News from Room 305

September 4, 2015

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Students compared the size of a fire ant 4mm to the size it would appear under 4 x 10^3 magnification = 16,000mm = 16 meters

Week in Review


We've been continuing to review place value relationships, expanded form, and the properties. We focused on the distributive property this week. Students used counters and graph paper to make a large array and cut it into several smaller arrays. Next week, students will see how they've been using it every time they multiply by a two digit (or larger) number.

The class was introduced to exponents and appreciated their use when calculating the size difference in very large objects such as the Sun and black holes while playing the Sizing Things Down game - writing 19 zeros takes a long time! They also applied their understanding of base 10 exponents and the idea of increasing tenfold by comparing earthquake magnitudes (Richter Scale) on the US Geological Survey's website.


The focus standard for fifth graders this quarter is RL5.3: Compare and contrast two or more characters, settings, or events in a story or drama, drawing on specific details in the text (e.g., how characters interact).

On Wednesday, students took a pretest on this standard. In groups, students determined the most important words in the standard and discussed what skills students will need in order to achieve the goal. As a class, we came up with learning targets (small goals) in order to help each student focus-in on what s/he needs to work on.

Students set individual reading goals for September using a Google Sheet and made a plan in order to achieve their goals. They are using the September calendar page in the front of their planners in order to document their progress. I will be checking in with your child once per week. Please remind your child to read 4-5 times per week in order to achieve his/her goal. If your child is having trouble finding a book that interests him/her, please let me know.

We read two different Readers' Theatres this week "The Iron Princess" and "The Twin Twins." The groups have been doing a great job bringing the plays to life and learned some great vocab at the same time: primitive, bungled, brandishing. They also identified characters' traits with justification from the text.

In writing, we focused on "dreaming the dream of the story" and "telling the story from the inside" i.e. first person point of view. So often we tell stories as summaries, and not from a first person narrative. Students added details to previous entries in their writers' notebooks in order to put readers in their skin. Later in the week, students learned that their details should also "ring true" to the situation. For example, when writing about a telephone conversation that is overheard, you only hear one side of it.


Students completed their airplane wing experiment and completed a gallery walk on Monday to see how others organized their data. Since our conclusions on the narrow-winged and wide-winged planes were split, students looked at the similarities between planes. Students noticed that the designs that were similar yielded similar results. They also noted that this investigation was more challenging than they thought it would be because they had to control how each plane was thrown.

Social Studies

The class read about the Mayan, Incan, and Aztec culture and did a little Mayan math which uses base 20, instead of base 10 like our number system. It fit perfect with our powers of ten math lessons this week. Students learned about the grid system covering our Earth - longitude and latitude - while investigating the locations of recent earthquakes as mentioned above. Students had to use the coordinates to plot the earthquakes on their own map.

Keep Clipping Box Tops!

The Box Top Race has begun. At the end of October we will have a drawing for the top 5 students from each class that turned in Box Tops. So, please make sure your child's name is on the bag. Thank you!

Lions NOT Lying Around

Mrs. Steenstra, our new PE teacher, has asked if you could please send her a picture of your child in motion. She is putting together a bulletin board with pictures of all of our students having fun through play. The pictures can literally be any type of movement: sports, cleaning, playing at the park, walking, jumping, etc. Please email the picture directly to Mrs. Steenstra –

Join Girls on the Run!

Girls on the Run registration is open until September 6th! For more information about GOTR visit the website

Get your daughter signed up ASAP! Our LO team fills up fast! Click on this link to get your daughter registered for the fall 2015 season!

Parents, if you want to be a coach, please fill out the coach’s application using the link below.

Here is some information about the upcoming season:

Here is the link to apply

Spring Program is September 14th- November 21st

Practices are Monday & Friday from 2:50-4:15 pm *You can coach one day or both days!*

Fall 5K is Saturday, November 21st at Arrowhead Stadium

If you have any questions about GOTR, please contact Miss Hess at

Next Week's Specials' Calendar:

Monday, September 7- No School: Labor Day

Tuesday, September 8 - Day 3: Art

Wednesday, September 9 - Day 4: Library

Thursday, September 10 - Day 1: Music

Friday, September 11 - Day 2: PE

Upcoming Events:


9/4 - Chromebooks can go home (if insurance paid)

9/4 - Spirit Wear Order Due

9/7 - Labor Day: No School

9/9--CiCi’s Pizza Night, 4:30-8:00 pm

9/10 All Pro Dads 7:10 AM - LGIR

9/15-PTA Meeting 7:00 pm

9/17-Papa John’s Night

9/17 - Early Release Day: Professional Development

9/18 - No School: Professional Development

9/24 - Dads and Donuts last names A-L 7:15-7:45am

9/25 - Dads and Donuts last names M-Z 7:15-7:45am

9/25 - School Pictures (Our class at 8:25am)

Follow Our Class on Twitter!

Contact Information:

Laura Perryn

(816)736-5600 x.2637