Sunday, January 13, 2019

January 2019

Welcome back!! It's been a great first week back. I hope everyone had a wonderful two weeks and had some family time. Even though the first week was crazy for my family and I, we were able to spend some together and laugh, watch movies, and just be together. Below you will find some information regarding our curriculum and dates that are important to remember.

Important dates

January 18 - NO SCHOOL (teacher inservice day)
January 21 - NO SCHOOL (Martin Luther King, Jr. Day)
February 15 - NO SCHOOL (teacher inservice day)
February 18 - NO SCHOOL (President's Day)

Reading

Our focus for the next semester will be on nonfiction texts; however, students will still be working in fiction book clubs and focusing on determining themes. Right now, we are learning about complex nonfiction texts and all of the features that we need to muddle through in order to understand the text itself. In order to do this, we are focusing on text structures, text features, vocabulary, main idea & supporting details. We will also be focusing on reading within writing learning how to decipher argumentative texts. In order to help your child with nonfiction, continue to foster their love of reading. Helping them to gather materials that are nonfiction would be great. Going to the library or encouraging them to read magazines like Sports Illustrated for kids, Time for Kids, Scholastic News (they have access to this online), and more can help spark their interest in learning. Talking to them about debatable issues is another way that you can help. Ask them what the claim is that is being made? What reasons support that claim and what evidence supports those reasons? This will help them to dig deeper into topics that are up for debate.

We have also begun a study into idioms through our morning work. Each day we look at an idiom and try to understand what it means and where it is typically used. We will also be diving into word roots and affixes: prefixes and suffixes.

Our goals are: 
  • I can summarize a text by explaining how multiple details work together to communicate the main idea 
  • I can identify the claims presented in a text 
  • I can explain how a claim in a text is supported by reasons and evidence
  • I can explain the relationship between specific parts of a nonfiction text and the overall organizational structure of the text
  • I can compare how two texts from the same genre approach similar themes and topics
  • I can determine the meaning of unknown words and phrases 
  • I can describe the meaning of common idioms, adages, or proverbs 
  • I can identify symbolism, metaphors, and imagery in a text
  • I can use headings and images to signal logical groupings of information 
  • I can link reasons and evidence or details to main ideas using words, phrases, and clauses

Writing

We will wrap up our Response to Literature unit on Tuesday, however we will continue to practice what we learned in our weekly response for homework. More information regarding this will be later in this blog. Students will begin working on formulating an research based argumentative essay. In the beginning of our unit, we will be working on writing on a common argument: Should Chocolate Milk be served in schools? Once we are done with that, students will be invited to research an argument of their own. 

Our goals are:
  • I can identify the claims presented in a text 
  • I can explain how a claim in a text is supported by reasons and evidence
  • I can introduce a topic in an introductory paragraph 
  • I can use headings and images to signal logical groupings of information 
  • I can link reasons and evidence or details to main ideas using words, phrases, and clauses 
  • I can provide a concluding section or paragraph at the end of a text 
  • I can state clear claims about a topic or text 
  • I can provide reasons for claims that are supported by evidence 
  • I can integrate information from multiple sources into a text 
  • I can write for the purpose and task described by a prompt 
  • I can edit for subject/verb agreement and inappropriate shifts in verb tense 
  • I can edit for correct capitalization 
  • I can use italics, quotation marks, and underlining to indicate the titles of works 
  • I can use commas to set off elements of a sentence and to form lists 
  • I can edit for spelling
Math

We will be finishing up our work on addition and subtraction of fractions and we will be working on decimals next. Students will be learning how to order, compare, round and add/subtract decimals all the way to the thousandths place. When this short unit is over, students will be moving on to multiplying and dividing fractions and decimals. In order to help your child, you could have them put the cost of a couple of items on the grocery list in order from least to greatest. Here is an example of what the students will be learning:



January/February Homework

For the next month, students will not be writing a quick thought nightly. Instead, students will be working on an assignment from Google Classroom. They will chose the article that they read as well as a prompt they must answer. They will do all of their work on a Google Doc provided for them weekly in Google Classroom. They do know how to access Google Classroom. Make sure that when they log on to Google, they start with a username of lastnamefirstinitialmiddleinitial@s.dcsdk12.org.
Their password is Dcsd and then their lunch number. Please let me know if there is any issue logging on. The most important part is the s. after the @ symbol. 
Students will only chose one prompt per week to answer and that prompt is their choice. An example of a good response can be found below. Please note this is a comparison response that includes reading 3 articles.  Students will still be responsible for reading 90 minutes per week, however reading the articles/story can be included in this time. 

