In just two and a half short weeks we will OFFICIALLY be 1/2 way through this school year! This is such a busy time of year, both at school and outside of school, so please do not hesitate to reach out if there is anything that you may need, are questioning, or just anything at all. No question is too big or too small, and after all we are each other’s ‘village’ this year. Please make sure you keep the yellow December calendar that your child brought home on Friday with you at home. Here is what will be going on in the classroom from now until break:
Math – We have moved on to fractions, and will spend the next two and a half weeks adding and subtracting fractions/mixed numbers. Students will test on adding/subtracting fractions on Monday December 18th. One way that you can help your child better understand fractions at home is just by having conversations about fractions in the real world. Having them help you cook, interpreting recipes, and discussing the correlation between fractions and decimals (3/4 is .75 -> quarters/money) will help build their fundamental understanding of fractions greatly. Most of our practice and assessment involves word problems with real world scenarios, and this is also the aspect that continuously stumps them throughout the year. So, the more real world experience they have thinking about math concepts outside of school the better prepared they will be.
Science – Students have started learning all about changes to matter – physical and chemical changes. This is just as abstract of a concept to grasp as it is a simple concept, but they are LOVING it so far. The things that their little minds think about in science blow my mind every single day. This is such a fun concept to continue extending learning at home, also! There are tons of simple, free/cheap experiments that can be done at home. If you are doing anything at home in regards to this standard, make sure that you constantly ask your child ‘WHY?!’ and have them explain what indicators prove whether the experiment was a chemical or physical change to the particular matter. We will spend this week doing experiments in class, and next week we will start a STEM project that students will showcase on our school-wide STEM day December 19th. THANK YOU to everyone who sent in donations to make hands-on science learning experiences possible in the classroom. Students will take the final unit test on Physical/Chemical changes to Matter on Tuesday December 12th.
Writing – We are finishing up our Opinion writing genre focus for the quarter. Students will completely finalize their current writing piece arguing whether 5th graders should or should not have cell phones this week, and will take the end of quarter post assessment on Thursday December 14th and Friday December 15th. Students will be provided a new argument topic, multiple articles to help them develop their argument, and have 2 writing blocks to implement everything they have learned this quarter to a final, independent, research-based opinion writing piece. The amount of growth that the students have shown this quarter in terms of their own idea development, thinking deeper to strengthen their own argument, and learning how to conduct/analyze research is amazing!! They should be extremely proud of themselves.
Reading – We are finishing up our fictional literature standards this quarter. Students will take the a final reading test on Monday December 18th, which will cover analyzing the impact of narrator/speaker’s point of view on a piece of literature, the organizational structure of various types of literature (story, drama, poetry), and how multimedia elements contribute to the meaning, tone, or beauty of a text. When we return from break our reading focus will switch to analyzing non-fiction texts. At this point in the school year, students should be reading a minimum of 20 minutes a night at home. This can be independent reading, reading aloud, and reading of any type of text. If your child is interested in it, let them read it! 🙂