Friday, March 30, 2018

Looking forward to April flowers!



Curriculum Updates …

Math: We have been working with coordinate grids and understanding decimals. Place value to the thousandths place and rounding have been the areas that have needed the most focus.  We will review adding and subtracting decimals at the end of this unit. Attending to precision, constructing viable arguments, and making sense of problems and persevering in solving them are the mathematical processes embedded in all lessons.

Social Studies:  We have explored and are now on to colonization!  During this unit students will participate in Discovery, a simulation that recreates in our classroom some of the hardships and excitement experienced by early colonists. In small groups they will prepare to sail, start a colony, and strive to prosper in the New World.  Lessons will also focus on the regions of the  13 Original Colonies and what made them unique. The essential questions that will be answered during this unit include:
  • What were the key events that led to the colonization of the New World?
  • What lasting consequences did colonization of the New World  have on the rest of the world?
  • What were the effects of interactions between Native Americans and colonists?
  • What were some of the struggles and hardships of the colonists?
Along with learning about colonies, we have been learning about maps. The assessment of map knowledge will come from their “Mythical Country” mapping assignment.

Language Arts:  Explorers are behind us!  If your child created a slideshow, you can log on to their Language Arts Google Classroom and take a peek!  Between now and April break we will be writing some poetry and prepping for Great American.  Students have been introduced to a couple types of poetry forms and all are trying their hand at following the patterns.  They’re coming up with some great stuff!  We will return to poetry in June and bring our creations to final copy.  Students will be given our Great American (GA) time period and list of names any day now.  We will have a few lessons in the library about how to use Marvel, which is a huge database of great sites they’ll use while researching.  They will choose five top names from our list and use Marvel to look up some cool facts about each one.  They will use the facts to give me their top three choices the week before the break.  In class we will be reading an article on Ruby Bridges and practicing finding character traits based on her actions and making biography hash in preparation for reading our GA’s biography.  After vacation GA’s will be announced, and we’ll be off and running!


Reading:  We are winding down with poetry reading.  Students have chosen a poem to memorize.  They should be practicing at home.  They need to think about pausing at punctuation and reciting with inflection.  I can’t wait to hear them all!  Just before the break we will practice reading with a specific purpose in mind.  This will prepare them to read their GA’s biography looking for character traits their GA exhibits.  Biographies will be handed out right after break.

*Be sure to check out the Photo Gallery for some Colonial Craft Day pics!

Conversation starters ...
Math challenges (are they trying any?)
Attending to precision
Fizz and Martina - explain how to solve a problem without using numbers
x and y coordinates
Roanoke and Jamestown
GA time period
HOUSE passage
Ruby Bridges
Biography Hash (just before the break)
Talk about the GA’s they’re interested in
Scat  Will Nick and Marta help the baby panther get back to his mother?
Pencils- Do they have enough at school to be prepared for class?
A look ahead ….
Map of Mythical Country - due Monday, April 9
Course sign up for band/chorus and Modern Language for next year - April 9
MEA Science Testing - April 26 and April 27
Career Fair - May 4

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Marching into spring!



Tonight is a “Purple Folder Night”!
  • Students should share the work with you.
  • Please sign yellow feedback form on back of folder. Comment if you would like.
  • Students should place work in the correct section of their portfolio for safe-keeping.  
  • As always, the portfolio stays at home in a safe place until later this spring!
  • Students should return the purple folder to school by Tuesday, March 6


Curriculum Updates …

Math: Much of our math work continues to be with fractions. We will be reviewing the unit and assessing this week.  Unit 4 is all about decimal concepts and coordinate grids.

Social Studies:  We are continuing our Exploration Unit. Students are learning about key explorers and the countries they explored for such as Portugal, Spain, England, and France all the while focusing on the essential questions:
What were the key events that led to the Age of Exploration?
What were the effects of interactions between Native Americans and Europeans?
What lasting consequences did the Age of Exploration have on the world?
What technological developments/improvements made the age of exploration possible?

