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# 5th & 6th Grade Blogs

## Week of November 5th

Posted on Oct 31, 2018

Monday is Accelerated Math.  The fifth grade will not receive another math packet until Monday, November 12th.  This will be the first 2 week math packet but due to Thanksgiving break, it will only contain 5 pages as opposed to 8 pages.

Wednesday of this week will be the fractions 3 test for period 1 and 2; it will cover GCF, simplifying fractions, and changing mixed numbers to improper fractions.  A review sheet will be given out on Tuesday and should come home to help your child prepare for the test.

On Thursday, we begin the last chapter on fractions J.  This chapter covers adding/subtracting fractions and mixed numbers.

Period 3 – This week, we will review converting improper fractions to mixed numbers and also cover writing mixed numbers as improper fractions.  The fractions 3 test will be on Friday of this week and it will cover GCF, simplifying fractions, and changing mixed numbers to improper fractions.  A review sheet will be given out on Thursday and it should come home to help your child prepare for the test.

Monday is Accelerated Math.

The current homework packet is due back on Friday, November 16th.  This is a very challenging packet so please encourage your child not to wait until the last minute to begin it.

The test on dividing fractions and mixed numbers will be on Friday of this week.  We will use Tuesday – Thursday to prepare for this test.

## Social Studies:

• We will continue working with early European explorers to the Americas.
• There will be a quiz Tuesday, the quiz will cover any vocabulary terms and ideas from the lessons 1-3 in Unit 2 on our early explorers.

• Students have been working well on their Egypt projects.  Last Thursday they started working on sketching out their sarcophagus.
• We will work Monday and Tuesday on making sure they have all of their sources and we will type the works cited list together in class. The due date will be Monday, November 12
• No current events this week.

Due Monday (November 5th)

For ELA 8:00 am class and 9:30 am class

What is one decision the main character makes that you disagree with in your novel?

1. Explain the decision (Rewrite the question as your statement)

2. Why you think this way

3. Use a writing prompt

4. Show evidence from the novel

5. Restate my topic sentence

Compare and Contrast Matilda the novel vs Matilda the movie.

List (analytical thinking) specific ways that the novel was different from the movie.

### Launch of Book Clubs!

“One of the most powerful ways to teach children to think is to teach them to engage in thoughtful discussions and especially discussions that incorporate thinking under, between and around texts.  Social relationships are crucial to a reading workshop. Conversations are especially crucial because data suggests that few American students are growing up to be thoughtfully literate.”

(Lucy Calkins)

We launch our book club this week. Each club selected their novel after examining many choices in their Book Cafe day.  The selections support the goal which is Interpretation of Themes. The group will set up rules and guidelines for their club.  The students will know to read well since they will write about their reading selection. The children will learn to make claims that are grounded in their text, to supply evidence for those claims, to talk between the example and the claim, to uncover assumptions and to explore ramifications.  They will develop conversations about topics. They will guide each other to discover what the text is really about as they read.

The week ahead:  This is the week for Word Wisdom Vocabulary-Interesting set of words! Homework each night. Test on Friday.

Monday

Introduction of Interpretation of theme

Interpretation of theme book club introduction

Tuesday

Finding meaning in the midst of struggle

Character study

Exploring theme

Wednesday

Seeing a text through the eyes of other readers

Learning how to be passionate about their interpretation

Linking ideas to build larger theories and interpretation

Thursday

Examining thought prompts to help us grow complet ideas

Friday

Debating to prompt rich book conversation

Examining suggestions for generating provocative debatable ideas about text

Book debate

## Religion

THANKS FOR ALL THE BIRTHDAY WISHES AND THE THOUGHTFUL CARD, FLOWERS, AND BALLOONS!

The fifth graders will begin Chapter 5 on "Baptism, Confirmation, and the Eucharist".  We will learn about Dorothy Day, a woman who started the Catholic Worker Movement in Chicago during the Great Depression.  Her outstanding dedication to the poor still exists today.  They will have a Chapter 5 test on Friday, 11/9.

The sixth graders did an outstanding job with the All Saints Day Mass.  I was very proud of their participation in the Mass responses and songs!  We will continue to read and discuss the books of Joshua and the Judges in the Old Testament.  We will also begin to read about the many Kings that ruled the Israelites.

On Friday afternoon, 11/9, we will be having a Veteran's Day Prayer Service.

## Science

5th grade- This week we will talk about physical and chemical changes. Our essential question will be, What happens to the amount of matter when it changes state?

Vocab- boiling point, freezing point, physical change, conservation of mass, and melting point

6th grade- This week we will talk about the  Lunar Cycle or the Phases of the Moon. Students will be able to demonstrate and predict the sequence of events in the lunar cycle. ***** We will be doing a Moon Phase activity either Friday or Monday- Please have students bring in 8 Oreo cookies, not cracked (generic is fine) by Thursday.

## 6th Language Arts

Hatchet has the 6th graders ready for more! The main character, who is 13-years old, is surviving the Canadian North Woods alone! Students are eager to find out what happens next.

This week we will continue to listen/read, predict, and delve into literary devices found in the novel while we discuss why the author would use such a device.

In addition, the 6th graders will be preparing for the Veterans Day prayer service on Friday at 1:15. All are welcome!

Reading vocabulary term of the week: Repetition

## Week of Oct. 29th - Nov. 2nd

Posted on Oct 25, 2018

## Religion

The sixth graders will be hosting the All Saints Day Mass on Thursday, Nov. 1st at 1:00 p.m.  They have been very cooperative and hardworking.  If you have the opportunity please join us. You will not want to miss this special mass.

The fifth graders will be reviewing for their Unit 1 test which will be on Thursday, Nov. 1st.  It will include chapters 1-4.  I will send home a study guide for the short essay questions.

Enjoy the weekend!!

## Social Studies:

• We will continue learning about early European Explorers this week. Students will finish up an interactive notebook page tracing the routes and important details of Dias, da Gama and Columbus.
• Students will read about Ponce de Leon and Vasco da Gama and complete a packet.

• Students will continue working on their research projects, we have worked in time during class for students to research and ask for any help or guidance they may need in class.
• Please check with your student to make sure they are on track, our due date for the packet and paper is Nov. 7.  All information that is needed is included in the packet that students were given.  Please see my individual blog for the Egypt extra credit.
• We will continue our travels in Ancient Egypt this week learning about their system of writing, papyrus and the Rosetta Stone and why it is so important to understanding Egyptian language.
• Students will learn about the construction of the pyramids this week, as well as boats.

## 6th Language Arts

I have to begin with a huge THANK YOU to the Olsen and Murphy families who generously donated boxes of books to our classroom library. Your generosity with help hundreds of kids enjoy new opportunities to READ! We are all so grateful!

Onto a new novel, Hatchet! Students are ready to begin a new class novel. We are in the midst of doing our pre-reading work: predictions, mapping, discussions, and vocabulary.

I truly hope students enjoy this Newbery Award-winning novel which has themes about isolation, survival, and coming of age.

The Main Characters

Who is the main character? How is she or he involved in the mystery.

Explain what is the mystery.

Is the text narrated in first or third person? How might this affect the story? Use a writing prompt and evidence from your novel to support that the mystery was written in either first or third person.

The Suspects

Who are the major suspects in your novel?

Suspects full name

Motive?

Alibi?

What evidence supports these characters as being suspects?(Take from the novel)

Be prepared to create a police drawing of your major suspect.

Make sure your character log has detailed character descriptions.

The Clues

List the three most important clues in order of importance. Explain why these clues were important to the mystery.

What is one clue you believe the author used as a RED HERRING?

Setting

Using the diagram in class, draw and identify the microsetting and macro setting. (Use the circle inside the circle diagram)

Crime Scene

Location, Date, Time

Well written description of the crime scene with evidence from the novel to support your description.

Mystery Book Review

Explain how the mystery is solved.  What important events led to the conclusion and the culprit. Use evidence from your novel to support your answer.

