Friday, December 20, 2013

Enjoying our friends.
Sharing our work with friends.


Holiday Treats with friends.                                                                                                           

Friday, December 13, 2013

Week 15 
Bloggers: Annie & Charlen        
Our Bloggers

On Monday, our class continued essays work focusing on including our thesis statement in our topic sentences, and writing supporting sentences. We also started Worldly Wise unit 5. On Tuesday, we were gone most of the morning until 11:30. We were at the high school rehearsing for our band and chorus performance. During Wednesday, we focused our reading time on looking at the words that authors use in writing. While we read our novels we looked for a word, or two that we felt was important to each chapter. We then shared our words and explained why it was an important word to the story and why we choose that certain word. 
Let it snow!
     On Thursday, in some of the classes, hour of code was going on at 9:20 after recess until 10:00. At recess, it was below freezing and we could see our breath! Wow, the winter came fast! We also couldn't feel our hands and feet. 
     Friday came and our two classes took the difficult Wordly Wise test and worked some more on our essays. After lunch time, Mr. Rosco came in and talked to us about St. Bahkitia Primary School in Uganda. We saw lots of pictures! He showed us what the daily life looked like at the refugee camps. We also talked about the fundraiser that we will do in late February before Mr. Roscoe makes a trip back to Uganda in March. These are the same friends that we received letters from a few weeks ago. During the end of our day, we continued our class read-a-loud book, Because of Mr. Terupt. For the last 20 minutes of the day we silent read our free choice book. Everyone is excited for the upcoming snowy weekend! Keep your fingers crossed for a big SNOW!
Let it snow, let it snow!


Friday, December 6, 2013

Our Bloggers
Week 14

     Week fourteen of school went by really fast! On Monday, after a long weekend, we looked at examples of Essays. Then we talked about ways to write a good quality thesis statement. After that, we did our spelling pretest. It was a hard list of words this week. Only two people passed! After our challenging list of words we got to relax our brains and we got to listen to Mrs. Rollins read Mr. Terupt until lunch.
The Pink Pigs..#1 sellers!
   On Tuesday, we walked down to the library and looked at a pile of books and read a book for 3 minutes then we moved on to another table to choose another book to do the same. We were "Tasting" books. This helped us pick out our free read books for this month. That took up most of our time in Language Arts.

Annie Racing the class pig...Go Annie!
     Few, Wednesday! Halfway through the week! But we are still very busy. We started of with something fun and easy. We made SP studio people that looked somewhat like ourselves for the front of our portfolios that we're taking home on Friday to look at with our family. Mr. Arsenault came in to do a lesson on making a survey on Google Docs to survey people for our essay writing.  Following this, we talked about our free read books, that we have been reading for only a day. It was really interesting to see what people are reading. Mrs. Rollins did a mini lesson on setting as well as a mini lesson on paragraph structure.
Go 5th Graders!
  Before we knew it, Thursday came. We worked on a five question comprehension check-in so that Mrs. Rollins could see what reading level we were at so far. Then we had a portfolio "party" and passed out all the papers that we  have worked on over the course of the year. In writer's workshop, we began our essay first paragraph.

     Eventually, the best day of the week came. Friday!!! This morning we did our "old pal" D.O.L. Then we did our tricky spelling test. After lunch we checked in on our reading on the rug with Mrs. Rollins and shared our paragraph writing. More importantly, we had the school Pig Race after our hard work of selling cookies and magazines our LA class won 1st place in sales in the whole school so, they were in the Pig Race. Mrs. Rollins' pink pig class won the first race but lost the second. It did not matter though, because Mrs. Rollins' class took the chicken trophy for having the most sales. Way to Go! Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Pie Fun!
Week 13

Thank you to all of the parents
who sent in pies for us to enjoy
during our "Thankful for Friends"celebration. 

     Have a wonderful    Thanksgiving Holiday.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Our Bloggers Aidan and Emerson
Week 12

Here we are on week 12 of school. A much needed break comes next week.
     Monday we started a new read-a-loud book. The title is Because of Mr. Terupt  it is a great book so far. It is about seven kids that get a new teacher and he is turning out to be the best one yet but something awful happens to change everyone.  Tuesday we continued our work on our book reviews to get them wrapped up before the holiday. On Wednesday, we found out that our class sold the most magazines in order to have chickens sent to Guatemala. This also means that we took first place in the school and we will be competing in the pig races. We are so excited!  
7th grade games
   On Thursday we got our grades on our Animal house and Iz characters and also we got the grades for our narrative writings back. Everyone felt real good about their hard work. We continued to work on our book reviews and vocabulary work to get things finished. Friday finally rolled around and we were so excited to get our letters from Uganda. They were so awesome! We learned a lot about our friends through their writing. We also learned that we can help our friends in Uganda in many ways(SEE BELOW). We ended our day by visiting the 7th graders. They created world geography games and invited us up to play them. Boy! They were hard! We had a lot of fun! That is all for week 12. Enjoy your weekend!  

