Friday, January 6, 2017

Hello Families,

Computer Review Station
HAPPY NEW YEAR! I hope you all had an enjoyable holiday break.  Our students came back very well rested and the difference I see in the classroom over this short week is impressive.  We began our New Year in 4W by brainstorming and listing academic and social goals for ourselves.  We spent time reflecting on the importance of setting a goal and keeping high expectations in mind.  Everyone was very thoughtful with their “school resolution” and I look forward to watching them all work to achieve these! 
This week in math, students spent the first few days rotating through stations and carousels designed to review unit 4.  This unit was completed before break, and the movement throughout the room was a nice way for the class to settle back into the routine.  These stations consisted of games, workbook problems, group problem solving, and working on the computer with review questions. Today, we felt prepared to take our unit 4 cumulative, which included questions from unit 1 through unit 4.  This is to ensure our students are exposed to content already learned so they will attain this information throughout the year!

Rotating through our math stations

In ELA, students were exposed to their first MCAS practice and completed an open response to a MCAS prompt titled Yeshi’s Luck.  We learned strategies to help us answer questions that required us to infer and to look back in the text for evidence.  We also evaluated sample responses that had been graded and learned the scoring requirements for the open response.  Our former practice with RACE forms gave students the confidence they needed to complete the response thoroughly and to the best of their ability.  This first packet was modeled whole class, which we will continue to work on in the upcoming weeks! In writing, students are wrapping up their expository pieces and are now typing these.  Our next genre of writing will be persuasive, which we will introduce next month!
In just four days, we have been able to make some progress in Social Studies as we focus on the Southeast Region! It sure is nice to research a warmer region of the US now as we experience our snowy winter. Students will be given a map and are required to learn the location of these states, as well as their abbreviations and capitals.  Along with the map, we are gathering information about the Southeast to design a brochure about the land, economy, and the culture of this region.  We are in the note taking stage now and will then move to creating paragraphs that will used in our informative pamphlet. 
Resources for our Social Studies Brochure
In other classroom news, this week in 4W, we began our Journey’s literacy program again along with our spelling.  We had taken a break from this program the past few weeks to focus on novels, and are now continuing with our anthology as we move through our pacing guide.  Students will be exposed to vocabulary on Mondays and will be tested on the story and specific grammar skills on Friday!  As a reminder, next Wednesday, January 11th will be an early release.  Thank you for taking the time to stay informed about our classroom news, below are questions for conversation.
Ms. Wentworth :)

Questions for Conversation
1.       In Yeshi’s luck, how did the character change from the beginning of the story to the end?
2.       Describe two stations visited during the unit 4 review.
3.       What are some land features of the Southeast Region?
4.       What is a personal and classroom resolution you have set for this year?

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