Dear Parents,

What an extraordinary month of December it has been!
In Spelling, the students worked with new prefixes such as com-, con-, im-, and –in.

During class, we came up with our own definitions for these words, and then completed workbook exercises to reinforce our understanding of them. As homework, students were tasked to put them in the context of thoughtful and coherent sentences. This allowed students to reach a higher understanding of the words as they were able to practice using the vocabulary in daily language.

In Reading and Writing, we jumped from fairy tales to brochures, which proved to be a challenging yet rewarding experience for the students. While fairy tales often rely on rich detail and description to tell a story, brochures call for a more succinct form of writing. To take the assignment even further, we decided that the goal of this particular brochure would be to sell an old, chewed-up, eraser-less red pencil. Thus, students had to think creatively about how to make an otherwise insignificant pencil appealing to a casual reader.  

In Science, we looked at the ways in which planet Earth is both built up and worn down. This involves the processes known as weathering, erosion, and deposition. To simulate the forming of landforms such as islands, volcanoes, and continents, we put together a pot of milk and cocoa under heat. The milk represents Earth’s mantle while the cocoa powder represents sediment. As the milk heats up, the cocoa powder both clumps together and breaks apart, much like the continents after Pangea.

In Social Studies, we studied the expansion of the West, first exploring the Louisiana Purchase, and why it was such an important acquisition of land for America. We examined the journey of Lewis & Clark and talked about Sacagawea’s role in helping them navigate the difficulties of exploring new territory. Finally, we looked at the beginning of a presidential America, starting with George Washington and the obstacles he had to overcome as the first sworn leader of a young country.

Thanks for reading,

Arthur