Write an essay explaining the similarities and differences in each article’s point of view about penguin rescue efforts after an oil spill. Support your essay with information from all three sources.

After reading, “The Amazing Penguin Rescue” by Lauren Tarshis, “The Amazing Penguin Rescue” by Dyan deNapoli, and “Update on Penguin Rescue Efforts from Oil Spill in South Atlantic”, I found similarities and differences in each one, of how the penguins were rescued.

First of all, there were similarities between the three articles. In all three, the penguins were oil infected. In article #1, it states, “You are not the only penguin who has become soaked in the poisonous oil. Thousands of others have been trapped in the massive oil slick.” The way the author wrote this article, is where the reader is imagining himself or herself as the penguin. This paragraph, paragraph seven, shows how the penguins were oil infected. In article #2, in paragraph one, it says, “In a matter of days, thick, toxic liquid had covered about 20,000 penguins.” Like article #1, the author explains how the penguins were oil infected. In the third article, it also showed how penguins were oil infected. It states, “Wildlife biologists estimate that half of the 20,000-penguin colony have some exposure to the oil and over 300 oiled penguins have already died.” In paragraph two, the penguins were oil infected in this article. Another similarity the articles have is, people help the penguins by taking them to a rescue center, or a rescue operation helped. Article #1 says, “A team of workers and volunteers has transformed a warehouse into a penguin rescue center.” This explains that the people who helped the penguins helped them in a rescue center. In article #2, it states, “Just outside of Cape town, a large warehouse was turned into a rescue center for oiled penguins.” Here, it shows how the help was done in a rescue center. Paragraph three in article #3 says, “...the difficult wildlife rescue operation…” This part tells about the rescue operation that helped the penguins out.

While reading, I also found differences in the articles too. In the first passage, it states, “A man catches you. You lash out viciously with your powerful jaws and razor sharp beak.” The penguins don’t like the humans, because they don’t know the humans are helping them. The other two articles don’t say the penguins didn’t like it. It doesn’t even mention how the humans took them to help. Another difference in the articles is, in paragraph 2 it says, “But for me, the most inspiring part was working with the volunteers.” The other articles don’t talk about what the volunteers felt, besides sickness from the smell. The other two articles probably would have said, “The most inspiring part was getting to see penguins.” The opinions on how the rescue process worked could have been different. Another difference was found in the third article. It says, “...3000 penguins have been rescued, along with seabirds and seals.” the other articles don’t say anything about other animals besides the fish that the penguins were eating. In articles one and two, the place the penguins were helped at was only a penguin rescue center. In article three, it was a marine wildlife operation. So, articles one and two, have nothing to do with seabirds and seals unlike article three.

“The Amazing Penguin Rescue” by Lauren Tarshis, “The Amazing Penguin Rescue” by Dyan deNapoli, and “Update on Penguin Rescue Efforts from Oil Spill in South Atlantic” have similarities and differences of how the penguins were rescued.


Students will be graded weekly using a rubric. They can use this rubric at home to make sure they have included all of the required parts. They are encouraged to talk with me throughout the week to help them improve their writing as well. They can also check back in their email after the first week to see feedback that was provided to them. This will also help them improve each week. 

Tuesday, December 4, 2018

December Update

Upcoming Field Trip & Science

We are excited to add to the classroom learning of our Life Science Unit on Body Systems by going to the Museum of Nature and Science and experiencing a dissection of a lamb's lung. Students will first rotate a few experiments and fill out a lab book to record their findings. After, they will work in pairs to dissect a lung, getting hands on experience of the great things we have been learning in class.

