Reading — We continue to work on fiction and nonfiction skills in a variety of formats and across the curriculum. This week we'll take a look at the top news events in 2014 and add one of our own. We'll also take a concentrated look at point of view in connection with our new social studies unit. I'll also introduce the new book report on Newbery winners. These represent some of the best American children's book. We will study the history of the award and have an opportunity to explore possible student selections.
Writing — We have a spelling unit this week, with a look at homophones and the often confusing can versus may. We'll also extend our exploration of sentence types with complex sentences (including punctuating based on the placement of the dependent clause).
Science — In class, we'll focus on the water cycle. Outside class, students science projects are due Jan. 12. I've been encouraging students to finish their boards several days early, so that they have plenty of time to practice their oral presentations. Yes, they can use note cards to help remember key talking points; no, they may not read from a written report. Remember that a complete copy of the science fair packet is available under the handouts section, and we've got sample boards in the classroom.
Social studies — We'll look at European exploration of the Western Hemisphere and its profound impact.
Math — We're going to spend a few more days on division with remainders. We're also pushing to master our times tables through 15 and will have daily timed tests. Each student is working through these at their own pace and master one table before advancing to the next. When all are mastered, we'll return to mixed practice.
Social Emotional Learning — The emphasis for the next few weeks will be on managing emotions.
Whew! We've got lots to do this second semester.