Friday, October 20, 2017

Great Readers!
Happy Friday!

We had a busy week planning and beginning personal narrative drafts. Students looked through their journal writing to find a personal story to expand into a narrative essay. We started with a memory reflection and jotted down notes on a graphic organizer. This organizer was filled in with any all details that the student could give including using their senses to help with more detail descriptions. 

In Reader's Workshop, we continued to focus on character traits and the details and people in a character's life that influence the character's actions. We continued our read aloud Wolf Hollow and began to question our main character about her decisions. Students also had a chance to write questions to the main character in their independent reading books. 

Growth Mindset Ideas
We ended our week with class discussions about Growth Mindset and how this thinking can help our daily life. We watched a short video about the failures of famous individuals and how many times they tried before they met their success. We also chose an "Affirmation" for next week: "I don't mind making mistakes as long as I UNDERSTAND what I did wrong!" We wrote about things we have learned by making mistakes and how this thinking can help us succeed. Video we watched:

Friday, October 13, 2017

Sharing Pen Pal Letters
Happy Friday!
Another short week with lots of action!

In Writer's Workshop, we drafted and finalized our pen pal letters to our sister school in Uganda, We continued our work on paragraph structure, and we wrote a fun Halloween monster description to share with our 8th-grade buddies. This writing was practice in step by step direction writing. We created our own monsters and then wrote the directions on how to draw and color them. Our buddies then took those directions and away they went to recreate our monsters. Fun always ensues when the buddies get together.

Our Reader's Workshop focused around our read aloud, Wolf Hollow. We continued our study of character traits, looking at how a character can have many levels of traits, good and bad depending on the things that are influencing them. Our One Book One School program had an exciting get together this week. The entire school mixed up into small discussion groups with different teachers and from 8:00-8:25, we discussed and had a great time with new friends while talking about the book so far and the shocking events happening in the story. Ask your child to share the details of our exciting read.

An email will be going home this week regarding parent/student conferences with Smith and Rollins. Please read and sign-up as soon as possible as time slots fill up quickly.

* School Photos Mon. Oct. 23
* 5th-Grade intramurals are canceled next Wed. Oct. 25
Have a wonderful weekend!

Thursday, October 5, 2017

A Great Book!
Happy Thursday!

Our short week went by quickly. Our Reader's Workshop focus remained on character traits that help define a character's personality. Paying close attention to Betty and Annabelle's actions and words in our read aloud, have helped us engage in wonderful and lively class discussions with deep thoughts being expressed. Students also had a chance to put their knowledge to work when writing about the characters in their independent reading books. 

We finished our first Wordly Wise Vocabulary lessons and the students tried their first assessment. We worked through each part of the assessment together so the students could learn the way the assessments are set up and they can be familiar with them for the remainder of the school year. They did a fabulous job for their first time!

In Writer's Workshop, we continued our writing practice with paragraph structure and we began to look at our first figurative language example, "Onomatopeia." 

Mr. Roscoe and teachers
Mr. Roscoe came to talk with us about Harrison Middle School's sister school in Uganda. He shared pictures and movies of Uganda and the children that attend St. Bahkita Primary School in Beweyale, Uganda. We learned how this is a refugee settlement with people who left Sudan for safety reasons. The students were very excited to learn about how we are going to write letters and become pen pals with these children.  If you would like more information on this school, I have included the link:
Students at St. Bahkita

Friday, September 29, 2017

Kahoot fun
Happy Friday!

Most of our week was centered around our read Aloud, Wolf Hollow. Our main character Annabelle is really struggling with a new town bully. As we read about Annabelle's decisions, we have focused on the setting and character traits of the many characters in the story. We've discussed how important a setting can be, even becoming a character itself. Students also had an opportunity to write their first letter in their Reader's Notebooks about the setting in their independent reading books. We also played a computer game called Kahoot where the kids competed with comprehensive knowledge about Wolf Hollow.

Students were also introduced to their Wordly Wise Vocabulary books this week. We worked slowly through lesson one together so they could get a feel of how the lessons will progress through the year. We will continue to work on this book next week and look at how the book connects to Quizlet, a computer game that helps them study the words in each lesson.

Next week, in Writer's Workshop, we will continue our work with paragraph structure. The week of October 10th, we will begin to choose topics for their first essay writing, Personal Narratives. A lot of the narrative work will be focused on Figurative language use such as metaphors, personification, and similes in order to help their writing become for descriptive.
* Tues. 10/3-5th intramurals 2:45-4:20
* Tues. 10/3-5th math team  2:45-4:15
* Thurs. 10/5 Flu shot clinic

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Happy Friday!
Our Growth Mindset focus this week was on the power of the word "Yet." We watched this short clip:
Everybody Can Learn 
We then talked about the power of using the word "yet" when struggling with a concept.

