Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Crazy Hair/Hat Day on Friday!

We may not be able to wear costumes but we sure can have a great time anyway.  The students have been working so hard these past many weeks and it is time to celebrate all of the.  Not only do we have a wonderful fall party planned for Friday afternoon, but we also get to do crazy hair or hat day that whole day.

So get creative and show me what you can do!

Monday, October 28, 2013

Spelling List

Last week of no-excuse words and then students will be further split into groups.

No Excuse words:

  • though
  • include
  • space
  • themselves
  • different
  • either
  • caught
  • finally
  • ninth

  • involve

Root Words:


Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Flying Planes

We have been investigating planes in science, these were from our first day of flight.

The Tallest Tower

Some of the students got to do the tallest paper tower challenge on Friday.  Congratulations Morgan, Ella and MacK, their tower of 1 m 4 cm stood tall for more than 30 minutes!

From the Field Trip

Monday, October 21, 2013

Deep Understanding of Characters - An Assignment

Deep Understanding of Characters
Due Wednesday Afternoon

The last couple of weeks in reading we have been focusing on understanding and thinking deeply about the characters in our books.  Therefore I would like you to show me all that you know!
Things we have discussed have included:
  • How the character’s choices affect our view of them.
  • How the characters are viewed by minor characters
  • How a character’s special item or object tells us something about them.
  • What choices that seem out of character can tell us .

Write one or two paragraphs about a character in your independent reading book and what you know about them.  While it would be great to include some description of them, I am looking more for a deeper understanding of them like you have done with Melody and Mrs. V.  Work can be typed or written on paper and is due Wednesday at the end of the day.   Remember to set up your paragraphs correctly with an introduction/topic sentence and a concluding sentence, as well as use text evidence.

Friday, October 18, 2013

How To Access Google Drive From Home

Many students would like to work on their essays from home but are not sure how to access their Goggle Drive.
Just follow these steps:

  • Google "Google Drive"
  • Click the link and get ready to sign in
  • Sign in is:  their username followed by
  • Password is their regular school password

West Middleton Character Counts Next Week

At West Middleton we make character count by being trustworthy, respectful, responsible, fair, caring and being outstanding citizens.
Next week we want to show everyone else just how amazing we all are!  To celebrate, we will be having some dress-up days:
  • Monday--Count on Character
    • Come to school wearing anything with a number on it!
  • Tuesday--Follow your Dreams by Showing Good Character
    • Come to school wearing your pajamas or comfy clothes but please don’t bring blankets, pillows or stuffed animals
  • Wednesday--West Middleton Spirit Day
    • Come to school wearing your grade-level tie-dye t-shirt

Newsletter October 18, 2013

Special Notes:
* We continue to just have a blast learning.  While this was a wonky week with a sub and a field trip, we still got a lot done.  I am also noticing how perseverance is increasing and a general “can do it” attitude developing.  I will be giving them a new challenge later today as a treat.
* Next week will be a short one with a lot of learning packed into 3 days.  We will wrap up essays, have another genius hour, fly some planes, and shoot off some rockets.  There will be no spelling or DLR, but there will be a blogging challenge.
* We are looking for supplies to be donated to shoot off rockets:  If you have an extra bottle of vinegar or baking soda, please send it in.  We are also looking for plastic water bottles for this challenge on Wednesday. 
* The students are busy blogging and have been rewarded with many comments from England, Argentina, India and Canada.   Please take a moment to leave the kids a comment; they work so hard on their blogs.
* What a great field trip, I was incredibly proud of the students and their behavior.  Thank you also to our chaperones for coming in.  
*  Thank you for the book orders, they will be ordered later today.
* Thank you for signing up for conferences, you will receive your confirmation today in Friday Folders.  If you have not signed up you will get a list of times available instead.
*  As always a weekly reflection also went home today in Friday Folders. 
* Pride paws can now be traded in for stuff in Willy’s Warehouse, once kids receive their orders I ask them to please bring the things home.
* Dates for your calendar:  No school Thursday, October 24th and Friday, October 25th, Sub in the morning Thursday, October 31st Fall/Harvest/Halloween party moved to Friday, November 1st 1 PM,   Picture re-take is Tuesday, November 5th, Conferences start the week of November 11th
MathWe have just started unit 3 with the test so far scheduled for on November 5th.  The students will be working with their protractors and compasses and also learning about angles so please make sure they have both tools.  I am excited to see the progress in math facts as we continue to do the tests in the morning.
Social Studies – The second chapter on the early people is in full swing and the students continue to field ideas for genius hour.  The next one is this Monday where all students will be working by themselves to create something. 
Science – We flew our planes for a few moments this week and will continue to explore which variables we can change and whether it will affect the outcome.
Reading We have been working on our stamina again this week as some students stopped reading during reading.  I have no doubt that we will be back to full speed again soon.  I have pulled many small groups as we discuss how to have deeper reading conversations and there have been a lot of buzz about books in here.  I have 6 books with long waiting lists at the moment!

