Welcome to Mrs. Butterworth's Class!


The race is on! It seems like school just started, then it was the holidays, and now spring break has come and gone! It was brought to my attention this week that there are only 44 school days left!   Yikes!
We have been busy learning new things each day, as well as practicing how to be successful with the Common Core Tests. This year has brought many new ways of learning, teaching, and test-taking. As difficult as it seems, I will try to keep a positive attitude as we embark on this 21st century readiness!

With that said, it is imperative that students come to school healthy and well-rested each day next month. Our school's testing window is the first 3 weeks of May. The tests are computer based, and even though we do have Chrome Books, we have to share them with other teachers during this time period. The tests have many parts and each requires a code and session i.d. When a student is absent I need to find "supervised" time, assign a new code and session i.d. This is no easy task, since all computers are scheduled for different teachers for the first two weeks of May. Two of the tests are Performance based. The students are given 120 minutes for these tests, as they are multi-layered. I will be providing breaks during the test, however it requires "pausing the test" and then assigning a new start time. As you can see, with all the perameters it does require careful scheduling. Of course, if your child is ill, please keep them home. This year we are still "testing the test" and no results will be available. (As of last notice). This new type of learning and testing is a process that we all embrace in the near future!

What did we do this week?

Language Arts: Informational Writing is our focus for the next few weeks. We will be incorporating learning about the Solar System into our writing. Each scholar chose a planet and should of checked out a book from the library. They will also need an internet source. (This doesn't need to be printed, but any information they find they will need to know which site they used). We also watched a video this week, so students gathered some new information for their report from the viewing. We created a Tree Map organizer to help them find the important information. As a class, they decided that they would be able to read and gather information by THURSDAY, so that we could begin the writing process. Please check the progress that your scholar is making on their Tree Map/Fact Gathering.

Main Idea/Support Details - This week we also took another closer look at how to find these in non-fiction writing. We read articles about YouTube and the Statue of Liberty in order to find the main idea. We located topics and then were able to find the topic sentence - which now is not always the first sentence of a writing. We then as a class came up with main ideas and how to relate what the article was about in only 1 sentence. Not always an easy task!

Science - 4th Grade: Finished up rocks
                 5th Grade: Beginning matter - properties of , periodic table of elements, solutions/solvents
All students will investigate electricity. This will be review for the 5th grade - but proves to be fun for all!

Literature -Bridge to Terabithia and Two Years Before the Mast - We should be finished with both of these novels in about 2 weeks. Each student is learning Tier 2 and Tier 3 words through the reading of these books, as well as examining author's craft of figurative language. 

Math - Decimals and Geometry. Although the main focus is decimals now, students will have some exposure to geometry in the next two weeks, as it too will be tested. However, we still have 2 months of learning so there will not be mastery. If you would like to practice at home:
5th grade should work with volume and surface area 
4th grade should work on angles and area

Other Notes:
Pilgrim field trip forms are now due. Thank you to the 3 volunteers who will assist us on our "voyage"
Christie Sweeney, Pat Byrnes, and Chris Farry. 
Additionally, in your packet was a sample of a "letter to your sailor". This is to be a SECRET for your sailor. Letters can be handwritten (to replicate the time of the voyage). Please put the letter in an envelope addressed to Mr. (Last Name)---there were no women on the voyage so they too will be "Mr.) You can return these in next week's Thursday folder or just seal them and have them brought to school. The letters don't need to be lengthy, but persoanl tidbits about your own family or neighbors make them enjoyable to read. The captain may even read your sailor's letter aloud!

Here's looking forward to another successful week!