Newsletter


October

 

We have been busy getting to know each other and building our community. Setting the tone and creating an environment that is conducive to learning for all students was the main goal for the first month of school.  We started off by reviewing our “Proclamations” of what a good learner is and how one behaves in order to create a community that is kind, caring, and respectful of one another. The students have enjoyed working together in small and whole group settings and have made fast friends as giggling is almost a constant in the room. A good sign that we are off to a great start!

 

Because of Winn Dixie has been our novel focus and we continue to meet new characters, explore their story lines, and feel empathy for these wonderful people that have become real to us. As we listen to their stories unfold, one can’t help but wonder what “sorrow tastes like” and  why does Otis feel such a strong connection to the animals in their cages, and more importantly, where can we get a dog like Winn Dixie? We have put ourselves in India Opal’s shoes and wish that we too could eat peanut butter sandwiches with Gloria Dump. Text to World connections are being made all throughout our classroom whether it’s to people in our families, friends, or strangers on the street that may also be a “ less fortunate.” Using this text, students have been able to create lists of their own 10 Things they want people to remember about them and I have to say some of their lists have been some of the best and creative and HONEST writings I have read yet. With the help of our Heart Maps, we organized our thoughts and feelings and the end results can be found hanging outside our home in 104.

 

Along with the creative pieces, we have been working with skills such as summarizing, inferencing, comparing and contrasting characters, using perspective to determine what their mind’s eye sees. This more focused and detailed work can be found within the small groups/ guided reading setting and the students are super focused and busy! Look for their hard work in their green folders!

 

Yes, it is only October!

 

Six Traits and finding focus on the main Idea will help us to better improve our writing abilities and we will continue to use different literature pieces to help create ideas for creative writing pieces.

 

Our Community Read will take center stage this month as we read Strictly No Elephants, a beautifully woven picture book featuring a story about rejection, acceptance, perseverance, and most importantly, friendship and doing the right thing! . Stay tuned for the wonderful things to come out of this tale!

 

This class loves math! We have been busy with reviewing subtraction and multiplication skills along with the more challenging ones of division and distinguishing place value. Our WIN block affords us the opportunity to challenge ourselves using centers, small group instruction, and computer time using Prodigy Math. Keep up the good work friends! 

 

Our first field trip will be on October 7th. The trip to the State House along with the Historical Society Museum will work nicely into our social studies curriculum when discussing communities, past and present, how NH came to be, who the people were and are that got us here, and how can we make things better not only for us now but for our future selves and families and the rest of our communities as well as the world we live in. Community outreach, organizations, clubs, becoming young activists are all part of the town, county, state, country, and world that we are a part of and strive to make better.

 

That’s it for now friends! See you all at the Parade of the Horribles if not sooner!

 

Enjoy the beautiful colors of the Fall……gina udice.



                                                      SEPTEMBER 2019-2020

Welcome to Mrs. Udice’s Room

Your home for the next 180 days!

 

Welcome Back and Hello to September! The students and I have been busy getting to know each other and learn a new routine.  I hope everyone is coming home smiling as we have made it through our first week together and it was a busy one. We jumped right into learning with starting our first novel titled Because of Winn Dixie written by Kate DiCamillo. It is a sweet story about a little girl named India Opal and a stray dog she finds and names Winn Dixie. Any guesses as to why she names him that? The answer is quite cute. As we read, we find opportunities to share our thoughts with each other as well as make connections to characters and the world around us.

 

We look for opportunities all around us to write and this week we will use Winn Dixie to jump into a writing piece that will ask the students to draw upon their own personal life and think about things they hope to remember about their families and the things they have done together as they grow older.

 

Math seems to be the favorite subject of the students! As we were reviewing order of operations for a checking progress, I was asked if we could just jump right into the checking progress! Seems like we are off to a good start. We will start our Envisions math program when we return from Labor Day weekend and will start with a review of multiplication. Although the envisions math may seem to start off slow, there will be plenty of opportunities for your child to be challenged with higher level thinking as well as practice skills that they may have found tricky in the past. Our opportunity for a WIN block- WHAT I NEED- will be first thing in the morning from 8:45-9:15. This is an important chance for your child to remediate and enrich skills necessary for success. Please express the importance of being ready to start the day at this time with your student as it is built into the schedule to meet his or her needs in math.  A little extra practice is sure to boost confidence and self esteem which will only help to encourage growth in learning.

 

Science and Social Studies allow us a little more freedom to explore and have fun. STEM science along with Mystery Science and Generation Genius are opportunities that allow us hands-on experiences and thinking outside the box. Problem solving skills take center stage with STEM along with team building opportunities and sharing of ideas with each other. STEM science is student driven as a problem is posed and I step back and watch them develop and grow as thinkers. Our community and what it means to be a part of a community will start our social studies unit that will propel us into Where in the World is New Hampshire? What are we, as a community, all about and how does the area we live in impact our daily lives? All these questions and more will be answered as we progress throughout the trimester.

