Week of 4/9/2018

Welcome Back from Spring Break!  We hope everyone had a wonderful break.  Our students have done a fantastic job picking up right where we left off and working hard!

Spring has sprung and our new unit will focus on the changes in the season and the life cycles of plants and animals.  We will be planting our own seeds this week and observing changes in the temperature, weather, and nature.

Here are the curriculum highlights for the week:

Writing Workshop:

This week in our writing workshop, we are practicing using “Wh” questions to describe real pictures of people and animals.  We use visual prompts to complete our graphic organizer to describe who is in the picture, what  the person or animal is doing, where the action takes place, when the action takes place, and why (inferring) the reason for the picture.  Then, we are drafting complete sentences or paragraphs to describe our picture.  Finally, when appropriate, students will type their sentence or paragraph.

If you would like a copy of the visual that helps with forming complete sentences to describe pictures or events, please feel free to email me.

We will also be working on an informative writing piece about the life cycle of a plant beginning this week.


We continue to focus on math computation skills relative to each student’s goals.  Many students continue to use Touch Math strategies to help with addition and subtraction.  We are also continuing our work on money and time (including word problems)


Students are reading comprehension passages about Spring and about the life cycle of Plants and then answering questions based on what they read.

Our library is full of new books about the season and students began new guided reading books at their level this week – so exciting!

Important Dates in April:

20th Sparkles Night
24th Menchies and Moes Night
26th Spring Fling



Week of 3/12-16/2018

It is an exciting week at Pickett’s Mill!  Here are some important reminders about the fun things happening at school:

Tomorrow is Wacky Tacky Day!  Students participating will need to bring a $1.00 donation that will benefit students and teachers in Haiti through a non-profit called Drops of Dew.  This is sure to be fun, and I can’t wait to see all of your wacky outfits!

Tomorrow (3/14/2018) is also an early release day.  Students will be dismissed at 12:30 and teachers will participate in valuable professional learning throughout the afternoon.

Friday is the 80’s Glow Dance at Pickett’s Mill at 6:30 PM.  There will also be a preview of our awesome Spring Book Fair!!  Don’t miss a chance to see Mrs. Derman’s amazing dance moves.  Dinner packages are also available to make the night even easier.

Book Bags:

Each Friday, your child will bring home a book in a bag labeled with their name.  Please have your child read this book to you and write down successes and challenges on their weekly homework sheet.  Books should be returned to school with the homework on Friday.  Please let me know if you have questions or concerns!

Week of January 22-26, 2018

We have enjoyed our full week of learning at Pickett’s Mill!  Here are some highlights and reminders:

New Communication Tool – Seesaw!  

This week you received an orange letter and a QR code to join our classroom Seesaw Account.  Seesaw allows us to create a digital portfolio for each student, which can include work samples, videos, and pictures.  Please create your account so that you don’t miss out on seeing your child in action.  Don’t hesitate to contact me if you have any issues creating your account.

Shutterfly Account

Our classroom has two Shutterfly accounts that we use to post pictures from school.  Our classroom account can be found here:


We also have an account for our Pickett’s Mill Pirate Pals club.  Be sure to view pictures from our Pirate Pals visits here:


5th Grade Symphony Field Trip

The 5th Grade Field Trip to the symphony has been rescheduled for Friday, February 16, 2018.  This will be such a fun thing to do on the last day before our February Break (February 19-23, 2018).

Curriculum Highlights

The students have adjusted very well to returning to our routine and following all classroom expectations this week.  Here are a few things that would be very helpful for you to reinforce at home:

  • Life Skills:  Please review your home address, phone number, birthday, and age every day with your child.
  • Conversational Speech:  When you are talking with your child at home, please encourage them to always use a full sentence.  We are working hard on conversational speech in the classroom, especially during snack time, and would appreciate your help with this at home.  Encourage your child to ask you questions and engage in back and forth conversation with you.
  • Math:  We are working hard on individual math goals daily.  Please listen to your child count as high as they can every day.  Many students should be able to count to 100, but work within your child’s currently ability.  Also, ask them to identify coins and paper money and tell you the value.


A new homework packet, which will include a new spelling list will come home today.  Homework is always due the following Friday and spelling tests will be every Friday as well.

Have a wonderful weekend!  We look forward to another great week!



Week of 1/9-1/12/2018

Welcome back to school and Happy New Year to all of you!  We have had a wonderful start to 2018 in our classroom.  Here are a few highlights from this week:

Math:  Our math stations this week are focused on not only explicit instruction on math standards and personal goals/objectives, but we also have a time/money station, math computation review station, and a life skills station.  This week’s life skills focus is on remembering our Parent’s names, phone number, and address.  Please reinforce these skills at home.

Speech:  January Speech homework calendars were sent home this week.  Please remember to practice speech skills, color the day on the calendar, and send in the speech folder every day with your child.  Mrs. Nettles checks the calendars and reinforces the skills during her time in our classroom.

Guided Reading and Literacy:  In addition to starting a new guided reading book, I have also taught the students how to participate in our new literacy stations.  We have a classroom library work station, poetry work station, listening work station, word work station and writing work station that the students are now familiar with.  I’m so proud of their ability to work in these stations independently for increasingly longer amounts of time.

Important Date for 5th Grade:  The Symphony Trip has been rescheduled for February 16, 2018.  Please mark this date on your calendar and plan to dress for success that day.

Remember that homework is due on Friday and our library day is Thursday.  We look forward to a great rest of the week!  No School on Monday, 1/15/2018!

Pirate Pals on Friday

Our final meet and greet kick-off for Pirate Pals will be this Friday, December 15, 2017 at 7:15 AM in the Hot Spot!  These meetings have been such a fun way to meet our new friends.

All of you have been added to the Pirate Pal Shutterfly Site:


Please take a minute to visit the site to view pictures from our recent meetings.  We’ve had delicious breakfast and played many fun games!

5th Grade Holiday Party Information

The excitement continues at Pickett’s Mill.  The fifth grade students will celebrate the holidays as a grade level on December 19th from 10-11 AM.  The room moms are asking for a $5.00 donation  (Due December 13th) to cover the cost of the celebration.  Here is the information that will be sent home today with your child:


Please let me know if you have any questions!

5th Grade Elements Project and Counselor Today

Information was sent home today about the 5th Grade Element Project  The project is due December 15, 2017.  Here are some additional details about the project:

Your child selected an element in class today.  The element is written on the assignment sheet.  The assignment will be completed on the four-square poster that was also sent home today.

The assignment sheet references a rubric that the students created for grading the project.  Here are the details of the rubric:

  • Is the project neat/colorful?  Yes  or  No
  • Does the project have uses for the element?  (It should have several uses and lists or pictures)
  • Is the information accurate?  Most is Accurate  or   All is Accurate
  • The last column of the rubric asks students to include a fun fact or make a connection from their element to something they already know.

Note that these four things are the grading criteria and NOT what should go in the four squares.  Please use the assignment sheet for what should go in each square.

During Science and Social Studies today the students had a session with Mr. Verity, our counselor, and he discussed careers.