Fifth Grade Falcon Family News Mrs. Vaagen's Class

Greetings Fifth Grade Families! I am sorry I am out today and tomorrow. My son is having surgery today to fix his broken nose. Unfortunately, the break was bad enough that he would have had future breathing and development problems. I hate to miss school, but your kids are in good hands with our substitute teacher. I will be back in on Wednesday. I wanted to also thank ALL of you for your generous donations to our food drive last week! It was a huge success. Our class did not win the top prizes, but we still did a lot to help out the community. Our MEco reducing trash campaign also kicks off today and runs all week. We are encouraging students to help take care of the environment throughout the entire month of May. This week, your student will be tracking how much trash they clean up around campus! SBA testing also started today, but not for our fifth graders just yet! Their tests begin on Monday May 15th with ELA and continue through the end of the month. Feel free to send a special healthy snack that week, a nice encouraging note, a water bottle, or gum to chew!


We are continuing to plug away at unit 8 in math. This is the longest unit by far and covers a variety of skills. We have finished up metric and customary units of measurement and now have been working on the geometry section involving quadrilaterals. Students mastered area, perimeter, and volume with extra practice on relatable story problems. Today and tomorrow, students will be working on mastering attributes of triangles before we start our unit review. We will also have one more quick quiz upon my return to assess progress. We will review for a few days since the unit covered so many skills that students need to have memorized for the unit test. These skills are also on the SBA test and students will not be able to use their "cheat sheets". I have made packets of extra work on every skill we have learned throughout the unit. I also have reference sheets on all customary and metric conversions, formulas for perimeter, volume, and area. Please make sure your student does some extra practice in addition to the regular math homework to study these skills and help retain them! These are printed and readily available for you student. We will spend some of next week practicing skills that need extra practice again before the SBA. This will be great test prep for them to excel.


In vocabulary, we just finished up a unit called "share a word," in which students were able to lead their own learning. Every day students had an opportunity to come to class prepared with a new word they discovered in their IDR books or in their conversations with family. They then synergized to look up meanings and teach their peers and class the new word. They had a great time "playing teacher!" This week we dive back into our fifth grade curricular words that stem from our reading. In reading, we have been focused on continuing to build summaries and reviews. Students learned how to pick out the important details in a text versus the supporting details in order to write summaries of books. They then learned how to mesh a summary into a proper review with importance placed on development of opinions and judgements while reading. In this way, students deepen reading comprehension and learn to question an author's purpose and intent. Students continue to receive 30 minutes of IDR time daily following lessons. This time is also allotted for AR testing. Please continue to encourage your student to also read nightly for 30 minutes and to finish books so they can test! In writing, we are still focused on our fictional writing unit. Students are still in the drafting phase and learning a variety of skills and ways to develop good fiction stories. We are breaking from this over the next couple of days to focus a bit of writing time toward poetry writing for our Mother's Day project. Sorry that is all the details I'll give you moms on that because it is a surprise!


In science, we have been having all kinds of fun! Students have been so engaged and learning all about environments. They absolutely loved exploring their bug terrariums, observing them in their runways and understanding the importance of an animal's environmental preference. Students discovered that isopods enjoy a moist environment and the darkling beetle prefers a drier soil. They came to conclusions after running several tests and recording all data during investigations. They then knew what type of terrarium to let their little critters live in before we released them last week into the outdoor classroom. We also planted our terrarium plants! Our next unit covers aquatic environments and we begin with GOLDFISH! I will be purchasing these this week! We are also taking part in a science invention convention! Much a science fair, students will be responsible for choosing and planning a scientific invention! We will be covering all the details this week and you can ask your student to see their packet with all the information. The entire 5th grade team will take part in this. This is meant to be done partially at home and partly at school. Please get involved and help your son or daughter to be successful! This is not meant to break the bank either! As students are asked to use recycled or used materials from home and keep a budget of less that $20 for supplies as needed. Of course NO money has to be spent if we are resourceful!


Created with images by markusspiske - "newspaper style trend" • Unsplash - "calculator mathematics math" • Gellinger - "book read old" • 2497381 - "fish aquarium water"

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