Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Family Holiday Traditions Maker Event and Tangy Tuesday Holiday Contest!

Next week 5th grade students will be participating in the Family Holiday Traditions Maker Event!  Please click on the following link to find out more.

Family Holiday Traditions Maker Event!

Also, all students are invited to participate in the Tangy Tuesday Holiday Contest!  Hurry!  This contest ends on Thursday.

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Classroom Update and Happy Holidays!

Happy Thanksgiving!  Our visitors from the science center, Lulu and Myrtle, recently returned home.  It is hard to believe we were saying hello to them three weeks ago!  We are now on Topic 4 of our enVision math program.  Since the beginning of the year I've been sending home the "Dear Family" Letter for each topic.  Please let me know if you are not receiving it.  Our previous unit in math focused on multiplying whole numbers.  We are now multiplying decimals using various models and strategies to arrive at our answers.  Much of our work requires the children to utilize their understanding of place value and how it relates to numbers less than a whole (tenths, hundredths, and thousandths).  Our work with multiplication of decimals will continue after our Thanksgiving Recess.

We are currently studying text-structures in language arts (cause-effect, sequence, compare-contrast, description).  We are also learning how to identify main ideas and supporting details in a text.  We are reading the core literature book Gossamer and learning how to write good chapter summaries that include characters, setting, problem and solution.  In writing we have completed our unit on Personal Narratives and are engaged in free choice writing as well as poetry writing. I recently passed out Seesaw parent letters to students in my language arts class.  My language arts students have placed a picture of their written Hopes and Dreams and a recording of themselves reading it in their Seesaw digital portfolios.  Sign up for Seesaw and check it out! 

In science we completed our Modeling Matter Unit.  The children are passing in their Digital Science Notebooks to their google science classroom for my review. These notebooks are full of pictures, predictions observations, and the collection of data that took place over the course of our study of matter. As we look forward to our next science unit on Earth's Place in the Universe time will be provided to revisit concepts, written observations and understandings on matter.

Thursday, October 26, 2017

Welcome Visitors!

Mrytle and Lulu are visiting us for the next few weeks!  Ms. Pavlicek taught us how to care for these Eastern Box Turtles and we look forward to feeding them lettuce, crickets, and mealworms!

Friday, October 20, 2017

Friendship Tree!

Here is a picture of the Friendship Tree mentioned in my last blog post. 

5th Grade Friendship Tree

Tuesday, October 10, 2017


Friday afternoon students got together across the grade level and worked in partners to create Friendship Poetry.  They interviewed each other to find out what they had in common and used those ideas in their poems.  They also found creative ways to use what they did not have in common in their poems.  When they have finished their poems they will appear on our Fifth Grade Friendship Tree.  Here are some pictures of students interviewing each other and writing their poems.

In math, we are currently working on Topic 2 Adding and Subtracting Decimals to Hundredths.  This unit requires students to round and use compatible numbers to estimate answers. A compatible number is any number that is easy to use in mental math.  In language arts we continue to learn and practice active reading strategies as they apply to literature.  This week we will begin using our Readers' Notebooks to write full letters about our independent reading.  We've also begun to study non-fiction text and small group instruction in the features of non-fiction text will begin soon.  We are writing personal narratives and sharing them in class.  We are using peer editing to revise our work.  After a student reads a story listeners tell one thing they liked about the reader's story and one thing they would like to know more about.  In science we are studying matter through a series of experiments that incorporate the use of hands on models and digital notebooks.  Students are discussing the results of their experiments and refining their observations in their notebooks during whole class discussions.

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Morning Math Support

Hi Parents,

I will be offering morning math support on Tuesday and Wednesday mornings at 8 am.  If I am unable to offer support on one of these mornings I will post it on my blog the night before.  Please email me each time your son or daughter is coming to a session.  We can work on homework problems or classroom concepts that are challenging.

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Hurricane Relief at Fox Hill School

Dear Families:
A very enthusiastic group of committed fifth graders has organized a coin drive to raise money for victims of the recent hurricanes. The coin drive will run until Friday, October 6. Donation jugs have been placed in each of Fox Hill's pods, as well as the lobby. All proceeds from the coin drive benefit the American Red Cross.
Please talk with your child about this fund raiser, and support this worthy cause by sending him/her to school with some change or dollar bills. We are so proud of our students' initiative!

Saturday, September 16, 2017

An Exciting Start to the New School Year!

With only two weeks of school completed its hard to believe how much we have already accomplished.  A week ago the fifth grade had a "Friendship Friday".  During the afternoon, children from Mrs. Lee's, Jaffe's, Norman's, and Raymond's classes worked together to design posters that demonstrated their understanding of friendship.  They shared these posters at our recent school assembly on Belonging.  The children have also worked together to create and draft a 5th Grade Classroom Constitution that has been signed and hung on each teacher's door.  Below are a few pictures of children working together on Friendship Friday and sharing their visions of friendship.

