Friday, January 27, 2012

Newsletter January 27, 2012

Math – We finished unit 6 with flying colors and started unit 7 today. So far the test is scheduled for February 14th before the CRT. Students continue to improve in their math facts, which show in their math work.

Science – Students are changing variables in our stream tables. Wednesday we added slope to our table – that sped things up! And today we will change the water source to a flood cup. Next week students get to create their own experiments, which is always a blast.

Social Studies – Students were placed into new groups this week and we will be learning more about the Middle Colonies. In my group we have also been discussing voting rights and writing letters trying to persuade others to come to New Netherland.

Reading – We started “Jump Ship to Freedom” this week. All of the kids so far find the book fascinating and I look forward to the discussions surrounding the events in the book. We will also be focusing on summarizing chapters as well as finding keywords.

Writing – Writing took place mostly in social studies as committees have been busy at work on various video projects for our classroom. Today we again focused on secrets of a 5th grader and we are seeing great progress there.

Special Notes –
* We have been blogging about traveling in time which just happens to coincide with this year’s contest theme for Doodle for Google. This annual contest is one the kids look forward to! The grand prize winner will get a $30,000 scholarship, their school will receive a $50,000 scholarship and their Doodle will be featured on Google’s homepage for a day. Students were given contest rules yesterday and have until March 15th to submit to me, their submissions do require parent signatures so be aware of that.
* I also received the fun news this week that our class will be featured in a 6 minute webinar on Wednesday for the Wisconsin Digital learning day. A committee is busy planning the script and setting up the blogging showcase for educators around Wisconsin. We will give you more information when we have it.
* We are hoping to go sledding next Thursday with our buddies depending on how much snow we have left. Students will be asked to bring in their sled for the event.
* We also were introduced to our virtual collaborator Meagan Amy this week. She is an education major from Canada who will be following our class virtually and collaborating with the kids through Skype, she is very excited to get started.
* Congratulations to Eric, David and Kyra for their success in the Yahara River Writers Contest. I am also excited to see student art work submissions for the covers and insets.
* This week Thea named the twins Keemo and Hippo, she also now has told me she has 3 babies in her stomach. We didn’t realize she was such a one-upper.
* Again a reminder that I will be out of the classroom until 10 AM on Thursday. Ms. Bodell will do attendance and then the students will go to math. If they have me, they will go to Mr. Getz. I will be back before recess.
* Fashion show video is up on our website. The kids were so creative and funny.
* Guidance will continue to send Team Up slips home every week. Please make sure to go over them with your child and then sign and return them to me. A lot of students are still missing the first one that was due Tuesday.
* I have some dates for you to put on your calendars: Colonial Feast January 31st, No Mrs. Ripp 8:15 AM to 10 AM February 2nd (students will have math with Mr. Meinholz instead), Valentine’s Day Party 9:30 AM February 14th, Early Release February 14th, Assembly February 16th, Carnival Saturday, February 18th 2 PM, and finally The Family Feast February 22nd at 12:20 PM.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

5th Grade Fashion Show

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Very Exciting Opportunity for the Students

I am thrilled to share with you that the students will be showcased by WI DPI next Wednesday as part of their Digital Learning Day initiative.  Our part will be a 6 minute showcase through a webinar.  5 students have been selected to script and get the webinar ready but some details are still not determined.  Here is the news release that they are sending out:

Pernille Ripp and some of her students from West Middleton Elementary School will demonstrate their blog project using the webinar software and their web camera. The students will show their blog, talk about how they blog, and they and Mrs. Ripp will talk some of their experiences with "blog pals," especially their pals in Cairo during last year's revolution.

The total event is from 10-11:30. I will give you more details when I have them.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Newsletter January 20, 2012

Math – We are close to finishing unit 6, the test remains scheduled for Wednesday with the new unit starting Friday. The next unit is about exponential notation and the subtraction and addition of positive and negative numbers.
Science – Students are getting acquainted with the stream tables and building models of canyons, deltas, and erosion processes. We will be using video cameras to document our learning in this unit and then share it on our website.
Social Studies – We are delving deeper into the middle colonies and students are getting ready for Colonial Day Feast. They are particularly keen to figure out their costumes for the feast. We encourage them to dig through closets of parents or grandparents to fin d the proper attire, please see our website for ideas.
Reading – We moved “Jump Ship to Freedom” for next week so that the students instead could use the reading time to explore comparative adjectives. One of the videos will be published on YouTube as well as our website.
Writing – We are almost done with our secrets of 5th graders project and I am getting excited to see what the students have written. Next week we will do the district writing assessment to be discussed at my literacy meeting in February.

