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# 5th & 6th Grade Blogs

## Week of August 27th

Posted on Aug 24, 2018

Open House "Back to school Curriculum Nights" is this Wednesday, August 29th at 6:30 p.m.

## Ms. Tovey- Math Week 2

Monday will be our first Accelerated Math class and the first homework packet will be passed out; this homework packet is due back on Friday of this week.  Both of these topics are discussed in detail in my first blog; if you have additional questions on either please feel free to email me them.

Tuesday – Friday: We will spend the first part of each math period reviewing all whole number operations and the second part working on the Introduction to Fractions chapter.  Fractions are a very difficult concept for many fifth graders, so if you find that your child is frustrated or not understanding something, please send them to my room at 7:30 for additional help or practice.

Monday will be our first Accelerated Math class and the first homework packet will be passed out; this homework packet is due back on Thursday, September 13.  Both of these topics are discussed in detail in my first blog; if you have additional questions on either please feel free to email me them.

Math – 1st and 3rd class period:  We will continue to review previously taught fraction concepts and begin subtracting mixed numbers with regrouping or borrowing this week.

Math – 2nd period:  We will finish up subtracting mixed numbers with regrouping or borrowing and there will be a short quiz on this concept later in the week.  Please check your child’s assignment notebook for the actual date of this quiz.

## Fifth Grade ELA   Week of August 27th

This week, we will continue our examination of developing strategies to make reading the best that it can be for you! We will continue our focus on building a reading life. The concepts of stamina, fluency and engagement continue to be our focus.

We will reflect back on topics from last week and look forward to our minilessons that will include:

-Examining ways to read faster, stronger and longer

-Improving our comprehension so that as we read, we are reading in a way to let the words matter

-Improving our skills to at reading for detail

-Making choices in our reading selection/choosing text that matter.

Our writing workshop began today. I will share the results of our first writing piece at open house on Wednesday. Our first unit will be four to six weeks in length and will be crafting their narrative story.  Look for wonderful writing examples in the writer's notebook. Please refer to the back to school letter for suggestion to help in your child’s progress.

And, of course, remembering our wonderful pastor and friend, Fr Tom Purtell.

## Mrs. O'Shea- Science

This week 5th and 6th grade will begin to look at Scientific Investigation. We will review the steps scientists take to "figure out" a problem. We will conduct a few quick labs during the week. I would ask that on Friday, each student bring two pennies for their lab.

## 6th Grade LA Mrs. Schiller

Students will be finishing up their first annotations of Aesop’s fable “The Golden Axe”. Our goal in writing this year is to “Prove It!” by citing lines in a poem, paragraphs in a story, or websites in an essay.

In class, we are also doing background research on World War II in preparation for the novel Number the Stars by Lois Lowry. New reading vocabulary word for the week: Infer

## 5th & 6th grade Social Studies:

• We will continue working with map skills, students have added their first page into their interactive notebook.  They color coded a map of the United States by the five regions and then used an atlas to help them label different bodies of water as well as two mountain ranges.
• We will finish up our introduction by talking about the different types of sources that historians use to help uncover the past.
• Unit 1: Settling the Americas.  We will start our journey to the first settlers of North America, the Native Americans.  While we work through unit 1, students will use their mapping skills to map the movements of the native tribes in the United States.
• We will have our first quiz on Thursday, Sept. 6.  This quiz will cover any vocabulary and key ideas we have studied.

• We have been working hard with using latitude and longitude on a global grid to help pin point cities across the world.  Students will complete a plotting worksheet and we talked about how we can use maps in our books and our atlas to help us with these measurements.  Students were each given coordinates and will work to locate the city and we will be making a sign with each of these coordinates.
• Students will continue to add to these map skills throughout the school year.
• Our first current events presentation, assignment is due this Friday.  I have gone over the requirements of this assignment with each group of students as to what the expectations are.  I will also have the assignment requirements posted to Google Classroom.  If your student has any questions, please have them see me and I will be glad to go over their questions.

## Week of August 21st

Posted on Aug 18, 2018

# Math

Dear Parents:

This year, I will be teaching your son or daughter Math.  I have a total of 22 years experience teaching math from grades 4-8, and I am very much looking forward to teaching your child.  My goal is for each student to be fully prepared for a challenging fifth grade math curriculum.  I believe that the best way to achieve this goal is to consistently bring back previously taught concepts.  Therefore, the children will not be receiving nightly homework in math, but rather they will be receiving a homework packet that reviews previously taught material. Nothing is more frustrating for a child or a parent than when homework is assigned on a concept that is not yet fully understood.  My job will be to make sure that the current concepts are taught and understood so that the math packets will not frustrate any child. However, if at any time your child needs help on the math packet, please send him/her into school at 7:30AM.  Your child should try to complete one page per night so as to not fall too far behind.

