Grade 5 & 6 News

Newsletter #2: Sharing the Planet

Unit Overview

Transdisciplinary Theme:

An inquiry into rights and responsibilities in the struggle to share finite resources with other people and with other living things; communities and the relationships within and between them; access to equal opportunities; peace and conflict resolution.

Central idea:

Understanding changes in the Earth’s atmosphere empower us to take action.

Key concepts: Causation, Connection, Change.

Related concepts: weather, climate, atmosphere, geography, patterns, cause and effect

Lines of inquiry

  • Weather vs. climate (Connection)
  • Atmosphere and weather patterns (Change)
  • Impact of Extreme weather (Causation)

Our Learning So Far!

UOI/Language Arts/Science

Assalam-Alaikum Parents,

This is the second newsletter for our current UOI, "Sharing the Planet".

Students have been busy in inquiry and activities to explore the central idea listed above. They have been exploring the key concepts of change, causation, and connection and through the lines of inquiry.


Students have worked on the following:

  • The Daily 5 Strategies of Read-to-Someone and Listen to Read.
  • Using the CAFE strategies of Make Mental Pictures and Infer and Support with Evidence.
  • Figurative Language: Similies, Metaphor and Onomatopoeia.
  • identify main idea and details in an informational article.
  • determine the meanings of UOI words and phrases in texts.
  • collect and identify 10 new vocabulary words to use in conversation and writing.
  • read and comprehend literature from a variety of authors and genres for the 30 Book Challenge.
  • listen to the read aloud A Long Walk to Water by Linda Sue Park. Students will analyze relationships between and among characters, setting, and events, cite textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text and identify and explain how the actions of the character(s) affect the plot.


Students inquired into the following:

  • What are the different layers of the atmosphere and what is the purpose of each layer?
  • How do meteorologists measure and record weather variables?
  • What is the difference between weather and climate?
  • What do we know about natural disasters and extreme weather?
  • What are the different types of extreme weather and what are the effects of extreme weather?
  • What causes hurricanes?

Next week, students will continue working on the summative assessment. Students will create an interactive lap book about a natural disaster they have researched about and describe the weather event that caused the disaster and action that took place.


5th Grade

Students have been working on Module 2: Multi-Digit Whole Number and Decimal Fraction Operations.

Students have specifically worked on the following standards:

  • multiply multi-digit whole numbers and multiples of 10 using place value patterns and the distributive and associative properties.
  • estimate multi-digit products by rounding factors to a basic fact and using place value patterns.
  • fluently multiply multi-digit whole numbers using the standard algorithm to solve multi-step word problems.
  • connect area diagrams and the distributive property to partial products of the standard algorithm with and without renaming.
  • fluently multiply multi-digit whole numbers using the standard algorithm to solve multi-step word problems and using estimation to check for reasonableness of the product.
  • multiply decimal fractions with tenths by multi-digit whole numbers using place value understanding to record partial products.
  • multiply decimal fractions by multi-digit whole numbers through conversion to a whole number problem and reasoning about the placement of the decimal.
  • reason about the product of a whole number and a decimal with hundredths using place value understanding and estimation.

In the next few weeks leading up to the end of the term, students will be finishing Module 2 and work on the following:

  • use divide by patterns for multi-digit whole number division.
  • use basic facts to approximate quotients with two-digit divisors.
  • divide decimals by multiples of 10.
  • use basic facts to approximate decimal quotients with two-digit divisors, reasoning about the placement of the decimal point.
  • divide decimal dividends by two-digit divisors, estimating quotients, reasoning about the placement of the decimal point, and making connections to a written method.

For sample problems on the above and for tips on how to help at home, please read the attached "Parent Tips" sheets below.

6th Grade

Students have continued working on Module 1: Ratios and Unit Rates. In this module, students became familiar with how to:

  • determine the unit rate and rate unit (ex: 25 miles/per = 25 is the unit rate and miles/hr is the rate unit).
  • convert measurement units using rates (ex: miles to feet, pounds to ounces...etc).
  • Compare rates & locate them using tables, equations, and graphs
  • Create a graph using unit rates and equivalent ratios.
  • Use the equation d=rt (distance = rate x time) to solve problems
  • Write a percent as a fraction, decimal, or ratio.

Students struggled and continue to challenge themselves with:

  • Showing Work: Based on Summative rubrics, getting the right answer doesn't always lead to a score of "4." Students can get a "4" if they exhibit substantial understanding of the concepts by showing their work. To get a "3" students need to exhibit some understanding of the concepts through the work they show. Hence in order for students to attain a "3" or a "4", they MUST show their work. The correct answer alone usually yields a score of "2".
  • Writing the Units of Measurement: When students are solving conversion problems, many times they'd forget to write the final answer with a unit of measure. Because the standard addresses this skill specifically, students are working on remembering to write the final answer with a unit of measurement.
  • Completing Tasks on Khan Academy: In an effort to treat the 6th graders as young adults, I have given them assignments in both Prodigy and Khan Academy. Students have the option to work on either Prodigy and Khan Academy at home during their 20 minutes of Math work as long as they ensure that all assignments in Khan Academy are done by the due date. I tend to assign 5th grade skills in Khan Academy that will be needed to support our 6th grade work. For example, if students will be learning how to divide fractions, I will assign in Khan Academy how to multiply, add, and subtract fractions. The work in Khan Academy is important and must be completed on time. Please encourage your 6th grader to organize their time at home so that they can ensure that Khan Academy is completed on time while also having fun by solving problems through the "battles" in Prodigy.

