Just a quick reminder that Thursday, 1:45 – 2;45 is our class harvest gathering! Parents and other grownups are more than welcome to come share an hour with us! We have a craft planned that ‘many hands makes short work’, plus we’d just love to spend some time with the grownups in our lives! Please consider this an open invitation!
Okay, kiddos asked me to post the link to the new math game we played during bus dismissal this afternoon!
Here you go!
Next week we begin NECAP testing. It is always stressful for everyone involved – students, teachers, and parents alike. To make the week a bit more bearable, please encourage your fifth grader to eat healthy meals, get LOTS of sleep, and come to school with a positive attitude.
I allow students to nibble on mints while they are testing. If you’d like your kiddo to bring mints, or mint gum, to school, feel free to send them in. I will not be supplying them, but I certainly allow students to enjoy this out of the ordinary treat!
I am also asking any family that wishes to donate fruit for testing morning snacks to feel free to do so! I wasn’t going to provide snacks, but the more I considered, the more I felt it should be an option. I know this is zero advanced notice, so if it doesn’t happen, that is okay, but I’ll bring in some apples and we’ll see where we go from there.
Thanks for all your help during this time!
I apologize for having to miss today. I thought I would be able to make it through the day – I even wore a skirt – but I just wasn’t feeling like myself. Usually when I have to miss school it is because of the twins, but I knew from the moment I walked into the building that I needed to be home.
I hope your kiddos were okay with the change in routine. Sometimes when I am out, I am unable to post the night’s home practice; this is because I ask the substitute to assign home practice based on the day’s lessons …. just the way I do. This is best for student learning, but not the best for me being able to post it on the blog! Today’s lesson focus was on reviewing Unit 1 in math, practicing spelling during word work, and a continuation of our non-fiction reading during literacy. It makes it easy to assign tonight’s home practice! Study for math test tomorrow! Study for spelling test tomorrow! Read 30 minutes for home reading log! We will postpone our non fiction conventions ‘quiz’ until next week.
Again, I hope the day went well! Please email me if you have any concerns about my absence, the assigned home practice, or the two tests tomorrow!
I know I passed this out at Open House, but it’s important! Your kiddo should have two weeks of home reading minutes graphed in their literacy binder. Some kiddos don’t have any minutes, others have only one week. We had 9 kiddos today who did NOT have their reading logs. The best, and easiest, way to help your child succeed in school and life is to encourage reading at home. Please make sure your child does his/her reading for their reading log! If you’d like to know how many minutes your child currently has, don’t hesitate to send me an email. I’m happy to keep you up to date!
We’ve really been accomplishing quite a bit! Here’s a snapshot into what we’ve done thus far!
Reading – We’ve been trying out a literacy technique called the Daily Five, although for fifth grade it’s adapted to the Daily Three. Our literacy block is set up so that students have the opportunity to determine when they’d like to work on the reading assignments for that day. We’ve had a couple of stumbling blocks and are trying to work out the kinks. Flexibility in work completion requires a higher level of responsibility from students for completing their work. For example, in a traditional setting the entire class would work on one assignment at a time, finish it, and turn it in. This model allows some students to silent read, while others work on spelling, and yet others work on vocabulary. When assignments are completed, the student turns them in and they are corrected later. I’m finding many in our class are already professionals at this, and aren’t missing any assignments, but others are not completing them. I’m working at finding the right balance.
Within the block, our mini lessons and focus is on non-fiction. We’ve been reviewing non-fiction conventions and reading non fiction works such as Scholastic News. Next week we will continue with non fiction and begin guided reading groups. We also established expectations for how we read to self, read to someone, and pick a book! We’re working on stamina and are using a system called IPICK to select the books we’re reading, I’ll be sending a letter home next week explaining it!
Our Word A Day vocabulary is into its second week. Your kiddos now have 8 strong vocabulary words – luminous, belligerent, elated, bedlam, and remedy, to name a few. I ask kiddos to keep these in their writing binders so they can be included in their writing pieces.
Writing – we’ve done quite a bit of writing so far this year! We completed “Who Am I” which is a guided self reflection. I hope you liked them, they are gifts for you! We also harvested carrots from the MBS garden and wrote scientific descriptive pieces on them. I took photos and they will become the basis for your child’s first blog post! Blogs will be coming soon!
We also have been creating an invisible backpack of writing tools. There are many strategies to use for coming up with ideas for personal narratives – first and last times we’ve done something, times we’ve realized something, favorite people, favorite places, and next week we’ll discuss strong emotions. The key to all of these is thinking about the small moments within those big ideas. For example, one of my favorite places is the lake I grew up on. There are many, many memories of this, but I chose to write about a physical altercation – awww, let’s call it what it was, a fist fight – with my younger brother. Your kiddos have short pieces using all of these strategies!
Math – we’ve really been working hard on divisibility rules, factors, math arrays, squaring and un-squaring (square roots) numbers! I anticipate we’ll be having our Unit 1 test sometime next week.
Science has been all about cells! As you read earlier, we are discovering the organelles within cells and basic cellular structure! Midway through the trimester, your kiddos will begin a social studies unit with Mrs. DeMercurio!
During all this we’ve been trying to build community, establish our classroom norms and constitution, learned about the United States Constitution, sang its preamble, discussed the bill of rights, created special correcting pens, discussed multiple intelligences and created learning style graphs, and even captured a chipmunk! Whew!
I hope you are feeling ‘in the loop’! As always, please don’t hesitate to drop me an email if you have any comments, questions, or concerns!