5th Grade Update February ~ 2016

Curriculum Overview

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Writing Workshop

Students are hard at work on their Literary Essays. We will continue to spend time reading short stories and analyzing these texts in order to study the author's purpose in writing the story...Is there a bigger lesson that we can all learn by reading these stories? After selecting a story that resonates within them, students will craft thesis statements and begin to plan and frame their literary essays. In constructing their essays, students will learn how to use many different kind of evidence to support their points: other stories; summaries; lists; and descriptions of author's craftsmanship. We can't wait to work through the writing process with them in order to see their published pieces.

Additionally, we will begin to spend time reading writing poetry this month. We will have the opportunity to write many tried and true favorites, but we'll also learn new forms, including Odes, Tritinas, "Like What..." poems, and "Where I'm from" poems. I look forward to broadening students' horizons with regards to poetry.

Reading Workshop

Students continue to love curling up with their independent reading books, as well as relish our class read-aloud time. We are currently reading Natalie Babbit's "Tuck Everlasting" in order to practice our close reading strategies using the Note and Notice signposts which they will continue to use in Upper School. Not only does this book tell a wonderful story, it is also filled with beautiful imagery and a plethora of figurative language examples that lend itself nicely to our upcoming poetry unit.

Later in the month, as we move into our poetry unit, students will explore a variety of poems. I love this unit because students surprise themselves with how much they enjoy reading and writing new types of poetry. Students will be exposed to Tritinas, Odes, Haikus, and numerous free-verse poems. I'm enthused to watch them connect to a type of literature that they may initially resist.


Students completed their math midterm, and we have officially kicked-off our unit on Decimals (perfect timing with the Super Bowl)!

Our unit will explore:

* place value and rounding decimals through the ten-thousandths place

* multiplication and division of decimals by tens, hundreds, and thousands

* estimation and multiplication of two decimals

* conversion of measurements

As we continue our work with decimals, students will come to appreciate the relationship between decimals and fractions (and in our next unit, percentages!). Understanding how these three topics intertwine is extremely important as they continue to pursue advanced math topics in later grades. I know they can do it and look forward to continued math fun!

Social Studies

After our wonderful field trip to the University of Pennsylvania Museum, students are ready to dig deep into Ancient Egypt. We will begin our unit by studying the geographic features of Egypt and the Near East, including the Nile River, the Sinai Peninsula, and the Taurus Mountains, in order to better understand how geography influenced historical events in this region. Students will also physically re-create and interact with the landscapes of Mesopotamia, Egypt, and Canaan to understand how environmental factors affected human settlement in these regions. We will finish out the month of February by studying six different Mesopotamian civilizations, noting and discussing key achievements and maps of each empire.

February Fun!

Friday, February 5th: Stories Under the Stars

Thursday, February 11th: Valentine's Day Celebration ~ 9 am

Thursday, February 11th: Noon Dismissal ~ Parent/Teacher Conferences

Friday, February 12th: No School ~ Parent/Teacher Conferences
Monday, February 15th: No School ~ Presidents' Day

Celebrating Valentine's Day in 5th grade!

Wednesday, Feb. 11th 2015 at 9am

Newtown Friends School, Newtown, PA, United States

5th grade will be celebrating Valentine's Day together on Thursday, February 11th before our noon dismissal that afternoon. Volunteer parents (we will contact those who graciously signed up earlier this year) will provide the treats and entertainment, and kiddos are more than welcome to exchange valentines with their classmates. While not required to bring them in, please remember if they choose to do so, they need to bring in a valentine for everyone!