Thursday, November 10, 2011

Newsletter November 10, 2011

We survived WKCE week with flying colors.  The students did their best and then we went on with our explorations.  Results will be sent home some time in the spring.  Thank you to all who donated brain food for us, the kids were so excited and felt very spoiled.
MathWe finished unit 3 with ease and then took a break from math class this week.  Today we did math challenges all day, see the video on our website, and it was incredible to step back and let the students work though problems.  We have some very creative thinkers in here.  We start math again on Monday with new groups and the test will be Tuesday, November 29th.
Science We started mixtures and solutions and are working on separating a saltwater solution.  I love all of the background knowledge they students share as well as the inferences they make throughout the process.  They are true scientists.  I have also checked in with students regarding the upcoming science research paper.  It is due next Friday.
Social Studies – This week we built background knowledge as we did a simulation on the Explorers.  I love hearing the rich discussions on which choices the ships should make as well as reading the daily journals.  We did lose a few students to scurvy unfortunately.  We start switching for reading again on Monday.
Reading I introduced conflict this week as it ties in with Harry Potter and we also discussed the roles of protagonists vs antagonist.  It is wonderful to see the added layer of perception this adds to the book and the students hate when I turn off the read aloud.   That J.K. Rowling is a genius.
Writing I love seeing the creativity on the students’ blog posts and especially how these students inspire other classrooms around the world with their ideas.  I am leaving private comments for students to tighten up their spelling and ideas.  We also briefly discussed the Yahara River Writers Contest which we will start on in December.
Special Notes
*  Thank you so much for your participation in conferences.  So far, the discussions have been rich and I love seeing the student ownership of their learning goals.  Please keep me informed if there is anything we still need to discuss or anything I can do to make 5th grade an even better experience for your child.
*  In-class spelling bee has started with the top names going to Ms. Weber by Thanksgiving.  This is voluntary n the room but I do love seeing how many students are giving it a go.  They are also challenging me to come up with definitions.   
*  We will be watching “Singing in the Rain” on Wednesday, November 23rd.  Partly because it is my favorite movie but also because Will greets us every morning with the song “Good morning” from there.   Students may bring in pillows and blankets if they would like, as well as a snack.
*  Congratulations to Jacob, David, and Sophia Bote for representing us at the Quiz Bowl.  We wish them all luck when they compete on Tuesday.
*Thank you for all of the box tops, we were in first place last week and the kids are already winding up their throw arm for that pie in the face I may get.
*  As part of our global awareness, I play holiday music from around the world in my classroom starting after Thanksgiving.  If this concerns you, please let me know.
* I have some dates for you to put on your calendars: swimming is 14th, 16th, and 18th, , CRT Early Release Wednesday, November 23rd, No school (Happy Thanksgiving) November 24th and 25th, First Trimester ends Nov. 30th,  Human Growth and Development is Nov. 30th, Dec. 7th and December 14th, and finally the Winter Tea is Wednesday, December 7th 10:35-11:00.


Amira said...

I am spending some time during my break to peruse through your blogs for great ideas. I just came across your simulation idea for teaching the unit on Explorers. We are going to be starting that unit after we get back from break, and I would love to get some insight on what you guys did! Your help and creativity is always appreciated! Thank you and hope you have a happy new year!

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