In Writer's Workshop, writers worked on proper paragraph structure throughout the week. With short mini-lessons, writers focused on brainstorming ideas, writing detailed/supporting sentences, complex topic sentences and concluding sentences while using transition words. We will continue to practice good paragraphing for another week before starting to brainstorm for our Narrative essays.

We started our "One Book One School" book this week. From now until November, our whole school will be reading Wolf Hollow by Lauren Wolk. Students will meet in small mixed grade level groups halfway through the book and at the end of the book, to discuss literary elements about the story. Many students have expressed excitement about reading a book with all students and teachers in the school. The author Lauren Wolk will be visiting in November to share with the students how she came to write Wolf Hollow as well as the struggles and rewards of writing children's stories. The story has grabbed the students and they can't wait to read each day:

Growing up in the shadows cast by two world wars, Annabelle has lived a mostly quiet, steady life in her small Pennsylvania town. Until the day new student Betty Glengarry walks into her class. Betty quickly reveals herself to be cruel and manipulative, and while her bullying seems isolated at first, things quickly escalate, and reclusive World War I veteran Toby becomes a target of her attacks. While others have always seen Toby’s strangeness, Annabelle knows only kindness. She will soon need to find the courage to stand as a lone voice of justice as tensions mount.

Brilliantly crafted, Wolf Hollow is a haunting tale of America at a crossroads and a time when one girl’s resilience, strength, and compassion help to illuminate the darkest corners of our history.
A great book!

By the end of the week, we visited the library to listen to Ms. Stuhr book talk many wonderful books from all the different genres in our library. Students began making "someday" lists in their reader's notebooks. We played a genre review game and discussed making reading goals for the year.

Thank you for sending your children to school ready to learn.

Happy Weekend!
* 5th-grade intramurals Tues. 9/27  2:50-4:20 
* Wed 9/28 intramurals canceled.
* 5th-grade Fall MAP testing Thurs. & Fri. 9/28-9/29

Friday, September 15, 2017

Stamina Reading!
Happy Friday!

What a great week! We spent most of our Reader's Workshop time discussing Reader's Workshop guidelines before having our first mini-lesson. This lesson focused on the word, "stamina." We discussed the definition of the word and then practiced our reading stamina. Students timed their reading to see where they may have been distracted or found themselves not focused before having to refocus back to their book. We also talked about what a good reader does when they find themselves daydreaming and needing to refocus. We passed out our new reader's notebooks and began to think and talk about reading goals and all the different genres.

Typing practice
On Monday, we had our computer roll out with Mr. Arsenault and each student was assigned their computer. We set up our computers for the year and personalized them with our own passwords. Now that we have our computers, students had their first keyboarding practice with the keyboard covers. Some students found these to be frustrating. We continued to talk about the advantages to practicing and working even harder when something is not easy.

Our classes had an opportunity to start a new quick read aloud titled, Be A Perfect Person In Just Three Days. This is a humorous but wonderful story with a great message about perfection being boring as well as robbing each person of their uniqueness. Be sure and ask your child how this fun story ends

Being cool
Next week we will begin Writer's Workshop. Our focus will be on paragraphing and what a proper paragraph needs to have to be complete. We will practice and review these elements for a few weeks before diving into our Narrative essays.

* Tues. and Wed. 5th-grade intramurals 

Friday, September 8, 2017

Happy Friday!

We've had a wonderful start to 5th-grade. The students were eager and excited to learn about their new school and to meet all of their teachers. We heard a lot of positive comments about their UA classes, lunch room choices, teachers, and middle school freedom. 

We had an opportunity to visit the library and check-out books, begin creative writing in their writing journals, express their goals and needs for the things that will help them be successful learners in 5th-grade, and worked in groups to learn about the building blocks and traits of successful people. 8th-grade Buddies came to meet us and we got to play a school wide scavenger hunt.

We ended our week with a read aloud of the picture book The Best Part Of Me. Students had an opportunity to write about the best parts of themselves and share about who they are in their class groups. Friday afternoon came to a close with a 5th-grade popsicle celebration of our first week together.
Having fun together

Thank you for sending your children to school prepared and ready to learn. They worked hard this week to learn their new surroundings, made some new friends, and made me and each other laugh. I look forward to working with your amazing children.

Have a wonderful weekend!
* 5th-Grade Open House, Tuesday, Sept. 12th.          6:30-7:15pm
* 5th -Grade Intramurals every 
  Tues. & Wed. 2:50-4:20pm