Special Notes –
* Thank you all for your congratulations on the news of our twins. It will take some time to adjust for sure but we are over the moon at the prospect of two little babies. The kids have been so funny this week with their questions, such as “Does this mean you cannot get a pie in the face?” (No!) “Do you throw up all day?” (No) Are they kicking? “(Not yet) and my favorite “How huge will you be?” (Huge hopefully!) The students have also been very creative with their name suggestions even offering up their own names as choices.
* We will be going sledding but just have to wait for a day with warmer temperatures. I will give a heads up as soon as we pick a day.
* For Valentine’s Day students can bring in a Valentine, however, if they do, they need to bring one for everyone in the class. They can attach a candy or trinket to their Valentine but this is not expected. There is a class list with first names on it on our website.
* We are still looking for donations of snow pants; if you have any old ones to donate please just send them in.
* Congratulations to Sophia Bo for representing us at the district spelling bee – how awesome!
* Please check Friday envelopes as the students have “Team Up” letters from our guidance counselor. Students should read these with their parents/guardians, sign them and return them to me on Tuesday.
* I have some dates for you to put on your calendars: No school Monday, January 23rd, WM PTO meeting Thursday, January 19th 7 PM, Math test unit 6 January 25th, Colonial Feast January 31st, No Mrs. Ripp 8:15 AM to 10 AM February 2nd (students will have math with Mr. Meinholz instead), Valentine’s Day Party 9:30 AM February 14th, Early Release February 14th, Assembly February 16th, Carnival Saturday, February 18th 2 PM, and finally The Family Feast February 22nd at 12:20 PM.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Class list for Valentine's Day

Here is a list of all the names of the students:
Anna F
Anna K

A Little Bit of News

Brandon and I are thrilled and a little bit astounded to announce that we are expecting twins this August!  While this may mean I slow down a little physically, my energy for these kids and this classroom will still be there and I cannot wait to share the lives of the new babies with all of the kids.  I have therefore shred the news with the students today but wanted to also share it with all of you.

Thank you for all that you do for our classroom, we truly are lucky at West Middleton to have such incredible families.

How we found out - two beating hearts

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Students Explain Evaporation in a Salt Solution

Art Contest for the Yahara River Writers Anthology

The students are invited to partake in a contest for the cover or the category divider pages for the Yahara River Writers Anthology!  The requirements are as follow:

  • The cover should have a river theme or a writing theme.
  • The following words must be included on the cover:  "Yahara River Writers" and "2012."
  • For the divider pages: each page should have the category name:  Short Story, Editorial, Cartoon or Poetry.
  • Pages should be created in a medium that photocopies well such as black/white so black pen, sharpie or dark pencil.
  • Regular 8 1/2 X 11 paper will be fine.
  • Leave a margin around the edges.
  • Due March 1st to Mrs. Ripp.
I have encouraged all of the students to enter.

Colonial Day Feast Information

On January 31st at 1 PM we will be having our Colonial Day Feast.  Mindy Sabol is spearheading all volunteering before the event and during.  Students should donate $3 by January 20th to cover the cost of food.

Here is what has been signed up for so far.  Note we are still looking for 5 volunteers to be there from 12:30 PM to 2 PM or so who can help make food,  set up, serve food, and clean up.  We will be feeding 80 kids in the lunch room.  Set up will be at 12:30 and we will be cleaned up by 2:00.
Food NeededParent 1 Parent 2
Mashed potatoes (2 people)Ann KeenanPreeti Bais
Succotash (1 person)Niki WoodN/A
Cornbread muffins (2 people)Karina BurkardLisa Bote
Pumpkin pies (2 people - 2 pies each)Rebecca TirabassiWendy Albert
Apple pies (2 people - 2 pies each)Gwen Schwartz
Molasses Ginger Snaps Cookies (2 people - 4 dozen each)Holly BaggottHeidi Jagoe
Snickerdoodles (2 people - 4 dozen each)Maria Bavishi
2 Nesco’s
3 Crockpot’sHolly Baggott
1 large bowlN/A
1 large basket for rollsN/A

Students are encouraged to dress like Colonial Times and will be given time to change before the feast:  
  • Sweat pants/slacks pushed up like knickers or tucked into socks
  • Long skirts or dresses
  • Vest, sweater or jacket
  • Tube socks
  • Cravat (scarf)
  • White long sleeve shirt or turtleneck
  • Warm layers underneath
  • Comfortable shoes
  • Tri-cornered hat- We’ll make these in school!

