Wednesday, December 4, 2019

December Happenings

We are finishing up our unit on Nonfiction Text Complexity by becoming experts on a topic of their choice.  Not only will kids gain deep knowledge on a subject, but we will be focusing on how texts on the same topics vary.  They may have different text structures, author biases, perspectives, and present information in very different ways.  Because of this, I am asking kids to gather resources.  We have books from our classroom that they are currently using, we have visited the Gold Rush Library, and I have printed a few articles for them.  Please also help them gather text by printing articles at home and visiting the public library.

We are finishing up our Literary Essay Unit.  Kids are in the process of finishing their second piece and will do one last one on a text of their choice.  We have focused, not only on essay structure and tone, but have also really gotten into finding just the right evidence to support our thesis statements and then "unpacking" that evidence to show how it supports our thinking.

Division is our next topic.  We begin with whole number division then move into decimal division.  Through this work we will be making estimates to check the reasonableness of our answers, dividing by one-digit divisors, and by two-digit divisors.  I will teach both Partial Quotients and the Traditional Method of division and either option is fine with me.  Typically students find it easier to use traditional with one-digit divisors and partial quotients with two-digit.  The most important aspect at the end is that they have a solid understanding of division, are accurate, and are efficient.

Holiday Items
As a "gift" to the class, I will have an in-class Read-a-thon on Thursday the 18th.  On this day kids can bring in a small blanket or beach towel to get cozy with, I will provide hot chocolate, and we will spend the day enjoying books!  We will read fiction, nonfiction, science material, magazines, etc.

Upcoming Dates
Friday, Dec. 6th - Spelling Bee Pre-Qualification at 8:30 in the Gold Mine Room
Thursday, Dec. 12th - One-on-one Reading Assessments (there will be a sub this day as I test)
Wednesday, Dec, 18th - Read-a-thon and hot chocolate party
Thursday, Dec. 19th - Class Holiday Party
Friday, Dec. 20th - Winter Break Begins

Monday, November 18, 2019

This Week

As you know, this week has a lot going on.  Here's an updated breakdown of all that is happening:

Today - 
Kids will switch to Mrs. Burgraff's class for Earth Science
Book Fair began

Wednesday - 
Our Celebration of Learning in our classroom followed by our Digger's Thanksgiving Feast (see image below for times)

Friday - 
Pajama Day to raise money for our Turkey Drive 
Last day of our canned food drive

Phew!  I hope I covered everything!

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Friday, November 1, 2019

November Happenings

Just a quick update for our month!

We've begun our nonfiction unit of study where kids delve into this genre by reading books of their choice.  To raise the level of reading skills in this area, we focus quite a bit on how the text gets more and more complex.  We've reviewed text structures, main ideas and supporting details.  Next will be how many text have overlapping text structures as well as implicit main ideas.  Vocabulary development, domain specific words, and using morphology will also be a big focus.  This will lead to great summaries and hopefully a love of learning from nonfiction. 

After reviewing a basic essay structure, we have combined fictional reading and writing to learn about the Literary Essay.  This will solidify the structure of most essays that students will write for years to come, while also reinforcing those great reading skills we learned in September and October of theme, character motivation, and symbolism.

After completing our unit on whole number multiplication, we are ready for multiplication of decimals.  We begin by looking at place value, powers of 10, and a visual model.  Students will be reasoning through many complicated word problems by the end of this unit.

In our Body Systems Unit we are now looking at our digestive system.  With each new system we learn the purpose, function of each part, how they work together, the level of interdependency on the whole system, and how the system as a whole helps fulfill a basic life process.  We are also understanding when illness or problems occur and how to keep our bodies healthy.

Later this month we will have our Celebration of Learning where kids show off what they have learned.  This will be the 30 minutes prior to our Thanksgiving Family Feast!

Wednesday, September 25, 2019

This past week's emails

Just a reminder that our school fun-run, the Digger Dash, is this coming Friday, September 27th!!  Our team name is the Mrs. Hagerty's Hungry Hippos!  To get into the team spirt, it would be awesome if everyone could wear a grey shirt.  Mrs. Hatton and Mrs. Bliesmer have graciously put time and effort into making our class banner and are going to get the kids grey hats.  If you would like to make a $2 donation to off set the cost of the materials, that would be appreciated.  I'm happy to collect that any day this week.  

Here is the schedule for the day.  Please be sure to send a labeled water bottle with your kiddo!

As I stated in a previous email, Digger Dash is this Friday!  Please refer back to that for times and attire.  

Also, conferences are coming up.  Later this week, look for an email from the school to schedule that.  As I know that sometimes these days and times don't work for everyone, please email me if you need another morning before school or would prefer a phone or email conference.  

I hope everyone is having a great start to their week!


A few of you have already emailed me about additional times for conferences.  If the times the school has set up don't work for you, here are a few additional options:

Thursday, September 12, 2019

Geography Unit

Traditionally, fifth grade geography is centered around the U.S. states and regions.  The regions we are studying are: Northeast, Southeast, Midwest, Southwest, and the West.  We've had discussions on how different geographers split up the regions differently, but we've decided to stick with these.  We look for defining characteristics of the ares through the concepts of climate, landforms, natural resources, industry, agriculture, and culture.  We also look at population density, reasons for this, and why people migrate to particular areas.

To get students more engaged, this year we, have decided to tie this unit to the sport of the season: football.  Students began by studying NFL teams across the nation: locating them, looking at why they're located in particular places, population, why they have their given mascot.  In the end, students will work in collaborative groups to present a proposal for a new NFL team to the commissioner (me!).  They will be assessed on the concepts, the presentation, the thoughtfulness of their proposed team, and how they collaborated.  Below is the rubric I will be using to score.

Friday, September 6, 2019

Student Blogger - Trista

Student Blogger - Trista

Hello, Gold Rush Parents! We are currently doing...

Math: In math we have been working on our decimals trying to
figure out if one is greater, less than or equal to. We have also been
working on, listing decimals in order from biggest to smallest.

Writing: In writing we have been working on making our own small
moment stories. Where we take a small moment that has happened to
us and write about it like it was an actual story we are writing, but
about ourselves.

Geography: In geography we have been learning all the 5 parts of
the United States, West, Southwest Midwest and etc.. We have also
been learning how all the parts of the United States act like their culture.

Reading: In reading we have been taking notes in our books and
taking notes about our characters and storyline. We have also been
working on setting goals and pushing ourselves to those goals and accomplishing them.

Other: This month we have the Digger Dash! The Digger Dash is
on September 27th. We are also doing student council this month.
If you want extra information the meeting is on Friday,
September 13th.

Wednesday, August 28, 2019

Student Blogger - Alex P.

Student Blogger - Alex

Hello Gold Rush Parents!

Reading: In reading we have been talking about Round and Flat characters, also known as
static and dynamic. We also looked at basic plot structure for a book.  Finally, we discovered
the four types of conflict for the characters: characters vs. character, vs. self, vs. nature, vs.

Writing: In writing we have been talking about mentor texts, and we have been writing our
own 10 Questions page based on these mentors. We also have been reading and analyzing
some articles about teamwork. 

Geography: We have also been talking and learning about geography. We have been
learning about the 5 meanings geography can have including Place, Location,
Human\Environment Interactions, and Movement.

Math: In math we have been working on powers of ten and learning our strategies for
solving the exponents problems. We also have been working on finding patterns with
the exponents multiplying problems and multiplying the problems in the right way.  

December Happenings

Reading We are finishing up our unit on Nonfiction Text Complexity by becoming experts on a topic of their choice.  Not only will kids gain...