January 22, 2018

We watched a fabulous GE commercial that sums up problem solving and the motivation for inventors! It is an adorable yet educational deep 1:30 commercial. I told the kids I would upload it to the Blog so that you can watch it with them. They can give you a retelling.  It really is super!

Tonight’s Homework:

Reading – Read 20 minutes

Math-Study materials for Factors and Multiples Quiz on Thursday

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January 16, 2018

Well, we are really trying hard to get back into our routine. Today, we completed our Graphic Organizer for our compare and contrast paper on Neil Armstrong and John Glenn. We will then write our paper and begin our editing process. While the kids are doing this, I am assessing their fluency and comprehension at the back table. This will go on through out the week. The kids will complete their Scholastic News as well during this time. I was disappointed at the amount of students who did not have their Lucky Listener completed. It was due today and I have been telling the kids that I do not accept them late since they have had so many days to complete them and they always have their work with them- snow days or school days. I even reminded them at the end of school Thursday that they are still due rain or shine today and I will not accept them late if the student is here in school. I had a handful not turn them in at all and then another handful that turned them in incomplete. I will be sending them home in this week’s Friday Folder and entering them in Infinite Campus on Sunday so you know how your student did.

The students received their first Science grade of the quarter today when I checked their research paper for parent signature and the name of the specific landform they are doing. Tomorrow, our 2 resources are due. One of them must be a “hard” book- either a book, magazine, etc. The other may be a print off of an online website. We are teaching the kids how to research using various forms and thus need the 2 different resource styles. We will also be continuing on with our Invention Convention. The kids will be finalizing their choice for our class problem this week!

Tonight’s Homework:

Reading- Read at LEAST 20 minutes

Science- 2 Resources due tomorrow- see above

Math- page 390 in 7-4 HW section packet. Practice Math Facts!!!!

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January 11, 2018

Today, we kicked off our Science Invention Convention brainstorming simple everyday problems we face. Problems, that when solved, won’t cure any major illnesses or solve any worldly issues. Problems that are annoying and if solved, will make our lives just a bit easier or nicer. For instance, one young lady mentioned that it is hard to zip or button any shirts or dresses if they are in the back. It would be nice to have something to help her instead of always finding another person. Another problem that was mentioned was bringing in a wet umbrella from the bus and putting it in your locker and it would get everything all wet. Finding something that could help keep the umbrella from dripping all over their locker would be helpful. The kids will be working in small groups to come up with problems and why they are problems. Then we will collectively choose one to solve per class. In Math, we are working on factors and multiples. Kids still need to practice their math facts each night as the lack of familiarity is holding them back and slowing them down. In order to find all the factors of a number, you need to know basic math facts, long division, and how to factor a number. That is three steps. If a child is confident with the first two steps (which we have already learned in their own unit), they are only needing to focus on the third step which is the new material. Students simply can not find success is they aren’t confident in multiplication and division. We are still having our 2 problems every day which I grade- one multiplication with multi digits and one long division. Also, at this time of the year, I give students 1 point for completing HW or a 0 if it’s not done. If there are problems that have them explain, I expect a complete sentence. The kids won’t get credit if they don’t attempt to answer the problem. I don’t grade anything but I do look to see that they are attempting to solve the actual problem and not skipping over the steps. Besides reading and practicing math facts, they only have about 10 math problems a night for homework. They really need to focus on doing their best so that they get the needed practice to keep up the momentum they start in class. In Reading, we are writing our multi paragraph response comparing and contrasting Neil Armstrong and John Glenn. We did one together as a class and they are using that as a guide to write their own. We are guiding them through the note taking on their graphic organizer but they will be writing their own tomorrow!

Tonight’s Homework:

Reading- Read 20 minutes. Lucky Listener is due Tuesday 1/16. The kids should be reading a poem EVERY night for fluency practice. 

Science- Landform Research paper signature due tomorrow. 2 resources (one hard) due Wednesday. 

Math- Factors Wksht due tomorrow and practice facts!

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January 10, 2018

Welcome back- take two!!  We are super busy in Science right now! We are beginning our Science Invention Convention as well as our paragraph writing about a landform. Both of these are almost completely done here at school!! Here is more information about both:

Invention Convention: As a class, we will be learning about the PROCESS of how having a problem can flow into creating a solution in the form of an invention. We will be choosing ONE problem and then ONE solution for each Blue/White group. The kids will have their own creative opportunity to sketch their very own prototype. These sketches will be displayed at the convention in the gym. All of the work except for designing a sketch, will be done here at school together! In fifth grade, they will be working more on an independent basis and creating a prototype which they will display.

