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

Spring is here!

Bonjour to our followers,

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

In Reading this week we read more of The Watsons Go to Birmingham-1963. The Watsons finally got to Alabama in the book and one of the characters almost drowned in a lake. It was scary but interesting to read. We only have two chapters left that we’re reading today.

In Writing this week we worked on poetry and wrote 5-sense poetry (based on what we see, taste, hear, feel, and smell) and did word storms where we got call out words that might be interesting for poetry. We also practiced surrounding the noun in our writing by including a lot of descriptive language. We wrote “What am I?” haikus and tried to include metaphors in our poetry.

Math was busy because we started station learning for our new unit on Measurement, Area, and Perimeter.  We have three stations each day and rotate through them in small groups. We are learning how to figure out the area and perimeter of different shapes. Yesterday we figured out that the equation for perimeter was length times width.

This week in Social Studies we continued to work on our Civil Rights timeline using Google Draw.

The updates for this week in the Home of the Newton Champions are that Andrew Green, a professional poet came. He shared some of his own poetry and gave us an assignment to write as many poems using our 5-senses as we can and find a favorite poem to put in a book he gave us. We also got letters from our pen-pals in New York. They sent along a picture of Max and his new classmates so we got to see who we’re actually writing to


JP & Julian

PS  Here’s a picture of us holding  the picture of Max’s new class in New York


MCAS Again

Hello fantastic families,

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

In Reading this week we continued to read The Watsons Go to Birmingham-1963 and also started to read some poetry. The Watsons are on their way to Birmingham, Alabama where Byron (the oldest brother) might be staying over the summer because of his bad behavior. We’re really liking it and are eager to see the movie (we even started a petition to convince Ms. Kelly we should be allowed to see it in school).

In Writing this week we did some informational writing for our Civil Rights Projects. We also started writing poetry and did a word storm to come up with words that would inspire “I am from” poems. They turned out kind of goofy. Here are pictures of us sharing lines from our poems:

I am from poems 2 I am from poems

In Math this week we practiced the rule for coming up with equivalent fractions and learned to multiply fractions. Today, we played Fraction Jeopardy to prepare for the Unit 7 Assessment. After the assessment, the unit will be over.

In Social Studies this week we continued to study the Civil Rights Movement. We are working in partnerships to create a timeline of the period with events like Brown vs. the Board of Education and the March on Washington. Ms. Post’s grandmother skyped with us this week and shared about her experience at the March on Washington in 1963. It was cool to talk with a real civil rights activist. Here is a picture of her talking with us:

skyping with Ms. Kessler

The community updates for this week are that we had two days of the ELA MCAS. Some of us had three days because we missed the Long Composition. The prompt for the make-up day was, “Imagine you are given a robot that responds to all of your commands. Write a story about spending the day with that robot.” With the MCAS, a lot of people were trading gum and collecting donations of gum.


Amira and Bella



This week was a funky and crazy week.  Here is what we learned:

In Reading this week, we read One Green Apple and tuned into interesting vocabulary. We also read a chapter in The Watsons Go to Birmingham-1963 and laughed at how Byron got his head shaved as punishment for getting his hair straightened.

In Writing this week we worked to remind ourselves of everything we know as writers and be our own coaches in order to conquer the MCAS Long Composition. The prompt was about babysitting a baby elephant! Everyone in Massachusetts got the same prompt. Kids wrote four pages and some did this while chewing LOTS of gum. #needgum?

Math this week was full of funky fractions. We worked to recognize fractions by their different names and learned the rule for figuring out equivalent fractions. We also learned that the top half of the fraction is the numerator, and the bottom half is the denominator.

This week in Social Studies we prepared for Student-led Conferences, learned about the Southeast and started a new unit on the Civil Rights Movement. We’re working in partnerships and reading about different events that took place and eventually we are going to create a timeline using Google Draw.

The updates for this week in the Home of the Newton Champions is we had an MCAS Pep Rally. Here is a picture of a the skit the teachers put on. Can you see Ms. Post and Ms. Swaim? We’ve also included a picture of the Kindergarteners, First and Second Graders who lined the halls to cheer us on. It kind of felt like we were famous and they were Paparazzi. We also had Student-led Conferences this week.

pep rallyPep rally hallway

We can’t wait till the weekend!

