# Dear Families,

## Parent Teacher Conferences:

On Friday I sent home the confirmation for Parent Teacher conferences. If I didn't get your request, I placed you in a spot. If you would like to change your spot, please look for any open space on the list – expect for a Monday spot. I'm also available for phone conferences if necessary. I'd prefer to meet with all of you, however, and we can even meet the week after conference week if that works better. Confirmation of Parent/Teacher conference times.

## What's Happening in Class?

### Solar System Day was a big success!

Thank you Dave (Marieke's Dad) and Amy (Dayton's mom) for helping out with the group. Students did activities with the relative size and distance of the planets, had some time for reading and coloring, and even computer activities related to the solar system. Ask students about what causes seasons and which planet is half way between the Sun and Pluto.

We'll continue to do some work with the solar system, and students will have a test on the solar system on Friday. They are also going to create a model to show some aspect of what we've been studying. We've been learning about gravity, inertia, the relative sizes of planets, and the relative distances between planets among other things. We'll be working on these models for the next couple of weeks, even when we move on to other science topics. I've updated my Solar System page with some new links, including one about the search for Planet 9.

### Language Arts

Students have been reading texts and determining claims, reasons, and evidence. We are in the midst of argumentative reading and writing! During this period we will have debates and students will be writing their own argumentative pieces.

### Math

This week students will have a series of short tests so that I can finalize the grades for this period. We've recently been working on Multiplication of Fractions. Some students will get retested in Addition and Subtraction of Fractions.

### History

Students should check the last homework email to see if they are on the list for a retake in either States or Capitals testing. Retests will be on Thursday. We are also beginning to study the formation of all the 13 colonies.

### P.E.

P.E. testing is approaching! Students should be practicing their curl-ups and push-ups 3 times a week and make sure they are being active to build their cardio-respiratory endurance.

# Here are some upcoming events

## February 14 Jump Rope for Heart and Valentines Day

### 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.

### History

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.

### Science

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.

### Math

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.

### Health

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!

Cheers!

Mr. Drum

# Dear Families,

## Winter Concert

Tomorrow is our Winter Concert! Students are only doing one show, at 11:00 a.m. in the auditorium.

## Spell-a-thon

This week spell-a-thon information went home. The spell-a-thon is a PTA fundraiser for the school and is wonderful, but optional, thing to do. However, all the kids will be tested on the spelling words regardless of their participation in the fundraiser.

## Spelling Bee

Next Monday we will choose the class spelling champion! This student will then compete in the school spelling bee in January…and hopefully beyond!

## Theatre of all Possibilities

On Wednesday December 14 students from Room 223 will put on a show with the Theatre of All Possibilities. Students will get their assignments on Monday. Minimal preparation is required. Most of the preparation is done the day of the program. Students will perform twice, once at 10:00 and again at 11:00.

## December Birthday Celebration

Our December Birthday celebration will be on December 12. If your child has a December birthday, please consider sending a treat. Remember that we have students with nut and milk allergies.

## January Field Trip to USS Pampanito

Although we will not be doing the Balclutha overnight, we will be spending some time aboard a ship. On January 19th we will visit the USS Pampanito at Hyde Street Pier. This program does have a fee, but due to our fundraising, the feel will be greatly reduced. More information will be coming soon about this program, but you can check out the Maritime Association Website now.

## What’s Happening in Class?

### Language Arts

Have you noticed we’ve started a class novel? Students are reading an historical fiction book called Blood on the River. This is a story about Sam, a young boy who journeys to the New World in 1607 to be a part of the founding the first permanent English Colony in North America. We are working on understanding theme, analyzing the writing style, using quotes to provide evidence for our thinking, and more!

We are also working on reading and writing informative pieces. Students have already published one piece on Tackk. I’ve started to put links to these pieces on the Student Work Page.

### Science

Students are working to understand the Periodic Table, especially all the metals.  They have been busy preparing for a writing assignment on the Periodic Table while coming up with experiments we can do to discover more about metals.

### History

Every student was able to get their first draft of the Explorer essay completed! Yea! This week we’re working on improving these essays. I’m very pleased with the effort of students and hope they can continue this work ethic. As we wrap up the Explorers unit students will be compiling all their work into a nice portfolio to display for you. Finally, students are working to connect food and history by studying a food from either the old world or the new world and describing its history and nutrition information.

### Math

Students are working on a few concepts right now. They are working on adding fractions with unlike denominators. Students are also working on multiplying decimal numbers. Wow!

### Health

All 5th grade students are studying nutrition at the moment. In my class students will be working in groups to present a topic. They are also working to get some general understanding of nutrition by reading and answering questions using links on my health page. We’ve begun collecting nutrition fact labels so that we can do some activities with them.

## Class Needs

If you are able to contribute, we could use more pencils, dry erase markers, and paper towels. Thank you!

# Dear Families,

Happy November! It's only appropriate that I extend my thanks to some wonderful people who have been of help to our class recently. Thank you to Jenny Chu, Jayden Ma's mom, for organizing the Jello sale at the Autumn Carnival. We sold out and raised over \$350 for the class. The money may be used to offset the costs of a new and special field trip we're planning in the spring. And of course, thank you to all the jell-o makers!

This past Wednesday, Gabi's family, Summer and Chuy, came in to tell the class about Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead), and decorate sugar skulls with the class. Everyone had blast and we had a thoughtful discussion about remembering people who have passed. Thank you Gabi, Summer, and Chuy!

Another thanks to Dave Martin for giving up his time and energy to join us at the Nature Bridge field trip. He was a big help, and, as I'm sure you heard, the kids had a great time. Please check their Nature Bridge reflections on Google Classroom to see all the science they learned.

## Parent Teacher Conferences

I meant to send home the Parent Teacher Conference confirmation on Friday but the pile remained on my desk. However, you can see your time by clicking the link below. I didn't receive all the forms, but I placed everyone in a spot. Please let me know if you need to change.
November Conferences

## Birthday in the Park

We will celebrate November Birthdays on Monday November 21 at 10:30. Please let me know if you can join us.

## What's happening in class?

### Language Arts

We've finished up narrative writing and reading and moved on to reading and writing informational text. Students are working with history materials to begin with for their lessons on reading informational text. Some students did not do so well with narrative writing so we'll revisit it later in the year. We'll also revisit the reading of fictional texts later in the year.

### Math

Students just finished up a unit on decimals and did a district test to demonstrate their knowledge. Students have another district test on Monday, on the computer. Our next two units are about adding, subtracting, multiplying, and dividing decimals.

### History and Social Studies

This week we'll do some election studies so that students know a little more about the process. We're also in the midst of studying Explorers. There isn't time to assess this unit, so the history grade will be based on their Native American unit. The main source of this grade is the compare and contrast essay. Since I haven't printed them yet, there's still time to double check that they are ready for grading. I also decided not to do a states and capitals test this trimester.

### Science

Students are studying Chemical Readctions! Last week they did a series of experiments and have begun to plan a few more. They are trying to figure out how to prove that a gas is formed during one of our chemical reactions.

## Moving clocks back to standard time

Did you remember to fall back? We don't want any students showing up an hour early tomorrow.

# Dear Families,

## Sandcastle Event

This Saturday is the Leap Sandcastle Event. For more information, please go to the Leap Sandcastle website.

## Birthday in the Park Next Monday

On Monday, October 17, we’ll be celebrating October birthdays at Cabrillo Park. We’ll be leaving at 10:15 a.m. and I’d love to have a parent volunteer with me.

## What’s Happening in Class

### Language Arts

Narrative writing continues! This week we’ll spend a lot of time revising drafts. Ask your child how we’ve been turning summaries into scenes.

### Math

This week we’ll be concentrating on decimal place value and word problems, while still reviewing multiplication and division.

### Science

This week we’ll be finishing up our study of saturated solutions. Students will have a test on Thursday. They can study for the test by going to the Study guide page and Reaching Saturation page.

### History

This week students will begin a Compare and Contrast Essay on Native Americans. This will be their main assessment for the Native American Unit. While finishing up Native Americans, we’ll begin studying European Exploration of the Americas. On the report card, students will receive ONE grade for BOTH these units combined. Please look at my First Americans page, and Explorers Page.

## My Apology

A few weeks ago I had hoped to complete a mid-trimester report for all families. That was too ambitious. I’m too swamped with other responsibilities to do that right now. However, if you want to have a quick check in, please contact me. We can have a sit down or an email or phone chat. In the meantime, you can check out some of what your child is doing by monitoring their computer homework. First, you can check to see if there are overdue assignments. Next, you can look at the quality of work your child is completing on Google Classroom, and, in the case of Mathletics or Study Island, how your child is scoring on the assignments. Finally, some math tests will be coming home soon.

# Dear Families,

## Say Hi to our Room Parent!

Jenny Chu, Jayden Ma’s mother,  has graciously volunteered to be our room parent. I think you’ve all received a few emails from her already. She’ll be helping to send out reminders and convey important information from the PTA to everyone. Thank you!

## Nature Bridge

I have almost everything I need from all participants. Thank you families! I’m missing just a few payments and some of you only sent in one of the two forms. I’ll send home missing forms this Monday, and if I haven’t received payment, I’ll contact you. If you sent in a check, I’ve deposited it in my bank so I can write the big check. If you’re worried about whether you paid or not, you can check with me or with your bank.

This week we’ll send home packing lists for the kids, or you can click on the Nature Bridge Link to see it. Students will not be bringing electronic devices, including cell phones. They are allowed to bring regular cameras, but will not be allowed to use cell phone cameras. Dave Martin is the parent chaperone from our class. Thanks to everyone who volunteered to come!

## Academy of Science Field Trip

On October 4 we’ll be heading to the Academy of Science. I already have two chaperones, but could use two more, so please contact me. We’ll be learning about plants and the carbon cycle in a classroom while also getting a chance to explore the Academy.

## Sandcastle

The Sandcastle Contest is coming up on October 15. We’ve had some confusion over forms because originally they did not give a deadline for when to turn them in. They also didn’t put a space for t-shirt size on the form, but I think we’ve managed to get that taken care of. If your child hasn’t turned in the form but you’d like him or her to participate, please let me know.  Finally, it is important to know that this isn’t a drop-off event. Your child MUST BE SUPERVISED by a designated adult, most likely you the parent. Teachers are dropping by to help and enjoy the moment but are in no way in charge of students on that day.  So, if your child wants to go, but you can’t, arrange for someone else to chaperone your child.

## Scholastic Books

Did you know that you can order books for your children from Scholastic online? Please go to Scholastic Reading Club and you and your child can pick out some good books and pay online. No more giving money to your child’s teacher! Use the code GMDFY to connect to our class. I already have two orders, and I’m going to submit them by September 29. Thanks!

## What’s Happening in Class?

### Language Arts

Students are working on a personal narrative! You may see them busily typing up a draft this weekend, because the draft is due Wednesday. One of the goals with the Writer’s Workshop method is to have more than one story going at a time, so we’re going to start planning for another personal narrative this week.  We also finally received the reader’s notebooks that were ordered many moons ago. These notebooks will help keep me on track with Reader’s Workshop lessons.

A while back students were assigned to read a Newsela article of their choice, write a summary, and answer some reflection questions. About 8 students still need to finish, so check with your child about this assignment. We’ll be engaging with these summaries on Monday, and I’d like to have all children participate.  Besides practicing summarizing, I want students to practice talking about what’s happening out in the world, coming up with questions about what they are reading, and responding to others.

### Math

Last week we began to work with division. As with our multiplication exploration, we’ll look at different ways to solve division problems. I have some helpful videos on my Division page. Over the weekend students should be finishing up the How Old Am I Project.  They should be able to explain to you how they figured out how old they were in HOURS on September 7, 2016.  I’m going to give students some short assessments on multiplication this week to see how they are doing.

### Science

Students had their first science test last Tuesday. I’m grading them still, but should be finished soon. The tests and grading sheet will be sent home by Wednesday of this week. This week we’re going to learn about Saturated Solutions. Usually kids have a harder time with the concepts in this unit, so extra studying may be in order.

### History and Social Studies

Ask your child about some of the Early American Cultures and Civilizations. They should be able to tell you something about the Anasazi, the Maya, Aztecs, Inca, and those mysterious Mound Builders.  We’ve been collecting information about these people and creating timelines.  This week we’ll also do some writing about these early cultures

We’ll also begin exploring the customs and habits of Native American Tribes before the Europeans came, and start to look at the changes that occurred once contact was made. I have some great videos about this, but unfortunately, “Spot” our whiteboard projector has died. However, we will be getting a new projector very quickly.  In the meantime, we’ll be watching shorter videos on the laptops, and I may be assigning longer videos for home viewing, if possible. If you are interested, you can and your child can start watching America Before Columbus on YouTube.

### Computer

We really need all students to have headphones at school. As mentioned above, we’re going to be doing more video watching on the laptops since I can’t show the videos whole class. Without headphones, this idea won’t work. Please, please, please send headphones with your child, especially on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Thanks!

