# Dear Families,

Last two months of school! Here we go!

## Panoramic Pictures

Each year 5th grade students take a panoramic picture while wearing their new 5th grade t-shirts. Hopefully your child brought home the form to purchase pictures. Even if you do not want to purchase a picture, your child will get a 5th grade t-shirt, courtesy of fundraising efforts and the PTA. We are taking the picture Friday morning April 7.

## Testing

SBAC Language Arts testing begins this Tuesday. Please make sure your child arrives to school on time and ready to go, as we’ll do testing in the morning.

## Make Up P.E. Testing

Most of the P.E. testing is finished. However, some students either missed a test or need to be retested, so we’ll get that done this week.

## What’s Happening In Class?

### Language Arts

Students should be finishing their outline of their essay. On Monday we’ll start to work on the first draft. The first draft will be done by hand, but the final draft will be typed.

### History

We’ve finished studying the 13 original colonies. It’s time to start studying the American Revolution! As part of this unit students will conducting a debate about whether or not the colonies should rebel. After practicing in class, some students will have the opportunity to participate in a more formal debate involving other classes. More information will follow.

Colonial America

American Revolution

### Science

Students have learned all about variables and conducting controlled experiments. Now, we’ll apply these concepts to our study of water. Check out the  Evaporation page.

### Math

This month we are focused on Geometry, including angles, polygons, coordinate graphing, area, perimeter, and volume. Check out the Geometry  Geometry page.

# Dear Families

## Spring Break Homework

Students received the Spring Break Homework on Wednesday and were able to get a good start on the assignments. In addition to computer assignments that will prepare them for testing after the break, students are researching and preparing an outline for an argumentative essay. Finally, they need to read the first ten chapters in the new new history book.

## Testing

Language Arts SBAC testing will begin April 4. We should finish all language arts testing that week. Math testing will begin April 25. Students will also be tested in science, but this test is just a practice.

## Solar System Projects

Almost all of the Solar System projects were completed and presented before the break! Students did a great job being creative and putting effort into the work. However, many students need to add a little bit to their project to make it even better. For most, they need some type of write up or diagram that explains the project better and provides accurate information. Some students need to make some adjustments to their projects to make them more accurate or to show additional features. These additions will push these students from proficient to advanced in the grading process. Once again, I’m very pleased with how the projects turned out and think the students should feel quite proud of their efforts.

Although I don’t have any pictures yet of the Solar System projects, I have updated the Student Work Page with some of the recent artwork.

# Dear Families,

## SBAC testing

State testing will begin the first Tuesday after Spring Break, starting with Language Arts. 5th graders will be tested in Language Arts, Math, and Science. This year the Science tests are practice only and will not be scored. We may actually begin the science test this week, March 20, to get students prepared for the testing environment.

## Solar System Projects Due

Please have your child bring in the Solar System Project on Monday. We’ll have time to finish working on them in class. Students will begin presenting them on Wednesday.

## Spring Break Homework

Students will get their Spring Break homework assignments Wednesday, but I can give you a preview. Students will be writing an argumentative essay on a topic of their choice. They’ll also have some computer assignments.

## March (and February) Birthday in the Park

Although I told students we would do this on Monday, I have to postpone it until Wednesday after lunch. Are there any parents who can join us?

# Dear Families,

I caught a cold on Friday so I'll be taking at least Monday off. Here's some news for our class.

## What's Happening in Class?

### Language Arts

We've been engaging in argument writing and reading. Ask your child about our chocolate milk in schools debate. This week students will debate some other topics, and will start to write an argumentative piece.

### Math

Students have learned how to multiply and divide fractions using algorithms. Now, we're learning to write and read word problems and model multiplication and division of fractions.

### History

We are are in the middle of learning about the formation of the 13 Original British Colonies. We'll try to finish up this week and move on to the causes of the Revolutionary War.

### Science

Pendulums: Students began experiments with pendulums last week. They are reviewing the principles of controlled experiments and variables in science.

Solar System Projects: Here is more information regarding the Physical Models. Students should be showing or demonstrating some aspect of the Solar System. One great way to do this is to compare of distance, size, and mass of objects in an accurate way. So far we have students doing comparisons of size and distance, but not mass. Another idea is to find a way to show moon phases, eclipses, gravity and inertia keeping things in orbit, and so on. On Friday I worked with students to create a model that shows moon phases.

If students are unable to show accurately some aspect of the solar system with the actual 3-D model, they'll show it using diagrams or writing. Students should bring in their projects on Monday, March 20. That week we'll work on the projects in class and present them as they become ready.

## Classroom Needs

Pencils, Tissues, Paper towels! We are completely out of Tissues!

# 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.

#### Cheers

##### Mr. Drum
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