April 25, 2013
Run for the Arts today! Our goal of 10 laps, $10, and 10 sponsors was almost achieved. Congratulations to the following people for completing more than 10 laps.
14 laps=Owen, Jackson
13 laps=Narain, Olivia, Napoleon, Claire, Graham, Remy
12 laps=Jack, Helen, Evan, Abby, Avery, Hannah
11 laps=Dayvianae, Chloe, Nora
News to come if we choose to celebrate it in class.
April 23, 2013
What a beautiful week! I hope you enjoyed Earth Day yesterday by getting outside! It's perfect timing for Run for the Arts. The forms are due today, but no worries if students bring them in tomorrow. Our run time is scheduled for 11:15--11:45 on Thursday, April 25. This is also "Take Your Child to Work" Day. It would be awesome if any students participating in this activity, leave after the run. Feel free to come support and cheer on your little runner or even join in and model physical fitness. Speaking of physical fitness, you probably noticed (hopefully) your child recording their exercise on a Providence Wellness log. This is due on Monday, April 29 and is in partnership with the upcoming Health and Wellness fair. I'm sending home a permission slip for the Health Fair and Timbers U-23 game this week. The field trip costs $7 and is May 31. I will need at least 5 adults to come with us and the first five who respond will be the lucky ones. It is all day. More details to follow.
We had class pictures last week. I didn't get forms before hand, so I handed them out last week. If you would like to order a class picture, please fill out the form and send it by Thursday. I believe it's $9 for pictures. We all held up frindles in honor of the book we read at the beginning of the year.
In class this week we're continuing to work on poetry writing. I'm introducing them to Langston Hughes with his "dream" poetry collection and "The Negro Speaks of Rivers" along with other poems from the Harlem Renaissance. We discussed the characteristics of Chicken Soup stories and we'll begin drafting our own at the end of the week. In "My Brother Sam is Dead" we're covering chapters 3 and 4 this week. It's a very interesting book. Every 3 chapters we'll have an open notes quiz and students get to use the answers from their recall and response questions and vocabulary. We've finished chapter 9 in Social Studies on Colonial Williamsburg and we'll get to the start of chapter 10 "the growing tensions" before the week's end. It's the perfect accompaniment to the class novel. I still have some reservations over the current events assignment. Part of citizenship includes being an informed citizen and knowing what's going on in the world around us but there is so much negative, tragic, and destruction that isn't necessarily appropriate for this age so I really want to emphasis again parental guidance when selecting articles. My goal was to get students interested in the news and issues and use this as a tool to find out more about current science and health trends. In science we've finished with chapter 2. We'll start the chapter 2 review this week and the test will be at the end of next week. We're finishing habit #2, which is basic goal setting. I'm asking students to write a mission statement (due Tuesday) and we'll seal it in an envelope and I'll mail it to them when they're in high school. We'll also start Habit #3 this week. Our french fry experiment is underway, now onto food labels. Even though we have a lot going on in curriculum, I'm giving students time each day to work on assignments and homework so they are not overwhelmed with too much at home. It's more for the engagement factor during class this time of year because it's hard to compete with the sun and the looming fun of summer.
Next week is screen-free, no-tv, digital detox week (April 29--May 5). However, you want to phrase it, it's an annual event where children and families are encouraged to turn off screens, turn on life, and get connected to family, friends, self, and nature. Instead of relying on tv and computers for entertainment, people do other things like read, play outside, family games, etc. Let's hope it's beautiful next week as well.
April 15, 2013
"The only things certain in life are death and taxes." --Ben Franklin. I'm not so sure about that but today is tax day and report cards! :-) Report cards will come home tomorrow (Ms. Tracy is out) and there are several items stuffed in the envelope. One of them is a print out of your child's OAK scores for reading and science with breakdown of categories. If they're not meeting, they will get another opportunity to pass and I've included a summary of the definitions of the reporting categories. If you child is meeting or exceeding, I didn't include the definitions but can send one home upon request. I also included an article on perfectionists and homework and more information about the CCSS and the shifts you'll see in Language Arts/Literacy and standards of student practice in math and what is proficient. There is another print out of the final "grades" for each subject. All of the contents are for you to keep. Please sign and return only the envelope by Friday.
We are starting current events this week and I'd like to offer some kid friendly websites for articles. I think this could be a better option than the newspaper for some. I'm not against the Oregonian or other newspapers, however, students may need more parental guidance if that is what they are using to understand the bigger picture and/or the content of the article. I'm also not sure what articles parents want their child reading or not. Although, this is another way to reiterate what you value and believe in. There are also several online newspapers that have a better science and health section than the daily Oregonian. I'm asking students to attach a copy of the article, however, if they use an online article, they may cite the source (include http address and date they accessed the article along with author and published date). I'm also attaching the current events template if anybody wants to type into the form instead of hand write it. It's on the website as well as under forms. I'll also upload these kid friendly current events sites by Friday.
www.dogonews.com (I found this one to be the most user friendly and very kid oriented)
www.timeforkids.com (another excellent source)
www.headlinespot.com/for/kids (this one is a database of other kid friendly sites)
www.sciencenewsforkids.org (great for science)
http://teacher.scholastic.com/activities/scholasticnews/index.html (not as good as the others but great reading level)
On Thursday, we had too many activities: school play, garden, scoring choice pieces, PE, presentation for Heifer International. So I moved our walking field trip (McDonald's) to this Friday. I'm attaching part of our project to this email for students to access websites. It's easier for them to click on the links in the attachment versus typing in the http address. They will need to do some research for background information sometime this week or next.
Run for the Arts is on Thursday, April 25. Our goal is 10, 10, 10!!! Each person gets 10 sponsors, $10, and walk/run 10 laps on run day. There is a large reward if the whole class reaches the goal! Our theme this year so far is mustaches. I bought one for each child and we'll decide on something else that will unite our class while we run. Pledge forms are due by Tuesday, April 23.
We have late opening this week on Wednesday, class picture day on Thursday, and Passport Club on Friday.
Content we're covering this week includes: chapter 1 in "My Brother...", Habit #2, outer planets, more poetry writing, and Chicken Soup stories along with some health/nutrition lessons and the start of colonial groups. Have a wonderful week.
April 8, 2013
Many of you are aware of the sad news we received yesterday afternoon about the passing of Ella Westervelt. This is a tragic loss of such a young and beautiful life. She fought lymphoma hard for the past several years. I was so impressed with her bravery and courageous spirit in the short time I knew her. We gathered all the 5th grade students in the cafeteria this morning to share what we knew and support each other in our loss. Mrs. Geist, Mrs. Thomas, and Mrs. Caron all shared and I think it was tremendously helpful in the grief process. Students could create a card for the family and share what Ella had meant to them. There will be a celebration of life later this spring for Ella and I'll keep you posted of any details. In the meantime, we'll continue to support each other as the waves of grief wash over us. Here are some resources on grief, loss, and how to help your child if needed.