Writing Students have been drafting their essays and some have even finished already.  This has given them a chance to start work on other Yahara writing projects.  Overall, I am pleased with the deep thinking that is happening in here as far as figuring out how to set up their essay, write persuasively, and give good reasons for their argument.  We will be wrapping up essays by next week.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Our Weekly Mystery Skype

We are doing Mystery Skype with Mr. Bedley's class!! I am  one of the reporters (  I am Rose ) and the other reporter is Charlie.
I believe this is Mystery Skype (M. S. ) #4, It started at 11:15 ( AM ). The think tanks are very organized, Isabel is the boss of the think tank, and she is doing very well, I think, considering all the people shouting at her. That was, in my opinion one of the most organized think tank times. Some other people disagree, but I think Isabel did a good job. The filters are the most organized-they seem to be enjoying it. The runners might need to do their job better, but not everything was their fault, according to other people around the room, they were getting shouted at just because they were there, and they didn't have questions always ready.
     They are supposedly very close to guessing our location. I believe they guessed if we border Lake Michigan.
     The Google mappers are doing their jobs to a point. The only thing not working is one of the chrome books.
     We guessed it! They live in California.
     They quickly guessed our location after that.
     It ended at 11:40ish.
     The debriefing is sort of discouraging, but it's good thing. There hasn't been any yelling, yet ( :p )
     The think tank didn't have questions because the first question has an answer has a certain question, and the answer was not what they thought it would be. Then they couldn't use the other questions because they wouldn't help us.
     Today I learned that when you panic, nothing good can happen. You just yell. Our M. S. was loud an dark because people panicked ( in some cases only slightly, and in others not at all ).
     Hope I ( we ) didn't drone,
Rose and Charles

Monday, October 14, 2013

Spelling List

No Excuse 5th Grade Words:

Spelling HF week 5

  • Voice
  • Fifth
  • Page
  • Suddenly
  • Believe
  • Brought
  • Question
  • Favorite
  • Third
  • During
  • Fourth
  • Number
  • Thousand
  • Once
  • Reason

Root Words:


Sunday, October 13, 2013

Our Very First Genius Hour

Thursday was our very first genius hour and it was a thrill to see the students create and make projects that they were interested in.  We did discuss a few things afterwards to help improve the experience for this coming Tuesday.

  • Students should try to pick something they want to learn more about so that it becomes a true learning experience.
  • Students should do a little bit of research outside of school is time permits but should not be spending hours outside of school getting ready.
    students should pick a project that they can get done within the 40 minutes.
  • Students should pick partners that will put in equal work.
Overall, the students seemed to love it, I certainly did and I look forward to incorporating this throughout the year.

Friday, October 11, 2013

October Book Orders

October Book Order
It is time for book orders!  I have sent home the book order information today in Friday Folders.

·        If it is your first time ordering online, please follow these steps:
o       Register at
o       Enter this code : GXJ8R in the class activation code
o       Choose your books
o       Submit the order to me by October 18th.
·        You may write 1 check, payable to Scholastic, to cover multiple orders.
·        In addition, with each order our class earns points, which allows us to collect a wider variety in our classroom library.
·        There is no obligation to order but I do believe this is a great way to encourage reading by building your home library.
·        The due date for the book orders is Friday, October 18th.
·        Note there is a teen catalog included, this is for students who are ready for more mature subject matters.
·        Some of the books I am excited about this month are:
o       This Journal Belongs to Ratchet
o       Byrd and Igloo
o       Flora & Ulysses
o       Ender’s Game
o       The Boy on the Wooden Box
o       The Arrival
·        Please disregard the grade levels, reading levels, and lexile levels printed on the catalogs.  You child can choose books based on interest, not on a grade or level.  I feel it is important that each child does not feel confined by their grade or reading level.

