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~November News ~

                                                                                                                                                      November 2018

Dear 502 families,

It was a pleasure meeting with you for parent teacher conferences.  We talked about student progress thus far and goals we have for the kids moving forward.  The class is such a delight that we are very thankful to be with your kids every day.

We wanted to update you on what has been going on in the classroom and what to look forward to.  

Readers have been striving to hold on to significant details about characters throughout a chapter book.  Through jotting their thinking, readers are developing ideas about the main and secondary characters. Characters are the heart of fictional stories.  It is important for readers to understand their actions, motivations, feelings and thinking. This will help readers follow their journey. After getting to know the characters, it is important for readers to reflect on the lesson(s) they learned.  The lesson is an overarching statement that embodies the heart of the story and can be applied to ourselves.

Through the class read aloud, Tiger Rising, our community of readers have been working together by having respectful discussion to comprehend Kate DiCamillo’s realistic fiction story. They have been striving to have a discussion without raising their hands as if they are sitting at the kitchen table. Students have been able to agree, disagree and add on to build the discussion to a deeper level of understanding.  One area we need to work on is when many students want to talk at the same time. This will be our goal as we continue this important work.

Next unit of study will be nonfiction. However, students will maintain fiction reading for homework.  Please make sure your child is reading 20-30 minutes each night.  

Writers have moved on from narrative to persuasive.  Through this unit, writers will understand the components of an essay but also how to support their main points with textual evidence.  We want them to develop a concise thesis statement for their introduction to engage the reader. In addition, we wants to writers to include a conclusion that not all sums up their main points but also pushes their thinking to a new idea.  Currently, students are writing about whether they would have joined Henry Hudson’s exploration to find a trade route to Asia. Most students would have opted out of this experience if given the opportunity. 🙂
Mathematicians finished their unit on three digit addition and subtraction.  Students have many strategies to add and subtract including standard algorithm (traditional method).  Not only are students learning to compute efficiently, but also they are applying this to multi-step problems.  Problem solving is not only math but also a reading comprehension task. Students need to extract the information then use it to figure out the answer. A goal for students is to make sure they are answering the questions after the steps they are taking to solve it.

Currently, mathematicians are learning about multiplication.  Students should practice their multiplication facts at home. We will drill and practice their multiplication fluency in school as well. This will help with multiplying two digit numbers easier. There are a number of games to help make this fun.  One game is called “circle and stars” by Marilyn Burns. Another game is kind of like “war”. Instead of putting down one card. Put two cards down and multiply them together. The person with the highest product wins that round.

This week, historians will play a simulation game to help them understand what it was like on Henry Hudson’s exploration to find a trade route to Asia.  The class has been divided into six groups. Each team was given a number of coins to buy items before leaving for their journey. It was interesting to see what students bought.  We look forward to sharing the trials and tribulations of their journeys with you on seesaw.

As we play the game, we will simultaneously learn about how New Amsterdam was settled and how the government was formed.  

Things to Look Forward to…-November birthday celebration on 11/30

-Family day on 12/19

-Library visits: 12/3 and 12/17


As you know if there are any changes to your child’s pick up, please email the office and us. Thank you for a great start to the school year!


Allison & Jamila

More Homework News

This week we took some time for students to reflect on their homework experience. Many students expressed that they have difficultly managing their time. Therefore, as a class, we came up with idea to develop a calendar to plan out their homework schedule. We will provide these calendars on a monthly basis for students. Our hope is that it will help them be responsible and independent. Lastly, we are putting in an editing checklist so that students proof read their writing. The calendar and homework choice board will go home tomorrow! Since the homework is going home tomorrow, we adjusted the due date to Friday, November 9th.

~ First Family Morning ~

Thank you all for joining us this morning.  It was lovely to meet and see you with your child.

Public speaking is very scary even for adults! We are proud that your children tried their best to share in front of everyone.  Please remember this is their first time this year.  As they have more experience, it will become easier.

Looking forward to seeing you at the Halloween parade! 

