February 28, 2008

February 28, 2008

Dear Fifth Grade Parents,

I hope you have been enjoying the spring weather recently. Soon it will be spring and the 5th graders will be going to camp! Don’t forget to turn in your camp forms by Monday March 3rd.

Schools Attuned:
As many of you know, the teachers have been working towards being certified in a program called “Schools Attuned.” All year long, we’ve been trying to infuse our lessons with ideas from the program.

The basic idea is that we all have a learning profile; by better understanding our students’ learning profiles (their individual strengths and weaknesses), we can better meet each student’s needs.

Tomorrow morning, the fifth and sixth grade students will spend their morning focusing on some specific aspects of the learning profile: attention, spatial ordering (organization), temporal-sequential ordering (following step-by-step directions), and social cognition (getting along well with peers and teachers). They will rotate four times and complete activities with these four “constructs.”

I will be including more information on my Web-Site about the Schools Attuned Program this month.

Students will investigate an owl’s niche by studying owl pellets. Students will be observing the outside of the pellet to determine the owl’s habitat. Students will separate objects in the pellet like bones, fur or feathers. Students will identify and organize the different types of bones they find.

Friday: Lesson 75, Changing Improper Fractions to Whole or Mixed Numbers
Monday: Test # 14
Tuesday: Lesson 76, Multiplying Fractions
Wednesday: Lesson 77, Converting Units of Weights and Mass
Thursday: Lesson 78, Exponents and Powers

On Friday we will do covering our 2nd lesson of our Steps to Respect curriculum. Next week we will be moving into chapter 17 of our text. We will be learning about the Liturgy of the Word. In this chapter we will exploring the Dead Sea Scrolls and learn why they are important. Students will have the opportunity to pick a scripture reading from the Old Testament and make their own scroll.

Social Studies
The fifth graders are working through Chapter 9. In this lesson my classroom has become Williamsburg, Virginia. The students rotate through 6 “centers” which represent places in the town of Williamsburg. Students are required to follow the directions at each station. One of the directions for every center is to read the page in the text and take “notes” on the information on that page. This is done as a group. A test on this Chapter will be 3/7. As usual, students should be rereading the Chapter at home and studying the vocabulary in the beginning of the chapter.

The oral book reports have been terrific! Students have been so creative in telling about their books. We should have heard all presentations by this Friday.

We continue to read on in The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe.

Language Arts: Students use what we have learned about verbs to explore the trait of “Word Choice.” We engage in several exercises that help us choose strong and interesting words in our writing. Specifically, students will create a resource list of synonyms for the word, “said” as well as a word bank of “verbs of steel.” Spelling homework is due on Monday. Our spelling test will be on Monday, as well. Verb tests will be returned in next week’s boomerang. Scores, however, will be posted in a few days on Powerschool.

Have a great week!
Ms. Semandiris