Language Arts:  We are underway with explorers.  European explorers changed the world is our focus statement.  Students wrote and categorized questions about the statement and a series of pictures.  They have all been assigned an explorer and have an article they are reading.  They will use the key words (who, what, where, how, discoveries, voyage, Native Americans) and mark up the article in places that answer these questions about their explorer.  They will then take dot jots and use the information to create a Google Presentation, Keynote, or series of postcards to share their knowledge of their explorer and the Age of Exploration. As students finish up with their explorer project, they will be trying their hand at writing poetry.

Reading:  Poetry will be our focus the next couple of weeks.  Students will read lots of different forms of poetry.  They will explore lines/verses, stanzas, emotion, theme, and how figurative language is used in poetry.  Students should be about ⅔ of the way toward their reading goal.

Conversation starters ...
Fraction of
Improper fractions
Common denominators
Dias and Da Gama
Technology (explorer style)
Dot jots
Key words
Why did explorers explore?
Poetry
Colonial Craft Day volunteer/donation form--Have you sent it back?
Exploration vocabulary: conquistador, isthmus, empire, colonization
Scat  Do you think Duane will be framed for the fire in the swamp?
Pencils- Do they have enough at school to be prepared for class?

A look ahead ….
Spirit week March 12 - 16.  More to come.
Colonial Craft Day--Friday, March 23
EmPowerMe testing (MEAs) coming up the end of March

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Can you believe your child is halfway through fifth grade??


Curriculum Updates …


Math: Math lessons are focusing on estimating fractions, finding equivalent fractions and renaming fractions as mixed numbers.  We have just finished our first round of Fizz and Martina. This is a program that requires students to work together to solve problems and then explain how they solved them without using numbers. They are learning how to use number models to help them explain how they solved problems. 

Science: We have just finished our magnets and motors unit. The final activity had students take apart mini motors, think about how they work, and put them back together correctly so they worked again! Students are are reviewing and studying the concepts to prepare for the assessment.  

Social Studies:  We will begin our Exploration Unit at the end of the week! Students will be learning about early exploration. They will participate in several activities that help them answer the following questions:
What were the key events that led to the Age of Exploration?
What were the effects of interactions between Native Americans and Europeans? 
What lasting consequences did the Age of Exploration have on the world? 
What technological developments/improvements made the age of exploration possible?

Language Arts:  We are continuing to work on our persuasive essays.  We have drafted 4 out of the 5 or 6 paragraphs.  We learned how to use Google Forms to create a survey to get data from classmates about our essay topic.  We’ll incorporate these statistics into our essays to help make our claim stronger.  Students can take these surveys at home, and time will be provided in class.  We will also learn about a counterclaim.  Next week we will be starting our explorer unit in the library.  European explorers changed the world is our focus statement.  Students will come up with questions about this statement and do a photo gallery walk to study pictures about the age of exploration.  

Reading:  Theme continues to be our focus.  We’ve read Surfer Chick, Those Shoes,  and Mr. Peabody’s Apples so far and discussed themes such as: hard work pays off, spreading rumors can be very hurtful, it’s good to help others before helping yourself.  We also watched the original “The Lorax” movie and came up with several themes.  Movies, as well as, books have themes!  I looked at all the Reader’s Notebooks to check in on reading goals.  Most everyone appears to be right on track.  Yay!

Conversation starters ...
Estimating fractions on a number line
Equivalent fractions 
Fizz and Martina
Counterpoint
Surveys
National Reading Day/book spines (see photo gallery)
Goal reflection
Hand washing!
Scat  What do you think of Nick’s idea of being a lefty?
Word of the week: bizarre
Pencils- Do they have enough at school to be prepared for class?

A look ahead …..

Field trips to Bay Square Assisted Living Center:  February 2 Conley, Jag  February 9 Greely/Shaw  February 16 Smith/Rollins
February break:  Week of Feb. 19.  Get out and enjoy the snow!

Monday, January 8, 2018

Happy New Year!


Tonight is a “Purple Folder Night”!