Remember there is no school this Friday, April 12 because it is a teacher planning day. I handed out updated progress reports today. There are a couple assignments I'll still take until tomorrow: Lit Circle packet, science fair reflection, chapter 6 reading notes, and Wordly Wise book work. We still have a couple assignments from this week that will go on this quarter: Community Service (science) and Writing Choice Pieces (Language Arts).
We have March book project presentations this week starting tomorrow. Students should practice their speech. This is practice before we have our actual speech work sample in April. Remember the April book is a non fiction choice and students should take notes. We will integrate technology and I'll teach them a presentation tool called Prezi for the non fiction project.
Run for the Arts forms are coming home today. Students should go out and get pledges before our run on April 25. We figured out that if someone gets at least 10 sponsors ($1 minimum each) and walk/run 10 laps they'll earn a t-shirt. Seems pretty simple. These funds are used to sponsor artists in the classroom or field trip experiences. I'm working to get an artist in our room for May.
It's April and it's poetry month. We're starting to work on poetry at least 1-2 times a week and we'll create a collection of our work. For the culmination, we'll have a poetry coffee house where the beatniks will share their work. I'm reading 1-2 "Chicken Soup for the Soul" stories to the class each day. We'll work on writing our own stories and creating a class book.
In science we're continuing to learn about the inner and outer planets with chapter 2. This week we're covering sections 2 (the sun) and 3 (inner planets). We've also started part of our health/science unit. We're going to do a science experiment about healthy diets, preservatives, and the food we put in our bodies. Ever wonder about french fries? How about the really good McDonald's french fries? We are taking a walking field trip to McDonald's on Thursday to sample a very, very, small portion of the fries and write our observations. We'll bring some back to the class along with fries from other restaurants and our control...the potato (au natural). Will they mold? We'll see how they look in 8 weeks. But before the end we'll take a look at preservatives, diets, the food pyramid, and other snacks we eat. In 7 habits, we're starting Habit 1 this week -- "Be Proactive." Friendly reminder about the personal bank account...due on Thursday.
Next week we're starting a new regular (every other week) assignment called current events for social studies. Students will read a newspaper or credible news article and write up their opinion to it. This covers the CCSS in reading for informational text and main ideas along with writing opinions and many other standards. Please take a look at the requirements and outline I send home this week. Students will write 4 current events total and they must share one of those. I'll model and teach about newspapers this week. In social studies, we're also starting a mini unit on the Colonies before jumping full fledge into the American Revolutionary War. To go along with our social studies curriculum, we'll start reading My Brother Sam is Dead in reading. This is a Newberry honor book and even though it's old for contemporary young adult literature (c 1974) it has a great story line that follows the American Revolutionary War and I can tie in primary source documents, awesome themes, higher level literary elements like irony and foreshadow, and the underrepresented perspective of the war.
It's DEAR week in honor of Beverly Cleary's birthday. Try to drop everything and read each night with your child! Life is precious and too short. As always, if you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me.
April 3, 2013
We survived the 5th grade overnight this year without any glitches! Last year it was really cold, we didn't have enough dinner, and the bus broke down on the way back. This year we had the best weather (not too cold and a slight mist), great meals and company, and lots of learning with no traffic jams and new busses. You probably had a tired little tween last night and heard some stories of our adventure. Students rotated in three different learning stations: squid dissection, survival skills, and team challenge. We also had a night hike and a beach mission in Seaside. It was a fast and furious 30 hours. I would like to give a GIANT thank you to the brave chaperones who took 2 days off work and time out of their schedules/busy lives to be with us. They were the adults sleeping in the cabins at night with 8 students. That alone is worth a million dollars and no slight feat. If you see these people, please give them your gratitude with a kind word. Jeff Bishop, Angel Van Note, Bonnie Yosick, and John Kilty. Thanks again for being wonderful chaperones and accompanying us. The other chaperones from Robertson and Tracy classes who deserve recognition were: Jamie Herrara, George & Rachel Ramos, Ryan Baisley, Mari Kidd, Kim Ilosvay, Christina Putnam, and Heidi Failing. Also, some people have not yet paid for the overnight. I will send home a paper notice with your child by Monday. Payment is due by May 1st. If you need a scholarship, please let me know through an email and how much your partial payment (of the $140) will be. Checks payable to Beverly Cleary.
Since we missed our Read Across America day, we are celebrating it today. It's a perfect segway into next week which is Drop Everything And Read (DEAR) week. I did a lesson today on how they learned to read from picture books and gradually learned more about sight words, sounds, phonics, repetition, patterns, social skills, inference, rhyme, and comprehension through the years. I brought in Goodnight Gorilla and many other children's books as examples to show them how they learned. They reminisced while I read to them Brown Bear, Jamberry, How Do Dinosaurs Say Goodnight?, and Go Dog Go. Students shared in groups favorite childhood books and listened to our guest reader, Mrs. Geist, share a story from Faith Ringold about Auntie Harriet and the Underground Railroad. We had 8th grade reading buddies followed by some silent reading time for themselves. It was a relaxing celebration of reading.
Speaking of reading, I am giving students time each day this week to work on the March "Award" book project which is due on Monday, April 8th. Students will present their awards starting next week. The April book project will revolve around a non-fiction book and should be finished by April 19. We will start another round of lit circles in May. I'm thinking Tuesday or Thursday afternoons this time?? If you're interested please let me know. Several students still need to turn in their lit circle books.
Next week is the end of the 3rd quarter which means we have NO school on Friday, April 11 for teacher planning. It also means we have choice writing pieces (2) and 5 hours of community service due on Wednesday, April 10. My goal is to hand out updated grade sheets by this Friday. Remember this will not replace the standards based report card, but gives a bigger picture for the transition next year. The end of the 3rd quarter also means we have 9 weeks left of school. AHHHHHH!!! It will fly by fast. too fast. I still have lots of cool projects and standards to teach in science and social studies. Time doesfly when you're having fun!!!
Remember back in November when students wrote the "What Did the Tree See" essay? I'd like to invite you to a tree planting ceremony in honor of our essays and the Alliance for Community Trees program on Friday, April 5th at 1 pm. Also, several students' essays were chosen as award winners and went onto the national judging. I just heard that Narain Dubey's essay received an honorable mention citation. Congratulations to Narain and his nationally award winning essay!!! WOW!
Some random information and dates for you to mark your calendar with.
Class Pictures--April 18
Run for the Arts--April 25 *I believe this is also Take Your Child to Work Day??*
BCS Rummage Sale--April 13 It's early this year!!!
Thanks again for trusting me with your most precious gifts and your continued support and partnership.
March 18, 2013
Less than 5 days until Spring Break! Remember we have late opening on Wednesday this week and it couldn't come at a more perfect time. Students have worked hard on science fair and they'll get the morning to sleep in. Only wish I could say the same. :-)
I graded the Soundtrack of Their Life projects and I was very impressed with the quality and reflection put into song choices and analysis. I loved listening to the songs that students presented in class. There comprehension and critique shows me their understanding of their biography. I gave out the requirements for our March book project which is due Monday, April 8. There are 3 parts and each part is worth 25 points. Part 1 is comprehension questions. Part 2 is additional research about a topic or setting in the book (choose 1). Part 3 is creating and presenting an award (speech). All parts must be typed. Students will get some class time on Thursday and Friday when we return from Spring Break and the overnight to work on part 3. The majority of it will be done at home.