What part of the novel did you find most suspenseful (vocabulary word)? Use a writing prompt and evidence to support your thinking.

What would you add (or take away) from this mystery to make it more intriguing?  Why would it make this mystery more intriguing?

Recommendation

Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or Why not?

The Main Characters

Who is the main character? How is she or he involved in the mystery.

Explain what is the mystery.

Is the text narrated in first or third person? How might this affect the story? Use a writing prompt and evidence from your novel to support that the mystery was written in either first or third person.

The Suspects

Who are the major suspects in your novel?

Suspects full name

Motive?

Alibi?

What evidence supports these characters as being suspects?(Take from the novel)

Be prepared to create a police drawing of your major suspect.

Make sure your character log has detailed character descriptions.

The Clues

List the three most important clues in order of importance. Explain why these clues were important to the mystery.

What is one clue you believe the author used as a RED HERRING?

Setting

Using the diagram in class, draw and identify the microsetting and macro setting. (Use the circle inside the circle diagram)

Crime Scene

Location, Date, Time

Well written description of the crime scene with evidence from the novel to support your description.

Mystery Book Review

Explain how the mystery is solved.  What important events led to the conclusion and the culprit. Use evidence from your novel to support your answer.

What part of the novel did you find most suspenseful (vocabulary word)? Use a writing prompt and evidence to support your thinking.

What would you add (or take away) from this mystery to make it more intriguing?  Why would it make this mystery more intriguing?

Recommendation

Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or Why not?

# Science

5th grade- We will continue to take notes about the periodic table and discuss the properties of metals, nonmetals and metalloids.

6th grade- We will read a couple articles this week about Mars and the Exploration of Mars. We will discuss whether we think scientists will be able to colonize Mars and if we would ever go there. We will write an essay on our thoughts when we are finished discussing.

## Week of October 22nd

Posted on Oct 19, 2018

## Math

Monday is Accelerated Math and a new homework packet will be passed out.

This week, we will continue to review LCM and GCF and also begin reducing or simplifying fractions.  To reduce a fraction easily, a child must be fluent in the division facts; for many 5th graders this will be a very frustrating topic.  Please practice as often as you can with your child and also send him/her in early when possible for additional practice.

Monday is Accelerated Math.  The current homework packet is due back on Friday of this week.

6th periods 1 and 3 - We will work on dividing with fractions in word problems this week and also begin dividing mixed numbers at the end of the week.

6th periods 2 - We will continue to work on dividing with fractions in word problems this week and also begin dividing mixed numbers.

The test on dividing fractions and mixed numbers will be sometime next week.

## 6th Language Arts

On Tuesday, students will take a test on the story, Mother Fletcher's Gift. I've been very pleased with the students' response to critical thinking questions. While it's difficult at first, students are rising to the challenge.

In addition, students are writing to support their claims using text evidence. We will continue to focus on understanding the prompts/questions given and then writing a response with purpose.

Reading vocabulary term of the week: Theme

## Fifth Grade ELA  Week of October 22nd

Fifth Grade ELA  Week of October 22nd

October is mystery novel month. At this point, the students should be “almost” finished with their novel.

On Monday, we will work on our police file that the student’s are working on to complete their writing on the detective, suspects, motives, and evidence that was presented in their reading.  Next Tuesday and Wednesday (October 30 and 31st) the students will present their police file book report to the class. They will also have a brown bag of evidence that was found in their mystery novel.

On Tuesday, we will introduce the idea of THEMES for our next novel.  We will launch our Interpretation of Book Clubs. For this bend of the Lucy Calkins Reading Program, we will study interpretation by reading great literature in small book clubs that will last for the rest of this unit.  By studying the skills and strategies of interpretation while reading, writing and talking together, book club members will come to identify themes that are important in their books, trace the progression of themes as the book progresses, and eventually think across books with their clubs.  Fifth graders need to be able to see multiple themes in a story, to select supportive evidence for each, and to see the craft as well as the content of a story as evidence for a theme. (Lucy Calkins)

Wednesday, Dr Michael Stritch will lead the fifth graders on our adventure around the city tracing history through the Our Lady of Angels fire.  Accelerated Reader points are due by the end of the school day.

