Mrs. Stone's Class

of Fabulous Fifth Graders!


Welcome back from vacation! I hope you all had a wonderful relaxing/fun/healthy vacation! I got in some skiing and LOTS of reading!

This week we have the SAS Writing test for 2 hours each morning on Wednesday and Thursday. This test is typically a long one, so it is important kids come in well rested, with a good breakfast and healthy snack to get them through. We start right at 8:45 so it is helpful if they are at school on time.

Reading: We dive deeper into understanding the themes that emerge in Home of the Brave, expanding our thinking about these themes in writing and synthesizing across the text. In addition, we will be studying the plot structure in this and other narrative texts.

Writing: We are beginning a mini- project in which the kids use descriptive and figurative language and practice the ‘show vs.tell’ technique to write an adoption advertisement for a unique pet. After practicing these techniques, along with our investigation into narrative plot elements, the kids will be beginning a two week project on writing a story narrative.

Math: This week we are learning to add and subtract mixed numbers, finding the least common multiple to create common denominators, reducing to lowest form, changing a mixed number into an improper and regrouping to change an improper into a mixed number.

Science: This week we begin our unit in Astronomy! Today we watched a Generation Genius video that introduced us to the topic and got us thinking about what we know about our solar system .Tomorrow we investigate earth’s rotation and revolution and see some amazing images in our Mystery Science lesson.

Social Studies: The Native American groups presented their visual and poster to other fifth graders before vacation! You will be able to see these on display at the end of the year at our celebration of learning! This week, each group is presenting their slideshow to the classroom. They have been practicing creating bullets of information instead of putting whole paragraphs on their slides, and presenting by using notecards or memorizing their topics to elaborate in their oral presentation. Our first group went today and did a fantastic job!

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2/12-2/16 Weekly Update

Reading: We are continuing to dive deep into the story “Home of the Brave” as we make inferences, study the author’s use of figurative language, make connections to the characters, and investigate how and why the character’s change throughout the story. We start Part 3 tomorrow, where many of the theme’s of the story are evident and we take our understanding even deeper. The kids are practicing using evidence to support their thinking.

Writing: We are practicing our use of figurative language (metaphor, simile, personification, hyperbole, alliteration and idioms). This week after working with plot elements, the kids will be writing their own personal or story narratives using descriptive & figurative language and dialogue. We continue to practice our daily language and grammar review skills daily.

Spelling Week 17- Spell with the variant sounds of g and c

Math: We finished testing topic 6 (Dividing with Decimals) today and we will begin adding and subtracting fractions tomorrow.

Social Studies: The kids have been working hard on their Native American Projects for the past 3 weeks. They located resources, paraphrased and took notes in Google Keep, turned their notes into a minimum of 4 well developed paragraphs with lead, body and closing sentences. They are working with their group on completing their visual, group poster and slideshow. Our presentation will be on Friday, where we will share our work with other fourth grade classes and the sixth graders!

Valentine’s Day! Don’t forget we will have a “Valentine’s celebration” On Wednesday Feb 14th! Kids can bring in Valentine’s for their friends if they want to, we just ask that they bring one in for every student in the class if they choose to bring them in.

Behavior Party! The kids earned their SECOND behavior party this year by filling up our chart on Friday!! THey have certainly earned it-they have been doing some great work on their social, behavioral and academic goals. More to come on what we decide to do when we make a decision on Wednesday.

Have a great week!

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Week of 1/8-1/12

Happy New Year! I hope you all had a wonderful holiday and have a HEALTHY new year!! Sooo many illnesses going around. I’m encouraging the kids to wash their hands, but since we don’t have hand sanitizer or wipes in the classroom anymore, you may want to consider sending your child in with one in their backpack. We will wash desks daily here and try to keep all germs at bay.

I apologize for no weekly update last week. It was a busy whirl wind of a week. We are transitioning to many new projects in the new year and after report cards went out. Please reach out with any questions you might have regarding your child’s progress or goals for second trimester. I’m thrilled with the progress we have been making so far and look forward to a very productive second trimester.

