Dear Families,

    Thank you so much for signing up, making time, and coming to Parent Conferences.  I know it makes a big impact on student performance when they know that you really do care about their success in school.  It was a privilege to sit and visit with you and your child about how they are doing and the goals that they have.

     Science and Social Studies (4/5th)

    Thank you also for the wonderful team of parents who went to the Pacific Science Center with us on November 13th.  It could not have happened without you! The students had the opportunity to learn about the planets at the Planetarium and to look at all the food and fitness exhibits which tied in with our science unit on Nutrition and the current unit on Space (How Big?  How Far?).  They also enjoyed the other exhibits (butterflies, puzzles, bugs, etc.  The Science Center is always fun!

    Thanks to Fergus, Rian, Rhys, Andra, Pete, Aaron, Nicole, Roxy, Mark, Erin, Micaela, and Nicole Pilla for all coming on the field trip with us! 

    For Social Studies, we have been working on state reports using a website called bookcreator.com.  The students really enjoy gathering information on the web and making a book that they can share.  The books were due on November 15, and we are sharing them this week in class.  Ask you student to share his or hers at home with you.  The website is www.bookcreator.com (rainbow icon).

     Math (5th)

    We finished Unit 1 on finding volume, multiplication strategies, finding multiples, factors, simple division with remainders, using grouping symbols, and problem solving.  We are now in Unit 2, and we are working on adding and subtracting fractions using money, clocks, double number lines, ratio tables, and common denominators. We are also getting acquainted with meters and some geometry.  We're almost finished with Module 2 in Unit 2.  We need to finish Unit 2 and be in Unit 3 before Winter Break. 

     Reading (4th) 

    In Reading we are reading!  The students are working on their individual reading goals.  They really need to be reading 20 minutes a day at home because they really need the practice.  Many of them still need to be reading to you aloud so that you can hear their mistakes and help them decode words.  In class, we are working on predicting, identifying the problem and solution of a story, finding the main idea of a non-fiction article, and vocabulary work.  We have looked at three genres so far: fairy tales, realistic fiction, and informational text.  

     Writing (4th)

    We finished our opinion papers about camp.  We have practiced writing complete answers to questions, and this week we will begin working on a new program called A-Z Writing that individualizes writing more.  We have a very wide range in writing ability, so we are trying this program.  We also have begun learning cursive writing using the Handwriting Without Tears program!  This is something very new for almost all of them.


    We continue to work on having our Gratitude Circle time each week and being kind to each other.  I'm not sure why, but we have several students who need many reminders to use good manners in class.  Thanks for all your support in teaching good behavior to your child.  It really makes a huge difference in how well they treat others and how well they can learn.

    Warmly yours,

    Carolyn Wachtel