Friday, April 7, 2017

Bud, not Buddy Readers Theater Scenes

This week in ELA, we worked on creating readers theater scripts to important scenes in our core book, Bud, not Buddy by Christopher Paul Curtis.  This project allows students to put themselves into the story to better their understanding of plot events.  Groups were responsible for creating a script for their scene that accurately represented the events that happened in the book, and included appropriate stage directions for the actors.  They had only THREE days to create, practice, and present their scene to the class.  Check out the different scenes below!  

Scene: "The Restaurant"  
Bud has never been out to eat at a restaurant before! Herman E. Calloway is still refusing to warm up to Bud. 
Scene: "All the way to the R"
Bud is not off to a good start at the Amos' house.  Bud finds out that Todd isn't the good little boy his mother thinks he is.  
Scene: The Rock Collection
Herman E. Calloway and Bud have the same special rock collection.  This collection reveals the truth about Bud's family
Scene: "The Vampire"
On Bud's journey to Grand Rapids, he meets a man named Lefty Lewis, who at first he thinks is a vampire.  This scene takes place at the breakfast table where Bud meets Lefty's daughter and grand kids.  

Scene: "Goodbye Home"
When Bud finds out he is leaving the Home and being sent to the Amos'.  He isn't happy about having to live with his new older brother, Todd. 

Monday, March 20, 2017

Rock your Socks Tomorrow!!

Crazy Sock Day
help raise awareness for Down Syndrome!

Sport your CRAZIEST socks to school on Tuesday, March 21st!

$1 donation is welcome, but not mandatory.  All donations will be given to the National Down Syndrome Society
Image result for National down syndrome day

Monday, October 24, 2016

Reminder to Follow Class Instagram!

Be sure to keep up with all that's happening in 209! Our class instagram is @adventuresof209.  It's a quick way to stay in the loop with what we're doing here in fifth grade.  Check it out!

"Silent Share" - Tuck Everlasting Epilogue

As many of you know, last week's weekly writing assignment was to create an alternative epilogue to Tuck Everlasting.  Students had the chance to read some of their classmates writing during our "silent share".  Students rotated around the room, reading different pieces and leaving a positive comment/question/compliment.  Our class really loved reading all the different endings!

"Silent Share" - Tuck Everlasting Epilogue

As many of you know, last week's weekly writing assignment was to create an alternative epilogue to Tuck Everlasting.  Students had the chance to read some of their classmates writing during our "silent share".  Students rotated around the room, reading different pieces and leaving a positive comment/question/compliment.  Our class really loved reading all the different endings!

Friday, October 21, 2016

Week of 10/17 Update

Hello everyone!

We have been SUPER busy here in fifth grade over the last few weeks.  Read below to check out what we've been doing!

In Math:
We are wrapping up Topic 2: Adding and Subtracting Decimals.  Students have been using their math notebooks turned side ways to help them line up their decimal points and place values.  Our Topic 2 test will be on Wednesday (10/26).  From there we will be moving on to multi digit multiplication.

Things covered in Topic 2:

  • Mental Math using the Commutative and Associative Properties of Addition
  • Making reasonable estimates using rounding and compatible numbers
  • Adding and subtracting decimals up to the hundredths.

Here are some photos from our Fluency Practice activity we did in class with a partner.

We have finished Tuck Everlasting! We talked about different themes that were presented throughout the book.  I was very impressed with the high level of discussion when debating different themes in the story.  Students did a great job backing up their reasoning with evidence from the book  Some themes we discussed were:

  • Order vs. Disorder
  • Morality - or knowing the difference between right or wrong
  • Natural Life Cycle / Wheel of Life
  • Friendship
As an extension of the book, students created their own Epilogue as a weekly writing assignment.  When we first read the ending, many students were disappointed with the outcome of the story.  The alternative endings they wrote this week came out AWESOME! I love the creativity and detail that went into them.  We will be sharing these in class on Monday.

We have also begun our first writing assignment in ELA - Haunted Happenings.  Students are required to write a spooky, suspense story that takes place in a haunted house. Our goal is to create a piece of writing that keeps the reader's attention with vivid word choice and realistic characters.  We discussed using figurative language, such a similes and metaphors, to strengthen our writing.  We also talked about adding realistic dialogue between characters to help make them come to life.  They are doing a wonderful job so far building up their reader's anticipation with each plot twist! I am excited to see the final outcome of these assignments.

