Trimester 1 Transdisciplinary Themes: 

Who We Are

How the World Works

Central Ideas: 

Systems may evolve from changing human experiences.

Natural curiosity allows for a deeper understanding and appreciation of our world.


During the first few weeks, we will launch “Readers’ Workshop” in order for the readers to know how to successfully choose just right books, talk or “buzz” about books, interact with the text as they read utilizing the reading strategies good readers use while reading: predicting, visualizing, connecting, clarifying, questioning, summarizing and evaluating. We will continue to develop these skills throughout the year with individual, small group, and whole class instruction. Each student will use his/her reading notebook to record the books they read, mini-lesson information, and reading responses to their independent and small group reading.

Each student will also complete a DRA, Developmental Reading Assessment, and will be working with me in small book clubs.


Throughout the next few weeks, “Writers’ Workshop” will be set up in our classroom. The students are very familiar with this process as it is a proven method through which writers develop that our school utilizes for instruction and learning.

Each young writer will write numerous narrative drafts using a variety of prewriting strategies. After a few weeks, each will choose a narrative draft that s/he would like to work with for a couple of weeks. Using mentor texts and mini-lessons, the writers will be engaged in the revision process in order to improve the piece. Ultimately, the students will publish their narratives.


Our general curriculum is guided by the Common Core State Standards for Math.

Introductory unit –

The purpose of the first ten days is to establish math routines and expectations that will prepare students for the common core classroom. It also provides lessons that allow students to develop number sense concepts within the structure of the CCSS Math Practices.

Unit 1 – Whole Number and Decimal Fraction Place Value

Area of foci:

  • Multiplicative Patterns on the Place Value Chart
  • Decimal fractions and place value patterns
  • Place value and rounding decimals fractions
  • Adding and subtracting decimals

Unit 2 – Mulit-Digit Whole Number and Decimal Operations

Area of foci:

  • Mental Strategies for Multi-Digit Whole Number Multiplication
  • The Standard Algorithm for Multi-Digit Whole Number Multiplication
  • Decimal Multi-Digit Multiplication
  • Measurement Word Problems with Whole Number and Decimal Multiplication
  • Mental Strategies for Multi-Digit Whole Number Division
  • Partial Quotients and Multi-Digit Whole Number Division
  • Partial Quotients and Multi-Digit Decimal Division
  • Measurement Word Problems with Multi-Digit Division

Science: Living Systems

Students are introduced to a system as a collection of interacting parts that work together to make a whole or produce an action. They explore Earth as a system, focusing on the biosphere and describing ecosystems by looking at feeding relationships and energy transfers, described as food webs. Students model food chains and food webs in a wood ecosystem and a marine ecosystem.

Social Studies: Civilizations

Our first social studies unit is “Civilizations.” The students will learn about several early civilizations and discover how they developed using the “cultural universals” to inquire: Basic Needs, Belief System, Communication, Economy, Technology, Government, Family Structure, Education, and Leisure. The physical geography and environment are analyzed as they directly impacted how a culture developed. After exploring similarities and differences between several civilizations and discovering what caused a civilization to flourish or decline, the learners will present to a group of “nomads” where and how to create a successful civilization.