Friday, January 13, 2012

Newsletter Janaury 13, 2012

Math – We are getting through unit 6 with flying colors. I like how the first part is heavily focused on working with data and then the second half is all about adding and subtracting fractions. To make fractions more tangible please point them out outside of school such as in cooking or shopping. The unit test is so far scheduled for January 25th.
Science – We are adding new vocabulary in our landforms unit and this week got to build a model of the playground in our stream table, as well as map it out, thus becoming cartographers. Next week we start to make models and add water to them to explore the effects of erosion.
Social Studies – The 13 colonies are pretty fascinating and in my session of social studies/reading we have been working on note taking skills as it relates to our reading. The students have been asking questions and then using text clues to help answer them. We will do Mystery Skype on Wednesday and then a small simulation Thursday and Friday to finish the chapter.
Reading – We finished Harry Potter and were sad to see him go. The students have already asked if the second book can be our next read aloud but we are still discussing it. We start our next literature unit with “Jump Ship to Freedom” next week where we will do a combination of small literacy groups as well as whole group discussion. This book ties in well with our social studies curriculum as well.
Writing – Our super secret writing project started this week titled “Secrets of a 5th Grader” and the students have excitedly been writing and hiding their secrets. These will all be published in a classroom book for people to guess whose secret is whose. Spelling is on and off the month of January but we are working on other skills for morning work.
Special Notes –
* What a wonderful week of learning. I am thrilled every day with the way these students work together and how eager they are to explore.
* Congratulations to Sophia Bo. and Kyra for representing the class in the geo bee – those are some tough questions!
* The Colonial feast will be January 31st at 1 PM. The students are encouraged to dress like in colonial times with more information to come. The fantastic Mindy Sabol has volunteered to spearhead the coordination of this even and she will need more help. Please contact her if you are interested.
* Do you have any old snow pants that the kids no longer use? Please consider donating them to West Middleton, we always have students who need some.
* Did you see the carnival is coming? Thea and I love coming to this even and we hope to see you there February 18th!
* Thank you so much for book orders, I will place the order later today.
* We did our first MAP test with no surprises. We do our math portion on Wednesday and then we won’t do another one until May.
* I have some dates for you to put on your calendars: MAP testing January 11th and 18th, No school Monday, January 16th and Monday, January 23rd, WM PTO meeting Thursday, January 19th 7 PM, Math test unit 6 January 25th, Colonial Feast January 31st, Valentine’s Day Party 9:30 AM February 14th, Early Release February 14th, Assembly February 16th, Carnival Saturday, February 18th 2 PM, and finally The Family Feast February 22nd at 12:20 PM.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

How We Tire Thea Out

Friday, January 6, 2012

Calling All Filmmakers!

Students of all ages are invited to submit short films to be considered in the school district's first film festival. All students in the District are eligible.  The deadline to submit films is Feb. 20.  Submission forms are available here, on the website or in the main office of each of the schools in the district. You can also e-mail or call Deanna Kruger at 829-9668 for the forms or more information.  The winning entries will be shown in an evening program during the high school's Fine Arts Week.

Newsletter January 6th, 2012

Math – We have started unit 6 which is about data collection and further work with fractions. Students are still expected to be secure in math facts and although great leaps have been seen some students are not making enough gains. I cannot stress how much it slows down a child in math when they do not know their fact. The test for this unit will be somewhere around the 25th.

Science – We are moving on to landforms next week were we will discuss erosion, mountains and create maps. This unit will last us until spring break where the students will have a special culminating project.

Social Studies – We are onto chapter 5 discussing the formation of the 13 colonies. We are working on study skills and note taking skills so there will be fewer projects. We are trying to foster the beginning of a note-taking independence, wherein students know when they should take notes and when they shouldn’t without always relying on a teacher prompt.

Reading – We are finishing Harry Potter here shortly and then move into “Jump Ship to Freedom.” Focus skills for this book will be vocabulary and summarizing skills. Students have requested more silent reading time so we have switched two journal writing times with silent reading time instead. Students are still expected to read a minimum of 30 minutes a night.

Writing – Most students have handed in their Yahara submissions and selected works will be passed on to Ms. Weber and the judging team. I do not know when results will be made public. Our next writing project is short but a lot of fun and will focus on word choice, sentence fluency and conventions.

Special Notes –
* We have discussed and set 2nd trimester goals. These will be sent home to parents today. Please take a moment and read your child’s goals as they spent a lot of time brainstorming them. Periodically we will use these to check in on our progress in 5th grade.
* I came across a neat reading incentive for the students from Six Flags. If they read 6 hours recreationally between now and March 1st they will get one free admission to Six Flags in Illinois. The form for parents and students to fill out is coming home today and is due back to me by March 4th.
* Literacy assessments will not require a sub this time since I only have to meet with 4 students. They will be happening in January.
*Congratulations to Sophia Bote and Kyra for representing us in the geography bee on January 14th.
* MAPS testing for us will be Wednesday January 11th and 18th 8:30 to 9:40 AM. All students will be taking these computerized tests as part of our assessments, please see the letter going home today.
* I will have a sub in the room Monday morning as I meet with special education all morning.
* The Colonial Feast is coming either at the end of January or the start of February. Please keep your ears tuned for more information, Mindy Sabol has graciously agreed to spearhead the effort but will need lots of help!
* Due to shorter weeks, spelling packets will be limited in January. I am instead giving the students other morning work, this week it was on homophones.
* Thank you so much for all of the holiday goodies and gifts for my family and me. I already feel blessed having all of these incredible students.
* I have some dates for you to put on your calendars, , Geography Bee Friday, January 13th at 8:40 AM, MAPS testing January 11th and 18th, No school Monday, January 16th and Monday, January 23rd, WM PTO meeting Thursday, January 19th 7 PM.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Try Again Daddy!

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Our Next Science Unit

Dear Parents,
Human beings make their homes at the surface of the planet we know as Earth. The shapes that decorate Earth’s surface include a variety of landforms, including mountains and valleys, canyons and ridges, volcanoes, basins, hills, sand dunes, and moraines. Each landform is the result of one or more processes that create and change Earth’s surface.

In the FOSS Landforms Module students begin to look at ways to represent the features of Earth’s surface at smaller scales. First, they work in three dimensions by creating desktop models of their schoolyard. They learn to transfer the features in their models to a two-dimensional map. Along the way, they learn that symbols can represent landforms, structures, and other features of an area. They continue their study of the landforms by investigating the effects of water running over Earth’s surface. The Grand Canyon is the focus of their investigations as they set up a model plateau in a stream table. As they observe the effects of water running over solid earth materials, they learn new landforms and vocabulary, including canyons, deltas, erosion, and deposition. They design and set up investigations to study how changes made by people affect the processes of erosion, deposition, and stream flow.

You can extend your child’s experiences in the classroom in a number of ways. Take trips to nearby parks that feature landforms common to your region. Watch the erosion and deposition that take place during and after a rainstorm. Visit your local library and check out books that include information about the local landscape. Have your child help you plan the route and destination for your next family vacation, keeping in mind the interesting and unusual landforms you could encounter along the road.

This unit will go all the way until spring break.
Mrs. Ripp

Thought I Would Share; A Gift For My Brother

Disclaimer: Due to Paul's excitement he does say the "S" word in this video, please do not show it your child if this is not dismissible.

In November, I wrote a post asking for help in giving my brother Paul a very special Christmas.  He was at the time deployed to Afghanistan and expected to come home before Christmas.  Besides being an incredible trauma nurse and studying to be a doctor, he is also the biggest Maple Leafs fan I have ever seen. So in my post I asked if anyone could help me get a shirt for him and lo and behold it all happened due to the power of Twitter.  Watch the video below how it all went down and thank you again if you were part of the journey in getting the word out.