* All Book Reviews are Due Nov. 26. (Please check with your child)
* Friend Celebration with pie Nov. 26
* Uganda Letters
Today your child received a letter from a student from St. Bakhita school in a Uganda refugee camp. School’s for Refugees based here in Yarmouth makes trips there at least twice a year to bring supplies, letters and help from Maine. This is a very poor community trying to educate their children. Please visit to read about this school, it’s needs, parent stories, and to see how you can donate to help this special school.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Week 11
Charlotte's Book Talk

Since our week was short, I am blogging for our class.
Our week flew by very quickly as most of our work was catch-up work. We finished-up our narratives and began brainstorming for our essay writing ideas. The Dolphins and the Geese finished up their Book Talk presentations and began their next book reviews which will be due November 26. The Dolphins should be working on their reflection packets as the Geese are reading Non-fiction books and taking notes to turn into information articles for a magazine page. Please check with your child to see that they are moving along with these assignments at home. We will also continue to work on these reviews at school.
Emerson's Book Talk
     On Nov. 26 we will have a "Thankful for Friends" celebration. We will celebrate the many friends we have in fifth grade with a complimenting activity and pie. Look for an email to follow next week with more details. We will be needing donations of homemade or store bought pumpkin pie or apple pie and apple juice for the students to enjoy during our celebration.
Have a wonderful Weekend!
Mrs. Rollins

* A new book order was sent home today. I am asking for orders to be returned or placed on-line by next Friday, Nov. 22.

* Dolphin and Geese Book Reviews will be due Nov. 26. 

Friday, November 8, 2013

Our Bloggers
Week 10
*Important classroom Information following. 

         I hope next week will be better, Just kidding! This week we did a pre-test for our spelling test on Monday. Here are some other things we did over the course of the week. We designed our characters for the animal house and Iz book, we also shared some of our historical fiction book talks in front of the class, and personally I got goose bumps all over me. On the other hand, Alex was fine. 
        The next day we got the privilege to go to the book fair and spend as much money as we wanted, and had time to check out books at the library as well.
        Wednesday, we went to the library to choose books to start our new book reports. The Geese have Non-fiction and the Dolphins are doing Historical fiction. 
        Yesterday, we had a substitute teacher and did a quick write, practicing writing sensory imagery. We also got to have 45 free minutes of book report reading. It was Great!
        Today, Friday, we worked with Mr. Arsenault to learn about our email accounts and to set up our new passwords. There were a lot of  etiquette rules that we had to hear about first. We also typed our compare/and contrast paragraphs with our two Animal House and Iz characters. We continued our book talks and took our lesson 3 spelling quiz.
       We had a great week and were glad to celebrate Claudia's birthday and Jack's birthday this week. Thank you for your time and we hope you have a great long weekend!

 Important Information:

 Class assignment:
Dolphins- Students have until November 26 to read their Historical Fiction novels. They will work on their reading connections sheets while they are reading. This is their next Book Review. Most of this work will need to be completed at home with reading each night.

Geese- Students have until November 26 to read their Non-Fiction books. They will create a presentation folder to summarize important facts that they have learned from their books. Please check-in with your child to see a more detailed description. Most of this work will need to be completed at home with reading each night.

Over the next few weeks we will be writing 5 paragraph essays from topics that the students brainstormed.  Please see the rubric for this under the 5th grade homepage rubrics link.  We will write catchy introductions support our thesis statements with three body paragraphs and wrap up with  a  creative conclusion.

*All magazine/cookie sales are due the week of Nov. 11th.

