October 16

Reminder: Wednesday, 18 October from 2:10-2:50 p.m., parents are invited to the 5th grade classes to take part in the science lesson for Learning Comes Alive. At the end of the lesson, we are asking for feedback. We’ll have these questions posted and we’ll give you sticky notes for you to write one or two responses. Responses can be in whatever language you are most comfortable with.

-What I learned (from the lesson)
-What I enjoyed
-A question I have

Last week was a crazy full week! We had a great time at the Shenzhen Museum. Chaperones, please send any pictures you took to me so I can put them on the blog.

We also had a fantastic kick-off to our unit on investigators. All of 5th grade went up to Level 5 to take part in 4 rotations where they learned and practiced different skills that investigators use. One focused on using observation skills to observe and question. Another focused on learning the difference between qualitative vs. quantitative observations. A third one looked at different ways to measure and the importance of making predictions. The fourth one kind of combined all of those skills into one.

In reading and writing, we’re now in our nonfiction unit. We’ll be investigators in writing as we learn how writers use research to find answers to questions. We’ll also be investigators in reading as we read with the purpose of figuring out what the author was trying to say and what techniques they used to convey that information. This past week we starting building up our research skills by paraphrasing and determining main idea.

In math, we are investigating how the different models for multiplication relate to the algorithm. Last week we focused on comparing expressions without evaluating them. The kids should be able to tell you that (33 x 28) x 7 is 7 times greater than 33 x 28 without having to solve the expressions. We then started using Number Pieces to build base-10 models for multiplication. The kids’s homework tonight is to explain how to use that app and how the model relates to the partial products algorithm.

I apologize for not sending home the goal sheets last week. They were sent home tonight. Please sign them and return them tomorrow.

Last week was also our 5B assembly! The kids did so well! They wrote the whole thing based on all the research they had done in the civilizations unit. Mrs. Sheppard recorded it for me. I will see if I can share it somehow.

October 10

I hope you all had a restful break!

I have sent home three assessments for you to look over. Please sign the folders (2) and return the folders WITH the assessments IN the folders.

Tomorrow, I’ll be sending home the Trimester Goals sheet for you to sign with your child. After you both sign, please return that. I’ll then make a copy and send that back home with you so you can refer to it throughout the trimester.

Here are a few reminders:

  • Tomorrow (Wednesday, October 11) is swimming.
  • Tomorrow (Wednesday, October 11) is also our Shenzhen Museum Field trip. Students need to wear their red SIS shirts, BRING A PACKED LUNCH, and bring a water bottle and fully charged iPad.
  • Friday (October 13) from 8:15-8:45 a.m. is the assembly hosted by 5B located in the SPAH. Please come if you can!

Please check out the flyers below for information on a few more events.

September 26

What a great two days of presentations! The kids did really well with speaking in front of a large audience. I hope those of you who came learned some information on how civilizations grow and develop. Thanks for coming and making the presentations that much more special. Below are some pictures.

Below is also a poster for the first Spirit Day. Please read it over for all the details.

Tomorrow (Wednesday, 27 September) is library. We had a lot of kids forget their books last time. Please remind your child to put the books in his/her bag tonight.

Friday, 29 September is swimming. Since we have conferences on Thursday, I won’t be able to remind the kids. Please help them to remember to pack their swimming kits on Thursday night.

I’m looking forward to seeing everyone on Thursday. The kids are finishing up their goal sheets in preparation for our meetings.

Wow, this week you can be coming to school a lot! If you’re able, we hope to see you for the Publishing Party on Friday, 29 September from 11:40 a.m.-12:10 p.m.

September 22


  • Please reply to my field trip email to let me know if you give permission for your child to go on the October 11 field trip.
  • Thursday, September 28 is the Fall Goal Setting Conference. There is no school for students. Please sign up for a 20 minute time for you and your child to come on that day. The links were sent today.
  • Please check the previous post to see what day your child is giving his/her Civilization Keynote Presentation. It is either Monday or Tuesday, 25 or 26 September from 1:30 – 2:30ish p.m. Hope you can come!
  • Please see below for the Narrative Publishing Party Invitation.
  • Save the date for 13 October. 5B will be hosting the assembly from 8:15-8:45 a.m. in the SPAH.
  • Click here for ways to help your student with the new math unit. Unit 2 Newsletter
  • Two folders were sent home today.
    • The math test folder needs to be signed and returned with the papers still in it.
    • The Friday Folder if full of papers that you can keep. That folder needs to be returned empty.

