December Update

ELA- We are reading an all class novel, 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, 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- 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 Update

ELA- We finished Notice and Note book clubs.  Students did a great job noticing signposts and coming to groups prepared. The discussions that they had showed that they were really digging into the deeper meaning of their novels. Now, we will begin focusing on reading nonfiction text. We will be studying text features and various 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.  Students are choosing a topic that they are an expert on and creating an informational article that includes many text features.  Students brainstormed ideas and have chosen their topic. This unit will be wrapping up before Thanksgiving Break to be ready to for our nonfiction Wax Museum essays.

Social Studies- We started our unit on the Industrial Revolution last week. Students began by participating in a simulation to plan a town as that town that is developing 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 they 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 the villagers faced. After watching a comprehensive video about the Industrial Revolution, students will begin reading an informational text from National Geographic.

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 understanding of volume. While the formula for volume will be taught, the focus of the unit is understanding three key ideas. One – volume is packing a three-dimensional object with unit cubes where there are no gaps. Two – 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. Three – the volume of a composite figure made up of rectangular prisms can be found by breaking the shape down into prisms, finding their individual volumes, and 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 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 Monday, students began Notice and Note book clubs. Students were put into small groups and will be reading realistic fiction and historical fiction texts as they discover the Notice and Note signposts along the way.

Students have done a wonderful job of developing and editing their narratives. Soon, we will wrap up the narrative unit with a writing celebration. 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 that they are an expert on and create nonfiction feature articles!

Science-  We are wrapping up our Science unit.  Students came home with Study Guides to study and review for the final Space Assessment.

Social Studies- Next up is our first Social Studies unit about the Industrial Revolution. Students will spend some time learning about the Industrial Revolution 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 more information about the 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. The long division strategy 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. 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

Busy as Can Be!

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.

Writing– 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.

Welcome Back!

I hope everyone had a great summer break.  It seemed to fly by quickly.  I am excited for a new school year.  We have such an exciting 5th grade year planned!

Have a Great Summer!

I want to thank all of my students and their parents for an outstanding school year. I hope that you all enjoy your summer vacation. I am so proud of each and every one of you, and I wish you the best!

I am Glad I was your Teacher!

I’ve come to love you so.
I can’t believe the end is here.
I hate to see you go.

Remember all the fun we had
in all the things we did
But most of all remember…
You’re a Very Special Kid!

Unknown Author

Westward Ho!

What an outstanding musical performance by the 3rd grade for our Westward Expansion Unit.  All of the students worked very hard.  The square dancing after the program was fun.  Our friends and family members really showed off some of their dancing moves!

We are working to complete our journey to Oregon!  The class is working to complete an exciting simulation.  We have had some tough decisions to make, and we have faced many hardships along the way.  We will celebrate our successful trip with a 3rd grade Pioneer Day.  It will be an afternoon filled with yummy food, crafts. dancing, and games.

Art in Action and More!

The students participated in Art in Action.  This was a great opportunity to try various art forms including painting, sculpture, air brush, jewelry making, and many more.  The students had a great day.