Weekly Learning Targets


This week in reading, our essential question has been, Why do people immigrate to new places? To help us understand this concept, we read two historical fiction texts, The Castle on Hester Street and "Next Stop, America." While reading, we worked on understanding the story's theme while paying close attention to what the characters do and say. Also, we worked on understanding the text structure, cause and effect. The cause explains why something happened, and the effect describes what happened. We also discussed signal words that indicate this text structure. They include the terms so, because, since, if…then, as a result, and therefore. 


We began learning about a new genre of writing called informational. The framework for writing helps to organize thoughts and ideas. The kids continue to work on writing an opening paragraph. We discussed that the opening sets the tone for the rest of the essay. Being able to grab the reader's attention is essential. Often, kids want to write an opener such as, I am going to tell you about… While this does introduce the topic, it is not exciting and does not leave the reader wanting to read more. To expand our understanding of openings, we discovered that authors can begin by providing a snapshot, using a surprising observation, telling a fascinating fact, or asking questions. Next, the kids had the opportunity to create their opener. They were very excited to share with a partner. Many have the majority of the body of their essay written. However, we are working on expanding our ideas to include more information rather than just one sentence to support the details.  


We are reviewing vowel-consonant-e, also known as magic or silent e. The first vowel is long, and it is marked with a macron. Here is an example of how to mark a word. 

We also reviewed how s can make the /z/ sound when it is between two vowels. For example, rose and nose. Finally, we discussed syllable division and how v-e can be added to make a multisyllabic word, i.e., volume. 



This week, we began Unit 6: Connect Area to Multiplication and Addition. Our lessons focused on the understanding that area refers to the amount of surface covered. A visual that helps students is drawing a garden/yard and putting a fence around it. Then, color the inside where the grass would be. That space is the area.

The area is measured in square units, which might look like this : When the square units are placed on a figure or space, you can count each square to determine the area covered. Besides using a complete square, the area can be measured using half-square units. Just like a square unit, half units can also cover the space.  is a half-square unit. If you put two halves together, they equal one square unit. We will be taking our unit test on Thursday, Nov. 16th.


Social Studies

We continued to learn about immigration and why people leave their homes. Then, we began preparing for our journey to Ellis Island. The kids created their hypothetical Certificate of Arrival. First, they had to roll a die to determine their age, homeland, traveling family members, medical condition, arrival destination, boat, useful skills, and class. They will use the information on Wednesday during our simulation of Ellis Island. 


Please have your child bring a box (trunk) or bag with five items they want to bring to Ellis Island on Friday. We brainstormed things people would have taken with them as they journeyed from their homeland to the US. They will carry the items throughout the simulation, so keep weight in mind. 


During Pack PRIDE, we focused on identifying and expressing sadness and happiness. We discussed different strategies to use when we feel either emotion. For example, many kids prefer to draw or write about their emotions, which are great strategies. Journaling is another strategy that allows us to be reflective and express our emotions. The biggest takeaway for the kids was that whatever technique you use, you need to practice it, for it to become a habit.