Tuesday, December 3, 2013

      I hope you and your family had a lovely Thanksgiving.  As we enjoy the last of the leftovers it's full speed ahead into another holiday season.  The much anticipated Winter Concert will be on Thursday, December 12 at 9:30 am.  I hope to see you there!
     Our learning continues in ELA.  Before the break we began looking at how nonfiction text is organized.  This is an important strategy for understanding, note-taking and ultimately summarizing.  As we do close reading of more complex text,  students need to demonstrate their ability to identify structures such as sequence, cause/effect, problem/solution, description, and compare/contrast.  This will also help students organize their informational writing, which will be a focus throughout the second term.  Students will not only be writing in ELA classes, but in Science and Social Studies as well. Writing across curriculum gives our students plenty of opportunity to practice the traits of writing we have always stressed: ideas, organization, voice, word choice, sentence fluency, and conventions.
     We have begun our fourth topic in math this week: division.  It is imperative that students have automatic recall of multiplication facts in order to be successful in this area.  The Reflex Math program is a great way to ensure this.  Good old-fashioned flash cards also work.  Please support your child in this fundamental skill!
     The Pilgrims have landed!  In Social Studies this term we explore how colonization began in North America and what effects that had on the Native peoples.  We will be viewing excerpts of a PBS series called "We Shall Remain".  This depicts the beginnings of the Pilgrim/ Wampanoag relationship, how it evolved, and how it eventually deteriorated into King Philip's War.  Another big part of our curriculum is the establishment of English colonies and how they developed and eventually fought for their independence from Great Britain.
     On a personal note, my knee surgery went very well.  Though I am walking a bit slowly, I am back, and the kids have been wonderful.  Their cards were a delightful distraction as I recuperated last week.
     I look forward to seeing many of you at parent/teacher conferences this week.
Best Regards,
Mrs. Lee