Week of February 13  

Here is what we will focus on this week:

  • English/Language Arts: Students will continue discussing plot and settings in Fairytales.  We will read Rapunzel, The Frog Prince, Hansel and Greta, and Jack and the Beanstalk.
  • Math: Students will continue to compose and decompose 10s and 1s as well as compare numbers using <,>, and =. We will take our Unit Test on Wednesday.
  • Writing: Students will complete their animal research.
  • We will celebrate Valentine's Day on Tuesday.  Students will decorate bags to put their valentine's in.  We will pass out Valentine's after recess.

Week of February 6  

While February is the shortest month, it is jam packed with special events. First, we predicted whether Phil would see his shadow.  Next up will be studying Black History Month as well as celebrating 100 days of school!  We will take a look at George Washington Carver as well as Rosa Parks.  Then, we will do different 100 themed centers on Friday.  This month's at home project is to collect, draw, or show 100 items.  Please make sure that students are able to carry these to and from school and that they are not a distraction on the bus.  All projects will be on display Friday for students to walk around and have a gallery walk.

Additionally, here are a few things we will cover.

-English/Language Arts: Students will continue to learn about plot in folktales and fairytales.  We will also identify common nouns (people, places, and things).

-Math: Students will meet "Munching Monster." He helps show how things are greater than>, less than<, or equal to =

-Writing: Students will continue to work on their animal research book.  We will write the next 2 chapters- where their animals live and what we know about their life cycle.

Week of Jan. 25  

Due to the short week, all students will work on the same Word Study list.  We will review some commonly misspelled words.

This week students will:

-Infer using picture clues and their schema

-Discuss the plots of folktales- We will begin with Cinderella and read a different version called Girl with the Red Slipper

-Compose and Decompose two digit numbers and write the corresponding fact family (47 is composed of 4 tens and 7 ones or 40 and 7- 40+7=47, 7+40=47)

-Describe the food chain (predators/prey and carnivore/omnivore/herbivore)

-Write and illustrate facts about their animal

Week of January 17  

Here is a breakdown of what we will do this week:

-English/Language Arts: Students will continue studying books by Jan Brett.  We will practice the Café reading strategy of Backing Up and Rereading when encountering a new word.  We will begin using pictures and our background knowledge to infer.

-Writing: Students will choose an animal to begin researching. They will use their Penguin books as a model.

-Math: Students will continue to compose and decompose 10s and 1s through sheets, games, and interactive notebooks.

-Science: Students will continue to learn about the impact humans have on the environment as well as the food chain.

-Social Studies: We will continue to learn about the contributions of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. as well as learn about the responsibilities of the president as we welcome a new one on Friday.

Week of January 9  

I hope that you were safe and warm over this bitterly cold weekend.  I have to admit that I am sad we didn't get more snow but winter isn't over yet.

 Here is what we are working on this week:

-English/Language Arts: We will continue to learn about habitats (Rainforest, Freshwater, Saltwater) and how humans have impacted different habitats. We will also do an Author Study on Jan Brett.  She loves to write stories with animals in them.  Her favorite is the hedgehog.

-Writing: Students have begun writing an All About Penguins book.  We will finish this week.  Up next: students will choose an animal to research and write using the Penguin book as a model.

-Math: Students will continue to learn about decomposing 10s and 1s.  For example 20 has 2 tens and 0 ones while 58 has 5 tens and 8 ones.

-Science: we are going to continue learning about winter weather.

-Social Studies: Students will describe who Martin Luther King Jr. is and why we celebrate him today.


Week of January 2  

Welcome back!  I hope you had a great holiday.


-Students will begin to learn about different habitats (Arctic, Savanna, Deciduous, and Desert) and the plants and animals found in each.

-We will start working on an All About Book about Penguins.  Students will use different Nonfiction text features in their book like headings, labels, and diagrams.

-Students will understand the digits of a two digit number represent 10s and 1s (17 is 1 ten and 7 ones).

As a reminder, December's reading log will be due Monday, January 2. 

Week of December 12  


We have made it to the last school week of 2016!  I can't believe how fast the time has flown.  I hope students are showing you acts of kindness at home and in their community.


This week students will continue to learn how different countries celebrate holidays.  We will end with discussing how we celebrate here in America.