This past week…

…In math we took the unit 1 test, took the unit 2 pretest (Multiplying Whole Numbers and Decimals), and learned about order of operations and reading and writing expressions. Ask your child what PEMDAS means. Also ask them to show what expression they would write for 3 times the sum of 4 and 7. The math test folder was sent home today. Please look over the test and scoring rubric, sign the folder, and return the TEST AND FOLDER on Monday.

…In reading we focused on theme. Students worked with their book clubs to find evidence of how the author developed the theme of their book. They then compared the theme of their book with another book and contrasted how the themes were developed differently. The post test for this unit will be on Monday and Tuesday. Students can review the practice responses that they have on their iPads to study. (How is one part of the story important to the whole story? What author’s craft techniques are being used and what was the author’s goal for using them? What is the theme and how was it developed across the whole story? Compare and contrast the themes of two texts.)

…In social studies, students have been working hard on preparing for their presentations!

…In writing, students have been adding engaging hooks, dialogue, descriptive details that show-not tell, and vivid vocabulary to make their narratives more interesting for the reader. We’re getting ready to show off our narratives!

…We met our Reading Buddies!! It was so fun getting to know our first grade friends. 🙂 Ask your child to tell you about his/her buddy!

September 20

I have sent an email with the field trip information for our trip to the Shenzhen Museum on October 11. Please check that you have received it and reply with the needed information. If you did not get the email, please send an email to me. I’ve already gotten some replies, so thanks for that!

September 18


Civilization Presentation Times

Monday, 25 September, 1:30-2:30ish p.m. (not in presentation order)

Dorothy, Daniel, Tony, Bella, Nikki, Gareth, James, Summer, Kevin

Tuesday, 26 September, 1:30-2:30ish p.m. (not in presentation order)

Hugh, Soyeon, Kiki, Conrad, Eric, Nathan, Joshua, Misha, EunHyeok

Parents are welcome to come. Please plan on attending the whole block of time so that the students aren’t distracted by people coming and going. The presentations will be in our classroom.

September 15

This past week…

…in math, we learned how to use the number line to visualize how numbers are related to each other. Specifically, we used it to compare, order, and round decimals. We also learned how to use place value models to show what adding and subtracting decimals looks like. Remember, the test is on Monday!

…in reading, we identified author’s craft techniques and explained what the author’s goal was for using them. We also started to identify themes in our book club books as well as finding evidence in the text for these themes. Ask your child to share some author’s craft techniques (italics, bold words, repetition, descriptive language, figurative language, etc.) from their reading, as well as the themes. Then ask them to prove it with evidence.

…in writing, we continued to develop the ideas for our narratives by visualizing the setting, determining point of view, and deciding on a transformation for the main character to go through.

…in social studies, we continued to research ancient civilizations to find patterns in development. We also started thinking out the Keynote presentations that will be given on Monday and Tuesday, 25 and 26 September. Here is the information that was given to the students.

Civilizations GRASP 2017

Creative Consultancy Rubric 2017

Keynote Slides Design Guidelines

…in language, we learned about interjections. Ask your child to give you some examples of interjections. The Greek and Latin Root of the Week was ad. Ask your child what it means and what the example words were. We also started fluency! When the child reads the passage to me, they will be timed for 1 minute. I will be looking for accuracy (correct pronunciation), fluency (how smooth the reading is and if he/she pauses at the correct spots), pace (it should be natural, not too slow and not speed reading), and expression (does it sound like a person having a natural conversation).

Since the kids have a test to study for and a presentation to be preparing for, there is no interactive journal due this week.

Looking Ahead

The 2017 Goal Setting Conferences will be on Thursday, September 28. An email will be sent out next week with how to sign up for a time slot. All Grade 4 and 5 students are required to attend the conferences with their parents.

September 14

The math test is on Monday. The kids have the videos to review. They also have review questions to answer. Click here for the answers: Unit 1 Review Answer Key

The Civilization Keynote Presentations will be on Monday and Tuesday, September 25-26 from 1:30-2:30ish p.m. I’ll update you on Monday as to which day your child will be presenting.

See below for some information from our PSA:

Math Test

I’ve updated the Instructional Videos page so that there are videos for each lesson we have done and will do for this unit. Students can watch them to review for the test. They should watch the videos from Comparing the Value of Digits to Subtracting Decimals with Place Value Charts.