Thursday, December 6, 2012

Newsletter December 7, 2012


MathWe are working our way through fractions and boy are there a lot of pages to this unit.  We have also restarted fact tests with many students testing out on their first attempt.  To celebrate the end of the fraction unit, we will have pizzas for lunch on December 21st.  Please send in $3 with your child to cover pizza and juice.
Science Students have been discussing variables in their swingers as we try to figure out what it means to control our experiments.  Next week we get to work with lifeboats and fake passengers as we discover capacity and environment in variables.
Social Studies – Students are finishing their self-led explorer inquiries.  I love the moments in my room where I am not needed because all of the students are so engaged in their project.  Students will present their projects starting Tuesday and will also have to have a way to assess their peers’ learning.
Reading We learned about cause and effect through Hansel & Gretel, Determining Importance with the Story of the Three Bears and also Little Red Riding Hood and I am loving our small groups as well.  Students cannot wait for read aloud; Harry just got sorted into Gryffindor, and many have volunteered to read all the new books in our library.  Students have to vouch for them for them to be placed in the library.  I love the enthusiasm there is with reading.       
Writing We are conferring, adding honesty to our writing, and also slowly getting ready to type our essays.  We have discovered more tools that great writers use such as honest word choices and repeating certain phrases.  We have also blogged about the one thing we would do this holiday to make someone happy; these are definitely worth a read as many of the blogs involve our families.
Special Notes
* We have been hard at work on our greeting card; I continue to be amazed at the artistry of some of the students in here.  Wow, what creativity!  We cannot wait to start receiving some of our own.    
* We have access to Google apps!  All students can now access their Google Drive from home, all they have to do is go to the district web page, click “For Students” and then click “Google Apps.”  Students are already sharing presentations and working on them simultaneously, as well as sharing their finished products with me.  No more losing unsaved work or not being able to work on something at home if you want to.
* Our holiday party will be a joint effort by all 5th grades.  We will do treats in here at 1 PM and at 1:30 PM if there is snow we will go sledding, if there is no snow there will be choices like board games or crafts for the students to do.
* Something amazing to see is when the kids teach each other how to do certain things in the classroom.  With Voki.com, Animoto.com, and Google Apps being introduced this week there has been quite a bit of sharing and “Hey, check this out!”  This is my absolute favorite thing to see in the classroom – curiosity!
* Our cameras, video cameras, and even a Livescribe pen are on their way and should be ready for us to use after the holiday break.  This is all due to the grant I received earlier this year from the Meemic Foundation; we are thrilled to get these tools in our hands to support and show off our learning.
* Thea cannot make up her mind when it comes to what Santa should bring her so she has decided to also put in requests from the babies.  So far Oskar really wants a sparkly Barbie doll and Ida wants Polly Pockets according to Thea.
* It was great to see so many of you at the Winter Tea, what a great event put on by the PTO!
* I have some dates for you to put on your calendars: Spelling Bee Monday, December 10th at 8:30 AM, Sub in the morning December 11th, Winter Party is December 21st at 1:30 PM (we are hoping it will be a sledding party) and winter break is from December 22nd through January 2nd.

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