The format for the fifth grade math packets is as follows:

Trimester 1 – Weekly packets.  These will be passed out on Monday and are due back on Friday of the same week.  (first math packet will be passed out on Monday August, 27th)

Trimester 2 – Two week packets.  These will be passed out on Monday and will be due back on the Friday of the following week.

Trimester 3 – Three week packets.

The children will be using the Accelerated Math Program this year.  They will work on Accelerated Math every other Monday and the test grade will count as 10% of their math grade.  This program is an excellent program in that it allows the children to work at a pace that is comfortable for them and also allows for continual review of previously taught concepts. If you would like more information on this program please feel free to email me.

The concepts that will be covered in Math this year are: a review of multiplication and division from 4th grade, estimating products and quotients, double and triple digit divisors, exponents and order of operations, fractions (introduction, on the number line, compare, order, equivalent, and add and subtract), statistics (stem and leaf, line plots, mean, median, mode, and range, graphing), and basic geometry on the coordinate plane.  If time allows, we will begin multiplying fractions and mixed numbers.

Category Weights:

Tests – 35%

Homework – 20%

Class work – 35%

Accelerated Math – 10%

Finally, if at any time you find your child struggling in Math, please feel free to call or email me so that we can set up a time before school for some extra help.

Sincerely,

Miss Tovey

Dear Parents:

This year, I will once again be teaching your son or daughter Math.   My goal is for each student to be fully prepared for a challenging junior high math curriculum.  I believe that the best way to achieve this goal is to consistently bring back previously taught concepts.  Therefore, the children will not be receiving nightly homework in math, but again they will be receiving a homework packet that reviews previously taught material. Nothing is more frustrating for a child or a parent than when homework is assigned on a concept that is not yet fully understood.  My job will be to make sure that the current concepts are taught and understood so that the math packets will not frustrate any child. However, if at any time your child needs help on the math packet, please send him/her into school at 7:30AM.  So as to not fall too far behind with their work, your child should try to complete one page per night; most packets will be 3 week packets.

The children will once again be using the Accelerated Math Program.  They will work on Accelerated Math every other Monday and the test grade will count as 10% of their math grade.  Accelerated Math is an excellent program in that it allows the children to work at a pace that is comfortable for them and also allows for continual review of previously taught concepts. If you would like more information on this program please feel free to email me.

The concepts that will be covered in Math this year are:

1. Review of Fractions – compare, order, simplify, add and subtract

2. Multiply/Divide Fractions

3. Number Theory

4. Geometry (quite extensive – this unit will be broken down into 3 separate chapters)

5. Decimals – place value, rounding, all operations with decimals, and changing fractions to decimals and decimals to fractions

6. Percents, Ratios, and Proportions

7. Integers (if time allows)

Category Weights:

Tests – 30%

Quizzes – 10%

Homework – 20%

Class work – 30%

Accelerated Math (test score) – 10%

Finally, if at any time you find your child struggling in Math, please feel free to call or email me so that we can set up a time before school for some extra help.

Sincerely,

Miss Tovey

# 6th Grade Language Arts (ELA)

Dear Parents,

Welcome back! What an exciting time to be at St. John Fisher! Besides welcoming a new Principal, your child will have new opportunities to have fun and find success in the classroom.

I am eager to begin my 20th year at SJF getting students interested in one of my favorite pastimes, READING! Some of my goals this year are to get students making connections and finding relevance in text and developing a love of reading--not just reading to take tests!

Your child will be challenged to analyze a variety of fiction and non-fiction sources, which will hopefully expand their appreciation for different genres and make them WANT to read independently.

In addition, students will have opportunities to write narrative (storyteller), persuasive (debater) and expository (reporter) essays based on their reading. Our greatest objectives are to write with purpose and clarity and to format papers and cite sources in the MLA (Modern Language Association) format.

