Good morning!

Mrs. Self & I wanted to make a post to inform you of all of the upcoming holiday dress-up days.  These dates are also on this week’s weekly report, but this is a better way for us to be a little more descriptive of each day.

Monday 11th- Wear any holiday jewelry (necklaces, earrings, bracelets, etc.)

Tuesday 12th- This one is my favorite.  Find a holiday decoration in your house that is NOT meant to be worn.  Find a fun & creative way to wear this item to school!

Wednesday 13th- Wear a homemade holiday shirt.  Please do not wear a store bought shirt.  We love to see the kids’ creativity and how proud they are of their creations.

Thursday 14th- Wear a holiday hair style.  The sky is the limit.  We can’t wait to see this!

Friday 15th- Wear holiday Pjs *wrapped socks are also due 

Monday 18th- Wear a holiday hat

Tuesday 19th- Wear holiday sweater or shirt

Wednesday 20th- Wear your new holiday socks that you received at yesterday’s sock exchange

Did you know that Mrs. Self and I also have a Google calendar with all important dates?  Here is the link:

Mrs. Self’s email address has been changed to [email protected].  Please make note of this change.

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! 🙂



T-4 days until Thanksgiving Break! What a week we have ahead of us!! I am sure that you are noticing by your child’s work that is coming home that the everyday work the students are doing is getting much harder than it was the first quarter. It is very important that students are producing work of high quality and using the time they are given in class wisely every single day. I am still having to give constant reminders to stay on task, keep conversations on topic, and to double check their work/reread their own writing before turning in every single assignment. These are work habits that they have to develop and implement regularly independently, not something I am going to keep exhausting myself to ensure they are doing nor should you. Maturity and responsibility are the words of the year from this point forward.

We have PLENTY of time for fun/play, but some students are still having a hard time separating those opportunities from when they should be engaging in their work and learning. If we cannot get through the actual work that we have to do the fun times will not be able to be had. We often get asked, “Is this going to be a grade?” as if only what will be graded should be done to the best of their ability. Their careless mistakes, not completing work in the time given, and poor effort will continue to be evident in their grades that you see coming home. This is not something that I expect you to make your priority either, as they know it is both your and my expectation of them to give their best each day. It is time THEY start holding themselves accountable. Thank you for your constant efforts in this area!

Academic to-do list for the week:

Thursday – Reading assessment. Week 14 Spelling Assessment.

Friday – Finalize opinion writing piece, Turn of the Century SS assessment, Decimal Math Assessment (all 4 operations).

Turkey Tom’s Big Escape – Today all students received ‘Turkey Tom’, a Thanksgiving themed creative writing activity. They are to do this at home, and it is due back to school Thursday. We will take some time Thursday & Friday sharing disguises and the fictional stories students come up with of how their turkeys made it through Thanksgiving without being gobbled up! 🙂

I look forward to seeing those of you that are coming Thursday for Thanksgiving Lunch!

Our Fall Book Fair is here!  You can also shop our online book fair!  If you would like to shop the online book fair for gifts for the holiday season, you are able to add a note to your online order.  In the note you can request that when the order is delivered to the school to please call you for pick up!  Please include your name, your child’s name, your phone number, and call for pick up.  The online fair has been extended until Sunday, November 26th.

The link to the online book fair is

Beginning the 2nd quarter we are moving into new content in all subject areas:

Math: Tomorrow students will take a test on whole number division to end our whole operations number unit. We will start adding and subtracting decimals this week, and then move into multiplying and dividing decimals.

Social Studies: The current Social Studies unit the students will be learning about is “Turn of the Century”. This unit will focus on the change of life in America from the late 1800’s to the early 1900’s. Within this unit students will learn all about cowboys/cattle drives, inventors and inventions that impacted life in America, America’s expanding role in the world, and the impact of immigration pertaining to further development of the United States. It is important that your child is reading their textbook/interactive journal at home, watching videos/reviewing information under the SS tab of the blog, ultimately spending time throughout the week to reinforce what is being covered in the classroom. We will spend the next four weeks, until Thanksgiving Break, on this standard.

Writing: The focus of our 2nd quarter in writing is research-based opinion writing. The first topic the students will spend time researching and building their own independent argument for is “Should 5th grade students have cell phones?” ….. I don’t know if I should go ahead and apologize in advance for all of the conversations that this will lead to at home, but they are so very excited to learn more about the pros/cons of this topic. Students will be required to gather research/work on this at home more than they did last quarter with Narrative writing, so please allow your child to work on this at home if they request access to a computer/technology.

Reading: We will continue mastering our literature reading standards (fiction) this quarter, and will transition into non-fiction by the end of the quarter.

Homework: You should expect to see your child’s HW increase as we move through the 2nd quarter. We are getting past review of 4th grade content, and are fully into 5th grade standards. Study habits apply at home can make a huge difference in all subjects. Moby Max and Front Row are also excellent ways to regularly reinforce all skills taught in all subject areas.

*This week there will be no assigned content HW, the students voted and chose to have no HW for the week as one of their rewards for Mad Dash. This does not dismiss nightly reading from their requirement. They should be reading, every night, anywhere from 20-30+ minutes per night at this point in the school year.


Thanksgiving Lunch Updates

Please see the photo below on information about the school’s Thanksgiving lunch celebration. This form will also be coming home with your child tomorrow in their Friday Folder. Our class will begin Thanksgiving lunch at 12:30, on Thursday November 16th. If you click on the picture you can see it in larger view!


This week your child should be working to complete:

-Week 9 of spelling: due Thursday

-STEMscopedia: This is a reading, background building resource for your child’s reference. They should spend time this week reading through the content. There are some interactive activities/conversation prompting questions at the very back for them to use at home with you or with anyone outside of school if they choose! I would highly recommend it.

-We will be starting division of multi-digit whole numbers tomorrow. Tonight your child has a quick 7 question homework page over division. They have had division problems on their spiral math HW all year, so this should not be something they can not complete. They can use whatever division strategy they are most comfortable with. Nightly math homework will take place of the spiral this week, and is due the next day at school each day.

-We will have an Earth Science unit test on Friday, covering the following standard:

S5E1. Obtain, evaluate, and communicate information to identify surface features on the Earth caused by constructive and/or destructive processes.
a. Construct an argument supported by scientific evidence to identify surface features (examples could include deltas, sand dunes, mountains, volcanoes) as being caused by constructive and/or destructive processes (examples could include deposition, weathering, erosion, and impact of organisms).
b. Develop simple interactive models to collect data that illustrate how changes in surface features are/were caused by constructive and/or destructive processes.
c. Ask questions to obtain information on how technology is used to limit and/or predict the impact of constructive and destructive processes.
(Clarification statement: Examples could include seismological studies, flood forecasting (GIS maps), engineering/construction methods and materials, and infrared/satellite imagery.)

This week students should be spending time at home studying their interactive science journal, watching videos from the science tab on the blog, reviewing the many power points posted, and reading through the STEMscopedia to make sure that they have a full understanding of the concepts within this standard.