During the remaining weeks of this unit, students will finish Module 1 - Rates and Ratios, specifically the relationship between ratios and percents and start on Module 2 - Division of Fractions:

  • Use a model to answer problems about percents.
  • Find the percent of a quantity.
  • Divide a fraction by a whole number.
  • Solve word problems involving division of fractions.
  • Use models to help solve problems.
  • Rewrite a division expression (e.g., 9/12 ÷ 3/12) in unit language (9 twelfths ÷ 3 twelfths).

For sample problems on the above and for tips on how to help at home, please read the attached "Parent Tips" sheets below:

Links to Math Tip Sheets

Maryland Science Center Field Trip Pics

Big image

Arabic, Quran, Islamic Studies (AQI)


  • In this UOI, students learned about the weather and how to describe the weather. One student was selected daily to announce the weather in assembly.
  • Students did a project about weather using the Arabic words الجو مشمس، عاصف ممطر ، بارد، حار and they showed interest in their working.
  • Students learned the past and present tense and learned how to change verb tenses (أنا أذهب إلى المدرسة ، أنا ذهبت إلى المدرسة).
  • Students practiced reading in Arabic by reading an Arabic book about the planets (الشمس- الأرض- القمر ), explain what they understood and they wrote to practice handwriting.


  • Students continued working well on reading the second Juzaa. During reading, students are observing the Tajweed rules they learned in the class. In this UOI, they learned the Idgham rule and showed their understanding through practicing and applying while reading.
  • Regarding memorization, all the groups started to review Juzaa Amma together plus their group assignment:

  1. فريق المؤمنون are memorizing Surat Yaseen.
  2. فريق آل القرآ are memorizing Surat Al-Mulk.
  3. فريق نجوم القرآن are memorizing Juzaa Amma.

Islamic Studies:

  • Students learned about the battle of Badr and all the details about this Battle. Students showed an interest to learn more and more about the Battles of Prophet Muhammad (SAW). I encouraged students to inquire about the details of the battle and find the information themselves.
  • Students also continued working on the prayer and learned the Fard actions of the prayer.

Visual Arts

In Art class, students have been working hard on their summative projects using all sorts of mixed media to create texture. Below are some photographs of our progress -- we've just begun to use tissue paper to create texture on our canvases and are excited to share our final product in a couple weeks, inshaAllah! Please also note that we have our first field trip for Art class coming up on Tuesday, November 28th at The Pottery Stop in Ellicott City. Details are written below the images.

IB Learner Profile Passports

The following students were chosen as the most Principled and Most Inquirers.

Principled: Amina Alimu

Inquirer: Samha Khan

Well done to all the students who turned in a completed passport on time. The Inquirer Tree in the Common Area has started to fill up with names of students who have turned in a passport. Please continue to encourage your child to complete their passports with meaningful reflections.

The LP attribute for November is Caring

Please encourage your child to keep track of their passports and fill it in regularly.

IB describes Caring as:

"We show empathy, compassion, and respect. We have a commitment to service, and we act to make a positive difference in the lives of others and in the world around us."

Completed passports are due on Thursday, November 30, 2017.



  • daily math homework in order to review skills learned in class, practice foundational skills or prepare for an upcoming lesson. Homework could be in paper form e.g. problems in the workbook or online (Zearn, Prodigy math or Khan Academy).
  • weekly vocabulary collectors homework due each Friday. Students are expected to create a visual representation of two vocabulary words they have "collected" during their reading time.
  • Ongoing: 30 Book Challenge. Students must use the reading list with different genres and authors of books and read 30 books that fit the criteria for the list. For each book students read, they will create a book cut-out from the printable files, fill in their book information, and begin forming a "Tower of Books!"
  • there is occasionally other homework assigned. Students will keep a track of all due assignments using their agenda and/or their calendar on Manage Bac.

Although all homework is posted on Manage Bac, students are also

learning organizational skills and time management. As part of the organizational skills, students are expected to note down all homework and due dates in their agendas. Each Friday, students will have a "binder check" and be graded on it. Please encourage your child to keep an accurate record of all assignments due and to complete homework on time.


We have a number of students who are forgetting their devices at home or have technical issues with their device. Please ensure your child brings a working device to school on a daily basis.

If your child uses an IPad for school, some sites have been glitchy on Safari. Using the app reduces this issue. Please check these sites with your child and, if possible, please download the app.

Upcoming Events

Thanksgiving Break

Thursday, Nov. 23rd, 8am to Friday, Nov. 24th, 4pm


Spellathon Pledges Due and SpellCheck

Monday, Nov. 27th, 9am

6785 Business Parkway

Elkridge, MD

Student pledges for the Spell Check are due today.

Students will take a written spelling test on 50 spelling words from their grade-level list.

Field Trip to The Pottery Stop

Tuesday, Nov. 28th, 10-11:30am

9050 Baltimore National Pike

Ellicott City, MD

Students will visit The Pottery Stop to learn about the process of how clay is made, weathered, painted, cured and fired. They will receive a guided tour of the facilities and visit the kiln room to understand the process of firing clay. They will get to experience working on a project with wet clay, painting it, and having it fired. There will be a focus on texture and stamping clay, as an extension of what they will be learning in Art Class.

In-Class Spelling Bee

Tuesday, Nov. 28th, 2pm

6785 Business Parkway

Elkridge, MD

In-Class Arabic Spelling Bee

Wednesday, Nov. 29th, 9am

6785 Business Parkway

Elkridge, MD

Winter Break

Monday, Dec. 18th, 9am to Monday, Jan. 1st 2018 at 8:30am