On Thursday, we will “host” a book tasting.  Their new tables will be set for a tasting of novels that represent our Interpretation of Themes Unit.  The book club will “sample” different books to see which novel that their group would like to read. Each student will then need a copy of that book by NOVEMBER 1st.  Our St John Fisher library, public library,and our class library will be a wonderful resource. If not enough copies are available, it will be the student’s responsibility to obtain a copy of the novel by November 1st.

Friday will be a vocabulary test for this weeks vocabulary words from our Word Wisdom book.  Each student will have vocabulary homework each night this week.

Our Reading class has been enjoying our read aloud novel, Home of the Brave.  I hope that your child has talked to you about this book.  This book has been a wonderful source to teach the kids how to think deeply as they read a novel.  The question, “What’s this story really about?” is often asked as we read the chapters aloud.

Your child offers beautiful insights in class discussions to help understand all that our main character deals with in order to make a new life in America.

## Social Studies

• We finished our unit on early native tribes.
• This week we will begin our studies on early explorers and the lands and routes that they encountered and explores.

• We will continue working our way through ancient Egypt, we will focus in on government and continue learning about their religion.
• students will get their packets this week for their research projects. Please see my blog for details.

## Religion

The fifth graders will be discussing and reviewing sacramentals for their test on Thursday, October 25th. We read about several Saints this week in preparation for All Saints Day on November 1st.

The sixth graders begin to read and discuss the Books of Joshua and Judges in the Old Testament.  We will be discussing and reading about the leaders of the Israelites and their entry into the land of Canaan.  They will also start preparing for the November 1st All Saints Day mass which the 6th graders will host.

## Science

I am really proud of the presentations that we had last week! Students did a great job!

5th- We will take a look at the organization of the periodic table. We will take a look at Metals, Metalloids, and Non-metals.  On Friday, we will do  a STEM activity with the 1st graders. We will be pairing up with our 1st grade friends once a month to complete a STEM activity together.

6th- We will finish up our study of the planets with an open note test on Monday. Wednesday we will test our knowledge with an Escape Room. The students love this activity, as they all try to make it to the "Escape Room Hall of Fame." We will finish up the week starting our next lesson on the Lunar Cycle.

## Week of October 15th - Oct 19th

Posted on Oct 12, 2018

Periods 1 and 3 – We will review for Tuesday’s test on Monday of this week.  A study guide was handed out to each child last Thursday.

Wednesday, we will begin the chapter on dividing fractions and mixed numbers.

Period 2 – We will continue the chapter on dividing fractions and mixed numbers this week.

Period 1 and 2 – A review sheet will be passed out on Monday to help each child prepare for Tuesday’s test.

Wednesday, we will begin the 3rd chapter on fractions which covers LCM, GCF, simplifying or reducing fractions, improper fractions to mixed numbers and vice versa.

Period 3 – Monday and Tuesday will be spent preparing for Wednesday’s test.  A review sheet should come home on Tuesday with your child.

Thursday, we will begin the 3rd chapter on fractions which covers LCM, GCF, simplifying or reducing fractions, improper fractions to mixed numbers and vice versa.

## Social Studies:

Picture day Oct. 16, please do not wear green.

Please make sure your student checks in with each teacher after an absence to get any work that is missed.

• We will finish our studies of Native Tribes of North America.  This week will be studying the people of the Eastern Woodlands.
• There will be a test on Thursday covering the following tribes; Inuit, Tlingit, Pueblos, Navajo, Plains tribes, Creek and Iroquois Tribes.  I will have a review posted to Google Classroom on Monday.

•  We will continue our travels through Ancient Egypt, we will learn about Menes, the government, religion, and economy of Egypt.
• This week students will be receiving their Egypt project packet.
• Current events will continue, please see my individual blog for an example from last week.

