Week of 2/4/2019

Happy Wednesday, Parents!

Here’s what’s happening this week:

Reading:  We are finishing strong with our week 1 unit of study, “Technology’s Impact on Society.” In this unit, students will continue to read and compare literary and nonfiction selections about the role that technology has played in people’s lives. We began our unit with reading the poems, “Technology and The Lowell Mill Girls”
You can start some dialogue with your child by asking:
  • Discuss how life might have changed for many young women as they left the country and moved to cities to work in factories.

Our fifth graders also read the article “Eli Whitney’s Cotton Gin”

You can continue the conversation by asking:

  • What problem did Whitney hope to solve with the cotton gin?
  • Along with the cotton gin, what other factors allowed for the growth of the cotton industry?

Other questions you may ask:  What new technologies have changed people’s lives in recent years? How did technology help people in the past?

Math:  We are half way through this module!  Students will have an opportunity to show their understanding by taking the Mid Module 4 test.  Below are two examples students have been working on.  For more examples click here to view further explanation on this topic.

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Tape Diagram

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Converting Units 

Social Studies:  Students have learned that the American Revolution was a time when the British colonists in America rebelled against the rule of Great Britain. There were many battles fought and the colonies gained their freedom and became the independent country of the United States.  So far, we have read a variety of passages, watched videos and discussed the causes and effect of these battles.  Check out below our “poetry battle” between the British and Patriots.  Ask your child:

  • Based on this poem, how do the British feel?
  • How do the Patriots respond?
  • Who’s battle would you be part of?  Why?

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Physical Education:  Reminder: Our fifth graders will participate in the California Physical Fitness Test (PFT). The FITNESSGRAM is the required annual PFT for students in grades five, seven, and nine in California public schools. This health-related fitness test is intended to help students acquire lasting habits of regular physical activity. Please click on the following link to find out more information.

English Letter:pft parent notification letter_english

Spanish Letter: pft parent notification letter_spanish

During PE instruction, we have been practicing the 6 Fitness areas students will be tested on. Screen Shot 2019-02-06 at 10.38.12 PM.png Your child can continue to practice at home by clicking here!  You will find videos of the all the fitness areas your child will be tested on.  Enjoy the exercise!

Again, if you have any questions please let us know.

Fifth Grade Team

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Pennies for Patients

It’s that time of year again! We are collecting coins and other donations for the annual Pennies for Patients (aka Pasta for Pennies) fundraiser in support of the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.

How it Works: Students collect spare change. The change (or dollars!) can come from friends, relatives, or underneath the couch cushions. What’s important is that the change is collected and turned into classroom boxes. Students can also donate online!

New This Year: When students raise $5, parents fill out the prize coupon for a power ring.  Students will continue to earn prizes through their ONLINE FUNDRAISING PAGE. Students do not receive prizes based on the coin box, only their online fundraising page. See the flyer below for more details. However, the most important thing is raise money to help research into this devastating disease.

2019 Dear Parent Letter (1)

Week of 1/28/2019

Dear Parents,

Happy Monday!  Welcome to quarter 3! A lot has been happening since we started, but here’s what will be focusing on these next couple of days:

Reading:  Welcome to our next unit of study, “Technology’s Impact on Society.”  As we begin our fifth unit in the Benchmark Advance program, we are approaching the halfway mark!  The selections in this unit will get us thinking about the role that technology has played in people’s lives. The focus will be on the Industrial Revolution and how it changed the way people lived and worked. The selections include a variety of genres, such as poetry, informational texts, historical fiction, and biography.  This thought-provoking unit will allow you and your child to think about how technology has impacted you, your family, and the society you live in.

Math:  We are currently working on Module 4 where students are learning to multiply fractions and decimal fractions as well as working with fraction division.  Equal sharing with area models provides students with an opportunity to understand division of whole numbers with answers in the form of fractions or mixed numbers (e.g., seven brownies shared by three girls, three pizzas shared by four people). Students will learn that tape diagrams provide a linear model of these problems.  Check out the examples below or click here for another parent resource.

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Social Studies:  Students will explore the answer to the question “How did conflict/cooperation among different groups of people affect the development of the United States?”  The American Revolutionary war is a significant point in the history of America.  By studying this time period, students will gain a better understanding of historical concepts and themes, as well as individual and global connections in history.  It will give students an understanding of the founding of America and help students better appreciate how this historical period relates to their lives.