### Mid-Trimester Report

I’m hoping to create a report this week to let you know how your child is doing in some of the areas we’ve studied. The report will include some of the concepts and skills we’ve practiced, such as multiplication and summarizing. Additionally, I’ll include your child’s reading level, and how your child is doing with behavior, organization, and turning in work.

# Dear Families,

Here’s what’s happening in class.

## Back to School Night

Thank you for coming to back to school night last Wednesday. I enjoyed meeting parents and getting a chance to explain how the class works. I apologize if I bored you or didn’t answer enough of your questions. Here are some things we discussed that are important to remember:

### Homework

I mentioned at Back to School Night that I believe in homework at this school. We always have a lot going on to give each child a wide variety of experiences, but that leaves less time for practice. Homework, then, becomes the time for practice. The homework should take about an hour of solid work. Each child, however is different. Some children may take longer because they have trouble focusing, while others may rush through. Since you know your child better than I do, adjust the time accordingly.

I ask for three things. 1. Please have your child attempt all assignments that are due, rather than leaving some untouched. Unfinished work is easy to deal with in the classroom. 2. Please write a note if something unexpected comes up and your child didn’t have time for homework. I don’t want the children to tell me they didn’t have time, as I ask for solutions, not excuses. However, I do realize that sometimes special events or circumstances happen. Therefore, a parent should write a note to let me know what was going on and the plan for making up the work. 3. Please help to make sure your child brings back all his or her school work each day. When we go over work in class, it’s a waste of time for children who don’t have their materials. Thank you!

### Sandcastle Contest

Yes, we are signed up for the Sandcastle contest! I chose not to send home the information as I wanted families to focus on the Nature Bridge Field Trip. Information will go home this week so that you can know what’s happening. For now, just know that the Sandcastle event is voluntary, and takes place on October 15 at Ocean Beach.

I was mistaken about our Poetry Class; it starts next week instead of this week. However, Education Outside with Ms. Ellie starts this Thursday. Dave Martin volunteered to help us out on our Birthday in the Park on September 19th, so I’ll schedule that. We are celebrating Summer, August, and September birthdays. Birthday students can bring some food to share with everyone. Since we’ll be in the park when we eat, please provide food items that are easy to serve, easy to eat, and easy to clean up.

Thanks, and please let me know if I missed anything important!

# Happy Labor Day!

I hope everyone is enjoying the sunny days during this long weekend.

## Back to School Night

Please join us this Wednesday evening from 6:00 – 7:30 for Back to School Night. I’ll spend some time letting you know what you and your child can expect this school year and I’ll be ready to answer any questions you may have. You’ll also get a chance to see the work your child has done so far this year.

## What’s Happening in Class?

### Language Arts

Last week students did a little bit of narrative writing and a little bit of informative writing. Students practiced summaries with a short text about John Muir and prepared for another summary based on a Newsela article. This year we’ll be using Newsela every week and students will get a chance to find an article they are interested in and work with it.

### Math

Students practiced working with Order of Operations, Evaluating Expressions, and comparing Area Model and Partial Products methods of multiplication. This week we’ll show how the standard method is a short-cut for partial products and students will get a chance to solve a multiplication problem in four different ways. You can see some videos about the different methods on my math page.

Last week students started a project about their ages. They are tasked with figuring out how old they will be in HOURS on September 7. These projects should be available for you to see on Back to School Night.

### Social Studies

Do you know what “E Pluribus Unum” means? Your child should! We spent a lot of time talking about the the Great Seal of the United States to a get a sense of our country’s symbols and mottos. As mentioned in the language arts section, students were working with a Newsela article this week, which also ties into the current events portion of social studies. In addition to Newsela, we will also use Scholastic News for current events. Students began reading the lastest article. The access code for Scholastic News is goodbook223.

### Science

We started our first FOSS investigation. Students observed the properties of three substances, made mixtures of them with water, and figured out how to separate the substances from water. For more information visit my site about separating mixtures.

### Poetry with Mr. Julien

Very soon we’ll be starting an eight week poetry unit with Mr. Julien, a teacher who has been visiting our schools for the last few years. He’s quite amazing and brings out the best in students. He’ll be coming to us on Tuesdays starting September 13.

### Birthday in the Park

I’m scheduling our first Birthday in the Park for September 19 from 10 a.m. to 11:15 a.m. Since I don’t have a student teacher this year, I will need at least one other adult to accompany us. Please let me know if you are able to join us.

#### Cheers

##### Mr. Drum
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