Mrs. Weitman's 5th Grade

News to Know!

January 10, 2016

Brrr!! Welcome winter!

With the advent of truly COLD temperatures, please continue to check that your child brings appropriate outdoor clothing to school. The kids have been doing a good job of having all their cold weather gear, but please know that if your child forgets or loses his/her hat, the school has extra stocking caps for cold weather that any student may have.

Viking Vouchers

You are likely aware that our school's positive behavior system rewards our students for positive behaviors through Viking Vouchers. These vouchers may be redeemed monthly at the mobile Viking Vouchers "store" that visits our room.

Starting recently, the students have been able to use their vouchers in a philanthropic way by donating their vouchers towards the designated non-profit organization of the month. This month's organization is the Big Brothers Big Sisters program, a program that impacts the lives of youth through one-to-one mentoring relationships. For every voucher donated, the school will donate 3 cents to the organization. Those vouchers add up! In addition to the amount donated by the school, it is common for teachers and staff to match that amount.

This program is a perfect opportunity to talk with your child about the importance of giving to those in need and supporting causes that are worthwhile and important to them.

Social Media Age Restrictions

A few weeks ago, the upper elementary grade levels attended a presentation on social media. The students were taught many lessons while being entertained with magic tricks. They learned that once something is put online, it cannot be taken back. In addition, they were cautioned not to look to social media for validation (too many mean people hiding behind the cloak of anonymity). One other lesson taught was how to be safe while surfing the internet and using social media.

While most of our 5th graders do not use social media a lot, it is still a good idea to be knowledgeable of the different sites and the age restrictions for those sites. Mr. Scoville shared these restrictions with the staff, and I thought I would share them with you. This link is from the library's webpage

STAR Tests

The Math STAR test will be given this Tuesday morning. The Reading STAR test is scheduled for after recess on Wednesday. There is no formal preparation for these tests, but please be sure your child gets a good night's sleep and eats a good breakfast/lunch on these days.

What We are Learning this Week

We are starting our Fractions unit this week in Math. Revisiting the concept of fractions will be worked on first to establish a solid foundation before we start manipulating and working with fractions.

We are coming close to the end of our unit on the Revolutionary War in Writing. The students will be digging deeper and putting more details and text features into the chapters they have already written in addition to, for some students, adding one or two more chapters based on the writing techniques we learn this week. All this work will culminate in the Writers' Workshop Celebration and Writers Museum held on January 21.

In ELA the students will continue to study informational texts, with an emphasis this week on narrative informational texts (nonfiction writing that reads like a story). We will be studying character traits, even when the main character is not a living thing.

In Math Extension, we took a detour last week from the originally planned lesson of using map features to read a road map and focused, instead, on practicing the traditional division algorithm (likely, the way you learned how to do long division). Reading road maps is in the plans for this week again. As part of another lesson, each student will be solving a place value riddle and then explaining the steps he/she took to come up with the answer. Writing about one's own thinking is a challenging skill, but the students are really starting to improve.

You're Invited!

You are cordially invited to attend our class's Revolutionary War Museum on Thursday, January 21. The museum will be in our classroom. The museum will open at 12:30 and close at 1:00. Look for more information in the letter being sent home with your child this week.

Spelling Bee

Gibraltar Elementary will be participating in the State Spelling Bee this year. Our class's spelling bee will take place this Thursday during ELA time. A spelling bee packet was sent home last week. Please encourage your child to study this packet. Words from the 5th grade word list will be used.

The top two spellers from the class spelling bee will compete in the school-wide spelling bee January 19.

Upcoming Events

January 4

School Resumes

January 12

STAR Math Test

January 13

STAR Reading Test

January 14

Class Spelling Bee

January 19

School Spelling Bee

January 21

Writers Workshop Celebration and Writers Museum

January 22

No School

Teacher Professional Development Day