Family Morning

502 writers are so excited to share their personal narratives with you tomorrow.  The writing celebration will begin at 8:45 am.   Students will first share a part of their story they are proud of then they can sit with you to read their whole story.

Please be aware that the students have been working hard on these pieces and they are so proud of what they have accomplished thus far. In this unit, their biggest goal was to learn how to show, not tell the story.  Look for dialogue, description, thoughts and feelings to help you make the movie in your minds as they read to you.

See you tomorrow!

Homework Update

Homework is an opportunity for kids to practice independence and responsibility as well as time management.  In our class this week, students will reflect on their homework process and provide peer critiques.  Therefore, the next homework cycle will begin next Monday, October 29th .  The assignments will be posted on the website and a paper copy will be given to students along with their notebooks.  They will have two weeks to complete six assignments. It will be due Tuesday, November 13th.  If you have any questions, please contact us.

New Amsterdam Walking Tour







It was a perfect day to walk and learn about New Amsterdam this morning! We look forward to using the information we learn to begin our architecture project.  This was our second session with Tim.  Last week students had an introductory course on architecture of Amsterdam and the similar architectural styles.

Parent Teacher Conferences

You are invited to sign up for Parent/Teacher Conference

DATE:  November 15, November 19, November 20, November 26 and November 27.
PLACE:  Room 4-502.

To pick a time slot, enter this link in your internet browser:


At that link, you will be asked for your Entry Code, where you should
enter JC51226248

Please contact us directly if you are unable to attend these days or times. Looking forward to meeting with you!

Best Regards,

Allison and Jamila

Picture Day News…

Dear 502 Families,

Pictures will be taken on Friday morning.  Fourth graders may bring a change of clothes.   Looking forward to getting our class picture taken!


Allison and Jamila

Allison is a Landmark Number!

It was a lovely day celebrating my birthday with your children! They are so thoughtful and kind.  My 40th year is off to a great start because they made me smile and laugh.  According to Grant, I am now a landmark number! Have a great weekend, 502!



Homework Choice Board #1

Row 1:



Letter to an Author


Write a letter to the author of the book that you are reading.


a.       Introduce yourself.

b.      Tell what you think of the book.

c.       Ask questions about the story.

d.      Ask questions about being a writer.

Your Favorite Book


Write a 3-paragraoh letter to your teacher(s) about your favorite book.


a.       Write a summary of the book (use transition words: first, in addition, furthermore, overall).

b.      Explain why it is your favorite book.

c.       Tell your teacher about a good part in the story.

A Scene From Your Favorite Book


Draw a picture of what is happening in the chapter of the book that you are currently reading.


a.       Label the picture.

b.      Write a description of what is going on.

c.       Describe the characters in the scene.

Row 2:




(Please include all drafts from writing)

Personal Narrative Story


Write a personal narrative about a special moment in your life.


Think about he beginning middle and ending.


Include lots of details!

A Special Object


Draw a picture of an object that is special to you (ex. Toy or jewelry).


Decorate/color the picture. Why is this object special?


Tell the story!

Free Write


Write a story, poem, letter, essay, graphic novel, or a piece of writing from another genre.


Be sure that your work is neat and thoughtfully done.


This is your chance to be creative!

Row 3:



Problem Solving


Meg had 30 trays. She put 5 apples on each tray. Her brother came along and ate three of the apples. What is the total number of apples left on the tray?


a.       Show your work in a n organized and clear way!

b.      Use a strategy: picture, equation, ratio table

c.       Explain your thinking in words

d.      Check your work.

Multiplication Facts


If you don’t already know them, study your multiplication facts, 1-12, every night for 10 minutes.


Write a description of how you practiced these during the week.


You may use flash cards, ask a grownup to drill them with you, use an app, or write them out.


We recommend the “Math Drills” app.

Dream Box


Complete 8-10 lessons on Dreambox.


Write a brief description o f the lessons that you completed


Be sure to include any challenges or tricky problems that you had.