Thursday, April 12, 2018

End of the Year Reminders

As we head into our last few weeks of school, I wanted to provide you with a few special dates and reminders.

  • Our final Scholastic order is due May 2nd.  Our class code is MBNGY.  If you would like to purchase some books for your child to read over the summer, please place the order online by May 2nd.  
  • Cimarron trip is April 25th (See below for details)
  • Field Day is scheduled for May 23rd, which is different than the original date I provided of May 11th.  
  • Our 5th Grade picnic will take place at Tillman Park (across from Legend High School) on May 25th from approximately 10:00-1:30.  Parents are encouraged to pack a bag lunch and join us for a day of fun.  Students will be provided with a picnic lunch.
  • Our 5th grade slideshow will follow the picnic.  At 1:30, as students are loading the buses, parents are welcome to head back to the GRE gym to view our end-of-year slideshow.  More information about the last day of school will be sent home in May.  

Classroom Update

Reading-  During reader's workshop, students are learning how to synthesize information.  To do this, they are identify what they already know, combining their knowledge with something new from the text and creating a new thought or idea.  As we wrap up the school year, we will revisit all of the reading strategies we have learned this year and apply them to our final round of book clubs.  During individual conferences, students will continue to work on and discuss their personal goals.

Writing- Our final unit of writing will focus on informational writing.  Students are currently researching different topics related to Colonial America.  They will apply the mini lessons from our writer's workshop to create an informational paper on the topic of their choice.  We will then integrate the American Revolution into our second paper.  Students will continue to use our Lucy Calkin's checklist to create personal goals to improve their writing and to obtain the goals we set during spring conferences.  All published pieces will be available through Google Classroom.

Social Studies- We are integrating social studies into both reading and writing.  Students are learning how to synthesize information as they learn about early colonies and research their topic for their informational writing piece.

Math- We are spending a few days reviewing multiplication and division strategies to ensure that all students feel confident with these concepts before transitioning into middle school.  Then we will move into interpreting data and creating charts.

Field Trip-  Students will be taking a quick field trip over to Cimarron Middle School April 25th.  The trip will allow students to tour the school and ask questions they have concerning 6th grade.  There is no cost, but a completed permission slip is required for all students.  Slips will be sent home today, April 12th, and need to be returned as soon as possible.

Friday, March 2, 2018

March Update

Scholastic Order
Our Next Scholastic order is due March 16th.  Our class code is MBNGY.  Please use this to place orders online. 

5th Grade Slideshow
On the last day of school, students and parents will have the opportunity to view a slideshow that shows event that took place this year.  As a special way to recognize how much our students have grown over the years, I am requesting that each parent send me a baby photo of your student.  The photo can be as young as you would like, but the student should be the only person in the picture.  Please make sure that the student is clothed and the picture is appropriate for a large audience.  Often times parents like to send in funny pictures, while other parents share more formal photos.  The choice is completely yours!  Please email the photo to me, as a new email with your child's name in the subject.  The photo needs to be sent as a jpg. If you have any questions, please let me know.  Pictures should be sent by March 16th.  Thank you for taking the time to make the last day of elementary school special for our kids!

Important Dates:
Spring Conferences: March 8th and 15th (Please sign up on the GRE website)
Testing: March 28th, 29th, 30th, April 2nd, 3rd, 4th 9th, 10, and 11th
Cimarron Visit: April 25th 1pm-2pm (Students only- more information will be sent in April)
Puberty Talk: May 10th (Tentative- more information will be sent in April, including links to the videos that will be shown)
Field Day: May 11th
Outdoor Ed Trip: May 21st (More information will be sent home in May)
5th Grade Picnic and Slideshow: May 25th (More information will be sent home in May)

Curriculum Update: 

Reading:  During reader's workshop, students are working on the reading strategy of determining importance.  Students are identifying which parts of the text they need to remember after they read.  They will discuss the difference between information that is important and information that is interesting.  They will also justify their thinking  by explaining how the meaning of the text would change if they the important information was removed. We will use this strategy in Social Studies and Writing as we learn more about Colonial America.  Students should be reading for at least 35 minutes each night. 