 

Thank you to those of you who were able to attend Meet and Greet. For those of you who weren’t have o fear you get another opportunity on Curriculum Night. Please feel free to contact me through phone (calling the main office and they will direct your call to my if time allows ), email ( gudice@sau81.org ), and note in your child’s folder any time. No worries are too small. I will do my best to get back to you before the end of the day.

 

                 Thank you in advance for all you do, TOGETHER we make a GREAT team!

                                                              Gina Udice.

Image result for may flowers clipart

 

 

May 2019

 

This time of the year always proves to be the busiest for us.  April begins the testing period for us, ready or not.  We finish up key elements in hopes of getting ready for STAR testing in the areas of math and reading, then get a little break before NH State Assessments begin. Before we know it, it's May.

 

We continue to develop our writing skills focusing on informational and persuasive writing. The students worked on an informational piece where they compared and contrasted two different animals and their habitats. A fun persuasive writing piece they will begin is where they will express their thoughts on,  IS IT INHUMANE TO KEEP ANIMALS IN A ZOO? We will discuss both sides of this hot topic before beginning their writing. As a follow up to this writing piece, they will then begin an in- class project – BUILD A ZOO THAT’S RIGHT FOR YOU.  This project will work with writing and math skills specifically but allows for research skills as well.

 

Depending on their view, the students will round out their year with a cumulative math project where they will design and run the proper zoo with the animals of their choosing based on a budget, and how many of each animal they want. . They will have to research animals and design their habitats based on the sizes of their animals and how much cubic space is needed for their lifestyle.

 

Students will need to design the zoo grounds and set up a layout plan for the habitats to co -exist next to each other. Next a zoo keeper’s schedule will need to be created along with a feeding schedule for the animals and just how much the animals need to eat in fractional proportions. Let’s not forget the gift shop! What to sell and how much to sell it for?  For the final piece, the students will need to formulate the business plan and are they on target? How’s business essentially?

 

This project promises to encompass many skills we worked with throughout the year as well as offering a challenge to many. We will be busy. As we begin to finish the Envisions math program, we continue to review for both NH assessments as well as the program itself and move into the STEP-UP section of envisions.

 

In guided reading, we are wrapping up our small group novels and writing summaries of chapters. We continue to read SHORT as a whole group and work together discussing important aspects of the text and making text to text, text to self, and text to world connections.  Negative Connotations was a big vocabulary word concept for us and many were able to gain a greater understanding of how words take on different meanings to different people.

 

As a reminder, testing DOES BEGIN THIS WEEK! Tuesday  the 7th and Thursday the 9th are our testing days. This week our focus will be on reading and writing. Next week our testing will be on Wednesday and will focus on math. It is incredibly important your child is rested and arrives to school on time as testing begins at 9:00 am. Our afternoons on testing days will be laid back. Students have been told they can bring in board games and spend the afternoon after specialist winding down from the morning and PLAY.

 

Some important dates to remember for May:

May 16th- walking field trip to Alvirne for Farm Day

May 28th- field trip to Beaver Brook- regular dismissal

 

As always, thank you for all you do. Gina Udice 




                     
  

Welcome to March 2019

 

Hello everyone and welcome back! I hope you all had a fun filled vacation and enjoyed spending time with each other. Reflecting on February, it was a quick and extremely busy month. We completed our novel study of The Bicycle Spy and touched upon world history during the time of WW2. It was a wonderful story to share with the students as they hung on my every word when it was my turn to read aloud to the class. They we’re engaged and curious and thoughtful as they reflected on the significance of the times and will hopefully carry the desire to learn from history and not allow it to be repeated. This month we will begin a new novel title Nory Ryan’s Song by Patricia Reilly Giff. It is our second historical fiction novel that takes place in 1845 and touches upon the Great Potato Famine when Nory must “summon the courage and ingenuity to find food, hope, and a way to help her family survive.” In whole group we will read, discuss, and use this novel to write, showing comprehension of text but more importantly to learn about another’s culture and fight for survival and develop a sense of compassion for those less fortunate.

 

Our guided writing will continue with informational writing based on a class read we did in our National Geographic for kids. The students will be asked to choose from one of the famous women previously studied and write a biographical piece. This writing will go into their portfolio with previous pieces written for next year’s teacher to enjoy. Once we get the more serious writing piece out of the way, we’re going to have a little fun and write about good luck charms. With St. Patrick’s Day right around the corner, we will do a little research on good luck charms and what culture they come from. Then the students will be asked if they believe in good luck charms, do they have a good luck charm, what makes it god luck for them, and finally do they think a person should rely on luck or should a person work hard to achieve the success they desire? It will be a busy writing month!

