Final Blog Post of the Year

Whazzup, Readers?!

This week was an AWESOME and super spectacular week! It was also an incredible year.

Here is what we did this week.

In reading, we finished a book by Kate DiCamillo called The Tiger Rising. It was a cool book and it was well written. And plus, it had a tiger in it!

In math, we learned four new math strategy games and finished/ read  The Tale of Prime and Composite. It was an awesome story written by MJ, Julian, Alexia, Erin and Ms. Post.

Some other things we did in school this week were made and signed yearbooks, had our own Newton Champions Raffle, had an outdoor morning running workout with Ms. Post, and helped to clean up our space.

It has been a great year full of learned and fun, and awesome teachers!

Here are some pictures we took this morning at our class photo booth:

Photo on 2014-06-20 at 08.23 #3 Photo on 2014-06-20 at 08.23 Photo on 2014-06-20 at 08.24 #2 Photo on 2014-06-20 at 08.25 #2 Photo on 2014-06-20 at 08.29 #2 Photo on 2014-06-20 at 08.32 Photo on 2014-06-20 at 08.30 #3

See ya later alligator …
In a while crocodile …

Your Friends,

The Awesomelicious 2nd to Last Week of School

Hello friends, families, pets, and piggies!

This week was super duper awesome week.

In Reading this week we prepared our Reader’s Theaters of Athena & Arachne, Echo & Narcissus, and Demeter & Persephone. We made props for our myths, invitations, and programs. We invited the 2nd graders in Ms. Moriarty’s class to come and be our audience. The performances were awesome! Here are some pictures from our performance:

Echo Echo Demeter Arachne

In Writing this week we finished our Tall Tales in advance of Monday. Our families, (you all!) will be coming in to celebrate our writing and read our Tall Tales. We are excited to celebrate all of our hard work with you.

In Math this week we have done a lot of different things. We explored the idea of reflection using transparent mirrors. We’ve  also been practicing multiplying and dividing decimals. It’s hard, but we persevere! Finally, we spent a lot of time on Friday working on a super cool math challenge. It’s kind of a crazy secret but if you’re interested to find out how we figure we can make a lot of money quickly JUST by doing chores, just ask ;)

Our weekly updates are that we had our 4th Grade Concert. It went well. Next week is our last week of school!!!

Have a nice weekend.


Cassandra & Ms. Swaim

PS. Cats are awesome. period.

An Exciting Week

Buenos Dias, Families!

This week was a fun-filled week.  Here is what we learned!

In Reading this week we have been working on Greek Mythology Readers Theatre. The myths we are performing are Arachne, Demeter & Persephone, and Echo & Narcissus. We are making props and plan to perform them for the 2nd graders. Olivia is Demeter and David is Chorus 2 (aka a narrator). Here are a few pictures of us rehearsing:

Readers Theatre 1

Readers Theatre 2

In Writing this week we focused on writing with stamina to reach our publishing deadline for our Tall Tales. Many of us are publishing and revising our Tall Tales on google docs. We also took an “Essay Test” to show what we know about Opinion Writing.

Math this week was math-tastic. We learned the language of probability and learned about how probability exists in the games we play. We experimented with probability and compared what we thought might happen (based on the rules of probability) and what actually happened. We also reviewed the concepts of prime and composite numbers.

This week in Social Studies we began the final region of the United States, the West and are preparing for the West Trivia Game.

The community updates for this week that we had Color Day. We had a ton of fun! Here are some pictures:



Alaskan Pipeline 2


Alaskan Pipeline

We also earned our Newton Champions Cup this week and spent time playing games outside. Since we earned the cup, we began working towards afternoon recesses where we have to earn 20 medals a day. We’re thinking about what motivates us the most in the final weeks of school.

Farewell for now,

Olivia & David

Last week of May

Hi Families!

This week was a sunny week.  Here is what we learned!

In Reading this week we continued our unit on Greek Mythology. We read the myth of Persephone and learned about Achilles and his achilles heel, the only place on his body where he could get hurt. We wrote a CER on whether Narcissus or Echo should be forgiven.

In Writing this week we worked on our Tall Tales and our persuasive essays.  We had an Essay Court where students had to stand trial with their thesis statements and their three supporting reasons. They had to make sure that the reasons were each different from each other and matched their thesis.

Math this week was full of a lot of different stuff. We learned about longitude and latitude and how they help us locate places on the map. We played the game Grid Search, a game that is kind of like Battleship. We had to place a Queen and six Knights on a game board and our opponent had to locate them using coordinate pairs

In Science we continued to observe our earthworms and experimented with them to figure out whether they prefer light or dark conditions. We also did an experiment today where we figured out what kind of soil they prefer, wet or dry.