Reading: We have switched from Non-fiction to our Fiction unit in reading. We have begun our whole class read aloud “Home of the Brave” about a refugee who moves to the USA from his Civil War torn country of Sudan. This is a fantastic book that we use throughout the term as a basis for studying theme, character development and change, and figurative language. The kids then apply what we learn together in this whole class book discussion to books they read independently and small groups in class.

Writing: As we study plot elements and descriptive language in our reading unit, we apply what we are learning in our Story/Personal narrative writing. The kids will learn various types of figurative language this week which will be applied in their narratives. We continue with our daily language review routine practicing common grammar rules, sentence structures, and parts of speech.

Social Studies: We have been learning about Ancient Native American tribes and cultures over the past 2 weeks. The kids have learned about the Anasazi, Maya, Aztecs and Mound Builders. They have learned about how ancient tribes moved from nomadic lifestyles, following their food source, to an agricultural society and the growth of civilizations. In the last unit from our text book, the students were allowed to use their book to locate answers within the text as we were practicing non-fiction reading strategies. In this unit, they are allowed to use their notes, which we work on together. They have been working hard at paraphrasing and turning the authors words into their own words, and determining importance within the text. They study the vocabulary prior to taking each quiz after each chapter. (Archaeologist, migrate, glacier, agriculture/ Surplus, civilization, Mesoamerica, empire, pueblo/woodlands, boundary/and drought.)

This week we begin a grade wide project on Native American tribes. Each group of 3 in our class will study a tribe in one of the 5 regions, with all 5 regions being covered in our class. They will be researching that region and that specific tribe, pulling together a slideshow presentation, an artifact creation and a poster. Then, they will meet up with the other groups from the other 4 classes who also research a tribe from that region and we will present to the fourth graders before February vacation. This project applies all they have learned in our non-fiction reading and writing units in trimester 1!

Math: We are learning long division; area model, partial products and standard algorithm in Unit 5. This test will be either later this week or early next week.

AIMSWEB testing: Today the kids are doing Math AIMSWEB and tomorrow they will be doing Reading AIMSWEB. I will analyze their scores and determine future learning based on these scores. This test is one test we use to determine progress, along with other classroom summative and formative assessments. If your child isn’t making the progress we want to see, I’ll be looking at other assessment data to determine what, if any, additional support needs to happen throughout the rest of the year.

Have a wonderful week!

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Report cards go out on Friday! The kids have SO much to be proud of. They have all grown so very much in so many ways. This first report card reflects all of the work they have done from September until last week. Therefore, some of the grades would be a bit higher if I were to mark a grade for where they are performing right now. Second trimester is my favorite time of year. We are on a roll with our learning, the classroom climate is strong, expectations are understood, and goals have been established. I can’t wait to see what they do this next term. Please share the grades and comments with your child, set some goals together for this upcoming trimester, and encourage them to come and ask me any questions they might have about their grades. Also, please reach out with any questions, concerns or thoughts you might have!

Reading: We are going to spend one more week on breaking down complex non-fiction texts. After determining the author’s purpose for writing the text, they are determining which text structures the author used to accomplish their purpose, and then taking notes in two column notes changing the author’s words into their own language.

Writing: This week we are presenting our Convince the Class #1 (Interesting Animal) while finishing Convince the Class #2 (Incredible Inventions.) The kids are learning how to use Google Keep as a tool to take notes. We are continuing to work on creating strong thesis statements, writing well organized, well researched paragraphs to support their claim. Proofreading skills continue to be a focus during our Daily Language Review routine.

Math: We are testing on Unit 4 (Multiplying Decimals) on Wednesday and Thursday.

Spelling: Week 11 Test Friday. No spelling next week

Holiday Party: Friday, December 22nd Look out from an email from me and/or Deb Caron sometime this week!
Have a wonderful week!

