Laker News

November 2014 5th and 6th Grade Newsletter

Upcoming Events

November 7 Report cards sent home

November 11 Veteran's Day Assembly

November 12 5th Grade field trip to The Works

November 13 2nd day of Parent-Teacher Conferences

November 26 -28 Thanksgiving Break

6th Grade Language Arts

6th Grade Reading

6.RI.2 Determine a central idea of a text and how it is conveyed through particular details; provide a summary of the text distinct from personal opinions or judgments.

6.RI.6 Determine the author's point of view or purpose in a text and explain how it is conveyed in the text.

6.RI.9 Compare and contrast one author's presentation of events with that of another (e.g., A memoir written by and a biography on the same person).

6th Grade Writing and Grammar

We will be introducing the topic of commas, dashes and parentheses (6.L.2)

Students will be writing informative writings. (W6.2)

Social Studies

6th Grade

The students are on a slight break in Social Studies...but in the meantime please check out the link below.

The Ohio Department of Education has finally released a practice test for the Performance Based Assessment that the students will be taking in February. Please go on the link below and play around. I will be going over this with the classes very soon.

5th Grade

The 5th Graders are back and we are jumping right into some of the ancient civilizations! This is such an interesting topic. We will be covering the Maya, Aztec and Inca civilizations. Then continuing with the History of the European exploration and colonization. As well as discussing the different types of governments; democracies, dictatorships and monarchies.


6th Grade


Topic: Rocks, Minerals and Soil

This topic focuses on the study of rocks, minerals and soil, which make up the lithosphere. Classifying and identifying different types of rocks, minerals and soil can decode the past environment in which they formed.

We are beginning the unit with lots of hands-on time with minerals. Minerals are naturally occurring solids in the Earth's crust. Students have been conducting a series of tests in order to discover the properties of minerals. Properties include characteristics such as color, luster, streak, hardness, density, and cleavage and are used to identify minerals.

Below is a link to a fun game called Master Mines that allows students to discover these properties in a virtual science laboratory.

Next week we will investigate how minerals relate to rocks and begin an in-depth study of the formation of sedimentary, metamorphic, and igneous rocks. We will analyze how these rocks can change forms due to the Earth's natural processes. This shape-shifting ability is known as the Rock Cycle. We will also investigate how rocks and minerals have common and practical uses in our every-day lives.

Check out the link below for an interactive tour of the rock cycle.

5th Grade

5th Graders do not have science at the moment, as we recently completed our Life Science unit, and they are starting the new quarter with social studies (see above).

Below is a link to help keep this material fresh, though.

The Ohio Department of Education recently released two 5th grade practice science tests: a performance assessment (which will be given in March) and an end-of-the year assessment (which will be given in May). Please take time to look through these tests. We will be exploring them once science starts back up in December.


5th Grade

Focus Standards:

  • 5.NBT.5 Fluently multiply multi-digit whole numbers using the standard algorithm.
  • 5.NBT.7 Add, subtract, multiply, and divide decimals to hundredths, using concrete models or drawings and multiple strategies; relate the strategy to a written method and explain the reasoning used.
  • 5.NBT.6 Find whole-number quotients of whole numbers with up to four-digit dividends and two-digit divisors, using multiple strategies. Illustrate and explain the calculation by using equations, rectangular arrays, and/or area models.

We began Module 2 with rounding and estimation (5.NBT.1-2) and have now moved onto multi-digit whole number multiplication (5.NBT.5). Though the standard algorithm is important, it's essential that students are able to also represent this multiplication as partial products, especially through an area chart. This is a great, visual way for kids to see where the numbers are exactly coming from in the standard algorithm method (see the video below for more explanation). We will soon be moving onto mulit-digit multiplication involving decimals (5.NBT.7).

It's important that students are also studying their math facts. Students will be much more successful as the year continues if they don't have to stop to remember their facts in the middle of complex math problems. If we don't feel students are making adequate progress on their timed tests, a letter will be sent home requiring the studying of facts nightly, along with a parent signature.

Oftentimes, we have parents ask WHY math is being taught so differently now that we have switched to Common Core. Below is a video that attempts to answer this question. The video is especially relevant, as it focuses on a concept that we are currently expanding on: two-digit by two-digit multiplication.
Why is Math Different Now


Here is a link to Math Playground:

This game site offers Common Core games for 6th grade standards. A fun way to reinforce learning.

Module 2 in 6th Grade

This module includes the following topics:

  • Topic A: Dividing Fractions by Fractions (6.NS.A.1)
  • Topic B: Multi-Digit Decimal Operations—Adding, Subtracting, and Multiplying (6.NS.B.3)
  • Topic C: Dividing Whole Numbers and Decimals (6.NS.B.2, 6.NS.B.3)
  • Topic D: Number Theory—Thinking Logically About Multiplicative Arithmetic (6.NS.B.4)

Students will be receiving more grades this 2nd quarter. Each week I will take grades on standard-based activities that we do in class. This will help to keep students accountable when working in stations.

Timed-math tests are still underway. Students not passing within 3 tries will be asked to practice flashcards at home. These flashcards will be considered homework and a parent/guardian signature will be required to verify the work. Flash cards are homework each night Monday through Thursday.



We will be working on non-fiction (informational text) using the standards listed below:

5.RI.3 Explain the relationships or interactions between two or more individuals, events, ideas, or concepts in a historical, scientific, or technical text based on specific information in the text.

5.RI.6 Analyze multiple accounts of the same event or topic, noting important similarities and differences in the point of view they represent.

5.L.4 Determine or claify the meaning of unknown and multiple-meaning words and phrases


In an effort to produce even better writing, we will be going back to the basics and study subjects and predicates of sentences.

Other standards learned this month will be:

5.W.2 Write informative / explanatory texts to examine a topic and convey ideas and information clearly.

5.L.1- Explain the function of prepositions in general and their functions in particular sentences.

Video on Prepositions: