Room 31 News

Here's what's happening...

Math

We're busy setting the groundwork for starting our first unit on decimals. Problem solving is a big part of fifth grade math. However, even more important is knowing basic multiplication facts, as they're the basis for all that we will do. Help your child master facts by using xtramath.org (A letter was sent home in Tuesday Papers with login info), using flash cards, printing fact pages from mathcafe.com, or visiting many other wonderful math websites for extra practice games. students have received passwords for Mangahigh.com, xtramath.org, and will soon be getting them for other sites as well. Quiz them regularly on their facts.

Reading

We are starting or reading work in our Reading Street anthology. Last week we practiced strategies for learning new vocabulary and students had fun sharing their strategies with others. We will finish our first story this week and take our first "selection test". While we read the stories in class, it is always helpful to reread stories at home for extra practice and review. Activities that go with each story can be completed during reading class. However, activities not completed in class become homework. We have discussed how to use our time wisely during our reading workshop block. You can help by encouraging your child to reread our weekly selection (which often becomes bi-weekly) and asking if they have completed their story activities, which include response questions at the end of the story.

Writing

We have taken our narrative baseline prompt and will continue writing in this style for the next several weeks. Students will have regular homework once our unit is underway. They have a journal at school but will often need to bring it home to complete work started in school or to complete additional writing homework. This should be familiar to them, as we will be following the same program which was introduced last year, along with some modifications to meet the needs of the class. You can help your child by helping them realize the "Small Moments" that happen in their lives which would make wonderful topics to write about in their journals.

Science/Social Studies

We have started science by learning about the scientific method. Science is inquiry-based in fifth grade and will include a variety of hands-on activities as well as writing about their learning through the scientific method of research. As we learn new material, we will have periodic quizzes to reinforce what we have learned. Our first quiz will be on the scientific method this week. We also take the Science CMT in 5th grade. This year, it's scheduled for Tuesday, March 3, 2015.

We have been working in the atlases for social studies but will soon start our first unit on the Explorers. Very often, students will work on the computers for research and presentations of what they have learned through the use of technology. We will be learning note-taking skills as well as study skills. You can help your child by asking if they have any quizzes coming up. These are always announced approximately a week in advance--sometimes longer. It is written on our homework board and should be transferred into student planners.