Park Specialists' Newsletter

Fifth Grade Edition - Third Trimester

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Third Trimester Recap

All of Park's Certified Teaching Specialists have compiled a summary of what students have learned, enjoyed, and mastered in their respective classes for the past twelve weeks. Please scroll down, read, and watch what students have been up to at Park Elementary.

From Park's Art Instructor - Ms. Kirchoff

Op Art Shading Blobs

We began this trimester with a brain teaser, OP ART! We evaluated the work of artists M.C Escher and Bridget Riley who specialize in this art form. Op Art resembles optical illusions where artists use line, shape, and color to fool your eyes! We used lines to create an illusion and used shading and value to make the illusion have form or look 3D.

Andy Warhol Pop Art

Andy Warhol is the King of Pop Art. Inspired by Warhol, students learned the process of printmaking through the use of Styrofoam printing plates and washable printmaking ink. Each student's goal was to create four successful prints in the style of Andy Warhol. "Pop" in Pop Art stands for "popular", therefore we created Pop Art logos/images that are recognizable in pop culture.

Georgia O’Keeffe Flowers

Ms. O’Keeffe is an artist who chose to draw and enlarge objects from nature. She is most famous for her enlarged flower paintings. Students enlarged flowers and outlined them with black glue. Then, they filled in the flowers with brightly colored pastels, while using a shading technique.

Giant Sidewalk Tessellations

Artist M.C. Escher created some mind-boggling tessellations. Students learned that tessellations are created through replicating geometric shapes – a great interdisciplinary lesson! Inspired by his work, students created tessellations on the school’s sidewalks. Looking for a cool summer-time activity that combine math and art? Learn how to make tessellations here:

Summer Youth Art Classes:

I will be teaching a handful of art classes this summer! I would love to see some Park kids there! See the class offerings here:

From Park's Librarian - Ms. Shadis

Reading opportunities continue to be plentiful at Park! Please read below to see what activities students have been and will be able to partake in over the summer months.


Students accomplished amazing and creative computer programs using the MIT’s Scratch. Click here and here to view snippets of two students' creations. Download it now to continue learning throughout the summer:

PTO Free Book

60 fifth graders read and turned in their clock sheets to receive a free book from PTO. Ask them to share their book with you! A big thanks to PTO for this neat opportunity!

Summer Reading Opportunities

All summer long, the Library will be open on Wednesdays, from 8 a.m. - 2 p.m. for book check-out. We would love to see you!

Can’t make it during that time? There are plenty of online reading resources! Please scroll below to find a listing of the various online sites.

Don't know what to read? There are some great book recommendations that can be found at:

Get rewarded for reading: Check out this page to access the reading log/Book Buck$ sheet to earn rewards. Visit the Library on Wednesdays this summer to claim a prize! The prize redemption deadline is September 20th.

From Park's Technology Integration Instructor - Mr. Durheim

Students continued to learn, create, and collaborate during Tech Time. Click here to learn more!
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From Park's Phy Ed Educators - Mrs. Hahn & Mrs. Mueller

Even though the weather was not always cooperative, we took advantage of every opportunity to be outdoors. Encourage your child to continue keeping active this summer.

Units covered in the third trimester:

· Components of Fitness

· Hockey

· Softball/Kickball

· Lawn Games

· Capture the Flag

· Tennis Stations

· Track and Field (images of the javelin, hurdles, and relay events are posted below)

· Fitness Tests

Fitness Tests:

The Fitness Tests consist of five exercises that students complete annually. The purpose of these exercises is to track a student’s progress in five areas: strength (abdominal and upper body), flexibility, agility/speed, and endurance.

Curl-ups – measures abdominal strength

Students have one minute to complete as many possible

Pull-ups – measures upper body strength

Students attempt as many possible with the proper form

Sit and Reach – measures flexibility

Students must keep legs straight while reaching as far as he/she can on top of box. The

Shuttle Run – measures agility and speed

Students complete the following task: run 10 yards, pick up a block and bring it back to the starting line, run back, pick up final block and finish back at the starting line.

