Monday, October 15, 2018

October Updates

Welcome back! I hope everyone had a great week. I visited my mom in Arizona and had a wonderful time!

Also, I want to thank you all for coming in for conferences last week. Great conversations were had and I appreciate all of your support! 

Our Halloween party is right around the corner. Our classroom party will be from 8:45-9:30 followed by the parade from 9:30-10:00. Families are welcome to attend. Click here to sign up to donate/volunteer during our party!

In math, we are beginning our unit on volume. In our volume unit, students will study the volume of rectangular prisms by looking at patterns of boxes and by building rectangular prisms using connecting cubes. Our outcome is that students can find the volume of prisms and use standard units to measure volume. We will also identify how the dimensions of a box change when the volume is changed. Below are links to resources that can be used to help students build their understanding of volume:

In reading, we are continuing to use our book clubs to help us read well and interpret texts. Students have been working on uncovering life lessons by identifying the problem or challenge the main character is facing. By studying character students are reading alertly while making deeper meaning.

In writing, we are moving into our final bend on personal narrative. In this bend, students will write a personal narrative while using mentor texts as they progress through the writing process. Students will again set goals and work towards their goals with determination.

In social studies, we are wrapping up our study on geography and will be moving into science. We will begin science by determining the difference between living and non-living things. This will take us into cells, and then our human body systems. Throughout science, we will learn about the scientific method as students learn to think like scientists.

This week is a Wordly Wise week. New reading logs will be passed out today! As always please let me know if you have any questions, comments, or concerns. Have a great week!

Ms. Lautenbach

Wednesday, September 5, 2018

Current Happenings (September 5, 2018)

This year has been off to a great start! It has been wonderful getting to know your children while building our classroom community. I am impressed with the depths of thinking that is taking place in our classroom. One huge goal this year is to continue to foster our growth mindset. Below you will find important dates as well as current happenings in our classroom and ways to help your child at home!

Important Dates:
9/10, 9/12, 9/14 - CoGat testing (see letter sent via email)
9/20 - Digger Dash9/21 - NO SCHOOL9/27 & 10/4 - Parent Teacher Conferences10/8-10/12 - Fall Break

In the classroom, we have officially started our week alternation of spelling and Wordly Wise. Last week we worked on Wordly Wise Lesson 2. Students are trying to use the vocabulary they are learning in both verbal and written communication. Spelling this week has gone smoothly. We will have our first spelling test this Friday. Just a reminder that spelling homework will not be turned in. Students will be responsible for practicing their words at home by learning the spelling patterns, writing the syllables out, utilizing, or whatever else has been a good tool for them in the past. If you need more ideas on how to practice words please let me know!

In math, we are focusing on arrays and number puzzles. Students have been working on building their understanding of factors and multiples and have been learning how to describe numbers as prime or composite. We have also dug into Order of Operations. As the week progresses students will begin working on different strategies to solve multi-digit multiplication problems. These strategies include using the array, partial products, and the traditional algorithm. Students are encouraged to practice their math facts daily.

In reading, students are applying their reading strategies to make deeper meaning. This week we have begun setting goals for ourselves as readers. Throughout reading the kids will be analyzing several mentor texts on writing about reading as a way to help them elevate their thinking. At home, you can ask students what connections they are making as they read, what questions they have to better understand the author's purpose and the meaning of the text, and what big ideas are surfacing as they read.

In writing, we are at the beginning stages of our personal narrative unit. The students have been generating lists of people and places that matter to them and then linking these with emotions. Students are using these lists to help them write small moment stories that pull their reader in.

Finally, in social studies, we are beginning our unit on geography with our focus being on the regions of the United States. Students will work collaboratively with their peers on researching and learning more about our geography.

I hope everyone has a great rest of their week! As always please email or call with any questions, comments, or concerns you have. Thank you so much.

Thursday, August 16, 2018


Math homework can often be a frustrating experience for children and parents.  Parents were often taught traditional algorithms and do not know the strategies students are learning today.  While these strategies promote a deeper conceptual understanding of key math concepts, it is difficult for parents to see the benefits when they are unaware of them themselves.

We have a great resource that will help!  The Math Words and Ideas site from the Investigations Math Series has links to math videos that explain how all concepts are taught at each grade level.

Watching these short videos are a great way to review how and why concepts were taught a certain way.  You may even consider watching with your child.  The presentation below provides a few additional tips to promote a love of math at home.

 Click here to access this site.

Simply click on your child's grade level on the left-hand side of the screen.  When you click on a math concept additional subtopics appear.  Each subtopic includes a short video explaining strategies taught at school.  In the example below, third grade was selected on left and arrays was chosen under the concept of multiplication.

Click here for the presentation.

Friday, August 10, 2018

First Week

It has been a great first week of school and I am looking forward to the many more days that we will share together. I had a wonderful time getting to know your students and beginning to build our classroom community.

Here are some upcoming happenings that will be taking place next week...

Wednesday, August 15th is Back to School Night

Session 1: 6:05-6:35 PM
Session 2: 6:40-7:10 PM
Back to School Night will give families an overview of the grade level curriculum, homework practices, information on math resource guides, and general classroom procedures.

Tuesday, August 28th is our Assessment Day
Students will come to their scheduled time slot to complete reading and math assessments.

I cannot express how excited I am about this upcoming year. Please email or call with any further questions, comments, or concerns.

Have a wonderful rest of your week and a great weekend!

Ms. Lautenbach