The first trimester has come to an end, and that means it is time for parent/teacher/student conferences. Please remember that your child attends this meeting and actively participates in our discussion of progress thus far and goals for the second trimester. You will receive your child’s report card at the conference.
The students have started the journey of novel writing this month. Yes, fifth graders can write novels! If you would like to learn more about National Novel Writing Month, please go to this website NaNoWriMo.org. Students receive daily mini-lessons about the craft of writing before they settle in each day to work on their novels. So far they have focused on main characters, villains, plot, and setting.
Soon the class will begin to read The Sign of the Beaver in class. This is a wonderful work of historical fiction which fits well with their social studies work. Students keep lists of vocabulary words and respond to “quick write” questions as we read together.
This month the students will focus on fraction theory, adding & subtracting fractions, and relating fractions to decimals. We are using visual models to help students understand exactly what fractions represent and how to figure out the greatest common factor (GCF) and least common multiple (LCM). Students can do extra fraction practice on IXL and by watching the videos under the math link of our classroom website that will be posted soon.
Also, I have started an optional Weekly Math Challenge that I encourage all students to participate in.
Students have wrapped up their study of photosynthesis and cellular respiration by experimenting with sugar, cookies, and yeast!
Next week we begin a chemistry unit taught by Mrs. O'Leary. They will be working with her for most of Trimester 2.
The class has finished a project that focused on the early explorers of the Americas. Students worked in pairs to create presentations in Keynote, iMovie, and Toontastic that focused on the accomplishments of one of the early explorers. Next the students will learn about both the cooperation and the conflicts between Native Americans and the European settlers.