Monday, March 31, 2014

New Spelling Words and Program

I am excited to announce our new team challenge spelling words!  I explained this to the kids today but we will turn our focus in spelling to root words these next few weeks in order to really understand meanings of words.

Every week students will be placed into teams of 4 or 5, they will be working as a team all week trying to prepare for the big challenge Friday.  Every day during writing we will have time to work on that day's challenge to help us learn the words.

 Make Sense Monday!  Students write down the root words, their origin, their meaning, and an example word that uses it.  They do this as a team but every child has to have it written down somewhere.  I have not dictated where they should write it down, I really want them to take responsibility.
Try It Out Tuesday - teams will do charades trying to get team members to guess the word they are acting out.
Word Jeopardy Wednesday - I have created a jeopardy game for students to compete in as teams.
Test Your Knowledge Thursday - Every team will be quizzing amongst themselves trying to get ready for Friday.
Flaunt It Friday - Students will be tested on the origin, meaning, and asked to provide an example of each root word.  Their team scores will be combined and averaged for an overall team score.

Students will not have spelling work to hand in but need to be ready for the test Friday.  Words will be tested in order since this is to test their knowledge, not their memorization.

The list for all students is:

  • Acro
  • Act
  • Aero
  • Agri
  • Alg
  • Amphi
  • Ambul
  • Ami
  • Ana
  • Andro

Monday, March 24, 2014

The Boat Challenge

One of our favorite things is to do a challenge and what better way to end the Friday before spring break with the boat challenge.  This challenge involved each group getting 3 craft sticks, a coffee filter, 3 feet of tape, a straw and 4 pieces of toilet paper tube.  The students were given 35 minutes to create a contraption that would travel across the floor the fastest by being blown.  Like with any good challenge there was a 5 minute twist where students were given a pixie cup and they had to incorporate the whole thing into their final design.
It may have been loud in the room but we had so much fun.  Congrats to all of the kids, they continue to amaze me with their achievements.

Make sure you watch the video of the final match!

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Our First Colony Presentations

We started our colony presentations yesterday and I must admit, some of these are amazing.  I am so excited to see how far the students took their knowledge seeking and what they created.  It is also a thrill to see how much they have grown in their presentation skills.  Students are being assessed by me, their peers and themselves.  We will continue with their presentations after spring break.

Friday, March 21, 2014

Ask Your Child About....

Another fantastic week in 5th grade and thins you can ask your child about are

  • Our blogging signs
  • Chick N' Pug
  • Their new trimester reading goals
  • Hattie Big Sky
  • What they hope to learn in the rest of 5th grade
  • Concentration and the Kool-aid Challenge

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Newsletter March 20, 2014


  • Report cards go home tomorrow, if your child is not here, they will be sent home after break.
  • Spring break starts tomorrow.  I cannot wait to see the kids back in the classroom on Monday, March 31st.
  • Prezi presentations are due this afternoon, students will start presenting tomorrow.
  • Action stories are due tomorrow morning, most students have already handed them in after they finished their self-assessment. 
  • Homework for spring break is to blog if they want to and please read!
  • Human growth and development is April 1st, 2nd, and 3rd at 2 PM
  • No school April 18th and 21st
  • Track meet all day May 14th - more details to come
  • End of Year Lock Out June 10th - - more details to come
  • Graduation June 12th  - more details to come

New Resource Time Rotations

The students gave me great feedback on our resource time rotations so after break the schedule now looks like this.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Spring Break Event at the Middleton Public Library

Money Monday 
Monday, March 24, 2-3pm 
Grades K-5 
Sign up for the financial literacy treasure hunt that brings parents and children together on a quest to make money make sense. The library becomes part of the game as kids and parents work together to solve clues combining mystery and history and do hands on financial literacy activities together. The treasure hunt will begin and end in the storytime room. Parents and children can expect to spend about 30-45 minutes on their quest. To register, stop by the Main Level Help Desk or call (608) 827-7402. 
The Financial Literacy Hunt is brought to you by Joel Thomas, President of The Financial Resiliency Foundation and WI Governor’s Council on Financial Literacy Award Winner. 
Charlie Brown Movie Matinee 
Tuesday, March 25, 2:30-4:00pm 
Grades K and up 
Watch the feature length animated musical film from 1969 that made Charlie Brown and the Peanuts 
Gang famous! Snacks will be served. Sign up is not required. 
Kids in the Kitchen 
Wednesday, March 26 
Grades 1-4 
Karen Gleason of Wildtree will guide participants in creating and enjoying a healthy snack while learning 
about positive food choices. Space is limited; please sign up at the Help Desk or by calling (608) 827-7402. 

Percy Jackson Party and Movie 
Thursday, March 27, 1:30-4:00pm 
Grades 2 and up 
Celebrate Percy Jackson with Mythology-inspired crafts, a taste of a Greek snack, and a showing of Percy 
Jackson: Sea of Monsters (rated PG) on the big screen! Please register at the Help Desk or by calling 
(608) 827-7402. 
Please check the library’s website ( or pick up an events flyer at the Main Level Help Desk for a complete listing of all our events. 

When the House Gets Really Quiet

After the three big kids are put to bed, we finally get to have some fun with Augustine 

Monday, March 17, 2014

New Spelling Groups Start Today

Last week we did the High Frequency spelling test for 5th grade so this week students have been shuffled into new groups based on their score.  Many children stayed in their group but some did move up or down.  The students know which groups they are in.

Also, the format and focus of group 3 - the root words group will change a bit starting after spring break.  Rather than being tested on the words, the students will be tested on the root words, their meaning, and their origin.  Directions will be given to students in class after spring break.

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Pi Pictures

Friday, March 14, 2014

Spelling Lists March 17th

Root Words Exploration Week 13
Name:  _______________________________________


  1. Please write a definition for 10 of the words on the back of this page.
  2. Please figure out the root word, meaning, and the origin for 4 of the words.
  3. 10 of these words will be randomly selected for Friday’s spelling test.

Ex: Automobile
Self/One’s Own




Group 2 Spelling List 9
Name:  __________________________

Pattern: Suffixes (-ary, -ory, iry)


Group 1 Spelling List 9
Name:  __________________________

Pattern: Review of long-vowel pattern


Mrs. Ripp gets a Pie in the Face

What a wonderful birthday and pi day celebration we have had.  Thank you for the pies, the cards, the flowers, the gifts and all the love.  We had quite a "pi" off between Rose and Ciana with Ciana winning the memorization contest by correctly reciting 91 digits of pi.  Ciana's prize was to be the pie giver.

Ask Your Child About...

We have had another amazing week here in 5th grade.  Great things you can ask your child about are:

  • The Invisible Boy
  • Readers Theatre with our buddies
  • Allusions and how we use them to compare characters
  • Book clubs
  • How to set up Prezi's 
  • The Pi contest and the pie to Mrs. Ripp's Face
  • Their action story and how it is coming
  • Ukraine 
  • The new election in North Korea

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Video Newsletter March 13, 2014


The third trimester started this week and I have told the students that my expectations are super high for the next 60 days!  They have self-assessed and written their report cards, please look for these next Friday.

Dates to remember:
-  Pi day celebration this Friday - winner will be the student that memorizes the most digits to Pi, they will get to throw a whipcream pie in my face at the end of the day
-  Visit from 2 6th graders this Friday
-  Yearbook order forms due this Friday
-  Math test unit 8 next Wednesday, the 19th 
-  Action stories due next Friday, the 21st
-  Prezi's (SS colony presentation) due next Thursday (the 20th) - actual presentations will be right after spring break
-  Report cards sent home next Friday the 21st
- Spring break 22nd through the 30th
- Human Growth and Development April 1st, 2nd, 3rd at 2 PM
- No school April 18th and 21st
-  Track meet May 14th all day
-  End of Year Lock Out June 10th

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Jump Start Conferences

Dear Parents/Guardians,
      The Jump Start Conference is an opportunity for you and your child to meet with the counselor.  At this meeting we will discuss the activities that have been completed during guidance class and your child’s transition to middle school.  The focus of the conference is to look at the positive characteristics of your child as a learner and as a person. 
          The conferences for Mrs. Ripp's class will be held May 12th-16th.  You can sign up for a conference by completing the following steps.

Please sign up for Jump Start Conferences-Mrs.Ripp- here's how it works in 3 easy steps:
   1. Click this link to go to our invitation page on VolunteerSpot:  
   2. Enter your email address: (You will NOT need to register an account on VolunteerSpot)
   3. Sign up! Choose your spots - VolunteerSpot will send you an automated confirmation and reminders. Easy!


Lindsey Hellenbrand, School Counselor
(608) 829-9384

Monday, March 10, 2014

Throw a Pie in Mrs. Ripp's Face in Honor of PI Day

Not only is Friday my birthday but it also International PI day!  While we will be doing all sorts of PI celebratory things throughout the day, we will also have a fun little competition.  The student that can memorize the most numbers of PI will get to throw a whip cream pie in my face.  So ask your child how many numbers they have memorized (we will use their knowledge in an upcoming unit in math) and have them get their throwing arm ready.

I look forward to my face of whip cream on Friday!

Friday, March 7, 2014

Colony Research in Action

I love March because the independence of the students really starts to shine through.  Here they are busy working on their colony presentations.  I cannot wait to see the finished products.

Action Stories in Action

The students have been yearning to just write, write, write.  So rather than start our next unit early, we are instead letting our creative juices flow with our action stories.  The premise is easy:  only write the climax of the story, no beginning and no end.  This allows us to free up our time to really work on editing skills and pushing our vocabulary and allows me time to have lengthy writing conferences with each student creating goals for the upcoming trimester.  Students are allowed to make their stories gory as long as they make sense.

These will be due March 21st.

Mystery Skype in Action

Thursday we had one of our best mystery skypes with a great classroom in Missouri.  I was incredibly proud of the students and the immense team work they put into the call.

Great Partner Conversations Happening

We discussed ow important it is to face each other and really listen when we have partner conversations.  I snapped some pictures showing the engagement.

We Love to Read - Pictures from the Week

I love how calm the classroom gets during independent reading