Room 8 Update - December 2016


                                                                         December 12, 2016

Dear Parents,

Hope you are all enjoying good health and that you’re ready for the upcoming holidays! Here is an update of our ongoing progress in Room 8:


For the past few weeks, we have focused on solving problems involving multiplication and division. Students are learning about the relationship between these two operations, and are using their skills to solve multi-step problems by drawing pictures, writing equations, and explaining their reasoning, both orally and in writing.

When we return from break, we will begin a new unit involving area. The goal will be to help students understand the concept of area and how to measure area using multiplication and addition.

Language Arts

We have shifted our focus form personal narratives to informational writing. We learned about black widows and wrote informational articles about them. Besides feeling proud about completing this writing project, students now also have a wealth of information about black widows that they have no doubt shared with you already! More recently, each student chose an animal to research and is now in the process of learning about his/her chosen animal. With guidance and support, each student will progress through the writing process and write an informational article.

We are currently reading Riding Freedom by Pam Munoz Ryan. The kids are loving this story, and are eager to read and discuss as we go through the chapters together. As we read, we are focusing on characterization, author and character points of view, and the multiple themes within this fictionalized biography of Charlotte Parkhurst.

 Social Studies

After learning about the various Native groups that have inhabited the four major California regions, we are now analyzing the impact that Europeans had when they arrived here.


After learning about energy and its transfer, students are now learning about the characteristics of solids, liquids, and gases. In this unit, they are also learning to measure and compare masses, as well as volumes of liquids. They are making predictions, drawing conclusions, and differentiating evidence from opinion.

Digital Learning

Students are learning to code using Scratch. Recently, they also learned to use Comic Life, a program that can be used to tell a story using words and pictures, as in comic books. Students are also learning to use Google Drive to share documents and slide shows with classmates and their teacher.  They are also getting some practice with typing, but they will need to work on this skill at home to increase their typing speed to 20+ words per minute by May of 2017. 

Passion Projects 

These are optional projects that some students have taken on and shared with their classmates. The idea is to think of something you want to learn more about, research it, and share your finding via PowerPoint, Keynote, or Google Slides. So far, topics have been about the planets, Egyptian Gods, cool cars, computer games, and fashion. I hope we can keep these projects coming. Besides being a wonderful opportunity for students to work on multiple skills, the kids really enjoying making their presentations, and their classmates love them!


This year, students are focusing on various kinds of landscapes.  So far, they have created a coast scape, a desert scape, and a cityscape.


Thanks to all the parents who have been volunteering their time and talent in the classroom! This week, we have parents coming in to celebrate both Hanukkah and Christmas with us, and we can’t wait!

 Winter Program

Please join us this Thursday for our annual Winter Program. There are two shows scheduled, one at 8:30 am and one at 10:30 am. The kids have been rehearsing their songs and they’re excited to perform for you! We’re looking forward to seeing everyone!

Wishing you all the best of holidays with friends and family!