Friday, December 9, 2016

December Update including Winter Concert and Holiday Shoppe!

In math we have just completed an online assessment on multiplying decimals.  This unit required the students to demonstrate their understanding of decimals and the multiplication of decimals using grids, equations, partial products and fractions.  It was a very challenging unit! The kids worked hard and I am proud of their efforts.  We will move on to the division of whole numbers on Monday.

In language arts we worked in guided reading groups learning to take notes on non-fiction text.  We learned about text structures such as cause-effect and we studied how supporting details and main ideas work together to form a cohesive piece of writing.   We are learning the Key Word Strategy and applying it to the writing of informational narratives.  As table groups we are writing a class report on Meriwether Lewis.  Students are identifying, paragraph by paragraph, the most important words in the text we are reading.  They are writing these words on post it notes, transferring these notes to a graphic organizer and then using these notes to write reports in their own words.  The Key Word Strategy is an excellent strategy for helping kids develop better research and writing skills. The next step in this process will be for the kids to write their own individual explorer reports.

Technology integration continues to involve the use of the iPad app, Explain Everything.  The kids are learning strategies for writing strong open response answers to MCAS science questions.

Next week is our Winter Concert!  It will take place on Friday, December 16th at 9:30 am for parents. Next week is also the time for our annual Holiday Shoppe hosted by our Fox Hill PTO.  The fifth grade is scheduled to visit the Holiday Shoppe on Wednesday, December 14th. Kids can bring in money to shop on that day.

Stay warm everyone and have a great weekend!

Thursday, November 3, 2016

Classroom Update!

So much has happened in the first two months of school I thought it would be a good time to update everyone.

In math we have covered the first two topics in our enVision Math program and are currently working on advanced multiplication.  Estimation is an important part of this unit. When supporting your child at home ask them to estimate an answer and then ask them if the estimate is near the actual answer they got.  For example, when solving 439 x 62 a good way to estimate is to think: 400 x 60 = 24,000. In terms of the Practice Buddy: Homework that I assign online please note that there is question help with each problem.  By choosing this help (clicking on it) the kids can be walked through a similar problem.

In ELA we have been developing our skills as active readers.  We are currently reading the book Gossamer by Lois Lowry.  Students are asking questions, making predictions, making inferences and visualizing the text as they read.  They are noting their responses to the text on post-it notes and sharing those in class.  In reading groups we are learning to summarize literature by noting the characters, setting, problem and solution to the problem found in a given chapter.  We are writing personal narratives during our writing time.  We have studied how to write engaging leads, use powerful verbs and craft meaningful conclusions that show writers reflecting on personal experiences.

Our technology integration class has focused on supporting science and social studies lessons.  The children have answered MCAS science open-response questions using Explain Everything.  Explain Everything allows the kids to give written and verbal answers on their projects as well as mark up key words in the text question.  The children have also published blog posts comparing Maya and Aztec civilizations.  The process of publishing their posts has helped the kids to gain a new facility with technology which will help them as we progress through the fifth grade curriculum this year.

I would like to remind everyone that I will continue offering math support on Tuesday and Wednesday mornings 8-8:20 beginning again on November 15th.  I will not be offering morning math support next week. Please always check this blog the night before and morning of math support.  I will post a message stating that I cannot meet if that is the case.

Friday, October 14, 2016


On Tuesday and Wednesday mornings 8:00-8:20 I will be offering math support in Room 12. Any student interested in participating is welcome!  If I am unable to be available on a given Tuesday or Wednesday I will post that notice here on my blog.  I will also send home a paper copy of the cancellation as well.  I hope everyone has a nice weekend.

Monday, October 3, 2016

Homework Page is Up and Running!

I was able to fix the homework page.  Just click on the tab for tonight's homework.  Also, many kids have told me they do not have access to a computer at home.  Tonight's assignment involves getting onto the Pearson Realize website.  Please send me in a note if your son or daughter is unable to have access to technology at home and I will create alternative homework for the nights where it is needed.

One final request is that you send back your school picture forms (if you have the wrong one).  Many kids have forms that are for other students.  I will redistribute the forms tomorrow after they are brought back to school.

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Tonight's Homework

Hi Everyone,

For some reason the homework page of my blog has been unresponsive the last couple of days.  I've been unable to post to it and save what I am writing.  So here is Thursday night's homework.  I'll continue to post on this page until I've got the homework page issue resolved.  You can still access a record for the previous nights' homework assignments on the homework page.

Homework for September 29, 2016

ELA- 30 minutes of independent reading per night
Math- Reteaching Topic 1 - Pages 49-50
Social Studies/ Tech Integration- Find that Land form due tomorrow
Art- Write down 3 things we could do that are related to our theme

Monday, September 26, 2016

Parent Volunteer Training- Date Correction

The parent volunteer training with Mrs. Johnson will be tomorrow (Tuesday) in the Cafe at 9:30 am.  The alternate time is tomorrow evening 6 pm in the library.  All parents who are volunteering must attend one of these meetings.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Thank You!

Dear Parents,

I enjoyed meeting so many of you last night.  For those of you who were unable to come, I have a blue pocket folder with log in information for you. I will send these folders home on Monday.  The login codes that I am providing will give you and your child the opportunity to access many engaging learning activities directly linked to our 5th grade academic curriculum.  Located on my blog are also detailed instructions for setting up student home accounts.  Simply click on the tab at the top of the page to get those instructions.

Last night I spoke a little bit about how the Fifth Grade Team is integrating technology into the science and social studies curriculum.  Here are a few pictures of students working with the iPad app Google Earth.  They are locating landmarks around the world and creating sketches of them.

