Friday, October 30, 2015

Sharing life stories
Happy Friday!

As our week started, we moved into our second Wordly Wise lesson. Due to our 8th grade Buddy get together on Thursday,We will continue to work on this lesson with the test next Wednesday.

We prepared for choosing a topic for our Narrative writing by building a graffiti page of memories and favorite things in our writer's notebooks. Students also shared their writer's notebook family and friend photo stories. Classmates listened to each other's stories and helped their friends decide on which pictures would make for great story topics. We ended our week by completing two "quick" writes." During a quick write, students are given a topic to write about using as many descriptive words as they can. They are to write without worrying about conventions and mechanics, just get the creativity flowing. Many students could not wait to share their writing.
8the grade Buddies

Our Reader's Workshop this week focused on reviewing character traits. We discussed finding a character's traits by noticing what a character in a story does and says. We talked about the difference between internal traits and external traits of a person. Students began to look at their own characters in the books they are reading, and deciding which traits could fit their character. Students also began to write about the evidence from their books that would support their thinking.

To end our week, we spent Thursday afternoon with our 8th grade buddies drawing our creatively designed monsters. Ask your child to share the fun details. We also visited the library to listen to spooky Halloween stories from Ms. Stuhr.


REMINDERS: 
* HMS Book Fair Mon. Nov. 2 - Thurs.      
   Nov. 5.
* Book Fair Family Night is Tues. Nov. 3 
   5:00 to 7:00pm
* Final Magazine Sales are Due Nov. 3




Friday, October 23, 2015

HAPPY FRIDAY!                          
Mr. Watt Key


We started our week with a continuation of "dot jot" note taking in our library lesson. Ms. Stuhr helped us with our book selections and how to take short notes in our own words.
As many of you know, we also had our first spelling list and packet to work through. We worked through the pages together during the week so that each student could become comfortable with how the the packet practices the spelling rule that is focused. In future spelling packets, the students will be responsible for finishing this work on their own for homework. We then took our spelling test on Friday. Next week we will work on Wordly Wise vocabulary lesson #2. Wordly Wise and Spelling will continue through the year alternating each week.
Evie and Nate introduce Mr. Key

This was an exciting week as we finished our read aloud, Alabama Moon. Students were riveted to their seats waiting to see what would happen to our friend Moon. As the book came to an end, the students still had many questions. We discussed and wrote about how Moon had changed as a character and why. To end this wonderful read, we had the author Watt Key visit our school from Alabama. He showed the students a slide show of when he and two friends tried to survive out in the Alabama forests as a college student. Our students were absolutely engrossed in his funny stories. In the end, the students could ask questions. I was so very proud of our kids as they asked very thoughtful questions about how the characters were created and how Mr. Key accomplishes is story writing. It was a wonderful learning event for our students.
"Writers"

Next week we will begin learning about generating topics for good Narrative writing. We will finish our fun paragraph writing about a Halloween character to share with our 8th grade buddies on Thursday and we will also begin a study on "Metacognition." Helping the students to understand how to think about their thinking when reading.
Reminders:
*  Conferences are scheduled next week for Oct. 27, 29, & 30 
    They will continue the following week, Nov. 3, 4, & 5
*  Picture retakes are next Thursday Oct. 29.
*  5th grade Intramurals is cancelled next week, Oct. 28.

Friday, October 16, 2015

Happy Friday!

Our short week began with more Alabama Moon reading and thinking. We are nearing the end of the book and through Moon, we have learned a wealth of survivalist techniques. Ask your child what Moon used slugs for. As we near the end, the students have been asking themselves many questions about how this story and characters will end. We still have many unanswered questions. The author Watt Key will be here next Thursday to share with the students how he came to write Alabama Moon and to answer the student's many questions. Royal River book store is carrying copies for sale and students are invited to bring their own copy to be autographed if they choose.
Mr. Roscoe and teachers

Writer's Workshop continued this week with our figurative language study and a look at "idioms." This was a lot of fun to see the students get excited about what an idiom is and realizing how many of their parents use these figurative language techniques when talking. There was a lot of, " OHHHHHHH! That's what my mom says." We also continued our paragraph practice in preparation for our narrative pieces soon to come.


Students at St. Bahkita
On Thursday, we had a guest speaker. Mr. Roscoe come 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. Your child is coming home this weekend with their letter assignment to be completed at home and returned to school by next Wednesday, Oct. 21. If you would like more information on this school, I have included the link: 
http://schoolsforrefugees.org/the-project/

REMINDERS:
* Conference sign-up email coming soon
* Thurs, Oct. 22, author Watt Key is at HMS
* 5th grade intramurals next Wed. Oct. 21 is CANCELLED


Thursday, October 8, 2015

Reader's Notebook work 
Happy Thursday!

The short week just flew by! Our focus this week in our reading was the continuation of figurative Language. We discussed the difference between a simile and a metaphor and why a writer would use these techniques. We looked for examples of this in our read-a-loud, Alabama Moon. After much discussion, the students gave it a try in their reader's notebooks. After reading in their own books, they had a chance to write a simile about their main character. This was a great way for the students to see if they are really understanding and coming to know their main characters. Next week, we will work with Idioms. 
Our "Inquiry Pumpkin" donated by Sabina Coroi

Our focus in writing this week was on writing effective paragraphs. The students took an old piece of writing and began to apply the paragraph techniques to re-write their work in a more effective paragraph while using transition words to help the flow. In a few weeks, we will take our paragraph practice and our figurative language practice and put them to the test when we begin our Narrative writing pieces.

Have a wonderful long weekend!
REMINDERS:
*  No school Mon. Oct. 12
*  The first collection of the magazine/cookie orders is Oct. 14.
    The next collections will be Oct. 21 and Oct. 28.
*  Tues. 5/6 Math team 2:30-4:00
*  Wed. 5th gr. Intramurals 2:30-4:00
*  Speech & Debate team next week is cancelled.

     

Friday, October 2, 2015

Peer discussions and help
HAPPY FRIDAY!

     Our reading week began with continual work on lesson 1 of our Wordly Wise book. We had a lot of time to work on becoming familiar with the format in the book and have great discussions about the new vocabulary. Students are already finding these words in their own reading. As you know from my email earlier in the week, the students were also introduced to Quizlet.com. This website is a great resource for your children to practice their weekly vocabulary words. Students also worked diligently on their Reading Timelines. They are eager to share next week about the books in their lives that have helped shape them into the great readers they are.
Reading Timeline
     This week our character Moon from our read-a-loud Alabama Moon, is discovering that the life he thought was wonderful, may not be so. Be sure to check-in with your child to find out what Moon will do next. Through our reading, we have been continuing our discussions about Figurative Language and how great authors use this technique in their writing. Watt key uses wonderful personification, similes, and metaphors to bring his story to life. The students are excited when they find evidence of this great writing as we read. We will continue these writing lessons next week and begin to use these techniques in our paragraph writing.
      Each of your children received the writing tools that I shared with you at our "Open House." The "Transition Words" sheet, Paragraph Rubric, and the "Writer's Checklist." Many eyes grew big with excitement to begin their writing using these tools. We evaluated samples of great paragraphs as well as poor paragraph writing. By looking at these pieces, the kids could see and hear what good 5th grade writing looks and sounds like. 
REMINDERS:
*  Tues. Oct. 6, Math Team and Speech and Debate Team-2:30
*  Wed. Oct. 7, 5th grade Intramurals
*  Teacher In-Service, No school on Fri. Oct. 9.