Have You “Herd”? News for Our Calf Pen Meadow Community 395 Welch’s Point Road Milford, CT 06460 Office (203) 783-3521 Nurse (203) 301-5618 Fax (203) 783-3680 January 2015 – Edition 5 Dear Calf Pen Meadow Families, Happy New Year to you all! It is my best hope that each of you has had a wonderful holiday break and that you enjoyed magical moments with those you hold dear. The school vacation was a much needed respite for all of us: staff, students and parents. As we return to school, it will be good for all of us to fall back into the rhythm of our predictable routines again. I want to use this newsletter as a public opportunity to thank our learning community for the generosity shown over the holiday season. From the support for the United Way, to the Mitten Tree, Toys for Tots Drive and other collections, I was astounded yet again by the giving spirit of our school. I am so proud to be a part of such a thoughtful and supportive community. On the academic front, during the month of January, students will be taking the second series of NWEA assessments. If you Mrs. Harkness recall, the NWEA MAP Assessment is an online, adaptive assessment. We are also in the midst of administering our winter DRA reading assessments to students. The faculty and I will analyze results to measure student growth from the fall administration. The results will offer information relative to individual student’s progress and will help us to determine instructional programming to support continued growth for each student. Teachers will use student performance on these measures to design instruction to meet individual learning needs. As always, we will remind students to “just do your best!” At home, your support in ensuring that your child comes to school daily ready to learn is essential to our partnership and is critical in realizing the goals we have for each of our students. This midyear time is a good time to check in with your child’s teacher about his/her learning. Ensuring that your child receives a good night sleep, a healthy breakfast, has a positive attitude and consistently engages in nightly reading, writing and math practice is so helpful! As you are aware, our grade level January Open House Sessions are right around the corner! During these sessions you will have the opportunity to learn more about grade level learning expectations. We hope that the Open House Sessions will offer you a deeper understanding of what your child needs to know and do to be successful at his/her grade level. As you know from previous communications, this is our established Parent Performance Feedback Target for this school year. Thank you to Circe Deitelbaum and her Holiday Fair Committee for offering our young shoppers an opportunity to purchase thoughtful gifts for their loved ones. They were so proud of their purchases! On January 16th, thanks to our PTA, the school store will be open. We are so pleased that students are earning Cow Cash for their At Home Reading and Math practice. On January 21st, we will enjoy a cultural arts presentation- Reach for the Stars- we are looking forward to it! I hope that the New Year will be full of much peace, happiness and good health for you all! Warm regards, Amy Fedigan Principal LITERACY MATH Literacy Update from Mrs. O’Brien Numeracy Update from Mrs. Koosa In January, CPM’s 3rd and 4th grade readers will finish their current units of study and will begin new units toward the end of the month. Grade 5 will explore editorials and will engage in discussion to present an argument. Below you’ll find some of the learning expectations for the units, as well as tips you can use to help your child to be successful. Grade 3: Unit 5: Biography - Grade 3 students will: demonstrate knowledge of the characteristics of a biography use knowledge of the a person’s actions, dialogue, reactions to obstacles, and how they achieved greatness to determine a person’s character traits extract and infer important details to demonstrate why a person is still important in today’s world understand why an author choses to write a biography on a particular subject present learned information about the relevancy of a chosen person’s life Ask your reader: What made the subject of the book worthy of having a biography written about him/her? What character traits would you use to describe him/her? Why? Grade 4: Unit 4: Poetry, Prose and Drama - Grade 4 students will: explore the differences between poetry, prose, and drama consider the significance of structural elements in poems, prose, and dramas examine details to form interpretations, citing textual evidence to support their thinking read closely to determine the meaning of words and phrases read aloud to further convey meaning build speaking and listening skills by sharing poems and dramas through oral presentation make connections between the written text of a story or drama and a visual presentation of the same text Ask your reader: Is this text prose or poetry? How do you know? What do you think this poem is all about? What’s the theme? How do you know? What imagery does the author use to help bring the text to life? What’s the mood of the piece? If you performed this poem, what tone of voice would you use? What body movements and gestures would you make? Grade 5 – Unit 4 – Reading Editorials and Engaging in Discussion - Grade 5 students will: read editorials closely to analyze the structure, features, content, and purpose of the genre. compare and contrast multiple perspectives on the same topic. research a topic in order to support an opinion. examine and practice how to develop and present a strong argument to an audience. Engage your reader in a discussion about a topic relevant to your lives. Encourage