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Later Elementary update for January, 2012

Happy new year from the 4/5s! We hope everyone had a great holiday season and that this new year is starting off well for everyone! We’re looking forward to an exciting and fast paced start to 2012! Here’s a quick look at what’s on tap in the 4/5 classrooms.

In social studies, students completed their MR. HeLP geography posters in preparation for the winter curriculum
celebration. As we look forward to the rest of the month, students will continue their study of early American history. Over the past several weeks, students learned a bit about the first permanent English settlement at Jamestown, paying particularly close attention to what this settlement meant for the Native Americans living in
that region. We’ll continue to explore this early European presence in North America by examining the geography of
the southeast, mid-Atlantic, and northeast regions of the continent. Students will look at how geography influenced European settlement decisions in each of these regions, and they’ll learn about the economic practices of Europeans in these different regions. Students will also learn about early colonial governmental structures in each of these regions. As we continue to examine European colonization of the North American continent, we will continuously explore the following essential question: What did all of this mean for the Native Americans?

In science, students wrapped up their biomes projects in preparation for the winter curriculum celebration.

In language arts, students began the new year by presenting their fantasy scrapbooks. Wow! It was amazing to see how hard everyone worked! We will be beginning our new class novel, Maniac Magee, by Jerry Spinelli, in mid-January. This is a book that fits into the new genre of tall tales, myths and legends. It also has a story line that provides a foundation for our February work discussing racial issues.

Interspersed with reading from our class novel, students will explore several different, short, tall tales, myths and legends. A final project for this unit will be for every student to choose one of these short stories, re-read it several times, choose a character in the story and, dressed as that character, retell the chosen story for his or her classmates. Look for this video at the spring curriculum celebration!

Again, we wish everyone the best for a happy new year! We’re looking forward to a productive start to 2012 in the 4/5s!

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