Veinticuatro de Octubre

Veinticuatro de Octubre = October 24

As I wrote the subject heading for this blog post, I was reminded of my time in Ecuador.  At the school I taught, the teachers performed a play or dance for the students at the end of each 8-week teaching cycle.  One time, we performed popular Latin dances for the students.  This was quite a stretch for me, but ended up being one of my favorite performances.  (Believe it or not, I actually have video to prove that I did it!)  One of the songs is called “24 de Mayo” (May 24) because this Independence Day in Ecuador, which is why today’s date reminded me of my time in Ecuador.  If you’d like to hear the hip version  of the Independence Day song, click here.  Enjoy the music while you read the rest of this post . . . it will make you happy, I promise. 🙂

Onto the topics in this week’s blog post:

  • Conversation Starters
  • Learning Buddies
  • Welcome to Second Quarter
  • iPads at Home: Online Math
  • Math Learning . . . for Ms. Turken!
  • Book Challenge
  • Common Core Connection
  • Learning about Fifth Graders
  • Questions for You!

Conversation Starters:

  • Last Friday, you met with your second grade Learning Buddies.  What did you do to be a role model for your buddy?  What things did you do to teach your buddy about non-fiction text features?
  • Tell me what you know about adding and subtracting decimals.  For example: .45 + .52, 1.25 + 2.34, .89 – .35, and 4.29 – 2.06.  Also, how do you say each of these numbers correctly?
  • Tell me about the learning you are doing in math to help Ms. Turken buy turtle treats for Bradford.
  • What happened in your chapter book this week?  What inferences did you make while listening to the chapter book?
  • You wrote a letter to a veteran today.  Tell me what you wrote about and why it is important to spend time thanking veterans for their service.

Learning Buddies:  Last Friday, we met with our second grade Learning Buddies again.  We had such a wonderful time.  The children did two things together.  First, each student read a nonfiction text about spiders.  The fifth graders helped to teach each second grader about nonfiction text features and either read the book to their buddy or read with them.  Then, they each made a spiderweb craft.  Here are some pictures from our time together.

We did two things with our buddies.  We read a nonfiction book about spiders and made a craft, like the one above.

photo-14 photo-13We did two things with our buddies.  We read a nonfiction book about spiders and made a craft, like the one above.



Welcome to Second Quarter: Wow . . . is it really second quarter already?!?!  I am excited to embark on this journey with your fifth grader because we all continue to learn so much everyday.  Report cards from first quarter are expected to go home on Wednesday, November 6.  Thank you for being patient with report cards while Kirkwood launches a new, online grade book system.

iPads at Home: Online Math: As many of you know, the iPads have started to go home this week after your child returned the district form and completes a few online activities for Mrs. Sisul.  (By the way, if your child has not done this already, there is still time next week!)  Once your fifth grader takes his or her iPad home, there are several opportunities for learning.  This week, I want to focus on math.  In class, we do online math during a small portion of our math rotations.  We had math rotations for the past few weeks and will do so again in a couple of weeks.  Two of the online math activities we do are xtraMath and Sumdog.  I would like for your child to have access to these at home.  In order to do so, it is rather easy.  For xtraMath, go to and click on the “Sign In” tab on the top, right of the page.  Then, click on the purple “Classroom” tab.  Once you are here, our classroom code is 9TA9JHAA.  Then, you will see my name and after you click on this, your fifth grader can click on his or her name.  This is a great site to work on basic facts.  Another great math site is at and your child simply needs to login with his or her username and password.  These are attached when you click here: SUMDOG.USERNAMES.csv  This is another great math site to work on basic facts, as well as other math skills.

Math Learning . . . for Ms. Turken!:  This was a HARD week for me because I was out of the classroom for two days to attend professional development workshops.  I really missed the children at Robinson and was excited to return today!  While I was gone, I learned A LOT about math from other teachers, as well as a math specialist who came all the way from New York to share her brilliant math thinking with us.  One important outcome from the two days were for teachers to use real world contexts to encourage deep and powerful math thinking, in order to best prepare our children for today and their future.  We also discussed several truths about math and solved MANY problems with partners and individually.  Below, you can see some of the “thinking sheets” used during one of the days!  Professional development like this is definitely not a walk in the park, but a great way to spend my days so I can work on becoming a better teacher for your child.


