¿Diciembre?

¿Diciembre? = December?photo-28

Wow!  How did it get to be December already!  My goodness this school year is just speeding by, isn’t it?  I hope you each had a wonderful Thanksgiving with your family.

Since we are now thinking about winter holidays, you will see a photo on the right of a fruit kabob I made for our staff winter party.  Can you tell it’s supposed to be the Grinch?  I hope people like snacking on him! 🙂

Here are the topics in this post for you to catch-up on what has been happening in the life of your fifth grader:

  • Conversation Starters
  • Learning Buddies
  • Nonfiction Writing Celebration
  • Preparing for our Writing Celebration
  • Math Investigations
  • Ancient West Africa
  • Common Core Connection
  • A Smile and Question for You!

Conversation Starters:

  • What do you enjoy most about working with your second grade learning buddies?
  • What is your nonfiction piece about?  Why did you select this topic?
  • In your nonfiction piece, which text features did you choose to use?  Why did you choose to use these features?
  • Tell me about the learning you did this week during your math investigations.  How did you grow as a mathematician?
  • What are fraction bars and how can they help you solve problems with fractions?
  • Use a fraction bar to solve the following: The trip to the grocery store is 20 miles from my house.  I biked 3/5 of the way and then I got a flat tire.  How many miles did I bike before getting a flat tire?
  • What have you learned about the empires of Ghana, Mali and Songhai from Africa?

Learning Buddies: On the day before Thanksgiving Break, we met with our second grade learning buddies to read a fiction Thanksgiving Story, write about the character traits from the story and complete a craft together.  What fun we always have when we hang out!  Look at the craft that we did together!  Cute, huh?

Here's Jordyn making her craft!  What a colorful turkey she is making!
Here’s Jordyn making her craft! What a colorful turkey she is creating!
Here is one of the finished products!
Here is one of the finished products!
And . . . here are MANY of the finished products!  Holy turkeys!
And . . . here are MANY of the finished products!  I hope these turkeys were safe and not eaten on Thanksgiving!

Nonfiction Writing Celebration: An invitation went home this week to invite you to our Nonfiction Writing Celebration this Monday, December 9.    Check out the invitation below.  We hope to see you!

writing.celebration

Preparing for our Writing Celebration: Now that you know we have incredible writing to share on Monday, take a look at some of the hard work we have been doing to prepare.  The goal of this writing piece was for each student to create a nonfiction piece to share that demonstrated his or her understanding of nonfiction text features and how to use them for an appropriate audience.  Therefore, the pieces should have features such as: captions, photographs, bold words, special features, a glossary, section headings and so on.  Check out some of the work-in-progress and finished work below.  Awesome!

Look at how hard Cheyenne is working to organize her nonfiction writing piece!  Wow!
Look at how hard Cheyenne is working to organize her nonfiction writing piece! Wow!
There is a lot of work involved to get these pieces complete!  Look at all of that GRIT oozing out of Izzy! :)
There is a lot of work involved to get these pieces complete! Look at all of that GRIT oozing out of Izzy! 🙂
Here is Zoe working hard at her nonfiction piece too!
Here is Zoe working hard on her nonfiction piece too!
Gerald is writing about a sport that he knows well so he can teach others about what he knows.  Cool!
Gerald is writing about a sport that he knows well so he can teach others about what he knows. Cool!
Carson is writing about a game he plays in P.E. so he can teach others about it.  Fun!
Carson is writing about a game he plays in P.E. so he can teach others about it. Fun!
Here is an example of a finished piece. I don't want to show you too many though because then you might not come to our Writing Celebration on Monday!
Here is an example of a finished piece. I don’t want to show you too many though because then you might not come to our Writing Celebration on Monday!

Math Investigations: Again, we are working on some hard concepts in math!  Whew!  We continue to work on combining fractions.  This week, we have  worked on representing fraction multiplication with fraction bars.  Fraction bars are a model the children can use to visually display their thinking when multiplying numbers and works very well with fractions.  Click here to watch a video on how to multiply fraction bars.  Also, you can look below at some of the work we have done in class to give you further clarity on our thinking.

You can see on the bottom of this poster, we used a fraction bar to represent the miles run during the race.
You can see on the bottom of this poster, we used a fraction bar to represent the miles run during the race.
Here is an example of when we used our number line model to represent multiplication with fractions.  Do you see how we can see the relationship among fractions with this model?  That's one of the benefits of this model.
Here is an example of when we used our number line model to represent multiplication with fractions. Do you see how we can see the relationship among fractions with this model? That’s one of the benefits of this model.

Ancient West Africa: We began learning about Ancient West Africa this week and WOW is it interesting!  We have learned about three major kingdoms and what life was like during that time period.  Look at some of our fifth graders working hard to explore more about these important people in history.

photo-29

photo-30

Common Core Connection: As you know, I like to inform you about the Common Core State Standards on a weekly basis.  This week, I want to share a website with you that many of the Robinson teachers utilize to reinforce skills with our students.  Click here to go to the website.  On the site, you will see worksheets that come home  with your fifth grader, from time to time.   For example, the math work from this week’s homework was from this site.  A suggestion would be to use worksheets on this site with your child to continue to working on important skills at home.  As always, thanks for being a partner in your child’s learning!

A Smile & Question for You!  You might be interested to know that I have a book called The Gifts of Imperfection and I think it’s one of the greatest books of all time.  (By the way, if you are looking for a good read, you might want to read this!)  I have noticed lately, that sometimes we (me for sure) get too serious about work and don’t have “enough” fun.  So, this week, I decided to take a few minutes to create a fun video of your fifth grade team.  The book supports this type of “play” (do you like how I connected it back to the research in the book?) because it states that, “True play that comes from our own inner needs and desires is the only path to finding lasting joy and satisfaction in our work.  In the longrun, work does not work without play.”  So, without further ado . . . click here for a smile.   Thanks for watching and playing – just for fun.  I hope you’ll read the question below and reply because we’d love to learn more about you!  See you next time!

  • What do you do to play?  
  • What is a purposeless activity that you do . . . just to do and enjoy?
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