Friday, March 27, 2015

Happy Friday!

We did it! Our Explorer projects are complete and ready to share. They are wonderful! The kids worked diligently on their writing and fact gathering to turn the information into a picture book built from their Google drive programs. We have a few weeks of fun practice paragraph writing before we begin the exciting"Great American" projects.
In our Reader's Notebooks this week, we began to look at the 'Theme" in our books. We discussed how the "me" in theme is a clue that the theme of a story is the "me message," the message or lesson that you as a reader got from the story. We had a chance to read a few picture books to practice looking for the theme of a story. We then made a class list of common themes that we as readers have heard in our read-a-loud books this year. Students began to look at the problem/conflict of the characters in their own chapter books so as to watch how those characters overcome those problems at the end of the book. This will help the students decide on the strongest theme in their story as some books may have more than one theme. We will continue to work with theme for a couple more weeks.

Below are a few pictures of the student's "Map" project from Mr. Smith's math and social studies class. They did a fantastic job!
5th graders will participate in "Makerspace" next week. This is a wonderful time for them to be creative by building from their imagination with everyday items.  

Friday, March 20, 2015

Books are Blooming!
Happy First day of Spring!

     We celebrated Spring with a "Books are Blooming" party.
Flowers were blooming in the Language Arts classrooms of 5th grade along with lot's of new book choices. The students moved from class to class and enjoyed searching for new book titles to read. They got a chance to talk to classmates about book suggestions as well as sit and read the first couple of pages of different books to see what books might interest them. Students ended the party in their own Language Arts class and enjoyed a snack of juice and popcorn while enjoying a good book.
Book Talking
      Our class completed our read-a-loud, The Watson's Go to Birmingham-1963.  This book led our groups into many great discussions about what the Civil Rights Movement was all about. The students were very curious and had many opinions to share in our group time. We celebrated our book by watching the movie that was made from the story. After watching the movie, the students worked together to make venn diagrams to organize their thinking before writing a compare and contrast written piece. Many students found the movie very different but equally interesting to the book. The movie showed actual footage of the school children in Birmingham marching for their civil rights. Before writing, we had a few mini lessons to learn about the many different "compare/contrast" vocabulary words that can used in such a writing. Many students were excited to learn that they will revisit the Civil Rights Movement in 8th grade in more depth.
Sharing our thinking with a Venn diagram chart

     We also continued our work on our Explorer reports this week. We are nearing the end as many students are putting their final drafts into a book format on their Google drive and adding illustrations. They are working so hard and the final products are looking fantastic!
* Next week an email about optional spring conference sign-ups will be coming to 5th grade parents.
 * Purple folders with student work went home today.

Thursday, March 12, 2015


Thank you to all of the parents who helped our day to be so successful through your time and donations.



Friday, March 6, 2015

Getting lost in a great book!
Happy March Weekend!

The sun is shinning! The kids are smiling and we actually heard a few birds chirping this week on the playground. Maybe the warm weather will show up soon.

Most of our week was focused on our Explorer research and writing. The students are fully engaged in turning their note taking into interesting pieces of writing about their explorer's life and accomplishments. With the help of a graphic organizer on their Google drives, they are typing and organizing their thinking. 

As you all know, a lot of our afternoons this week were spent learning about human development. I was very proud of our two classes as the nurses mentioned and I noticed, how mature the students questions and thinking were. They were very respectful of each other and what was being taught...GREAT JOB TO ALL!
The joy of reading

Next week we will continue with our explorer work as well as focus on finding the "theme" in the books that we enjoy. We will discuss what the theme is and how an author fits this life lesson into a piece of writing. We will also be preparing for our colonization kick-off with Colony Craft Day next Thursday. Please help your child start to prepare to go back in time with their choice of clothes for the day.                                        
Enjoy your weekend!

3/9    Students will  register yes/no for band or chorus for next 
         year (Please discuss at home)
3/12  Colonial Craft Day
3/13  No school for students-Teacher work day