½ Mile – measures endurance

Students are timed as they attempt to run the ½ mile course.

From Park's Music Teachers - Ms. Hauth & Mrs. Hoeft

We have continued to work on recorder skills throughout the trimester. The students can now play notes B, A, G, high C and D, and the low notes E, D and C. Some students even learned Bb and F#. Students practiced songs in their recorder books as well as other classroom songs using the learned music notes. A fun song using recorders, Orff instruments and small percussion instruments was Fuzzy Wuzzy. After singing it as a round with the instruments, students created and performed a movement piece in a small group to their favorite tongue twister. We have some very creative fifth graders at Park Elementary! Besides reading notes with recorders, students also composed melodies on staff cards, then sang them using solfege words, and played them on the Orff instruments. By working with a partner, students were able to create Question and Answer phrases to play for the class.

Students were introduced to the music of composer Ludwig Van Beethoven by watching a video about his life and work. Students were intrigued by this composer because of his amazing ability to continue to compose even after he became almost completely deaf. Due to his orchestrations, students were drawn to the music for its emotion and feeling. The students even learned to play the famous melody Ode to Joy from Beethoven’s Symphony #9 on their recorders. For fun, the students added the bass, tenor and alto recorders to create their own recorder orchestra. The fun was recorded here.

Our dance unit included both circle and line dances of various styles. Students enjoyed dancing in a double circle to the American folk song Old Joe Clark, and in a double line set to the song Cotton Eyed Joe. Another fun dance was the German Dance, which is performed in small groups of four students. It was challenging to figure out how to do the clapping pattern and stay on the beat with the music.

We continued our study of African-American music by practicing on the African drums. Students practiced rhythm patterns, improvised their own rhythm patterns, and put patterns together to create an ensemble piece. When we added other African small percussion instruments we filled the entire room with sound, yet it all fit together with the beat and it sounded great! Click here to listen! We have been talking to the students about choir and band in 6th grade and encouraging everyone to sign up. It is a talented group of students we are sending to the middle school and we look forward to attending their concerts in coming years.

From Park's Science Specialists - Mrs. Kucera & Mrs. Mueller

In order to learn science, you must do science!

Science Lab spent most of 3rd trimester learning about plants. We explored the various plant parts such as roots, stems, leaves, flowers, and seeds. A comparison between a dry and wet seed was done by dissecting both to learn about what is stored inside a seed. We discovered leaves are green because of a pigment called chlorophyll, and we connected this to photosynthesis: the process by which plants make their own food. Celery stems were used to further examine how plants move minerals and water from its roots. Toward the end of April, two visitors from the City of Hutchinson shared with our students about the various trees we have growing in Minnesota and the many ways we can care for this precious resource. As a closure, we learned about Carl Linnaeus, a scientist that focused on classification of plants and animals. He is credited for developing taxonomy. While learning about Linnaeus, students had the opportunity to sort nature in a variety of ways.

We hope your scientist can take the information they learned throughout this entire year and apply this to the many things they will see and do over the summer months! Whether you are hiking, camping, visiting a lake or ocean, playing in your neighborhood park, touring a national park, or exploring your own backyard, there are tons of science activities you can do with things that are all around you! Take these opportunities to go bird watching, find unique plants, collect weird rocks, or discover new insects.

Try some of the following project resources to get outside, have fun, and enjoy science.

Sign up for weekly science experiments:

50 summer science experiments:

Summer Science Camp Opportunities

A "Turducktile" Science Lab Creation

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Park Elementary School

Park Elementary School serves approximately 875 students in second through fifth grade. Our purpose is to meet the needs of the whole child with an emphasis on basic academic skills. We are committed to providing as many hands-on-learning experiences as possible in all academic areas. We want our students to know, understand, and apply what we teach. We provide instruction and opportunities in all academic areas. As an elementary school, our focus is on language arts and mathematics.