In addition to the respiratory system, in class we will also learn about the circulatory system, digestive system, and excretory. We will relate all these to Life Processes and show how they all are a part of a larger system that keeps us alive. Students will look at this system and analyze its interdependance and functions of each part. Students will also discover how parts and systems are affected when disease, illness, or breakdown occurs. As we wrap up this unit, students will create a product using technology to demonstrate their learning.

As an extension, students will also get the opportunity to research other systems and discern how they work with the other systems and their functions (bones, muscles, central nervous, etc.).

Important Dates

December 19 - Field Trip
December 20 - Class Party at 1:45 (more details to come)
December 21-January 4 - Winter Break
January 7 - School Resumes
January 21 - No School (Martin Luther King Jr. Day)

Reading

Last week, we took a break for a week from fiction to explore text structure in nonfiction texts. We are also working on synthesizing and vocabulary within nonfiction texts in order to understand them better. From now until winter break, we will be back to working on theme. Students will be comparing themes across multiple texts as well as trying to find themes in a variety of genres of text (music lyrics, short stories, and novels). Theme is the moral of the story, the lesson, or the message the author is trying to portray through the characters and character changes throughout the course of the story. There truly is no right or wrong answer for a theme of a text if you are using the characters and character changes in order to develop a theme.  

Our goals are: 
  • I can summarize a text by explaining how multiple details work together to communicate the main idea 
  • I can identify details in a text that develop a theme.
  • I can explain the relationship between specific parts of a nonfiction text and the overall organizational structure of the text
  • I can compare how two texts from the same genre approach similar themes and topics
  • I can determine the meaning of unknown words and phrases 
  • I can describe the meaning of common idioms, adages, or proverbs 
  • I can identify symbolism, metaphors, and imagery in a text
Writing

We have been working on developing a great Response to Literature essay. We use RACE as our format and then provide our own opinions to back up our evidence. Below you will see a picture of the RACE strategy and this is a strategy students will use for the rest of the year to respond to any text. 


Our goals are:
  • I can identify the claims presented in a text 
  • I can explain how a claim in a text is supported by reasons and evidence
  • I can introduce a topic in an introductory paragraph 
  • I can use headings and images to signal logical groupings of information 
  • I can link reasons and evidence or details to main ideas using words, phrases, and clauses 
  • I can provide a concluding section or paragraph at the end of a text 
  • I can state clear claims about a topic or text 
  • I can provide reasons for claims that are supported by evidence 
  • I can integrate information from multiple sources into a text 
  • I can write for the purpose and task described by a prompt 
  • I can edit for subject/verb agreement and inappropriate shifts in verb tense 
  • I can edit for correct capitalization 
  • I can use italics, quotation marks, and underlining to indicate the titles of works 
  • I can use commas to set off elements of a sentence and to form lists 
  • I can edit for spelling
Math

We are continuing our unit on fractions. Students have been given links that can help them play games that we have played in class in order to understand fractions. All useful information to help your child provided in last months blog is still pertinent to this unit. 


Students are working on the following:


Here are some things that you can work on with your child at home:





Our goals are: 
  • I can multiply multi-digit whole numbers using the standard algorithm. 
  • I can divide multi-digit whole numbers using strategies based on place value, the properties of operations, and the relationship between multiplication and division.
  • I can use the properties of place value and multiples of 10 to simplify and solve problems. 
  • I can shift a decimal value in relation to its decimal point by multiplying or dividing it by a power of 10. 
  • I can compare decimal values.
  • I can determine the volume of right rectangular prisms by packing them with unit cubes. 
  • I can calculate the volume of right rectangular prisms arithmetically. 
  • I can calculate the volume of three-dimensional figures composed of right rectangular prisms.
  • I can analyze the relationships between numerical patterns.

Sunday, November 4, 2018

November 2018

Important Dates
11/6 - No School; Election Day!!
11/12 - 11/16 - Fall Book Fair
11/14 - Celebration of Learning & Family Feast
11/19 - 11/23 - Thanksgiving Break (Fall Break #2)

12/21 - No School; Winter Break starts
12/21 - 1/4 - Winter Break

Celebration of Learning (12:25-12:55) & Family Feast (12:55-1:15) See Mrs. Brown's Blog for more information.


