Tuesday, December 27, 2016

LCM and GCF, Auction, and Holiday Fun!

I wish all of you a very happy holiday season! I have enjoyed getting to know and teach your children.  They are a fun group!  I hope 2017 brings you joy and happiness.

LCM and GCF in Math
Students have been learning the difference between LCM and GCF in math.  

To help them remember the difference between the two terms, groups of students made up songs, poems, and phrases.  We had some very lively performances! A couple of groups gave me permission to share their movie clip with you:

Classroom Auction
Students have been earning  Burke Bucks in anticipation of my year end auction.  The students have been so well behaved this year I decided to do two auctions.  The first was held just before the holiday break.  They were fierce in their bidding and all walked away with something from the auction.  The next auction will be held at the end of the school year.

Holiday Fun!
We were fortunate to have the high school chorus and band come to our classroom to share some holiday cheer.  It was nice to see some OQS alumni among the students. They sounded great!

Later in the day, the 5th grade enjoyed making holiday arts and crafts to take home with them.  I hope they shared them with you. Thank you to all of the volunteers who came in to help.  We couldn't have done it without you.  Happy Holidays!

Sunday, December 18, 2016

Making Tracks

Adding Details to Writing
Students have been learning how authors use elaboration in their writing to add details to their stories.  I've been trying to get students to understand that the words they use to write their essays should be creating pictures in the reader's mind; just like they create pictures in their mind when they are reading a book. Last week we used a short story by Cynthia Rylant called Slower Than the Rest to look closely at the detailed words she uses in this story so they could see what I mean when I say I want them to use more elaboration in their writing. The students did an activity with this story called "making tracks." They marked each descriptive word they found with a symbol to show what kind of detail the author was trying to show:  sensory, physical, or emotional. They used symbols from a narrative detail sheet to make tracks on the story.  I'm hoping this will lead them to use more descriptive words as they continue to develop their essay writing skills.  


Monday, December 12, 2016

Hour of Code and Forts in 5B

Hour of Code
Last week the students had a chance to do some computer programming using the Hour of Code program.  They had a lot of fun and have been begging to do more.  I have put the link to the Hour of Code website here  and under useful links if you want to see what they have been doing; or allow them to continue coding at home.  This has been a wonderful experience of perseverance as computer programming can be frustrating as it's like putting a puzzle together, and you have to get it just right in order for it to work. The students did a great job of problem solving as they were coding. Here is a movie of one of the Star Wars coding puzzles they had a choice to try out and code to make the characters make it through the maze:

Fort Day in 5B!
Last week students brought in blankets to create forts.  This activity came to be because they earned alphabits as part of our PBIS program (Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports). They earn an alphabit each time they got caught showing expected behaviors in school.  When we've collected 100 alphabits for the class, we have a celebration.  They enjoyed reading in their cozy forts:

Sunday, December 4, 2016

The Wall is Open, Height vs. Feet, and Multiple/Single Meaning Words

Important Note:  Report cards were sent home on Friday, December 2nd.  They should be in your child's orange homework folder, but you might need to check the bottom of their backpack if it didn't make it to their homework folder.

The Wall is Open!
We have opened the wall that divides the 2 fifth grade classrooms.  We have mixed the students from each class so they now work together as part of our colonization unit. Each group is their own colony. This past week they used their mapping skills to earn points for their colony.  They don't know what they need the points for, yet.  All they know is the more points they get on each mapping assignment, the better it will be for their colony. They completed 2 mapping skills assignments and started on a third.  Hopefully, next week they will be able to tally their points so they can move forward in building their colony.

Height vs. Feet
Each month we start a new data collection in Number Corner, which is a part of our math program.  Since this week was the start of a new month, students collected data that includes their height and the length of one of their feet.  During the month of December they will see if they can figure out if the two are related.

Multiple/Single Meaning Words
Students spent this week revisiting the word sort they did last week with their mapping vocabulary words.  They discussed which words had only one meaning and which ones had multiple (more than one) meaning.  When they were in agreement on their word sort they wrote their mapping words in their Word Study booklet so they can refer to them during our colonization social studies unit.