# March 8th Update!

~~~~UPDATE~~~

Our next unit is poetry and we have our big Poetry Cafe on April 25th from 6:15-7:00.  This event is mandatory for all students. It is a fantastic showcase of all the students’ hard work throughout the unit!  We hope you will all be able to join us!!

Math – Students recently wrapped up a unit on multiplying and dividing fractions. Students overall were very strong procedurally but are still working on visualizing story problems and developing a plan for solving problems involving fractions. These will be concepts that we continually revisit throughout the year. Two strategies that students used were sketching the problem using circles or rectangles and substituting easier numbers in the problem.

As we move into taking a closer look at decimals students will start by comparing, ordering, rounding, and writing decimals. This builds on the place value work that we have done throughout the year and in previous years. Students will also formally study addition and subtraction of decimals before moving into decimal multiplication and division. Students rely on estimation and questioning if the result is reasonable as they look at decimal multiplication and division rather than relying on tricks like counting or moving decimals. Thank you for helping to reinforce these strategies at home.

Social Studies- We have been studying the Dust Bowl. We began our unit by mapping where the Dust Bowl happened. This gave students a strong sense of where the Dust Bowl took place and where the most damage occured. We also watched a Dust Bowl documentary so students could gain background knowledge about this time period. Currently we are reading a non-fiction text about the Dust Bowl and answering questions to go along with it. During read-aloud time we are are reading a historical fiction novel titled Out of the Dust.  As the unit continues students will be completing a perspectives project in which they put themselves in the place of someone living in this time period and decide if they would stay with their land or leave in hopes of a better life. Once this project is complete, students will work on creating a Public Service Announcement about a more current problem and ways to help stop it.  The students will make an iMovie, which are always impressive and inspirational to share with the class.

# December 4th Update!

December 4th Update!

ELA- Today we are beginning an all class novel unit for the book Counting on Grace.  This book ties in with our Industrial Revolution unit, as it focuses on Grace, a child who worked in the mills of Vermont in the early 20th Century. We will be reading some of the book in class and students will continue the reading at home. In addition, students will have nightly reflections to do at home in Google Classroom.

In writing, we are focused heavily on producing our Wax Museum essays. We will do the bulk of the writing in class, as we teach students how to synthesize information from multiple sources to convince readers why their historical figure was influential during the Industrial Revolution era.

Math–  After a review of problem solving structures last week, students will now move into one of our largest units of fifth grade – fractions. The beginning of the unit builds off of work that students did in fourth grade adding and subtracting fractions with common denominators. The fifth grade expectation is that students are able to add and subtract fractions and mixed numbers with like and unlike denominators using a variety of strategies.  Two concrete models that students should already be familiar with this year are clock models and money models. Clock models work really well for halves, thirds, fourths, sixths, and twelfths as students can visually see those pieces on the clock. Money models work well for halves, fourths, fifths, tenths, and hundredths as students can easily relate these to coins, dollars, and cents.

When students are adding and subtracting fractions visual models such as number lines, fraction circles, and fraction bars will be helpful to see “making a whole” and finding equivalent fractions. They will also learn traditional algorithms.

Social Studies- Today we began learning about child labor during the Industrial Revolution. This directly relates to our whole class novel, Counting on Grace. Over the next few weeks, students will analyze child labor photos and discuss how it relates to our class novel. Students will also learn about Lewis Hine, a child labor reformer. We are integrating the Industrial Revolution across subject areas as we prepare for the Wax Museum next Friday.

# November 1st Update!

November 1st Update!

ELA- In reading we have about one more week of Notice and Note book clubs.  Students are doing a great job searching for signposts and coming to groups prepared to discuss. The discussions that they are having are showing that they are really digging into the deeper meaning of these novels. When we wrap up book clubs, we will begin focusing on reading nonfiction text. We will be studying text features and formats to gain insight into why writers use them to help the reader better understand and learn from their writing. This will lead into Wax Museum research which will begin after the Thanksgiving break. You will receive more information on the Wax Museum Friday, November 10.

We have just started our nonfiction Feature Article writing.  This is an exciting and quick writing unit in which students are choosing a topic that they are an expert on and creating an informational article that includes many text features.  Students have begun brainstorming topic ideas and looking at various text features in nonfiction texts and articles.  This unit will be wrapping up before Thanksgiving Break to be ready to for our nonfiction Wax Museum essays about their historical figure.

Social Studies- We started our unit on the Industrial Revolution last week. Students began by running a simulation to plan a town as that town grows from 1700 to 1850, as many small towns did in England and the United States. Students learned first hand that these towns grew rapidly and did not have time to plan or organize the city. Names that will soon become familiar like Richard Awkright were introduced as well as many of the social issues that villagers faced. After a comprehensive video about the Industrial Revolution that leads to great discussions students will begin reading our informational text from National Geographic. An audio version of the text as well as reading guides will be provided for students.

Essential questions that students will grapple with throughout this unit include:

• What factors contributed to the scientific and technological change that inspired the Industrial Revolution?