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Hello parents,
I hope you all had a happy and healthy Thanksgiving break with your friends and family. The kids came back full of fun tales of food, fun and video games 🙂 and were ready to get back to work, despite being a bit tired. Periodically we reassess how our classroom is running, and set new goals for ourselves as a team. Some previous goals of “Collaboration”, “Organization” and “Using Time Wisely” were set, practiced, and determined to no longer be necessary as goals as a whole class. Over the past few weeks, our classroom goals have switched and include 1. Produce quality work and 2. Practice self control. This week we will continue to earn points on our class behavior chart when we make progress towards the new goals we set for ourselves. I am extremely proud of how dedicated they are to focusing on and achieving the goals we set together as a class. I saw some really great work being done on “quality work” before vacation. With only a short time before report cards come out, the kids are focusing on completing unfinished work, revising current work, and making our end of the trimester work reflects all we have worked hard on the past few months!

Reading: We are wrapping up our Non-fiction reading unit this week, focusing on chronological/sequential texts, compare/contrast and determining the purpose of text structures in texts. We are continuing to work on locating and using specific information to support our answers/claim in writing about our reading.

Writing: This week we present our first Convince the Class, non-fiction writing assignment. Students are using descriptive language and researched facts to convince us of their claim. We have worked on developing interesting/attention grabbing leads, taking notes and paraphrasing, determining the reliability and usefulness of a resource, writing an effective and strong concluding paragraph, and grouping ideas together to make well organized middle paragraphs. This week we will begin our second project, researching interesting/important inventions. We continue learning, practicing and reviewing common grammar rules and proofreading for spelling and grammatical mistakes.

Spelling: Thank you for your help practicing the Spelling words each week with your child at home. Please note that there is a tab on this page with the entire year’s spelling lists if your child has forgotten their list at home.

Science: We are wrapping up our Ecosystems unit in Science. This week the kids combine what they have learned about plants, animals, and decomposers to see how they interact in an ecosystem. They will play a game called the “Big Fish Game” where they compete to create a balanced pond ecosystem with enough plants, decomposers, and animals to create an environment with a healthy carbon dioxide level. They are also collaborating on a mini-slideshow presentation on various ecosystems, applying what they have learned throughout the unit. After this unit, we will be starting our Native American unit in Social Studies!!

Math: This week we begin Unit 4, multiplying decimals. In this unit, students learn to use models and algorithms to multiply decimals by a power of 10, whole numbers by a decimal, and a decimal by a decimal. There have been a few changes in classroom placement, and some kids moved to a different class today based on their test scores and classroom performance. We are always aiming to provide the best learning situation for each individual learner throughout the year.

Before vacation, we made Holiday cards for our Military professionals stationed overseas. The kids made thoughtful, beautiful cards they can be proud to send to our honored military.

This month, be on the lookout for our holiday party guidelines and signup!! 4 more weeks until Winter Vacation!!

As always, please contact me with any questions, concerns or celebrations!
Have a great week,

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I hope you had an enjoyable 3 day weekend…and an extra day yesterday which I know wasn’t much of a “day off” for many of you who had to make quick plans for the day. I took an extra day to “unbreak” my back after raking the tons of leaves that have since been replaced in my yard.

This week we are:
Reading: continuing to work on non-fiction reading strategies, practicing problem and solution text structure and taking notes/paraphrasing Writing: Working on paraphrasing, taking notes, writing paragraphs using effective introduction and conclusion paragraphs and proofreading.
Science: Finishing our Ecosystems unit in Mystery Science and beginning a quick Biome project
Spelling: Week 8: Test Friday
Math: Testing Unit 3 for most classes on Wednesday and beginning Unit 4 after vacation

Have a wonderful week! Reach out with any questions or concerns.

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Hello parents,
It was so great meeting with you all during the month of October, discussing progress so far and setting goals for the year. Please continue reaching out throughout the year if you have any questions, concerns, or want to touch base on your child’s progress. I will definitely be in contact with you if I have concerns, so if you don’t hear anything then your child is doing well and making progress.

