Saturday, October 11, 2014

We Like Words

I couldn't resist making a word picture of some of the 
wonderful words included in this terrific letter.

Recently I came across a rather well-known letter written by Robert Pirosh in 1934. Immediately I knew that I had to introduce it to my students!  As I suspected, they loved it! We are investigating many of the words used by Mr. Pirosh in this letter and each student is preparing a short presentation on their chosen word.  They will create posters depicting the meaning of their word, the word's origin, and other interesting information.  Students asked if they could also create Google Presentations about their words.  Why not?  What fun!  

As an example, I chose to research the word "estivate".  That led to an interesting discussion of lungfish and other creatures that estivate to escape heat and dry weather.

Fifth grade Common Core Standards for writing include:
  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.L.5.4.A  - Use context (e.g., cause/effect relationships and comparisons in text) as a clue to the meaning of a word or phrase.
  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.L.5.4.B - Use common, grade-appropriate Greek and Latin affixes and roots as clues to the meaning of a word (e.g., photograph, photosynthesis).
  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.L.5.4.C - Consult reference materials (e.g., dictionaries, glossaries, thesauruses), both print and digital, to find the pronunciation and determine or clarify the precise meaning of key words and phrases.

For more information about the letter itself, you can visit Letters of Note

Monday, September 15, 2014

Open House Handouts and More!

We are off to a wonderful start to our new fifth grade school year and are eager to meet you at Open House on Tuesday evening, September 16.

I have added another page which includes a copy of the packet I will be handing out.  You will find information about grading practices and an overview of the fifth grade curriculum.  You will also find tips for helping your fifth grader with work habits, homework, and more.  I have also included information about out Peanut/Tree Nut Safe Classroom in the packet. Later this week I will post copies of the fifth grade report cards for Math, English/Language Arts, and Social Studies.  Simply look at the tabs at the top of this page to find these helpful documents.

I also wanted to share a free and simple app, Online Voice Recorder that I recently discovered and plan to use in the classroom this year.  I thought that you might also find it useful.  All you need to do is push the record button and follow the screen prompts to "Allow" the application access to your computer's microphone.  You talk as long as you wish and then listen to the recorded playback.  You can trim and edit the length of the recording as desired and then save your finished version in mp3 format using the link.

Students might use the app to practice spelling words, practice reading fluency, practice giving a presentation, or listen to playbacks of themselves practicing their instruments.

There is one drawback, however.  The site includes advertising, but I have become accustomed to ignoring the clutter of online advertising.  Maybe you have too.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Welcome To A New School Year

Welcome to all the rising fifth graders who will be heading back to school in a few days!  It hardly seems possible that summer vacation is nearly over but I hope that you have all had an opportunity to rest up, have fun with your friends and family, and are ready for a wonderful new school year, fifth grade!

I sent each of you a welcome back newsletter with many details about what to expect this year.  Included in the newsletter is also a copy of the classroom supply list and a classroom wish list.  This newsletter can be accessed by clicking on the "Helpful Documents" tab at the top of this page, or by clicking the 2014 Summer Newsletter link.

You may access a copy of the classroom supply list by clicking on the 2014 - 2015 Classroom Supply List and a classroom schedule by clicking on this link 2014 - 2015 Classroom Schedule.

This year we will be using a new math program called Bridges in Mathematics.  I am very excited to start using this math program and will be posting more about the program as the year goes along.  In the meanwhile I would like you to know that when you look at our daily schedule you will see math listed at three different times during the day.  Each morning we will start with Number Corner, which may already be familiar to some of you.  Number Corner is a skill building program that revolves around the classroom calendar, providing daily practice as well as continual encounters with broader mathematical concepts.

I am looking forward to seeing all of you soon.