Friday, November 1, 2013

Our Bloggers
Week 9

On Monday, we had our Monday check in. All week we worked hard on our personal narratives. We worked in revision groups and worked on writing long with sensory imagery, dialogue, and staying true to a seed story. We worked on our book talks too. We created new covers for our books and worked on our speech notes. We look forward to presenting them next week. Another busy project is our characters from our recent book, Animal House and Iz. We made South Park-like characters on the computer. The characters will have speech bubbles with dialogue that we will write. The dialogue will need to compare our character to another character from the book.
8th Grade Buddies
Our Characters
We had another visit from our 8th grade buddies on Tuesday. We got to do a fun project with them. For homework we drew a monster and wrote a paragraph about how they look. The next day our buddies drew them based on our description. We practiced this by drawing witches first. On Thursday we talked about Halloween and wrote about our costumes and what our Halloween plans were. Another amazing week with the dolphins and Geese!:) 
Group Revision help
Winnie and Sadie

*Parent, Teacher, Student Conferences  continue next week. 

*Magazine /cookie sale continues until Nov. 7th.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Sharing Narratives and revising
Happy Weekend!

Our week flew by with the students focusing on their narrative writing pieces, their second book reviews, and our work on comparing characters in a story.
     While working on their narrative pieces, the students worked hard on writing long and meaningful. They are focusing on sensory imagery, making their reader feel as if they are in the story. The students are trying their hand at writing meaningful dialogue and including their internal feelings within their writing pieces. These are difficult skills that they are challenging themselves with as they create their writing.
Making our writing better with help from friends
     As you may have seen at home, the students are also working on note taking for their second book review which is a book talk. Each student will have an opportunity to stand before the class and present their book choice for a given genre. During their book talk, they will focus on the theme of the book and how the main character grows and changes from the beginning of the book to the end.
     We also handed out the magazine and cookie packets for our school fundraiser. These packets went home on Friday. Please be sure and ask your child to take a look at the envelopes as they have many options to purchase to help our school raise money for "Save the Children" as well as fund great programs and extra curricular items for our school.
The fund raiser  this year is a combination of Save the Children and prizes. Students will earn Save the Children certificates and prizes for sales. The certificates will purchase egg-laying chickens for the hungry of Guatemala.

October 31, November 4 and November 7: Turn-In Days
Make checks payable to: Harrison Middle School

School Code: 2620326

All Magazines Count as Two Items Sold!

10/28-11/8 Student, Parent, Teacher conferences with Mrs. Rollins

Friday, October 18, 2013

Our Bloggers
Post by Abby and Claudia

The week flashed by so fast! It was a short week because of Columbus day, but that didn't stop us from learning! First, we got right on task by finishing up our book reports. After our book reports, we started up our narratives. Writing, writing, and more writing! We talked about how good "leads" are very important in stories and even read several novel's beginnings to see what hooked readers in and what was a little bit boring.
 We also learned about the four types of grammar sentences. The first one is a Declarative which means an informative sentence. The next one was an Imperative which is a sentence telling something important like a direction. The third one is Interrogative which is a question that someone would ask. The final one is an Exclamatory which means there is an exclamation point at the end of a sentence. This one shows excitement or anger.
creativity at work

 We continued our week working on character trait charts. We used the book Animal House And Iz and used the characters in it for our chart. We wrote down the character and their traits with evidence from the story to prove the traits. We will continue to chart traits to see how a character changes by the end of the book.  BYE :)!!!

Friday, October 11, 2013

Friday Fun!
Week 6

Happy Friday!
     This was a long and busy week with school work and more NECAP testing. We are officially done with testing this Fall and can now move on to uninterrupted learning. 
     We started our week continuing our book review writing. Most of our focus was on writing a plot compared to writing an introductory summary. Students worked hard at typing and completing their reviews. This was also our second week of Wordly Wise vocabulary work. Between our testing we were also able to work on our narrative pieces which had been put on hold for a while due to testing. The kids have so much enthusiasm for writing and it shows in their work. Our work this week has focused on a seed moment told with sensory imagery. Next week we will focus on "great leads." 
Book Review work
     In the last few weeks, most of our reading work has been working on Standard one: Supporting your thinking using details from the text. We have practiced inferencing and writing about theme while including details from text. We will be moving on to standard three: Comparing one or more characters in a story and how they grow and change over time in a story. As we learn these good reading traits, the students will have many opportunities to practice through the year with all of their novel reading.

