Welcome back to school. We are excited to start our first day back with our Smart Re-Start. Students will get to come back to optical illusion art, puzzles, battle bots, and video shooting/editing sessions with each of the 5th grade teachers.
SCIENCE CAMP IS COMING!!!!! We will be sending home important letters regarding science camp by the second week of January. We will be going for 5 days (April 1-5) and it will come up faster than you realize. Keep an eye out for our letter and I will be sending a remind the day it goes out in case your child has a habit of letting papers live in their backpacks until the end of the school year.
This month will see us wrap up our first science unit on Ecosystem and Food Webs and jump into Chemical Reactions. Language Arts will have students wrapping up our NaNoWriMo projects by putting them into a finished digital format using the Book Creator website. We will be returning to our flex reading groups as well. Math will pick up on the next module that explores multiplying and dividing fractions. Last but certainly not least, state reports will start the week of Jan 28th. This is a HUGE project and your student will need to use time at home to complete it to the best of their ability. I have created a state report website that walks through the entire project. It has weekly timelines, walk through videos, and an interactive map to check out the great work your student is creating as they progress on the project. The timeline currently reflects last school year but will be updated by Jan 24th to reflect the requirements for this year. It still remains a good tool to see what is coming.
A big thank you to everyone that was able to adjust their schedules and make it to conferences last month. It was great getting to sit down with you and your child to share their current progress this school year.
Students are currently exploring fraction concepts in math during December. We will wrap up addition and subtraction of fractions this month and jump back into fractions when we return in January with a focus on multiplying and dividing fractions. We finished our first drafts from our NaNoWriMo project at the end of November and are moving into our editing phase during December. Peer edits, one on one teacher conferences, and revisions are the focus this month with a goal of having a finished product to share in January. Science and Social Studies rotations will continue as we aim to wrap up our Web of Life unit in early January with Science.
I shared a new challenge with students that takes place outside of school and involves family. It is a google map with links to over 30 activities that students can explore with your help. The map link is here. The idea behind this is to provide students with a list activities they can try with their family and to encourage them to help create unique family experiences. This is a new challenge that I created this year and I would appreciate any feedback you might have for me with it. Students do not have to try any of these as it is something extra that I have challenged them to try.
Students are wrapping up their hobby projects and presenting to the class to start October. A web site providing links to their finished projects and daily logs will be available soon. We have broken into our initial flex reading groups and we will be monitoring all students to ensure that they are receiving the appropriate challenge with the group they have been assigned. We have completed Module 1 in math which covered place value, rounding, exponents, and powers of 10. We have moved into Module 2 which will focus on multiplication and division of large numbers.
Our class will be joining in with the NaNoWriMo writing project that Ms. Plane brought with her to Oster. It focuses on having students write a novel (story) in one month. October will serve as introductory lessons across a number of skills that students will need to create a narrative story. They will be working daily in November to create their story and reach a student created word goal. They will not edit their writing until December. This is a process to help students become stronger writers and to let go of the self editing that often takes place when we try to initially get our ideas down on paper. We are also taking part in the Global Read Aloud that kicks off on October 1st this year. We are reading Amal Unbound in class and connecting with our digital pen pals during this six week event.
Another major undertaking this month will be our Makerspace Challenge. The challenge is a pumpkin carving/decorating activity inspired by the engineers at NASA (video link and more available if you google it). Students will be in teams of 4. Each team will have access to materials in the Makerspace to make their ideas come to life. We have already explored using Little Bits and Snap Circuits to help build ideas on how they might be able to use them. We will be asking parents to supply pumpkins and looking for volunteers to gut the pumpkins the morning that we will finalizing our builds. The finished pumpkins will all be on display at the Oster Harvest Festival.
Halloween falls on a Wednesday this year so our annual Costume Parade will take place after recess. Students will get dressed after recess and the parade should start around 10:45 on the blacktop. Class parties will take place after the parade and before lunch.
Welcome class of 2017/18 to an exciting new school year. I can't wait to meet my new students and families. 5th Grade students in Room 19 can look forward to working in a classroom that integrates technology into our everyday work. Students will participate in Global Read Aloud, have digital pen pals, participate in occasional google hangouts with scientists and many other fun learning experiences. They will also take part in special activities like Science Camp, our 5th Annual Cardboard Arcade, and other traditional year end 5th Grade activities.
I look forward to getting to know you and your children and I'm truly looking forward to an incredible school year. I hope to see everyone at Back To School Night on Wed, August 22nd.
PS - The current posts, images, and links related to last years class will be in the process of transitioning to represent this year's class over the next month.
Teacher In Service Friday Jan 18th
MLK Observance Day Mon Jan 21