David & Alexia

Multicultural Night Fun & Awesomeness


This week was a fun and awesome week.  Here is what we learned!

In Reading this week we continued to read The Watsons Go to Birmingham-1963. As we read, we made more predicitons, and adjusted our predictions as we learned more about the story. We also paid attention to character traits, looking at Byron as a character and how he has both good and bad qualities.

In Writing this week we worked on our Long Compositions to prepare for Tuesday’s Long Comp. Our stories are really good (or at least the teachers think so).  A lot of them have fantasy in them and dialogue and show how much we’ve learned about writing stories. We also talked about the test and what it will be like on Tuesday. Our teachers will become robot teachers in order to administer the test. Some of us feel nervous about Tuesday and some of us feel as if they’re ready.

Math this week was fractiolitious. We continued to work on fractions and thought about adding them and how they can be changed based on the value of the whole. This week in Social Studies we continued to learn about the Southeast region. We filled out study guides while reading National Geographic books about the Southeast.

The updates for this week are that we had Multicultural Night and we performed our dances for our teachers and families. Here are a few pictures from the performance:

Dancing 3 Dancing 2

dancing 1

We also are excited because the Peace Tree is fully grown. We are looking forward to adding leaves and cranes to its branches. Here is a picture of it growing in the Peace Corner:

peace tree

Adios amigos,

Erin & Cassandra

PS On Wednesday we didn’t have homework!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Yay!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

First Week of March

Howdy y’all!

This week was a tree-building week. Here is what we learned!

In Reading this week we continued to read The Watsons Go to Birmingham-1963. We learned new comprehension strategies that included, making a picture or mental image in our minds as we read and making inferences and supporting them with evidence. Lastly, we worked on predicting and adjusting our prediction as we read more and more. We think the Watsons is a funny book but also deals with bullying and other hard topics.

In Writing this week we started preparing for the MCAS Long Composition and finished our Opinion Essays. We learned that we will be writing 3-4 pages on different topics, depending on the prompt we get. Last year kids got to write a story about discovering a trunk in their back yard. We’re crossing our fingers for a narrative prompt so that we can write stories.

Math this week was kind of fun. We made a racetrack using fractions. We had to put different landmarks at different fractions along the course. For example, we had to label the course with kilometer signs every 1/12 of the course (which we figured out was every 5 km) and water stations every 1/4 of the course. We also started preparing for Student-led conferences and chose something from math to share with our families.

This week in Social Studies we started studying the South East and read about the land of the region. We’re doing this because part of The Watsons Go to Birmingham-1963 takes place in the South East.

The updates for this week in the Home of the Newton Champions is we returned or pen pal letters, Mayor Setti Warren visited us and read us a book in honor of Read Across America Day. It was really cool to meet the Mayor! We got to ask him questions and learned that he was in the Navy and is a veteran. Three people also presented their nontraditional this week and we almost finished our Peace Tree. It is growing in our Peace Corner like crazy!

Have a good Weekend,

Olivia and Bryce

Freeeeeezing Week

Dear Families,

This week was a fun but cold week.  Here is what we learned:

In Reading this week we started a new read aloud called, The Watsons Go to Birmingham, 1963. The book is historical fiction and tells the story of a family who lives in Flint, Michigan. It’s really funny and goofy. We also got to choose partners to read books with a similar theme to the Watsons. Right now, it’s not really clear how our books are related but our teachers say that soon we’ll understand. We put some new strategies on our C.A.F.E. reading board like, asking questions as we read and using prior knowledge and context to predict the meaning of words we don’t know.

In Writing this week we worked to finish our Opinion Essays. We wrote introductions to our essays that included our thesis statement, our three reasons and an interesting hook to grab our reader’s attention. We are working to publish them as soon as we can (today was the deadline but we’re still not done). Some students are feeling confident about this and others aren’t.

Math this week was fract-tastic (in the name of fractions). We did problem-solving this week with submarine sandwiches and had to figure out whether it was fair to split different numbers of sub sandwiches among different sized groups of kids. We created posters and had a gallery walk to look at our classmates’ work. We’ll continue this fraction unit next week.