Math: Unit 3: Multiplication of 3 digit x 2 digit partial products and standard algorithm. I am piloting the program Illustrative, one of the two programs chosen by our district to look at this year, which teaches the same concepts Envision does, but in a different way. We will be testing on the same day as all of the other classes. I’ve been enjoying looking at this different program, seeing the different ways the kids respond to a different presentation/style, and hearing their feedback! Almost unanimously, the kids like Envision better for various reasons!! We test next week on Tuesday.

Reading: We continue working on non-fiction text structures and reading comprehension skills. This week we are focusing on the QUALITY of the work we are doing. Taking our time to read the question carefully, highlighting the text to find proof of the answer, and using complete sentences to answer all parts of the question is the half of the challenge in completing our work accurately. We are working on compare/contrast and problem/solution text structures while continuing to reinforce the work we have done with Main Idea (the most challenging skill in non-fiction.

Writing: This week we have begun our “Convince the Class.” The students have chosen an animal to research. Their job is to “Convince” us of a claim they make (The animal is the most dangerous, best pet, most unique, etc)using vivid language and well researched details. During this writing unit, they will: Assess the reliability and usefulness of resources, choose relevant facts, create a well organized essay (strong convincing lead, effective ending), paraphrase researched information into their own words.

This week we will be creating holiday cards for the military men and women who are stationed overseas or away from their families during the holidays. I asked the kids if they wanted to participate, and it was obviously something they feel very strongly about and care a lot about. They are such a great group of kids!! We will have a special ceremony on Thursday to honor the Veteran’s in our community and discuss the important reasons why we have the day off on Friday.

Spelling: No spelling this week

Science: We are in the middle of our Ecology: Ecosystems unit! We have learned about food chains/food webs, what plants need to survive and grow, and will learn about the importance and role of decomposers in any Ecosystem.

Have a wonderful week!

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Week of 10/23-10/27

Happy Monday! Phew~we are finished with our 50 State Challenge….and they all did great! They learned a lot about our 50 states in addition to where they are located and their capitals. They now have enough knowledge of the land, people, and culture to build on as we learn about Native American tribes, Colonial USA and the American Revolution this year! They also developed some strong skills to locate information from the text and study skills to memorize. There’s a lot to celebrate!

And, speaking of celebration…they have earned their first behavior reward! 20 awards filled up our chart (which is 400 amazing individual great things they did to earn it!) I’m in discussion with them now about what they want and I’ll reach out to let you know what they decide. We also will be having a harvest party next Tuesday. Our room mother may have reached out already regarding this, although I may take over the planning for this. She or I will send out an email later this week outlining what we will need/do on this fun day! The kids will be allowed to wear a costume, as described in Mrs. Fowler’s weekly messages.

Reading: We are working on non-fiction reading strategies-specifically focusing on Main Idea and Compare and Contrast text structures. Students are reading from a wide variety of non-fiction texts to practice gathering information from books written with these structures.

Writing: We finished up our “Part of Speech” writing, where students used a thesaurus to find adjectives, verbs and adverbs that describe a mood/create an image in their readers’ minds. Now, they are using those skills this week to begin their first, “Convince the Class.” In this activity, they are using research skills to find information about a unique or interesting animal. Their job is to use exciting word choices and specific researched facts to support a claim of their choice. We build on our non-fiction writing skills throughout our non-fiction writing unit until they are writing a 5 paragraph essay with an introduction, body and conclusion statement.

Science: This week we begin our first science unit: Ecosystems! We will learn about food webs/chains, decomposers and how plants get their energy.

Math: We finished testing Unit 2 (Adding and Subtracting Decimals) and are beginning topic 3 Multiplying whole numbers this week.

I am enjoying meeting with you all at parent conferences! Please keep in touch if you ever have any questions or concerns.
Have a wonderful week,

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Week of 10/16-10/20

Another fun, busy and productive week ahead! We continue making great progress on our social, academic and behavior goals. WING awards will come out next week and it will be hard to decide among the many great things I see happening in our classroom. Two goals our class created for ourselves this week are (1) no side conversations. We all get along very well but too much sometimes when we should be working. (2) Listening. Many of us are asking what the directions are after activities are explained. Energy has been high so far this week, so we will keep working on these while we take some movement breaks to keep us focused. We only have 13 more points to get our final award on our behavior chart!! WOO HOO!! I’m SURE we can do that by the end of this week. I can’t wait to see what they decide to do as a reward.

