Monday, September 11, 2017

Fall Conferences

Fall conferences are scheduled for September 27th and October 5th.  In addition to the times that will be available on the online scheduler, I also offer a variety of different days and times in an attempt to accommodate everyone's schedule.  You will be able to sign up online for the two conference days on September 17th.  However, if you would like to get to consider a different day, you may CLICK HERE  to sign up. When signing up on the link provided, please use your child's name.  If you are unable to find a time that works for you, please let me know and I will be happy to send home the conference form and/or schedule a phone conference.  

We are starting Wordly Wise this week.  I have updated the spelling and vocabulary schedule and we should be good to go now.  Typically, students will be introduced to the vocabulary words in class and expected to complete the activities for homework.  They may also do this during our support time during dismissal. However, this week, students will complete the activities in class so that I am able to answer any questions they may have. Please know that my goal isn't to test students in vocabulary, but to help them gain a strong enough understanding of the words where they feel comfortable using the word verbally and in their writing.  We will take the time to share examples of the words as we find them through the literature we read, while discussing how we can use the words in our everyday language. 

Our first Scholastic order has arrived and I am so excited to share the books that we were able to get for our classroom!  The kids are really excited that I was able to use our class points to get many of the books they request.  Thank you to everyone that placed an order and helped build our classroom library.  Our next order will be due October 6th.  You can order online by clicking here and using our class code: MBNGY

Sunday, September 3, 2017


Happy September!  It is hard to believe that we are already on the 15th day of school!  Our students are doing a fantastic job transitioning into 5th Grade!  Below you will find a quick review of what we have been doing in class, as well as where we are headed in each subject.

This week we completed our 10 Question Essays.  They will be posted in the hallway during fall conferences.  Next week we will begin our narrative unit. 

During our reader's workshop, students have been developing fix-up strategies they can use while independently reading a text. They are learning that reading requires us to think about the text so that we are able to gain information.  Students have also explored using thinking stems to help them think deeply about what they are reading.  Students are meeting one-on-one with me to discuss their personal reading goals that we are creating using the reading assessments that were completed on assessment days. We will share those goals with you as well a the progress your child has made during fall conferences.  We have also practiced writing and submitting reading responses through Google Classroom.  Hopefully, this will eliminate any issues or concerns once we make this a routine assignment.  We will start with a "Boy Week" on September 11th.  Please see the calendar on the right side of the blog. 


Below you will find a few of the math charts that we've been using together in class.  For the past few days, students have been exploring Order of Operations and a variety of multiplication strategies.  As we discussed at Back to School Night, my goal is for students to have a solid foundation of the concept or multiplication and division.  Once they have explored a variety of strategies, we will move our work from effective to efficient.  Not all strategies work for every kid.  Please encourage your student to try new strategies in order to build critical thinking and number sense.  However, if they become frustrated, please allow them to solve the problem with the strategy that makes the most sense to them.  Please use the charts to help support your student at home as needed.

Students are also exploring how they can use arrays to determine factors of numbers.  We have been discussing the differences between multiples and factors.  Students are learning to communicate as mathematicians and create logical arguments to share their thinking through accountable talk.

Each day, we discuss our daily number. We are counting toward the hundredth day of school.  We take our daily number and create a fraction that represents how close we are to the hundredth day.  Students then discuss the factors of the numerator and denominator to determine if the fraction can be simplified.  After we discuss the fraction, we find the equivalent decimal.  Although we do not start our fraction unit until late fall, this daily activity helps expose students to fractions and allows them to become more comfortable working with them. I encourage you to ask your student to talk you through the daily number at home.  

Our Investigations curriculum offers an online experience for learning.  Please see the information below to access this website at home.  While in class, students will use the website to take assessments from time to time and explore a digital version of the games we play together.  I highly recommend that students log in and play math games a few times a week.  Last week, we played Multiplication Compare.  All of the materials are online and this is a great way for your child to show you what we are doing in class. Additionally, they have access to all grade level games.  This can be used to help a student review challenging concepts they may be struggling to master.  Students will also have access to their Student Activity Book and will be able to print a page if their homework is left at school. 
This year students will focus on a variety of new math concepts in preparation for middle school.  In addition to the Math Investigations program we use in class, students will come home with a "Skills" journal every night.  Students will be asked to complete 4 problems a night.  On Monday, they will complete Day 1, Tuesday Day 2, etc.. It's important that students try these problems independently.  Please know that the problems will range in difficulty.  Some problems are quick reviews of things the students already know, while others are new concepts they are being exposed to.  I do not expect every child to be able to answer every problem every night.  I also do not expect them to spend more than 10 minutes or so completing the four problems.  We  will review the problems the next day in class.  As the year progresses, you will notice that your child is able to breeze through the problems at a quicker rate than they did in the beginning of the year.  Please expect this journal to come home EVERYDAY.  We will start day one in class together.   Thank you for making sure this journal is coming home on a daily basis.  If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to email.  

Social Studies-
We will begin our social studies with geography.  Students will work collaboratively to explore different regions and determine where the next NFL team should be placed. Students will need to consider populations, climate, land forms, and a variety of other factors that may impact the success of a team. 

Growth Mindset-        
Students have been exploring the concept of having a growth mindset.  Through a variety of pictures books and technology lessons, students are learning that making mistakes and taking risks are part of having a growth mindset.  This year I am encouraging each student to step out of their comfort zone by taking risks that will allow them to grow.  Taking risks can be as simply as trying a new math strategy or leading a class discussion.  

Our classroom climate is just as important as anything we learn throughout the year.  We have been working hard to make sure that everyone feels they belong here and understand that we are all here to support each other.  Every Friday, students participate in a friendship circle that allows them to share success from the week and discuss goals for the following week. They also participate in our Skittle Talk, which allows students to get to know each other more, while providing opportunities to reflect on the week.