Sunday, September 24, 2017

September 25-29

Welcome back to another week in Discovery Grade 5!



Notes for the week:

** Please note! Although next week is only 2 days due to the October holidays, these two days will continue as regular school days and it is important that students attend.  If you have already contacted me regarding your child being absent during this time, I will make arrangements, however please do not consider these days as "optional" as we will be covering new material and continuing class as usual.  Thank you!

** This Friday, September 29, will be an early dismissal at 11:45 to allow for teacher professional
development.

** This week, MAP testing will continue.  Fifth graders' tests are scheduled as follows:

READING - Monday, 9/25, 1:15-2:30
LANGUAGE USAGE- Thursday, 9/28, 8:30-9:45

** Due to MAP testing, the computer lab will be unavailable for the next two weeks.  Since we are in the middle of our Discovery Geographic project, I am asking students to bring in their devices for the next couple of weeks so that we may continue to work.  Devices will need to be able to access Google Drive and edit Google Docs, both of which may need apps to be installed.  The apps are free, and will be very helpful for students when they are unable to access the computer lab.  Thanks for your collaboration!


This week in class:

Language Arts
Last week we finished reading Bridge to Terabithia and had a wonderful, thoughtful discussion about the important themes in the novel.  Students responded well to this book and are becoming masters at class discussions!  Students received their discussion grades on Friday.  This week we will be working on reading and annotating nonfiction articles as well as practicing strategies for taking notes. 

In Writing, we'll continue working on using the notes we have taken and research we have done to create our first drafts of our "Discovery Geographic" articles.  Please see the note above regarding bringing devices for this, since we will not have access to the computer lab for the next couple of weeks during MAP testing.

In Spelling and Language, we'll be discussing and practicing the use of singular and plural possessive nouns, along with the proper usage of apostrophes. (Please excuse the repetition from last week... I accidentally posted the wrong activity!)

Math
Ms. Maria Fernanda will be back with us this week to work on multiplication patterns in decimals as well as using the standard algorithm to solve multi-digit multiplication problems involving decimals. We enjoyed being in charge of activity stations with our 4th-grade math buddies last Friday!

This week, students will begin to have nightly math facts homework using Xtramath.org.  This program has proven to be very effective in the past with helping students improve the speed and accuracy of their multiplication and division tables, as long as students use it regularly!  It should only take 5-10 minutes each evening. All students should have their log-in information noted in a safe place, along with my email address, which they may need to log in.  Students will be expected to complete their Xtramath lesson every night, Monday through Thursday, unless we have been able to complete it at school.

Science
This week we will continue sharpening our observation skills as we look in depth at plant and animal
cells.  We'll be using the secondary science lab on Wednesday to practice using microscopes.

Thanks so much for checking back in with us this week! 
💜 Ms. Amy

Sunday, September 17, 2017

September 18 - 22

Welcome back! We hope you enjoyed your extended weekend and holiday celebrations!


Notes for the week:

** This week, MAP testing will begin.  Fifth graders' tests are scheduled as follows:
MATH - Wednesday, 9/20, 1:15-2:30
READING - Monday, 9/25, 1:15-2:30
LANGUAGE USAGE- Thursday, 9/28, 8:30-9:45

** Due to MAP testing, the computer lab will be unavailable for the next two weeks.  Since we are in the middle of our Discovery Geographic project, I am asking students to bring in their devices for the next couple of weeks so that we may continue to work.  Devices will need to be able to access Google Drive and edit Google Docs, both of which may need apps to be installed.  The apps are free, and will be very helpful for students when they are unable to access the computer lab.  Thanks for your collaboration!


This week in class:

Language Arts
We'll be finishing up Bridge to Terabithia this week and will have a graded discussion on Thursday regarding the characters, events, and themes in the book. This will serve as our final assessment for the novel.  We will be working throughout the year on formal discussion skills, and graded discussions will become a part of our evaluations and assessments in several subject areas.  Students will be provided the questions ahead of time so that they can be thinking about their responses as we discuss the questions on Thursday.

In Writing, we'll continue working on our "Discovery Geographic" articles.  Please see the note above regarding bringing devices for this, since we will not have access to the computer lab for the next couple of weeks during MAP testing.

In Spelling and Language, we'll be discussing and practicing the use of singular and plural possessive nouns, along with the proper usage of apostrophes.

Math
On Monday, we will welcome Ms. Maria Fernanda as our guest math teacher for the next several weeks!  We will begin reviewing concepts of multiplication, including estimating products and multiplying by one- and two-digit numbers.

Social Studies / Science
On Monday, we will have a review of government and geography concepts to prepare for a final quiz on Tuesday.  Students will have information to study Monday night.