• Homework: 10%

• Classwork (including Bellringers and Literacy Centers): 30%

• Projects and Essays: 30%

• Tests and Quizzes: 20%

This year student will be responsible for earning a set number of AR points per trimester. Points are assigned based on a book’s word count and complexity. The goal is to facilitate strong independent reading and a nightly reading habit (instead of Fortnite!). Although there are no restrictions on the books students may select to read independently,  students should plan accordingly and be reading throughout the trimester (not panicking a week before the end of the trimester!) Extra credit may awarded to students who exceed a trimester’s point total.

After an AR quiz is taken, students should submit the report to me within two days of taking the quiz. Reports that are not submitted will not be counted toward a student’s point total.

 First Trimester 10 points Second Trimester 12 points Third Trimester 15 points

Students are welcome to come in any morning after 7:20 a.m. if they have a question or concern.  I can also be reached at: aschiller@sjfschool.net.

Even if your child has felt reading wasn’t his or her strong-suit in the past, it’s never too late to begin a life-long love of reading. I’m here to help!

I look forward to a successful and fun year in class. Welcome back, Falcons!

Best,

Mrs. Amy Schiller

# Religion

Welcome to Grade 6th Religion Class 2018 -2019

I would like to take this opportunity to welcome you to our class!  This year I will have a sixth grade homeroom and will be teaching Sixth Grade Religion.  We start each class with prayer and daily Gospel readings. We use the textbook "Blest Are We".  This year we will focus on the Old Testament. We will explore the Bible and the history of salvation as it is celebrated in the Scripture readings.  Our book is divided into five units.  We will begin with the roots of God's covenant, from Creation through the giving of the Ten Commandments.  We will also look at how God's people kept the idea of the kingdom alive through their years in the Promised Land. We will also look closely at the Scriptures written about Jesus and how He has saved us and will come again to bring the fullness of the Kingdom. On Fridays, we will start with a musical inspiration.  Each child will have the opportunity during the school year to present a song on "UTube" that has impacted their lives and will share it with the class.  This musical selection needs to be reviewed by a parent before their class presentation.

Students are to come to class prepared each day.  All work is to be done in blue or black ink.  Assignments done in pencil or any other color ink will not be accepted.

Supplies:

Blue/black pens & 2 red pens

1 spiral notebook labeled RELIGION

Loose leaf paper   3x5 index cards

Homework  15%

Projects    15%

Quizzes  25%

Tests     30%

I appreciate all your efforts and interests. Any questions or concerns please email me anytime.

Looking forward to a successful year!

Mrs. Gail Burns

gburns@sjfschool.net

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Welcome to Grade 5 Religion Class

2018-2019

I would like to take this opportunity to welcome you to our class!  This year I will have a sixth grade homeroom and will be teaching Fifth Grade Religion.  In Religion we will focus on the sacraments and the teaching of Catholicism.  The students will learn many areas of our religion including beliefs, ritual, rites, and our own personal roles in the study of our faith.  We will spend time on Bible readings and discussions so the students become more familiar with many aspects of this holy book.  The students will learn how to look up readings in the New Testament and we will learn about the meaning of these Sacred writings and how they impact us in our everyday lives.  I hope to make the Religion program thought provoking through learning about our Catholic traditions. On Fridays, we will start with a musical inspiration.  Each child will have the opportunity during the school year to present a song on "UTube" that has impacted their lives and will share it with the class.  This musical selection needs to be reviewed by a parent before their class presentation.

Students are to come to class prepared each day.  All work is to be done in blue or black ink.

Supplies:

Blue/black pens & 2 red pens

1 spiral notebook labeled RELIGION

Loose leaf paper & 3x5 index cards

Homework 15%

Projects  15%

Quizzes   25%

Tests   30%

Assignments done in pencil or any other color ink will not be accepted.

I appreciate all your efforts and interests. Any questions or concerns please email me anytime.

Looking forward to a successful year!

Mrs. Gail Burns

# Science

Welcome to 5th and 6th Science. Thank you for taking the time out to review the Welcome brochure with your child. I believe that it is essential for teachers and parents to be on the same page in order for students to reach their full potential. I look forward to a great year! I will post a linkk to the brochure for future reference

Mrs. O'Shea

## Social Studies:

Welcome to 5th grade Social Studies!  Throughout the year your student will be learning about mapping skills, geography of North America, early explorers, Native American Tribes, Revolutionary War, The Constitution of the United States, The Civil War and Reconstruction.

