The Buzz in Room 218!

August 31, 2015 Edition

We are off to a fantastic start!

Great things are happening in room 218! I am really enjoying getting to know, and teach your amazing children each day! Thank you for preparing them to be fantastic 5th graders! As always I love to keep open communication with all of my 5th grade families. Email is usually the easiest way to get in touch with me, and I will do my best to get back to you as soon as possible. Phone messages may also be left by calling the school and then transferring to my extension 24218. Thank you again for such a smooth start to the 2015-2016 school year!

Classroom Technology Update

We are excited to announce that 5th grade has been fortunate enough to have additional computers added to our grade level! We are currently working one-to-one in our classrooms. We are confident that these computers will continue to help support our students in the development of timeless and contemporary skills and competencies which enable life long success.

Language Arts


  • All reading groups have started their fantasy genre books. We currently have students reading: The Phantom Tollbooth, Tuck Everlasting, The Search for Delicious, and Silverwing. Students are having the opportunity to read independently, and together in their group. As a reading group, students are leading discussions about the characters, interesting vocabulary words, and elements of the Fantasy genre that they are finding in their reading group novels.
  • Weekly Reading logs will also be starting on August 31st. Students are required to read a total of 120 minutes per week. Students do not have to read each day, but rather can map out their weekly reading requirements to coordinate with their busy schedules. Students should fill in the number of minutes, title of the book and have an adult initial next to each of the reading days. Weekly reading logs will be a part of their reading grade. Please email me if you have any questions about the weekly reading logs.

Word Study

  • We are starting off the year by reviewing prefixes and suffixes. Each day students have been presented new word study choices where they are learning the meaning of their words, practicing their prefix word sort, and incorporating new technology tools. Beginning September 8th I will begin breaking students into homeroom word study groups that will focus on key spelling features that need to be taught and reviewed. Mrs. Dettmann is also in the process of getting her Root Word Study groups up and running. Please ask your child about their word study!


  • We have started two fantastic pieces of writing so far this year. One writing is based on the picture book entitled, "How I Spent My Summer Vacation". Students were given the choice to write a true life story of their summer or they could add fictional elements to their story that stretch the reader's imagination. The other piece of writing is based on the picture book entitled, "The Best Part of Me". Each student was asked what they thought was their "best part of them", and then wrote a short rhyming poem about it. Be sure to check out these excellent writing selections when you visit for "Back to School Night".


  • We began switching for math classes on the second day of school. All math classes are investigating numbers to develop a solid understanding of prime and composite numbers as well as the relationships between numbers. Our next step will be to learn about operating with large numbers and the distributive property. If you have any questions, please contact your child's math teacher directly in order to get a more timely response.

Social Studies & Science

  • In Social Studies we have been reviewing fourth grade topics including: the geographic regions of Virginia, water features, American Indians of Virginia, and Jamestown. This week students will be working in groups on creating projects using our technology tool buckets, and will share them later this week with the class.
  • We have also been discussing cultural landscapes during our Social Studies review. This week each student is asked to complete a short at home project based on their family's culture, traditions, etc. The project write up is going home on Monday, August 31st, and the project is due Friday September 4th. I think this is a special project to think about as a family and in advance I thank you for your support! If you have any questions about this project please email me.
  • In 5th grade we do Social Studies and Science rotations. The students will be in homeroom with me through this Friday, September 4th. Beginning Tuesday, September 8th our class will begin their first Science rotation with Mrs. Morris.

Birthday Celebrations

Every child loves to feel special that one day of the year. If you so choose, your child may share a treat with his or her classmates on or near his or her birthday. Treats are generally shared between 11:20-11:30 am. We have two students in our classroom with known food allergies to gluten and tree nuts. Their families are prepared to send in alternative treats that fit their dietary needs, so please let me know prior to bringing in classroom treats so that we can plan accordingly.

Science Items Donations for STEAM Project

  • plastic bags of assorted colors (brown, blue, red, white, and ect)
  • wooden dowel rods
  • styrofoam cubes
  • plastic bottles of various sizes
  • plastic bottle lids
  • duct tape
  • pipe cleaners
  • Aluminum soda cans (rinsed and punch a hole in bottom)
  • newspapers
  • cardboard toilet paper tubes or paper towel tubes
  • scraps of cardboard
  • colored construction paper
  • 2 boxes of straws
  • 2 balls of thick string
  • 5 bottles of Elmers Glue
  • Most of the items are recyclable items from your household. Please send the items in, as you collect them. All of these materials will be used in our Science STEAM project. Mrs. Morris and I thank you in advance for your help!

Important Dates

  • September 7th-School Holiday
  • September 8th-Gifted Service Info Session 5:30pm
  • September 8th-Back to School Night (grades 3-5) 6:00pm
  • September 8th-First Science Rotation begins with Mrs. Morris
  • September 9th-BEE Program Fall Registration
  • September 14th-Writer's Eye Field Trip 11:00am-1:00pm (pack a bag lunch)
  • September 15th-PTO Meeting 6:30pm