The community updates for this week are that we have Step Up day with the 5th graders. We get to visit their classrooms and learn about what 5th grade will be like. We also get to find to find out our Color Day teams! Here is a pictures from our time with the 5th graders :)

Step up day


Alex & Bryce

 For the love of piggies! 

Good afternoon piggy lovers!

This week was a piggy-filled week. Some of us (the bloggers included, Rachel, MJ, & Gigi) brought in an obsession with piggies to the classroom. We’ve been drawing them all over and that’s why it’s a piggy kind of week.

In reading this week we finished our Tall Tale unit and started a new one of study on Greek Mythology. We learned about the vocabulary that is unique to myths and thought about three different versions of the story of King Midas.

In writing, we continued our Tall Tales and focused on the setting, and our incorporating research from different regions of the United States. We also got a reminder about punctuation so that our readers can read our stories more easily.  Some of us shared a scene from our Tall Tales and they are turning out really well. We also continued our opinion-writing in the afternoon. We had a debate on Thursday over whether or not students should have homework. The class was split in half on the idea. Here is a picture of everything we brainstormed on the topic:

no homework

In math we’ve done a lot of problem-solving. A small group has been working on addition and multiplication and solved a problem about if you were paid a penny a day that was doubled each day for the rest of the school year and figured out how much money you would have. It was a REALLY big number! Another math group worked on some problem-solving that involved number models with variables and patterns.

The community updates for this week are that, “we love piggies!” and Alex, our new student has settled in nicely. We are so happy to have him. We worked towards an afternoon recess after earning 20 medals today. It was tons of fun!

Later gator!

Rachel, MJ & Ms. Swaim


New Arrival


This week was a fun week (with some not so fun MCAS). Here is what we learned!

In Reading this week we continued to read Tall Tales. We watched a film version of Johnny Appleseed and compared it to Steven Kellogg’s book using a venn diagram. In Writing this week we started drafting our Tall Tales. We learned about how to add exaggeration and the language we could use to make time pass in our Tall Tales. Tall Tales often take place from birth to death so we need to be able to show time passing.

In Math this week we worked with  number models that included variables and took two days of the Math MCAS. In between the MCAS we took a survey (on google form) about how we were feeling about MCAS and what we wanted to be reminded of and get some help with.

This week in Science we started observing cool, little worms. We are having fun playing with them! Today we measured the length of our worms and plotted it on a class Line Plot. We also generated a list of questions we have now that we’ve started observing worms. We’re interested in learning about the life cycle of worms. Here are some pictures of us observing the worms and the questions we are most curious about:

William, Anna, & worms worm wrestling second grade visitors john & worms Group worms

The updates for this week are that we GOT A NEW STUDENT!!!! His name is Alex and we are so excited to have him with us. He came from Williams so he’s not new to Newton but he’s new to Franklin.


We were also visited by Ms. Moriarty’s class of Second Graders. They came and taught us about what they call an Agenda Meeting. The Agenda Meeting helps them solve problems in their class. We watched them do it, and then we tried it out ourselves. Here is a picture from our work with them.

second grade visitors

Adios amigos y amigas!

Anna & MJ

A new arrival

Greetings Earthlings,

This week was a week of “getting ready.” We spent time preparing for MCAS and the arrival of a new student. Here is what we learned!

In Reading this week we learned continued to learn about Tall Tales. We watched a movie version of John Henry and compared it to the book. We also learned new vocabulary words and did some thinking about techniques used to write poetry. The class ended up having a bit of a debate around the poem, “Dragonfly.” Some students felt strongly that the title didn’t match the poem and other students thought it did. We will continue the debate on Monday.

In Writing this week we worked on our Tall Tales. We created a story arc across seven pages of a planning booklet and had to identify a challenge that our character would face and their legacy. Some people even began drafting. Finally, we made a check-list as a group so that we would all know what our Tall Tales needed to include.

Math this week was a week of review. We reviewed concepts for the MCAS and played Jeopardy. We also spent time at stations thinking about liters and milliliters and graphing data.

In Science we got to design our own soil experiments. Here are pictures of some of us gathering soil from outside and some of our experiments. Our experiments are all very different. Some of us planted seeds in soil and then froze them to see if the temperature would allow the seed to grow or not. Other people collected different types of soil and planted seeds to see which soil would be best for plants to grow in.

soil experiments soil-gathering JP collecting soil

The community updates for this week are that we are getting a new student on Monday! He is from Williams and just moved to the Franklin district. We also voted on a new transition song and chose the song La, La, La by Naughty Boys.

