Friday, September 30, 2016

Inquiry learning in Library
Happy Friday!

Our week started with a visit to the library where students worked in groups on questioning and wondering about specific topics. With the use of the table top whiteboards, the students brainstormed their questions and discussed with their partners which questions and topics they would pursue in research.

Reader's workshop brought more deep thinking with lessons on metacognition, the process of thinking about our thinking. We discussed how we take what a text says and mix that with our schema (background knowledge) to get to "Real Reading." These lessons help the students get beyond the literal meaning of a story and dig deeper. They had many opportunities to read their own books, reflect on their reading and share out with the class about their thinking. The students also had a lesson on using "stickies" to help with their thinking while reading their independent books.

We started looking at the structural parts of a paragraph this week in Writer's Workshop. Students brainstormed and recorded in groups, all that they remember learning about paragraphing. We then took that information as a whole class and charted the elements of and effective paragraph. We also started brainstorming small seed ideas for paragraphs that they would write in the coming weeks. I will be assigning a "paragraph of the week" starting the week of October 11. Until then, I am walking the students through step by step, how to write a longer more effective paragraph. These practices at home will help prepare the students for their first big writing, narratives.

We ended our week with keyboarding practice and an Autumn story read by Ms. Stuhr in the library.

* 5th-Grade Math team and Intramurals is on 
   Tues. Oct. 4 2:45-4:20.
* Mindfulness club is on Wed. Oct 5, 2:45-3:20
* No School on Oct. 7 and Oct. 10

Friday, September 23, 2016

Happy Friday!

Our week started with the students building their reading timelines in their Reader's Notebook. This was a great activity for each student to reflect, share, and laugh about their favorite books of the past. We discussed how books have helped shape us as readers and are a part of our daily life. As we continued to focus on the importance of reading, we had a chance to practice our reading stamina. Students discussed and shared what great readers do while reading. We also shared a wonderful book called, Aunt Chip and the Triple Creek Dam Affair by Patricia Polacco. The characters in this story become so focused on their TV watching that books become a thing of the past. People eventually forget how to read as books are used for everything except reading. Be sure to ask your student how the book ended.
"So many good books!"

As the week progressed, each student focused on their Reading Goal for the year. We discussed the many different genres of books that the students will try in 5th-grade. We even had a chance to play a game to practice our knowledge of genres. 

In Writer' Workshop, we did some short quick-writes and shared one of our journal writings, "How is 5th-grade going so far?" The highlights of 5th-grade seem to be the changing of classes, UA, having a lot of different teachers and lots of time to read.

Next week, students will be introduced to Their Wordly Wise vocabulary books and we will begin looking at the structure of a well-written paragraph.

* 5th-grade Intramurals Tuesday, 2:45-4:20
* Leadership Club Starts Thursday, 7:20-7:55
* Writing Club Starts, Last Thurs. of the month, 2:45-3:45

Friday, September 16, 2016

Writer's Notebooks
Happy Friday!

Thank you to all the 5th-grade parents who were able to come to Open House this week, it was wonderful to meet all of you. Please remember to contact me with any questions you may have regarding your child's 5th-grade year. Our year has started out with so much enthusiasm from the students. I am looking forward to our year together.

During our Writer's Workshop, we spent some time reflecting on our read aloud and writing about what we "visualize" when we read based on descriptive words used by the author. Students also began to look at characterization and traits of our main characters. Students also had an opportunity to start decorating their Writer's Notebooks with pictures and stickers of memories and hobbies. This collage will help us begin to make a list of possible writing topics when we begin our narrative writing unit.
Sharing our thinking

On Monday we spent our Language Arts class time in the library as Ms. Stuhr began a lesson on the "Inquiry Process." Students looked at non-fiction books and voted on favorite topics to begin an inquiry research project with a partner. Next week we will work on the first step in the process which is questing/wondering. Students will record their personal questions on a topic and these question will then lead their research and note taking.
Read aloud 

* MAP TESTING-5th-grade Math will be Thurs. day Sept 22, 11:10-12:30. Reading will     be Fri. Sept 23, 11:10-12:30.

* Tues. Sept. 20, 5th-grade Intramurals 2:50-4:20

Friday, September 9, 2016

Popsicle fun!
Happy Friday!

We finished our first week of 5th-grade with smiles, laughter, and popsicles. Your children came to school prepared with wonderful eager attitudes for learning. Most of our days were spent learning their way around HMS and getting to the classrooms they needed to be in as well as learning their schedules. By day two, many were walking the halls in confidence with a spring in their step.
Creating Expectations for class

In our Language Arts classroom, we discussed many of the daily expectations and spent quite a bit of time getting to know each other. We spent time sharing our expectations of each other as classmates as well as expectations of teachers and environments in order to have a successful learning year. Through these activities and discussions, the students decided on five general expectations for all students and teachers while working in our classes.

Students in Language Arts even finished a short writing activity by Friday. We shared a wonderful book called, The Best Part of Me by Wendy Ewald. Students then wrote about themselves and created a photo to accompany their writing.
Computer Roll Out

By Friday, we visited the library and chose our first individual books to read and enjoy. I encouraged the students to choose their books freely this time, as this helps me to see their ability to choose just right books for their comprehension. We also had our computer roll-out session with Mr. Arsenault to set up our computers and passwords for individual work.

Thank you for sending your children to school so well prepared. They are an amazing group of individuals and I cannot wait to share a wonderful year filled with wonder, reading, writing, and laughter.


* Fifth Grade Open House is next Tuesday, Sept. 13. at 6:00pm in 
   homeroom classrooms.
* Parent introductions to Powerschool and grades is Next Tuesday,
   Sept. 13 at 5:30 in the cafe.
* 5th-grade Intramurals starts next Tuesday, Sept. 13 after school.

Saturday, September 3, 2016

Welcome 5th-Graders!

I had a wonderful time meeting most of you at our "Meet and Greet." You all looked so excited and ready to go! I look forward to a wonderful year with you, full of learning and laughter.

Have a wonderful weekend and I will see you Tuesday morning on the 5th-grade playground. 
Mrs. Rollins                                                                   

*The school bell rings at 7:50. 
*Bring a healthy, hearty, peanut free snack.