News from Squad 16 – December 14, 2016

Winter has officially made its presence known with ice, snow, and below freezing temperatures.  I hope everyone had time to get out and play last week!  The forecast calls for some more interesting weather this week, so we will play things by ear and reschedule events as needed.

We are on track to wrap up our math unit this week and I have been utterly impressed with the way these guys have taken to solving large multiplication problems with arrays.  I am looking forward to seeing the HUGE gains on their post-test scores.

There will be no official homework sent home over the break, but I encourage everyone to do lots of reading!  Ms. Cyndi let us check out three books from library this week to ensure that everyone will have sufficient reading material over break.  So find some time in the hustle and bustle to settle in with a good book and go on an adventure in your mind!

Enjoy your winter break and I will see you in 2017!!

-Ms. Elissa

News from Squad 16 – November 30, 2016

Welcome back!  I hope you were able to squeeze in a little bit of relaxation over the weekend.  We have three full weeks ahead of us and lots of things to wrap up before winter break!

We are currently working on our Regions of Oregon project.  After doing a some jigsaw research as a group, students chose one region of our state to research independently and they are now compiling their notes into a travel brochure!  Look for these in the hall sometime next week.

In math we are learning some new strategies for solving large number multiplication problems.  We covered a Base-10 sketching strategy before break.  This week students learned a ‘quick sketch’ version that encompasses the same idea in a more efficient way.  It is extremely helpful for students to know their multiplication facts for solving these quickly – I encourage you to practice at home!

Our field trip to the Milwaukie Riverfront Park to release our salmon alevin is this Friday! We will be sad to see them go but we wish them all the best in the big, wide world.

Take care,

Ms. Elissa

News from Squad 16 – November 16, 2016

I enjoyed having a moment to chat with you all at conferences!  Thank you for taking the time out of your busy schedules to come in.  Please don’t hesitate to email, call, or stop by if you would like to have a follow-up conference down the line.

On Monday we took some time to watch the acceptance and concession speeches from the presidential candidates and discuss what we knew, felt, and wondered.  Some students reported feeling anxious or afraid of what may happen in the future.  It is important to remember that elementary-aged students may not have the skills necessary to manage stressful events, particularly when they feel that the situation may have a direct impact on their own safety or well-being.  Please know that I will continue to focus on the education of your child while also maintaining a safe, respectful classroom community.  As a teacher, I am working to monitor students’ feelings carefully – especially in our most vulnerable communities.  Please encourage your child to speak with a trusted adult at home or at school if they are feeling overwhelmed or unsafe about recent events.  Ms. Mary, our school counselor, is also available to check in with.

We have just started our second math unit on place value and large number multiplication.  As I mentioned at conferences, there will be daily math homework on Monday through Thursday each week which will directly correlate to content covered in class.  Please help your child find a routine for doing their homework, but allow them to work through it on their own.  If they get stuck or don’t know what to do, it is important that I see that reflected on their work.

Take care out there,

Ms. Elissa


News from Squad 16 – November 2, 2016

It’s November already!!  Last week we completed our Unit 1 post test in math and we are rolling right into our next unit on place value and larger multiplication.  Please continue to have your child practice their skills and fluency at home.  Students should also be completing their homework assignments independently – it is important for me to know when we need to re-cover material as a class or in small groups.

Reed College Biology last week taught us about the salmon life cycle.  Salmon begin and end their lives in freshwater but spend a large portion of their youth and adulthood in the ocean, finding food and growing in size.  We also learned that salmon lead treacherous lives; many, many circumstances lead to their death such as pollution, freezing water, bears, humans, trout, and more!

In writing students have begun to revise and edit their own pieces.  We are catching missed punctuation and capitals as well as ensuring that we are using a variety of verbs and adjectives.  These stories are really coming to life!

Next week we have a VERY short week followed by Parent-Teacher Conferences on Wednesday and Thursday.  I am looking forward to seeing you all there!  Please contact the office if you need to reschedule your conference.

Take care,

-Ms. Elissa

News from Squad 16 – October 26, 2016

This week all kinds of new things are happening!  Our salmon eggs were delivered from Reed College and we will be tracking their growth and development by taking daily temperature readings.  Eventually, they will hatch and we will release them into a nearby waterway to complete their life cycle!  The kids have been trying to name each of the 250 eggs we received, with mixed results.  🙂

We began our new Word Work routines this week by doing some sorts and activities with the names of our classmates.  Starting next week, students will begin doing the same activities with new sets of words aimed at supporting their spelling, reading, and writing.

We also rolled out our new partner reading project, where pairs of students read the same book so they can have meaningful conversations about the texts.  Tuesday was the first day and the level of engagement in the classroom was almost unbelievable!  These guys love to read and share their thinking!

We have come to the end of our first math unit, so students have been working on a Unit 1 Study Guide in class/for homework in preparation for the end of unit assessment that will happen later this week.  I have also given a fluency skills check this week – many students still need to be practicing their single digit addition/subtraction as well as multi-digit addition and subtraction!   Please continue working with flashcards or worksheets to give your child lots of practice!

Take care,

Ms. Elissa

News from Squad 16 – October 19, 2016

We are hoping to roll out our new reading partner project next week, so this week pairs are meeting with me to choose which book they would like to read.  Once we kickoff this project, students will be having conversations with their partner about the book they are reading together and accessing some deeper level comprehension skills.

Our topographical 3D maps are almost dry!  We will paint and label them later this week to fully bring them to life.

In math, we are making a shift from thinking about factors into area and perimeter.  Students may be getting brief independent homework assignments on the subject.  Please support your child in their math facts/anything else from the checklist because our pre-conference math assessment is approaching quickly!

Thanks for all that you do,

-Ms. Elissa