• How did the Industrial Revolution impact individuals, society and the world?
• How did society respond to the causes and effects of tensions that occurred when the goals and beliefs of workers were in conflict with those of owners and managers?

Math- We are now working on developing an understand of volume. While the formula for volume will be taught, the focus of the unit is understanding three key ideas. One – that volume is packing a three-dimensional object with unit cubes with no gaps. Two – that the volume of a rectangular prism can be found by finding the area of the base and multiplying the base by the numbers of layers in the prism. And three – that the volume of a composite figure made up of rectangular prisms can be found by breaking the shape down into prisms and finding their individual volumes, then adding those together. Videos explaining those concepts can be found on our math website. The unit only focuses on volume of rectangular prisms and composite shapes made up of rectangular prisms.

Upcoming Dates to Note:

No school the week of Thanksgiving- November 20-24th

# October 16th Update

OCTOBER  16TH UPDATE!

ELA- In reading we have been studying Notice and Note signposts. The four signposts students have learned include Words of the Wiser, Aha Moment, Contrast and Contradiction, and Tough Questions. Students can reference these in their reading notebooks. Starting this Wednesday, students will begin Notice and Note book clubs. Students will be placed into small groups and will be reading realistic fiction texts and discovering the Notice and Note signposts along the way to deepen their comprehension of these novels.

Students have done a wonderful job of developing and editing their narratives. We will wrap up the narrative unit with a writing celebration next week. Our next writing unit will focus on informational expository writing. Students will first explore this genre of writing through mentor texts. Students will then choose a topic they are an expert on and create nonfiction feature articles!

Science-  We are wrapping up our Science unit.  Students will be coming home today with Study Guides to study and review for our final Space Assessment that will be tomorrow.

Social Studies- Next up is our first Social Studies unit about the Industrial Revolution.  Students will spend some time learning about what the Industrial Revolution is and how it changed America.  After gaining a base of knowledge students will begin talking about the Wax Museum.  Mark your calendars for December 15th in the afternoon to come and see the students hard work in action.  We will be sending much more information about all things Wax Museum as the time gets closer.

Math – We are wrapping up our study of division models. By the end of this unit students should know how to divide a four digit number by a two digit number using strategies based on place value. Strategies that we taught in class include using base-ten pieces, an open array, and partial quotients. If students are familiar with long division this strategy was another option but long division is formally introduced in sixth grade. You can view examples of the models that we teach on our math website.

Our next unit focuses on developing an understanding of volume. While the formula for volume will be taught, the focus of the unit is understanding three key ideas. One – that volume is packing a three-dimensional object with unit cubes with no gaps. Two – that the volume of a rectangular prism can be found by finding the area of the base and multiplying the base by the numbers of layers in the prism. And three – that the volume of a composite figure made up of rectangular prisms can be found by breaking the shape down into prisms and finding their individual volumes, then adding those together. Videos explaining those concepts can be found on our math website. The unit only focuses on volume of rectangular prisms and composite shapes made up of rectangular prisms.

Upcoming Dates to Note:

Author Visit- Caitlin Alifirenka- Tuesday, October 17th at Marie Murphy

Space Science Assessment- October 17th

Parent Math Night- October 17th- 6:30-7:30

Math Division Assessment- October 20th

Parent Teacher Conferences- October 25 and 26

No School- Teacher Institute- October 27

# September 25th Curriculum Update

ELA- In reading we have been working to set up classroom, Daily 3 procedures. Teachers have taken the time to read with students to get to know them better as readers. We will be starting to learn about Notice and Note Signposts this week. Students will use this reading strategy to stop, notice and note important text moments such as Words of the Wiser, Contrasts and Contradictions, Aha Moments, and Tough Questions. Students are practicing answering the guiding questions after identifying a signpost. These questions encourage students to delve deeper into fiction texts.

Last week, we began our Lucy Calkins Personal Narrative Writing Unit. We have been discussing the importance of writing about a small moment with detail and elaboration. Students have discovered several ways to generate a narrative and have brainstormed many story ideas. Over the next few weeks, students will write and perfect a personal narrative. We have been so impressed by their writing and creative ideas thus far!

Science- We continue to work hard on our Space Unit. We kicked the unit off by talking about the total solar eclipse.  Since then, students have been experimenting with shadows and sundials to understand the movement of the Earth on it’s axis and in the future – around the sun. This week we will be discussing and learning about constellations. Because the weather has been so nice we have been able to get outside for some of our experiments!

Math- In math we are working in depth and building complexity as students work with multiplication strategies. We will assess students’ abilities to multiply a three digit by a two digit number using area models, partial products, and the standard algorithm on Wednesday. Videos of these strategies can be found on the Unit 1 website. Pre-assessments for division will take place on Thursday and Friday in small groups. The study of division will begin by using base ten pieces to model division equations. This will lead into the use of open area models and finally using the partial quotient strategy.