Issue 28-March 11, 2016


From the Industrial Revolution to cohesive writing to cells and tissues: "All Systems are Go"! Keep reading:

1. Math: Our mission was to apply and extend previous understandings of division to divide unit fractions by whole numbers and whole numbers by unit fractions by a non-zero whole number, and compute such quotients. Students then went on a roll with "The Dice Game."

2. Reading: We read "Poetry about Poetry" before engaging in "Darnell Rock, Reporting," a realistic fiction story. Our grammar focus was on pronouns.

3. Writing: We delved into an investigation of mentor texts, searching for the text features. As we noticed and read them, we asked ourselves, “How do these text features teach the reader?” Then we figured out how text features might help our own information writing. We discussed that research writers introduce their writing by explaining its structure. Researchers also try to lure readers to their writing.

4. Social Studies: We identified how new industries changed the United States in the late 1800s as drilled into information about Edwin Drake's rise and fall in the oil industry, and Andrew Carnegie's triumphs in the steel. We also investigated the causes of the labor movement in the United States and learned about those who worked against child labor in "sweat shops." Out in the country, we geared up for mechanization on the farm and the electrification of the countryside.

5. Science: How do cells work together for form a system? We investigated cells and tissues. We also learned about how body systems work together and made models, using women's hosiery and clay, demonstrating the digestive system. We also went on a "Super Science Search" through the skeletal and muscular systems--and explored "muscle contraction."

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Spelling, Unit 27

On Friday, your child will take the Unit 26 spelling test--and the Unit 27 spelling pre-test. Therefore, he/she should bring home his/her Unit 27 spelling list--and the Unit 27 spelling homework. Here are links to the words in the event that you need an extra copy:

Alexander Majors Field Trip is Coming Next Friday, March 18!

On Friday, March 18, the Liberty Oaks Fifth Grade will depart for a field trip

to the Alexander Majors House Museum,8 201 State Line Rd. While there, we will get to participate in the following history-related activities:

Underground Railroad Quilt-making Craft

Civil War Soldier Presenter

We will depart Liberty Oaks at 9:15 A.M. and return at approximately 1:15.

Your child will need a sack lunch and drink; we will eat lunch there.

Radical Challenge Trip is Coming on Tuesday, April 19!

The Radical Challenge is a program developed by the Earnest Shepard Youth Center to promote communication, teambuilding, and cooperation through adventure games. Youth are placed in situations that demand leadership, trust, risk-taking, listening, creativity and physical effort. We will leave Liberty Oaks at 9:15 A.M. and return by 2:00 P.M. Your child will need a sack lunch and a drink!

PARENT VOLUNTEERS MUST REPORT TO EARNEST SHEPARD YOUTH CENTER AT 7:00 A.M., ON THE DAY OF OUR TRIP, FOR TRAINING. Also, my students will be engaged in productive academics before--and after--this field trip!

In the event of inclement weather, this field trip will be cancelled. Most likely, it will be impossible to reschedule.

M.A.P. Countdown Continues!

The M.A.P. (Missouri Assessment Program) test will be administered soon! Here are some more tips:

Tip #5: Teach Your Child That Visuals are a Part of the Text

On the M.A.P. test, items sometimes require students to do more than just read the words in a passage. Students may need to gather information from photos, captions, drawings or charts and graphs.

Tip #6: Build your child’s reading stamina

Most of the constructed-response items contain two parts. First, the student is asked a content question such as “What is the main idea of this passage?” or “Why is this an appropriate title for the story?” Second, the student is told to support his or her answers with details and examples from the story. If students give answers to questions but do not support those answers adequately with specific details from the passage, they will receive only partial credit. Going back to the question, to make sure that all parts have been answered, is of paramount importance!

Tip #7: Teach Your Child to Read the Questions First

While directions on most standardized ELA tests, tell students to read the passage first and then answer the questions that follow, classroom research has shown that many students do better if they read the items first, then return to read the passage). Reading the questions first gives students a purpose and direction for their reading. Reading in a testing situation is clearly different than reading for pleasure. Emphasize to your child that the purpose is to find answers to the specific questions.

Tip #8: Teach Your to Identify All Parts of the Questions

Some questions have multiple parts, and these parts are often combined into a single sentence with a single question mark at the end. Students should underline each question word (who, what, when, where, why, how, and any other word or phrase that indicates a question). By doing so, he/she can see if a question has multiple parts.

Strategies for Conversation

Article excerpted from

Most children develop age appropriate social skills by observing, asking questions, and interacting with a wide range of people who allow them to build a conversational repertoire to draw upon. Our class meeting topic, this week, will be “Talking to Others.” We will be discussing ways for students to become better at engaging in meaningful discussions with other students—and adults. And the following strategies are useful for developing your child's conversational skills and social tool kit at home:

Offer a simple three part guide: it's hard for many children to grasp the more subtle social skills unless adults explain it in simple terms. Consider the following opening, "I've noticed that sometimes it's hard for you to get conversations going with other kids or that things go wrong. I can help with that. There are three steps involved; greetings-that-go-somewhere, common ground, and deeper discussion."

Greetings are like knocking on a neighbor's door with a purpose in mind. Saying "hi" is probably not enough, but saying, "Hi, how was soccer practice yesterday?" gets the conversation going.

Common ground is where two people's interest or experience intersect so that a subject can sustain continued discussion. Soccer or reading are common ground subjects if the two people have a mutual interest. The trick is to help your child steer the discussion to a common ground subject by using the clues available to them, i.e., soccer results, books.

Deeper discussion is when there's a sharing of one's own feelings or opinions about a common ground subject. For example, one child may offer that they didn't like a particular book and this allows the other child to explain their dissatisfaction with a book they recently read.

Emphasize the necessity to respond to other human beings
When you pass another person—whether you know the person or not, it is appropriate to at least nod and smile to that person.

Emphasize the importance of other non-verbal skills
Eye contact, gestures, facial expression, body posture and proximity, and movement are all important to social skills.

Edwin Drake and His Not-So-Glorious Life

Edwin Drake was an innovator in the oil industry but not much of a success. Read all about his life and tragic times here:

Body Systems Movies

As we circulate through the body systems, your child would benefit greatly by watching these Body Systems Movies:

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:

Upcoming Events


3/2- CiCi’s Pizza Night, 4:30-8:00 pm

3/8-PTA General Meeting, 7:00 pm

3/10- All Pro Dads 7:10 AM - LGIR

3/11-Family Fun Spring Dance

3/15 Kindergarten Round up 6:30-7:30

Spring Picture Day

3/21-3/25 NO SCHOOL, Spring Break

3/30 CiCi’s Pizza Night, 4:30-8:00 pm


4/14- All Pro Dads 7:10 AM - LGIR

4/4 through 4/13 Boosterthon Fundraiser

4/7- Moms & Muffins 7:15-7:45 (Last name A-L)

4/8- Moms &-Muffins 7:15-7:45 (Last name M-Z)

4/12- PTA Exec. Board Meeting, 7:00 pm

4/19 Radical Challenge FT-5th Grade

Science Night 5:30-7:00

4/21 Culver’s Night (Teachers work)


5/2-5/6Staff Appreciation Week

Bike- to- school Day

5/4- CiCi’s Pizza Night, 4:30-8:00 pm

5/5 Open House & Art Show, 5:30 pm

5/10-PTA General Meeting, 7:00 pm

5/12 All Pro Dads 7:10 AM - LGIR

All Pro Dads 7:00 am

5th Grade Picnic 11:30-12:30

Field Day

4th Grade Egg Drop

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

5/23-Early Release & Last Day of School, 11:50 am