your child to use the language of opinion, agreement, and disagreement as he/she presents arguments for or against the issue (In my opinion…, I strongly believe that…, I agree with you because…, I disagree with you because…, That’s a good point, but have you thought about…, On the other hand…) Remember . . . Talking is thinking. Thinking is learning. The more your readers talk, they more they learn! Grade 3 Mathematicians will: Write and solve multiplication problems in context using pictures, skip-counting, repeated addition, and/or arrays to represent the problem Write multiplication equations that match the word problem Use arrays to understand multiplication (prime numbers, composite numbers) Find multiples of a number Develop strategies for division based on understanding the relationship between division and multiplication By the end of Grade 3, students are expected to know from memory all products of two one-digit numbers (up to 9x9). Grade 4 Mathematicians will: Solve multiplication problems with 2 digit numbers using the area (array) model or breaking apart numbers Develop and practice strategies for solving multiplication and division problems Make sense of remainders in the context of a division word problem Examine what happens when one or both factors in a multiplication expression are doubled or halved Grade 5 Mathematicians will: Continue to use fraction bars and area models to support the understanding of multiplying and dividing with fractions Multiply and divide with fractions within real-world contexts Read, write, and compare decimals to thousandths As I sit here writing, it is snowing and blustery outside, a reminder of all the winter activities which can cause injuries to our children. Please remember to notify the school health office if your child is injured out of school and requires special accommodations or limitations in activity. Also I have noticed several changes in the emergency information given at the beginning of the year. If you have changed jobs, phone numbers, babysitters etc. please update your information. And lastly, if your child is ill or will be out of school for any reason a phone call is required with a follow up note upon return to school. Happy Snow Days! MUSIC NEWS Happy New Year! This is our learning update for Calf Pen music; THIRD GRADE Student will be working more intensely on becoming music reading. They will be focusing on reading notes from the treble/G-clef staff, reviewing rhythms and rest notation. They will be preparing for playing recorders at the beginning of February. The recorder is a Renaissance instrument and students will be doing the “Recorder Karate” program, receiving a ribbon for each music level they master on the recorder. Watch for the information sheet which will be coming home with them first week of January. Students will also begin an in-depth study of how harmony is created, which will help them prepare for singing and playing in harmony (vocal and on recorders). They will learn about unison, echo, round, canon, partner songs, duet, trio, quartet and ensemble singing. They will also sing songs about dragons, and study music and New Year’s traditions from Japan, including taikyo drumming. FOURTH GRADE Students will learn music from China, Chinese New Year traditions. They will play gongs, cymbals and percussion to create a dragon parade. They will sing and play music from Russia and learn about Nationalism in music from the 1800’s. They will listen to Pictures at an Exhibition, a suite by a Russian composer. Students will also be preparing for their mid-year solfege , pitch and rhythm assessment, and developing skills towards sight-singing and musicianship. They will be receiving rewards for each level they master in a program called “Music Olympics.” As they progress, try to encourage them to sing for you and demonstrate what they can do at each level. . More info to follow on this! FIFTH GRADE Our fifth grade students will be learning about the science of sound to compliment their lessons in science on sound and light. They will learn about carillons and visit the ‘virtual bell carillon’ website for Harkness Bell Tower at Yale. Students will continue to learn about music composers and music from other time periods. Encourage them to explore other radio stations than they usually listen to when they are in the car with you. Help them to explore and appreciate music from other times, cultures and styles. Be adventurous! LA-LA-LA-LA MEDIA NEWS Happy New Year to the Calf Pen Meadow community! The classes will be working on Internet safety, copyright, and web evaluation this month. In addition, the third grade classes will begin learning about the Iditarod and the Titanic. The fifth grade classes will be taking a mid-year assessment on research skills; they have been working on finding information accurately in non-fiction text and are presently working actively online as well. I expect them to do well! The video club has changed membership, and a new crew begins in the New Year. The former members were fantastic and will be called on to help out in big projects coming up. The Nutmeg Club has finished their first book and will be reading and blogging on a second book this month. Chess Club will also begin once again on Thursdays. All classes participated in the Hour of Code in December. Ask your children about the experience! The computer lab is still open for students wishing to practice typing, as well as coding. All classes are becoming more comfortable with Google Docs and Google Classroom; I will be presenting a workshop for interested parents on some of our new programs that the students are learning. 2015 should be an active, educational, and fun year!