Below are pictures of hard-working writers brainstorming descriptive words for their settings.  We used pictures of spooky looking houses for inspiration!

In Social Studies:
We are wrapping up our unit on the First Americans.  We have been working to create a book on our ipad to document what we have learned.  So far, we have studied the Maya and the Aztec civilizations.  During their research, students have to answer essential questions about each civilization, and include this information in their script that they will record into their Book Creator.

The essential questions are:

  • When / Where was this civilization?
  • How did they govern themselves?
  • What contributions or inventions did they leave behind?
  • How were they defeated?

This week, students wrote and recorded their scripts for the Aztec Civilization.  They have also begun to research the Incas.  We will have a class discussion on Monday where we will create a shared class document to record all of our research.  Students will then use this document to write their final script for their book creator.
Skylar recording her script on the Aztecs into her Book Creator.  
Amber using our new microphone headsets to record her script on the Aztecs!

Maya Glyphs are Done! Can you spot your child's name in Mayan?

Coming up Next: Our first Science Unit - What is Matter?

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Week of 10/3 Update

Hello all!

We are all adjusting wonderfully here in 5th grade.  Here's an update of what your child is working on while they are here.  Be sure to ask them questions about anything you see to encourage positive, educational conversations about school.

In Math:
My Math class is taking the Topic 1 test this week.  We have been working hard on the numerous concepts that are covered on this topic.  I am very impressed with the hard work and focus, especially when learning  new ins and outs of our new math program.

Things covered in topic 1:

  • Whole number place value up to the billions, and decimal place value up to the thousandths.
  • Understanding the relationships between place values.  
  • Writing numbers using standard form, expanded form, number name, and using exponents 
  • Comparing decimal values up to the thousandths
  • Rounding whole numbers and decimals up to the thousandths
To prepare, children took a practice test in class today, and have been assigned the reteaching sheet for homework.  


Literature Circles: We are about half way through our core book Tuck Everlasting.  We have had 2 successful literature circle groups so far.  For some of us, this is the first time we have had literature circles in ELA.  Students are working on learning routines that make for a successful circle with our groups.  This includes coming prepared with their jobs, time management when meeting, and staying focused and on task.  Literature circles will be used often throughout our year in ELA, and we're off to a great start.  I snapped a few photos of our circles below, check it out!

Matthew sharing his Passage Master job with his group
Charles, Aditya, Yonas, and Shira working hard in their Literature Circle
Caleb showing his group where to look in the book.

Active Reading: We are also using Tuck Everlasting to practice the skill of Active Reading.  Active reading is when you are actively thinking about what it is you are reading.  This could include making connections, inferring, or using context clues to figure out an unknown word.  We practiced Active Reading today with a focus on using context clues.  Tuck Everlasting presents a lot of vocabulary that can be challenging to understand. Each student had to complete a 4 square (shown below) for 2 words that they did not know in the section we read together.  For each 4 square, they needed to guess the meaning using context, find the definition of the word, find synonyms of the word, and draw a picture that could help them remember the meaning.  We then met as a class to share our findings.  

A 4 Square for the word "parlor"

A 4 square for the word "indomitable" 

Weekly Writing: Last week we began our weekly writing assignments for homework.  Students have a list of instructions with tasks to complete each night.  This assignment should be broken up throughout the week so that they are getting the true feel of the writing process (drafting, revising, publishing).  This should not be an assignment that is completed all in one night.  Weekly writing assignments are sent home on Monday and are due on Friday.  For their final draft, students have the option of hand writing or typing their piece.  I leave the choice up to them, however their rough draft must be hand written.  

In Social Studies:
Room 209 is working hard on our current unit about the first people who came to the Americas.  Students are creating a book creator where they will explain how people first got here, and who these people were.  We are using textbooks and educational videos to help us gather our research.  Although we are making a book, students will be writing scripts of what to say on each page.  Instead of typing paragraphs of information into their books, students will be recording their scripts to create an audio book.  We are about half way through this project now and I am happy to see the quality of work from everyone so far.  Be sure to ask your child the different ways people traveled to the Americas!

Enrichment: Today we began an enrichment project with the one and only Ms. Fallon! We will be creating our name using Mayan glyph writing! Names will be displayed outside our classroom when they are finished.  We are off to a great start!

After this unit, we will be starting out first unit in Science!