Landform Paper: Yesterday, the kids gave me their top 3 choices for landforms. Everyone got one of their top 3 choices. Today, I handed every student a packet with the first page the most important! For Homework, due Friday, the kids need to reread the letter with you (first page) and then chose and write down a specific landform and have parents sign. For example: If volcano was circled, I need to choose a specific volcano like Mt. St. Helens. I write that on the line. Then my parent signs below. This is due Friday. Next Wednesday, the kids need to bring in 2 resources (at least one needs to be a hard book or magazine) I suggested that it was much easier to find a book on their general landform and an online resource (printed off) about their specific landform. We will be finding 2 more together in school for a total of 4. The kids can ALWAYS bring in more. We will not be needing the books for long and as soon as we are done taking notes from them, we will sending them home. Many of the kids will find their books here at school in the library and the public library knows we are doing this project. Please, please, please, read the note on the bottom of the letter about working on this project at home. To keep this a learning project, we will NOT be doing any work at home. I will be keeping all the graphic organizers (there is a small version in the packet) here at school. I also will be checking student’s Google Docs time stamps.  The process of writing a research paper is more important than the product at this level so the process is emphasized. Please don’t help your child in any way. If a child’s Google Doc is accessed outside of the class times that I have written down, they will receive a Zero. We have spent a lot of time discussing this and more information is in the letter. Please contact me if you have any questions.

Tonight’s Homework:

Reading- Read 20 minutes. Lucky Listener is due 1/16. For the kids absent (MM, KR, GC) they are due 1/22. 

Science- landform paper parent signature page due Friday. Earthquake and Volcano quiz is this Friday- use notes in packets. We will review more tomorrow

Math- 7-2 HW section EVENS (379-380) and practice facts!

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January 3, 2018

We welcomed all the kiddos back to school today. Many were excited to see their friends and many were still tired from their break. That is about the same for the staff! We all love to see our friends but would love more time with family! But alas, we are back to our school world and we will jump right in. We reviewed long division and double digit by triple digit multiplication. The kids were very rusty and we still must practice our math facts. Our new unit is on multiples and factors which are 100% facts. The kids will still have a long division/multiplication check every other day to make sure they are retaining this extremely important concept. We will also be sending home Weekly Letters to be done at home for homework next week. We have practiced in class and now it is time to take it home to do it on their own. In order to be successful at responding to their reading, the kids need to read- for at least 20 minutes a night for a total of a minimum of 120 minutes a week. Reading 20 minutes a night for 7 days is actually better than reading in one or two large chunks. The more times they have books in their hands and in reading, the more fluent they get and the more they will comprehend. The only way to become a better reader, is to read more. Learning strategies in school helps a lot but if they don’t practice them, they will not be of any help. I tell the kids that sitting on the sidelines and learning plays for soccer or volleyball but never actually trying them, won’t help you at all. Learning the notes of a musical instrument but never playing, won’t help. The only way to become better is to practice. In Science, we introduced the Invention Convention today and will be off and thinking of an everyday problem that we have to solve. We will also start our Landform paper. The kids will be coming home with a packet about choosing a landform and getting a few resources. The entire paper will be completed at school after they bring in at least 3 resources (2 online print offs and 1 hard, like a book). Look for a paper in the Friday Folder this week or next.

Bonus Point Update: Both groups had the chance to start the new quarter with a 1 out of 0 for an A++. The kids needed to tell me what my favorite Science term has been for the last unit.  The answer is…….. LURKING!!! As in… The Super Volcano is lurking beneath Yellowstone’s flat basin ready to explode!! This was not a secret and most of the kids wrote the answer down with lightning speed. If they were awake and even partially alive during our lessons, this was an easy peasy way to start off with an A++.

Tonight’s Homework:

Reading- Read at least 20 minutes. The Lucky Listener Log was passed out today and is due 1/16 after our day off. There is a poem to read EVERY night and to be commented on constructively- no comments like “Great Poem” Use the instructions to know what a constructive comment is. 

Science- Earthquakes/Volcanoes quiz 1/11. Use the packets in the folder. It is not a test but a smaller quiz. 

Math- practice Math facts!!!!

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December 18, 2017

We are in our last week before our winter break and we are full steam ahead! We are wrapping up our official unit on long division with our test tomorrow but we will continue to practice both multiplication and division all year with daily problems. Please keep practicing at home. It is vital to the students’ success the rest of the year as Fractions comes up soon! In Social Studies, the students are writing their responses about the Prehistoric Indians of Ohio. They have been working very hard in class to prepare for their assessment. The kids will be working on it this week in class. We are finishing up our journey with Neil Armstrong and his iconic trip to the moon! We have compared Neil to Chuck Yeager and we will write a lengthier written paper as a class after break. This will prepare them for the paper they write comparing Neil and John Glenn that they will write independently. Aft er the break, the kids will finish up their volcano and Earthquake unit and will have an assessment. The kids will have time after break to study so that they can truly enjoy the break!