My expectations for your students are that they come to class prepared every day.  This includes having their notebook and a pen.  We will be taking notes on a regular, if not daily basis.  Students may use colored pens in their notebooks, but for assignments that are turned in they need to use blue or black pen only.  We will go over the Google Classroom sign in so that they can "join" my class.  On Classroom I will always have the power points posted.  Students should use this anytime they need to catch up on notes, if they were absent or if they want to make sure they didn't miss anything.

• Homework: 10%
• Classwork: 15%
• Tests:          30%
• Quizzes:     15%
• Projects:     30%

Week 1-2:

• We will start with some vocabulary on geography and mapping terms.
• Students will be making an interactive notebook, so they will need glue sticks and scissors.
• We will talk about the different regions of the United States and we will look at the Native American tribes and track their movements using our mapping skills.

Welcome to Ancient Civilizations!  During this year your 6th grader will be learning about ancient civilizations from around the world.  Students will learn about Mesopotamia, Egypt, China, India, Greece, Rome, and the Ancient Americas.  During our studies, we will watch some video clips that will always link to our lessons.  There are some great videos with a host named Arizona Smith that we will watch at the beginning of many of our chapters.  These videos give a great overview of the civilization that we will be studying and helps students to often build off of some background knowledge they may have about a location and not realize it.

Current Events:  Every week we will present five current events.  These events are chosen by the five student volunteers of the week.  Students will see examples in class and we will go over directions.  These will always be due the last day of the week, and the students who do not present will have their reflection due the following Monday.  These will be assigned and turned in via Google Classroom, I will go over directions with students.

• Homework: 10%
• Classwork: 15%
• Tests:          30%
• Quizzes:     15%
• Projects:     30%

I look forward to an exciting year exploring our countries past, as well as ancient civilizations with your students.  Please do not hesitate to contact me if your student needs some extra help, or if you have any questions.

Thank you so much,

Ms. Erin Deering

edeering@sjfschool.net

Welcome Back to School!

Sherry Hughes shughes@sjfschool.net

Any book that helps a child to form a habit of reading, to make reading one of his deep and continuing needs, is good for him.-Maya Angelou

Welcome to fifth grade ELA!!! This year, we will be combining reading and writing to create an ELA curriculum.  Our fifth graders will be taught in a block schedule for our class.

I’m very excited to be able to share our new reading and writing curriculum with fifth grade students this year.  This new curriculum adheres to Common Core State Standards, and is based on 35 years of research and development made by the Teachers College at Columbia University, and spearheaded by Lucy Calkins.  I know that the fifth grade students at St John Fisher School are really going to enjoy becoming better writers and readers, and I look forward to facilitating their progress!

The Teachers College Writing workshop model allows students to have the “last” word by allowing students to take something commonplace in his/her life and give it meaning.  Students learn that their lives are worth writing about, and that they should care about what they write. Using the foundations of the curriculum, students will see that writing is a craft, and they will enjoy learning how to become better writers through hard work and practice.  Writing will happen every day, and students will write in a variety of ways that touch on several different genres. Students will not be assigned specific topics, but will have flexibility to choose to write about what matters to them, within the guidelines of the specific genres of study.

What does Writing Workshop look like in the classroom?

Writing workshop begins with a mini lesson that teaches a new strategy. A sample of writing  that is specific to the unit or genre being studied is demonstrated.

Helpful charts are on display in the classroom.  These charts are visual reminders that reinforce writing strategies; they may help with dialogue, structure, elaboration or conventions.

Ideas are generated and students practice telling their story to a partner.  Storytelling is a rehearsal for writing; students develop ideas. Students possibly create a timeline and identify their feelings at each point of the timeline.

Nurturing and growing the seed idea comes next through rehearsal; students are encourage to re-read their entry and think about the big, important events in this moment, what are they thinking/feeling at each point, how did they change as the story unfolds.  Students learn to make a writing plan. Some ways to make a writing plan are:

-create a timeline that tracks our stories and emotion

-take small moments and break them into a beginning, middle and end

-make a story booklet with illustrations of four major events (this forces students to remember and start thinking about major themes)

-students then tell their story to their writing partner

-drafting is the next step in the process

-revision occurs next

-we will use a mentor text for examples of dialogue

-publishing process will allow students to publish their writing where it will be enjoyed not solely by the teacher but by their peers.  It will be a big celebration!!

By the end of fifth grade, students are more skilled at writing in various genres.

