Archive for November, 2014

Introduction to Non-fiction

Written by Lindsey Alvarez. Posted in 3rd Grade

The Art of Information Writing is our second unit of the year.  This unit, like all of the units, is divided into parts, each offering a new portion of the journey.  After conveying to students that they will be writing texts that aim to teach others about topics on which the students have expertise, we will position students to write with authority, for real audiences.  Our students also learn how powerful a table of contents can be as a tool for structuring an expository piece. Afterwards, we rehearse various structures, to crystallize the organization of the piece before drafting.  This process is different than others because the students learn how to  rely on structure in the early drafting process. They also learn ways in which the base structure of the text can also become the base structure for each subsection.  When it comes time to revise. Our students will learn strategies and use them to lift the level of all their work.  As they come to publish we will stress the importance of being aware of one´s audience. Also keeping in mind the sort of things a nonfiction author attends to while preparing for those readers: using text features, fact checking, and being aware of grammar and conventions.





Finishing our Reading Workshop unit on Following Characters into Meaning

Written by ShenaK. Posted in 3rd Grade

This week we finished up our second Reading Workshop unit, “Following Characters into Meaning.”  Students have been learning many ways to connect and gain greater meaning out of what they are reading through better knowing and understanding the characters in their stories.  It has been an exciting process watching our students dig deeper into the characters, describing their traits with more precise language, empathizing with their experiences, making predictions based on what they know about the characters throughout this unit.  Both classes have also started a class read aloud of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory which has provided an excellent additional resource for character analysis, not to mention a true love of quality literature that the students greatly enjoy.

What’s happening in writing workshop?

Written by ValerieW. Posted in 2nd Grade



In Second Grade we  just wrapped up our unit on personal narratives, ending with a whole second grade celebration of our published work.

Now we are starting our unit on poetry.  We began the unit asking  the children to write a poem, and in many cases their first thought was to find rhyming words for the end of each line, writing a poem which sounds  like a song.

Yet as we  progress through our unit, basing our lessons on a very inspiring book, Poetry: Powerful Thoughts in Tiny Packages , by Lucy Calkins and Stephanie Parsons, the children will come to learn that, first and foremost, being a poet involves looking at the world with a poet’s eyes – – that is, looking  at the world in fresh, new ways. We can create significant poems when we have meaningful ideas to write about.  By looking at life closely and carefully, poets find topics to write about that mean a lot to them, topics that give them “big feelings.”  Poets  find ways in which to anchor these feelings in small objects or details, making pictures that they paint with words, showing you rather than telling you just how they perceive the world.  The second graders will learn how to be think and act like poets!

In addition, the second graders will use their poet’s ears as they listen to the sounds of poetry.  They will earn how to find and use  precise language, striving to find the perfect words to make their ideas as clear and powerful as possible. .  They will experiment with comparisons and point of view, and practice looking at pattern and repetition to enhance the meaning of their poems.  We hope to see lots of growth in the children as true poets.

We highly recommend the following websites.  These poets have inspired last year’s second graders, who  read their poems with open minds and open hearts.  We hope you can help foster your child’s  appreciation of poetry.   poems of Amy Ludwig VanDerwater   poems of Zoë Ryder White  poems of Kristine O’Connell George

The Second Grade Team

Happy Thanksgiving!

Written by Nikki Melkun. Posted in Nursery

Happy Thanksgiving! In class this week we have been learning about the history of Thanksgiving and the customs and traditions that are associated with this holiday. Attached are the lyrics to our Thanksgiving song, ¨I´m a Little Turkey,¨ photos of our friends dancing to the song, Spiced Turkeys we created in class, and our lunch today wearing our Thanksgiving headbands 🙂

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Steps to Respect

Written by Makiko M. Posted in 3rd Grade, 4th Grade, 5th Grade, ES Counselor


For the next few weeks, all third, fourth, and fifth graders will be digging into the Steps to Respect curriculum. They will be learning and practicing bullying prevention skills. Classroom teachers will guide the students through lessons and skills, while also providing time to practice.  The Steps to Respect program is designed to teach our students:

  • Friendship skills that reduce the risk of being bullied, including how to make friends, join group activities, and manage conflicts.
  • How to recognize, refuse, and report bullying when it happens to them or someone else
  • Emotional skills, such as understanding the feelings of others and managing emotions.
  • How to use positive values (responsibility, respect, caring for others) as a guide for behavior.
We are adapting the program by separating the lessons into two groups. Lessons 1-6 will be addressed this fall while lessons 7-11 will be addressed in the spring semester.  You may take a look at the scope and sequence by clicking on the following link:

Families play a crucial role in the success of the Steps to Respect program. Below are letters about what your child is learning at school and what you can do at home to help your child understand and practice the new skills.  These are information and materials to help you reinforce lessons at home.

Grade 3:
Grade 4:
Grade 5: