Learning About The Past and Present of Essex Junction


As part of our “Communities” unit we have been learning about the past and present of our Essex Junction community. In doing so, we have explored the following essential questions:

  • How is community life today different from the past?
  • How is community life today the same as in the past?

We have looked at pictures from the past and compared them to today and what we saw on our community walk. We discussed what is similar and different. We also talked about why certain buildings have had the same purpose throughout time, like the Brownell Library and why other buildings have turned into other places such as how El Gato used to be the Lincoln Inn and The Belted Cow.

Our next step is to think about what may change or still be here in the future…

Writing About Reading


We have started a new writing unit in Writing Workshop. It is called, “Writing About Reading.” Throughout this unit, the students will focus on writing letters about the books they have read, listened to and remember. They will learn how to state various opinions that they have and use support from the stories to defend their statements. I have been thrilled to see them working so hard and staying very focused!

Our Videoconference With Polar Bears!


This week is “Polar Bear Week” and in honor of that we had a videoconference with The Alaska Zoo. Although we are not learning about polar bears now, we will be learning about them and their habitat, adaptations, life cycles, etc. starting in January. We learned many new facts about them and were able to ask questions to the zookeeper. Prior to the videoconference we viewed a live polar bear cam and were able to watch the polar bears in their habitat. Please view our video as well as the zoo’s live polar bear cam.

Alaska Zoo: Polar Bears from Meghan Turcot on Vimeo.

Building and Using Catapults in Science


We conducted our final experiment for our force and motion unit. Our question was, “Using the catapults we build, which goes farther, the ping pong ball or the cotton ball?”

We wrote our own hypothesis and from there we made the catapults using: rulers, spoons, rubber bands and tape.

We then worked in small groups to conduct our trials that would compare the results when using a cotton ball and ping pong ball. Ask your child what happened and why think that happened.

Readers Read Fluently


Our focus for Reading Workshop this week and last week has been on reading fluency. We’ve discussed how good readers:

  • Use a smooth voice that sounds like a talking voice

  • Use punctuation as a clue to how a text sounds

  • Use clues in the text to help us read with expression

  • Chunk or put together phrases to make it sound smooth

Learning To Write About Science


We began our next unit of study in Writing Workshop. The focus for this unit will be on learning to write about science. This unit ties in perfectly with our “Force and Motion” unit! The students will be able to take concepts and tests/experiments from science  and incorporate them into their writing.  As a class, we started to learn how to write like a scientist. In doing so, we learned that in order to write like a scientist, you need to:

  1. Ask a question about how the world works.

  2. Record a hypothesis, a guess.

  3. How will you test it? Record your procedure.

  4. Conduct multiple trials, and record your results.

  5. Analyze your results, and write a conclusion.

View Our Google Map of Essex Junction!


Do you remember when we went on our walk of Essex Junction? We each chose a building or place in Essex Junction and learned why it is important to our Essex Junction Community. Now we want to share it with you!


This map was important for us to do because we wanted to have something to share with the community about Essex Junction. You can also find this map on our school’s website within the “Community” tab under “Local Information.” The map is at the bottom. This project helped us to answer the essential questions:

  • How can we investigate the characteristics of our community?

  • How can we share what we learn?