     We ended our week with a visit from Ms. Vincenzi. She spoke to us about participating in "Letters to Uganda." We will be writing letters to students in a school in Uganda. These are refugee students who had to leave their homeland due to war. Ask your children to fill you in on the details of what they learned form Ms. Vincenzi.  This is a school wide activity. HMS has helped these children each year with clothes, school supplies, and more. 
*Please be sure to check your email for the conference sign-ups. Mr. Smith's homeroom-this is an option.
*No School on Monday 10/14

Have a relaxing weekend!

Friday, October 4, 2013

Theme work
Week 5

Happy Weekend!                  

     We started our week with our first Spelling packet. This was an introduction to what the packets will look like and the format. Each Monday of a spelling week, all of the students will take a pre-test with group 1 words. If they score 100%, then they will move to the group 2 words for that week. If they miss one or more, they will stay with the group 1 words for that week. Remember, Spelling and Wordly Wise vocabulary switch every other week.
     We continued our study of "Theme" this week while working in groups to find the theme of different picture books. Once the students were identifying the theme in picture books, we moved on to talk about the theme in novels. Many students started to see how an author can build his entire plot based on a theme and yet that theme can develop and change as the story and characters change.
Students then took their new knowledge and applied it to writing about the theme in their book review reports. We will continue to discuss theme throughout the year with each book we read. This will be a constant practice as we grow as a reading group.
     We also had a chance to check out our next book report books so we could get started on the reading. The Dolphins are starting with an Adventure Survival genre while the Geese are starting with Historical Fiction. Please continue to check in each night with your reader to be sure they are moving along in their books.
"NECAP thinking"

      As you know at home, we are in the thick of NECAP testing. The students have been so concentrated on doing their best effort. I am so proud of them! This years test is long and new to them with a large part of the testing on writing. They will surely need to relax and enjoy their weekend before we head into the second half next Wednesday and Thursday.
     After our NECAPS are complete, We will begin having students from alternate classes, writing our blog each Friday to fill you in on our learning.
   Also, please look for a conference sign-up email to be coming your way next week. We will be doing a short goal setting and check-in conference with our homeroom classes during the last week of October. During this check-in, your child's homeroom teacher will discuss academic goals that your child has set for him/herself with the help of both teachers. This will be a Parent and Student check-in. In February, we will set up a conference with Parents and both Teachers to discuss your child's academic progress.

Enjoy your weekend! 

Friday, September 27, 2013

Group metaphors
Week 4


     Our busy week started off with reviewing metaphors and similes. We discussed how figurative language can help our writing sound more descriptive. The students had a chance to create and practice using metaphors in class and in their writing. Ms. Agell even came in to share a metaphor book and talk about creative writing.
Ms. Agell visits

       Our focus this week in reading was "Inferencing." We discussed the idiom, "To read between the lines." We worked together reading quotes from our class novel, Animal House and Iz and worked in groups to infer the character traits of the main characters. Students will be using this skill quite a lot throughout the year. Students also continued their book review by writing and typing their first two paragraphs on their Google Docs. Next Thursday, the students will check-out their next book report book to start on. The Dolphins will focus on "Adventure Survival" while the "Geese" will focus on Historical Fiction. This is our first step at our year long work with genres.

     All of your children are coming to the end of their Math Unit 1 and are reviewing for their Unit 1 test on Tuesday, Oct. 1.
     Important Information

1.  Our Scholastic Book orders are due Fri, Oct. 4 Please go online and checkout all the wonderful books. Our Class code is LDZL4. Put in the code and order away. The more we order, the more free books we get for our classroom.

2.  NECAP Testing will be 10/3, 10/4, 10/9, &10/10 from 7:50-9:30 and then from 10:50-12:15 each day. Please be sure your child gets to bed early and has a hearty breakfast and healthy snack,These will be long mornings.

3.  Unit 1 Math test Tues. 10/1 

Happy Weekend,
Mrs. Rollins 

Friday, September 20, 2013

Week 3
     Our new Fifth Graders are settling in wonderfully to middle school life. They are walking the halls with smiles and confidence.
     Our week started off with a science field trip to The Gulf of Maine Research Institute. While there, students worked through science experiments using the scientific process, computers, and i pads to record their thinking and problem solving steps related to issues having to do with wildlife and the Gulf of Maine waters.
 In Language Arts we continued to talk about "Plot" in a story and the students worked on a plot chart for their individual book projects. This plot information will be used in their first paragraph of their book writing project. We also started our Wordly Wise vocabulary program. We worked through the first unit together. Next week the students will be doing most of the work at home as homework. Please take a look at your child's book next week  to help them plan their time well for completing the work. Section E will always take quite a bit of time and may need to be split over two nights.
Luxury bus ride
We ended our week with popsicles in celebration of MAP testing being complete.
     Thank you for continuing to check in with your child each night regarding the completion of homework and making sure everything they need is packed in their backpacks. Hopefully in a few weeks, this will be a responsibility that your child will successfully handle independently.

