Archive for January 2010

Dear Parents,

This week in Room 304, we will continue to concentrate on writing expository essays as part of our ISAT practice.  In 5th grade, students are required to write an expository essay during ISATs.  In addition, we will begin to focus on extended response writing in Math to prepare for ISAT testing.  Report Cards will be distributed on Wednesday to students. Please review these with your child.  I am available for conferencing most morning between 8:30 and 9.   Please contact me via email:  agkrecik@cps.edu.

Reading: In addition to students’ daily responsibilities in Reader’s Workshop, we will focus on identifying the elements of a fairy tale.  Students will work in guided reading groups to compare/contrast two versions of the same fairy tale.   We will work in our ISAT prep books during the week and students will have ISAT prep work over the weekend.  Students will receive their new AR goal this week.  Make sure that your child is reading an AR book at home.  AR is 10% of the overall reading grade.

Writing: Students will continue to improve writing practice for expository essays.  We will focus on writing Knockout Endings and word choice this week.

Math: This week, we will cover lessons 5.2, 5.3 and part of 5.4:  Fractions.  Expect students to have math homework every day this week.  In addition, we will continue developing our short and extended responses in class.  On Thursday, students will take a short quiz to check progress.  Students will have ISAT prep work over the weekend.

Science: This week we will make our own magnifiers and test them.  We will  decide what is required to make a good magnifier.

Social Studies: We will begin studying the Thirteen colonies this week.  Students will be responsible for reading on Monday and Wednesday evenings for homework.  In class, students will be writing fictional letter to a relative back in England describing life in a New England colony.

Spelling: Because of the important work we are doing in class for ISAT prep, we are suspending spelling until after ISATs are complete.  We will resume weekly spelling in March.

NOTE:  Does anyone read these?  I have been wondering lately…if so, would you let me know.  I would like to post additional information on these posts, but if no one reads them, I guess there is no point!

Dear Parents,

This week in Room 304, we will be concentrating on writing expository essays as part of our ISAT practice.  In 5th grade, students are required to write an expository essay during ISATs.  My job is to prepare students well which will help alleviate some of the worry that testing can bring.           Student groups have completed their descriptive writing project, “Make A Menu”.  The menus will be on display in the hallway by the end of the week.  Feel free to stop by and see the great work each group has done.  If you have any questions, please contact me via email:  agkrecik@cps.edu.

Reading: In addition to students’ daily responsibilities in Reader’s Workshop, we will focus on identifying the elements of a fairy tale.  Students will work in guided reading groups to compare/contrast two versions of the same fairy tale.    Students will have ISAT prep work over the weekend that is related to story elements.  Students should be reading books to accomplish their AR goal for the quarter.  In addition, students should have one completed Alternative AR project completed by Thursday.

Writing: Students will present group writing projects:   “Make A Menu”.  Students will continue to improve writing practice for expository essays.  We will focus on writing Good Grabbers, transitions, and Knockout Endings.

Math: This week, we will begin Unit 5:  Fractions.  Expect students to have math homework every day this week.  In addition, we will continue practicing division and developing our short and extended responses in class.  On Thursday, students will take a short quiz to check progress.  Students will have Fraction-related ISAT prep work over the weekend.

Science: This week we will make observations on ordinary objects and practice communicating our observations in writing.  We will make our own magnifiers and develop hypotheses on what makes a good magnifier.

Social Studies: Students will complete their Treasure Box presentations this week.  These projects turned out so wonderful!  On Wednesday, students will take a Chapter 5 test.  I will send a study packet home on Monday.

Spelling: Students should study weekly spelling words for the week.  Our test will be Friday.

****Remember that there is no school this Friday, January 29, 2010****

Last week, the Benchmark assessments in reading and math slowed our progress in other subjects areas.  These tests are so beneficial to students and help prepare them for the procedures of ISATs in March.  This week, we will be working hard in class to develop more successful strategies to prepare for ISATs in March.  I hope you had a chance to work with your child in their ISAT books over the weekend.  My goal is to prepare students as much as possible so they are successful.  For additional test taking practice, please access the website I have listed, as it provides online practice in the ISAT format:

http://metacat2.com/iltestlinks.html

Again, we could really use Kleenex.  If you think about it and can donate some, our runny noses would really appreciate it!  Finally, students will have only till January 28th to achieve their AR goal.  Please encourage your child’s reading so that they may meet their goal.  If you have any questions, please contact me via email:  agkrecik@cps.edu.

Reading: In addition to students’ daily responsibilities in Reader’s Workshop, we will review the reading strategy, using context clues.  In addition, students will write an extended response to a read aloud in class.   For weekend ISAT practice, students will work on identifying story elements.  Students should be reading books to accomplish their AR goal for the quarter.

Writing: Students will present group writing projects:   “Make A Menu”.  In addition, students will write expository essays to practice for ISAT and read, analyze and write poetry in class.

