Sunday, September 18, 2011

IMA Newsletter: September 18, 2011

 Thank you for helping with homework this week!
This was a VERY busy week for the IMA students and teachers!  Before we talk about our class work, we want to extend a tremendous thanks to all of our parents.  The first week of homework is always an adventure and your support was greatly appreciated by the kids and the teachers.  Homework only gets easier…we promise!

Your child participated in a variety of word study assessments this week.  The results of these assessments will shape your child’s learning for the year.  Each student took the Developmental Spelling Inventory, the Hearing Sounds In Words Sentence Dictation test and the Sight Word/High Frequency Word spelling test.  Your child will be receiving his/her personalized spelling list next Friday with goals, home study ideas, and an assessment schedule.   We are ready to return to our word work and vocabulary studies next week!

Our Writing Workshop and Science Time merged in our unit called “Writing Like A Scientist.”  Students refined their nonfiction reading and writing skills. Students studied common creatures and items found in the habitat and the classroom while recording their observations and noted attributes.  Students researched and observed like scientists, studying the attributes and behaviors of Monarchs using a variety of living, digital, and print resources.  Students worked like engineers and studied pencils, discovering the materials and design ideas of this common, but very useful invention.  The kids studied the purpose of each design element and gathered information about pencils, using their notes to create diagrams and information paragraphs.

Reading Workshop gave us a chance to extend our reading lives.  We continued to build our book selection strategies and some students joined research projects or book clubs. Students took a literacy survey.  The survey results will guide students and their use of a reader’s notebook.  Next week’s goal is to help students learn new and enriched ways to use their notebooks to reflect their understanding as they read.

Math: The amount of reading involved in math is often surprising! In Math Students have extended their nonfiction reading and writing into reading graphs and charts. We are practicing how to use the title and labels of a graph to determine the question that was asked, the audience and the data that is represented on the chart. We are discussing trends displayed on graphs and we use math vocabulary words such as mode, median and range in our discussions.
We have also been exploring place value structure and learning how to read, write, and represent numbers in multiple ways. Children should feel comfortable talking about the expanded form and ordinal form of a word as well as the standard form. Using the ones, thousands and millions periods of numbers help children correctly say the word form of a large number such as ten million, three hundred seventy six thousand, four hundred fifty two. Here is a digital resource children can use at home to help them read numbers in word form: One area that is especially difficult for students is estimating to the nearest round number. Students often struggle with this skill as numbers grow into the thousands and millions. Here are some links to give your child practice with this skill: and ( On the funbrain site what we are doing in class is demonstrated at the easy and medium levels.)

A great technology opportunity arrived; students had a chance to use Chapman’s new iPads and iPod Touches.  Over the summer, Chapman added 10 iPads and iTouches to the school’s technology resources and the IMA family is HAPPY about these new tools!  Ask your child about these fabulous resources.  Students already had access to Mrs. Smith’s iTouch and iPhone, but a mobile cart of 20 new learning tools is quite exciting!

Here is a great digital connection from National Geographic that can be used as a reading resource this week.  Enjoy!

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