Dear parents,

March is almost over, and it’s time to reflect back on what we’ve done for the past month. In our Spelling class, we covered several more spelling rules and introduced new types of words, including one unit devoted to contractions like can’t and shouldn’t. We also had a unit about compound words like scorekeeper. In our Grammar class we mostly focused on verb forms—making verbs agree with the subject of the sentence, for example (e.g. writing “he makes” instead of “he make”).

In Science, we spent a while learning about weather and climate, and are starting to learn about outer space. We talked about how the Earth’s tilt causes the seasons and made a model Earth with a Styrofoam ball and a chopstick. We spent a lesson learning about gravity, even talking about a few things that aren’t in the textbook, like the different effects that gravity can have (from causing things to fall to the Earth to holding the Earth itself together!)

In Social Studies we talked about colonization and learned what “settlements” are, and spent a little time talking about some of the famous early settlements from American history, mainly Plymouth and Jamestown. We talked about historical figures and “heroes”, making a list of the qualities heroes tend to have. Many important historical figures were inventors, and we talked about what the word “technology” means and what inventions are. We used a battery and some wire to light up a lightbulb to demonstrate how even brilliant and important inventions can sometimes be very simple, and how all important inventions satisfy a need. We even made plans for an invention of our own.

In Reading class we talked about just-so stories and started preparing to eventually write our own. We also finished a small poster about different kinds of extreme weather after reading a nonfiction piece in our textbook about storms. We learned to apply our reading skills to nonfiction writing and identify the most important facts in a piece of scientific writing. In Writing class we mostly worked on our self-evaluations—sheets where the students did their best to identify their strengths in all of our classes, as well as the areas it would be good to focus on improving. It was a good opportunity for self-reflection, which is a very important skill to learn.

Good job, level five!

Teacher Robert