Reading

We are continuing our look at theme, however we are constantly trying to dig deeper and analyze our texts that we are reading. Last week, we compared theme between two texts. We also started new book club books. The hope is that we can continue our comparison between two or more texts. The standards in fiction texts we have been working towards are:

  • I can compare how two texts from the same genre approach similar themes and topics
  • I can identify details in a text that develop a theme
  • I can compare characters, settings, or events in a narrative text 
  • I can describe relationships between events in a narrative text
To help your child, after they finish reading, ask them what is the author trying to teach you in the story. You can start with, "The big lesson is..." or "Sometimes in life..." You can ask them what the big idea of the story is and how the characters or setting influence that idea. Asking them questions like, "What does this book say about (the big idea, ie Friendship, hope, family, etc)?" 

After Thanksgiving Break, we will begin a four week study of nonfiction. 

Writing

We wrapped up our narrative unit by looking at mentor texts. We dug into the author's craft to study how the author's wrote their stories and then we picked small craft's to work on in our own writing. You will see this writing at the Celebration of Learning. Our next unit has been our paragraph boot-camp getting students ready to write strong multi-paragraphs for the rest of their 5th grade life and beyond. :) In a week, we will begin our study of responding to literature. Students will use short stories and have to formulate a response based on a question this is provided to them. 

The standards that we have been working towards and will be working on are as follows:
  • I can create event sequences that illustrate a clear causal relationship 
  • I can use descriptive details to develop settings, experiences, characters, and events 
  • I can use dialogue to develop character personality and reactions 
  • I can separate run-on sentences in a draft 
  • I can edit for subject/verb agreement and inappropriate shifts in verb tense 
  • I can edit for correct capitalization 
  • I can use italics, quotation marks, and underlining to indicate the titles of works 
  • I can use commas to set off elements of a sentence and to form lists 
  • I can edit for spelling 
  • I can write for the purpose and task described by a prompt 
  • I can write for the audience identified by a prompt 
  • I can integrate information from multiple sources into a text
  • I can state clear claims about a topic or text 
  • I can provide reasons for claims that are supported by evidence

Math

We have finished up our unit on volume and will be taking the test on Wednesday. After that, students will be working with equivalent fractions, ordering fractions, and adding and subtracting fractions and mixed numbers. During the unit, students will work on the following:


Here are some things that you can work on with your child at home:



The standards that we have been working toward and will be working toward are as follows:

  • I can multiply multi-digit whole numbers using the standard algorithm. 
  • I can divide multi-digit whole numbers using strategies based on place value, the properties of operations, and the relationship between multiplication and division.
  • I can use the properties of place value and multiples of 10 to simplify and solve problems. 
  • I can shift a decimal value in relation to its decimal point by multiplying or dividing it by a power of 10. 
  • I can compare decimal values.
  • I can determine the volume of right rectangular prisms by packing them with unit cubes. 
  • I can calculate the volume of right rectangular prisms arithmetically. 
  • I can calculate the volume of three-dimensional figures composed of right rectangular prisms.
  • I can analyze the relationships between numerical patterns.

Science
We have continued our study of living systems. Students have learned about the makeup of cells and soon will be embarking in the study of tissues and organs.  After Thanksgiving we will be sending home information regarding the field trip we will be going on. This field trip to the Museum of Nature and Science will further our understanding of body systems including a dissection of a lung. Students will also learn about the circulatory, respiratory, and digestive system. We will briefly touch on the endocrine, muscle, nervous, excretory, and skeletal systems as well. 

Further information:

Please continue to collect box tops. We will have another collection in February or March. Also, if you can spare some more canned foods or non-perishable foods for donations that would be awesome! I am trying to dig through my own pantry for donation. The pantries become bare around holidays and if we fill those pantries at the Parker Task Force, we will be helping our fellow community members! Thank you so much!! 