Unit 1: Raising the Level of Personal Narrative/Memoir

Unit 2: The Interpretive Essay

Unit 3: Informational writing

Unit 4: Research based argument essay

Unit 5: Literary and comparative Essays

Unit 6:  Historical fiction/Mixed Genre Writing

Unit 7: Writing in the Content Area/Research based informational writing/Fantasy Writing

Unit 8: Poetry

How Parents can help:

Encourage your child to carry their writer’s notebook with them, paying attention to details and thinking, “ I could write a true story about this.”

Think of strong feeling, and then list “small moment” stories pertaining to that feeling.  Choose one to write about.

Think of stories that your family tells and retells.  Write about one of those.

Keep an ongoing list of story ideas in your writer’s notebook.

Think of a subject, or a person, place or thing that matters to you, then list small moments you remember.  Choose one to sketch and then write the accompany story.

You can make a T chart of small moments. Think about people in our lives that are important to us.  Think of a specific person and memories;make a list and generate ideas. Then talk to someone at home about it.

Think of first times, last times, or important times in your life.  Write about one of those moments.

You can make an Issues/People?Moments chart: focus on the ordinary, everyday tension filled moments; or think of a person that matters to you, then think of small moments spent with that person.  From these moments, choose one to write about. Or think of an issue and do the same thing.

Diagram places of memory and label the pictures with individual words.

Use a book and look at the moments and relationships and see what you connect to and may want to examine in your own life.

Take small moments and break them into beginning, middle and end.

Develop the tension and the problem.  Tell the story using the boxes. Draw pictures and label them with words.   Adding words helps form a foundation for formulating stories.

Encourage your child to “ show, don’t tell.”

The Reading Workshop is not like traditional literacy programs. We will not be using textbooks, workbooks, or whole class texts.  The workshop model is founded on the following beliefs, which are rooted in literacy research:

-Learners need opportunities to read high interest, accessible  books of their own choosing

-Learners need long stretches of time to read

-Learners need teachers to read aloud

-Learners need assessment based instruction, including feedback that is tailored to specifically them.  Strugglers especially need instruction that is tailored specifically toward their specific strengths and needs, as well as extra time and help.

-Learners need a balanced approach to language arts, one that includes a responsible approach to the teaching of writing as well as reading.

-Learners need explicit instruction in the skills of proficient readers.

-Learners need opportunities to talk and write in response to texts.

What does Reading Workshop look like?

A reading workshop classroom relies on teacher-led instruction in the form of a mini lesson which aims to teach a specific reading skill or strategy.  The mini lesson is intended to take ten minutes. A more significant block of time (30 minutes) is devoted to independent practice, where students read self-selected books and practice the skill taught in the mini lesson.  During this time, I confer with individuals or small groups. This is the most valuable part of the workshop, as I will target the needs of each student throughout the week. The third portion of Reading Workshop includes time for students to share what they read and how they applied the mini lesson to their reading.  The share will be either small group or whole class. The above structure will be CONSISTENT every day. Other elements of Reading Workshop include interactive read alouds, book clubs, guided reading and shared reading.

How will my child be assessed?

Assessment in the RWW is ongoing.  I confer with individual students and groups of students, keeping records of the progress of the student.  I will be taking notes on our conferences and periodically take a “running record” of a student’s reading. Student progress is measured against grade level rubrics for fluency, comprehension, written responses and participation in workshops.

(Accelerated readers will be part of the curriculum. See information below for that requirement.)

I will expect the students to keep a reading log journal. This should be an honest reflection of their reading each day. I will use this as a tool to monitor their progress. Please make sure that is a true reflection of their reading accomplishments.

I will use these logs to understand their reading progress.  (Momentum, holes in reading list?, trends if not finishing a book, avoiding certain genres, is the student stalled?)

Since this is a program that is implemented in our SJF curriculum, I will ask the students to participate. The following are the requirements for fifth grade:

First trimester: 6 points

Second Trimester: 8 points

Third Trimester: 10 points

Kids motivation and interest in reading is higher when they have the opportunity to read in school.

Researcher Stephen Krashen found that students in free reading programs performed better than or equal to students in any other reading program.

Providing students the opportunity to choose their own books to read enpowers and encourages them. This strengthens their self confidence, rewards their interest, and promotes a positive attitude toward reading by valuing the reader and giving them a level of control.  Readers without the power to make their own choices can become unmotivated.

Direct reading instruction allows time to apply what they learn in the context of real reading events.

Give approval of their reading choice no matter what their reading choice because this is far preferable to their deciding not to read at all.

Weights:

Accelerated/Homework 10%

Classwork 50%

Essay/Extended Responses 40%

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