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Sunday, January 26, 2014

January Wrap up!

Dear Families,
January is coming to a close and what an amazing trip we have had all around the globe and in the town of Geometry!

We have been gaining a global perspective this month by hearing about interesting sites that cover the planet.  We have learned about Machu Picchu, lost city of Petra, the Great Barrier Reef, Eiffel Tower, Taj Mahal, Lake George, Leaning Tower of Pisa, Alcatraz and may other sites.  It has been remarkable to see the ease with which our 5th graders are manipulating digital presentation tools.  I have learned about Prezi and have loved the tricks of PowerPoint that I did not know about before!  This project not only expanded our knowledge of the globe, it gave us practice with our oral presentation skills of looking at the audience, using an appropriate tone and speaking knowledgeably about a subject!  Along side this project, students have also been sharing short poems that they have practiced and are reading with correct expression, fluency and tone!  Geography will be wrapping up this week as we look at the natural resources of continents, their sustainability and how this relates to the population of these continents! Soon we will be heading into our US Colonization Unit!

In Reader's and Writer's Workshop we continue to be busy with reading our TruFlix books about the continents, collecting notes about varying landscapes and reflecting on our new learning by writing in LEAF paragraph format.  I look forward to sharing these writing pieces with you next month!  The LEAF paragraph is used as a structure for creating cohesive paragraphs in middle school as well as at CVU high school.  The LEAF format gives us a place to respond to our reading by citing evidence from the text while also reflecting about our new learning.

During Math class we have been exploring angles by measuring them and even creating them using protractors.  We will be exploring symmetry, congruence, and the proper names of polygons this week. We continue to review multiplication and division through our computation homework and our continued push to complete fastt math!  Many students are finished with multiplication and many are completely finished with the program!  We continue to monitor fact fluency in the classroom with Quick 2  minute math tests!

Stay warm and thanks for reading!

Friday, January 10, 2014

Happy New Year!

Reading/Writing - We are working on two things this month in our reader's workshop.  One of them is non-fiction reading, the other is working on reading fluency through reader's theater practice.  Students are reading Tru-Flix (digital) books about a continent.  Each session they are assigned a continent and a couple of  questions.  Our initial focus within these books (other than the reading work) is physical geographical features.  Students are practicing their non-fiction reading strategies, responding to reading, and we're also tying this into our writing for the month.
We're practicing constructed response writing using the LEAF paragraph.  It is a fantastic structure for helping students write a focused and complete paragraph in response to a question about their reading.  We work in the NF books twice a week and practice our reader's theater twice a week.  You may see some of this work come home if it is not completed during the provided time in class.
Math - We started back in the new year with a new unit.  Unit 3 focuses on Geometry and Measurement.  Students have been exploring symmetry, congruence, discovering how to find area, and working on using precise language and what they know about the properties of shapes to make generalizations about area and congruence.  
In number corner, students are making observations and predictions about 3-D shapes using multiple views, and tracking and averaging the weather here in VT and our chosen "sister city" Johannesburg, South Africa.  Pretty interesting to record an almost 100 degree weather difference in one day!

World Geography - We will continue our focus on World Geography through the month of January.  Currently, we are studying physical features on earth with a global perspective.  We will then connect this to how and where people live in the world.  
January's share theme will ask students to choose a Famous Site somewhere in the world to do mini-research on and then give a digital presentation.  We will give students a bit of time to work on this in class - for resources, but the majority of the work will be homework. Please have your child let us know if they need to use school computers to complete this assignment because they do not have access to one at home.  

Spring Conferences - Don't forget to sign up for a conference on the googledoc I shared this week.  

Friday Snack Shack - Thanks to all of you who have participated in this.  The kids have loved sharing foods with one another and their time together reading about current events!

NBC Learn

Interested in the Science and Engineering connected to the sports of the Winter Olympics?  Take some time to check out

There are short videos to watch about snowboarding, 
figure skating, and even the bobsled!  Scientists explain the 
engineering terms and highlight important vocabulary for all ages!

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Please take this survey!

Becky, the Food Services Director, really needs parent and student input concerning family's needs and wants from the breakfast and lunch program. There is a quick survey on the home page of the school's website. Here is the link. This is a chance for parents and students to express their opinion and contribute to a selection of food in which they will be more satisfied with.