In terms of academics we have now officially begun our enVision math program.  We are studying place value from the billions through the thousandths. In class we are using manipulatives (base ten blocks)  and visual aides (place value charts) to make place value concepts clearer.  Below is a photo of the children engaged in a place value game.  The objective of the game is to say and write the numbers formed by the placement of the markers on the charts.  The student with the largest number after each of their markers has been placed is the winner!

In science we are hard at work observing.  Children are observing details in shells and leaves using magnifying lenses.  They are sketching and writing what they observe.

In language arts we are writing about our Hopes and Dreams for the new school year.  We are learning and applying the strategies required to be an active reader.

I've enjoyed meeting homeroom parents at our Back to School Conferences.  I look forward to our year together.

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Welcome Back!

Welcome Back Everyone!  I'm looking forward to working with you to make this school year exciting and productive.  I hope you will take the time to familiarize yourself with this blog.  Across the top of the page are tabs with links to homework and important online instructional resources.  The right sidebar includes links to the other 5th grade teachers' blogs as well as interesting educational websites.  I have sent home a sign up sheet for Back-To-School Conferences.  Please sign up and return this form to school with your child.  These conferences are brief 10 minute sessions designed to help me get to know your child as a learner. If none of the times listed on the form work for you let me know and we will schedule an alternate time.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

The Fox Hill School Robotix Club

Below is a highlight video highlighting the Fox Hill School Robotix Club. Members of this club met in May and June after school and learned the fundamentals of computer programming through building robots wit Lego Mindstorm kits. Students learned how to do basic programming and they had the opportunity to use their problem-solving, critical thinking, and computational thinking skills. This was a wonderful enrichment experience for the students and they thoroughly enjoyed the chance to program a robot!

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Donations for Flowers

Parents, please consider sending in a $2 donation for flowers if your son or daughter is in chorus and a $3 donation if your son or daughter is in chorus and band/strings.  The donation will be applied to flowers which are given to our music teachers at the end of tonight's Go West performance.

Friday, May 26, 2017

Marshall Simonds Visit and May Update!

A brief reminder that students will visit the Marshall Simonds Middle School on Tuesday, May 30th.  We will leave Fox Hill School at 8:45 am. and return at 10:30.

This month we had the opportunity to enjoy a special assembly based on the Revolutionary War.  Students enjoyed dressing up as soldiers from that time period and learning many fascinating details about our country's early history.

We moved from our study of the Revolutionary War to a science unit on matter.  The Modeling Matter Unit will wrap up early next week.  The children have been recording their written observations about experiments in their digital science journals.  We have been learning how matter behaves at the molecular level as well as how matter can change forms and yet remain the same amount of particles (conservation of matter).  The children's journals contain particle models which were both enjoyable and challenging to create.

In math we have completed our study of fractions.  We also completed a short unit on volume.  We are now learning about measurement, both customary and metric.  We will complete the year with a unit on representing and interpreting data.

In language arts we are currently reading the core book Bud, Not Buddy. The study of theme and the use of essential questions will be important focuses for us as they were with our core book Hatchet. We are learning about America during the Great Depression, the time period of our book.  Mini-research projects on the New Deal are being created in the form of brochures. We have completed a brief unit on poetry writing.  Our class is full of great poets! We are now writing persuasive/opinion pieces in the form of persuasive letters. Next week we will write Public Service Announcements.

Monday, April 24, 2017

April Update!

I hope everyone had a nice vacation week.  We continue to pursue many important classroom initiatives in our final weeks of school.  Tomorrow, Tuesday April 25th is our trip to the Concord Museum.  Please remember to send your child to school with a snack and a paper bag lunch.  We will not be ordering lunch at school since we will be eating at 1:30 pm when we return from the museum.

We are currently reading the book Hatchet by Gary Paulsen in language arts.  We are studying the book through the use of essential questions.  For example, we recently found evidence from the story to support the idea that Brian has changed since the beginning of the story.  These changes are both physical (he is thinner, and tanned) and emotional.  He is less fearful and is more tuned in to his natural environment (for survival purposes).  We are studying poetry and will be writing poetry in the final week of this month.

In math we are learning how to divide fractions.  We are studying word problems related to the division of fractions.  We are also learning how to create picture models that represent the division of fractions.

We have completed our study of events leading to the Revolutionary War in social studies and recently took a test on Unit 7 in our social studies text.  The children learned about the events leading to the revolution in terms of a cause and effect format.  Currently, we are researching important people from the Revolutionary War and important battles from that war.  Finished reports will be shared with classmates at the end of the unit.

