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    5B’s November Newsletter

    “All children have gifts. Some just open them at different times.”

    Important Dates

    November 6th-Late Start @ 9:45

    November 13th-Picture Retakes

    November 15th-Report Cards Home

    November 20th-Late Start @ 9:45

    November 27-29th -No School-Happy Turkey Day!

    November Birthdays

    Ashyanna-5th  

    Makenzie-8th

    Essica-26th

    Les-28th

     

    News from Mrs. B.

    It was wonderful to meet with (or talk on the phone with) so many of you at Parent/Teacher Conferences.  I am really enjoying this great group of kids I was blessed with this year.  Thank you so much for sharing them with me each day!  They are hard workers and have so much potential.  I look forward to our many months ahead!

     

    Math

    We finished up unit 4 with a test mid-October.  We then began unit 5 which focuses on fractions, decimals, and percents.  We will be comparing and ordering fractions, looking at mixed numbers and improper fractions as well as learning how to change fractions into percents.               *Homework assignments in Math that are done poorly can always be redone to earn partial credit.

                *Study guides will be given before each test and we will go over these in class the day before the test.

    Social Studies

    As October ended, we continued our study of Native Americans and their culture. We have been busy doing several small group projects throughout these chapters taking small quizzes to assess students learning. Upon completion of Chapter 3, we will move into Chapters 4-5 which begins our discussion of early exploration, touching on some important explorers from Europe that have influenced our history.

     As always, we will send a study guide home prior to the test/quiz in addition to reviewing together in class.

    Science

    We really enjoyed our field trip to the Challenger Learning Center on October 11th.  The students learned a lot and seemed to really enjoy themselves.  Now that the students have finished their Space Unit, we will be doing a short mini-unit on technology.  Students will work independently on a few projects as they study how technology has changed and helped us over the years. We will then begin a unit on types of cells.

    Reading

    In 5th grade, we will have several different ways of conducting our Reading classes:

    Readers Workshop-During this time, students are taught several strategies good readers use when reading (predicting, questioning, visualizing, etc).  I often model and students practice these skills during independent reading time. 

    During workshop, students will also be reading self-selected books.  Their choice of books will be guided by me in order to ensure students are choosing books appropriate for their level of reading.  While reading, I will conference with the students to document progress and pinpoint areas that students need further work on.

    Guided Reading-I will be breaking the students up into 3-5 groups and meeting with a different group daily to read, discuss, and work on trouble areas associated with reading (comprehension, sight words, etc).  Some students will work with me usually reading a nonfiction piece while others will work on daily oral language, word study skills, or even play literacy based games on the iPads.

    RTI: Response to Intervention is a group based reading class we started at the beginning of October.  Students throughout the fifth grade were divided into groups to better suit their reading needs during a 30 minute period each day.  Students are paired with books that are at their level and challenged at their pace to complete individual and group literacy activities.  While some students stay with me, others travel to Mrs. Felix, Mrs. Caldwell, Mrs. Ruestman, or even Mrs. Walkeer during this time.

    Read alouds are always fun too because I am able to share some of my favorite books with the kids.  We finished up Glory Be (one of my favorites) and then began a few Halloween themed novels related to the Grimm Fairy Tales. 

     

    Spelling

    Our Words Their Way has proven to be successful as I have seen so many students grow in their knowledge of spelling rules and patterns.  Over the past several cycles, students have begun to help me come up with the activities they do during our Words Their Way time.  While many are still struggling a bit with dictionary skills and alphabetizing, I have seen a lot of progress in these areas and am very proud of all of them.

     

    Writing

    Students continue to write daily in their journals.  These are collected at the end of each month and graded for content, not spelling or grammar.    Some students have not been staying focused in the mornings to get these done and are turning in journals with 3 or 4 entries done. This can really bring down their writing grade so I strongly encourage students to keep up with their daily writing.

     

    We spent October finishing up our personal narratives, writing our parent teacher conference letters, and creating thumbprint comics.  We then began writing Diary of a… books which go along with a series of picture books written from a spider, fly, and worm’s point of view. 

    In November, we will begin to focus on a fantasy writing piece. This will be followed by some other holiday themed and creative writings which will take us into winter break.

