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,, 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.

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

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