 

Read Aloud:  We started our new book!  Chains is a book that talks about the Revolutionary War.  One of characters students will be learning is thirteen-year-old Isabel who wages her own fight… for freedom. Promised freedom upon the death of their owner, she and her sister, Ruth, in a cruel twist of fate become the property of a malicious New York

screen shot 2019-01-28 at 10.42.03 pmCity couple, the Locktons, who have no sympathy for the American Revolution and even less for Ruth and Isabel. When Isabel meets Curzon, a slave with ties to the Patriots, he encourages her to spy on her owners, who know details of British plans for invasion. She is reluctant at first, but when the unthinkable happens to Ruth, Isabel realizes her loyalty is available to the bidder who can provide her with freedom.
Some questions you may ask your child:

  • Describe the life of slaves in the American colonies in the 1700s.
  • Isabel and Ruth Finch are slaves. How are their lives similar to those of other slaves you’ve read about? How are they different from them?

 

 

Writing:  Students will work on the following essential question as they begin writing opinion essays: How do we express our opinions clearly to inform the reader of our perspectives?

As we guide them through the process we are making sure students are:

  • Responding to all parts of the prompt
  • Introduce the topic and state opinion about the topic
  • Grouping related information logically.
  • Developing the topic with facts, definitions, concrete details, quotations, or other information and examples related to the topic.
  • Providing a concluding statement or section related to the information or explanation presented.

Physical Education:  In February 2019 our students our fifth graders will participate in the California Physical Fitness Test (PFT). The FITNESSGRAM is the required annual PFT for students in grades five, seven, and nine in California public schools. This health-related fitness test is intended to help students acquire lasting habits of regular physical activity. Please click on the following link to find out more information.

English Letter:pft parent notification letter_english

Spanish Letter: pft parent notification letter_spanish

Any questions?  Please let us know!  Have great week, parents!

Fifth Grade Team

Variety Show Information

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Download the information packet: 2019-variety-show

Week of 12/10/18

Dear Parents,

Happy Thursday! We can’t believe we have one more week left before quarter 2 ends!  Here’s what’s happening in fifth grade before we are off to winter break:

Reading: This week, students completed the Level Set (reading test) on Achieve3000.  The purpose of this test is to establish your child’s reading level, so we can continue to support your student’s reading skills.  Note that this is only one measure of your child’s reading level.

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Math:  Students are continuing to work on seeing that fraction addition and subtraction are analogous to whole number addition and subtraction. Students add and subtract fractions with unlike denominators by replacing different fractional units with an equivalent fraction or like unit. Screen Shot 2018-12-13 at 8.51.20 PM

Students also move away from the pictorial altogether as they are empowered to write equations clarified by the model. Screen Shot 2018-12-13 at 8.54.37 PM

We also are moving towards adding and subtracting fractions greater than or equal to 1 so that students begin to see and manipulate fractions in relation to larger whole numbers and to each other. This leads to an understanding of and skill with solving more complex problems, which are often embedded within multi-step word problems.

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 Need another math resource?  Check this one out!

Science:  We are towards the end of our matter unit! Students engaged in scientific dialogue and developed conceptual understandings of the nature of matter, and how matter changes from one form to another. Students explored those characteristics of matter (i.e.,physical and chemical properties) that are useful to classify and differentiate substances. Throughout this unit, students analyzed scientific data by collecting, using, interpreting and comparing experimental results.   Check out this website that shows pretty cool videos of physical and chemical changes!

Blood on the River Read Aloud:   Students have enjoyed getting to know the characters in the story!  To continue the conversation at home, here some guiding questions you may ask your child:

  • Which place would you rather live, in Namontack’s village or James Town? Discuss the positives and negatives of each.
  • Reverend Hunt has another conversation with Samuel about making right decisions. Do you believe it is true that you will always know the right decision when you choose from love? Give examples of how this may or may not be true.
  • Samuel says to Reverend Hunt, “Thank you for treating me like I was worth something.” What does Samuel mean by this? What difference did Reverend Hunt make in Samuel’s life? How might Samuel have been different without his influence?
Any questions? Please let us know!
Fifth Grade Team 

Yearbook Cover Contest

If your child loves art, he or she may want to enter the yearbook cover contest. Each entry must include:

1. “Unique in Every Way”
2. The Robo logo
screenshot-2013-10-24-23-07-14
3. 2018 – 2019
4. Enrique S. Camarena

Don’t forget to put your name and room number on the BACK of your drawing. All entries are due no later than Wednesday, December 19!

Week of 11/26/2018

Dear Parents,

Welcome back and happy Wednesday! I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving break! Here’s what’s happening this week:

Reading:  Welcome to our next unit of study, “Comparing Points of View.” We hope you’ve enjoyed our first three units and are ready for “Comparing Points of View.” In this unit, we’ll be reading plays, humor, and science fiction as well as a diary and folktales. To compare points of view, we’ll study familiar stories that have been given fresh twists. For example, we’ll read an entry in Cinderella’s diary and then a play that dramatizes how her stepmother and stepsisters feel about her. Likewise we’ll hear how the giant and giantess feel betrayed by Jack, and we’ll even learn what the cow Jack sells thinks of him, too. By looking at differing points of view, your child should gain a better understanding of story elements and literature. It’s our hope, as well, that our students will also gain insights into their own lives. And since so many of our reading selections are silly and humorous, we think we’ll have a lot of fun, too.