Fantastic Friday Families!

Bella & Jadzia


Yay it’s Mayyyyyyy!!!!!!!

Good afternoon, Massachusetts!

This week was a super-mega-uber-awesome week.  Here is what we learned!

In Reading this week we learned about Tall Tales. We read the Tall Tale of John Henry and thought about his admirable traits. We also read Pecos Bill. Both Tall Tales had many things in common including how the characters had super strengths. John Henry hammered through a mountain faster than the steam drill.

In Writing this week we began to make our own Tall Tale characters. We also chose a 21st century challenge that they would face. We gave our characters admirable traits. One of our characters has super speed and another has super long hair that they can use to power a helicopter! Finally, we thought about how exaggeration could be used in our writing. For example, “Hannah Hair was born with hair longer than her mom was tall.”

Math this week was full of learning. We learned how to add and subtract mixed numbers (numbers that include a whole number and a fraction) and we learned about percentages and how they relate to fractions.

The community updates for this week are that we got new rug spots, circle spots, and desk clusters and began a reward system that we’re really excited about. We are working towards the Newton Champions Cup where we will get to play games outside and maybe even make a music video. We work to earn medals by transitioning successfully, walking in the halls quietly and responding to the attention-getting strategy quickly. We also get 5 medals when all 20 twenty students turn in their homework and when we treat guest teachers with respect. We’re also excited to choose a new transition song because the old one, Happy, didn’t make us “happy” anymore. The top choices are LaLaLa and Pompeii.

Hope you have a bark-tastic weekend!

Erin & Cassandra (& Nacho, the pet chihuahua)

PS Here is a picture of Julian posing with his magical, balancing pen thingy-ding.

Julian's balancing act

Almost Vacation!!!!!!!


This week was an epically awesome week! Here is what we learned:

In Reading we started a new unit on Tall Tales and read Sally Ann Thunder Ann Whirlwind Crockett. Tall Tales are interesting because they have a lot of similes and exaggeration. For example, it said that Sally Ann was born beaming like the sun.

In Writing this week we had fun. We are using a tool called Voicethread to publish our poetry. Voicethread lets you record your voice along with an image. In this case, we are typing up our poetry and then recording us reciting it.

Math this week was full of a lot of assessment. We took the Unit 8 Assessment on area, perimeter, symmetry and measurement. We showed what we’ve learned and then did some problem-solving and challenge work.

We had two special guests, Andrew Green and MJ’s mom, Catie Curtis! We worked on poetry with Mr. Green and practiced writing similes. Then we got to sing and even write our own song with MJ’s mom! Here is a picture and video (you need to click on the link below) of the song we wrote with Catie. Maybe some day we’ll get to finish it because we think it’s really cool.

Champions Song

Singing 2

Have a great, wonderful, marvelous, fantastic, astonishing vacation!

Rachel & Sasha

The Super Ultra Mega Awesome Week

Sup, Readers?!

This was a funny, fantastic, Franklin, fun-filled week!

In Math this week we studied perimeter, area, and symmetry. We also learned about weight and capacity and the metric units we can use to measure both. We talked about cups, pints, quarts, gallons, milliliters, liters, grams, kilograms, ounces and cups. We learned a cool trick for remembering how many cups are in a pint, how many pints in a quart, and quarts in a gallon. Here is a picture of the trick:


In Reading this week we watched the movie, The Watsons Go to Birmingham-1963 and compared it to the book with venn diagrams and a C-ER-ER-ER. In general, we thought the movie was really awesome. It had more to do with the Civil Rights Movement than the book which was cool because we’ve been studying Civil Rights this week too. Here is a picture of us watching the movie with Mr. Severance’s class:

The Watsons Movie

In Writing this week, we were visited by Andrew Green. He worked on us with poems about all things that we love in world, using descriptive language and “surround the noun.” Here is a picture of some of us sharing our poetry and a picture of all of us working with Mr. Green:

poetry share Andrew Green 1

In Social Studies this week we  finished our Civil Rights Movement Timeline in Google Draw and put it in order. We decided to post the timeline outside the classroom so other people can learn from what we learned.

The only community update for this week is that we wrote back to our pen-pals. We look forward to hearing from them soon.

Oodbyegay (Goodbye in pig latin!)

The Newton Champions