Students will also work on composing and decomposing numbers to add and subtract. For example, if 9+4=13 then students can make a ten to add 10+3=13.  It is a rather difficult strategy because it requires students to see that 1+3=4 so, using that 1 they can add it to 9 and then there will be 3 left over.  We will use tens frames so students can see it better.


Here is a schedule of events for this week:

-Monday, Dec. 12: D Day- PE and Spanish

-Tuesday, Dec. 13: E Day- No Encore

-Wednesday, Dec. 14: F Day- STEAM Lab and Library

-Wednesday, Dec. 14: Polar Express items due

-Thursday, Dec. 15: Mustang Pride Day- school wide Morning Meeting and Celebration for students

-Friday, Dec. 16: No Encores; Holiday Assembly; Polar Express movie and PJ day


Please make sure that all items for the Polar Express celebration are turned in by Wednesday.  Here is the link to sign up:


Thank you very much for all of your help and support over the first half of the year.  I can't wait to see what 2017 brings!

Week of November 28  

ELA focus: Students will begin to study Early American Civilizations.  Students will see what the Mayans harvested and where they lived.


We will read different versions of The Gingerbread Man and compare and contrast them.


Students will examine different nonfiction books and learn the importance of text features.  We will look at Table of Contents, Types of Print (bolded, italics, different colors), Photographs, and Captions.


Math: Students will see how addition and subtraction are connected through fact families (3+2=5, 2+3=5, 5-2=3, 5-3=2).  Students will begin solving word problems and show their thinking of how they arrived at a solution.


Social Studies: Students will learn about economics.  We will compare needs versus wants and goods versus services.  This will tie in with our December homework project so stay tuned!

Week of November 21  


We are going to wrap up our Solar System unit by taking a look at the outer 4 planets to see how they are alike and different from the inner four planets.  We will continue to learn about past and present, in particular how the first Thanksgiving looked compared to what we do today.  We will have a couple of fun experiments this week as well.  Students will attempt to use aluminum foil to recreate the Mayflower and see if they can sail 102 "pilgrims" (ie pennies) across the ocean.  On Tuesday, we will see how people in the past made butter and try to make our own.


As a reminder, there will not be school on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday.  We will have PE and Spanish Lab tomorrow.


Lastly, our field trip will be Monday, November 28. We will leave promptly at 8:45 so students must be to school on time.  Of course, if a bus is running late we will wait.  I will send another reminder home on Tuesday, but please have students dressed appropriately for the weather since portions of the field trip will take place outside.  We will have a picnic lunch there which means all lunches brought from home will need to be in a Ziploc bag  or a paper bag with their name on it.  We will dispose of everything there so please pack only things which can be thrown away.   We will tie dye the white shirts this week.  I will wash them and have them ready for students when they return on Monday, Nov. 28. 

Week of November 14  

Please check the Calendar as there will be a few changes coming our way.



-Monday, November 14: Begin Moon Journal- the first phase will be a Full Moon.  This one will be a "Super Moon" which means it will appear larger than normal.


-Friday, November 18: Scholastic orders due


This week students will continue to learn about Outer Space, the Moon, and Space Exploration as we combine English/Language Arts and Science.


Students will continue to work on subtraction strategies.  We will use a number line to count back.  Then, we will see how addition and subtraction are connected through Fact Families (4+5=9, 5+4=9, 9-4=5, 9-5=4).


In Writing, students will continue to write "How To" stories.  We will use mentor texts as models as well as build on their knowledge to teach others what to do.


In Social Studies, we will begin discussing Thanksgiving and compare past and present.

Week of November 7  

This week will be short but busy!  Here is what we will focus on this week:

-We will combine Science and Reading- students will begin to learn about the sun, moon, and stars.  The monthly project will be a Moon Journal where students are to observe, record, and label the different phases of the moon.  It will begin on November 14 with the Full Moon and continue until November 29 with the New Moon. Please have it completed and returned by Wednesday, November 30.

-We will continue to look at how we can use pictures and objects to subtract.

-We will learn why we celebrate Veterans Day and use that to discuss heroes.

-We will begin writing Informative and Explanatory texts.  We are going to begin with "How To" writing.  Students will explain how to make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich.


      We will have our first field trip to Poplar Grove on Monday, November 28 from 8:45 to approximately 2:30.  A permission form is attached to this email and will be in your child's blue folder tomorrow.  Please have the permission form as well as the cost ($7.41) returned on or before Friday, November 18. Please send exact change or checks made payable to Morton Elementary School.