## Religion

The fifth graders will be discussing Chapter 4 "Sacramentals" and reading about Saints. They are doing a great job finding and discussing Bible passages!

The sixth graders will be working on a "Saints" activity.  They will be given two saints and will need to write about the similarities and differences between them. We will be working on this assignment during class time but needs to be completed by Thursday, Oct. 18th.  We also have a Ten Commandments activity that will be completed during class time.  Enjoy our "cool weather"!!!!

## Science

Hooray! It finally cooled down on the 3rd floor! We have school pictures Tuesday 10/16. On Friday, we will have a school mass at 1:00 where we will sit with our prayer partners.

5th grade- We will start our first project this week! This week we will research an element on the periodic table. Students will create a poster for the element they researched. The guidelines and rubric are available on Google Classroom.

6th grade- We will continue to work on our "Teach a Planet" project. Each group was given a planet to research and create a poster or Google Slides on the information they found. They will present that information to the class. Each student will take notes on the information and on Monday (tentatively) they will complete an open note content-based test on the information they received.

Critical thinking is all the buzz in 6th Grade ELA. Students are uncomfortable, and that's just the way it should be! Let me explain...

Students are being moved out of their comfort zones and pushed to think more critically about what they are reading. Very rarely will students be given questions with one word answers anymore. Answers will now have to be written thoughtfully and include evidence. Sometimes, an answer to a question isn't clearly stated and students will have to infer. These are not easy tasks for many students!

The good news is that the students are excited about the challenge! Keep them reading and critically thinking--that's the goal :)

Reading vocabulary term of the week: 3rd Person Omniscient

October is mystery genre book month! What a wonderful selection of novels the kids picked for themselves!  Of course, the amount of Nancy Drew and Hardy Boy mysteries had a tug at nostalgia for me.

We are taking a break from the Reader's Workshop this week.  We will focus on our mystery novels and exploring developing a crime folder on the novel we are reading.  This is a fun project where the students will act like detectives as they read their novel. You should see them with a fistful of Post-it notes as they search their story for clues, Red herrings, alibi’s and motives!  We have a vocabulary list of words that work with our genre that the kids will use this week.

The mystery unit will draw attention to the power mysteries have to spark interest in reading and inspire critical thinking for our students.

## Week of October 9th

Posted on Oct 05, 2018

Monday is Accelerated Math.  There will not be a homework packet this week; please use this extra time to practice multiplication and division flash cards with your child.

We did not get near as far in the second chapter on fractions as I had anticipated last week.

5th period 1 and 2 will review comparing fractions and begin ordering fractions this week.  The test is tentatively scheduled for next Tuesday, October 16th.

5th period 3 will begin comparing fractions and later in the week begin ordering fractions; the test is tentatively scheduled for next Wednesday, October 17th.

Monday is Accelerated Math and a new math packet will be passed out; this packet will be due back on Friday, October 26th.

6th periods 1 and 3 – We did not get as far as I wanted to last week so this week we will cover multiplying mixed numbers by whole numbers and also by mixed numbers.  We will also work on solving more word problems.  The test will be sometime next week.

6th period 2 – We completed the chapter on multiplying fractions and mixed numbers on Friday.  Wednesday we will review for the test which will be on Thursday.  A study guide should come home with your child on Tuesday.

I have been so impressed with the math skills this year.  All 6th graders are working hard and are quick to catch on to new concepts and also to apply what they have learned to solve some very challenging problems.

We will have a quiz on Wednesday.  This quiz will cover the Native Tribes we have studied so far.  Please have your students review their notes, hardcover books and also the slides on Google Classroom.  The quiz will include the following tribes:

Inuit

Tlingit

Navajo

Pueblo Tribes

The quiz will cover vocab words from these tribes as well as what kind of houses they lived in, what their homes were made of and their religious beliefs.  There will be matching and short answer essay on the quiz.  Students need to be sure they are restating the question and answering in complete sentences for their short essay questions.

This week we will learn about the Native people of the plains states, and the east coast tribes.