Then on Wednesday, we begin our Science unit Microworlds.  We'll begin by talking about and practicing the skills of observation, as we make observational drawings of things we are used to seeing every day with a focus on details we normally overlook.

Thanks so much for checking back in with us this week! 
💜 Ms. Amy

Sunday, September 10, 2017

September 11-13

Happy Independence Day!


It's a short week, but it's packed!

Congratulations to Gabriel, Sofía, Adrilú, and Alessandra, who demonstrated determination, dedication, and courage in delivering their candidate speeches for our Discovery Elementary Environmental Student Council!  We are so proud of all of you! We are happy to announce that Adriana Lucia will be our fifth grade representative this year, and Gabriel will be the assistant representative in order to prepare to be the sixth grade representative next year!  We can't wait to make the school a greener place!


On Wednesday we will have our annual Independence Day celebration, beginning with Desayuno Catracho (Honduran Breakfast) at 8:00am.  Thanks so much, families, for contributing to the best breakfast of the year!  Breakfast will be followed by our Discovery parade, and cultural presentations made by all of our students.  This day will be an Early Dismissal day, with students being dismissed at 11:45.
This week in class:

Language Arts
We'll continue our study of Bridge to Terabithia, as well as our research for our "Discovery Geographic" magazine articles.

Math
We'll have a final review of Chapter 1 content on Monday, with a test on Tuesday.  A little extra studying at home might be helpful as well!

Social Studies
We are moving toward the end of our government and geography unit by exploring latitude and longitude.  We'll also be discussing ways that geography affects humans, and humans affect geography!

Thanks so much for checking back in with us this week! Have a lovely long holiday weekend!
💜 Ms. Amy

Sunday, September 3, 2017

September 4 - 8



Welcome to another week of learning, growing, working hard, and having fun!

**This week students will have the opportunity to run for election to our first Discovery School Elementary Environmental Council!  Interested students should prepare a speech to be delivered this Friday, and then students in each grade will vote for their grade's representatives.  The Environmental Council will meet and discuss ways that we can make our school more environmentally friendly, as well as guide the rest of the student body in adopting more ecologically sound practices at school and in their own lives!

This week in Grade 5:

Language Arts
This week we will continue with Bridge to Terabithia in guided reading, as we analyze character traits, plot developments, and figurative language.  In writing, we'll begin a project in which students will research a well-known geographical feature and will write a magazine article about it to be included in our very own 5th grade edition of "Discovery Geographic."  In spelling, we'll be focusing on words with the suffixes -tion and -sion, as well as using syllabication to analyze multi-syllable words.

Math
Students will be reviewing and using the standard algorithm to solve addition and subtraction problems with whole numbers and decimals, later applying these skills to solve real-world problems. The following Monday, we will be reviewing Chapter 1 concepts for a test on Tuesday, September 12.

Social Studies

Students will be finishing up and presenting their Google Slides presentations about governments around the world, and then we will dive into geography.

Thanks for checking in with us this week, and as always, please don't hesitate to contact me with questions or comments!

All the best,
Ms. Amy

Sunday, August 27, 2017

August 28-September 1

Welcome back to another week of learning experiences in fifth grade!

** This week we'll be sharpening our focus on issues of waste reduction and recycling.  We'll be collecting our trash throughout the week in order to analyze it at the end of the week and discuss how we can reduce the amount of waste we create.  We'll also be talking about how waste ultimately affects many aspects of our lives and the world around us.  On Friday, all of Discovery School will participate in our Eco-friendly Lunch Day, in which students put thought and effort into bringing a lunch to school in reusable containers to reduce the amount of waste created.

** Students have been introduced to their Engrade accounts and should be checking in regularly, at least once a week, to monitor their own grades.  Parent accounts have also been set up so that you can access your child's grades at any time; by now you should have received an email with your parent account information.  Please contact me with any questions or comments you have regarding this.

This week in Grade 5:

Language Arts
This week we will continue with our class novel Bridge to Terabithia, analyzing the characters, plot, and figurative language.  We will also be focusing on finding textual evidence to support our
observations and inferences.

We'll continue working on "exploding" our writing with interesting details, and we will be observing and practicing the appropriate use of commas.  There will be no spelling words this week to allow time for more writing.

Math
Students will continue to work on rounding and estimating in addition and subtraction problems with whole numbers through the billions and decimals through the thousandths.  As always, we'll also be applying these skills to real-world problem solving situations.

Social Studies
Students will be researching the governments of the countries they chose, and will then create a brief slideshow presentation using Google Slides to share the information with others.