 

We continue to keep keeping on with our envisions math program. As I look ahead I see that factors and factoring, which are relative to the division we just completed, play a large role in getting the students ready for fractions. Topic 11 is slightly longer than previous topics and we will take our time. Thank you to those of you who have been practicing their multiplication facts. Remember practice makes perfect and these are your foundational skills for everything else you will do.

 

Science and Social Studies typically end our day and with that a lot of hands on work occurs from the 2:00 hour on. Mystery science will center on Energy and energizing everything. Students will answer questions such as How can a car run without gas? What makes roller coasters go so fast? Could you knock down a building using only dominoes? Can you build a chain reaction machine? And What if there were no electricity? Just to name a few. We will be putting finishing touches on our NH state research, and the students will work in groups to research a topic of their own choosing to make an entry into an ABC NH book.

 

As always, we continue to work as hard as we can developing skills, building a community, and being the best we can be. Thank you for all you do, Happy St. Patrick’s Day and fingers crossed no leprechauns visit our room, and as we look forward, we anxiously await Spring and all the outdoor explorations that come with that.

 

Gina Udice. : )


 Happy New Year To All!

January – February

 

 As we continue to work hard on our skills we find ourselves as busy as ever. Our writing has transitioned from narrative to informational and together we are working on how to identify factual information within text to answer targeted questions. This task is never easy but together we will continue to build our skills and practice. Our first informational writing piece will be based on an informational text titled Is Disney the Happiest Place on Earth? Within the text many questions are posed. The students will be given 2 sources to read from and rely on for their writing purposes. Information will be provided on Disney World in Florida and Disneyland in California. The first writing prompt will ask the students to compare and contrast the two parks using evidence to support their response. The typical response should be multi-paragraph long. Another prompt will ask the students to give their opinion on which park is better using evidence from the text, and a third writing prompt will be based on similarities alone, and differences alone. These writing pieces and the modeling will take time and take us through the end of the month and into February. You will see the finished pieces as they are completed.

 

We continue to challenge our math skills, having completed topic 8 and developing fluency by multiplying by 2 digit numbers. We practiced estimating sums and breaking apart numbers to help make the multiplying easier, creating an introduction to the partial products method of multiplying. Topic 9 in envisions revolves around division and using mental math to divide. In order to do this, the students need to be fluent in their multiplication facts. Patterns are also part of using mental math and how to identify groups without having to use repeat addition to multiply. Estimating quotients is proving to be a major challenge as this task asks student to find numbers that a factor can fit into mentally. The purpose of this is lost on many as they can’t understand why they would just randomly change numbers into other numbers because they can multiply easier. Dividing with remainders will be our next task and this will carry us into topic 10 of envisions math as well.

 

ALL About New Hampshire will be an on-going research project where the students will be invited to take a deeper look at the state they live in. they will identify major bodies of water and river ways and why it was and still is important for people to live near them. A look at the major cities of NH and where the state falls in the northeast region will take place. Students will be challenged to become creative and write poetry and find recipes that are native to NH that will help identify commerce in and out of the state as well as its economy and the average household income as compared to the rest of the country. Along with the identifying of the state’s bird, flower, and insect, the students will identify major historical figures and delve into the state’s politics. There are a few more surprises up our sleeves but you will see this project come back and forth between class and home as there will be an opportunity for you to study along side your child as well. Please make sure this project comes back to school daily as we will use time in our day to research on our classroom computers to move the project along.

 

We will take turns between social studies and science weekly as our science will move into electricity and waves of sound and light. I would like to save Fridays for STEM activities as the class LOVES the hands-on experiences STEM provides. I believe our next STEM activity will be to build a marble maze. The students will be asked to create a maze, design, and build a maze that will allow a marble to travel freely from one end to another. The maze will need to have multiple pathways and dead ends as well as have a theme and be decorated. This will be an on-going process but I know they will enjoy and learn from the process as well as each other.

 

Stay Warm. Gina Udice : )


December Newsletter

 

May Your Days be Merry and Bright.....

 

As we enter the month of December we find ourselves as busy as ever. The students have been working on many different types of writing, independent as well as whole group creative pieces. We completed a festive holiday writing to Santa when we found out to our ASTONISHMENT that we were all on the NAUGHTY list! How could he?!? Doesn’t he know all the good deeds we have done? The students decided it was in their best interests to write a persuasive piece, trying to convince Santa that they deserved to be put back on the NICE list. Some even resorted to bribing him with mom’s freshly baked cookies and milk if all else failed! Our letters can be found hanging in the hallway for all to enjoy.

