Dear Parents,

We have continued our work with verbs in April. We focused on how to use helping verbs and auxiliary verbs. Our spelling units went over the prefixes re- and un-, the suffixes -ful, -ly, -er, -less, and -ness, and had a review unit. Students learned rules about how prefixes and suffixes impact the meaning of words they already know. In phonics, students practiced correct pronunciation of words, sounding out words phonetically, and speed reading. Our stories in reading class focused on making inferences and realistic fiction. Students worked on predicting what would happen in a story and the impact that can be made by writing letters of request.

In science class, we explored beyond Earth about space during April. Students made connections from how our seasons change to the Earth’s rotation and revolution around the sun. They also discovered new information about other planets in our galaxy and made informational posters. We went over a mnemonic device to help make remembering the order of the planets easier. Students also learned about the moon’s eight phases and why it looks a little different every night they look up in the sky! They discovered that the moon does not make its own light and reflects the light from the sun.

We began a new writing prompt this month. Students were asked to combine their recent knowledge from both science and social studies classes in a creative way for our new prompt: A New Colony on __________. They had to describe a new planet that they discovered in detail and name it. Students also needed to come up with the logistics of developing a new colony— buildings, transportation, jobs, and most importantly laws. They then had to make the decision to either stay on their new planet or head back to Earth.

Social Studies introduced us to heroes of the past. We learned about brave leaders and intellectual inventors. Students also saw how transportation has changed over different periods of time and how it has become safer, faster, and stronger.

For research this month, students took a closer look at droughts and avalanches. Students learned about the three different drought classifications and we were able to connect it back to a previous science lesson by discussing how climate change has started to impact droughts. Students saw how the way pressure applied to snow can be dangerous and why people actually cause avalanches on purpose to keep people safe.

I am looking forward to everything that May has in store for Level 5A!

Teacher Jessica