April News

Monthly News




Open Expressions: Wow, that was a great show! What talented, creative, and brave students we have in Orange. Way to go Myla B., Oliver, Cameron, Kia, Tyler, Raif, Giselle, Lulu, Francesca, Natalia, Olivia, Bella, and Mason! A big shout out to Brooke & Leah for making the show run so smoothly with their behind the scene work on stage crew! We loved watching you all in action.

Cluster Placement Form: This is just a friendly reminder that all cluster placement forms need to be turned in by April 26th in the provided envelope.

It was nice to see all of you at your child’s conference! We’re working on getting their new goals into all of their folders. You’ll see it in the front of their orange HW folder very soon. When you do, please remind them to reach for their goals and every now and then, inquire about their progress on them. We’ll try to do the same to keep these goals in the forefront of their mind.


Classroom Update:

In Writer’s Workshop, the class finished their “I Am” poems, which are on display in Orange Cluster. They will also be in the school anthology, “Open Thoughts,” which each student receives at the end of the year. The class also worked really hard to finish their narrative books, which will be out on display at Open House (April 23rd). We are now moving into informative writing and learning about paragraphs. They are researching an inventor and will write a short “book” about what they learned.

In Reader’s Workshop, we’re in the middle of our nonfiction unit. With our weekly Scholastic News magazines we’re working on selecting the most important details, synthesizing the information and articulating the main idea. It is challenging but the class is getting better at determining importance. Next we’ll dive into narrative nonfiction. All the comprehension strategies that the students already use for fiction (visualizing, predicting, asking questions, etc.) are also key for reading narrative nonfiction. We’ll read narrative nonfiction stories looking at the real person as a main character and identifying the person’s character traits, challenges and lessons he/she learned along the way.

In math, we’ve been working on a variety of concepts. Our fraction unit is off to a great start. The students had to work carefully and apply their precise measuring skills to create a fraction model kit. They divided up a whole (12 inches) into 1/2s, 1/4s, 1/8s, and 1/16ths. They saw patterns and cut a ½  in half to make ¼ and cut an 1/8 in half to make 1/16ths. They know fraction is division, the biggest fraction is ½, fractions are less than the number 1, and that the denominator in a fraction tells how many equal parts. With their fraction model kit, the class played the game Cover Up to get familiar with common fractions and see how the fraction sizes relate. Next up - we’ll get into comparing fractions and making equivalent fractions.

They class has been working hard in this unit called Muffles Truffles by trying to help Mr. Muffles make different boxes for his truffles. We continue to dig into multiplication and have learned the commutative (2 x 3 = 3 x 2) property, distributive property {18 x 5 = (10 x 5) + (8 x 5)}, and associative property {(2 x 3) x 4 = 2 x (3 x 4)}. The class has also developed their math vocabulary by understanding the words congruent and equivalent! They will then use this knowledge to develop their understanding of division.

We’ve begun our social studies unit on inventions. In cooperative groups of four, the students created an invention to solve a fairy tale problem. For example, some students came up with a way to detect poison in apples to help Snow White. Another group came up with an invention to keep the Big Bad Wolf from eating the three little pigs. Now the students are busy coming up with their own unique invention to solve a problem or make something safer. They are sketching, designing and planning out their original idea in their Inventor’s Log so they have proof of their hard work. Ultimately, they’ll apply for a patent and then build a small model of their invention. 

In our Roots of Respect curriculum, the class has finished exploring responsibility and its many meanings. They understand that being responsible means to be a member of a community as well as take charge of the choices we make, good or bad. To wrap up this unit, they created short skits which Blue Cluster students helped narrate. Some of these videos were shared with the school during assembly. Our final Roots of Respect unit will be on communication.


Upcoming Dates:

Monday, April 15      Spring Break (Enjoy!)

Tues., April 23rd        Open House 5:30-7pm

                                     (5:30 – 6 PM meet & greet your Governing Board nominees

                                      6-7 PM classrooms open)

April 25th- May 17th  Smarter Balance testing Window

                                     3rd grade - English Language Arts April 30- May 1st

                                                        Math May 14 – 15th

                                     (For more information check out www.cde.ca.gov)

Sat., May 4th              Open School Spring Gala

Thurs., May 30th        Governing Board (5:30) & Friends Meetings (7:00)

Expiration Date: 
Jul 31