 

The class has also begun summarizing articles found in Kids National Geographic. Together we worked on reading through and deciding what was important and what wasn’t. We discussed how to summarize those important details in order to support the main idea of the article. This is a difficult, but necessary, task that is important in many aspects of our curriculum, and mastering this task is extremely important in distinguishing our levels of reading as well.

 

We are progressing through the Envisions math program and the students are engaging in double digit multiplication. This is a difficult thing to do. Please remember that basic multiplication facts are the foundation for all we do at the 4th grade level. Simple mistakes made with basic multiplication facts will have lingering effects on your child’s abilities as well as diminish his or her confidence level. Please take a few minutes to practice these facts each day. Driving from daily activities is the perfect time to practice!

 

Our whole group read is Half a Chance by Cynthia Lord. Lucy’s family has just moved into an old house on a lake in New Hampshire and her dad, who is a famous photographer, is leaving on another new adventure, to take more pictures in another new place. Lucy finds out about a contest that her dad is involved in and decides to set out on an adventure of her own. Secretly. We go on this adventure with Lucy through the chapters of the book as well as the characters in the story. We will also cross content areas and use this text in our study of NH, the regions, and wildlife.

 

Science and Social Studies are the fan favorite in our classroom for activity and enjoyment! We have begun our study of NH with the creation of topographical maps. Many of us have travelled to the mountain ranges but few of us knew how far away they were. Did you know we have a Presidential Range of mountains in our state? Did you know you can kayak for NH into Vermont on the Saco? Do you know what the Kancamagus is? We are busy learning about the phenomenal places there are to explore in NH. We will begin an in depth study of NH and create an ABC book about all the information we can gather and share. This will be an ongoing project culminating in a class book created by the students in Room 104! While we find ourselves in the lovely state of NH, we will study rocks and minerals and why the Granite State is called the Granite State, and while I’m at it, just what is Granite anyway? All these questions and more will be answered as we become more engaged and experiment with the different types of rock: sedimentary, metamorphic, and igneous.

 

As the holidays grow near, I would like to take a moment to thank you for all you do for the students, our class and our school! I am sure you were all on the NICE list and hope you find something special under your tree. Have a wonderful holiday! Happy New Year and Best Wishes for All! Gina Udice







Welcome to November in Mrs. Udice’s Class

 

We continue to be as busy as ever as we enter the month of November. The class has been busy developing their writing skills as we put finishing touches on narrative pieces and give poetry a try. The class has read The Word Collector, our community read for this year and tried our hand at 6 WORD MEMOIRS. What I had anticipated being a difficult task, proved to be fun filled and enjoyed by the students. They literally and figuratively wrote their hearts out! Poem after poem after poem, they continued to write into the afternoon. They loved it!

 

This week we will begin writing a narrative piece based on all the reasons we should be thankful. We will discuss what is happening in our families and what is happening in the world and how there are people in the world less fortunate. We will use graphic organizers to details our ideas and events and the comparisons between the fortunate and less fortunate.

 

In Math we continue to work with mental math to add and subtract as well as multiply. Estimations plays a larger role in topics 5 and 6 and rounding proves to be a difficult task for most students. We have used the terms “ ground ball” and Home run” to help us decipher between what numbers are rounded up or rounded down. Topic 6 concentrates on arrays and expanded algorithms as we begin to work on multiplying by 1, 2, 3,and 4 digit numbers. As we progress through the envisions program, multiplication is becoming progressively more difficult for students who are not fluent with their multiplication facts. Please remind your child to practice their fluency facts either using cards or technology, 15 minutes a night will be a big help.

 

We have begun our study of New Hampshire. In our text NH is our Home, we have worked with map skills and will begin a topographical map of our state. We will identify bodies of water, streams, and rivers along with mountain ranges and natural borders. We will study the people who settled here and why, and why they moved west. Was it their needs or wants or both that forced people west?

 

Last week the students worked on a STEM project that tasked them with building a web that held a message in it. They were given paper plates, yarn, pipe cleaners and nothing more. They had to decide what type of web they wanted to build and how the message was going to be placed inside it. This wasn’t an easy task and many were unable to complete the project in the time allotted. STEM is all about the process and while some may not have finished, the thought process behind every choice they made was where the learning process began and ended. Even an unsuccessful project was a success because the students were able to communicate why they were unsuccessful.

 

November is a short month and once the holidays begin, time slips away from us and the year begins to fly by. We have a lot to accomplish but together we can get there. I thank you for all you do to help make us as successful as we are.   

 

Gina Udice

: )