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Campus News

Lower Division Newsletter


January 15, 2010

Junior Kindergarten

Language Arts

We will begin our theme on construction. Children will discuss different construction jobs and talk about
tools and machines. We will learn about their new Alpha friend, R. In handwriting (HWT), we will learn
the letters, Ss, Jj. Dd, and Gg. Children will continue to focus on the correct formation of the letters in
their names and proper pencil grip. Our High Frequency Words will be and, go, it, and for. The children
will begin to learn how there can be different versions of a story.

Social Studies

We will introduce the meaning of courage, our next virtue. Children will discuss ways that people in a
community live, work, and play together. They will also talk about the different types of buildings we can
find in our community.

Science

Students will learn about living and nonliving things through different activities, which will include looking
around our school and classifying different objects as living or nonliving.

Math

Students will compare and order different sizes, then make patterns using different sizes. They will
measure different lengths and learn the terms short, shorter, shortest, long, longer, and longest.

Senior Kindergarten

A warm welcome to our new friend, Paige!

Language Arts

Students are working on decoding skills to improve reading. Some of the most common strategies to
ensure success include: getting your mouth ready to make the sounds, looking for smaller words hiding
inside of bigger words, and using pictures to make sense of what is happening. Phonics lessons will focus
on long vowel sounds and brainstorming words that begin with /dr/ and /wh/. In writing, students will
continue with the traits of conventions, ideas, organization, and word choice. As they write each day we
will continue to improve our vocabulary and add exciting details. We are encouraging them to be creative
with their word choice and not to settle for the most common word. We will continue to talk about
nouns, adjectives, and verbs. The children are learning to use editing skills to evaluate and improve their
writing.

Science

We are learning all about the wonderful things that happen in the winter, while reviewing seasons and
weather at the same time.

Math

The children are enjoying telling time using the clocks they made. We are currently telling time by the
hour; we will learn the half hour next week. Our centers will also reinforce the skills of addition,
measuring, counting money using pennies, counting backwards from 20, skip counting, odd and even
numbers, and tally marks. The children will be introduced to subtraction next week. Please go over the
different coins and their amounts at home. Our goal this month is for the children to name each coin and
its amount.

Virtues

Our virtue this month is courage. Children will listen to stories about courage. They will also learn about
Martin Luther King, Jr. and relate his struggles to the virtue of courage.

Grade 1

Language Arts

In the next two weeks our reading strategies will continue to focus on story elements: setting(s),
main/supporting characters, problem, and solution. We will also read biographies of important people
who had a significant impact on others. Our phonics, grammar, and spelling will focus on contractions,
homophones, and pronouns. Our writing will focus on writing a friendly letter. Students will learn all parts
of a letter and have the opportunity to write a letter and mail it out.

Social Studies
Students will begin the study of transportation. Students will read and compare different modes of
transportation. While learning about transportation, students will choose a mode of transportation to
research and make transportation mobile to share in class.

Math

In the next two weeks, students will work on identifying and counting equal parts, identifying halves, ½
of a whole, one third, one fourth, and represent/predict the probability of an outcome.
Math vocabulary: equal parts, fraction, one half, one third, one fourth, predict, certain,
impossible, and probable

Science

We begin our unit on solids and liquids. Students will begin with comparing two different solids,
observing properties, and comparing solids that roll and solids that stack.

Grade 2

We would like to welcome Andy to our Second Grade class. We are enjoying getting to know Andy and
about his school and home in Korea.

Language Arts

We continue our reading theme “Around Town: Neighborhood and Community.” We will focus on
reviewing reading strategies while developing story elements and retelling skills. We will evaluate, make
inferences, sequence events, predict outcomes, summarize, identify main ideas, and identify character
traits. Our phonics and spelling skills focus will include ai, ay, ee, ea, ou, ow, and suffixes –er, -est, -ly, -
ful. Our writing focus will develop good paragraphs with details, composing letters, and writing stories.
Our grammar will review nouns, pronouns, and verbs. We are developing as readers and writers.
Encourage your young readers to write about the stories they read at home for a good reading and
writing connection.
Social Studies

We are continuing with Revolutionary War on Wednesday. What a great way to learn about the early
colonies of our country! With the story we are talking about the thirteen colonies, the Revolutionary war,
and independence. In addition, we are beginning a study of biographies of important people in our
county.