Speaking of the overnight, just a friendly reminder to look at the packing list and bring your packed items, sleeping bag, and pad to school by this Friday, March 22. We want them here since we leave for our overnight at 9 am sharp on Monday, April 1. I still need one more female chaperone. Also, remember to email me about payment if you can't afford the full amount. I haven't received the $140 fee from everyone or heard from everyone.
We have no more Wordly Wise until 4th quarter. We voted to take a three week break from the workbook and finish lessons #14--20 during the 4th quarter. However, students can always get ahead. This Friday is our last literature circle meeting for this round. I'll collect books on Friday as well. We have a lot going on Friday including our Literary Tea Party. Students will become the character/subject from their biography they read and meet other characters during a tea party. Another activity to solidify their comprehension of the biography. Please feel free to send in a healthy treat/drink to share with the class during our tea party. Our April book project will focus on non-fiction text. Students will choose a topic and select 1--3 non-fiction texts to read about their topic. More information coming.
We finished our reading tests last week. Those students not meeting will get another chance to take the test before May. I will find out if those who were 1-3 points away from exceeding can have a 2nd chance to test.
It's almost show time! The science fair is this Wednesday, March 20 from 6--7:30 pm. Please remember students are required to show up for atleast 45 minutes. They will need to have a teacher initial what time they got here and what time they left. There will be a table by the front gym doors with slips and probably a middle school teacher. I will wander around looking at the boards but I can initial slips as well. Students have worked very hard on their projects and they should feel proud of the work they did!!! It shines!
Students should also feel proud of taking ownership of their grades and communicating with me. I was pleased with what students learned and reflected back to me during our class meeting last week. They understand the big picture and now get to continue to practice it. I appreciate the feedback I got from parents. Remember I'll give another update after spring break, which is 2 weeks before the end of the quarter. Remember this will NOT replace the standards based report card. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me.
Look forward to seeing you on Wednesday.
March 11, 2013
By now, hopefully, your child has shown you and/or discussed their grade report with you. I was hoping to get an email to you before your child came home to prepare you. With the grade sheet I included a "how to" interpret and read the information. Hopefully, this helps you with the grade program I'm using called Gradekeeper. It's very basic and simple. Grades are NOT taking the place of the standards based report card. My purpose in using grades is it's another tool to inform you and your child about their strengths and weaknesses before you experience grades in middle school.
Please remember it is the 3rd quarter of your child's 5th grade year and this is their FIRST experience getting grades. Be gentle. We wouldn't criticize, yell, or ground our kids when they are first learning how to ride a bike. Each quarter in middle school, there is a midterm. The midterm is halfway through the quarter and it informs you of your child's progress. We still have 4 weeks until the end of the quarter (April 11). Many students don't understand that not turning in work affects their grades until they see it. The numbers don't lie. Grades also inform your child if they need to study more on tests or put more effort into double checking their work when it's done.
Our lesson today focused on not being too critical of ourselves or giving up. Believe me, your child is probably harder on themselves then you or I can be. I also focused it on communication. How to communicate with a teacher (It can be scary, I know I am! :-)) and our parents. I also focused on how to be proactive and responsible. Since this is their first opportunity with grades, my job is to teach them how to do this. Now that they've seen the numbers, I'm giving an opportunity for students to turn in any work they received a zero on or redo some low math assignments. This work is due by Friday, March 22. This will not be the case every time we get grade sheets so take advantage.
I'm balancing the teaching of deadlines versus wanting students to learn the content. This is a time for growth. I will give another grade report after spring break. Remember the grades are just one part of the big picture. Your child can still meet the standard but not get an A. I asked students to communicate with me about their grades, what they need, or any questions. Please allow them the opportunity to do this and bring up their grades if applicable. I want them to feel empowered and learn how to advocate for themselves. It's a very important life skill. Let's wait until after the next grade reports come home after spring break before trying to set up a meeting with me. There's several strategies and suggestions I'll give you and/or your child to help improve areas of weaknesses. I hope this information helps now but more importantly before first quarter of 6th grade.
I'm not assigning any new work this week besides in math but we still have our routine assignments. The main focus this week is science fair!!! Students have one week until their written report is due and the display board next Tuesday. On Thursday and Friday this week from 3--4, I'm hosting an afterschool work party. If your child needs to work on their board or report, this is the time. I'll have the lab open as well. If you'd like to join our party to help, please let me know. I'm sure I'm forgetting something on this Monday, especially since I'm tired from adjusting to daylight savings. If it's imperative, I'll send out another email. Remember we are reading testing this week. Hope you got to enjoy the weekend.
March 4, 2013
What a difference it makes to start a Monday with sun!!! It's a full week and the countdown to spring break is on. 15 days.
This also means the countdown to Science Fair is here. Visual display boards were supposed to be in class today. However, we won't work on them until later this week, so if they are here by Wednesday that's ok. On Wednesday, I'll be giving students time to work on their graphs/data with their partners. Graphs can be drawn. They do not have to be done on the computer. All data collection and the experiment should be concluded by Friday! The conclusion and data analysis is due next Wednesday. There will be 3 work party days after school from 3--4 pm starting next Thursday, Friday, and Monday. This is the time on a big project when things will go wrong and time management is key. The printer running out of ink, not saving documents and having to retype it all, leaving things at school, not managing time and feeling really stressed. What wonderful learning opportunities and growth await us!! "Don't handicap your children by making their lives easy." --Robert Heinlein. I love this quote because I think it is so true when it comes to school and big projects. Please empower your child by acknowleging how they feel and asking how they are going to solve their problem, or if there's something you can do to help, but don't take the problem solving out of their hands when the tears or frustration comes. "That must feel frustrating, what are you going to do?" "Would you like a suggestion?" We will start to work on the project in class, so students should bring their typed out sections in BIG font to class to paste on the boards by next week. We're taking a look at examples of visual display boards later this week . The entire typed science fair report is due on Monday, March 18 and the completed visual display board is due Tuesday, March 19. Remember the science fair is Wednesday, March 20 from 6--7:30 and attendance is mandatory.
Starbase was incredible! The science, math, technology, and engineering learning was amazing. I'm sending home a survey for parents and students to complete. Please return by Friday. This program is only offered every other year for our students and the survey will help promote having the program every year.
Our March book project is an award winning book. This can be a Coretta Scott King award, Newberry award, Children's choice award, etc. There's a million types of awards. Margie gave a book talk about the different awards today. The only requirements are the book has to be 150 pages or more and one students have NOT read. The book needs to be finished by March 22. That's a little more than 2 weeks. Speaking of reading, OAKS reading testing is next week Monday through Thursday in the morning. If you need to schedule an appointment, please try for the afternoon.
Midterms/grade reports are coming home this week by Friday. I will explain more in a separate email. Don't forget there is a new homework calendar on the class website that is updated weekly. If you're not sure what's going on with assignments/homework/projects, please look there. http://www.pps.k12.or.us/schools/beverlycleary/916.htm
Did you hear about Crestline Elementary in Vancouver? Their school burned completely to the ground. Kiwanis Kids club is doing a fundraiser as one of their service learning projects. From now until spring break, they are collecting books, games (board/card) new or gently used and current. They are also collecting gift cards to IKEA, Learning Palace, Office stores, or Amazon.com along with any monetary donations. Checks can be made payable to Beverly Cleary. There is a box in each classroom or the office. Teachers are collecting funds. Kiwanis Kids club is also doing a fundraiser every Thursday until spring break, selling baked treats after school for $1.25. All proceeds are being used to buy a bench for the Mt. Hood Kiwanis camp. If we get enough funds raised, we'll buy two benches, one for our own playground!
I heard the auction was very well attended. Packed and sold out! I'm bummed I missed it. My first time in 13 years. A family matter came up and it was at the same time. Thank you for all who attended and supported the Foundation!
Happy Monday! Have a fantastic week.
February 25, 2013
Congratulations to all the participants of Battle of the Books!!! It was awesome to see our "book-letes" compete. Marley enjoyed the battles so much, I had to recreate the battle at home with well known picture books and play moderator. Good luck to the teams moving onto regionals next weekend in Canby.
It's a fantastic week at Starbase and so far, it's absolutely engaging and awesome. Remember to pack a sack lunch all week. I'd also eat a hearty breakfast because snack today wasn't until close to 11. Seemed long to me. Since Starbase is academic learning all week in science, I'm coming up with assessment questions to give an open notes quiz on Monday. Should be easy if students are taking notes, participating, and listening.
Students still have scheduled homework this week including Wordly Wise Lesson #11 due on Friday. I'll give the worksheet tomorrow and it's always due on Thursdays. The students voted to have their literature circle reading and job done by Friday and we'll hold a meeting on Monday to discuss this week's reading. Parent volunteers you don't have to attend on Monday, but plan to read to the next section for next Friday's meeting #3.
We have less than 2 weeks until science fair data is due. Tri-fold boards should be purchased and in class by Monday. I found the Dollar Tree sells them...score!!! Also, it is optional to buy spray paint for the boards but they cannot remain white. I think it looks better to paint them instead of covering them with butcher/construction paper, but it is a personal choice. We will spray paint or cover them with paper at school. Paint should match the theme of their project and not detract from the content. You can also buy boards with colored backgrounds, but they are more expensive. The boards will remain at school to work on.
You still have time to purchase your tickets to the auction this Friday, March 1. Need an overnight away? Want to get out for a complete evening without your child? Remember to bid on the Girls Slumber Party package in the silent auction. It comes complete with me coming to your house on a Saturday early evening, feeding your child and her friends pizza from Blind Onion and snacks for the evening. A mobile service will come and give manicures and pedicures for 8 girls, we'll watch a movie, and have lots of fun. I'll spend the night and get up in the morning and cook breakfast before I leave. You won't want to miss bidding on this package. There's also a couple sign up events. A movie night in April and a Powell's Lunch adventure in May. Come support the Foundation and have fun with your neighborhood friends!!! I hope to see you there.
Have a wonderful week.
February 19, 2013
Isn't it nice to have one extra day on the weekend? I could use that every weekend. :-)
Literature circles are starting this week. It just dawned on me that we have Starbase next week, so there will be no meeting next Friday. I'll have a discussion with the parents and find another time for the groups to meet before Spring Break. This means 2 meetings in one week. I'll keep you posted on the due date. Our February book project is creating a soundtrack of the person's life. There are 4 parts to this project: Reflective letter (to the listener), CD liner notes (reason for choosing the songs), visual aide (CD cover, concert poster, collage), and a presentation (choosing 1 song from the soundtrack to share with the class). Please look at the project requirements. If students have a high interest in this intelligence, they may create a song/lyrics or burn the soundtrack. I asked students to seek out some wisdom from you in going beyond the contemporary pop songs of today. This is a time to geek out on music and it's all a part of their
learning! :-) The rough draft list of song selections is due this Friday. The final project is due March 1. Presentations will be March 4--8. Students chose the day they are presenting. There is a helpful website with a database of songs, artists, albums and it's organized by themes and categories. Go to www.greenbookofsongs.com
and click on sample categories or just explore. Students will get time in class this week to work on the project and the rest is homework. They won't have much homework next week besides the project, Wordly Wise, and literature circles since we are at Starbase.
Last week we didn't get to chapter 6 in social studies because the focus was on science and health. So we'll finish chapter 6 this week. It's Black History Month. Students have been working on flyers in the computer lab integrating Microsoft Publisher and the information they want others to know about who they researched. Some students chose to research a past President since it was President's day this month. Flyers will go up on lockers by the end of the week.
Starbase permission slips are due this Wednesday. Remember students will need a sack lunch all next week. We painted our rockets last week and we'll add finishing touches today to get them ready for the clear coat. Launch date will be sometime in March before spring break on a day that is sunny with light wind. I graded science tests this weekend. Students will get them back today. Anybody with a C or below has to get their test signed by a parent. Looks like students need to study more for chapter 2. Since this was the first textbook test they took in science, I think many didn't believe all they would have to know when I gave them the review. Each section in science I assign questions to answer or give a worksheet and we finish the whole chaper with the chapter review which is very similar to the test. I also let student know the format of the test: multiple choice, fill in the blank, true/false, reading diagrams, and 1-2 essay questions. I'm sure test scores for chapter 2 will improve. We're finished with OAKS science testing and overall students did very well. This is a friendly science fair reminder. Students should be working on typing out their science fair information (title, question, background info, hypothesis, etc) They should also be collecting their data. Data has to be represented numerically with a two-coordinate graph as our final product.
Our Friday boot camp time will be changed for the next 5 weeks due to lit circles. Please make sure your child comes with the appropriate shoes. I don't mind if they change into them but it's safer for them to have shoes with support for our fun activities. If I didn't think your kids would be embarassed, I'd say please feel free to join us. :-)
Have a good short week.
February 11, 2013
Happy Chinese New Year! Year of the snake this year and many students fall under this sign. This year is said to usher in great opportunities for the flourishing of career, education, philospohy and introspection. It's to be a fine year for strengthening friendships and taking on new challenges or adventures. We learned about this tradition on Friday, thank you Barb Linssen for the information and display.
Students have a little over a week to finish their biographies. All reading should be complete by Tuesday, February 19 with 8--12 events that are significant in their person's life. They are always welcome to have more. Hopefully, they've managed their reading time. Literature circles will start next week with our first meeting on Friday, February 22. Students heard book talks last week and will get their books and jobs by Wednesday along with the schedule. We're learning the jobs this week and the academic and behavior expectations of the group. Thank you Katherine, Kieren, Lynne, Ruth, Barb, and Abbie for volunteering to be faciliators.
This week we're still working on chapter 6. Colony project coming soon.
On Friday, I handed out the Starbase program permission slips. I didn't have time to discuss and explain to the students about the week long program, but that will happen today. We changed our 5th grade overnight dates to April 1/2 to accomodate Mr. Robertson. The other dates were the same time as the 4th grade overnighter and we felt as a team it is important for him to have the opportunity to go with both classes and not have to choose. I'm sorry for any inconvenience this causes. The fee for this experience will be $140.00 per student. If a family needs financial assistance please let me know. Although there is no scholarship fund for students, no students will be denied this opportunity for financial reasons. If you would like to be able to help other families, who have a financial hardship, please include an extra amount in your check, and I will see that it goes into the fund earmarked for students, who need financial help. The fee is due by March 22, but if this is a hardship, please communicate when you plan to complete the payment. Atleast half of the fee is due before camp. Checks can be made payable to: Beverly Cleary. Please note on the check: 5th grade overnight (KOBS). I will send home permission slips and other forms for the overnighter afterStarbase, some of these documents are very time sensitive, so please return them by the date requested. I need one more male and female chaperone. If you are interested, please let me know. Chaperones are free. I'll send out a description of responsiblities as we get closer to the date. Thank you Angel, John, and Bonnie for volunteering so far.
Signed report card envelopes are due by Wednesday. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me. Remember I only mark standards I've taught each quarter, so some are left blank. Of course, there's many standards I teach as part of the Oregon Standards and the new Common Core State Standards that are not reflected on the report card.
FYI: I'm now dismissing students at 3:00 to get their backpacks instead of taking 10 minutes of science or social studies instruction to allow them time to get their things together. One more transition and step towards 6th grade.
I hope you have a wonderful week. A three day weekend is on the horizon. :-)
February 4, 2013
I guess we get 6 more weeks of winter. As much as I'm ready for more sunshine, I need more storms to go to the mountain! Here's the latest bit of news from our room for the start of the 2nd semester and 3rd quarter.
Language Arts/ Literature:
We're finishing our class novel Birchbark Housethis week. Then we'll read some Scott Foresman short stories to practice some skills and strategies along with lit circle jobs. I have plenty of volunteers for this round. Students will hear book talks this week and get their books next. Our Wordly Wise lessons from the workbook are now due on Fridays. Students have a bit of time here and there throughout the week to finish the lesson but if they don't use their time, the expectation is it will be homework. The January book project was due today. We shared in groups and we'll hang the project in the hallway on the first floor. The book (biography) for February should be finished by February 19. Students should be making notes with Post-its of 8--12 different events that are memorable or important to the person. We're doing a music and drama activity with the project for February.
We're finishing chapter 4 with a small assessment and students will use be able to use their reading notes. Then we'll start on chapter 6 which is about Roanoke, Jamestown, and Plymouth. From there the progression will lead us into the colonies.
Counseling starts this week with Cynthia. I've asked her to do some lessons on media and technology awareness. With many of our students getting cell phones and Instagram accounts, I think it's very important to learn about keeping information private and respecting the privacy of others along with etiquette about posting and navigating the world of the internet and understanding consequences. Cynthia will also do her lessons on goal setting and bullying. We're starting 7 Habits this week. Students will get a book checked out to them. These are my own class books I've collected over the years, so I ask for a replacement if they are lost. We watched Apollo 13 on Thursday and had to finish the conclusion today. It's very engaging and I'm sure even more of hook for us to build our own rockets which is happening on Thursday. Thank you Ted Wardlaw for volunteering to help. Launch date will be determined based on weather. I will keep you posted. Chapter 1 in science is now completed. We'll start the review today and the test is on Friday, which is the day the majority of students voted to have it. We're plugging along with our science fair projects. Today the background information and research was due. This gives students information to help with their hypothesis. Next week the procedure and materials list is due. I'm going to push the due date to Thursday instead of Friday so I have time to check it in before the weekend. Then students are free to conduct their experiments and they have 4 weeks to finish it. We have OAKS science testing next week on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday at 10 am. Please do all you can to make sure your child is here. It is much appreciated. We have a program called Starbase the entire 5th grade is particpating in this year the week of February 28--March 1. I will send out more information on Starbase in next week's update. This program is not on the Beverly Cleary campus, so you may want to reschedule any appointments or understand the responsibility of transportation is on you. I have a little bit of information on the 5th grade overnight. More information will be coming in the next several weeks. The entire 5th grade is going to Camp Kiwanilong on the Oregon Coast on Tuesday, May 28 to Wednesday, May 29. The cost is $140 per student and the money is due on Friday, May 3. This includes all meals, transportation and the OMSI program. I will need to have 3 female chaperones and 2 male chaperones for our class. Please let me know as soon as possible if these dates work and you'd like to join us. Chaperones are free.
An invitation for the Beverly Benefit went home on Thursday. Mark your calendars for the auction on March 1. There's many events that teachers host. The money from the auction is used to fund the foundation. Personally, I couldn't do my job without the help of the foundation. I use the foundation money to purchase art and other creative supplies to supplement my lessons and the curriculum. For example, the model rockets, 3x5 photo mats, plaster strips for mask making, the chicken we mummified, class sets of books, Oreo's for the moon phases, and the list could go. Not to mention foundation money is also used to add teachers to alleviate class sizes and give our students enrichment like art and spanish. I'm hosting 3 events this year for the auction. 1. Girls Only Slumber party at your house. (silent auction) 2. Powell's/Downtown Adventure with lunch (sign up) 3. Movie Out at the theaters.
Thank you for your never ending support and appreciation and sharing your wonderful children with me. They make my day!!!
Lots of going on in Social Studies and Science the next two weeks. We've started a state newsletter project. The project has a research component and a technology component. We're going to publish our newsletter in Microsoft Publisher. Since many people might not have this program at home, we'll do the basic layout and printing here at school. We're researching this week and taking a walking field trip to the Multnomah County Library tomorrow to get a book on our state. I have included several websites I've already researched that are appropriate for this project. My goal is to have all research done and complete by Friday. We'll start to draft our rough drafts of our articles towards the end of the week in class. All rough drafts of the articles are due on Monday. Students can start to type them at home and save them on a thumb drive and/or email them to themselves. This way they can copy and paste the article into the layout of their newsletter next week in the lab. My goal is for the completed project to be due next Friday, December 14. However, this could change if we have some technical difficulty in the lab or I feel this is too much for students to a quality job in two weeks. We have an art project integrated into the state project. Students are creating a paper quilt with the symbols of their state like the state bird, tree, flag, etc. Students also have an option to create a shoe box float of this project if they prefer to build for their creation rather than draw. An accomodation to meet the needs of the different multiple intelligences and differentiate for all learners. This is a great project to also teach time management skills. Students who don't use their in class time we'll have more homework!
In science, we're starting on the scientific inquiry method. This is the preliminary to the information and format students will need for the science fair. I'm going to model the whole process and use mummification as my hook. We're going to mummify a chicken in class and the time over winter break is perfect! It's a very cool process and will give students some background for social studies next year with Ancient Egypt.
We finished our My Side of the Mountain book with a movie viewing and a special snack on Friday. I brought in items Sam Gribley encountered in his survival in the Catskills. Acorn pancakes (biscuits), wild blueberry jam, smoked venison (beef jerky), dried cranberries and almonds, smoked salmon, and the fear factor....smoked oysters. Many students gave it a try! The movie was nothing like the book and it was a great discussion comparing the two. Just proves once again the novel is usually better than the movie!
I've started doing an extra PE on Friday. This is great throughout the winter because the students need the time to burn off the extra energy to focus. The format has been a bootcamp style of PE, with stations and relays. I think it's lots of fun and the students seem very happy.
We are adopting a family. We discussed this as a class today. Any donations we get, we're going to walk to Fred Meyer to buy additional items for the family on Wednesday or Thursday next week. Abbie Rankin will deliver the items to the family on Friday, December 14, so all items are due by THURSDAY, December 13. Here's what I know so far about the family and their needs. More information will follow. 11 year old girl, needs clothes, coat (size 14 in girls pants, Large in shirts, Size 8 in woman's shoes) Likes art, books, and Hello Kitty.
Passport is this Friday. We've started Wordly Wise. It's a vocabulary building program. Students have workbook pages they do each day in class as 5-10 minute seat work after lunch or before specials. The workbook pages are due on Monday. We'll have a spelling/vocabuly test in the 15 words each Friday. Students will spell the words and have to know what they mean. Our first lesson was last week. This week is lesson 2.
Book orders went home today. You can now order them online with our class code. Check the class website for the website and code. You will have to register first. This is easier for many families, however, I'll still take a check made out to Scholastic for those that prefer that option. All orders need to be in by December 14. I'll place the online order afterschool.
Thank you for attending conferences the last two days. It was a pleasure to communicate how well your child is doing and show you their work and progress.
We don't have any homework over break but students can use this time to work on community service or their choice writing if they are really bored. Wink, wink! We do have an assignment due right after the break on Tuesday. The typed tree essay is due and I'm evaluating them on the following: point of view, figurative language, answering the question, creativity/style, and conventions.
One of the traditions in my family is to go around the table at Thanksgiving and say what we are thankful for this year. Here's a partial list of what I'm thankful for....
*I'm thankful to have students who are eager to learn
*I'm thankful for the energy my students bring everyday
*I'm thankful to have parents who work with me as a team
*I'm thankful for a job that I love where your children make me laugh everyday
I hope you have a fantastic and restful break! See you next week.
Conferences are next week. I've posted the schedule according to student's last names on the class website. I'll also send home a reminder notice on Friday. Students are welcome to attend and I'll leave that decision up to families. Your child will probably say they'd rather not come, but I think it's helpful to all be on the same page and for them to hear what they are doing well as well as an area of improvement.
In wrapping up the end of the quarter, students have cleaned out their binders and collected samples for their student portfolio's that I'll share at conferences. They also answered some questions on a reflection sheet about their work habits this past quarter. I also had students look at their planners and see how often they are getting them initialed. I introduced an assignment sheet and students are recording the dates assignments are assigned, due, when they turned them in, and the points their worth. Another tool to help with late work and being responsible and accountable for learning.
We got new tribes for the 2nd quarter and new seating charts. The book fair is going on this week and next. Students got a preview today and the fair is open after school Thursday and Friday as well as during conferences next week.
Today I sent home a letter from Meghan Ruona regarding donations for our class auction package. She'd like to collect all donations by the end of the month. Abbie is working on the class art project for the auction. Here's a message from her.
Well, it's that time again...time to start talking about the class art project for the auction**. If you are an artsy kind of person (or even if you're not) and are interested in helping out with the auction art project, please let me know by Monday, November 19th. We need to get started on the project soon and would welcome any ideas and help you can provide.
**For those who have not yet been involved in an auction art project, it is a project done by the entire class and then auctioned off at the annual school auction to raise money for the foundation (which helps supplement teacher positions at the school).
Looking forward to seeing everyone next week.
It's a short week this week AND next. Monday is Veteran's day holiday. Friday is a teacher planning day, which means Thursday is the end of the first quarter. Amazing how fast nine weeks flies by. Hopefully, your child has managed their time this quarter and doesn't feel overwhelmed this week with work. We have both the community service and the choice writing piece (1) due tomorrow. These two assignments were assigned at the beginning of the quarter with friendly reminders every week. Transferring responsibility and managing time are key stepping stones in the transition this year.
It's come to my attention that a couple student supplies need to be replenished. Looks like many students are running low on lined notebook paper and writing utensils. Today is Election day and students voted in a mock election. They had to have their voter registration card or student ID in order to vote and the polls closed at 3:15. Looks like 88 percent of our class voted and 100% of the votes were for Obama. Part of tonight's homework is to check into some sort of media outlet (tv, radio, internet) for at least 10 minutes and see the election results as polls close and results come in. If possible, it would great for students to take a look at media in the morning as well. Last night your child probably asked you about the electoral college and whether it is still an effective system. We had wonderful conversations today in class about the system, the importance of the history behind it, and the benefits of the popular vote. Weird to think your child gets to vote in 8 years.....2 elections!
In reading, we've started My Side of the Mountain by Jean Craighead George. We're looking at finding the evidence while reading for the themes: independence, adventure, solitude versus society, and connections with nature. We spent time in class defining what each theme means. With this novel, there are many examples of figurative language that makes the writing strong such as personification. We'll practice writing our own personifications and I want to see examples of figurative language being used in our own writing. I also introduced a Venn diagram and we're comparing and contrasting with examples and evidence from this text and the Island text. Since this is a short week and the end of the quarter, we don't have a reading log or vocabulary.
I didn't assign anything new for writing this week since students we're finishing their Island essay, their choice pieces, and the tree essay along with journal prompts for our novel.
In science, we're learning about topography maps, contour lines, contour intervals and I'm integrating this into the novel My Side of the Mountain. We're looking at a map of New York state and the Catskill mountains where the setting of the story takes place. Speaking of states, on Friday last week students chose the state of their choice for their state project.
The state project is going to include some research skills (specifics next week). Students will create a brochure for their state amongst other activities. Today in the computer lab, students looked up quick fact information about their state like state flower, rock, song, animal, motto, etc. I also handed out another 50 States study skills packet yesterday to help students study the states and capitals. The study skills packet (pages labeled B) is due next Tuesday. Next Tuesday is the States test and Wednesday is the Capitals test. The format is a blank map.
On Monday, I handed out a due date calendar for November for homework assignments and projects. This is another tool to help students learn how to be organized and manage their time. Additional assignments can be added and long term due dates can change. I will eventually add a due date calendar to my website that will be current and updated on a weekly basis. I will introduce an assignment sheet next week as another tool to keep track of assignments turned in. Please remember to keep signing the planner.
I think this update is long enough! Have a great week. "Power to the people." --John Lennon
With Election 2012 in one week, we're spending everyday until election day learning about the candidates, the parties, electoral college, voter's registration, campaigning, and the issues. We'll culminate our learning with a Mock Election. Just a friendly reminder to get out and VOTE! Doesn't matter who, but exercise your Constitutional right and freedom. In social studies, we're also learning about the regions of the United States along with different types of maps and the choosing our state for our research/brochure project. Our next Passport homework is due November 15. We worked on it in computer lab today.
In science, we finished our life boats unit on concluding what the relationship is between capacity and the number of passengers and writing further inquiry questions. Students also learned how to make predictions using a two coordinate graph. We'll have a open notes quiz on Friday worth roughly 10 points. Our next variables unit we'll start this week is airplanes and gliders. Remember this FOSS kit is designed to teach the students the science processes and it does an excellent job.
Today we had visitors from ACT (Alliance for Community Trees) to tell us about an opportunity to publish and write for an authentic purpose....a contest! The essay is "What did the tree see?" This is a national contest aimed to enhance the awareness of the environment and educate on trees in urban areas. There will be local winners with local prizes and if our whole class participates, they'll plant a tree at school. Sounds like a win win to me. I will give time in class and use this as an opportunity to teach point of view and perspective. The essay has a max of 500 words so we'll also focus on organization and making our ideas/content concise. This does push back our memoir writing to next week.
One of our common core state standards includes comparing and contrasting novels, so our next book is My Side of the Mountain. We'll study theme and look at what both survial stories have in common and what's different. I'll also teach and reinforce more of the Scott Foresman skills and strategies. Our reading log reflection this week is about theme. We're keeping a class compilation of the themes from the stories and novels we're reading in class. We have no spelling this week.
Next week is the end of the quarter on Thursday, November 8th. There is no school on Friday. Community Service is due next Wednesday and each student must have 5 hours. Remember 1 choice writing piece is also due next week with all stages of the writing process attached (pre-writing, rough draft, revisions, final copy)
A HUGE thank you to the parents who helped volunteer at spookarama and those who donated supplies!!! It was a popular booth.
Don't forget it's daylight savings this weekend. Have a wonderful week.
Here's what is happening this week in room 210B.
I passed back reading logs today and discussed my expectations for the written reflection. Last week's reflection was connections and we're going to practice it again this week. I put together a whole mini lesson on connections and how they help us understand the text more. Text to self, text to world, text to media, and text to text. The weekly reflection is an opportunity for students to practice expository writing and apply the reading skills they learned. My expectation is for students to write in paragraph format with an introduction and brief explanation of the topic. They should have transitions between paragraphs and topic sentences. Spelling, capitalization, and punctuation are all necessary. I should see evidence of the text in their writing. An additional opportunity as an option for anyone wanting to challenge themselves is to cite our evidence with page numbers () in our reflection. (RL 1) We will continue to practice our metacognition about our writing and applying the reading skills and strategies until June. In wrapping up the novel, we're going to watch the movie Island of the Blue Dolphin from 1964. We'll take notes and analyze how the multimedia events contribute to the meaning of the text. (RL 7) We'll also look at how multimedia has changed through the years. No spelling/vocabulary this week. We corrected our grammar from last week today in class. Last week we learned about subjects and predicates and how missing one of them is a fragment and not having correct punctuation on another could be a run-on. Very important ideas in writing.
Writing this week is integrated with reading and science. However, I've asked students to take one of their memories and write a 1-2 page rough draft due on Wednesday. They should think about why this memory is important for them and why they remember this moment. Other than that, no specifics. We'll work with the rough draft more this week and next.
The social studies focus this week is a couple activities around the 5 themes of geography and the United States and capitals. One of the 5 themes lesson is on location and the other is a cooperative overview of all the themes. I've decided to reschedule Friday's field trip to the spring.
In science we're working on our life boats and capacity. Students learned how to work with and read a graduated cylinder and syringe. I'm reinforcing the concept of a standard (especially in a procedure) and identifying variables in an experiment.
All of my lesson planning and design revolves around the new Common Core State Standards. If you see me reference something in my email such as (RL 7) I'm referring to the Strand and Standard number. One of my goals this year is to include the standard on assignments so students know the learning objective and outcome.
I look forward to seeing many of you at Spookarama on Friday. On another note, I will be out on Monday for a funeral and Ms. Dowling is my substitute. Have a wonderful week.
I hope you had a wonderful 3 day weekend. It's nice to have an extra day off to rejuvenate. I attended a wonderful teacher inservice Thursday evening at OMSI. I collected some great information on where we might have our 5th grade overnight this year along with viewing their new exhibits, and learning more about astronomy and how we can enhance our curriculum. A field trip will be planned!!! If you don't know this about me, I love field trips.
A big thanks to Meghan Ruona who offered to do our class auction basket again. She's doing what we did last year with the tree house package since it was such a big hit! I'll give her your email addresses and she'll be in touch about donating funds. I know in these tough times, it's hard to give any extra but if each family could donate at least $5--10 this would be greatly appreciated. Remember these funds have a direct impact on our students. This year these funds were used to get another 6th grade teacher, reducing the large class sizes. If you can give more, please do! Our class will also make something arty to be sold at the auction. Don't miss it.
Our main focus this week is social studies and science! Awesome. We're building and creating our continents starting on Wednesday (Late Opening!). Any type of modeling dough/clay should work. Remember there's the recipe for salt dough (FREE) as well. The landforms test is next Tuesday, October 23. We will review for the test on Friday and what format the test will be. We started labeling the United States with states and capitals. This is our next unit of study. In science, we're all about water and life boats.
We're finishing reading Island of the Blue Dolphins this week. Vocabulary homework for Island this week is to find the words in the chapters and write the sentence they are used in and note the page number. My purpose for this homework is for students to practice finding the evidence. The reading log reflection this week is finding connections in the text and going beyond the obvious. Both of these skills lead us into next week's lessons.
Passport this Friday. Students have homework due on Thursday. Each month there is a different focus tying in the level students are studying for and making Passport integrated with what we're doing instead of stand alone.
More volunteers are needed for Spook-a-Rama next Friday. Please email when you are available to volunteer anytime between 5:30--8:30. Even 30 minutes is helpful.
Thank you for returning the midterm form this week. Have a nice week.
Lots of information to disseminate in this week's update. Please remember this is a short week because Friday is a Statewide Inservice Day. Since it's a short week, we will not have a reading log or spelling due this week.
This week in reading, we are starting the class novel, "Island of the Blue Dolphins." Our Scott Foresman concept question is how do people survive in the wilderness? The novel is checked out to your child, we will read mostly in class, however there might be times when a chaper or two (at most) is assigned to read at home.
Our next writing project is memoirs. We'll have several opportunities to write memoirs this year and this is our first. Part of tonight's homework is to write for 15--30 minutes at home on memoir worthy topics using our questions for memoirists. I'll guide the students through the process of engaging the reader to care about your piece. My goal is to get the students to put some heart into their writing and not write a narrative with details linked together end to end. I'll model what are the characteristics of an effective and ineffective memoir. We'll work on this for the next 2 weeks. Besides our class work, students are given one day a week to work during writer's workshop on pieces of their choice. Last week I went over the student choice piece requirements and expectations. Students will submit 2 finished pieces per quarter as a minimum. This is their opportunity to work on the imaginative, expository, and persuasive modes or poetry amongst the other myriad of choices. My goal is to publish an anthology of student work from our writing year together so please save all those computer drafts. On another note, it's Wordstock this week. It's a huge writing event this weekend in Portland at the convention center. I'd love to take any students interested in attending workshops on Saturday. I'll send out a separate email with details of workshop descriptions, time, and costs. It would be a wonderful opportunity to work with published authors!