If your student is having troubles with any of the concepts we are learning, please encourage them to see me for help.  I am at school early every morning.

Please be sure that if your student is absent, that they see each teacher to get any missed work.  Work after an absence is still due, and due within a day or two of returning to school.

We finished chapter three last week, and this week we will move on to Ancient Egypt.  This chapter will move a little slower than the past three, we will be covering a lot of content and there is a research project in this chapter.  Students will be given their packets in about a week or so.  This packet must be kept, it contains all of their graphic organizers and directions for the project.  Students will need to bring this with them every day, they will have the opportunity to work on their research during any free time we may have in class.  The packet must be turned in, as there are pages that are part of the grade in it.  Please check my individual blog starting next week where I will post more details and dates.

• We will start with exploring the geography of Ancient Egypt.  We will watch a video about the geography of this area and the importance of the Nile River.
• Current Events 2 will start this week and be presented Friday.  Please see my individual blog for the instructions.

I want to share how proud I am of our students during the events of Friday.  Our kids did exactly what we asked of them and they did so without questions.  I am proud of them for being strong during that time.

## Religion

The fifth graders will begin Chapter 19 "Living as Christians".  They will be learning how love is the greatest and highest virtue.  They will have a quiz on Thursday, 10/11.

The sixth graders will be finishing "The Book of Exodus".  On Thursday, 10/11, they will have a test on all the stories we have read and discussed in class.  They will also be given a word bank to help them study.

Enjoy the 3-day weekend!!!!

## Science

This week in 5th grade, we will continue our study of atoms, element, molecules, and compounds. We will look at the periodic table and learn why it is arranged the way it is. We will learn what a metal, nonmetal, and metalloid are.

This week in 6th grade, we will finish up our study of the planets with an in-class project. Students will have to research a planet and create a presentation.

One of the joys of being an ELA teacher is to enjoy the writings of our students.  This weekend I had the pleasure of reading their personal narratives that pertained to a place that mattered to them. The kids thought of small moments that occurred in that place and wrote about one.  The following are a few excerpts from fifth grade writers!!

“The forgotten cabinet is just a cabinet in the corner that nobody goes to because nobody can reach it!  I climbed onto the counter and I opened the cabinet. My eyes started to glow when I saw a whole supply of s’mores waiting to be roasted!” Gavin U.

“Everyone has a bucket list and I got to cross one off mine on spring break!: Grace C.

“We went into the elevator and right before anyone pressed anything, something bad happened.  My brother pulled the fire alarm! We ran out of the elevator. We went down the stairs. We weren’t scared because we knew there wasn’t a fire.  When we got downstairs, everyone was in the pool and no one even noticed the fire alarm going off. We walked out the door to get to the beach. I guess the lifeguards knew because they were speeding on their four wheelers.  We went in the water and acted like it wasn’t us.” Owen L.

This week the students will be turning another small moment narrative.  We examined the style of author Robert McCloskey. He is a great resource to demonstrate how he turned one small moment and turned the story into a Newbery Award book that sold over millions of copies.

VOCABULARY

We will use the workbook, Word Wisdom, this school year. It’s important to develop both their vocabulary and spelling.  For the first trimester, we will focus on developing their vocabulary by completing a chapter in the workbook each week. The students will have a vocabulary test every Friday.  We began the first chapter last week so the first test will be this Friday.

Hope everyone had a wonderful weekend. What a delight to see the fall colors appearing for our enjoyment!

I want to begin the week saying how PROUD I am of SJF students and teaching staff who really rallied together during our first "soft lockdown". Students, teachers and parents made things run smoothly. There is always room for improvement, but our first run was successful. Thank you!

For the next few weeks, the 6th graders will be immersed in the Realistic Fiction Genre. We will read several short stories, including some paired passages, and our next novel will be also be a work of realistic fiction. We will continue working on Plot Structure and Point of View with these stories. Finally, we will add a new skill to our reading plan: tracking a character's development in a story.

Reading vocabulary term of the week: Idiom

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