Mrs. Gerstel's Learning Group

Where there's Caring,Friendships,Learning,Laughter,Sharing

Weekly Class Schedule

*Please make sure you respond to the conference schedule as soon as possible. It was sent out last Wednesday, Thank you!*

P.E. on Tuesday!

Morning Meeting


Writer's Workshop

Word Study




Reading Groups


Reading Groups


M/T - Health/P.E. (alternate weeks; upper gym, students must wear tennis shoes because of special floor, cannot participate if not wearing the proper shoes)

W - library

Th - Art

F - Music


Our Learning


In Math, students are continuing to practice multiplication and division facts during fact fluency time. Students have been learning about geometry, 2 and 3 dimensional shapes, quadrilaterals, faces, angles, area, and perimeter. We will continue to practice problem solving using addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division.

Projects: Water

Students have completed investigations to learn about what water will do on different surfaces, and surface tension. We had a speaker visit our classroom to talk to the students about how water is cleaned for our use, how we get water, and where our water comes from. We will have a speaker visit the 7/8 team to talk about rain barrels and their importance for our school garden. We will be touring the Des Moines Water Works Water Plant this coming week, learning about movement of water, and the water cycle.

Writing: Poetry

Students have been practicing writing poetry this week. We have been reading different poems and discovering what poetry looks like; short lines rather than across the page. Students are learning that poets will repeat words, use descriptive words, use words in funny ways, or sometimes make them up. Students generated words to write poems about animals and summer.

Reading: Realistic Fiction

In Reading, we have been reading narrative stories where the narrator tells the story about an experience he/she has had. We have focused on comprehension strategies, visualization, and connections to the text.

School and Classroom Events


More slideshows have been added to show more pictures of Water Works Park, Garden, and fun photos of each student.

Teacher Note:

Family/School Health Challenge: Students have been thinking about the fruits and vegetables that they are eating. They are to try a new fruit or vegetable this week and share with the class.

Upcoming events:

June 3 Speaker: John Swanson, Watershed Outreach Coordinator

June 4 Field Experience to Des Moines Water Works Treatment Plant

June 9-13 Book Fair

June 13 Conferences

June 16 Field Day @Brody Middle School (rain date June 18)

June 17 5th Grade Recognition Ceremony 6:00 and Reception

June 19 All School Sing in lower gym; Last day of School for students

*I will be sending out an email permission slip to consent your child permission to ride the bus on Wednesday, June 4th to the Des Moines Water Works Treatment Plant. Also, I would like for your child to bring a sack lunch and drink so we can eat our lunch before returning to school. The tour is from 9:30 to 11:15, which is 15 minutes into our regular lunch hour, so I thought the students would enjoy eating lunch outside.:) There will also be a permission slip coming home for our visit to Air Lanes Bowling Alley to culminate our learning in P.E. on bowling. Please look for that this coming week.

Scholastic Book Orders: *Even though the Book Fair will be the week of June 9th I will plan to pass out one more book order this coming week. The order will need to be an online order by Friday, June 6, so I can complete the order and get it returned so there is enough time to get the books to school before June 19th (our last day of school). *

Each month I will give you the opportunity to order books for your child. I will pass out the flyer for you to view and will let you know when your orders are due. You may order online or send a check made payable to: Scholastic Book Club. If you order online you will need to put in the activation code: MCYW4. The first time ordering online, you will need to put in your child's name, grade, gender, birthdate, & activation code. I find it more convenient to order online. Here is their website:

Rachelle Gerstel

I graduated from Upper Iowa University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Elementary Education. I have been teaching for 12 years. My experience is teaching 1st, 2nd, and 3rd grade students. My past experiences have been at Walt Disney Elementary, in Marceline, Mo., and San Bernardino City Unified School District in California for 8 years. I am a native Iowan, and that is what brought my family and I back to the heartland in 2008.:)