Here is the link to a few videos we watched last week on The Space Race. A few kids were absent and many wanted to simply watch again.

The Space Race:


The Cold War:


Tonight’s Homework:

Reading- Read at least 20 minutes

Math- Study for long division test (use packet) and practice math facts!!

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December 12,2017

Well Winter is definitely upon us and we are calling for all snowpants, hats, gloves, jackets, and boots to come to school. If you have two pairs of snowpants, kids can keep a set hanging in their lockers all week and they will go home Friday. That is only if you have another pair at home. Kids should be getting outside to play in the snow every chance they can!! Also, we go outside as often as we can so please, please, please, send the kids in completely ready for cold weather everyday! We are wrapping up our Division unit and have our test next Tuesday. The kids don’t have a study guide but they should be studying their long division packet that is in their Math folder. That mimics the test well. It is a fairly straight up directed long division test. They need to know the parts of a division problem and what each part means. This will help them read and write division problems. They also need to identify and draw bar diagrams that match the 3 parts of a division problem. Bar Diagrams are not new to the kids but we are simply adding the division into the mix. In SS, the kids will be having a Prehistoric Indians quiz on Thursday of this week. They should be using the completed long white double sided paper in their SS folder with notes on each of the 5 tribes. This was completed in class and should be complete. I know there are a few kids who have some blank/missing parts. They either didn’t see Miss Monroe after an absence or they didn’t take notes in class. In reading, we are well on our way into Neil Armstrong and we are diving into the Space Race. We are also writing our weekly letters in class and getting feedback. Look for your child to bring home  one to write after the break.

Tonight’s Homework:

Reading- Read at least 20 minutes

Social Studies- Prehistoric Indians Quiz Thursday-see above for details

Math- practice Math facts!!! Division of the Day sheet that says HW due W on the top. Long Division test on Tuesday of next week- see above for details

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December 6, 2017

Happy Wednesday! We are moving ahead in our Division unit. We will be dissecting word problems starting tomorrow to integrate that with our long division skill. We still have students who are not fluent with their math facts and it is holding them back considerably. Please make sure your children are practicing their facts 10 minutes each night,. This, along with reading 20 minutes, is always homework each night. I hope you enjoyed the music performance last night. The kids sounded fantastic on Tuesday during practice! It is always fun to see the kids shine outside of our classroom.

Tonight’s Homework: 

Reading- Read 20 minutes

Science- Volcano vocab quiz Friday- study note cards only

Math – 5 multiplication/division problem worksheet. Practice Math Facts

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December 1, 2017

Happy Friday! It is a lovely one at that. We are getting very lucky with our weather for recess. It will not last but we will enjoy every second of it! Next week, the student council is selling Holiday Grams at lunch for 25 cents. The kids can send a message to any student in 4-5 grade or any staff member. We have been talking it up so I wanted to let you know that yes, if they are asking for spare change, it is for a good cause!

We are in the midst of our Division unit and we are still in need of multiplication facts practice!! It is slowing us down and making life harder than it should be in our room. Please practice for 5-10 minutes a day!!!  Here is the link to the next Long Division Video:

This is one unit parents can definitely help their child. It is just basic long division- no fancy strategies or methods! In Reading, we continue with looking at how nonfiction utilizes text features such as headings, photographs, tables, captions, maps, and side bars to help the reader understand the content. We will be starting our class novel, Who Was Neil Armstrong, next week. It is a fantastic and inspiring book. We will be learning more about how space suits were designed and the earliest flights into space!!!

No Homework over the weekend except to READ, READ, READ, and practice your Math Facts!!!!!

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November 30, 2017

We are cruising through the steps of long division. I am concerned though at the amount of students who are still not fluent with their facts. We are starting to review multiplication (2 digit x 2-3 digit) every day. They are receiving 4 problems daily which are graded and put into the grade book. Traditional multiplication needs to be practiced daily in order for them to retain it. We have done 2 days so far and it is concerning how many students don’t know their facts so they are not getting the problems correct. The pink sheet will be coming home Friday for parents to sign. This will give you an idea of whether you need to make sure your child is practicing not only their facts but traditional multiplication problems at home nightly. The rest of the year is working with both multiplication and division so it will be a real struggle for students to understand the curriculum if they don’t know their facts. There are so many online sites but I have found that good ole paper fact cards are the best. They make them small so they can be stuffed in a purse or a car. You only need 5-10 minutes a night. This is the one area that kids are learning exactly as we did- traditional multiplication and traditional long division!! It is a relief!!

Tonight’s Homework:

Reading- Adjective/Adverb baby quiz – super small. They should review their morning work packet 

Math- Division worksheet

Dress up as your favorite book character is tomorrow and Holiday Grams will be sold next week- they are 25 cents and the student council will be selling all week long at lunch!!

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