Writing: Students have been learning how to respond to literature.  We focused on creating meaningful responses that restate the question, answer the question, explain our thinking using evidence from the text, and create an ending that provides closure. As we move into April, we will begin out Informational Writing Unit.  During this time, students will further explore Colonial America and the American Revolution by researching a topic of their choice and creating a paper that shares the information they have learned.

Math: We have spent the past few weeks working with decimals.  Students have compared, ordered, added, and subtracted decimals.  They did a fantastic job on this unit. I encourage you to help them find decimals in the real world, other than money.  At this point, they should be able to have meaningful conversations about the value of any decimals you find.  This week we started multiplying fractions. Over the next few weeks, we will multiply and divide fractions.  Although our goal is to reach the most efficient strategies to solve these problems, we will start by helping them conceptually understand what they are doing.  As we go into the spring, I strongly recommend that your child practice their basic multiplication facts. 

Social Studies and Science: During our Google augmented reality  experience, students reviewed content that we covered in the fall.  We reviewed how body systems were interdependent and how severe weather impacts Earth. Before spring break, we will discuss mixtures and solutions.  Students will do experiments that help them understand how to separate a variety of mixtures and how solutions differ from mixtures.

To prepare for our Colonial America unit, we have been reading Blood on the River, a chapter book about Jamestown.  We've throughly discussed the struggles that early colonists faced as they tried to create a permeant colony in the New World.

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Valentine's Party

Our class party will be February 14th at 2:20pm. Please click here  if you would like to donate an item to our party.   Students have been given a list of their classmates' names to use if they would  like to make cards.  If your child makes cards, please make sure they include all of the students in our class. 

Monday, January 22, 2018

January Update

Our students have done a great job starting 2018 off on the right foot.  Below you will find a summary of what we have been doing in class and where we are headed as we approach February. 

Writing- Students kicked off the new year learning about memoirs.  They have spent time going through their journals and identifying patterns in their writing.   We are focusing on writing about topics that are important in our lives. As we move into to February, we will transition into responding to literature. 

Reading- During reader's workshop, students have been making inferences and supporting their thinking using text clues and their background knowledge.  Students are encouraged to use this reading strategy when they read at home and as they write their reading responses.  

Math- We recently completed our unit on adding and subtracting fractions.  Our class did a great working with like and unlike fractions, as well as mixed numbers.  Our next unit will focus on decimals, but we will continue to work with fractions for the remainder of the year.  As always, it is imperative that all students know their basic multiplication facts.

Social Studies- Students researched and discussed different explorers and the reasons for their explorations.  As we read Blood on the River, we will discuss the first permanent colony, Jamestown. We will continue learning about Colonial America throughout the spring and will integrate what we learn into our future writing lessons. 

  • Our next Scholastic order is due this Wednesday, January 24th.  
  • Cimarron Elective Forms are due back February 2nd.

Monday, November 27, 2017

Winter Party and Book Exchange

Book Exchange
The last day before winter break, we will have a holiday book exchange in our classroom.  This activity is completely voluntary.   Students that would like to participate should bring in a new or gently used 5th grade appropriate chapter book.  The book should be wrapped as a present so that other students can not see the title.  Every student that brings  a book for the exchange, will receive a book.  If you are interested in donating a second book for a student that may not be able to bring one in, please let me know via email.  Books may be brought to school as soon as you have them ready.  All books MUST be in the classroom when school starts on December 21st.  

Winter Party
Our winter party will be held on December 21st from 2:15pm-3:15pm.  Please click here to sign up for treats and assistance.  The party is in the afternoon, so if you sign-up for something that needs to remain cold, please bring it around 2:10, as I do not have the ability to keep it cold in the classroom.  On the day of the party, students may bring in board games they would like to play with their classmates, as we watch a movie and enjoy a little down time with their classmates before heading off on winter break.  

