if you have any questions or concerns, please email me. If you have changes to dismissal, a written note (not email) is required.

Thank you,