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Concord Museum Field Trip

The Concord Museum Field Trip is scheduled for Tuesday, April 25th.  Please send permission slips to me as soon as possible.  Also, if you are able to volunteer as a chaperone on this trip please let me know.

Thursday, March 30, 2017

March Update!

In math our work has centered on adding and subtracting fractions and mixed numbers as well as multiplying fractions and mixed numbers.  Mixed numbers and fractions require the use of multiplication and division in heavy doses.  So there is plenty of room for careless mistakes during calculation.  Therefore, practice of multiplication and division facts is helpful. I urge all fifth graders to keep their math skills sharp by using flashcards or Reflex Math. Our fraction work is not just confined to learning about the algorithms required to solve number sentences.  We are also working on word problems that involve fractions as they relate to real world situations.

In language arts we set up See Saw.  See Saw is a digital learning space that allows parents to access a digital portfolio of their child's work.  The children got a chance to utilize technology to show what they knew about books they read.  So far, we have included our MCBA digital book projects in See Saw.  Some children have included pieces of writing.  We've worked on Text Structures in guided reading, learning about cause-effect relationships.  We've also done some summarizing, using cause-effect relationships to help us organize our thinking. We are currently learning about Point of View in narrative writing and are studying how to answer open response questions on the language arts MCAS test.  The MCAS test for language arts will take place Tuesday, April 4-Thursday, April 6.

In Science we've created models that depict how the Earth, Sun, and stars are related to each other. We've also used these models to demonstrate how these relationships affect our seasons as well as what we see in the sky at different times of the year.  The study of shadows, how they are formed and why they change size has also been part of our work.  We've created multi-media book creator projects that demonstrate our understanding of all of these science concepts.  Mrs. Jaffe, Mrs Lee and I have been collaborating on these projects and it has been rewarding to see the children working together to learn important space science content that is aligned with the Next Generation Science Standards.

We are currently learning about the causes leading up to the Revolutionary War in social studies.  As with the space science unit this unit is being taught in homeroom.  

Thursday, March 23, 2017


Today students in my language arts class received parent letters for SeeSaw.  Once you set up your account you will be able to view your child's digital MCBA Book Project.  Each time your child submits a piece of work to their digital portfolio you will receive a notification! Let me know if you have any questions.

Monday, March 6, 2017

Fifth Grade Student Council Fundraiser!

The Kindness Committee of the Fifth Grade Student Council is starting a fund raising campaign to raise money for the Epilepsy Foundation. The money supports research to treat the disease and find a cure. The committee has several fund raisers planned for the spring. The first is a coin drive that begins Monday, March 6. We have donation bins placed in each pod and one in the school lobby, as well. Today, two of our students made a school-wide announcement about the campaign. We hope you will talk with your child about this worthy cause. Please consider sending your child to school with loose change or a dollar bill to contribute to our fund raiser. 

Thank You!

Saturday, February 11, 2017

February Update!

      The year has been progressing smoothly, and in math we have completed our unit on dividing decimals and are now learning how to add and subtract fractions and mixed numbers. In language arts we completed our study of the book, Number the Stars by Lowis Lowry.  We used the book to study setting, plot, character and theme.  We studied the structure of a plot- exposition, rising action, climax, falling action and resolution.  We graphed the plot and used our graphs to write book summaries.  We used Venn Diagrams to compare/contrast characters.  Quotes from the text were used to highlight the various themes found in the book and provide material for written student reflections.  In writing the children have learned about what makes a good explanation and have written step by step instructions on how to complete a task.  Their finished products are in the form of "How To" Posters.  We are also currently reading MCBA books for our in school digital book reports.  These book projects will be created using the highly engaging apps Telegami and Chatterpix.

     Wendy Pavlicek and I have taught a Design Process Science Unit on Pollinators which she created. Each of the fifth grade homerooms was able to participate in this five lesson unit. I was fortunate enough to have Ms. Pavlicek take the lead in Week 1 of this unit sharing her knowledge and expertise in this area. This unit involved learning about the plight of pollinators and having students brainstorm and create their our own pollinators in class.  Students tested their pollinators by transferring pollen (baking soda) from one flower (test tube) to another.  They then recorded their results and reflected on how they could improve their pollinator designs. We are currently completing Explain Everything projects on MCAS open response questions involving the transfer of energy.

      For more information about MCBA (Massachusetts Children's Book Association) books Click Here.

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year everyone!  I'm looking forward to our continued work together.  I wanted to let you know that I changed the format of my homework page slightly.  The most current homework is at the top of the homework page and each previous night of homework is listed beneath it.  Although this is a minor change I hope it will help make accessing homework assignments a little bit easier.