Sunday, October 14, 2018

October 2018

Welcome back from Fall Break! I hope you were able to spend time as a family and maybe even get away! I spent my time relaxing and hanging out with my was great! This month's blog post has ways you can help your child in math, reading, and writing. As we close up old units and begin new ones, your children will continue to grow their minds and hopefully be challenged along the way!

Thank you so much to Kelly & Gavin Binder for creating our awesome Digger Dash banner!

More information will be coming about our Halloween Party on October 31st. It will be from 8:45-9:30 with the parade right after. Immediately after the parade, class will resume as normal.

No School on November 6.

We are in collection mode right now! Please send in your Box Tops to our classroom. It would be awesome if we were able to win the Pizza Party! I'm also collecting at home and bringing them in. As of now, with a recent Costco run, I have around 50. I'll keep collecting! Please make sure they are not expired and are trimmed up. Thanks for helping our school!!


As we continue to analyze themes in a variety of stories we read in class, your children will continue to analyze themes in their own readings. We are going to begin full-fledged book clubs this week. Students will be running their own book clubs and analyzing and interpreting the books as they read them. I am excited to watch students embark on this new journey of discovering the joy of discussing books with peers! I will be a part of the discussion sometimes and an observer at other times. Please ask your student which book they are reading and encourage them to make sure they stay on track with their reading plans. Below are rubrics we are using to help us guide our learning and thinking. We use these in our journaling about reading as well.

We are working toward these standards:
  • I can explain the relationship between specific parts of a drama or story and the overall organizational structure of the text 
  • I can identify details in a text that develop a theme 
  • I can summarize a text by explaining how multiple details work together to communicate the main idea
  • I can identify details in a text that develop a theme 
  • I can compare characters, settings, or events in a narrative text 
  • I can explain how the narrator’s point of view influences descriptions of events in a text

Friday before Fall Break began, students finished up their small moments that they were working on. For the next week or two, we will be studying mentor texts and then using what we learn to improve upon those small moments that we wrote. After that, we will begin a paragraph boot camp. During this boot camp, we will be learning how to craft good paragraphs for a variety of writing genres. After that, we will begin a more in-depth look at how to craft a good reading response.

We are working toward these standards:

  • I can introduce a topic in an introductory paragraph 
  • I can provide a concluding section or paragraph at the end of a text 
  • I can create event sequences that illustrate a clear causal relationship 
  • I can use descriptive details to develop settings, experiences, characters, and events 
  • I can use dialogue to develop character personality and reactions

We have finished up our unit on multiplication and division, but we have not left it behind! We will continue to work with multiplication and division in the units to come, especially our next unit which has us focusing on Prisms and Solids. In this unit, students focus on the structure and volume of three-dimensional shapes, specifically on rectangular prisms and solids composed of rectangular prisms. Students will be building models and patterns for boxes that hold quantities of cubes and calculate the volume of these boxes, using a cube as a unit of measure. In investigation 2, students will understand and develop a formula to solve the volume of a rectangular and rectangular L-shaped prism. Ways that you can help your child at home would be to encourage them to explain their thinking to you. Also, you can access the following website to help your child understand cubic units as well as understanding more about prisms and volume-->

Rectangular Prisms
Standard Cubic Units
Volume of Rectangular Prisms (video)
Volume Formulas
Changing the Dimensions and Changing the Volume

How many packages in a box?

Many household items are packaged and sold in boxes. You and your child can take a large cardboard box and predict how many bars of soap (toothpaste, pudding, cereal boxes) would fit in that box. You might try a variety of boxes at home or explore the way things are packaged when you visit grocery stores or other stores.

Volume of a Room
Another activity for exploring volume is to compare the amount of space in different rooms. At school, students will find the volume of their classroom in cubic meters. At home, your child can find the volume of various rooms. Which room do you think has the largest volume? Which room has the smallest volume? Why? Discuss how to compare rooms of unusual shapes (a slanted ceiling or an L-shape).

We are working toward these standards:
  • I can determine the volume of right rectangular prisms by packing them with unit cubes. 
  • I can calculate the volume of right rectangular prisms arithmetically. 
  • I can calculate the volume of three-dimensional figures composed of right rectangular prisms.

I’m excited to be starting science this week! We will be learning about the Scientific Method and how we can use it to be scientists everywhere in the world, but mostly in our classroom (for now). Students will know and understand the characteristics and structures of living things, the processes of life and how living things interact with each other and their environment. To begin, students will be investigating the difference between living and nonliving things. Next, we will look at life process as well as the cell as a building block for all living things. We will then move on to human body systems and how all the body systems have separate functions, structures, and needs. This unit culminates with our yearly field trip to the Denver Museum of Nature and Science to dissect a sheep's lung and see the exhibit, "Nature's Amazing Machines". I will be sending more information about this field trip as we get closer to the date.