Curriculum Update:

Reading- As we move into December, students will be focusing on finishing their first round of book clubs.  During this time, students are applying the reading strategies we have discussed in class to their own reading.  Each time the book clubs meet, students are given a specific focus such as identifying the questions they have or using evidence from the text to support their predictions.  Additionally, students are working to improve their communication and collaboration with the peers in their group.  You can support your student's reading growth by making sure they are reading at home for at least 20 minutes each night.  I have encouraged students to read aloud to improve their fluency.  

Writing- Our students did such an amazing job with the chocolate milk debate! I hope they have shared their findings with you.   As we begin new opinion papers about topics we are passionate about, I will conference with each student to provide feedback from their work and provide next steps that should improve their second paper.   I encourage you to ask your student about the topic they have chosen and see if they are able to defend their claim.  Please know that all research should be done in class, but hearing the opinion of another person can help your child to think through their writing and identify areas that need additional support. 

Science- This week we are headed to the Denver Museum to  dissect a lamb lung.  This field trip will further help students understand the respiratory system.  Throughout the month of December, we will continue to explore different body systems and determine how they are interdependent. 

Math- We have officially started our fraction unit.  Students are starting to understand how to compare fractions to 1/2 by creating conjectures about fractions.  We are also learning how to justify whether or not fractions are equivalent by using pictures and numbers, as well as ordering fractions. As we progress through this unit, it is imperative that students know their basic multiplication facts.  I strongly recommend that ALL students continue to practice their basic multiplication facts at least three times a week. 

Friday, November 3, 2017

Field Trip

Our first field trip will be to the Denver Museum On November 29th.  During this trip, students will get the opportunity to dissect a lamb lung to support what we have been learning  in class about the respiratory system.  Please use the information below to register for the trip. The deadline to register is November 27th!  Students will need to bring a disposable bag lunch and drink the day of the trip. 

Our field trip to the Denver Museum of Nature and Science is on Wednesday, November 29, 2017. The cost is $12.75.

In order for your child to participate in this field trip/program you must register (includes online permission form)  & pre-pay on-line by going to: RevTrak > Elementary Schools > Elementary Schools E thru L > Gold Rush > Field Trips. The RevTrak link can be found on GRE’s website under Parent Info or click hereRegistrations MUST be completed by 2 days prior to your field trip. 
  •  Online registration is for your student only- please do not register yourself or younger siblings.
  • Free/Reduced students will have the option of selecting "no payment" but must still register. 
  • No refunds

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

November Update

Scholastic Order:
Our next Scholastic order is due November 9th.  This will likely be the last order before the holidays.  You can place an order by clicking here and using the class code: MBNGY.  If you would like to place an order as a gift for the holidays, please email me so that I know to contact you when it arrives instead of giving it to your child. Our class was very excited to get new books for our class last month.  Thank you to everyone that placed an order and helped us get new books. 

During math workshop, students have been exploring the concept of volume.  They worked to create boxes, using linking cubes, to help them determine how many cubes were in a rectangular prism.  Since then, they have been able to use the formula V= l x w x h to find the volume of rectangular prisms.  It is extremely important that students are practicing their basic multiplication facts. 
We started working on opinion writing when we returned from fall break.  Currently, students are researching the pros and cons of having chocolate milk served in our school cafeteria.  Once we  walk through the process of creating a solid argument, students will have the opportunity to select their own topic.  We are also conferencing about our published narratives.  Students will have an opportunity discuss their strengths and areas of growth one-on-one as we review their work together. 

Students spent a few days evaluating how authors use sensory images to create visuals for their readers.  We practice visualizing and determined how it helped us better understand the text.  We are now working on questioning.  Students are learning the difference between thick and thin questions.  They are also finding ways to push their thinking by asking questions that require more thought.  I encourage you to ask your student what questions they have about the text they are reading.  This can start a conversation about the story they are reading and encourage them to think critically about their book. Please make sure that your child is reading for at least 20 minutes a day!

During our co-teach technology lessons, students used what they learned about questioning to create an info-graphic.  You are able to view your student's info-graphic in Google Classroom.

We kicked off our body system unit by determining what living things need to survive.  Over the next few weeks, students will focus on  different body systems and determine how they are interdependent.  Our field trip to the Denver Museum to dissect a  lamb lung is scheduled for November 29th.  More information will be sent home in November.