Taking Off!

Dear Families,

I have been extremely impressed with how well we are adapting to the routine of a new school year, and for some, acclimating to a new classroom and/or school. We are fully immersed in an intensive and meaningful reading unit on developing our ideas about what we read, a writing unit on crafting narrative stories, and learning about mixtures and solutions in science. Looking ahead, we’ll be studying different Native American regions of North America and embarking on a nature-filled art unit aptly called “Land Art.”

Our work in writing has us focusing on taking a small moment from our life and writing about that one moment in great detail. For example, Justin recently went to Mexico on a family vacation. Instead of writing about the whole trip, Justin is focusing on when he went to the beach and enjoyed swimming in the “salty ocean.” Similarly, Jack went to Hawaii and he wrote about what the flight was like. Next week, we’re going to work on drafting a story, revising, editing it, and eventually publishing it.

In reading, we are learning how to better interact with what we read by developing our ideas in response to how characters change, lessons characters learned, and how we feel when we read fiction. In order to grow as readers, it’s truly imperative that each child soak up books and build a strong reading life. In order to do this, they should be reading at home for 30 minutes every day. This is not a request. This is an expectation. It could be in the car, at bedtime, in the morning (if there’s time), or on the couch. This is not up for debate and it’s truly the only way children will grow in their reading. On Monday, I will be sending home a reading log so students can record their reading at home. I am asking that all students record what they read and bring the reading log back on Monday.

Read aloud is one of my favorite times of the school day. I finished reading The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane by Kate DiCamillo last week and will now focus on reading Home of the Brave by Katherine Applegate.

We are wrapping up a three week unit on solutions and mixtures. In this unit, we’ve learned the difference between mixtures and solutions, and experimented with how to separate solutions, like salt water.

Lastly, here are some important housekeeping items:

  1. Each classroom in the grade school is making tie dyed shirts to wear for school spirit and on designated field trips. Each child will receive a t-shirt, but we are requesting a $5 contribution per child. If you are able to, it would be appreciated if you could send in the contribution as soon as possible.
  2. Photo Day is this Wednesday, September 19th. Order forms were sent home last week. You can choose to either write a check and send it in with the order form, or order online. All the directions are explicit on the order form on how to order online.
  3. Also venturing home via your child’s backpack on Thursday afternoon was information about our school’s absolutely amazing P.T.A. (Parent Teachers Association). The orange flyer outlines how you can become a member of the P.T.A., support its mission, and raise money all from the comfort of your kitchen table through box tops.
  4. Also in your child’s backpack was a flyer for a Scholastic Book Order. If you’re interested in ordering books for your children, you can do so by either filling out the order form on the book order and sending it in with a check, or ordering the books online. To order online, you can visit Scholastic Book Clubs and enter in our classroom code, which is H87K8. By the way, every time you make a purchase, I get dollars to use for our classroom community. Two birds with one stone!
  5. SUPER IMPORTANT: I will be holding parent-teacher conferences on Tuesday 10/9, Wednesday 10/10, and Thursday 10/11. To sign up, please click on this link and select your desired time. It’s first-come, first-served, so the sooner you sign up, the better the chances are you’ll get a time you’ll like. Students will play an integral role in conferences so I am requesting that they attend the conference. We will focusing on reading and writing goals.
  6. If you have any extra coffee mugs at home, we will gladly repurpose them in the classroom. They’re perfect pencil holders!


Enjoy the rest of your weekend,

Mr. B


Idiom of the Week: Changing My Mind

Vocab of the Week: exceedingly, elegant, perceive, solemnly