Thursday, October 10, 2019

Happy End of the School Week!

It was a short week with lots of great work. We continued our study in narrative writing in Writer's Workshop. Our focus this week was on finding great topics for our writing. Later in the week, we started to look at great descriptive writing from different authors in our novel reads to prepare for rough drafting next week.

In Reader's Workshop, we had a chance to play a few "Kahoot" games based on our novel read, A Night Divided. Kahoot is a computer-based game designed by the teacher. Players answer on their own devices, while questions are displayed on a shared screen. This form of comprehension allows the teacher to see how students are understanding a story while still having fun in a game setting. There is a lot of laughter, discussion, a little dancing, and a lot of competitive excitement. Next week, the students will participate in school-wide discussions about key concepts in our read aloud.

On Wednesday, we set out with our 8th-Grade buddies on a wonderful Fall morning walk to the Yarmouth food pantry to sort and stock the shelves. This is always a great project for the kids to have fun and serve their community. The student donations will help to feed over 85 families in our area. Our motto for the week in 5th-grade..."We rise when we lift each other."

Have a wonderful weekend!

Friday, October 4, 2019

Team Building!
Happy Friday!
Our week started with lessons in the library. Ms. Stuhr taught us how to use the new Alexandria library system and how to look up books and put books on hold on technology. After our lessons, we played a scavenger hunt, racing to find books throughout the library.

This week in Writer's workshop, we practiced paragraph writing freehand, no step by step outlines. This was an effective way for writers to show what they have learned in the last few weeks. We also did a rough writing of a personal narrative so that we could look at what we remember about the structure of a narrative. In the coming days, we will look at choosing a topic for a narrative, the structure of narrative writing, descriptive writing using figurative language as well as using a thesaurus to advance our writing.

We ended our writing week with a story by Patricia Polacco, An A from Miss Keller :
this book celebrates a teacher who inspired a young Patricia Polacco to become the writer and storyteller she is today.

Trisha is nervous about being chosen for Miss Keller’s writing class. “Killer Keller” demands that her students dazzle her with their writing, and rumor has it that she has never given an A. The rumors turn out to be all too true—there’s just no pleasing Miss Keller. Then an unexpected loss leaves Trisha heartbroken. Thoughts of teachers and grades forgotten, she pours out her soul in a personal narrative. And when Miss Keller reads it, she tells Trisha, “You’ve given your words wings.

Our Reader's Workshop continued with the reading of our "One Book One School," A Night Divided. Our main Character Gerta has received clues from her father in West Berlin about a possible way for her and her brother to escape Eastern Berlin...will she do it?
We started reading for deeper meaning and began writing about the plot of our independent reading books while reading for the climax of the story.

Vocabulary Mystery Word of the Week: Novelty

Have a wonderful weekend!

Thursday, September 26, 2019

Hard at work!
Happy Friday!

As you know, I have been out this week settling my boys into their first year of college. I will be back on Monday.

Our class began their week with Ms. Stuhr sharing a wonderful
book called Stranger by Chris Van Allburg :
The enigmatic origins of the stranger that Farmer Bailey hits with his truck and brings home to recuperate seem to have a mysterious relation to the weather. Could he be Jack Frost?

This is a fun book to welcome in the Fall.

This week in Writer's Workshop, students continued their work with paragraph structure of basic paragraphs. They wrote topic sentences, details and supporting detail sentences, and closed with a closing sentence. Theor focus was to stay on one main idea. 

In Reader's Workshop students focused on our read-aloud, A Night Divided by Jennifer Neilsen. Discussions began in looking at the setting of a story and how it can affect a story, sometimes becoming a character itself. We learned a new word this week: glower.
REMINDER: Picture day is next Wednesday, Oct. 2

Friday, September 20, 2019

Happy Friday!
We had a wonderful week of learning and laughing. 
On Monday we worked in teams to collaborate on the four characteristics of highly successful people. We call these our life Role Outcomes. We will be working on these all year together.
*Self -Directed Learner
*Responsible and Involved Citizen
*Quality Producer
*Collaborative Worker

In Writer' Workshop, we spent our week reviewing the basic structure of a paragraph. Students worked each day to show their knowledge of brainstorming an idea, writing detailed sentences to support their idea, creating a topic sentence to grab and tell the reader what their paragraph is about and wrapping up their paragraph with a closing sentence. We will practice this concept for another week before we begin our first big writing of a narrative essay. 

