Monthly News

April News

April 7, 2017



Word Wall Lists should be on display in your home! Please have it available as a resource for your child as they write at home. A lot of families like to have it at the homework table or on the fridge. At this point in the year, if a word is spelled correctly on the paper or in the Scholastic News or they could readily find it on the walls of the room, we expect them to spell it correctly.

Classroom Update:

In Writer’s Workshop the children worked hard to use new literary devices like alliterations and personification in their invention poems. They are working on their final drafts and will be published in the Open Thoughts Anthology later this year.

Since we’ve finished assessing for report cards, we’ve picked up our nonfiction unit again in Reader’s Workshop. The students are reading their Scholastic News magazines and taking copious notes on their thinking to prepare for their partner work. Their partner is reading a different magazine so they’ll take turns becoming the teacher and teaching their partner about their article. They are sharing their ideas, wonderings, and questions and backing them up with evidence from the text. The students are also taking more responsibility for running their Book Club groups. They are deciding their writing assignments in their reader’s journals and taking charge of their book club conversations. It is exciting to watch them growing in responsibility and thinking deeper about their books.

In Math, we’ve been working on a variety of things. We are diving into our fraction unit naming fractions, drawing fractions and partitioning fractions into equal parts. We’ve identified the shaded fraction and the unshaded fraction with number bonds. We’ve talked about how all fractions are less than one and that in Fractionland numbers are topsy-turvy. Normally 10 is bigger than 2 but in Fractionland, 1/10 is smaller than 1/3. We divided a cookie and realized the more people we share it with, the smaller our piece gets. In response to some feedback we received from your students at parent conferences, we have reviewed several of the multiplication strategies they have been taught. They are able to see/ build multiplication using equal groups, arrays and skip counting. They have also practiced breaking apart more challenging multiplication problems into smaller chunks using arrays and number bonds in order to make it easier to solve mentally [for example: 7 x 8 = (5 x 8) + (2 x 8)].

We’ve begun our second science units. The Inventors & Explorers have begun Simple Machines and the Creators & Designers have begun Environments. They are participating in experiments that illustrate how simple machines make work easier. So far, they have learned about inclined planes, wedges, screws and levers. When you are out and about and notice any of these in the “real world” maybe highlight them in your conversations. During the Environment lessons, their cooperative groups of four planted terrariums and observed and recorded the changes as the seeds grew into plants. They brought home their plants yesterday. Now they are beginning to explore the different biomes around the world.


Upcoming Dates:

April 10th – 14th             No School - Spring Break

April 16th                        Online Auction Ends

April 21st                        Night of Champions

Sat., April 22nd              Open Beautification Day 7:30am-3:30pm

Tues., April 25th             Open House 5:30-7pm

(5:30 – 6 PM: meet and greet your Governing Board nominees; 6-7   classrooms open)

May 1st - May 19           Smarter Balance testing window

                                       (For more information check out

Sat., June 3rd                Open School Spring Gala

Expiration Date: 
Jul 31