Jan 25, 2015

January & February

I hope all families had a restful winter break! We are back to academics in the classroom.  At the time of this posting, students have completed the winter reading MAPs assessment and will be taking the math section January 29. Scores will be coming home following the math assessment. We have no word yet as to when students will be taking the SBAC test.

Below is an outline of what students will be studying during January and February.

ELA & Social Studies

Historical fiction will be our genre study and the whole class will be reading Avi's The Fighting Ground which complements are social studies unit on the American Revolutionary War. Students will be asked to read at least one historical fiction book at their reading level for their next independent reading assignment.  I highly encourage students to read a book set in American colonial or revolutionary times. I have many books set during these times for students to choose from. 

Students will also be engaging in several close readings of poetry. They will analyze Ted Kooser's Abandoned Farmhouse and then use his poem as a model for writing their own "abandoned" poem.  They will compare and contrast poems with similar themes, as well.

As mentioned before, social studies will focus on the American Revolution and students will be analyzing primary source documents to draw their own conclusions about the "Boston Massacre." They will then write an opinion essay addressing the question: Were the British Soldiers that fired upon the colonists guilty of murder or did they fire in self-defense?

To give students added support in reading, Caughlin Ranch has bought a subscription from A to Z Learning called Ready Test.  I will be sending home an informational letter once I have inputted students' names and passwords.  


We are now investigating fractions. By the end of our unit students will be able to add, subtract, multiply and divide fractions.  Students will be using manipulatives and models (fraction bars, circles, and number lines) to build a conceptual understanding of fractions. 

Caughlin Ranch has bought a subscription to Dreambox, an on-line math program.  Dreambox will be used in conjunction with IXL to support students' math skills.  Dreambox assesses students and then provides lessons to improve students' areas of weakness.  Dreambox will not necessarily align with what is being taught in class. 


We have finished investigation #1, Separating Mixtures, in the FOSS Kit Mixtures and Solutions. The next investigations center on saturation, concentration, and chemical reactions.

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