Sunday, October 14, 2018

October 2018

Welcome back from Fall Break! I hope you were able to spend time as a family and maybe even get away! I spent my time relaxing and hanging out with my family...it was great! This month's blog post has ways you can help your child in math, reading, and writing. As we close up old units and begin new ones, your children will continue to grow their minds and hopefully be challenged along the way!

Thank you so much to Kelly & Gavin Binder for creating our awesome Digger Dash banner!

More information will be coming about our Halloween Party on October 31st. It will be from 8:45-9:30 with the parade right after. Immediately after the parade, class will resume as normal.

No School on November 6.

We are in collection mode right now! Please send in your Box Tops to our classroom. It would be awesome if we were able to win the Pizza Party! I'm also collecting at home and bringing them in. As of now, with a recent Costco run, I have around 50. I'll keep collecting! Please make sure they are not expired and are trimmed up. Thanks for helping our school!!

Reading

As we continue to analyze themes in a variety of stories we read in class, your children will continue to analyze themes in their own readings. We are going to begin full-fledged book clubs this week. Students will be running their own book clubs and analyzing and interpreting the books as they read them. I am excited to watch students embark on this new journey of discovering the joy of discussing books with peers! I will be a part of the discussion sometimes and an observer at other times. Please ask your student which book they are reading and encourage them to make sure they stay on track with their reading plans. Below are rubrics we are using to help us guide our learning and thinking. We use these in our journaling about reading as well.

We are working toward these standards:
  • I can explain the relationship between specific parts of a drama or story and the overall organizational structure of the text 
  • I can identify details in a text that develop a theme 
  • I can summarize a text by explaining how multiple details work together to communicate the main idea
  • I can identify details in a text that develop a theme 
  • I can compare characters, settings, or events in a narrative text 
  • I can explain how the narrator’s point of view influences descriptions of events in a text
Writing

Friday before Fall Break began, students finished up their small moments that they were working on. For the next week or two, we will be studying mentor texts and then using what we learn to improve upon those small moments that we wrote. After that, we will begin a paragraph boot camp. During this boot camp, we will be learning how to craft good paragraphs for a variety of writing genres. After that, we will begin a more in-depth look at how to craft a good reading response.

We are working toward these standards:

  • I can introduce a topic in an introductory paragraph 
  • I can provide a concluding section or paragraph at the end of a text 
  • I can create event sequences that illustrate a clear causal relationship 
  • I can use descriptive details to develop settings, experiences, characters, and events 
  • I can use dialogue to develop character personality and reactions
Math

We have finished up our unit on multiplication and division, but we have not left it behind! We will continue to work with multiplication and division in the units to come, especially our next unit which has us focusing on Prisms and Solids. In this unit, students focus on the structure and volume of three-dimensional shapes, specifically on rectangular prisms and solids composed of rectangular prisms. Students will be building models and patterns for boxes that hold quantities of cubes and calculate the volume of these boxes, using a cube as a unit of measure. In investigation 2, students will understand and develop a formula to solve the volume of a rectangular and rectangular L-shaped prism. Ways that you can help your child at home would be to encourage them to explain their thinking to you. Also, you can access the following website to help your child understand cubic units as well as understanding more about prisms and volume-->

Rectangular Prisms
Standard Cubic Units
Volume of Rectangular Prisms (video)
Volume Formulas
Changing the Dimensions and Changing the Volume

How many packages in a box?

Many household items are packaged and sold in boxes. You and your child can take a large cardboard box and predict how many bars of soap (toothpaste, pudding, cereal boxes) would fit in that box. You might try a variety of boxes at home or explore the way things are packaged when you visit grocery stores or other stores.

Volume of a Room
Another activity for exploring volume is to compare the amount of space in different rooms. At school, students will find the volume of their classroom in cubic meters. At home, your child can find the volume of various rooms. Which room do you think has the largest volume? Which room has the smallest volume? Why? Discuss how to compare rooms of unusual shapes (a slanted ceiling or an L-shape).


