April/May Newsletter


April/May 2012

Class News

It is hard to believe that we are in the last nine weeks!  Whether you traveled or stayed close to home, I hope you all had a relaxing and fun Spring Break.  Now that all of our batteries are recharged, we are ready to embrace the 4th nine weeks with lots of energy!

 During this nine weeks, we will continue to learn new content as well as review concepts from earlier in the year.   SOL testing will begin in the middle of May and continue through the beginning of June.  A detailed schedule will be sent home as the tests get closer.  Your child will take SOL tests in reading, math, social studies, and science.  All testing will be done on the computer, so we will practice online test taking strategies.  You can practice at home on my portaportal in the SOL Review section.  You can also visit any of the content sites, and review science and social studies study guides in your child's binder.   

I was so impressed with the students' ability to explain their growth during their student-led conferences.  Everyone worked so hard to be prepared, and the kids were really proud to show you their work.  The portfolio contents will come home closer to the end of the school year.

Volunteer projects are off to a great start!  I love the creative ways the students have chosen to help people or animals who are adapting to their current life situations.  Please keep me updated on dates of lemonade stands, bake sales, etc., and I will try to stop by! 

Reading: The students are continuing to work on their self-selected novel projects.  I hope they will be completed this week and can be brought home next week.  You will be amazed at their dedication, creativity, thought, and independence!  Reading instruction will focus on determining importance and summarizing/synthesizing.  As you read with your child, you can discuss interesting and important details, infer the main idea and identify supporting details, summarize a piece of text, and discuss what your child learned from it.  We are also exploring author's purpose as we read.  Did the author write to entertain us, inform us, or persuade us? When we write, what is our purpose?  We have related author's purpose to the writings we have written this year, and we will continue to do this as we practice writing for a purpose.


Writing: What a group of writers I have this year!  The students really enjoyed writing their river stories as they flexed their descriptive writing muscles.  Our next piece of writing will be a piece of historical fiction, and I can't wait to reveal it to the kids.  They will blend historical facts with their own imaginations, and I know we are going to have some masterpieces!  This piece will give the students even more practice with developing their main idea through descriptive details, voice, and strong word choice.  We will also practice writing to inform, persuade, and entertain as we examine author's purpose in reading.


Math  We will begin studying measurement this week.  This unit includes measuring length to the nearest 1/2 inch, weight/mass, liquid volume, and temperature.  Whenever possible, ask your child to estimate and then find the actual length, weight, and volume of different items.  Length will extend into finding the perimeter and area of different shapes, as well as being able to recognize when the area or perimeter is needed to solve a problem.  We will wrap up the year with probability and two digit by one digit multiplication.  Problem solving strategies will continue to be integrated with new and reviewed concepts.  Please keep practicing addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division facts at home! 


Science      We kicked off our latest science investigation today with a Gallery Walk of mystery pictures.  After reading mystery texts tomorrow, the students should have a good idea as to what we are studying.  On Wednesday we will begin investigating renewable and nonrenewable resources, how they generate electricity, and what we can do to conserve these resources (shhh!).  

Social Studies   Interactive Notebooks are due (for the last time this year!) on April 23.  Students are more then welcome to turn them in early if they finish before next Monday.  Please review study guides and the IN as a way to prepare for the social studies SOL test.  Look for info to come home soon about our field work in Jamestown!

Important Dates

4/19 Kindergarten Registration

4/21 Whistlestop

4/25 Three Hour Early Release (pack a lunch or snack)

4/27 Report Cards go home (sign and return one copy with the envelope)

5/16 Interims

5/28 Memorial Day-no school



Please make sure you sign your child's assignment book every night once you verify that their homework is neat and complete.

Please review papers that come home in your child's Friday Folder.  This is a communication tool that keeps you informed as to how your child is progressing on a weekly basis.  Please sign and date the sheet that is stapled to the left side of the folder.  Discuss your child's work with them and help them correct any papers that might not show their best effort.  If any papers have a D or an F, please sign  and have your child make corrections.  Any "sign and return" papers need to be returned to me the following Monday.  If your child is still struggling with a concept after making corrections, please attach a note so I can continue to provide the necessary support. 

Thank you for all of your continued support.   Please don't hesitate to contact me with any questions or concerns.

Thank you,