Hello 5th grade families,
Happy first weekend of Fall! I sure am happy that it looks like this 80 degree weather is finally leaving us. Hoping you had a wonderful and restful weekend! I certainly did (despite the Spartans painful loss on Saturday...).
Last week we spent time focusing on Powers of 10 in math, and discussed the patterns that we noticed, how to write numbers in exponential form, and how to multiply and divide with a power of ten. We will continue to work on this concept this week as well. Also as a reminder- students have weekly reflex math homework that is worth 15 points. They have from Monday-Sunday night to get onto Reflex the # of times they are required, and they must get a green light. The number of times they have Reflex depends on their fluency percentage, which I can check for them as needed. They also should know how to check this. The reason they must get a green light is because that signifies that they have practiced for a sufficient amount of time during each session. If your child cannot access Reflex at home, they are able to complete it during their lunch/recess time during the week or when they have free time in class.
In language arts we had our first experience with centers, and it went wonderfully. We worked on the following concepts: pausing to assess our comprehension while reading independently, creative paragraph writing, and spelling. We also began a grammar review as well. We were introduced to a new app/website called wordswithfriendsedu.com, which was a lot of fun! If you are familiar with the app Words With Friends (or the game Scrabble), it functions just like that except there are educational components as well. For example: students are asked questions on how to correctly use their words that they play in a sentence & definitions are provided to help students guess which word they have available to play. We will use this frequently throughout the year as a way for students to work on spelling in a fun and engaging way. It is available for free either via the website or by app (iPads only).
In religion for room 116, we are just about finished with chapter one. We have been enjoying great conversation as we learn about divine revelation and the many ways that God reveals himself to us. We also spent time in class last week selecting our personal mission for the year. We researched quotes from Saints and selected the quote that spoke to us and that we feel we are motivated to live up to this year. These will be on display in the hallway very soon- keep your eyes out for these! :-)
-Religion test #1 (for room 116) will be Thursday, 9/29. We will be getting our review tomorrow.
-Math test #1 will be Thursday, 10/6.
-Monday 9/26: Room 118 math, Room 116 reading
-Wednesday 9/28: Room 118 reading, Room 116 math
-Wednesday 10/5: Science (all)
-Picture day is this Thursday
-Scholastic orders for this month are due 9/30.
*I apologize for sending these out so late- usually I send them out at the beginning of the month. They will go home every month except October. The bonus points that we earn from every $ spent go towards the expansion of our wonderful classroom library- this is how I have been able to get about 90% of my books that we currently have in our classroom!
Have a wonderful evening and a wonderful week!
Hello 5th grade families,
I hope this email finds you well! This week was absolutely wonderful, I have really enjoyed continuing to get to know everyone and I appreciate all of the positivity and hard work that our kids displayed every day.
We spent a good portion of the week talking about growth mindset, which is the belief that one has the ability to change their intelligence (learn/continue to get better at something). We had great conversations about how we can be positive this year and also help each other when we notice that a classmate is struggling with believing in themselves, whether it's inside or outside of school. We've discussed things we might say to ourselves or each other to encourage us to work hard and not give up. We've also discussed how failing or not succeeding at something right away can help us learn and eventually become successful, and learned about some "famous failures" as well (Albert Einstein, Michael Jordan, Oprah Winfrey..just to name a few). I am already noticing positive things being said in our classroom after these discussions, and I'm hoping you'll notice the same at home.
We also ran through our first math center rotations to get the feel of how math centers will run in our classroom. I typically will do this at least once a week. We also learned about problem of the week, which is a weekly assignment that I will be starting on Tuesday next week. Problem of the week is always due on Fridays. These problems are meant to be challenging and cause a little bit of struggle, so please know it's okay if you notice this at home. You are welcome to help your child at home, but it is very important that they are using problem solving strategies to try to solve the problem on their own as well. I will always send out a picture of my problem of the week board via Remind, so your child can work on the problems at home if needed.
*Reminder- no school Friday or Monday this week
Have a wonderful long weekend!
Good evening 5th grade families!
For those of you that I have not had the opportunity to meet yet, my name is Natalie D'Amico and this year I am your child's teacher for language arts and math (and religion if they are in my homeroom). This is my third year here at St. Thomas Aquinas, and I continue to be so wonderfully grateful to be a part of this community! God is GOOD! I had such a great first week of school and enjoyed getting to know your child. We had so much fun together! I hope that they had a wonderful first week as well.
I will be sending out a class update via email that will inform you of upcoming events, concepts we will be working on, and other important information. The contents of these newsletters will be emailed you and I will send out a Remind message notifying when I have sent the email. I also save all newsletters to my classroom website so you can access them there as well. These updates will be sent at the end of the week, typically by Sunday.
I realize there are quite a few methods of technology that I use, and I do apologize if that seems overwhelming. In terms of getting a hold of me, I typically tell families to use whatever communication method they prefer- I always respond no matter what. You are always welcome to email me or call me, or I also respond to the messaging features on Remind and Class Dojo. The main methods of communication that I use are Remind (for daily updates) and email (weekly updates).
Do I have to create an account on Remind & Class Dojo?
Neither is required, though they are both tools that will be used daily throughout the year. If you are hesitant about joining both, I would highly recommend that you at least join Remind. This is what I use to send out daily homework and important reminders.
A note about Remind
Class website (msdamicosclass.weebly.com)
This is not a website you need to check daily, though there will be things you or your child will find useful throughout the year. I usually will have important dates from the school calendar, what we are learning, links that we use in class for you to access at home. I suggest bookmarking the link, looking around the site, and getting to know the layout of the website for now.
I'm sure most/all of you received the Twitter permission form that was sent home. The two main reasons I chose to incorporate a Twitter account in my classroom two years ago are: to teach my students how to safely interact with social media, as it is becoming more and more prevalent in our world, and to extend the walls of our classroom by interacting with classrooms across the world. In the past, my classroom Twitter has been used as a way for us to connect with our favorite authors, share our thinking and have discussions with other classrooms during the Global Read Aloud, and share what we have learned with the world. While the account is public, it is completely monitored by me- I do not allow anyone that is not a parent, teacher, or other classroom to follow our account. Also, I am the one that does the 'Tweeting' 99% of the time. If there ever is an opportunity where I do give students the chance to tweet, it is a whole class activity where we are all coming up with the Tweet together. I do not give students the log in information to our classroom twitter.
With that said, I completely support your beliefs as parents and do not make Twitter a requirement. If you do not feel comfortable with your child interacting with our classroom Twitter in any way, you do not need to sign the permission form. If you are curious about our classroom twitter, feel free to explore previous posts & follow us if you'd like.
Reminders for this week:
-Casual dress tomorrow, bring a donation for St. John's food pantry
-Paper bag project due tomorrow
-Mass on Wednesday this week (all school)
-No school Friday or Monday 9/5
Thank you for all of your support so far this year! I am looking forward to working with you and your child.
*PS- future emails will not be this long! I apologize :-)
Hello 5th Grade Families,
I hope that you are all enjoying the start to the Advent season. I cannot believe Christmas is right around the corner! Time is flying by. Here are some important updates and dates to be aware of for the next few weeks:
Important dates this week:
Monday: Adopt a family begins. Please see an email from Melissa Morley with a digital copy of the family's wish list (thank you Melissa!) FIAT projects are due.
Tuesday: All School Mass for the Feast of the Immaculate Conception, 9am
*Scholastic Book orders are due Monday, 12/14. Please consider ordering as it helps us get more books for our classroom library!
Hello 5th grade families,
As promised, I am sending out an email explaining/clarifying information about our next math test (along with other updates for next week).
Our wonderful students are just about ready to test for our next two concepts: reading/writing/comparing decimals and rounding decimals. I sent home the review tonight as homework (due tomorrow), and we will begin reviewing tomorrow. Because I am going to be out of town next Wednesday-Friday (I am attending the National Council of Teachers in Mathematics conference in Nashville, TN), our choices were limited to test 11/17 (Tuesday) or 11/23 (last day before break starts). The reason for it only being possible on Tuesday of next week is that I do not feel comfortable leaving a test for the kids while a sub is here (I would not be here to clarify anything/answer questions). So, I asked the kids for feedback today on when they felt that they would be ready- next week or the following week. I have chosen to offer it as a choice. On Monday I will ask them to decide of they are ready to take the test 11/17 or on 11/24- students that are ready on 11/17 will take it then and those that aren't will take it 11/24. Hopefully that makes sense- please email me if you have any questions.
Other important updates/reminders...
Please do not hesitate to email me with any questions! Have a fabulous evening, and I hope to see you tomorrow at Faith & Fundamentals!
Good morning and happy Friday!
I hope that everyone has had a wonderful week and enjoying the great weather we had this week. It sure was a blessing!
This week we have accomplished a lot! We have started our next mini unit under our Numbers & Operations in Base Ten unit, which covers reading/writing/comparing/ordering decimals through thousandths as well as rounding decimals. This will not be as long as the last mini unit- I am anticipating another math test to fall on either 11/16 or 11/17. I will update you more next week.
We are also nearing the end of the Global Read Aloud- this has been quite the journey! This is my first year with this project, and I have to say it has been truly amazing to see all of the skills being developed through the GRA. This week specifically, we focused on building theories about our main character by completing a Color-Symbol-Image routine, which comes from the book Visible Thinking. We also created 'Character Selfies,' for which we viewed a specific part of the story through the eyes of our character. These are on display in the hallway- be sure to take a look! We also met digitally with our two partner classes in Wisconsin and Missouri, and have been discussing the book with classrooms in other parts of the world as well.
Thank you for all that you do! Have a wonderful weekend!
Hello 5th grade families,
Happy Monday! I hope that everyone had a wonderful weekend and hope we are more well-rested if you were at camp with us. It was a blast! We sure were blessed with beautiful weather. Thanks again to those that chaperoned, we could not have done it without you.
Just wanted to send out an email to update us on what is happening this week (there are quite a few things). Please let me know if you need clarification on anything.
That is it for now- please do not hesitate to reach out if you have a question about anything!
Hello 5th grade families!
Wow, have we been busy! I apologize for it taking me so long to send out another weekly update. We have been working hard over in room 116! Thank you for being understanding. Also (side note)- thank you to the families that graciously donated books to our classroom library during the Scholastic Book Fair last week. I feel so blessed that you thought of our growing library! The kids were SUPER excited! Thank you again!
In math, we have been working hard on the first two subtopics of our Place Value unit. Our first section covers a review of place value though the millions and decimal place value through the thousandths. We have also discussed the relationship between place values. We are also working on powers of ten and writing numbers in exponential form and using scientific notation. I was hoping for a test before camp next week, but it is looking like that will be happening the week after camp (for sure). We will be aiming to test the last week of October (most likely 10/29). The test itself will be 20 questions, and we always spend at least two full days reviewing together as well as going over a review packet that I will send home. The review is always exactly like the test, aside from the numbers in the questions being changed.
Ways you can help at home:
In language arts, we have been loving participating in the Global Read Aloud! We have been learning so much every day! Each day we read a few chapters from our book, Fish in a Tree, and we have discussions about what we have read. We are also going to be continuing making connections with other classrooms across the country. On Thursdays (this started today), we began our virtual literature circles with our 5th grade friends in Missouri using a discussion tool called TodaysMeet. It was a lot of fun! If you haven't already, check out the 'pictures' tab on Msdamicosclass.weebly.com to see our pictures from Mystery Skype! We are also going to be getting back into word work, starting next week. This will be completely done in class. We will be reviewing syllable patterns, vowel sounds, and other important word work concepts that the students have previously worked on in fourth grade. This is great practice and can continue to strengthen fluency, spelling, and reading comprehension skills. Lastly, we are loving our Kidblogs! Parents, don't be afraid to leave us some comments- some of the posts are public! All you have to do is type in your name when leaving a comment.
Have a wonderful and blessed weekend, and Go GREEN! :)
Hello and Happy Friday!
I hope that everyone had a wonderful week and enjoyed the fabulous weather we were blessed with. I know I did!
We had quite the busy week over in 5th grade- kudos to our kids for doing great on our 3 days of NWEA testing. No more testing until the winter- woo hoo! We also dove into unit 1: place value in math by kicking things off with a refresh of place value concepts taught last year in 4th grade. Next week, we will be covering powers of ten and discussing place value more in depth. Additionally, we had our first Problem of the Week. Great job to everyone that completed and turned in the assignment!
In language arts, we have started by focusing on similes/metaphors, prepositions, using context clues, etc. We went through our first language center rotation and did a fabulous job! In other exciting news, we also had some great discussions on digital citizenship & internet safety as we prepare to finally begin our yearly blogging on Kidblog.org. I am very excited about this, as are the kids! I was able to share kidblog and log in information with my classroom (116), so they are to try to log in this weekend and get to know the site or app (it is available as an app on tablets ONLY). If your child is in room 118, we unfortunately did not have time today to introduce Kidblog, but that will happen on Monday! I have sent home an informational letter on Kidblog for you to read (116 parents only), so please look for it. It is also available via Remind and attached to this email as well. 118 parents, you will receive a paper copy on Monday.This letter fills you in on what the website is, how it works, its safety features, and why we will be using it this year. Also, there will be a letter on our Digital Citizenship unit coming home on Monday for all families to read.
FYI for next week...
-Monday: Last day to submit a September book order!
-Wednesday: science test
-Thursday: social studies test, 1/2 day of school
Also, conferences are Wednesday and Thursday next week. Please let us know if you cannot make your assigned time.
As always, do not hesitate to reach out to me if you have any questions about anything! And thank you for sharing your children with me, every week has been so wonderful!