    Here are a few reminders about the schedule this week:

-Monday, November 7: C Day- Computer Lab

-Tuesday, November 8: D Day- PE and Spanish

-Wednesday, November 9: No Encores- Mustang Pride Day

-Thursday, November 10: No Encores- Part Day- Students dismissed at 12:30

Week of October 31  

In honor of Halloween, the Math homework this week will be collecting data about the candy they get for trick-or-treating.  Students will sort and graph candy versus chocolate.  There are only 16 spots so if they have more, just have students record up to 16. 


We will begin a unit in Reading called "Different Lands, Similar Stories." Students will compare and contrast different folktales from around the world.  We will begin with Cinderella and compare it to tales in Egypt and Ireland.


Students will wrap up our unit on Addition Strategies.  Then, we will begin the unit on different subtraction strategies beginning with using pictures to show how to subtract.


In Science, we will begin to learn about the moon and its phases.  This will coincide with November's monthly projects.  More details about this project will be sent home next week. 


This month's Reading Log will be similar to previous months where they record reading every night.  However, the book will contain 2 places for them to respond to Fiction using writing and 1 place to respond about their Nonfiction reading.  Please let me know if students need any books in order to complete this. 


Lastly, the paper plate project and October Reading Logs are both due tomorrow, October 31. 

Week of October 24  

This week is Red Ribbon Week.  All students are encouraged to dress up.  The theme is "YOLO Be Drug Free."

-Monday- "I am not a dum-dum; I CAN be Drug Free"- bring a canned good and wear red

-Tuesday- "Don't let drugs turn you inside out."- wear clothes inside out

-Wednesday- "Shade Out Drugs!"- wear sunglasses

-Thursday- "Sock it to drugs!"- wear crazy socks

-Friday- "Team Up Against Drugs"- wear your favorite sports team t-shirt or jersey

We are still in need of unique looking pumpkins.  If you are able, please send in one at the beginning of the week.

Week of October 10  

We will begin reading nonfiction texts about the human body. Students will learn about their skin, skeleton, muscles, and digestion.  We will create a chart about new things we have learned.

-We will begin a new author's study.  This time, it will be Eric Carle. Students will practice fluently reading as well as identifying the main idea.

-Students will work on a different strategy in Math.  They will use a number line to identify the largest number and count on.

-We will continue writing our Narrative pieces.  Students will take the beginning and stretch it out.

-Lastly, it is Fire Safety Week.  We will have a visit from some local firemen on Thursday.  Here is a very useful website that we will look at this week and you may want to use for any discussions at home.

Week of October 3  

Students had an amazing time working with apples last week.  Thank you to all who donated apples!  You can check out some photos on Classdojo.

Conference reminders went home in your child's blue folder on Friday, September 30.  Please let me know if you will need to reschedule.

This weeks students will continue to listen to some of Aesop's fables and determine the moral of the story.  Also, we will practice reading fluently and with expression.

Students will continue to explore ways to make a number.  This week we will focus on ways to make 8, 9, and 10.

We began discussing Forces and Motion last week with an apple stacking experiment.  This week, we will further that study through activities on motion, speed, gravity, and magnets.

Lastly, students will begin planning for their personal narrative stories.  We will create lists of things to write about and then begin rough drafts of small moments that happened in our lives.


Week of September 26  

Tomorrow evening will be Morton's Open House.  This year will be slightly different.  A sheet went home with your child on Friday highlighting different stations throughout campus.  The doors open at 5:00 for the Book Fair, food, and some the presentations.  Classrooms will open at 5:30 so please come by, check out your kiddos work, fill out a Federal Card, and sign up for the Beginning of the Year Conferences.

If you are unable to attend tomorrow night, please be on the lookout for your child's Federal Cards.  It will come home on Tuesday and must be returned the following day.  Additionally, I will send home a hard copy of available conference dates and times. 

Week of September 19  

The students' words for the week focus on -ag and -an.  They are bag, rag, sag, tag, wag, an, can, fan, man, ran.


Students will continue practice Daily Five routines.  We will focus on Check for Understanding- answering who and what about the books we read.


We began Math STACK centers on Friday.  Students are working on ways to make a number as well as adding/subtracting 1 and 2. 


We will observe Constitution Day tomorrow. Students will learn kid friendly language to the Preamble.


