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Curriculum News

March Happenings

  Reading Workshop 

We've just begun a new unit,   Readers Have Big Jobs To Do  .  In this unit, the students become “the boss” of their own reading, which means they are expected to use everything they have learned, so far, to solve any problems they encounter.  By reaching into their readers "toolbox", which is filled with all of the strategies learned, they can figure out tricky words they don't know.  The students begin expect and understand what makes sense in the story that they are reading.  Now is the time for them to understand the print, not just read it.  Throughout this unit and those that follow, the students will self-monitor and make a plan to solve words they don't know.  In addition, the students will  make movies in their mind to help with fluency (expression and pace) and comprehension.  The goal of the unit is to discover ways to sound like a Reading Star and to take responsibility for using the skills learned to get the job done.     

Writing Workshop

Our next writing unit is Informational Writing.  In this unit, the students will make a list of things that they are an expert on.  In order to be an expert, they need to know so much about the topic that they can teach it to others without doing research.  From their expert list, they will choose an idea and create an "All About" book.  In their books they will include different chapters like a "different kinds of..." page, a diagram page, a how to page, an information page and even a glossary!  This is such a fun and exciting writing unit for the students and it's amazing how much the children know about one specific topic/thing.  Make sure to ask your child periodically what topic they are writing about.  At the end of our unit, we will celebrate by having an expert fair.  Each student will have a "booth" (their desk) and have to teach the people who visit their booth about their topic.

  Word Study

Our word study and spelling program,  Words Their Way,  is in progress.  Each child has been assessed and put into a group based on their skill level.  Each week your child will go through a rotation of activities to help them study the features of their sort.  Such activities include, sorting words/pictures according to their feature--  closed sort,    no peeking sort, partner sort,  word hunt  and games.   



  In Unit 5, children begin to use larger numbers and explore place value.  They will learn that the digits in a 2-digit number represent the number of tens and ones.  The children will use base-10 blocks to represent numbers and to demonstrate their understanding of place value by exchanging 10 ones for 1 ten, and vice versa.  The children will compare numbers using the symbols: <,>, and =.  They will go from comparing numbers with < and > to modeling comparison number stories.  In comparison stories, they will decide which two quantities is larger and then find the difference.  The children will also spend more time on measurement. They will measure different sections of a crooked path and add the length to find the total length of the path.  

Please read the Family Letter that was sent home for more information and ways to help your child at home.

  Social Studies

January's word of the month is commitment and self-discipline.  These are great words to think about as we ring in the New Year.  We will talk about making "New Year's Resolutions" and how when people make these goals or resolutions they need to remain committed and self-disciplined in order to achieve them.  All month long we will discuss what it means to be self-disciplined and committed to what we do.  This is such an important character trait for children to become familiar with at an early age.  

We will also learn about Martin Luther King, Jr. as an important figure in   history, who is celebrated this month.

February's word of the month is Friendship/Loyalty. We will discuss this important topic and read several books on how to be a friend. The students will cooperate with a small group to make a cooperative creature. They will have to use each child's idea, while cooperating, to create their creature. This is a fun activity and it is interesting to hear their feedback on how difficult it can be to cooperate with one another. We will participate in "Read Across America Day" to celebrate Dr. Seuss's birthday. We will also learn a little bit about Dr. Seuss's life in our Scholastic News. 


  Science   Our next science unit is Structure, Function and Information Processing.  We will be learning about biomimicry; using nature to inspire design.  The students will look at nature in many different ways and use their observations to inspire inventions.  We will continue to discuss and observe examples of biomimicry through explorations, and use it to solve problems, create designs and inspire inventions!




“The Ho-Ho-Kus Public School is committed to a high standard of academic excellence in compliance with the
core curriculum content standards in a safe and nurturing environment that will allow students to maximize their
potential and prepare them to be responsible, contributing members of a diverse society.”