The Putney Post

West Homer Elementary--5th Grade

Dates to Remember

November 10- Read-a-Thon Ends

November 12- Pratt Museum Field Trip 1:00-3:00

November 15- Read-a-Thon Assembly (The Mummy is Revealed)

November 18- Read-a-Thon Pledges are due

November 22- Spirit Day: Dress Like Your Role Model

November 22- Read-a-Thon Activity Night 6:30-8:30pm

November 28 and 29- Thanksgiving Break

December 10, 11, 12- AWA Testing

December 10- Christmas Concert 6:30pm @ Mariner Theater

December 12- Quarter 2 Wooden Spoon Book Report due

December 12- Islands and Oceans Field Trip 12:00-2:00

December 13- Spelling Bee

December 20- Winter Break Begins

Classroom Happenings

The students in room 317 are working hard and making great progress. This past week we neared the end of several units of study. In math students demonstrated their understanding of division by taking their chapter three test. This test assessed students' ability to divide using single-digit divisors. In reading we read all but the last two chapters of Blood on the River. Students responded to their reading by participating in a Literature Circle Discussion. Each member of the group was given a different role: illustrator, discussion director, investigator, connector, or summarizer. The content learning that has happened through the Blood on the River reading experience was evident throughout the lively discussions led by the students. Finally, in writing students wrote the hook for their narratives using the writing of published authors as models. It is a privilege to work with your child each day. Thank you for all you do to support the learning in our classroom.

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What's Next?

We will be taking a field trip to the Pratt Museum this Tuesday (November 12th). We will be walking to and from the museum, so please ensure your child comes to school dressed for the weather.While at the museum we will be exploring the ways Native Americans in the Homer area adapted to the environment.

As we finish our work with Blood on the River, we will begin a new novel that I am so excited about sharing with our class. Wonder By: R.J. Palacio is a powerful story about a boy with a facial deformity trying to fit in with his fifth grade peers. Last year, it was the favorite read for my class by far and I expect this group of fifth graders will enjoy it just as much! I would highly recommend watching the book trailer (link below) and discussing the topics of the book with your child. Learning to understand people for who they really are and not just making assumptions based upon appearances is an overall theme we will be discussing throughout this reading experience.

In math we will be extending our division knowledge by working with two-digit divisors. The guessing and checking required to be successful when dividing two-digit divisors requires students to utilize their number sense. Having multplication facts memorized is a part of developing fifth grade number sense and fluency.

Practicing multiplication facts at home is a significant way you can support your child's math learning at home. It is our goal to have all of our facts memorized by Christmas Break. We are getting close, but your support at home will be needed in order for us to reach this goal. is a great resource for helping students memorize their facts. I can also create flashcards to send home if that is helpful to you.

Read-A-Thon 2013

The Read-a-Thon ends this Monday. Students will turn in their reading records Monday but will have until November 18th to get their pledges in to school. All money raised through the read-a-thon will provide Smart Technology for our school as well as new books for our classroom libraries.

On Friday, November 15th in the afternoon (exact time TBD) there will be a school-wide assembly to announce the mummy, class prizes, and individual student prizes.

On Friday, November 22nd, families are invited to spend the evening (6:30-8:30) at West Homer celebrating the good work of our WHE readers by participating in a variety of game stations. We are still in need of parents willing to run the game stations. If you are interested in helping, please let me know!

Quarter 2 Book Report- Wooden Spoon Character Puppet

Wooden spoons can be used for much more than stirring soups and tossing salads in the kitchen! This quarter you will be creating a character puppet out of a wooden spoon.

DUE: December 12th (THURSDAY)

Step 1: Choose a Character

· Make a mental list of the books you have read independently within the last month, or so. You may choose a book that you have read during Read-To-Self (at school) or a book you have read at home. (Books read together as a class may not be used for book reports.) Choose one book that you will use to complete your book report. Then, choose one character from that book to create your wooden spoon puppet.

· Brainstorm a list of traits possessed by the character. This will require some deep thinking about how the character acts, looks and thinks throughout the course of the book. If you cannot think of many traits to describe the character you will probably want to choose a character you can describe more clearly.

Step 2: Create the Puppet

· Create your puppet, using the wooden spoon as the body of the puppet. The materials you use to dress the wooden spoon character are endless. However, it is important to use materials that will represent the character well. (And of course, your puppet must be school appropriate.)

Step 3: Character Trading Cards

· You will also create a Character Trading Card to go along with your puppet. The information on the trading card will give your peers more information about the character you have chosen. I have provided a template for your trading card. You may write the trading card information directly on the template or create your own trading card template. If you create your own, the same information must be included. The information on the trading card will be written in complete sentences.

Step 4: Character Conversation Day

· On Friday, December 13th, you will bring your completed wooden spoon puppet and Character Trading Card to class. You will introduce your puppet and share the character information on the trading card in front of the class. After everyone has had an opportunity to introduce their character to the class you will get a chance to talk with other character puppets one-on-one.

A Note from the Librarian

The Scholastic Book Fair was a great success! We had so much fun the whole week having our very own book store in the library. Students helped run the fair and made changes to make it even better than last year! Students bought for themselves, for their families, and for their teachers. During Parent/Teacher conferences, upon parent and student request, I looked up Lexile numbers for books so that they could buy books just right for their reading level. I have already received many great suggestions for our next book fair after spring break. One student asked that the books to be grouped by Lexile level!

West Homer students are reading so much that we upped the number of books they may check out to 5!

Thank you for all the support—your students are awesome!

Lisa Whip

Cheryl Illg

West Homer Library

Cookbook Update

Our cookbook has been processed by Morris Cookbooks and will be printed in in the next week or so. The custom cover has been designed, and thanks to Don Pitcher, we have a fabulous picture of Homer fireweed on the cover.

Our original plan was to sell the books for $14.00 each. That planned changed as of Friday when Morris Cookbooks told us that shipping would cost an additional $300 since we live in Alaska. After discussing our options, we have decided to up the price of the cookbook to $15.00 to cover the additional shipping charges.

On Friday your child was sent home with a packet of cookbook order forms. These pre-order forms need to be returned to school before Thanksgiving break.

We will have a bake sale at the Christmas Concert, December 10th. We will be selling baked goods and copies of our cookbook there. After the Christmas Concert copies of the cookbook will be sent home with students to provide for family members and friends interested in purchasing our cookbook. Thank you again for your support. This fundraiser would be impossible without your help.

Don Pitcher- Cookbook Cover Photo

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IXL- Math Practice Site

To get your child started on your home computer, please follow these steps:

1. Go to

2. Enter your child’s username and password and click Sign in.

Username: firstinital,lastname@westhomer (EX: eputney@westhomer)

Password:firstinital,lastname (EX: eputney)

3. Choose 5th grade.

4. Find a skill to practice that relates to what we have been covering in class.

IXL Skills to Practice This Week: H10, H11, H12, H13