Thank you and happy reading!

Mrs. Ripp

Newsletter October 11, 2013

Special Notes
* What a week of great news.  We were front page news on Tuesday; I will send home a copy of the article today for those who have not seen it.  Monday we were also told that my Donorschoose project was fully funded by US Cellular.  This means that we will get $600 worth of new books for our library! 
* We had another Mystery Skype this week with mixed results.  The students guessed it correctly but Zach led us through a great discussion of where we needed to improve.  I have scheduled another one for next week.
* What a great PTO dance.  Thea and I loved seeing all of you and couldn’t believe the turn out.   
* We go to the Overture center next week, thank you to all who have offered to chaperone; I will pull a random name and let the person know.
* My pregnancy continues to keep Brandon and me on our toes, we have been facing some complications so there have been a few extra doctors’ appointments, I try to schedule them outside of school as much as possible.  I apologize for any extra absences this may cause.      
* Finally, a huge thank you to all of you for supporting this classroom and me.  I have the best job in the world and I am thrilled to be the teacher of these incredible children.
* Dates for your calendar:  Mrs. Ripp sub in PM for literacy meeting Monday, October 14th, Field trip to the Overture October 17th 11:30 to 2 PM, No school Thursday, October 24th and Friday, October 25th, Fall/Harvest/Halloween party moved to Friday, November 1st 1 PM,   Picture re-take is Tuesday, November 5th, Conferences start the week of November 11th, I will send out confirmations slips.

Math We are at the end of unit 2 with the test scheduled for Monday.  This unit has covered a lot of basic skills and a lot of new vocabulary.  I encourage all students to study for the test.  Pre-test for unit 3 will be Tuesday and then we start a new unit Wednesday with new groups.  Students may be with a lot of the same students or with all new students, it just depends on their needs.
Social Studies – We had our first genius hour project this week, with many students creating really neat projects showcasing their learning.  I have discussed with the kids, how these projects should be small, they should not involve hours of work at home or parental involvement.  It is just a chance for them to research something they are interested in under the topic we are exploring in chapter 2, particularly since we have discussed Native Americans in previous years as well.  All zombie presentations have been put on our website.
Science – The planes are coming, somehow.  We did our lifeboats research and are now ready to move into the sky, or pretend to be anyway, with our plane investigation.  We are getting better at getting to work in science and getting through the lesson, time is definitely limited at the end of the day. 
Reading I have loved our reading conversations this week and seeing certain books be passed from student to student.  The kids have also begged for more read aloud with our Global Read Aloud book, it has been wonderful connecting with other classrooms around the world who share many of our same questions and concerns.  We are hard at work becoming better thinkers about our reading and I have loved seeing the way students are pushing their thinking.  This is a lifelong goal, not just a 5th grade one.

Writing This week we started drafting our essays, some students are even close to done and will be challenged in other ways.  All students will automatically have their essays entered into the Yahara River Writers contest for editorials if they want to and we will be sending them to the WI State Journal as well to see if we can get any of them published.  I love the passion that has been in the essays for their topics.  

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Yahara River Writers Contest Information

Note:  For artwork it should say 2014 - not 2013
This will not be due until after winter break.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

The Zombie Region Land Presentations

I was quite excited to see what the students had thought of and created for their land region projects. Note: you may need to turn up the volume a little.

Spelling Lists Week of October 7th, 2013

Students are able to test out of this week no excuse high frequency words.  If they get all 15 words correct, they are supplied with this list instead:

Spelling HF week 4
  • Quickly
  • Simple
  • Certain
  • Running
  • Hundred
  • Seventh
  • Perhaps
  • Round
  • Shown
  • Another
  • Sixth
  • Wouldn't
  • Found
  • Explain
  • Sure

Root Words Exploration Week 2


  1. Please write a definition for 10 if the words on the back of this page.
  2. Please figure out the root word and the origin for 5 of the words.
  3. 10 of these words will be randomly selected for Friday’s spelling test.