We are working toward these standards:
  • I can determine the volume of right rectangular prisms by packing them with unit cubes. 
  • I can calculate the volume of right rectangular prisms arithmetically. 
  • I can calculate the volume of three-dimensional figures composed of right rectangular prisms.
Science

I’m excited to be starting science this week! We will be learning about the Scientific Method and how we can use it to be scientists everywhere in the world, but mostly in our classroom (for now). Students will know and understand the characteristics and structures of living things, the processes of life and how living things interact with each other and their environment. To begin, students will be investigating the difference between living and nonliving things. Next, we will look at life process as well as the cell as a building block for all living things. We will then move on to human body systems and how all the body systems have separate functions, structures, and needs. This unit culminates with our yearly field trip to the Denver Museum of Nature and Science to dissect a sheep's lung and see the exhibit, "Nature's Amazing Machines". I will be sending more information about this field trip as we get closer to the date.


Sunday, September 16, 2018

Important Information Week of 9/17



Fall Conferences
The parent-teacher conference schedule has been released. Please sign up here. The password is digger. I would love it if your child joined us for the conference. While I know that this is not always possible, it is a great way to involve your child in their education because we will be discussing their growth and goals for this year. Conferences are Thursday 9/27 and Thursday 10/6. If the times offered do not work for you, please email me and we can discuss an alternative.

Picture Retakes
Picture retakes are September 19th. If you need to order pictures, please go to Lifetouch.com - Picture Day Id: CG878219Y1.

Digger Dash - 9/20
The GRE annual Digger Dash will be this Thursday. We will be racing from 10:50-11:35. As always, you are invited to come cheer us on as we race. While our race time is still in the morning, it could be very hot by the time we race (provided the rain doesn't decide to show up on Thursday). We are asking students to bring in their own labeled water bottles; PTO will not be providing water this year in order to save money on cups so it can be spent elsewhere. We will be bringing our water bottles outside with us and Parent Volunteers will be setting up a table to house those water bottles. We will resume our normal school day after Digger Dash is over.

No School this Friday, September 21--Teacher's have an inservice day.

Monday, September 3, 2018

September 2018

Wow! The year is off to a great start! Students are putting forth their best “growth mindset” effort and our learning has kicked off. Each month I will be highlighting what we have learned and what you can do to help your student. Please ask your student about Growth Mindset and what it means. It is pretty cool to hear it from them!

Important Dates

9/3 - Labor Day! No School
9/10, 9/12, 9/14 - CoGat testing (see letter send via email)
9/20 - Digger Dash
9/21 - NO SCHOOL
9/27 & 10/4 - Parent Teacher Conferences (also I will offer other days the week of the 27th and the 4th)
10/8-10/12 - Fall Break


Math

Hopefully by now you have seen your child’s math homework. We have been working pretty hard on solving number puzzles and refining our understanding of even, odd, prime, composite, factors, and multiples. Today we talked about the Order of Operations (PEMDAS - Parentheses, Exponents, Multiplication, Division, Addition, Subtraction). We have not yet introduced exponents, but it will come! Students are working on understanding how to insert parentheses and work with them along with the operations that they need to solve in order for a number sentence to be true. Students are also working on learning their math facts. They need to continue to work nightly on them as we are finding out that it can be hard to see if a number sentence is true if we are struggling to solve the problem. I have encouraged students to think of strategies to help them solve those hard facts such as using facts you know to get to the facts you don’t as well as using multiples to help figure out an answer. This week, I sent home homework helpers each night. This is great information to help you help your kiddo. We are also working on different strategies to solve multi-digit multiplication problems: array method, stacking (partial products), and traditional method of multiplication. I encourage them to find the one that works best and then use it.


To help your child in the future for math, refer them to this page, Math Words & Ideas page for Investigations. This page can help your child if they are stuck on a concept that we learned that day or if they just need a refresher on how to do the problem. They find the topic, then click on the specified link that will take them to a tutorial or video. For example, we are learning about multiplication right now. They would find the multiplication hexagon, click on it and a menu will pop up, then they would click on Multiplication Strategies from the menu that pops up. Here is another link for math games that they can play online to help enhance what we are doing in class. They are the online versions of the games that we play. This week, we are playing Multiplication Compare.