In Science, students will begin to use their 5 super senses to observe things and make predictions.


As a reminder, students should have their Math sheet completed by Friday as well as continuing to read and record on their Reading Log.  Both the Reading Log and Pencil Project are due by next Friday, September 30.  If you need any help or have any questions regarding these projects, please do not hesitate to let me know.

Week of September 12  

    The students have done a great job learning the routines and procedures within the school and classroom.  This week. they will have the opportunity to visit the Library and check out books.   

We have gone over all Daily 5 centers and will begin to implement those starting tomorrow.  We will introduce our first reading strategy of "Check for Understanding."  After reading a book, students will orally answer questions about who or what happened. 


In Math, students will look for patterns in numbers in hopes of becoming more fluent.  We will take these patterns and begin looking at number bonds as well as adding and subtracting 1 and 2 from a number.


Students will continue to learn about different scientists and how they use their senses to observe. 


As a reminder, the Math sheet that comes home tomorrow will need to be turned in on Friday, Sep. 16.  The spelling words are for your reference but no work needs to be done at home.


Lastly, if you have not already done so please send in $6.00 for school fees.

Week of September 5  

Here are some important updates for the week:

-Tuesday, September 6: C Day- Computer Lab with me

-Wednesday, September 7: D Day- PE and Spanish WEAR TENNIS SHOES

-Wednesday, September 7: Reading testing window opens

-Thursday, September 8: E Day- No Encores

-Thursday, September 8: Parent Workshop hosted by our fabulous Reading Specialist, Mrs. Martinelli, at 10am in the Media Center

-Friday, September 9: F Day- STEAM and Math Labs

-Friday, September 9: Scholastic order due


**Don't forget to like Morton's Facebook page. 


In class, we are learning about Daily Five centers.  Students have been introduced to Read to Self and Work on Writing.  We will continue to look at how to build a class and school community by learning our rules and learning about each other.  Students have gotten off to an amazing start.  We earned a Green in Music and Blue in Art!

Homework Plan  

               Students are beginning homework today.  Here is a breakdown of what is to come.  A sheet will be placed in your child's folder next week outlining homework expectations.


- We are beginning with a Reading Log which came home today in your child's blue folder.  Students should read or be read to for at least 20 minutes every night. Then, have your child color in one of the spots on their Reading Log.  They will color one apple each night for this month. 

- On the back is a written response piece.  There are 4 different questions- 1 per week. 

-Both the front and back of the Reading Logs are due at the end of the month.  The first one will be due on Friday, September 30. 


-In a few weeks, students will begin bringing home a Math sheet on Monday.  They have all week to complete it and turn it in on Friday


-Lastly, students will be expected to complete a monthly homework project.  There will be different projects each month. On Tuesday, Sep. 6 students will come home with a STEM Home Challenge sheet.  Their task is to create something using an unsharpened pencil (I will provide the pencils) and turn it in before the end of the month.  This will also be due on Friday, September 30. 


-We will be doing Word Study in class.  Students will work on words over the course of the week and be tested on Fridays.  These words will be sent home and posted on my website but students are under no obligation to practice these at home.  I just wanted you to have a record of what they are working on in class.


Please keep in mind that students work hard in school so homework should take no longer than 30 minutes each night to include reading. 


It was so great to meet each and every one of you at Orientation! This will be an amazing year!

Don't forget to return paperwork, supplies, and the $6.00 instructional fees on Monday, August 29. 


If you have not already done so, sign up for Remind and Classdojo.  The login information was contained in your child's Orientation folder.

We will have snack daily.  Each child is responsible for bringing their own snacks and water bottles.


I will use Remind as one method of communicating regarding upcoming events. 

Pick a way to receive messages from me.

1. If you have a smartphone, get push notifications by clicking on this link.

2. If you don't have a smartphone, get text notifications by texting @cascell1 to the number 81010.

Behavior Expectations  

Morton has created a chart outlining expected behaviors throughout our campus.  We will discuss these with students so they know what it looks like and what it means.

Here is this year’s school-wide behavior chart. The colors are simplified and each level is outlined in more detail.

So what happens now?

Teachers will keep track of students' points throughout the year. Every month those students who have earned green or better (around a 90% average) will have the opportunity to attend a Mustang Pride event which will take place during the school day.  If a student changes their color, they will have the opportunity to earn it back. Students will keep track of their colors on a monthly calendar.