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Monday, May 7, 2018

Multiplying Fractions, Writing Science Essays and More!

Dear Families,
April has come and went and we are in the beginnings of May!  Only 29 School Days left!  Over the past two weeks I have seen a spike in learning and stamina for hard work!  Thank you for sending your children to school rested and ready to learn and teaching them how to be respectful, polite and motivated!  As we begin Teacher Appreciation Week- I am the one who needs to say THANK YOU to all of you for sharing your children with me on a daily basis!  I learn so much from them and work hard to be a positive influence on their lives as learners and as people!  I strive to make sure to connect with my students and to push them to go above and beyond their abilities and to feel proud of all they have and can accomplish! 

Next week we will conduct NGSS Science Testing from Tuesday thru Thursday!  We would love any testing treats you can send our way- mints, gun, clementines or cheese sticks!  These treats kept us motivated throughout our SBAC testing!  The science test should be shorter and from the practice it seems quite engaging.  On the 16th our Chorus will be performing at 7PM and on the 22nd our Band will be performing at 7PM.  Hope to see many of you there!  And a bag lunch and good walking shoes, hat and sunscreen will be needed on the 18th as we head to the Civil War Re-Enactment!

In science class we have been planning and writing a 5 paragraph essay proving that the McCabe's Brook is a healthy water sources in our local watershed!  Your children have been using data that they collected in the field with the Watershed Alliance as evidence and have been analyzing the evidence in terms of what it tells us about the health of the water!  So amazing!  These essays will be finished this week and your child should be sending you a link with a voice recording of their essay!  Stay tuned!  We also have been reading about Ecosystems and practicing our nonfiction reading questioning stance. What surprised me?  What confirmed or challenged my thinking?  What did the author assume about my knowledge?

In math class we have been multiplying whole numbers by fractions and fractions by fractions!  We have been using the area model to prove our thinking and to make sense of fractions and multiplication!  We have been thinking of 6 X 1/5 as 1/5 of 6.  We came to the generalization that whenever you multiply a whole number by a fraction the product will be less than the whole number.  We have been thinking of 1/4 X 2/3 as 1/4 of 2/3.  We have come to the conjecture that the product will always be less than both fractions being multiplied.  We will keep exploring this to see if it is true!

Monday, April 16, 2018

Data Review on the McCabe's!

Caroline joined us in the classroom today to go over our data about the McCabe's Brrok!  We entered our data into a database that is accessed by Vermont scientist!  Our data will inform the state and others about the quality of local waterways!  We learned more about the relationships between temperature, dissolved oxygen and macroinvertebrates!  With a deeper understanding of what the data means we will know be able to write our essays!  Way to go 5th Graders!

Sunday, April 15, 2018

Is the McCabe's Brook Healthy?

We had 3 successful visits to the McCabe's Brook!  Each visit had us focusing on one of three characteristics of this water way!  Last Friday, we focused on the Physical Assessment, meaning the location, the surrounding land and its uses, signs of human impact, velocity of the water, clarity of the water or turbidity and embeddedness of sediment.  On Wednesday we focused on the Chemical Assessment, meaning we found the PH of the water, the temperature, the amount of phosphorus in the water and the amount of dissolved oxygen in the water.  Lastly, on Friday we conducted the biological assessment.  We actively scooped and used the kick net to catch benthic macroinvertebrates.  With all of our data, we are ready to answer the question: Is the McCabe's Brook healthy?  A few short videos at the end of this post show students using the data to support their current claim about the water!  On Monday we will meet with the Watershed Alliance one more time to analyze our data!  This analysis will turn into a piece of informational writing.  We also will be able to compare data from both sites on this stream, compare them and see if they support the same claim!

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Watershed Alliance Visit

Today the Watershed Alliance educators visited our classroom and gave us a preview of the tools we will use to collect data about the McCabe's Brook!  We will be conducting a physical, biological and chemical assessment to decide if the McCabe's is healthy!  Ask your child about these three assessments! 

Monday, April 2, 2018

1st Day of SBAC and Science

Your children showed tremendous perseverance, focus and stamina today for our SBAC testing.  We have started with English Language Arts.  Your open minded children enjoyed many of the reading passages and were telling me about all the interesting facts they learned about animals, history and science!  I have to say the SBAC test does a nice job of finding engaging text to use!  Nobody finished this first test and I praised them for that.  We will continue our work tomorrow with English Language Arts.  On Thursday and Friday we will work on the second part of the English Language Arts test which involves reading many passages about a topic and writing a longer informational, opinion or narrative piece!  We hope to have both tests complete by Friday!

Many of your children talked about our Matter Unit at Conferences.  Here are some photos of the experiments we did to test if kitchen substances were acidic.

We have begun our final unit of the year involving Ecosystems!  We have read many picture books about ecosystems and our vocabulary list is growing quite long.  Some of the words we will focus on are:
Food Chains, Carnivore, Herbivore, Omnivore, Consumer, Producer, Abiotic, Biotic, Prey, Predator, Cycle, Erosion, Pollution, Adaptations, Nitrogen, Phosphorus, Oxygen, Turbidity, Physical, Chemical, Biological, Pervious, Impervious, Best Management Practices, Point Source and No Point Source and Watershed.  Today educators from the Watershed Alliance joined us at took us through the Lake Champlain Watershed.  We used a watershed model to explore the use of our lands in and around waterways.  We looked at how pollutants travel into our our waterways and ended the session looking for ways to reduce pollution.  

Lastly,here is a slideshow of some student writing involving the word Respect!