Mrs. O'Rourke's Panther Press

From the Week of Oct. 30th and for the week of Nov. 6th


One of Mrs. O'Rourke favorite events happens this week: The BOOK FAIR! I love this time to browse through a selection of books with the students, give suggestions, and hopefully hook the kids into a new genre or author.

Our class shopping day is MONDAY, NOV. 6th (TOMORROW). Please send money in with your students if they would like to purchase books. Also, there are a number of books available that we would LOVE to have added to our classroom library. Most are less than $10. If you would like to send your child in with a little extra cash to choose a book to donate to our class library, the kids (and their book-loving teacher) would be over the moon!! We generally tag the book to honor the student who donated it.

Some of our "wish list" titles are:

Turning 15 on the Road to Freedom

In the Shadow of the Sun

Sink or Swim

10 True Tales: World War II Heroes

The Plot to Kill Hitler

The Testing

The Boys Who Challenged Hitler

The Seventh Most Important Thing

Sunny Side Up

Swing It, Sunny

The Killing Seas

The Eighth Day

The Fixer

Trombone Shorty

A Dog's Way Home

The Knowing

Dictionary Day

Our little linguists had a blast showing off their creativity and word knowledge on Dictionary Day. We even pulled our 2 week vocab list from the superb words that the students chose to represent! Love it!

Student Led Conferences

We are excited to have our students share their successes and goals with you in their Student Lead Conferences on November 14, 15, 16. Be sure your sign up with your child's homeroom teacher through the PTCfast website. Please let me know if you need the link again.

HIJH School-Wide Global Read Aloud

This year, our entire school will be reading the book A Long Walk to Water by Linda Sue Park . This is part of our school-wide initiative to promote a global understanding of the world around us and to help students understand that there is much more outside of the boundaries of Fishers, Indiana. Our class will be working with the students in Ms. Hill's class and connecting to other classrooms around the world to share in this reading experience. Ask your child what is happening in the book so far and what they are learning about the needs of people in other places in the world.

A Long Walk to Water-QFT Activity

This week, our students paired with the students in Ms. Hill's humanities class to work through a QFT (Question Formulation Technique) activity to prompt deeper thinking and questioning. Our focus question was "What is a government's responsibility to its people?"

The importance of independent reading

Your child should have read about 6-7 books by now. Please check in with him or her.

Independent reading of self-selected text is, statistically, the most effective way for a person's reading abilities to grow and vocabulary to increase. Students have a 25 book reading requirement for the year. By now, they should have completed at least 6 books. Please check in with your child to ensure that he/she is reading at home at least 15-20 minutes a day from a book that he/she enjoys. If kids are in a "reading rut" and can't find a book they like, they know that they can come see me for suggestions. I always have plenty of suggestions, and our classroom library is pretty extensive!! I know the students have other obligations, but establishing a reading routine at home will help your child in oh so many ways!! Happy reading!

Some of Mrs. O's recent reading suggestions!

Humanitarian Project #1 - DUE Tues, Nov. 28th!

Year-Long Humanitarian Projects

Ms. Hill and Mrs. O'Rourke introduced our Year-Long Humanitarian Projects and requirements to the students. Detailed information can be found on Canvas in the Humanitarian Projects Module, but here are the basics:

• This year students will have the opportunity to show 3 different humanitarian acts within the community.

• Each project will be documented with a picture of the student performing the act/event and a short paragraph. These will be displayed all year to celebrate our acts of good will.

• Between Mrs. O'Rourke's and Ms. Hill’s class, it is our goal to perform 300 acts within our community.

• We will also be brainstorming different project ideas within our school and school community.

Upcoming Assessments and Project Due Dates

This section will contain upcoming assessments so that parents can help students stay on top of their studying.

Next Week:

Thur 11/9- 2nd draft of personal narrative due

Friday 11/10- Vocabulary Test

Tuesday 11/28-1st Humanitarianism project due


Canvas is the HSE district's new online learning management system. It has replaced Blackboard. Our classes and our students are all using Canvas now. Family access is slated to be available in October. More news to come!