Some evening this week...
  • Students should share the work with you.
  • Please sign yellow feedback form on back of folder.  Comment if you would like.
  • Students should place work in the correct section of their portfolio for safe-keeping.  
  • As always, the portfolio stays at home in a safe place until spring!
  • Students should return the purple folder to school by Friday, January 12.
Curriculum Update …

Math:  We have finished Unit 2 Multiplication and Division and are moving on to Unit 3 Fraction Concepts, Addition, and Subtraction. During this unit we will use lots of hands-on materials to help students deepen their understanding of fractions.

Science:  The field trip to GMRI was awesome! Students showed that they can  think and act like scientists at a place where scientists actually work. Check out the “photo gallery” to see some of the kids in action! 

We are starting to learn about the connection between magnetism and electricity. Investigations include creating simple circuits to make a lightbulb light up, adding switches to the circuits, and seeing evidence that magnetism can be created by electricity.

Language Arts: We are beginning our persuasive essay unit.  We’ve looked at some examples and talked about how this writing is different than narratives (no beginning, middle, end, not written as a story, need to have compelling arguments to persuade).  Over the course of the month we will generate topics, decide on a thesis statement, come up with evidence to support thesis, create mini-stories and surveys, and finish with a five paragraph essay. 


Reading:  Theme is the focus in reading.  This is “The MEssage” we get from our books.  We will read several picture books and discuss possible themes.  The students will then practice using their own books.

Conversation starters ...
  • Common uses of fractions 
  • Numerator and denominator
  • Electrical circuit and flow of electrons
  • Atoms- protons, neutrons, electrons
  • Theme
  • Persuasive essay
  • Thesis/claim
  • Wordly Wise - thwart, crevice, foolhardy
  • Gift of Self
  • Quality Producer
  • Scat  Why do you think happened to Mrs. Starch on the field trip?
  • Pencils- Do they have enough at school to be prepared for class?

A look ahead …..
Monday, January 8  School assembly welcoming our Japanese visitors
Wednesday, January 10  We will have the opportunity to meet our Japanese visitors and learn about their culture.
Week of January 8th  Fifth graders will be participating in classroom spelling bees.  There will be a fifth grade spelling bee of the 12 finalist later in that week.


Thursday, December 14, 2017

The focus in math is perfecting the U.S. traditional algorithm for multiplication, reviewing and practicing the partial quotients division algorithm, problem solving and explaining our thinking (not their favorite thing to do on paper, yet)! 
In science we are answering questions about magnets through our investigations. How do compasses work? How can magnets create motion?  What is induced magnetism? Lots of hands on learning and science thinking happening!
In Language Arts the next couple of weeks students will use the picture they brought to school to create a “Figuratively Speaking” poster.  They will write examples of figurative language (similes, metaphors, personification, hyperbole, alliteration and onomatopoeia) about their picture.  After the break we will begin our next piece of writing, the persuasive essay.  Our reading focus will be theme and non-fiction reading about explorers.
A look ahead …..
Monday, December 18 we will be going to the Gulf of Maine Research Institute.  If you didn’t sign up for a bag lunch from school, please bring your own lunch from home.
Tuesday, December 19 we have some guest speakers from Kenya coming to fifth grade.  We are very excited to meet them!
Friday, December 22 we will meet with our eighth grade buddies.  We will be reading The Giving Tree and thinking about gifts of self we can offer.
Conversation starters for this week …
  • U.S. traditional algorithm for multiplication
  • Partial-quotients division (just starting)
  • Code
  • Simile/Metaphor/Personification
  • Mistakes
  • Character Traits
  • Magnets - attract, repel, making a compass
  • Typing Club
  • Lodestones
  • Wordly Wise - despair, gale, nostalgia
  • Gulf of Maine Research Institute Field Trip
  • Quality Producer
  • Animal House and Iz

Weekly Homework:
  • Reading 20 minutes minimum nightly
  • Vocabulary page
  • Math 20 minutes minimum nightly – (Choice this week)
    • 5 minutes of multiplication facts practice (if needed to meet the standard)
    • 20 minutes or more on the puzzle packet and challenges!