Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Innovation Day is Coming!

On May 23rd, all students in the 5th grade get to do our annual Innovation Day!  This whole day experience is the school version of FedEx Day; a day where students get to choose what they want to learn about as long as they create something to deliver.  These creations are varied but the one thing they all have in common is passion.

On Friday, I sent home the planning sheet.  all students must fill this out, have parents sign and hand it back to me by May 2nd.  This way home and school know what the child wants to work on.  Topics can be anything that interests the child, it does not have to tie in with 5th grade curriculum at all but needs to be big enough to fill an entire day of work (minus specials time).

A few more things:
  • Students may work as partners, but no more than 2 people.  Projects then have to be twice as big in work.
  • Students may work with a students from a different class, they can then choose which room they work in.
  • Students should not do too much prep work at home, this is meant to be a one day project, not a week long one.
  • Students do not have to get expensive materials to be innovative.  I showed them Caine's Arcade today to prove this.  (If you haven't watched this 9 minute video, you are really missing out).
  • Parents need to approve because often parents are the ones that provide the material!
  • Students will deliver (present) their projects Tuesday, May 27th.
  • A more detailed process sheet will be sent home in a week or so.
  • If you want to see videos from years past, here is a link to my post about it.
Please let me know if you have any questions!

Friday, April 25, 2014

When Thea Visited

Ask Your Child About...

We have been busy as always in the classroom learning, exploring, and trying things out.  Some things you can ask your child about are:

  • Are they a reader?
  • Tangle of the Titles.
  • Track meet events
  • Hattie Big Sky
  • The new simulation in social studies
  • Chemical reactions in a ziplock bag
  • Innovation day
  • The spelling challenge
  • Our all day celebration

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Video Newsletter April 24, 2014

A sideways newsletter this week from the students.

A Special Guest Teacher

For take your daughter to work day, Thea decided she wanted to teach the students as well.  This was all her idea as she led them in an ABC quiz as well as singing.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Chemical Reactions

Students have been busy exploring chemical reactions in science, just a few snapshots to show what they are doing.

photo 1 (1).JPG

Should Teachers Have A Dress Code?

Rose and Sydney are researching whether teachers should have a dress code or not, please take the survey if you are a teacher to help them out. 

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Spelling List

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Argumentative Essay Take 2

We have been working on argumentative essays as a review from earlier in the year.  This time our lens has been to research both sides of the argument so that students can produce counter-arguments within their essay.  We started out debating whether schools should serve chocolate milk, but have since branched out into partner chosen topics.

Nuts and Bolts:

  • Students have chosen a partner to work with on this.  They have also chosen a topic to argue.  One student argues for it, the other against it.
  • They can choose to research together or separately.
  • Final product is a 5 paragraph essay which will be handed in to me.  
  • Students will also have to debate each other in class using their knowledge.  
  • While the essay can start with their opinion, they have to have research included.  All topics have research available to them.  As always they are being asked to cite their sources.
  • Essay is due next Friday the 25th of April - this may be adjusted if we need to, however, I am confident we should be able to make it since this is a review unit for us.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Spelling List

Monday, April 14, 2014

Another Mission US Day

We headed back to the lab today to self-assess our social studies presentations.  While students waited for computers to free up to watch the videos, YouTube is blocked so they can only watch them under my login, they got to start a new Mission US game; For Crown or Colony.  This fantastic game is set right in the beginning of the Revolutionary War - fantastic!

They can continue to play at home or check out the other game regarding Native Americans by using my login: Mrsripp and password is student.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Video Newsletter April 10, 2014

Please watch this week's newsletter

Monday, April 7, 2014

Box Tops and Food Drive is Coming

Todd Macklem is certainly going to look pretty in PINK! If we collect a school-wide total of 12,000 Box Tops for Education and non-perishable food items from April 22nd to May 16th, Todd will dye his hair PINK for the day. (Yep... charge those cameras and phones!)

Just like last year, students will drop their Box Tops and food directly into the collection bins when they enter the school building. This is a school-wide goal, therefore there is NO need to keep track of the individual classroom totals. Our two fearless parent volunteers, Carla Mondi and Heather Lee-Reppen, will count those itty-bittyPINK Box Tops and get the food where it needs to go (we are again donating to MOMs).

Last year's collection brought in 575 pounds of food and raised over $1,000 in Box Tops for the school.

Spelling Challenge

The root words we are studying this week are:

  1. Anim
  2. Ann
  3. Ante
  4. Anth/o
  5. Anthro
  6. Anti
  7. Apo
  8. Aqu
  9. Arbor
  10. Arch
In case you didn't hear it, spelling was a blast lat week!  The kids were super excited and almost everyone nailed all of the words, meaning, origin and examples.  Congratulations to the team who won!
Here is a snap shot of a video during our charades last week.  Who thought spelling could be so loud!  

Friday, April 4, 2014

Mystery Skype again

It is Friday Mystery Skype and everybody is happy and excited!!! The class that we were skyping with has never done a Mystery Skype how will this go. We were having confusion as we first started we fixed those! We were going really fast and not getting enough questions. It was hard to fix those. When we had the confusion, we got the wrong answers. At some parts it went better than usual. The strategies for the think tank came from our lead think tanker, Zach, said, "We go big then small." which was the thing that we did. It helped out a lot of the questions. When we got the wrong questions, we kept going back to that the other class was their first time. There were bad and good things. Will we ever get to the end? That came up a lot. We finally got it together and got all the pieces we needed and was able to guess first there state which was Texas! Then when the other class felt they could do it to they guessed our state too and it would be Wisconsin! In the beginning we had to pick our jobs. Almost everyone was wearing badger stuff so they had to stay off camera so they wouldn't guess our state right away. This was brought to you by Alli and Mackenzie we would like to say, GO BADGERS!

More Colony Prezi's

We finished the wonderful prezis that students had created about the 13 colonies.  Students will now self-assess their performance and setting new presenting goals for the rest of the year.  

Not sure why this one is upside down, Youtube would not let me fix it!

3rd Grade Market on April 15th

West Middleton Third Grade Market
For Whom: Andy Manley, a fellow educator who tragically died in a house explosion and whose memory is being honored by a charity "A School for Andy."   The charity built and is equipping a solar powered school in Nepal.  Here’s the weblink:  http://schoolforandy.org/
What: Crafts will range in price from $0.25-$5.00.
 Donations of any amount are appreciated also.
When: Tuesday, April 15, Wednesday, April 16
Where: In the 3rd Grade Classrooms at West Middleton
Why: 3rd grade students have made crafts and plan to sell them as part of their social studies unit on economics.

We will be going April 15th at 9:30 AM

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Ask Your Child About...

It has been a great week in our classroom with lots of noise and excitement.  Things you can ask your child about is

  • Our new spelling team challenge - it is awesome!
  • Tangle of the Titles
  • The new math unit about coordinate grids and area
  • Whether chocolate milk should be served in school
  • Our new awesome Revolutionary War reading unit
  • This week's blogging challenge: what do you want to be when you grow up?
  • Making videos to teach others about blogging and Mystery Skype

Video Newsletter April 3, 2014

  • Please send in signed report card envelopes
  • Sub afternoon April 4, and morning April 17th (Oskar has his next laser treatment at the hospital)
  • No school April 18th and 21st
  • Tour of Glacier Creek May 2nd 12:30 PM to end of day
  • Track meet all day May 14th
  • End of Year Lock Out June 10th 9:30 AM to end of day.  We go bowling and swimming.
  • 5th grade graduation June 12th starting at 1:30 PM.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Tangle of the Titles

Today we introduced our Tangle of the Titles for 2014!  This cross-classroom 5th grade competition is one of the highlights of 5th grade and there was definitely a lot of excitement in the air.
Teams were made and students will be given time to meet every 10 days or so.  Reading will be done independently and projects will be done outside of school.


Babbit, Natalie
Tuck Everlasting
Lowry, Lois
The Giver
Stead, Rebecca
When You Reach Me
Sachar, Louis
Riordan, Rick
The Lightning Thief
Turnage, Sheila
Three Times Lucky
Paterson, Katherine
Bridge to Terabithia


* 4 to 5 students per team
* Team is responsible for reading all 7 books
* Team decides who reads specific books  (with teacher confirmation/input)
* The 4 point rubric will be utilized by each teacher 
* Each student is responsible for 2 books/projects 
* Additional books will only require a book review

* As you read each book, write 10 questions that will challenge another team
* The sheet of questions must have your complete name, title of book, author, & teacher’s name
* Each question begins, “In which book…”

* Select a project from the Project Choice sheet, or get approval from your teacher for other ideas
* First book, project, and 10 questions due 4/25/14
* Second book, project, and 10 questions due 5/16/14
* Additional books and review due 5/19/14
* Each project may only be chosen once by a student, so if you do an Animoto Book Trailer for one book you may not do it again.

* Will take place May 19th, it is optional if your team wants to battle or not.
* An extra point will be awarded for naming the author, in addition to the book name for any given question (Spelling counts!)

Special recognition will be given to the 1st and 2nd place teams


Are you ready for Tangle of the Titles projects?   You may choose from this list, or come up with your own project!
  Be sure to have it approved by your teacher before you begin.

Animoto Book Trailer:    This project has to entice other people to want to read your book while showing that you have read it.  You should have a mixture of pictures and text to support your trailer and even the music has to fit the feel of the book.  

Travel Brochure: Have you ever read a book and wished you could visit its setting?  In this project you can imagine! Craft a travel brochure encouraging others to visit the area where it takes place. You’ll want to draw on your persuasive writing skills and lure them to your destination using details from your novel. Be persuasive when telling

Book Jacket: Don’t judge a book by its cover… unless you are designing it! Imagine you work for a publisher. Your job is to design an eye-catching book jacket. This project must include a front and back cover that is authentic to you!  Do not copy the current cover, instead be unique and draw upon the story’s theme.  You must also include a summary inside the front flap and an “About the Author” on the back inner flap.  

Maps: This project will showcase various locations of scenes throughout the novel.  Label each site with what occurred there and what the significance is to the story’s plot. Maps may be of any nature (global, country, city, home).
*If you find your novel has all of its major scenes happening in one location or your book already includes its own maps, then this project is not for you!

Models: Do you enjoy creating 3D models? Then this is the project for you! In this project you will create a 3D model representing any scene in your novel.  Be as creative as you like and include small details to really make it come alive.  You will need to include a ½ page written explanation of your model including significant events.  

Posters: This project includes a series of 3 posters illustrating key points from the beginning, middle and end of your novel.  Be sure to include a short written summary displayed on the front of each poster.  Please, no larger than 8 ½ x 11 per poster size. You may use a multitude of art supplies for this project, be creative!

ABC Book: Create your very own ABC book with your novel as the subject!  Using the entire alphabet, write an ABC book with each letter describing something from your novel.  Each page will be devoted to a separate letter and illustration. Add pizazz to your project by being unique in how you bind your book! Again, great resources can be found in our school library if you need a mentor text to get your creativity flowing!

Screenplay, Play, or Recorded Play: Broadway is calling! Are you up for the challenge? Create a screenplay, play or voice recording of a scene you find intriguing from your story.  You may also create an “alternate ending.”  

Timeline: Choose ten important events from your story and create a sequential time line.  You must include illustrations and write a short description at each point.  Your timeline should also be titled, neat, colored and easy to follow.
Sculpture: Design a 3D sculpture of a character or key item from your book. You may use any materials to craft your work of art.  Include a written explanation of why it is important to your book.

Board Game: Roll the dice on this project! Create your very own board game with your book as the theme! Your game must include everything that will be needed for game play (pieces, dice, game board, depending on your game) as well as clearly written instructions and a minimum of 7 elements from your book.  Your game must also be titled.

Word Search: Hunt for vocabulary in this project! Choose twenty vocabulary words from your book.  All words you choose must be written and defined on one sheet of paper.  Be sure to add pictures and color to your project. On another sheet of paper create your word search using the twenty vocabulary words.  Don’t forget to include an answer key for your word search!

all about the setting and important events in the book.

Newspaper:  Extra! Extra! Read all about it! Hail to the Editor in Chief! In this project imagine you are running your own newspaper.  Create a newspaper that features articles all about your book, characters, dramatic scenes…the possibilities are endless!  Your newspaper should be a minimum of 2 pages.  You must include a newspaper name and clear article titles.  Use a real newspaper for inspiration on content ideas or formatting.

Story Box: Use a small box, such as a shoe box, to create a collection of ten items that relate to your story or characters in your book.  They can be actual items, drawn items or items neatly cut out of a magazine or newspaper. Be sure to “tag” each item by writing a short paragraph describing the importance of the item and how it relates to your book.  Don’t forget to decorate your box!

Crossword Puzzle: Choose twenty vocabulary words from your book. On one sheet of paper write the words. On another sheet create your crossword puzzle, complete with clues to each “Up” or “Down” column of clues.  Don’t forget to number the clues and corresponding puzzle boxes!
           Remember, you can always create your own project idea!
Just be sure to get your teacher’s approval first!  Have fun!