January/February Newsletter

posted Jan 23, 2017, 12:05 PM by Keith Burgoyne   [ updated Jan 23, 2017, 12:09 PM ]

E-1 January/February News

Dear Families:

Happy New Year!  We have been back from break for a while now, and working hard.  The second half of the year always brings a renewed commitment to learning and growing within our classroom and school communities.  It is exciting to see things really click for students as they bring greater maturity to situations with more focus on their work.  January also brings winter assessments required by the district in reading and math and cocoa on Fridays if we earn it!  As always, thanks for all you do to support us at school!


Liz Elder and Soleil Sonoda


  • Report cards go home Fri., Feb. 3rd   

  • The school nurse reminds you that if your child is not feeling well (sore throat or has vomited in the last 8 hours), he/she should stay home to rest.

  • Thanks to all families who have been donating wipes, tissues and snacks!


Curriculum Highlights:

Language Arts:  Students are learning how to write argument based essays – stating a claim and supporting it with reasons, evidence and explanations.  They explore an issue by reading texts to find reasons for or against a particular issue.  Currently in reading we are researching debatable issues  and learning how to take discriminating notes.  Next up, we will begin reading The Captive by Joyce Hansen, in book groups led by Mrs. Wells, Ms. Sonoda and me.  This historical fiction novel is told from the point of view of twelve-year-old boy who is sold into slavery in 1788.  The story is based on the life of Olaudah Equiano.   Students will participate in guided reading groups several twice a week to write and talk about targeted topics – character, setting, and symbolism.  Learning how to speak respectfully, stick to one idea and encourage participation from all members are also skills we will work on.

Math:  We will begin unit 5 in Everyday Math- Operations with Fractions – next week.  Please refer to the Family Letters in your child’s Home Links book at the start of each new unit.

Social Studies/Science: After learning about Roanoke, Jamestown and Plymouth settlements – reasons why people came, the hardships they had to overcome to succeed and the negative impact their arrival had on the Native Americans, we learned about the New England, Middle and Southern colonies, compared their geography, governments, reasons for founding and economies.  Students created broadsides (advertisements) highlighting these ideas to entice new settlers.  This week we will start a brand-new to fifth grade science unit, “Earth & Space Systems.”  We will learn about the basic properties of our solar system, create models to help us understand our world, the hydrosphere and the Earth-Moon-Sun system, and try to understand why we see different constellations in the night sky during different seasons.

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