In Reader's Workshop, our focus was on building background knowledge about the Berlin Wall in order to visualize our read aloud. We shared a few photos, read articles, and watched a computer-generated video of what the wall looked like and how it was built. Having this knowledge will help us understand our main character, Gerta and what she is looking at in the story.
We also spent time this week discussing and working on the meaning of "Stamina" in our independent reading while noticing what good readers do when they read. Next week we will begin to look at the importance of the setting in a story.

Our vocabulary word work this week were:

By the end of the week, we came together as a team to talk about our 5th/8th Grade Buddy Food Drive project. Please let me know if you did not get the email detailing this project.
Have a wonderful weekend!

Friday, September 13, 2019

Collaborative workers
Happy Friday!

This has been a busy week of settling into 5th-grade expectations and more "getting to know you" activities. We spent a part of our week in the library learning about the organization and genres of the library. Students are tasting many different books to look for that "just-right" book to dive into. 

On Tuesday, we had our computer roll-out lessons with Mr. Arsanault. We set our passwords in Google drive, set up our bookmarks for handy writing tools such as, and tried our hand at a few typing games. 
Word Work

By Wednesday, we finished our read aloud Be A Perfect Person In Just Three Days. Milo the main character learned that without mistakes to help us learn and the ability to laugh at ourself, perfection is boring and uninteresting. This led us into a great discussion of how every day is a new day with new mistakes and new learning. We also started our Figurative Language study with similes. We even watched and danced to a mix of pop culture songs while listening to the similes that were used by songwriters.
Laughter and Learning

By Friday we began our "One Book One School." Every adult and student in our school will be reading the novel A Night Divided together. We will have opportunities to discuss the book throughout the next month and when we end our book, the author, Jennifer Nielsen, will be visiting our school to meet and talk with the students. We are very excited! We spent some time looking at old photos of the Berlin wall and talking about why the wall was built in order to build background knowledge for the students. I've included the book description below.

From NYT bestselling author Jennifer A. Nielsen comes a stunning thriller about a girl who must escape to freedom after the Berlin Wall divides her family between east and west.

With the rise of the Berlin Wall, twelve-year-old Gerta finds her family suddenly divided. She, her mother, and her brother Fritz live on the eastern side, controlled by the Soviets. Her father and middle brother, who had gone west in search of work, cannot return home. Gerta knows it is dangerous to watch the wall, to think forbidden thoughts of freedom, yet she can't help herself. She sees the East German soldiers with their guns trained on their own citizens; she, her family, her neighbors and friends are prisoners in their own city.

But one day, while on her way to school, Gerta spots her father on a viewing platform on the western side, pantomiming a peculiar dance. Then, when she receives a mysterious drawing, Gerta puts two and two together and concludes that her father wants Gerta and Fritz to tunnel beneath the wall, out of East Berlin. However, if they are caught, the consequences will be deadly. No one can be trusted. Will Gerta and her family find their way to freedom?

Have a wonderful weekend!

Friday, September 6, 2019

Happy Friday!

What a great first week of school! Mr. Smith and I are so impressed with the student's great listening skills. The kids came excited to learn and ready to go. You may have noticed your child a little more tired as they get used to getting up earlier and moving from class to class throughout the learning day. It usually takes a few weeks for them to adjust and be on their way.

Students had an opportunity in our first week to work cooperatively with their peers on challenges, share information about their passions, meet their 8th-grade buddies, check-out library books and had a Friday popsicle celebration to enjoy. Below are a few photos of our kiddos in action this week.
* 5th-grade parent Open House is Tuesday, Sept. 10, 5:30-7:15pm.

8th Grade Buddies
Ending our week

New friendships
Team Challenges
"Snowball" get to know you
Stories about Grit


Wednesday, August 28, 2019