Issue 27-March 4, 2016


An explosion of "Bright Ideas" could be witnessed, this week--as evidenced below:

1. Math: We worked to apply and extend previous understandings of multiplication as we compared mixed number factors and products. We also multiplied mixed numbers and sought to find unknown lengths. Students participated in "Wheeling and Dealing," featuring inventions and inventors.

2. Reading: "Pea Island's Forgotten Heroes," an account of an horrific hurricane, circa 1896, provided the perfect chance for us to pose and respond to questions, make comments that contribute to the discussion, and elaborate on others’ remarks. We also investigated mysteries at Stonehenge and Easter Island as well as digging into "Sue: A Life Story in Rock," about the excavation of a Tyrannosaurus Rex; and "Trapped in Tar: Fossils from the Ice Age." We also differentiated between fact and opinion by reading "The Dog Newspaper," historical fiction set in the years after World War II.

3. Writing: We discovered that every single story or fact has multiple points of view from which it can be seen, and writers need to always ask themselves, “What are some other ways to see this story?” Often this means keeping an ear, an eye, out for the voices of people whose points of view are not often heard. We also discussed that writers set up their writing almost the way we might set a table—matching up certain elements, patterning everything, and making the whole affair look welcoming and thoughtful. Writers do that by making matches and patterns in words, in structures, and in meanings.

4. Social Studies: Our focus has shifted to the history of Industrial Growth in the United States. We have investigated how Thomas Edison's inventions had their impact then--and now. We have learned about the life and times of the Stanley brothers and their steam car--and witnessed the rise of the steel, railroad, and oil industries. Each student is researching one of these inventors, Alexander Graham Bell, Thomas Alva Edison, or the Wright Brothers, for the next Jigsaw Tournament, scheduled for Wednesday, March 9!

5. Science: What are cells? We compared and contrasted plants under a microscope and compared cell parts to the rooms in Liberty Oaks. We played riveting games of "Cell Concentration," and student teams worked to create meticulous cell diagrams.

Big image

The Video Version of This Newsletter

Spelling, Unit 26

On Friday, your child will take the Unit 25 spelling test--and the Unit 26 spelling pre-test. Therefore, he/she should bring home his/her Unit 26 spelling list--and the Unit 26 spelling homework. Here are links to the words in the event that you need an extra copy:


Camp Invention July 11-15, 2016

Since 1990, Camp Invention has taken summer fun and transformed it from ordinary to extraordinary!

In partnership with the National Inventors Hall of Fame, Liberty Oaks is pleased to offer the nationally-acclaimed Camp Invention program to children entering grades one through six. It’s an exciting, weeklong summer adventure with lessons that explore connections between science, technology, engineering and innovation. Children will work together to seek solutions to real-world problems and sharpen critical 21st century learning skills while rotating through several fascinating modules. The week begins on July 11 with Dr. Matthew Krohne, Innovation and Learning Coach, serving as Director of the Epic™ program!

Here is how young innovators will be spending their time:

  • Brainstorming product ideas and building original prototypes using real tools and components found in everyday devices
  • Exploring the lives of giant insects, colorful animals and their environments
  • Constructing and personalizing a DIY solar-powered cricket with a unique habitat
  • Discovering the science of slime, demolition, electronic sound, giant squid and coding

All activities give participants the opportunity to be a part of something big while having fun! Local educators will facilitate program modules and enthusiastic high school students will serve as Leadership Interns ensuring that one staff member is in place for every eight children. Register on or before March 21, 2016 to receive $25 OFF the base price. Every registration includes a complimentary Camp Invention t-shirt. Availability is limited, so visit or call 800.968.4332 to secure your child’s spot today!


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.

Please complete the field trip permission form, in your child's Friday Folder.

The M.A.P. (Missour Assessment Program) Test is Coming!

The M.A.P. is coming! The fifth graders will be tested in ELA (English-Language Arts), Mathematics, and Science, in late April through early May For the next several weeks, I will be including test-taking tips and advice, which comes primarily from two sources. Most of the tips have been suggested by Missouri teachers as well as A Teacher’s Guide to Standardized Reading Tests, by Lucy Calkins, Kate Montgomery, and Donna Santman (Heinemann 1998). Both of these sources have been gold mines of practical ideas

Tip #3: Read a variety of books and magazines.

In the world outside of school, students need to be able to read a wide variety of texts, from road signs to restaurant menus, from comic books to classics, from tennis shoe ads to computer manuals. The Smarter Balanced Assessment contains short stories, poems, dialogues, magazine articles, charts and tables. To help your child become savvy in many reading situations, provide them with abundant reading opportunities.

Tip #4: Build your child’s reading stamina.

One of the main problems children face with reading generally, and with reading tests in particular, is they just give up. Reading tests usually employ a collection of passages of varying difficulty. Some of the passages will be below grade level so poorer readers will have some material they can handle; other passages will be on grade level; and still others will be above grade level.

Please emphasize, to your child, the importance of doing his/her best on the upcoming assessments. Use the guidelines, below, to lead a discussion:

*Set realistic expectations. For example, is it more realistic to strive for a score of “proficient” or “advanced”?

*Have children well-rested. Are bedtimes being enforced on a daily basis?

*Have a positive attitude. Are you emphasizing what you can do rather than what you cannot?

*Serve healthy meals. Are you eating a variety of portions from each of the food groups?

*Maintaining stamina. Are you going to be able to continue to work on the test even if you’re getting tired of it?

*Answer questions about the test as honestly as possible.

Excelling at Test-Taking

Your child has the knowledge and skills to excel on the Smarter Balanced Assessment. Often times, a capable students will score at “basic” because of careless errors. The key to unlocking your child’s potential lies in his/her approach to the test.

Testing Tips for the Student

*Read directions carefully

*Complete the questions that you know for sure

*Eliminate wrong answers on multiple choice questions

*Make sure the question number and number on answer sheet match.

*Skip questions that you are unsure of; then return to these questions at the end of the test.

*Pace yourself and don’t spend too much time on questions you don’t know.

*Use the “SQ3PR” study method, outlined above, to read longer passages of text (See article below!)

SQRRR Study Method

This week, your child will be using the SQ3R method of study, yet again, which is useful when reading textbook information and nonfiction articles. Here is how it works:

1) SURVEY Glance over the heading in the chapter to see the major points which will be developed. This survey

should not take more than a minute and will show the

three to six central ideas within the chapter. This survey

helps you to organize the ideas as you read them later.

2) QUESTION Now begin to work. Turn the first heading into a question. This will arouse your curiosity and increase comprehension. It will help bring to mind information already known and help you to understand the section more quickly. The question will make important points stand out from the explanatory detail. Turning the heading into a question can be done the instant you read it, but it demands a conscious effort on the part of the reader.

3) READ to answer that question. Read to the end of the first section, not by passively plowing along, but by

conducting an active search for the answer to your


4) RECITE After reading the first section, look away from the book and try to briefly recite the answer to your question. Use your own words and cite an example. If you can do this, you know what is in the book; if you can't, glance over the section again. An excellent way to do this reciting is to jot down very brief cue phrases in outline form on a sheet of paper.

Now repeat Steps 1, 2, and 3 for each heading.

5) REVIEW when you have completed the assignment in the manner described above.

Are you able to answer the questions you wrote?

Industrial Revolution Website

Here is a website chockfull of useful information as we embark upon our study of Industrial Growth:

Learning about Plant and Animal Cells

We have been exploring all facets of plant and animal cells. Here's a website featuring plant cells:

And here's a YouTube video about animal cells:

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