Issue 38-May 20, 2015


We ended with a BANG and not with a whimper as we continued to propel ourselves through an array of academic challenges, featuring the following:

1. Math: Our goal was to relate volume to the operations of multiplication and addition and solve real world and mathematical problems involving volume. Apply the formulas V = l x w x h and V= b x h for rectangular prisms to find volumes of right rectangular prisms with whole-number edge lengths in the context of solving real world and mathematical problems. Games of "Three for the Money" and "Carnival Daze" helped students solidify their automaticity with regard to math facts.

2. Reading: We compared texts, "The Wise Old Woman" and The Wise Woman and Her Secret, looking for related themes. Students also designed their own comic books, depicting events from this school year.

3. Writing: We learned that writers turn the world upside down to collect the information they need to clarify their writing and strengthen their arguments. Writers lean on all they know about writing, especially the skills they have honed over many years of practice. And nonfiction writers often use a paragraph to introduce a new part or a new idea or a new reason. Nonfiction writers also use paragraphs to help the reader with density—they think about how much information a reader can handle at one time.

4. Social Studies: We learned that the Reconstruction Acts gave many freedoms to African Americans--while white Southerners continued to resist. Students researched and made presentations about the Reconstruction Amendments (13th, 14th, and 15th) as well as learned about the contributions of social activist Sojourner Truth. "Civil War Bingo" was a great way to review concepts from this era of American history!

5. Science: Students investigated how living things "Use Color to Hide," featuring Interactions in Nature and Symbiosis. We also looked at plants, on the big screen, reviewing many of the concepts learned this year!

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Spelling, Unit 36

On Tuesday, May 19, your child will take the Unit 36 spelling assessment. This will be the final spelling test of this school year!

Fifth Grade Breakfast

The Fifth Grade Breakfast will take place on Monday morning, May 17, and begin at 8:00 A.M. YOUR CHILD, HOWEVER, NEEDS TO GO TO CLASS AT THE USUAL TIME OF 7:35 A.M. Then we, as a class, will walk to the gym for the breakfast. Ask your child to wear his/her new fifth grade shirt!

Chromebook Information

Here is some information about your child's Chromebook in the coming days of school:

  • *Devices will remain in the classrooms starting Friday May, 15.
  • *Students should have a Chromebook, laptop case with strap and charger.
  • *During the last week of school, I will be checking for missing items as well as damages (dents, scratches, dents in screens, missing keys, etc.). Claims will be submitted for anything missing as well as any damage discovered.
  • *If you have a claim, you will be receiving an email from One2One stating the nature of the claim (missing item and/or damage). All claims are processed online through the One2One website.
  • *Due to the large quantity of devices being turned in it may take a few weeks to process all of the claims.
  • *Please have your child remove any stickers or decorative items from their Chromebook.
  • You can find more information about the 1 to 1 program at

    Success Tips from a Middle School Principal

    The following article was excerpted from the website,

    During elementary school, most parents are very involved in their child's schooling. They know and meet with teachers and administrators, are aware of their child's progress and behavior, help solve problems, and see to it that kids spend enough time on homework.
    Unfortunately, when children enter middle school, some parents stop being as actively involved, as if their help and support are no longer needed. Nothing could be further from the truth! Although your middle-schooler is becoming more independent and is increasingly involved in activities outside the family, you should and must remain the most influential person in his life. Through your involvement in school and extracurriculars, you can do much to help your child believe in the value and importance of education, be enthusiastic about learning, and achieve academic success.
    As a middle school principal, a big part of my job is to help parents support their children emotionally as well as academically. Here is my best advice for parents of pre-teens:

    Help your child manage homework time. Encourage her to aim high and always do her best work. Check with teachers to see how much time should be necessary to complete homework. See what your school offers to help you help your child, such as an agenda planner or some other homework reminder system, and/or a Web site with helpful links. We use planners at our school and are amazed how successful they are in keeping parents informed of their children's progress (or lack thereof). After your child has completed her homework, go over it with her, and discuss what she learned from the assignments. If she has difficulties with studying or homework, encourage her to ask her teachers for help as soon as possible. Sometimes you may need to discuss difficulties with the teachers too.

    Show interest in his studies by talking with him daily about what he's learning and doing in school (don't take "nothing" for an answer!). If you know your child has a project for science, get involved. The same goes for cheerleading, sports, and music — any extracurricular activities. Unfortunately, I've seen parents drop their child off at a band concert and come back two hours later to pick him up, never bothering to watch his performance. This sends a terribly sad message to the child.

    Discuss ideas and feelings about school, studies, and activities. Be realistic about what your child can and should be able to do. Don't expect great grades or high test scores if she isn't capable. That expectation will only cause unnecessary frustration. If necessary, find out about the school's tutoring program and other options for additional academic assistance.

    With your child, read and review the information that schools and districts provide. Be familiar with the pupil progression plan, course offerings, student handbook, etc. All these will help you and your child successfully weave your way through the maze called middle school. It is never too early to work closely with school officials. It is better to start early and build a strong foundation of support than to wait until it is too late!

    Contact counselors, administrators, and teachers periodically. Find out what your child should be learning, how she is progressing, and how you can help. Be a full partner in your child's education.

    Be sure that he attends school on a regular basis. Even if he is absent for illness or another valid reason, he needs to keep up with his studies. Call the school if your child will be missing a day, and find out what he needs to do to make up for it.

    Encourage her to pursue interests and make friends through extracurricular activities. Be certain, however, that she selects no more than a few activities so she has adequate time for schoolwork. You must help her find a balance; this will take compromise and patience.

    Know his friends. Who does your child hang out with? Follow up on any suspicions that you may have. It is better to be safe than sorry at this time of his life. I can't emphasize this enough. Know where your child is at all times. Be clear and consistent with discipline. Work with the school on your child's conduct. Understand that children will become leaders and followers and can be easily influenced by you and peers.

    Make it clear that she must follow school rules and policies. Teach her to respect people as well as property. Help her know right from wrong and what she must do when negative temptations come her way.

    Attend parent meetings, open houses, booster clubs, parent education groups, and other activities for parents. I mentioned this before, but it is very important for your child!

    Volunteer at school. Both your child and the school will benefit from your involvement and help. Schools solicit volunteers to help in a variety of ways: tutoring, assisting in the media center, giving speeches, helping out at activities, chaperoning, etc.

    Consistently acknowledge and reward efforts at school. Many parents expect the school to provide the incentives for their child's accomplishments. While schools do have a lot of motivation programs, parents need to recognize their child's successes too. When your child works hard, your acknowledgment motivates him to persist. Kids love monetary rewards, but you can also try a special trip together, a favorite dinner, or something else unexpected but valued. Your recognition helps your child develop a sense of competency and self-worth, a willingness to try new tasks, and a feeling of satisfaction in doing a job well. When you use this technique consistently, over time, your child eventually begins to reward himself for by feeling good about himself and what he has done. This ability to reward ourselves serves as a powerful motivation throughout life.

    None of us are perfect and we sometimes make mistakes in raising our children. But your child needs your love and respect. She needs to become independent, responsible, and self-sufficient to succeed in most of her endeavors in school and at home. The best way to help her in all aspects of development is to try to ensure that her emotional needs are consistently met. Your understanding, common sense, adult judgment, and good sense of humor can make these middle school years a joy for both you and your child.

    50 Creative Ways to Prevent Brain Drain Over the Summer

    Wow! Check out this website! It is chock-full of interesting ways to keep your child academically charged throughout the summer:

    Keep Your Child Writing All Summer

    Here are some websites designed to help your child keep his/her writing skills razor sharp for the next two months until the new school year begins:

    Writing Games:

    Writing Tips from Time for Kids:

    Science Fun and Games

    And, of course, your young scientist needs to remain in top form during the summer as well. Here are three great websites to accomplish this:

    Fun Experiments You Can Do at Home:

    Science Games for Kids:

    Petal Pushers--Monocots and Dicots

    Mark Twain Award Nominee Books for 2015-2016

    Summer is a FANTASTIC time for students to read--and what better books are there than those that have been nominated for the Mark Twain Award? Here's a link lists the titles as well as includes links to book covers and descriptions:



    5/18- - 4th Grade Egg Drop

    5/18- 5th Grade Recognition Breakfast, 8:00 am – 9:00 am

    5/20 Early Release & Last Day of School, 11:50 am

    Homework Hotline

    Call me, anytime, if your child is has a question about a homework assignment, or if you have an inquiry about something that occurred at school. My home phone number is (816) 415-0368. I do not mind, at all, being called in the evening!

    My Website

    For the latest information about upcoming events and curriculum information, visit my website. It is updated regularly: