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Wildcat Weekly



Cipriani Elementary School works hard to surpass the academic guidelines established by the state of California by providing a challenging and engaging curriculum for our students. The Belmont-Redwood Shores School District core curriculum standards for each grade are listed to the left with active links to the Common Core State Standards that have been adopted for the upcoming school year. The California Department of Education website offers a wealth of information for parents, students, and staff. Please take a look at what is in store for your child this academic school year. 


We are transitioning to the California Science Standards at Cipriani in all grade levels. Here is a resource that provides more information about the shifts in science education taking place during this exciting time. 

Curriculum Update: Check out the latest classroom news!


Our next project will be an oil painting and watercolor picture of a Sunflower.  We will also be planting Mammoth Sunflower Seeds and watch them grow!  The April Self-Portraits are on display in the classroom.  They continue to write stories for and Writing Workshop and they are on display in the classroom.  This week, the children are learning about the Letter Ss and the sounds it represents in words.  The children continue to learn how to write letters, words, and sentences (step by step).  Please look at the work in your child’s Yellow Homework Folder and review the work with your child.  Please review the letter Aa, Bb, Cc, Dd, Ee, Ff, Gg, Hh, Ii, Jj, Kk, Ll, Mm, Nn, Oo, Pp, Qq, Rr, and Ss poems in your child’s My At Home Reading Workshop Binder.  As a foundational skill for Reading and Writing Workshop, we continue reading fiction and non-fiction books about seasons, animals, insects, and trees.  The children are reading a book, I Like Shapes and are learning about shapes. The spring season is here and we are observing the changes around us.  The children are becoming more confident about speaking in complete sentences, sharing their stories with the class during WWS, and answering the Question of the Day using a complete sentence.  In Math, we continue to count the days of the month, talk about the day of the week, the date, the concept of counting on, counting by 1’s, 2’s, 5’s, and 10’s, and complete a daily pattern on the calendar and with math manipulatives.  The children are practicing 1:1 correspondence while counting the number of math manipulatives in their patterns.  The children are now counting their math patterns up to the number of days we have been in school.  They have become skilled at counting past 100!!!  We are learning how to print numbers 0-12 and the corresponding number words.  We are learning math language of How Many.  We are currently learning many ways to make four by using manipulatives:  two-sided beans, pattern blocks, geoboards, unifix cubes, and jewels.  The children are using the manipulatives to make math equations of the number four.  Please look inside of your child’s Yellow Homework Folder and review the math work.




  • Readers Workshop- we worked on making words with similar word families, such as –at, et, it, ot, ug.  We also continued to work on our partner reading and our fluency with our leveled books.
  • Math- we kept practicing finding ways to make 10 using addition.  We finished our teen number book and practiced writing our numbers 17, 18, 19 and 20.  We sorted and counted shapes and kept working on our addition and subtraction.
  • Writers Workshop- we continued working on informational writing about worms.
  • Phonics- we learned about the letter R and N and the sounds that they make.
  • Science- we are having so much fun learning about worms and about where they live and what they need.




Reading: During April, students will be diving deeper into nonfiction texts and their features. Readers will develop strategies for navigating informational texts and strengthening their comprehension and vocabulary.


Writing: This month, writers will learn about how to write opinion essays where they state their opinions on a topic and support them with reasons. Language: Students are working on learning the parts of speech and completing daily edits to improve written conventions.


Math: Mathematicians will be finishing up a unit on measurement (time and length) and on geometry (2D and 3D shapes). Later this month, we will begin a unit on collecting and analyzing data.


Social Studies: Students are starting a unit on the seven continents and the world (hemispheres, equator, etc.).


Science: Students will be finishing up a unit on sound and light and then begin to study structures of life and animal adaptations. Social Emotional: During April, students will be learning about bullying prevention and ways to be an “upstander.”

2nd  GRADE





Our math focus this week we will be on solving word problems involving fractions and reviewing for our unit test on Friday. A few important concepts we will review are fractions greater than one, identifying fractions on a number line, comparing fractions and identifying equivalent fractions.

→ This week’s fact fluency quiz will be on multiplication facts 6-7. Please help your child practice any math facts they may be struggling with. Thank you!


-In Social Studies this week we focused on how we can be good citizens in our community and in the classroom and why it is important. Next week, we will read and discuss the importance of symbols and landmarks within California as well as the United States


-For Animal Reports this week we will finish up organizing our notes and drafting them into paragraphs. We will work with our writing partners to help edit our first drafts, as well. Finally this week, we will work towards typing our reports into Google Classroom.


-Last week we started looking at the practice CAASPP tests online. We explored some tools that the state test allows us to use within the testing parameters, such as highlighting text, flagging a question we aren’t sure of, and striking through answers we know are not an option. In the upcoming weeks, we will continue to explore to practice tests that are available online so that we are used to the formatting of the test and the tools that are available in both Language Arts and Math. Our first testing day will be Thursday, 5/10 and we will start with the Language Arts portion of the tests. I have uploaded a parent guide to CAASPP on the Shutterfly website and will also upload the link to the practice tests if you would like to see the formatting. :)

→ As a note, the CAASPP tests are untimed tests.




Reading: In reading workshop, we are working on the genre biographies by studying ways in which authors illuminate the lives of others. We are also reading a captivating novel about the Gold Rush Era, By the Great Horn Spoon. We are delving into studying books about the Gold Rush so that we can understand the era. 



Writing: We are deep into the Unit of Study on persuasive essays and opinion writing. Our teachers are asking us to analyze arguments from both sides to write a truly influential piece of writing. We are studying mentor texts to improve our structure and craft. 



Math: We are reviewing fractions for an upcoming assessment. It will challenge us to add, subtract, multiply and divide fractions before reducing them to the lowest terms. Our Problem of the Month is Digging Dinosaurs, an engaging real-world problem that focuses on explaining mathematical reasoning.



History: The Gold Rush is our area of focus at this time. We are considering the challenges that this time period posed for people, especially on the Oregon Trail. The Gold Rush was instrumental in bringing people to California.



Last week in science we continued our geology unit about rocks. Your child learned about landslides and how a steep slope plus rain can cause broken rocks to tumble and cause real damage.  Your child brainstormed solutions for preventing landslides, keeping people safe, and protecting property.  We solved the mystery, “How can you survive a landslide?”


You can support this week’s learning by picking a problem that your family is encountering and brainstorming solutions with your child.  Examples of problems could be how do we do X?  How can we prevent Y from happening?  Take a few minutes to write down some ideas together.  Remember, when you’re brainstorming, there are no bad ideas!  After you’ve generated some ideas, discuss them and decide which idea you think has the most promise. 



**Our Fifth Graders were at Outdoor Education this week and this update will be revised next week**


Reader’s Workshop

  • We continued to work in our Historical Fiction Book Clubs.
  • Students paid close attention to moments when the action slowed down and the author added more detail. We talked about how these moments are intentional and the author’s way of telling us that something important is happening.
  • We talked about how there are three different meanings to a book: (1) the story the author meant to write, (2) the story that actually gets written and, (3) the story the reader interprets.
  • Students took some time to think about moments or characters they connected to in the story and how their personal experiences may have affected what they’re drawn to in the book.
  • We came up with big ideas for our books and students worked to find evidence to support their big idea in the text

Writer’s Workshop

  • We celebrated the end of our Literary Analysis unit by performing our Number the Stars skits!
  • We started our American Revolution Information Book unit.
  • We have been learning a lot about the various causes of the American Revolution in Social Studies and students put their knowledge to the test with an on-demand writing prompt, which challenged them write as much as they could about something they learned about the American Revolution.
  • Students explored numerous books on topics surrounding the American Revolution, practiced note-taking, and began to think about topics to research and write about.

Math: MARS Task Week

  • We mixed up our fifth-grade classes this week to get some practice with various MARS tasks. Students worked in trios and tackled concepts ranging from graphing, to mean, median, mode, and range, to comparing decimals.
  • We practiced neatly and clearly showing our work and explaining our thinking by teaching each other our strategies to help articulate the process.
  • On Thursday and Friday, we took the MARS Test!
    • These test scores will be used to help place students next year at Ralston.

Social Studies

  • We continued working on our visual timeline project. Students chose six events and used their notes to create a picture timeline.

Science with Mrs. Rich

  • This week, students investigated the question “Why do things explode?”
  • Students created their own (small) explosions by combining vinegar and baking soda in a plastic bag. Then, they developed models to explain how gas bubbles caused the bag to inflate and pop.
  • You can encourage your child’s curiosity at home! Watch this video of dry ice soap bubbles together: http://safeyoutube.net/w/gGzc. (You can even try making dry ice bubbles yourself using dry ice from the grocery store!

English Language Development

English Language Development: Content Standards

The English–Language Arts Content Standards for California Public Schools (1998) and the Reading/Language Arts Framework for California Public Schools (1999), both adopted by the State Board of Education, define what all students in California, including students learning English as a second language, are expected to know and be able to do. The English-language development (ELD) standards are designed to supplement the English–language arts content standards to ensure that English language learners (EL) students  develop proficiency in both the English language and the concepts and skills contained in the English–language arts content standards.

The Common Core State Standards will work in concert with the EL standards to ensure a comprehensive instructional program for all students.

California ELD standards