Happy Sunny Weekend!
Mrs. Rollins

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Fifth graders busy at work
Week #2 was a busy week!

       As you may have heard at home, Tuesday was our computer role out day for Fifth Graders. Each student received their own computer with a case. The students spent the whole day moving from one fifth grade class to the next learning a new computer technique in each class. They set up Google folders for each academic subject that they will store their computer work in. They designed their desktops, and also had a chance to set up the speaker in their computers which will enable each student to have their work read back to them when they are revising. Needless to say, the students were busy and excited.
     In Language Arts we began our writing unit preparing for our narrative pieces. Students were creating possible writing topics and beginning to practice writing sensory imagery in daily free writes. We also continued reading our free choice books to prepare for our first book project. As the students read, I do a daily check-in with them to see how they are progressing with their reading. We will focus on "plot"  and "theme" next week to prepare to write about their books. I will also be introducing the students to the "Wordly Wise" vocabulary program. Each student will be receiving their own book. We will be working through Unit 1 slowly together for the first week with a little homework each night.
     Math is in full swing with practice of properties of whole numbers and building on their prior knowledge of multiplication and division of whole numbers.
     Next Tuesday we will be going on our field trip to GMRI and having fun with the scientific process. We will leave HMS by 8:30 and return by 12:00. Students will be back for lunch.
     Thank you for sharing your wonderful children with me. I look forward to seeing them each day and sharing our learning.

Creating together in Mr. Smith's room

 Happy Weekend!
Mrs. Rollins

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Our First Week

Welcome to Middle School!        

We had a great first week of Fifth Grade. We took time to talk with old friends and new friends. We learned about "White" and "Blue" days, we found our way to all the different UA classes and we learned how to follow our Fifth Grade schedules (No easy task!) I wandered the halls with the kids to help them navigate their way to the different classes and had a few hearty laughs with a few students as we found ourselves down wrong hallways or up staircases that led us back to our class that we had just left.  

       The students had an opportunity to meet their 8th Grade "Buddies" and spend some time getting to know each other. With much excitement, students were assigned their lockers, and by Thursday we were starting to get into the swing of switching classes for Math and Language Arts. 

Fifth Grade has brought a lot of new changes for your children with much higher expectations. Your children are truly amazing! They have come to school well prepared and ready for the challenge. This is going to be an exciting year!

Please feel free to contact me with any questions you may have. 
Next Tuesday, September 10th is our Fifth Grade Open House at 6:00pm. I hope to see you there!

P.S... I will include photos on our blog from the Geese group (Mr. Smith's homeroom) when I know that all permission for photos are approved by parents.

Mrs. Rollins

Friday, August 30, 2013

Ride the wave of success...Be Prepared!

Hello New Fifth Graders.

It was so wonderful to see all of you on Thursday. I could tell that you are excited and ready to start our new year together. Be sure to pack your backpacks the night before with all of your supplies and know what your after school plans are. I look forward to seeing you bright and early Tuesday morning.
Mrs. Rollins

Saturday, August 24, 2013


   Hello New Fifth Graders!
   Summer memories make great writing topics at the beginning of the year. Be thinking of your experiences and make a list while they are fresh in your mind. Your first writing in Fifth grade will be a personal narrative. I can't wait to see all of you and hear about your summer adventures. See you September 3rd.
Here are some of my favorite memories from this summer...

1. Welcoming our newest family member our Golden Retriever..."Kai"

 2. Riding the super cool rides at Disneyworld.

 3. Getting back on a surfboard (Have not done that since I was a teen in California.) SOOOOO
  4. Visiting backstage at Sea World with Camden and getting to hold a real Penguin.

5. Going to Gettysburg, PA. to experience the 150 year reenactment of the Battle at     Gettysburg...WOW, so Awesome!

 6. Visiting Monticello (President Jefferson's home)

 7. Visiting the Appomattox Court house where U. Grant and R. Lee signed the document to end the
     Civil War.

 8. Enjoying a Lobster bake and kayaking with friends on Chebeague... Yummy!