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Friday, December 14, 2012

This Year

As many Westerly Creek families know, 2nd - 5th grade students receive academic instruction via platooning. This practice involves teachers specializing in a given content area (e.g., Literacy, Math/Science/Social Studies) which research has shown to be a highly effective instructional practice.
In previous school years, our platooning classrooms would have a new schedule in late January or early February, which would involve students switching their morning and afternoon instructional blocks for the opposite content area. This often caused significant disruptions to students for whom received specialists' services (Special Education, Gifted and Talented and English Language Acquisition). After weighing the issue with 2nd - 5th grade teacher teams' and parents' input, the Collaborative School Committee decided on December 4 that students would keep the same schedule through the second half of the 2012-2013 school year, to minimize disruptions and breaks in instruction.

Reading Log Meta Responses and other Information

This week's top Reading log meta  responses.

When I was reading: The Higher Power of Lucky, I thought about: how brave Lucky is, how smart Lucky is and also how Lucky is a very good girls. I know she is mysterious about things because she always goes outside to explore and see the world but its almost like she is learning history and facts by just going outside and walking around.

When I was reading: The Diary of a Wimpy Kid, I thought about: it must be hard not being asked to the dance because if you went you would just be standing there doing nothing.

This week we will turn in our final copies, have a classroom party, taking a district writing test, write cinquains, and watch student made gymnastic routines.

Also please remind and reassure your child they live in a safe world and go to a safe school.

Have a great weekend,
Mr. Rabinowitz

Riddle: Do you know any words that have 3 consecutive letters in a row? For example stun hast S-T-U, which are three letters in a row from the alphabet.  Definitely is another because it contains D-E-F.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Brain pop

We finally have secured the login information to BrainPOP for WCE. You can access a few different ways: and for BrainPOP Jr. and for Spanish. Students can also login at home using the same username and password.

Ask mr rabinowitz for username and password.

P.S. There's a mobile app too!


Students wrote out dialogue scenes of their realistic fiction stories. This week we will write leads and endings. The final copies are due next Tuesday. Rubric and requirements will go home before Thursday. Be on the lookout. In reading we are focusing on types of plot conflict.

Other info;
Is cold, dress warmly
Book club is on Wednesday
District testing is on Friday and certain days next week
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Instructions at

Happy Hanukkah,
Mr. Rabinowitz

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Top Meta Responses and other information

Students need to be reading all the time. To help ensure this is happening at home parents are to provide time for them to read and sign off when its due. To further challenge their thinking and start conversations at home about what 4th graders are reading, their is a meta-response on the back. This is for 4th graders to reflect upon what they are reading and explain what they are thinking about as they are reading. Are they making connections? Are they asking questions?

In addition, a strong response explains why by using the "because" and gives specific details of character names and ideas. Below are two exemplars that do just that! Keep it up

When I was reading: "The Serpent Shroud" I thought about: "how funny it was when a Jack in the box blew up in Carter's face because I've never seen the it happen."

When I was reading: "Farmer Boy I made a text-to-text connection." I thought about: "how in Farmer Boy, Almanzo always has to do chores and in the Harry Potter series Harry is always doing chores for the Derslys."

This week we have begun drafting their realistic fiction stories. Be on the lookout for writing homework. We plan on having the final copies due the last week before Winter Break.

Stay healthy and keep us posted if your child is sick,
Mr. Rabinowitz