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BUES February 2024 Newsletter

  • Community Corner

    Each newsletter we will post a question and share responses/feedback from the previous question. 

    Don't miss this opportunity to share your answers! We’d like to hear from you.


    Students always ask "Why do I need to know this?” Making real world connections with math and science can increase student engagement.  What real world connections do you and your student make at home with math and science?  Click here to share your answer! 


    Have you recently discovered any new books or series that your child is excited about? Click here to share your answer!

  • Advanced Math News

    Tier 2 Math - Grade 4 and 5

    Tier 2 and tier 3 students have been working hard completing assignments in the Tier 2 Gateway Math Google Classroom. Students who completed 3- 5 assignments in one week were given Math Rockstar Certificates. There is also a bulletin board displaying their accomplishments. Any student who completes 5 assignments can get a prize from the prize box. Great job with your motivation and hard work. You are really honing your math skills. Keep up the good work! 

    Tier 3 Advanced Math 

    4th Grade: 

    Our 4th Grade Tier 3 students have just completed the Factors, Multiples, and Leftovers Unit. They can now identify Prime, Composite, and Square numbers. They're able to use the inverse operations to solve multiplication and division problems. They understand that solving a division problem may not be the answer to the problem and that very often they have to interpret the remainder. The distributive, commutative, and associative properties of multiplication were helpful when students were asked to solve problems mentally. These skills will be useful as students move on to more challenging work. 

    They will be starting a unit called At the Mall with Algebra: Working with Variables and Equations. It is a fun and challenging unit designed to develop algebraic reasoning. As students learn about variables, equations, and expressions, they’ll use their number sense, logical reasoning and problem-solving strategies. Students are introduced to these concepts through interesting problem-solving situations. They substitute variables to find solutions to expressions. They’ll be working backwards and using inverse operations to determine the value of a variable, and they’ll be using these strategies to solve puzzles and figure out the mathematics behind tricks.

    5th Grade: 

    Students are finishing up the fraction problem-solving unit. Next, they will be working on a challenging decimal division project. They will be given a menu with several multi-step decimal division problems. Students will work together to solve appetizer, main course, and dessert problems. After finding the solutions,  they’ll choose a project to present their solutions to the class. Next on the agenda, we will be working with Order of Operations, Integers, and Combining Like Terms.

    Tier 3 STEM News

    Grade 4:

    Our 4th grade engineers researched  different types of bridges  in order to be prepared for the different challenges in the Bridge Unit. The Paper Bridge Challenge was the first challenge in this unit. Students  built a bridge with only two pieces of paper and glue, which needed to  support the weight of 100 pennies. A few of the groups were successful, and we discussed what made their designs successful. We also discussed how they could have improved their designs. The challenge they’re facing next is to build a bridge tower that will support different spans and loads. For this challenge, students will complete a budget to buy their materials. They will build and then test the towers. The last challenge of this unit will be to build a Truss Bridge using craft sticks and Elmer’s glue. For this challenge, students will have a $100,000  budget to buy the necessary supplies. Their bridge has to be level, sturdy and be able to support different weights. The most challenging part for students may be connecting the road and roof of the bridge to the side trusses. 

    Grade 5:  

    The 5th grade engineers have just completed the Zipline challenge and Zipline racers challenge. Next, 5th graders will become automotive engineers and create ‘Rubber Band Racers’.  They will acquire background knowledge by researching the history of automobiles and studying Newton’s Laws of Motion. They’ll examine different designs of rubber band powered cars. Teams of ‘engineers’ will work together to design and build their own rubber band cars using everyday items. The Rubber Band Racers have to travel in a straight line for a distance of at least 3 meters within a 1 meter wide track. The rubber band cars will be tested in the hallway. Results will be evaluated and teams will make changes to improve on their original design for a better outcome.

  • Advanced ELA and FPS News

    Tier 2 ELA

    Students in grades 4 and 5 have continued to work hard on the Tier 2 ELA Google Classroom!

    Grades 4 

    4th grade students just finished their unit “Amazing Places”, which focuses on making connections across texts and using figurative language. Some of the enrichment and extension activities included researching amazing places like Mount Everest and the Sahara Desert, creating postcards from Death Valley, and discovering the cultural and historical significance of new foods. Students wrapped up the unit by explaining the importance of learning about new places and cultures and sharing what they have learned from the places they have visited.

    Grade 5

    Grade 5 students recently finished their unit “Nature’s Network’ which focused on the skills of telling stories, engaging in conversations, and determining importance. Students in the Tier 2 ELA Google Classroom had the opportunity to research sunfish as well as other unique ocean animals, construct food chains, research the impact of overfishing and learn about animals with symbiotic relationships. Students finished the unit out by explaining how nature and humans are truly connected through nature’s network! 

    Tier 3 Advanced ELA 

    Grade 4

    In our Grade 4 Tier 3 Advanced ELA class, students are on a literary journey with A Handful of Stars. As we conclude the novel, our focus has shifted to exploring the main characters' intricacies, emphasizing their similarities and differences. Centered around the theme of friendship, we discussed the concept of "Star Friends" and what it takes for a friendship to endure over time and distance, just like Lily and Salma! Students are refining their communication skills, particularly in active listening, understanding body language and thoughtfully responding and building on the ideas of others. In addition, theme exploration has been a key aspect of our journey as we practiced creating thematic statements and a unique Hexagon novel project where students synthesized their ideas on topics, themes, and symbols in the novel. Currently, students are immersed in the final choice projects related to A Handful of Stars, including researching topics like blindness in dogs, creating artwork symbolizing the novel's themes, and writing poetry collections featuring perspectives from multiple characters. These projects showcase the diverse skills of students while emphasizing creativity and a deeper understanding of the novel!

    Grade 5

    In Grade 5 Tier 3 Advanced ELA, our students are wrapping up their journey through the novel Lucky Broken Girl. We've focused on making connections by encouraging students to link the story to their own experiences, the world around them, and other texts. We also explored a companion book, Goodbye Havana, Hola New York!  by Edie Colon, sparking group discussions about the main characters' similarities and differences, along with protagonist Ruthie's challenges and the important lessons from her journey. Students worked together to create “support webs” for Ruthie, where we discussed each character's role in her recovery throughout the novel. Students just finished up final choice projects. The final project lets students share their understanding through letters to the author, Ruth Behar, complete research on Cuban symbols and traditions, and create storyboards capturing key moments from the novel. Currently, students are sharing their projects, offering feedback, and highlighting their communication skills by creating thoughtful compliments and suggestions.

    Grade 5 Community Problem Solving(CmPS) 

    In our Community Problem Solving class, students are making consistent progress through the creative problem-solving process. Both groups have identified and addressed their underlying problems, maintaining their focus on the crucial issues of beach waste and food waste. The next step involved generating Solution Ideas, where students applied divergent thinking, conducted group research, and utilized various brainstorming techniques to develop creative and effective solutions aimed at reducing food and beach waste in both the school and the broader Barnstable community. Looking ahead, our next steps involve determining and implementing action plans to bring these innovative solutions to actionable steps!