Thanks for checking in with us this week, and as always, please don't hesitate to contact me with questions or comments!

All the best,
Ms. Amy


Sunday, August 20, 2017

August 21 - 25




We're excited to be witnesses of this rare event, and hope for good viewing of our partial eclipse here in Tegus with our pinhole cameras and special glasses!

** Great news!  Soon students will be receiving information about their Discovery School Gmail account, which they will be able to use for school work and projects, rather than creating their own accounts as mentioned in last week's blog.  These accounts will be more secure than regular Gmail, and will allow students to maneuver their Google Drive resources in a more controlled environment. Please have your 5th grader share their email password with you once they receive it so that you may monitor the account as well. More information about these accounts to come soon!

This week in Grade 5:

Language Arts

This week we will continue with our class novel Bridge to Terabithia, analyzing the characters, plot, and figurative language.  We will also be focusing on finding textual evidence to support our observations and inferences.

We'll continue working on "exploding" our writing with interesting details, and we will be observing and practicing the appropriate use of commas.

Math
In math this week, we'll be working on mental math strategies for adding and subtracting large numbers, as well as rounding, estimating, and applying these skills in problem-solving situations.

Social Studies

We'll continue our investigations into different forms of government, and then students will research the government of another country and prepare a brief presentation for the rest of the class.

Thanks for checking in with us this week, and as always, please don't hesitate to contact me with questions or comments!

All the best,
Ms. Amy



Sunday, August 13, 2017

August 14 - 18


Welcome back to the first full week of 5th grade at Discovery School! We began our learning adventures last week and are excited to carry on!

Please take note of the following information:

** Every Friday has been designated "School Spirit Friday."  We are asking students to join in with staff in showing our Discovery pride by wearing a Discovery shirt every Friday.  If your child needs a shirt, please let me know and I will put you in contact with someone to help you with this!

** If you haven't had a chance to fill out the parent contact form that I sent by email, or you did not receive it, please let me know!  I want to be sure that I communicate with you in a way that is most convenient for you!

** This week, we will begin integrating the use of more technology into our learning experiences.  Throughout the year we will be using the internet for many learning activities that directly support our classroom experiences, including Kahoot, IXL, Readworks.org, and credible research resources as well.  While we are assigned one period a week in the computer lab for such activities and must share the use of this lab during other periods with the rest of Early Childhood and Elementary, we find that it is much more convenient and efficient if students bring their own devices such as Ipads, tablets, or smartphones, in order to interact with online resources on a more regular basis.  Devices will not be used for recreational purposes, but curriculum related activities only.  Please consider allowing your child to bring his/her device beginning this week to help support our learning!

**Along with our technology integration, we have found Google Drive and Google Docs to be extremely useful in sharing work, assignments, and communication with students.  Therefore, we ask that students have a Gmail account strictly for school use.  Since Google stipulates that Gmail users must be 13 years of age, and we discourage all forms of dishonesty, we ask families to set up a family Gmail account that can be actively monitored by parents, and that can be used by the student for his/her schoolwork.  Having used this system last year with great success, we hope to be able to continue to use this tool with all of our students!

** Soon students will be introduced to the online gradebook system called Engrade which we will use to keep track of student grades this year.  This is the same system used in Middle and High School, and will make your child's transition next year much easier.  Through Engrade, students and parents can access grades as soon as they are input by the teacher, and can monitor progress throughout the quarter.  Please be on the lookout for information coming home soon about this.

This week in Grade 5:

Language Arts
This week we will be focusing on the different genres of literature and the characteristics of each.  We will also begin our first class guided reading novel Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson.

In Writing and Language, we will be looking at "exploding the moment" by adding interesting details to a seemingly simple sentence, and we'll be reviewing and practicing rules for capitalization.  We will also begin our Spelling practice this year beginning with "high-frequency" words that should be spelled correctly in all fifth grade writing.  Students will be introduced to their practice activity menu, which they will be using to choose appropriate methods of practicing these words at home.  There is a link in the righthand sidebar to this menu so that you may review it.

Math
This week we'll be doing some review of fourth-grade math skills, and then taking those skills just a step deeper.  We'll begin with analyzing place value through the billions, including the place value of decimals.  Then we'll be comparing and ordering large numbers.  Students will also set up their interactive notebook, based on methods used in middle school, which will serve as part of their math grade this year.

Social Studies
Last week we began discussing the role of government in society and the different levels of government (National/Federal, State, and Local).  This week we will dive deeper into the three branches of the U.S. government and investigate other government forms around the world.

Thanks for checking in with us this week, and as always, please don't hesitate to contact me with questions or comments!

All the best,
Ms. Amy