     

    Book Buddies

    Have your children told you about our book buddies with Mrs. Birky’s class? Each week the students read together and sometimes we do art projects and fun Math/Holiday themed activities.  This helps your child take the role of mentor to help the second graders learn how to read more fluently. 

     

    In Class Reading Work

    Please encourage your child to use the time given in class to complete their reading work (daily oral language, word work, and responses). All of these activities go towards their reading grade or their language grade and can really affect it negatively if they are not doing them or if they are putting forth little effort.

     

    As always, please feel free to contact me with questions or concerns.

    Fox Creek Phone ~ 309-452-1143

    My Email ~ bankss@unit5.org

     

     

                    

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Social Studies

    We finished up our Geography review lesson with a quiz over chapter 1 in mid-September.  We  then began Chapters 3 and 4 which discuss Native Americans and the various cultures within the United States. Throughout both chapters, we will do activities using our books and copies from the TCI Student Notebook as well as other activities/projects we have come up with to enrich their learning of our history.  After each chapter we will have a short quiz/test to ensure the students understand the material.

     

     

     

    Science

    Our first unit of Space and Galaxies is almost at end. However, the best part is only a week away. On October, we will be taking our first field trip to the Challenger Learning Center located at Heartland Community College.  A separate note with more details will come home soon.

    Our next unit of study will be the Human Body and its systems.

    Reading

    In 5th grade, we will have several different ways of conducting our Reading classes:

    Whole Class-We will soon be doing a whole class novel during our guided time but up until now, the majority of our reading time has been spent in workshop and small group literature circles.

    Readers Workshop-During this time, students read self-selected books.  Their choice of books will continue to be guided by me in order to ensure students are choosing books appropriate for their level of reading.  While reading, I conference with the students to document progress and pinpoint areas that students need further work on.

    Guided Reading-I have been breaking the students up into 3-5 groups and meeting with a different group daily to read, discuss, and work on trouble areas associated with reading (comprehension, sight words, etc).

    Mini-Lessons-Much of the beginning of the year, these lessons have focused on reviewing how to pick just right books, genres, and why reading is important.  Through my conferencing with students, I have noticed students lacking the skills to summarize and pick out main ideas.  These concepts have been my main focus lately during lessons.  I will continue to base my mini-lessons on observations I get while meeting with students independently and in small groups.

    Silent Reading-Students will always need to have at least one chapter book in their desk to read during this time.  I feel it is important for kids to choose books about things they are interested in.

    Read alouds are always fun too because I am able to share some of my favorite books with the kids. We have already read Apple Island, the Truth About Teachers and Glory Be!

     

     

     

    Spelling

    Our new Words their Way program has begun without a hitch. Students have been working in small groups on words “just right for them” based on a pretest given early on.  They meet with me once a cycle and work independently on activities at other times.  We are still getting some of the kinks out but the students seem to enjoy this type of spelling over the packetsJ

     

    Writing

    Journals-Students write daily in journals provided by me.  These journals are graded for effort and completion (usually around 40 points per month). I strongly encourage students to write what they feel, think, etc.  This is one area where I will not be grading for spelling, grammar, etc.

    Essays-Students have been working hard on using details in writing as well as creating webs and charts filled with ideas to write about.  We then used some of their pieces from their notebooks to create personal narrative papers.  We will soon begin a mini-unit on using quotations in our writing. We will be working on creating thumbprint comics to use our new knowledge as well as our own versions of Diary Of A Worm; a picture book by   Doreen Cornin.

    Across the Curriculum- Of course our writing will not be limited to writing class.  You will see your student bring home writings they have done in Social Studies, Spelling, Reading, Science, and sometimes even Math!

     

    CIC-(community in the classroom)

    I am pleased to announce a new program we will be participating in in 5B!  Mrs. Page, our social worker, will be coming in for 20 minutes every Monday to help our class learned to work together, be positive towards each other, and do community service projects together to help build a sense of community in our room.  We started the first Monday of September with a pizza snack, lunch in the room, and a game of charades.  We surveyed the students on what they feel fifth graders in our room need to work on. Some things brought up were bullying, rumors, and saying unkind things to one another.  Students will help plan and lead each lesson with Mrs. Page.

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    As always, please feel free to contact me with questions or concerns.

    Fox Creek Phone ~ 309-557-4416

    My Email ~ bankss@unit5.org