Reading – We started our new class read aloud, Wonder by R.J. Palacio, and will be watching the movie after we complete the book.  This will give us the opportunity to compare and contrast the two stories and discuss why the movie version tends to be so different from the book version in most situations.  We are discussing and tracking character traits throughout this book and students will be doing the same in their independent books. The goal is to then write an essay about what type of person the character in their book is. We will also be tracking theme and character development throughout the book to keep our new skills sharp.

Writing – Students are using their extra computer lab time to finish up their research on their chosen topics and starting to organize their information into subtopics.  This will allow them to begin the first steps of writing their essays.  They will also be learning how to use direct quotes, while giving proper credit to the author, in their essays as well as strengthening their summarizing skills.  I will be modeling a second essay for the students as we go through this process.

Math – We are finishing up our decimal unit with dividing decimals by whole numbers and decimals.  We will move into a two week unit of applying our algorithm solving skills to word problem style problems.  There will be different levels of difficulty ranging from one step problems to multi-step problems with different operations.  We will then be starting a lengthy unit on fractions.  We will cover basic fraction concept to begin with but then move into solving all 4 operations, while learning the “why” and “how” behind the concepts.

Science/Social Studies- We are working on a short geography unit right now. We are learning how to use the atlas, latitude and longitude, different types of maps and their uses, and about map making and the distortion that occurs when making flat maps.  We will be memorizing the location of all 50 states over the next few weeks.  There will be a weekly quiz on Fridays.  I broke the map into 6 sections to help make the memorizing easier, but the children can also take on the challenge of memorizing the locations all at once.  After geography will begin a unit on weather.  I am hoping we have some good winter weather to document and track.


In March, we will be doing a week long design unit through the Dyson Foundation.  We will be receiving an education box from Dyson that will contain a vacuum and vacuum parts. The students will be studying the parts and design, taking things apart and rebuilding to figure out the function and purpose of the design.  If any of you would like to come in to help out during the science block that week please let me know.