Decemeber 8, 2017

Good morning!

Miss Norris & 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 Miss Norris and I also have a Google calendar with all important dates?  Here is the link:

My email address has been changed to [email protected]  Please make note of this change.


Cursive Writing

Good afternoon to you all!

I just wanted to let you all know (and the kids have known this since the beginning of the school year) that beginning after our winter break, Miss Norris and I will not accept any work unless it is written in cursive.  Some of the kids are super excited and some are very nervous.  Don’t worry!  Trust us!  After a little bit of time working on it, they get very fluent!

Please see the email I sent out to everyone about the upcoming sock exchange!

December 3, 2017

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! 🙂

Heroes Essay Program

We are excited to be kicking off the 2017-2018 Honoring Our Heroes Essay program on November 27th 2017.  Honoring Our Heroes is a writing program that encourages students to discover, honor, and write about real-life heroes – role models displaying generosity, trust, persistence, dedication, leadership, creativity, caring, bravery, imagination, service, gentleness, courage or compassion.  Students are asked to redefine media-hyped and cartoon heroes such as professional athletes, movie stars, and rock musicians and instead recognize someone who has made a more personal impact on the student’s life such as a family member, doctor, public safety officer, soldier, or teacher.

What a great opportunity to honor someone who may not even know what a difference they are making in your child’s life!

To be successful we need your help. Students who win in their grade are recognized in the yearbook and in our awards ceremony. Winning entries in each category will compete at the county level.

All entries are due no later than January, 17th 2018. Entry forms will be provided for each student in the email sent out and on the PTA website . Information about the program is available at the County PTA website, . Should you have any questions about this program, please feel free to contact committee chair Mary Pearl Britto at [email protected].

November 16, 2017

It was so great seeing so many of you at Thanksgiving lunch today.  I wish that I would have had the time to walk around and greet all of you.  Just know, I appreciated you having lunch with our class today!

Miss Norris and I are not assigning spelling for the students to complete over the break, so they did not receive a new spelling packet today.  They will receive one when we return from the break, and then we will resume with normal testing the following week.  Just enjoy the time with your loved ones.

In my ELA block only, we are participating in The Great Mail Race.  We received two letters from students in Houston, Texas.  We will reply to their letters, as well as find any elementary schools in each of the 50 states of the USA.  We will mail each school (in a separate state) a letter and hope to get one in return.  We will track the letters sent and any letters received back.

In addition for the past couple of weeks we spent time writing letters to troops overseas in hopes they would receive a warm smile for Thanksgiving (a time away from their loved ones).  For the first time in my teaching career, we received an email back!!  This made us all sooo very happy this morning!  The email came from Lt. Amy Lambert.  Her email is as follows:

Hello!  This is LT Amy Lambert. I’m in the United States Navy Reserves and I’m currently mobilized to Kuwait.   I received a box of letters written by your students thanking me and my colleagues for our service.  Funny story, but your letters made it to a person who is an 8th grade teacher on the outside. I teach 8th Grade Science in York, South Carolina.   It really warmed my heart to read those letters.   Your letters made me miss the classroom.  I get home from Kuwait next summer and I will return to the classroom at that time.   Please thank your students for me and let them know that they are deeply appreciated.  If they want to know more about me, here is my linked in profile.  I’ve attached some pics if you’d like to show your students who their letters were received by.



November 14, 2017

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!



Thanksgiving Lunch

We will have Thanksgiving Lunches on November 15 and November 16.  Tickets will be sold October 16-November 8.  We will not be selling tickets on the days of Thanksgiving Lunches.  Parents will have to turn in the bottom portion of the form with their payment.  The window to purchase tickets closes on November 8.  We will send tickets home shortly thereafter. 

Please refer to both of the attachments: