The Putney Post

West Homer Elementary--5th Grade

Dates to Remember

February 22- Twin Day

February 28- Postcard Book Report due

March 6- Snowshoeing Field Trip

March 11-15- Spring Break

March 18- Science Fair Project due

Classroom Happenings

Last week we made great progress as fifth grade learners! In reading, we finished Wonder By: R.J. Palacio. Students practiced identifying author's purpose and discussed plot with their reading partner. We also closed up our unit on fractions. Early in the week students were introduced to subtraction of mixed numbers where regrouping was required. This multi-step process was challenging for many at first, but by the end of the week students had grasped the concept and were ready to take their math test. On Thursday the Adding/Subtracting Fractions test was given. Completed math tests will not be sent home until the end of the year because I collect major tests in student portfolios. Be sure to check PowerSchool to find out your child's test grade. Or, if you want more detailed information, feel free to email or drop in and take a look at the test. In writing students finished their Favorite WHE Special essays focusing on using transitions and complex sentences in their writing. Finally, in Social Studies students continued to ask tough questions related to the topic of slavery as we studied The Middle Passage and the arrival of slaves in America. We also took an imaginary “visit” to Colonial Williamsburg with Mrs. Cloud’s fifth graders on Friday.

What's Next?

This week students will be responding to Wonder as a reader and as a writer. In reading, students will be taking a closer look at characterization in the book. Each student will create a set of six character trading cards that represent their understanding of the characters in Wonder. We will also be holding daily class discussions based upon the themes of the book. In writing, students will be developing a thesis statements based upon a theme they found to be particularly powerful in Wonder. Students will use their knowledge of essay structure, and write three big ideas with a conclusion that support their thesis. In math, we will begin our geometry unit on Mass, Capacity and Weight. We will start out the math unit by comparing perimeter, area and volume.


Please take note that spelling will look a little bit different the next several weeks. There will be twenty words, instead of ten, but the words will be focused on a specific spelling rule instead of a topic. Students will not be writing the words in sentences for their test. The focus will be completely on spelling the word correctly. This week we will be taking a look at homophones; words that sound the same but have different spellings and different meanings. Thank you for supporting your child's spelling development at home each week!

Invitation to Play!

Do you play a band instrument? Or perhaps… did you, at some point? Ages ago? Would you LOVE a reason to pick it up again? I’ve got one (a reason, and possibly an instrument… depending on what you played)!

On Tuesday, March 5th, the Homer High School, Homer Middle School, West Homer, and McNeil Band programs are hosting a concert for Music In The Schools Month! This performance will showcase all of the bands from the individual schools, as well as one final piece where ALL of the students will play together – and that’s where you come in! The piece that we are playing is called Winged Victory by Brian Balmages, and Mr. Balmages has written this piece in three different levels – elementary school, middle school, and high school. The purpose of this piece is to allow all students a chance to play together in one great big band, with a part that is appropriate to their level. I would also like to open this piece up to anyone in the community who has played a band instrument in the past. If you are interested (or know someone who is, feel free to pass it on!), please respond to me with the following information:

Name of Musician:

Instrument Played:

Do you have an instrument? Need to borrow one? Need to get yours a check-up?

What level of music you would like to play:

If you cannot decide what level of music you would like to play, let me know that you are unsure and I will send you all three levels for your instrument and you can just let me know which one you’re playing. I am currently working on setting up a rehearsal on Sunday, March 3rd in the afternoon (and I would be amenable to running other rehearsals, or even just opening the band room up for anyone to come in and practice) at the High School.

You may listen to the song here:

The concert is three weeks from tomorrow, so please let me know as soon as possible if you are interested so that I may get you the music! Hope to see you on stage with all of us!

Amy Christianson

Homer High/Middle Band Director

(907) 235-4667

Pennies for Pets

Student Council members are beginning their "Pennies for Pets" campaign this week. Students may bring in coins to donate to Homer's Animal Shelter. Coins will be collected in the classroom, as well as at the front office.

Science Fair

The primary focus of the science fair is to provide an opportunity for each student to explore areas of interest and become familiar with the scientific process. Please follow the timeline below, and contact me with any questions!

February 13--- Project Plan due

March 18--- Completed Project turned-in to Mrs. Putney

March 21 and 22--- Present Projects Orally to Class

March 25 and 26--- Science Fair Projects displayed in gym for public view

Scientific Method

1. Question

2. Hypothesis

3. Test Hypothesis (Materials, Procedure, Observation, Results)

4. Conclusion

Spring Field Trip

The fifth grade teachers are excited to announce that our spring field trip will take place on May 1, 2, and 3 this year. Students will arrive to school as usual on May 1st, will spend two nights away from home, and will be picked up at regular school pick-up time (3:15) on Friday, May 3rd. We will be covering the topics of birds, animal tracking, plants, and orienteering. Students will also work on developing leadership skills through various low ropes course activities.

In order to enhance the orienteering portion of our field trip, we would like to keep the location of our field trip a secret to students. It is our plan to cover the bus windows and arrive at our destination with compasses in hand. Students will then use the compass to determine their location. We would greatly appreciate your support in keeping the location of our field trip a secret.

Of course, all parents will be informed of our field trip whereabouts beforehand. If you were unable to make your conference time, or I forgot to tell you, please email or call so I can fill you in on our spring field trip destination. I am really excited about the learning that will be done and the memories that will be made during our field trip this May!

More information will follow as May gets closer. If you have questions about the spring trip please don't hesitate to call or stop by.

Homer Rope Tow

Connor McCarron, a senior at Homer High is offering free ski and snowboard lessons with the purchase of a lift ticket up at the Homer Rope Tow. These lessons will be offered every Sunday from Feb. 10 – March 17 from 1:00 – 2:00 pm. This is a great opportunity for kids to get outside and learn a new way to recreate in the winter.

For more information on the Homer Rope Tow please visit:

IXL Math Practice

Skills that align with our current math studies: M4, M5

Spelling and Vocabulary Practice

Play games and get extra practice with our weekly spelling and vocabulary words on If you need your child's password please let me know!