Math: This week, we will complete Unit 4:  Division.  We will clarify different methods for division and dividing decimals and work on Short answer Responses and extended responses.  For weekend ISAT practice, students will work on fractions.  Students will take a Unit 4 test on Thursday.  We will begin Unit 5:  Fractions next week.  Homework: SL 4.5, 4.6 and Math Journal pp:  110, 113-114.

Science: This week we will make observations on ordinary objects and practice communicating our observations in writing.

Social Studies: This week, students will continue presenting their Explorer Treasure boxes.  We will read about Dutch and French colonization this week. Students will take the Chapter 5 exam next week.

Spelling: Students should study weekly spelling words for the week.  Our test will be Friday.

Dear Parents,

I apologize for not writing this in last week’s overview:  thank you for all of your kind wishes and treats for the holidays!  The holidays are truly one of my favorite times in the classroom, and I am sad to see them go.  Now it;s the time of year we get down to business.  We got the ball rolling early after break and there will continue to be momentum building into March.

Students are finishing up projects in Social Studies and Writing this week, and I look forward to seeing the results of their independent and group work.  ISATs are the first week of March, and we will begin preparing this week.  The principals have purchased workbooks for both reading and math for each student to use, so I will be assigning weekend work for the students to do.  I hope by assigning it over the weekend, you may have a chance to work with them.

Finally, we could really use Kleenex.  If you think about it and can donate some, our runny noses would really appreciate it!  If you have any questions, please contact me via email:  agkrecik@cps.edu.

Reading: We will review the rubric for Extended-Responses this week and students will write one in class for our shared reading book, Maniac Magee.  Students will be taking another Benchmark assessment in Reading on Tuesday.  As usual, students will be responsible for completing their letters in their Reader’s journal.  Students should be reading books to accomplish their AR goal for the quarter.

Writing: We will complete and present our group writing project:   “Make A Menu”.  In addition, we will write expository essays to practice for ISAT and read, analyze and write poetry in class.

Math: This week, we will continue working in Chapter 4:  Division.  We will clarify different methods for division and dividing decimals and work on short answer and extended responses.  Homework: SL 4.4, 4.5, 4.6 and Math Journal pp:  108, 110, 113-114.  Students will also take a Benchmark assessment in Math on Wednesday.

Science: This week we will make observations on a penny and become familiar with using a hand lens.

Social Studies: This week, students will give their oral presentations on their Explorer Treasure boxes.  We will read about and take notes on the first colonization of the New World.  Students will take a Unit 4 assessment on Friday.  I will hand out a study guide on Wednesday.

Spelling: Students should study weekly spelling words for the week.  Our test will be Friday.

Happy New Year!  I hope your holidays were relaxing and you had an opportunity to enjoy time with friends and family.  As we enter the beginning of the year, your student will be working harder than ever as a fifth grader.  We will begin preparing our minds and bodies with ISAT preparations.  We will be working on a few projects in school and at home right away this week.  If you have any questions, please contact me via email:  agkrecik@cps.edu.

Reading: This week, we will discuss the reading strategy, Making Connections. We will review the rubric for Extended-Responses this week and students will work write one in class for our shared reading book, Maniac Magee.  This is part of our ISAT preparation.  As usual, students will be responsible for completing their letters in their Reader’s journal.  Students should be reading books to accomplish their AR goal for the quarter.

Writing: We will focus on our writing project:   “Make A Menu”.  Homework this week: Write six food descriptions for group menus, and complete any other group assignments for Menu groups throughout the week.

Math: This week, we will begin Chapter 4:  Division.  In addition, this week students will begin the Daily Math Puzzler program.  This is a daily math problem that students must solve independently.  We will review the requirements of a good extended response this week.  Then, we will use a Daily Math Puzzler to write a math extended response as practice for ISATs on Friday in class. Homework: Study Links 4.1, 4.2, 4.3, 4.4

Science: I am almost finished with grading student research papers for Science Fair, and I will be giving a determining grade for Science Fair soon.  Stay tuned…

This week, we will begin our new unit:  Microworlds.  This unit will have three separate phases.  This week, we will begin Phase 1.  We will sharpen our observation skills by looking at ordinary objects with a scientific mind.  Students will be introduced to hand lenses, and we will record observations in our notebooks.

Social Studies: We will complete our study of the first explorers in the New World and begin focusing on the first colony.    I did not assign the Explorer research over break (I hope that wasn’t a confusion for you), but students will have time in computer lab on Monday and Wednesday to collect research on their explorer.  They will follow the guidelines and the rubric we have discussed in class to complete their Explorer Treasure Box.  This is an independent assignment that will be completed at home.  Treasure Boxes are due and will be presented on Monday, January 11.

Spelling: Students should study weekly spelling words for the week.  Our test will be Friday.