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January 04, 2016


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Here are two activities you can do to help your child get ready to read.

  • Read together a fiction story. Discuss what happens in the story and who the characters are.
  • Read together a nonfiction book or article. Ask your child what the story is about. Discuss what kinds of photos and images they see. What can they learn from these images? 
  • We continue to use the Wonders series published by McGraw Hill. The series has wonderful stories as well as a great deal of interesting nonfiction. There are writing activities throughout the program that integrate with the reading passages as well. There is also a lot of assessment with the program so we will be able to evaluate the students’ progress throughout the year.

    We will read a story from our text book, Wonders, each week.  We will also listen to the audio version of the weekly story to ensure comprehension before the test is given.  There will be vocabulary words from each of these stories that all students will need to define and illustrate in their notebook.   Students will have class time to get a start on their homework.  Those who use their time wisely will not have much homework!

Independent Reading.
Your child should be reading at home every night for at least 25 minutes. This is a standing homework assignment whether it’s written in the assignment book or not. We know most families are busy, but we hope you will help your child find a good time to read each day.  We have found that reading in the car and/or in bed before going to sleep are excellent ways to fit reading into a hectic day.

Accelerated Reader.  We continue to use Accelerated Reader in fourth grade. There are specific requirements and goals, which increase as the year progresses. The number of A.R. tests passed per quarter as well as the test average will count toward your child’s reading grade. Therefore, it is important that the students read very carefully every day and choose books at their reading level.

School-Wide Reading Incentive Programs.  Our school typically participates in additional reading incentive programs. Your child may count their nightly independent reading books for any incentive programs in which they wish to participate.
This year your child will learn how to become a confident and fluent reader in the 21st Century. Your interest and enthusiasm will support your child’s efforts.

English/Language Arts.
We utilize a combination of formal grammar instruction and creative writing in fifth grade. The students will have many opportunities to write this year. Reports, poems, essays, journal entries, and stories are among some of the pieces your child will be composing. We will be using the website NoRedInk.com to guide us through our lessons.  

Cursive Handwriting.
After we have reviewed all of the lower and upper case cursive letters, the children may be required to do much of their written work in cursive.


Esperanza Rising beginning Monday, May 13th.  

We will be reading this as a class, as well as a chapter to be read independently at home each night and to be discussed the following day.  All of their vocabulary words will be from this novel.  

This is a beautiful story about perseverance in the main character, Esperanza.  

Esperanza thought she'd always live with her family on their ranch in Mexico, and that she'd always have fancy dresses, a beautiful home, and servants. But a sudden tragedy forces Esperanza and Mama to flee to California during the Great Depression, and to settle in a camp for Mexican farm workers.