Hi everyone! I am sure you've all heard, THE WORMS ARE HERE! We had such a great week in science, and thanks to Mrs. Fossa-Moretti and Ms. McMahon's help, the kids were able to create their redworm compost jars! Some were a little leery when touching the worms, but others quickly stepped in and helped. We had great discussions about how important it is to the ecosystem to keep it balanced and how all living and non living organisms play an important role. For a homework pass, ask your child about the importance of a worm's role to its ecosystem! We also navigated through the similarities and differences of food webs and food chains and discussed the importance of both to different ecosystems. We dove a bit deeper (pun intended) into an marine ecosystem called the Monterey Bay Kelp Forest. For this activity, the students had to study the prey and predators on their cards and set up a food web to show the different roles of producers, consumers and decomposers. Check out some pictures below!
In Physical Education, Mr. Connell has been teaching the class about the different positions and roles and responsibilities in flag football. I love to watch them play. There are some fierce competitors in this class - especially the ladies! Check out these action shots!
During our ELA block, we are continuing to research and take notes on our chosen ecosystems. This past week we learned about identifying the main idea of a reading passage and what qualifies as a supporting detail. The students are doing a great job putting a sticky note on all important information as they are reading, which is then transferred to the graphic organizers during our writing block. We have finished research questions one, two, and three, and will be working on questions four and five this week. After all eight research questions are complete, students will then move on to writing and illustrating their own nonfiction book. At a professional development session last week, I learned that the company we are piloting the program (ARC) buys books that are well written and illustrated. They will pay up to $500 to publish a student's book and include it in the kit!
We have finished chapter 1 in math, and I am so happy to say that everybody received an 80% or above on the chapter test. I am so proud of how hard they worked through decimals, place value, and the dreaded expanded form! We are now moving on to prime factorization, multiples, and exponents. Don’t unbuckle those seatbelts yet because it’s only going to get more difficult!
Last week was our first 5 day week. I was exhausted by 3:20 on Friday and was ready for a nap. We are continuing on work on practicing our daily routines and getting used to our daily schedule. In reading, we did a novel study on Frindle. I am so impressed with this class's reading stamina. We read 3 chapters each day and discussed the relationship between the characters and how they changed throughout the book. The students made connections to themselves and their relationships to teachers and friends which led to great in depth discussions within their groups. Here are a few pictures of how well they focus while reading.
In math, we are continuing to practice place value to the millions. This week we talked about decimals and how moving the decimal place to the left or right increases the value by ten or decreases it by 1/10. We did a fun activity outside in which the class got into groups and without talking, they had to create numbers that I yelled out. Some found it very difficult not to talk! :) We got through about 6 rounds before a gust of wind came and quickly ended our game. Here are some pictures!
After the wind ruined our game, we decided to have recess instead! Here are some pictures!
Friday was our Fun Festival and the kids had a blast. Thank you to all of the parents who volunteered to help! We couldn't have done it without you.
In science we are learning about the geosphere, atmosphere, hydrosphere, and biosphere. Ask your child what each of the prefixes mean for a homework pass! This week we will be discovering the differences between a food web and a food chain and create both using cards with information about a kelp forest and a bay. Our red worms will also be delivered this week so we can create a worm habitat from composting!
In writing, we discussed the steps in writing a constructed response. We use the RACE model which guides the students through each step in writing the response. They did a great job and are learning how to cite using quotation marks and page numbers. See below for the breakdown of RACE.
We had another hot, but busy week. We began our first chapter in Math, which is all about place value to the millions. We learned to represent numbers in 4 different ways. Ask your child if he/she can teach you the four ways, and it he/she is correct, let me know and he/she can get a no homework pass! Check the anchor chart below for the correct answer.
In writing, we are learning about 5 types of writing created by Dr. John Collins. Smithfield teachers had the privilege of having Dr. Collins as a guest speaker for our first professional development day of the year. He was so amazing and very inspirational. The students are really grasping this format and are beginning to build more organized and focused writing. This is the chart we have hanging in our classroom for the students to refer to when needed.
In reading, the students are deep into their independent books are are getting back into the swing of writing responses to their reading. I am piloting a new ELA program created by the American Reading Company and we are diving right. We are beginning the year focusing on informational writing, and the reading resources we received through ARC coincide so nicely with our first Science kit, Living Systems. The students will be focusing on Ecosystems and will be researching and writing a book on a topic of their choice. I am so excited for you to check out our resources at Open House. Here are a few anchor charts that were created!
In Science, we learned about the steps of the Scientific Method. The students practiced these steps in a fun gummy bear experiment that took them through the process. We left a gummy bear in a cup overnight with either plain water, salt water, baking soda and water, sugar water, and vinegar. Ask your little scientists what their hypotheses were and if they were correct. Here are a few pictures of this experiment. It was torture for them not to eat the gummy bears!
4 days down, 176 to go! (but who is counting?)
What a great week we had. We welcomed a new student, Arianna, which brings us to a total of 25 students! The fifth grade is now at capacity.
Even though we felt as if we were melting, we got so many tasks accomplished. We talked about 5th grade expectations, flexible seating, classroom rules, reading stamina, problem solving strategies, completed our first STEM activity. and began our read aloud. (Scat by Carl Hiaason)
We also had the pleasure of visiting with Ms. Feeley's room this week to meet her students. We read some of their favorite books with them and are looking forward to spending time in her class to get to know the students even better! Here are some pictures of our new friends.
We also jumped right in to begin building our reading stamina. The students are loving the different options to sit on while enjoying their books. Here are a few pictures of our flexible seating options!
5E birthdays! (November needs a retake to include Arianna.)
Here are some pictures from our first STEM activity. It was a fun teamwork building activity that used string, rubber bands and plastic cups. The students needed to work together in groups of four to pull on strings which expanded a rubber band. The rubber band has to manipulate the 8 plastic cups into different shapes that I would show them. It was the coolest STEM activity I have ever seen. They absolutely loved it and showed amazing teamwork.
The class also had fun solving math problems as a team to try and turn themselves back into people after being turned into robots. (Don't tell them it was a big 4th grade math review!)
Another fun activity was the class got into groups and brainstormed what they thought a good fifth grade teacher does, says, is and is not. They did a fantastic job and I think I passed all of their criteria. If I hadn't, it would make for a long year!
I got Jonas' permission to share this hysterical moment in 5E. In fifth grade, the students are able to snack all day. Friday morning at around 9:15, I was walking around the classroom, talking to the class about the plan for the day. We were also introducing ourselves to Arianna and giving her the ins and outs of 5E. I then became fascinated by Jonas, sitting in his seat very attentively, nodding his head showing me that he is listening, all the while, constructing a Lunchable cheese pizza - at 9:15 am! I have seen a variety of snacks kids eat first thing, but none that ever caught me off guard as Jonas' pizza did on Friday. It was a great laugh to end a hot week! !