Social studies is all about geography these days and landforms. This week students will work on their rough drafts of their create a continent project. We'll start creating our project next week in class. All materials including salt dough or model magic need to be in class by Tuesday, October 16. Students will get a choice to create the project 2 dimensionally or 3 dimensionally. Our landforms quiz is on Tuesday, October 23. That's two weeks to study the 50 vocabulary words. We're learning about the 5 themes of geography in class and doing activities to reinforce the themes over the next two weeks. I'm planning a walking field trip downtown Portland on Friday, October 26 (from 10:30--2 tenatively) and need at least 5 parent volunteers. More information to follow upon approval.
I must have a parent volunteer to help with the auction class basket. I understand this is a tough one to volunteer for since you have to ask people for money, collect it, and get the basket together. Please consider this wonderful opportunity as a chance to help raise money for foundation to help with class sizes, more electives, and money to support curriculum. I must have a name by Thursday, October 11 so I can submit the name to the PTA volunteer coordinator.
Spook-a-rama is coming up!!! Mark your calendars for Friday, October 26. Our class will run the whipped cream pie in the face booth. It was a real hit last year. I need several parent volunteers to help fill pie tins, wipe up the area and people, and collect tickets. I'll also need donations of canned whipped cream, some towels, garbage bags and goggles. Students can sign up to help with set up, clean up, and working the booth and earn community service! The sign up sheet will be be out in class next week for students. If you can volunteer for an hour time slot, please email me. Spook-a-rama is 5:30 pm to 8:30 pm.
Midterms are this week. I'll send home a midterm report with your child by Thursday, October 11. Please sign the form and return to school by the following Monday. If you have any questions regarding the midterms, please do not hesitate to contact me. I will highlight a few things students are doing well and 1-2 areas they can work on improving. If you haven't signed up for fall conferences on November 19 and 20, please email your preference of date and time (either am or pm). I'll email you the open slots. I will send conference reminders of day and time one week before.
I will be out of the building on Wednesday this week for a district equity training. Ms. Tracy Christiansen is my sub and will dismiss students at the end of the day.
Thank you for your continued support. Can you believe it's October? Enjoy the wonderful week.
What a fast week! Outdoor school was amazing like always and the weather was fabulous. Can't wait to go again next year. Mrs. O'brien did many wonderful activities with our class in the short two days she was our guest. One of the activities revolved around our character theme for October: Respect. Along with a class discussion, she had students write thank you cards to teachers they respect and she delivered them! Many teachers have commented on how touching and thoughtful the cards were. It is those small gestures that make our job awesome!
Students read Thunder Rose, a tall tale, with Mrs. O. The weekly focus question, "how does nature challenge us." I gave students some science background information on thunder, lightning, and tornadoes and we had a free write session creating a tall tale about an aspect of nature or weather. Spelling this week was in our spelling workbook and we corrected in class on Thursday. The books are allowed to go home. Mrs. O didn't know if I allowed that or not, so she asked them not to until I returned.
In science we finished our unit on pendulums. This lab introduced us to the scientific inquiry model. We learned first hand the definitions to variable, standard, controlled experiement, prediction, and how to do two coordinate graphs. Next week's lab focuses on life boats, capacity, and more hands on learning with variables and setting up experiements. All of this is laying the ground work for our science fair projects in March. Much of the science fair project will be done IN class with the exception of the experiment part.
If you don't have plans on Sunday and would like something really special and fun to do. Come join me in supporting Mrs. Caron run the Portland Marathon. She is running in honor of another 5th grade student, Ella W. Looking at the course maps, blockades, etc. It looks like the best place for BCS will be down by the Widmer brewery on Interstate and Russell. I'm going to meet one block North of Russell on Knott to avoid some congestion. If you take Russell street under I5 going west, you can take a right on Borthwick and left on Knott. I'm not sure how congested parking will be there. I'm sending maps home with your child. Might be best to park a few blocks away and walk down. I hope to see you there. We figured out the math in class and it looks like she'll be running by that spot between 10:45 and 11:30 am. You never know how your legs will feel at mile 23.5!!! Start time is 7 am and she's hoping for a 10--10:30 minute mile.
It's a short update this week. Have a wonderful weekend. It's going to be gorgeous. Soak. It. Up!
September 18, 2012
It appears the technical difficulties I was having with my website are fixed. I apologize for such a delay in communication. Our routines and procedures are well underway in 5th grade. The dust has settled on our schedule. The community building that takes place the first couple weeks to ensure our year long success are almost complete and academic curriculum is underway. We'll work year long on community building along with our 6 pillars of character education. Responsibility, Respect, Truthworthiness, Fairness, Caring, and Citizenship. September's theme is responsibility.
There's been some confusion about Back to School Night (BTSN). Just to clarify the correct date and time for the Fernwood Campus is Thursday, September 20 from 6:15 to 7:30. My schedule is as follows:
6:15 Introductions of teachers in gym
6:50--7:10 Presentation #1
7:10--7:30 Presentation #2
I will cover curriculum, expectations, volunteer opportunities, and conference sign ups along with other information about our class and our year ahead in the short 20 minutes and then repeat the same presentation for parents who have more than one classroom to visit. If you can't attend BTSN, please drop me a note or email. More information about what we've covered in class in the next post.
September 7, 2012
Welcome back new and returning families. I'm grateful to continue to be a part of the Beverly Cleary community and teaching 5th grade. I hope the first week of school went smooth for your children. The transition is an adjustment for parents, students, and teachers. Summer is fun and the weather in September is awesome.
Each week I will e-mail and post on my website a classroom update. The purpose is to serve as a communication device between students, parents, and myself. Each classroom update will contain information about upcoming events, field trips, or assignments/projects, where we're headed academically, and any important school announcements and the like. I will send a paper copy home with your child if you do not have access to e-mail or the web site.
Next week I'll send home several information sheets that I'd like you to fill out and return at your earliest convenience. Some of these forms provide me with information that is helpful, if problems occur, if wonderful things happen, or in case we need to chat. I also like to learn more about your child, what you have to say about them, and ways I can help them reach their goals. Please read the class handbook thoroughly because the information contained in it will help you and your child have a successful year.
The dismissal location for 5th graders is the Hancock side of the building by the Eastside doors. Please send in a note if your child walks or rides their bike on a regular basis. I will not take a verbal from a student for safety reasons. However, if something comes up last minute and there is a change in pick up I will take a verbal or email from an adult.
Thank you for a wonderful start of the year. Please do not hesitate to contact me at any point throughout the year with any questions, comments, or concerns. I look forward to our year together.