Weekly News

Happy Holidays and Welcome to 2017


Dear Families
I hope everyone is enjoying end-of-the-year festivities and celebrations. There’s a lot going on as soon as 2017 begins, so I thought I’d get out some information early.


Winterbreak Homework

Students are finishing up work we started in class and a few other things.

  • Fortunately/Unfortunately Story. Students began a final draft of a fortunately/unfortunately story in class and should finish it before returning from break. Each page needs a picture related to the sentence or sentences on the page.
  • Periodic Table Writing. Students are finishing up the final draft of the Periodic Table writing. The writing should include text features such as pictures, captions, and diagrams. A Glossary is also required.
  • Blood on the River: Students should finish reading the book. If students forgot to bring the book home, they should try to find it at the library or download it from Amazon or another source. No excuses, please. Students are also responsible for finishing the chapters 16-18 worksheet. If lost, I’ve shared it with students on Google Drive.
  • Finish Old Homework: Some students did not complete homework and classwork due before the break, such as our Blood on the River Scenes, Old World/New World Project, Chapter 11-15 worksheet, the Nutrition Worksheets, and more. These also need to get done. Finally, students need to make sure they send me their links to their Tackk projects so I can post them on the Student Work Page.

Spell-a-thon Test January 13

Your child took home the spelling words for the spell-a-thon over the break. Please remember that the fundraising part is optional (though quite helpful), but each child will do the spelling test.

Spelling Bee January 18th

Dillon Lau will be our class representative for the school spelling bee on January 18. Good luck, Dillon!

Pampanito January 19

Field Trip permission forms for this adventure will go home right away when we return. I already have one chaperone, but could use two more. The folks at the Marine Park Association haven’t confirmed certain details with me yet, but we’re looking at a price of $12 per student. Please let me know ASAP if you have any financial issues regarding this field trip. Students will need to bring a lunch for this trip. Please go to the Martime Park Association for more information on the trip.

Real Talk January 23

Our annual trip to the New Conservatory Theatre to learn about HIV/AIDS is coming up. Students watch a play that gives age appropriate information about HIV while also touching on subjects such as peer pressure and making healthy choices. You can get more information by going to the YouthAware page.

What’s Happening in Class?

Language Arts

WE are continuing to focus on informative writing and reading non-fiction. Students will be writing more informative pieces, including writing about the same topic in four different ways (chronological, compare/contrast, problem/solution, and cause/effect). 5th Graders will be writing an informative article about the school as one of their final pieces. Other than non-fiction reading, we’ll be finishing up Blood on the River and students will be writing an essay about the book.


Before the break we were working hard on finishing the Age of Discovery essays. I was able to meet with every student and help each person focus on ways to improve their writing. I’m not printing the final drafts until I return to work, so students still have a chance to take one final glance at their writing. Now that we’ve finished explorers, we’re going to focus on the Jamestown and Plymouth Colonies, the first two permanent British colonies in North America.


Right before the break I was meeting with students to plan experiments with metals and introduce the concept of controlled experiments. I’ll finish meeting with groups when we return and we’ll do some fascinating student-designed experiments involving electricity, rust, chemical reactions, and transfer of energy. Following these experiments we’ll move on to life science and the human body.


We had a whirlwind ride with fractions in December. Some students are ready to move on, while others need more time with fractions. While reviewing fractions with those who need it, we’ll return to the study of decimal multiplication and division.


Students were working in groups to prepare presentations about health topics. The first week in January they’ll work on these presentations and deliver them the following week. After that we’ll do what I call “The Healthy Math Project.” More on that later. As mentioned about with the field trip, we’ll also be discussing HIV/AIDS in age appropriate ways this month.

Other News

New Promethean Board Coming

I received confirmation that the new Promethean Board had been ordered right before break. Hopefully we’ll get it installed soon.

Thank You!

Thank you so much for all the holiday gifts. I feel very appreciated. Thank you also for bringing in so many cans. I believe the 5th grade brought in the most cans this year. Good job!


Mr. Drum

About the Author


Mr. DrumI'm a Fifth Grade teacher at Lafayette Elementary School in San Francisco. I've been at Lafayette since 2007.View all posts by Mr. Drum

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