Our first month of our new school year has come and gone.  The students have already learned a lot of new words in spelling class.  With these new words they are challenged to create sentences that use these words in the correct context.  This is good practice for ensuring the students understanding of how to use these new words.  In grammar class, the students have learned about the basic structure of sentences so that they can form sentences that convey a clear and complete thought while using words in the correct tense.  From here, they learned how to add variety in their sentences by changing the configuration of the words to form questions or exclamations.  As with most new beginnings, there are some challenges in adjusting to a new teacher and new school year, but they have done well in overcoming those challenges.  With our routines in place they are able to be engaged and eager to learn.


In science class we have been observing plants, their parts, how they meet their needs, how to classify them and how they use their parts to survive in different locations.  The first thing is knowing how to be a scientist.  This requires the students to follow the process of making observations, asking questions, hypothesizing, experimenting and then drawing a conclusion based on the results of the experiment.  This conclusion helps us to support or not support our hypothesis.  They learned that a bean can grow in a bag with only a damp towel in various locations of the classroom.  They observed leaves and noticed that they all have different vein structures, textures and colors.  These differences helped us classify the leaves into families.  Lastly, they learned how plants use their parts to survive in diverse environments.  Some plants have roots that can grab water out of the air while some plants gather and store large amounts of water from the ground to use later.  When plants want to reproduce they have various ways in which their seeds can spread to optimize their probability of survival.


In social studies class, we’ve been learning about communities and just started on land and water and their effects on the earth.  Communities come in different sizes and offer different things to the people who inhabit them.  They learned what a law is and why communities have them.  They learned about the three main types of communities; urban, suburban, and rural areas and the sorts of jobs that exist in each of them.  Finally, they began learning about how the land on earth is shaped by wind and water and what the name of those landforms is.  They also learned the difference between weather and climate.


In reading class, we’ve been exploring the differences between fiction and nonfiction.  A fictional story is one that is made up or imaginative.  A nonfiction story is one written upon facts or reality.  Through reading they have learned how to identify details of a story and use them to infer or predict what will happen in the end.  They have also learned how to summarize a story so that they can retell it to others.  In writing class we have focused on how to develop an appropriate narrative paragraph.  They have already written many narrative pieces both fiction and nonfiction.  One of the journal writing topics this month was about your favorite or worst school memory.