In Science we finished up our unit on Energy with a cool experiment involving sand and different colored paper. We predicted how the paper might impact the temperature of the sand given the idea that light can transfer energy as heat. We still are measuring the results.

The community updates for this week are we had a bunch of raffles where students raffled off objects (like mechanical pencils and origami cats). Some students worked on tree-building after school and it’s coming along. You’ll find a picture of us attached to the Family Email with the tree (we’re still having technical difficulties with uploading pictures to our blog).

Stay warm!

Amira & John


Almost February Break!

Dear Dudes and Dudettes,

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

In Reading this week we finished our Biography unit. We read Wilma Unlimited and Sonia Sotomayor, both biographies of women who faced huge challenges and were very successful despite them. Our vocabulary words this week were scarce and thrive.

In Writing this week we did more essay writing and filled our folders with evidence. We organized our materials and made sure they fit our reasons. We also wrote mini stories that hooked the reader. Finally, today we put our evidence is order and used transition words to connect them.

Math this week was marvelously metric. We learned about the metric system and practiced measuring in millimeters, centimeters, meters (and thought about kilometers and decimeters). We also took our Unit 6 Assessment on division.

In Science we had debate about whether we need light to see and used a lightbox experiment to help support our thinking. Some people think we do need light and some people think we don’t. We put colored chips into the lightbox and tried to determine their color, with and without light. The debate continues…

The community updates for this week are we took our spelling quiz and our 8s fact test. We also are choosing a new transition song. Right now most people are liking the song, “Happy” by Pharrel.

Have a good Valentines Day!

Sasha & Julian

Challenges, Successes and Our Dreams

By Alexia, Anna, Cassandra, Gigi, Ms. Post, and Rachel   

A lot of people face challenges in their lives. If you believe in yourself, you can get through these challenges and have big accomplishments.

For example in the book Wilma Unlimited by Kathleen Krull, Wilma got Polio and she could not move her leg inward and also could not walk. She got through this challenge by doing a lot of leg exercises. One day, she took off her brace at church and walked up the aisle and showed everyone that even because she had polio she could still do just as much as everyone else.

Another example of people facing challenges in their lives was in the book Nelson Mandela by Kadir Nelson. Nelson was challenges because he was in prison for a long time. While in prison, his mother and his son both died. Still, Nelson fought for what he believed in, which was for black and white people to be treated equally in South Africa.

One more example is in the book Sonia Sotomayor: A Judge Grows in the Bronx by Jonah Winter. Sonia’s family was poor and her mom was always cooking or studying to keep Sonia and her brother at school to get an education. Another challenge Sonia faced was at Princeton College, she felt very different from everyone else because everyone else was born and raised with a lot of money and she was always very poor. Sonia studied very hard to become a Judge.

In these stories, people worked really hard to become successful. We noticed that some of the challenges people faced were living in poverty, losing a parent at a young age, and discrimination based on their race. Sonia Sotomayor and Nelson Mandela both lost their dads when they were nine. Still, these people believed in themselves and persevered.

This makes us think about our own dreams and the challenges we face and how we can get through those challenges. Here are some of our dreams and how we’re going to work hard to get there:

       Anna: My dream is to do a job where I can do a lot of math. I am going to get there by studying.

     Gigi: My dream is to be a first grade teacher and to go to a great college just like Sonia Sotomayor. I am going to get there by practicing math, reading, and spelling a lot and pushing myself to do more than I can do now.

     Alexia: My dream is to be a math teacher and to help kids become better at multiplication and division. I am going to push myself by helping kids who don’t understand math and showing them how to do the things they don’t understand.

     Ms. Post: My dream is to run a marathon. I am going to have to train hard and build up a lot of mileage so that I can sustain myself for 26.2 miles.

    Cassandra: My dream is to be a zoologist and to have my own nature show. I am going to get there by getting good grades and reading as much as I can about animals.

    Rachel: My dream is to make the world fair so that nobody rules other people. I am going to work hard by challenging others to think about what is fair.