January 15: No School for students
January 19: End of 2nd Quarter

Instructional Reading Update: Our first theme was "How America Began" and we read informational articles. Students learned about our founding fathers, the Declaration of Independence and our Constitution.  Our second theme was "Family Fun".  This theme focused on fictional stories, character traits and 1st person/3rd person narration. We just started a new theme: "Investigating Weather".  We are reading informational articles about certain weather conditions. Our focus areas as we read have been:  figuring out the main idea and key details, learning author's point of view, comparing and contrasting, summarizing what we've read, making inferences,  and learning about cause and effect, just to name a few! 

Independent Reading Update:  We continue to pick a "good fit book" using the "I PICK" steps: I choose the book, I have a Purpose and Interest in the book I'm choosing, I must be able to Comprehend what I read (remember it and understand it) and I must Know most of the words in my book. After students have read their good fit book, they take an AR (Accelerated Reader) quiz on their iPad.  When they pass a quiz, they earn points.  Every student has a point goal to meet by the end of this quarter (January 19) which was determined by their most recent STAR Reading assessment. Students are to be reading their good fit books daily; at school and at home (15-20 minutes-this is their homework). Books should go home and be returned daily in their Take Home Folder. The "Book It" program is a great way to encourage your child to read at home. Pizza Hut will give every child a free pizza if they read the required minutes (240) for the month!  Wow! Get a free pizza for doing reading homework! Thank you Pizza Hut for valuing good reading habits. Parents: PLEASE ENCOURAGE READING AT HOME DAILY!  

Science Update:  We learned about the purpose of our skeletons, muscles and our digestive system. Currently we are focusing on nutrition.  Students researched and then gave a short summary of a vegetable of their choice.  Ask your child about what they learned from their research (summaries went home December 7) Their next assignment was to choose a question relating to nutrition and do the scientific method to learn the answer to their question. Everyone read theirs aloud during class.  Also, extra credit is always available for students. (these relate to our current science theme)

Writing Update:  Our second pen pal letters were sent to Winsted Elementary 3rd graders. We will be learning about poetry styles this month!   

Spelling Update: Each week new words are introduced using a particular "sort" pattern.  New word lists are sent home every Friday (typically) for students to look over before Monday's lesson.  Please make sure your child studies his/her word list every night before Friday's test.  Our brains need repeated practice to learn/remember long term these spelling patterns.