Here is more information on helping your child with math homework:


HELPING YOUR CHILD WITH MATH HOMEWORK


Math homework can often be a frustrating experience for children and parents.  Parents were often taught traditional algorithms and do not know the strategies students are learning today.  While these strategies promote a deeper conceptual understanding of key math concepts, it is difficult for parents to see the benefits when they are unaware of them themselves.


We have a great resource that will help!  The Math Words and Ideas site from the Investigations Math Series has links to math videos that explain how all concepts are taught at each grade level.


Watching these short videos are a great way to review how and why concepts were taught a certain way.  You may even consider watching with your child.  The presentation below provides a few additional tips to promote a love of math at home.



 Click here to access this site.



Simply click on your child's grade level on the left-hand side of the screen.  When you click on a math concept additional subtopics appear.  Each subtopic includes a short video explaining strategies taught at school.  In the example below, third grade was selected on left and arrays was chosen under the concept of multiplication.






Click on the presentation below on how to help your child with math homework.





Writing


We are finishing up our “10 questions.” Students have been working on writing a piece modeled after the Time weekly article. They worked hard to come up with questions to ask themselves and then answer those questions with voice. They are great and I can’t wait to share them with you at conferences! These articles will segway into our unit where students write their own personal narrative. You can help by talking with your child about important events that have happened in their lives or encourage them to tell stories about events that are memorable to them. We worked on mapping our hearts and writing down the most important people, events, or things to them so that students had ideas to write about. We will begin writing about small moments in our lives on Tuesday.


Reading

We have been working on metacognition (which is thinking about our thinking), synthesizing, and determining importance in reading (writing and math, too). Students have been encouraged to keep track of when they become confused and how they clear up their confusion while they read. I have also been talking with the kids about how important it is to read just right books. We learn and grow when we push our thinking, and just right books can do that. We have also been refreshing our schema on story elements that help us identify plot twists and changes, character changes, and theme. Students have studied basic story elements (setting, character, problem and solution) in prior grades; but in 5th grade, we will be expanding our knowledge of story elements to help us see how they all work together to help us interpret challenging texts.

We have also started our new reading unit this past week. Students will be working from the following rubric to help elevate their reading to new levels this year. The rubric includes responding to reading, looking at story elements at a deeper level, looking at the story whole and how the parts contribute to that, developing the idea of a theme or multiple themes, studying the author's craft, and analyzing perspective. At home, you can help your child by talking to them at a deeper level of what they are reading. Instead of asking them the basic questions of who are the characters, what is the setting, etc, talk to them about how their thinking may have changed as they were reading the story. Ask them questions that are on the list on this handout from parent night. You'll find that they will dig deeper into the story and that will help them elevate their thinking and their reading.

Social Studies

We are underway in our Geography unit. Students are learning what geography is and how they will go about studying it this year. Students will be choosing a region and completing some research on that region. They will then present it to their classmates. I encourage students to get to know the 50 states and capitals, not just the region that they are studying. Here are some fun games and songs to help them learn those 50 states and capitals:

USA Geography - capitals, states, and landscapes
USA puzzle map
Fill in the States - states and capitals
Name the state (you can pick it or spell it)
Tour the States Song

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Back to School Night Slide Show and Quick Thoughts

If you are interested, here is the Back to School Night Presentation.



Here are some important points you can take away from the slide show:

  1. Reading Homework Log is the responsibility of the student. They need to get you to sign it. Also, it must be turned in weekly (on Friday) completed. Students should be reading a minimum of 100 minutes per week.
  2. Math: If a child forgets their math, they can get onto Pearson Realize (their username is their lastnamefirstinitialgre and their password is Dcsdlunchnumber). They can either copy it onto another piece of paper or try to print it.
  3. Quizlet is a way for students to study their words. Here is another way to study spelling: Spelling Homework Ideas
  4. We alternate between spelling and vocabulary. Spelling will start next week (September 4th)
  5. Check the blog for any updates. Make sure you bookmark our page! :)