Math: We started Module 3!  The beginning of this module, students will revisit the foundational Grade 4 standards addressing equivalence. When equivalent, fractions represent the same amount of area of a rectangle and the same point on the number line. These equivalencies can also be represented symbolically. Screen Shot 2018-11-28 at 9.44.18 PM

Click here for a great math resource!

Science:  A variety of online videos, strategies of think–pair-share, model drawings, and writing pieces will help students understand the following essential questions:

  • How can matter be described and identified?
  • How do physical and chemical changes affect matter?

As we begin our matter unit, your child will learn that matter is made up of particles too small to be seen, but we can prove it exists.  We will learn that the amount of matter is conserved when it changes form.  They will also identify matter based on properties which can be measured and observed.  

During this unit of study, students will observe, measure, and identify materials based on their properties and begin to get a conceptual understanding of the particle nature of matter (i.e., all matter is made of particles too small to be seen). In the first portion of the unit, students will focus on describing a variety of physical properties. These observations and measurements will be used to produce data that will serve as the basis for evidence that will be used to identify materials.

Writing: We are continuing on the process of informative writing.  Currently, students are learning about sharks and whales and eventually write compare and contrast informative essay on these two animals.  As we guide them through the process we are making sure students are:

  • Responding to all parts of the prompt
  • Introducing a topic clearly and providing a general observation and focus.
  • Grouping related information logically.
  • Developing the topic with facts, definitions, concrete details, quotations, or other information and examples related to the topic.
  • Providing a concluding statement or section related to the information or explanation presented.

 

Have a great rest of the week! Please contact your child’s teacher if you have any questions.

Fifth Grade Team

Week of 11/06/2018

Dear Parents,

Happy Monday! Hope you had a great weekend! Here’s what’s happening this week:

Reading: We are excited to begin our third unit in the Benchmark Advance program. In this unit, your child will read and compare selections about cultivating food in the past and today to understand how we develop our natural resources. They will explore the big business of farming as well as how to grow corn in your own neighborhood. They will] look especially at the history of corn as a food resource in North America, and follow its development into the big industry it is today.  The selections in this unit feature a variety of genres, including informational texts, opinion essays, tall tales, folktales, and editorials. This unit is sure to inspire deeper interest in where our food comes from, and it provides good opportunities for out-of-the-classroom learning.

Math: We are almost towards the end of this module!  This week we will take some time to review previous standards to prepare students for the upcoming Module 2 test.

Recently, we have been working on dividing decimal dividends by multiples of 10, using basic facts to approximate decimal quotients with two-digit divisors, reasoning about the placement of the decimal point and making connections to a written method.  We are finishing this unit by making sure students apply the work of Module 2 to solve multi-step word problems using multi-digit division.  An emphasis on checking the reasonableness of their answers draws on skills learned throughout the module, including refining their knowledge of place value, rounding, and estimation.   Click here for a another great math resource!

Writing: We are currently working on the process of informative writing.  But before students can write proficient fifth grade writing pieces, students need to have a clear understanding of proficiency.  Here’s the success criteria we will be using which will guide students as they write their informative pieces.

Respond to ALL parts of the prompt
Introduce a topic clearly and provide a general observation and focus.
Group related information logically.
Develop the topic with facts, definitions, concrete details, quotations, or other information and examples related to the topic.
Provide a concluding statement or section related to the information or explanation presented.
Use a variety of transitional words, phrases, and/or clauses
Use precise language and academic vocabulary
Use paragraphs to organize writing
Organize writing that attends to task, purpose, and audience
Use appropriate voice
Use correct punctuation, capitalization, and grammar
Write legibly with correct spacing and margins

Social Studies:  We are currently learning about the 13 colonies and the factors that shaped colonial North America.  A question you may ask your child is:

  • How did conflict/cooperation among different groups of people affect the development of the United States?  

The book, Blood on the River, explores the day-to-day lives of the colonists at James Town, Virginia, as well as themes such as learning how to react to anger and conflict.     A major theme in the novel is presented when the character, Captain Smith says, “Don’t let your anger get the best of you, Samuel. . . . Learn to channel it, and it will become your strength rather than your weakness.”  Discuss with your child, what does Captain Smith mean by this? What can we infer about these characters?

Have a great week, parents!

Any questions, please let us know!

Fifth Grade Team

 

Essay Contest (Optional)

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Red Ribbon Week is here!!