Science

Our theme is soils. We are exploring soils and will investigate what happens when we try to grow plants
in different soils, why plants have roots, and see if soil can hold water. We will also observe how water
moves through sand and clay. In addition to soils, we are learning about our Solar System. Get ready
to hear facts about our Solar System. We are preparing to go to the Planetarium at MOSI on January 26
and be amazed.

Math

The students began the New Year by learning about unit fractions, comparing fractions, and fractions of
a set. We recently
started to regroup
with addition and
will continue with
adding one-digit
numbers to two-
digit numbers, and
add two-digit
numbers. Then,
the students will
use two-digit
addition to rewrite
addition problems
in vertical form,
estimate, and then
add three two-
digit numbers.
The students will
continue to
practice problem
solving skills along
with addition and
subtraction facts.

Grade 3

Language Arts

Students continue to work in chapter books. Since the books vary in length, they may be reading a
different number of books. We have been very impressed with their ability to discern cause and effect.
We continue to work on character traits and inference.

Third grade has begun the research adventure that will eventually lead to wonderful reports on Florida
animals. Students are learning how to read to find facts they find interesting and then to put those facts
into their own words on an information sheet. They are also organizing the facts into topics that will
inform their paragraph writing. As a bonus, Mr. Kapetanis is collaborating with Mrs. Hansen to allow
students to continue their research using the Internet. This is a very mature endeavor and the students
are doing a fine job. Perhaps the most important lesson they are learning is that focused studying is
actually quite fun!

Social Studies

Third grade will soon complete their group assembly of the Tocobaga poster. They have discovered very
interesting facts and enjoyed learning about the culture of a group that lived here so long ago. Next, we
will be learning about the Timucua, another early Florida group that lived in the northern part of the
state.

Science

Students are thrilled to be learning about rocks and minerals! They will be doing actual field tests to
identify such properties as texture, luster, streak color, and light. I do believe we have many budding
petrologists and geologists in third grade. Many are asking if they can bring their personal rock and
mineral samples to class. I do want to
caution those that choose to bring their
own personal samples to share that
accidents do happen even though we
are careful. We all enjoyed and
appreciated the collections that have
been shared.

Math

Third grade is deeply involved in


learning multiplication facts. One class
is doing an experiment to see the
effects of graphing progress on fact
drills to answer the question: does drill
practice help students learn their facts?
Students are using a graph to record
and observe their progress. Thank you
so much for helping your child practice
the multiplication facts at home. We
see much improvement and are
grateful for your support!

Grade 4

Language Arts

Reading groups are nearing the end of their novels and will enjoy viewing the movie versions in class as
a culminating activity. It is always fun to compare a novel with the screen adaptation to see what was
added and deleted and to share our opinions. The students will then be choosing biographies to read on
their own. In writing, we are continuing to edit and finalize the persuasive essays. A main focus has
been adding details that support the topic sentences of each paragraph. Our grammar focus is
capitalization and punctuation. We continue to utilize Wordly Wise, Explode the Code, and Early Reading
Comprehension workbooks on a weekly basis to improve our knowledge of vocabulary, phonics, and
comprehension skills.
Social Studies

In our States and Regions text, we are discerning regions of the US and discovering more about our
neighboring countries. We will also focus on civil rights leader, Martin Luther King, Jr. as his birthday
approaches.

Science

We are lighting bulbs, wiring circuits, testing circuits, and making switches in our study of electric circuits.
The students will test materials to discover and define conductors and insulators. With our cooler
weather, it is easy to perform static electricity experiments. Try rubbing a balloon on your hair and
sticking it to a wall!

Math

The students are beginning to master long division. As with multiplication, it is important to focus on
knowing your facts, copying the problems neatly, and working through the problems carefully. We will
proceed to the next chapter which tackles dividing money and solving quotients containing zeros.

Buddy Reading Day


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