Speaking of fun times, it was just decided that we would be allowing the students to wear costumes on Oct 31st, so “Harvest parties” are an option! After speaking to our room mother, Deb C, we are going to make this a fun day for all! She has been so fantastic to take this on, so you should get an email from her soon as she plans this fun day. I do love a great party, and these hard working kids sure deserve it!

Reading: We are putting the finishing touches on the Book Response we are writing together for our read aloud book “The Lost Library.” We are writing this in the September example so that kids completely understand what the expectation is for the first response due next Friday. This book response should be completed completely at home. They can get help on it, as it is a formative (informal) assessment, not summative (formal test) of their reading as they apply the reading skills we are learning about in class. They can write their response on the paper itself, but if they run out of room they can continue writing on another sheet of paper (NOT down the sides of the page.) OR they can type their responses in a Google Doc and share it with me by next Friday.

We are also working on Non-fiction text structures focusing in on Main Idea and supporting answers with specific details from the text.

Writing: This week we are working on using parts of speech effectively to create mood in their “Parts of Speech Writing” and practicing parts of speech in “Halloween Mad Libs” We will begin using this descriptive writing skill in our first non-fiction writing assignment “Convince the Class” at the end of the week.

Social Studies: 1/2 the class will take the 50 states and capitals test this Thursday, and we complete our final performance assessment projects “51st state” by the end of the week! They are really doing a great job pulling all of the learning together in this fun and creative project!

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Week of 10/10-10/13

Hello! I hope you all enjoyed a great 3 day weekend! I know many of you spent the weekend on the sports field along with me. I am thankful that for the most part, the weather was not too bad for tournament weekend!

We have been very busy in class and are ramping up for some of our exciting and fun projects! During the month of September, we have practiced all of the pieces that allow us to jump into many projects that we have coming up in fifth grade. Collaboration, compromising, understanding how to create a quality presentation, expectations for behavior and work quality are among many routines and skills that we have established and understand.

Math: We are now flex grouping in Math for Unit 2: Adding and Subtracting Decimals. We begin with mental math strategies, which require students to break down decimals into their place value parts in order to add or subtract mentally. We practice Associative Property, Commutative Property, Compatible Numbers and Compensation in order to add numbers. Next we use traditional borrowing or regrouping to add or subtract and rounding or compatible numbers to estimate to check for reasonableness.

Reading: We have finished our beginning of the year assessments and are now moving into our Non-fiction unit. We spent the past couple of weeks using the Social Studies text as a way to practice locating information using text features. Now, we will use shorter texts to determine the main idea, and study cause and effect, problem and solution, sequential/chronological text structures. Then, we practice reading complex texts that use multiple text structures within one passage/chapter.

Writing: We are finalizing some foundational work on writing complete sentences using a subject predicate and expanding our sentences using exciting verbs, adverbs, adjectives and prepositional phrases. By the end of the week we will begin our first non-fiction writing project where students are asked to research an interesting animal and “Convince the class” of a claim. For example: The snake is the most useful animal…the wolf is an important apex predator and should be protected. We will be writing paragraphs with interesting lead sentences, supporting details from reliable resources and writing solid concluding sentences. We will be moving to writing a 5 paragraph essay by our third writing assignment.

Science/Social Studies: In Social Studies, the kids are completing their open book Topic 1 Test. They are also working on a performance project where they show their understanding of physical, cultural, economic regions by creating a 51st state! In the end, they will write an advertisement describing their state and convincing us all to come to visit it. This project demonstrates their understanding of the content they read about in Social Studies, the writing skills they are learning, and the presentation skills they practiced during our Paper Bag project. Our first Science topic coming up is : Ecosystems.

See you all soon at conferences!!Please remember to reach out anytime with any questions~

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