Book Challenge:  Well . . . it’s official!  The Book Challenge will be introduced tomorrow – Friday.  A letter will go home with your fifth grader to explain the challenge further.   Below is the basic information you need to support your fifth grader on this journey so you know the quantity of each genre expected to be read by the end of the school year.  Each child will keep track of his or her reading in the classroom, so you don’t have to worry about that at all.  I would  like for you to discuss the books your child is reading and what he or she is learning from the variety of genres.  Please let me know if you have any questions along the way.


Common Core Connection: This week, I decided to take you directly to the site with the Common Core Standards.  Click here to head to that site.  On this website, you will find a wealth of information which might be particularly interesting after the small pieces of information you have been led to through on our classroom blog over the past few weeks.

Learning about Fifth Graders:  Briefly, I found this article recently and thought you might find it interesting too.  Check it out and let us know what you think!

Questions for You! Thanks for jumping into second quarter with us and reading about everything that has been happening in fifth grade.  Thank you to those of you who answered our questions from last week.  Now, I have some more for you:images

  • What are some of your favorite memories of elementary school?  Do you remember things from fifth grade specifically?
  • What genre of books do you like to read best?   Would you consider joining us on our 30 Book Challenge?  Why or why not?

Have a wonderful, fall weekend.  Go Cardinals!

11 thoughts on “Veinticuatro de Octubre

  1. Wow, what a week you have had! I am thinking about your invitation to the 30 book challenge. I wonder why I am hesitating? Is it because I am kind of stuck in my favorite genre of the moment? Hmmmm….

    1. Mrs. Sisul – thanks for being a great principal this year. We think that you could try with reading a different genre first and then see if you like it to commit to our book challenge. From Ms. Turken’s Class

  2. We were unable to get to Ms Sisul blog for the iPad. If we have our own iPad can we use that instead of the schools?

    My memory from 5 th grade was it was the year the Space shuttle Challenger exploded and we watched it live in the classroom which I remember being very scary and sad. We also had to learn and memorize all the state abbreviations.

    1. Good morning! Thanks for your comments. FIrst off, to get to Mrs. Sisul’s blog, you can go to and click on the comments on the lefthand side. Then, you would be able to post a comment responding to the questions and reply to comments of other fifth graders. As for your memory . . . wow! That is amazing that it is the first thing you think of with the Challenger. I remember that in school too and the teachers wheeling a television into the room so we could watch the news. Thank you for sharing . . . and let me know if you have any further questions! Have a great weekend!

  3. Karsen H. I like this post I herd the music,it did make me feel happy. I have a question= are we allowed to use Raz Kids for are book challenge? Please reply back.

    1. Hi Karsen!
      I am so glad that you visited the classroom blog. Was it fun to look through? I hope so! You asked about Raz Kids for the book challenge. For now, let’s just do books from the library or books that I give you in class. We can talk about Raz Kids books again third or fourth quarter, but for now, let’s hold off on them. I hope you have a great night! See you at school tomorrow! 🙂

  4. Dear Ms.Turken, about the 30 book challenge why do we have to read so many books why arn’t there fewer books like 10-15 books? Another question is so you know how we can only read like 2 or 3 books in each genre, are we aloud to read more books of that genre even if we already finished that category and still hang it up outside in the hallway? (but not count it) please reply back! Luis Aquino

    1. Hi Luis!
      Thank you for your post on our classroom blog! I’m excited to know that you are reading it. 🙂 Let’s talk about your book challenge questions tomorrow. In the meantime . . . keep reading! You are an amazing reader! See you soon!
      Ms. Turken

  5. Hi Ms.Turken!

    I absolutely can NOT wait to create my own blog!
    Since you are such a great blogger, will you share
    some of your tips and things with us? (Our class 🙂 )
    I really like your blog. Always keep your blog!
    Also, can you take a look at Mrs.Beardens blog
    post. headbandz part 2? I just looked at it,
    and they did a cute project, you write your
    name down and you put it at your table
    and people go around and put things that
    they like about each other. I’d love to do that!

    Have a great night!


    1. Hi Lilly!
      Thank you for your comment. I love your feedback and truly do have a good time writing blog posts for families. Just wait until you see tomorrow’s Halloween themed post! 🙂 There will be pictures with you guys in your costumes!
      I’m glad that you looked at Mrs. Bearden’s post about the Headbandz – Part 2. Let me find out more about this project and maybe we can do it sometime in the near future. Thanks for the suggestion! Have a great evening and I will see you tomorrow.
      Your friend,
      Ms. Turken

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