Hello 5th grade families, and happy Friday!
I hope that everyone has had a wonderful week. I can't believe spring break and Easter are right around the corner- what an exciting time! Those of us that are going somewhere, I hope we have a great and safe trip.
Next week on Monday, we have our grade level field trip to Grand Rapids to visit the Fredrick Meijer Gardens and imax theater. This field trip will pretty much take up the entire day (students will board the bus around 8:30, we will leave by 8:45, and we will return to school around 2:45). I am attending the Michigan Reading Association's annual conference Saturday-Monday, so my classroom will have a sub on Monday. On Thursday we have a half day and the Seder meal, and Friday we have no school (spring break begins).
This week we completed our latest math unit, which was focused on the Common Core standard 5.NF.3 as well as fractions, decimals, and percents. I will have the tests graded and back to us on Tuesday. We also began our next reading unit, which is titled 'Insight into Characters.' Students will be reading independently during this 4 week unit, and I will also be reading from our mentor text (Wonder by R.J. Palacio). The majority of our work in this unit will be done in your child's reading notebook, and we are also going to be using sticky notes as we read to stop and jot down notes about our character(s) as we go along. So far, we have covered stepping inside and outside of the story to understand the character from different perspectives as well as paying attention to the character's actions to grow ideas about them. We were able to choose our own books this unit, so it is very important that students stay on task each time we have a reading assignment and read enough pages to complete the book in time. Our target, depending on the length of the book, is to read about 2-3 chapters each night we have reading homework.
We are also wrapping up our book review project. Students created a drawing of their chosen book covers, which will be displayed in the hallway. We are using the augmented reality app called Aurasma to augment video recordings of ourselves reading our book reviews over the hallway display as well as the books in the library. Next week, we will wrap up the project and introduce it to the school. It is awesome and very exciting, and we are doing a wonderful job!! Curious about Aurasma and how we're using it for our project? Watch the short video below just to get an idea of how the app works.
A word about Twitter... (Room 116 ONLY)
Lastly, we also began a conversation this week about what it means to be a digital citizen and how to use the internet/social media as a way to extend your learning beyond the classroom. We have began a 'class twitter feed' on our white board, which is a way for us to practice positively sharing things that matter to us throughout the day. Students come in every morning and can update their 'tweet' (this part is not actual twitter)- each student has a printed out speech bubble that they write on with a dry erase marker. So far, we have loved this! It has already made us more connected with each other by reading what's going on with everyone each day.
We have also started a classroom twitter account (real twitter), which contains a few different purposes. The first and probably most important is to teach my students how to be good digital citizens, meaning we have and will continue to have meaningful conversations about online safety, positively using a form of social media, and the learning opportunities that something like Twitter brings. While this Twitter will be another thing to follow/keep up with, another purpose of this is to provide my students with an authentic real world audience that they can share their learning with. The Twitter itself will be very similar to the newsletters I send home, except my students will be the ones that are coming up with ideas of what to share every day. We are extremely busy, as I'm sure you know, so I really feel it is important for us as learners to recognize the wonderful accomplishments and things we do each day and share that.
The way it will work is that there will be two students chosen each day that have the opportunity to compose a tweet, though they do not have to if they don't want. If they do, though, they have a form that they write the tweet on, that is approved by me. They are only allowed to write a tweet if it is school related, or if they want to tweet to an author of a book that they are reading. They are also not allowed to share last names, and they do not have to share a name at all. The name on the account is just 'Ms. D'Amicos Classroom'. I am the one that controls who we follow/who follows us, and I am limiting it to only other teachers, parents/family members, children's book authors, or other 5th grade classrooms. Overall, our classroom Twitter is a small way for us to share our daily accomplishments/happenings in the classroom and to extend our learning beyond the classroom, in an educational purpose only. Do not feel that your child is required to participate, though if you have any further questions please do not hesitate to contact me!
I apologize for the long email, though I hope we feel updated on classroom happenings. Please enjoy your weekend, and Go Green!!
5th Grade Teacher- Language Arts, Math
St. Thomas Aquinas Parish School
Follow @5thGradeTartans on twitter!