Anthony explores the Nile River!

Sonia visits the Great Basin!

Michaela zooms in to study the Grand Canyon!

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Camp Bournedale and Camp Foxy!

This is a reminder to all parents and students about tomorrow.  Students going to Camp Bournedale are reporting to the Fox Hill Parking Lot at 8:30 am.  Students going to Camp Bournedale DO NOT take the bus to school.

Students staying for Camp Foxy will report to my classroom- Room 12.  A letter about Camp Foxy was sent home today to those students not attending Bournedale.  Students staying for Camp Foxy will arrive at school and be dismissed like any regular school day.

Friday, September 2, 2016

Welcome Back! Please sign up for a parent conference.

Hello Parents,

I'm looking forward to working with you and your child this school year.  On the first day of school I will send home a Parent Conference sign up sheet that will be located in your child's Homework Folder.  I would like the chance to meet so that you can tell me about your child as a person and a learner.  Conferences will begin on Friday, September 9th.  If none of the times on the conference sheet work for you please let me know.  There is also the option to do a phone conference if you find it too difficult to meet in person.

See you soon!

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Students Creating Space Models!

One of the most effective ways to gain understanding in science is to model your thinking.  Here are two pictures of students doing that.

Ryan and Anya demonstrate why the moon changes appearance over the course of a month.

Sreesh demonstrates why we have summer and winter.

Students in 5th grade have just finished their book creator projects that combined research and model making/demonstrations.

Friday, June 3, 2016

Robotix Club

Thank you to all 4th and 5th graders who participated in this year's Robotix Club.  Also, thank you to our high school helper, Anusha Datar for her guidance and support.  Thank you to Mr. Musselman also for all of his work behind the scenes.

Thursday, June 2, 2016

MSMS Summer Reading List

Hi Parents,

I've included a link to the MSMS Summer Reading List here on my blog.  You can find it in the right hand column under the heading Learning Links.  Their is also a note taking form included with the list so students can prepare for the multiple choice quiz they will take on their book when they return to school in September.

Thursday, May 19, 2016

The Earth, Moon, Sun and Stars!

Over the next few weeks students in 5th grade will be learning about the earth, moon, sun and stars!  This science unit began with a guided tour of our universe in our Burlington Star Lab. Mr. Musselman was our guide.  Ask your son or daughter about the Starlab!  Today in science we took part in a carousal activity.  Students were asked to brainstorm in small groups what they know about the earth, moon, sun, stars and seasons.  Each group had 5 minutes at a chart before moving on to the next chart to share their knowledge on a new topic. Next, students will have a chance to vote on what specific topic they would like to study and then they will conduct space research to validate and extend their thinking on that given subject.  At that point they will be able to clear up any misunderstandings they might have about space science. They will also be creating space models that prove their research!  This is sure to be an exciting and fascinating unit of study.

Thursday, April 14, 2016

National Poetry Month!

April is National Poetry Month and students have been working on creating poetry presentations to share with their classmates.  Below are some links to presentations.  Enjoy!

Bread Rap




Friday, March 11, 2016

Day 1 !

Today students in Rooms 11+12 began their plant experiments.  They set out to answer three essential questions:  Can seeds grow in gravel, sand and moss? Can plants live without certain parts?  Can plants live on fluids other than water (Propel, lemon juice, orange juice, detergent).  After setting up their experiments they posted their observations about Day 1 in their digital science journals.  A big thank you goes out to Wendy Pavlichek from the Burlington Science Center and Diana Marcus, our mobile learning coach, for all their help making the science and technology pieces of this project come to life!

Monday, February 22, 2016

Morning Math Support!

Just a reminder that there will be morning math support continuing on Tuesday mornings at 8 am.

Saturday, February 6, 2016

February "Yard Sale"!

February “Yard Sale!”

     The Fifth Grade Kindness Committee is  working on a fundraiser which will benefit the World Wildlife Federation. This isn't an actual yard sale. The Kindness Committee borrowed the idea.  Regular yard sales are held on a sunny day, outside, and on someone’s front lawn. The only difference our “yard sale” has is that we will be doing it in the cafeteria and it will be the middle of winter. The way this will work is that kids will bring in money, and for each dollar they donate they get a ticket. On Friday, February 12th, the kids will turn in their tickets and get toys, games, books, clothes, and school supplies in exchange. Doing this will help the Amur Leopard, a leopard that is being hunted down for its soft skin. There are 50 or more left in the wild. Today, there are lots of endangered animals in the world. Bring in money, and we will help other animals and you can get something good too!

Thank you, Ananya,  for this fantastic post!

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Testable Questions!

5th graders are creating "testable questions" in science class.  The questions we will test are:

Can a plant live without certain parts?
Can a plant grow in clay, sand, or gravel?
Can a plant live on a diet of Propel, orange juice, Alka Seltzer or lemon juice?

Below are pictures of students making predictions and writing down the materials they will need to carry out their experiments.

Friday, January 15, 2016

Tuesday Morning Math!

This is a reminder that there will be Tuesday morning math support this upcoming Tuesday in Room 12 at 8:00 am for anyone who is interested.  Have a great weekend!

Monday, January 4, 2016

Happy New Year!

I hope everyone is doing well.  I look forward to our continued work together.  Please check Norman's News for a brief summary of the curriculum covered in December.  As I mentioned in the December News I will be available for morning math support Tuesday mornings beginning on January 12th from 8-8:20am. Everyone who is interested is welcome to come.