January Update

Dear Parents,

  Happy New Year! It’s wonderful to begin a new year, as well as continue our second trimester journey. I hope that you all had a relaxing vacation filled with joy and holiday cheer.

  As we transition back into the school routine, students will be starting their new novels. These realistic fiction novels will be read at home and will be discussed in small reading groups. The novels we are reading for the next month and a half are One for the Murphys, The Great Gilly Hopkins, and No Talking. All spelling lists and reading calendars are posted on the Home Room Tab on Google Classroom. Analyzing characters, describing main ideas and details, making inferences, comparing and contrasting characters, sequencing events, and understanding theme are all skills that will be covered during these novel studies. An extra component that will be added this trimester is having students lead reading groups. This allows for students to take turns and lead within a small group setting.  Prior to this, students will be directed on the activity to lead, and I will be observing, monitoring, and providing feedback. This is always an exciting time for students, and they LOVE the extra responsibility and the focus on leading well. Also, since this is our second round of novels, students are familiar with the expectations in group and in their independent work. There will be a continued focus on vocabulary and integration of vocabulary in their writing, too.

   In math, students will be finishing the topic of how to divide with decimals. This is a difficult concept to grasp and extra math building practice will be devoted to developing this skill. As I always tell my students, it takes time to feel comfortable with a new skill! In addition to dividing with decimals, students will also be learning how to correctly write algebraic expressions and how to solve problems using the order of operations. This will be our last topic on numbers and operations before we head into our fraction units of study.

   In social studies, students will be delving into our unit on colonization of the New World. Colonies like Roanoke, Jamestown, and Plymouth will be our focus, along with a deeper look into the New England, Middle, and Southern Colonies.

   Our science studies will take us from the spheres of planet Earth to the other planets in the solar system. Students will learn to take notes from short video clips. The goal is to have students choose a planet and try to persuade someone that their planet of choice is the best place to visit in our galaxy. This will be one of our major writing pieces during the trimester. In addition to this, our unit of matter will begin. We will be investigating the three major states of matter.

   As a new year begins, so does new goal setting. Students will be creating two new goals for the month of January. Creating these S.M.A.R.T. goals allows students to make goals that are specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and time-based.

    Again, thank you for your continued support! Feel free to contact me with any questions!


Mandy Laliberte

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