Weekly News

Welcome Back

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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.

Cheers

Mr. Drum

Enjoy Spring Break

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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.

Cheers

Mr. Drum

Quick Update

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Dear Families,

Spring is in the air, and with spring comes testing!

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?

Cheers!

Mr. Drum

Newsletter March 12, 2017

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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!
 

Cheers!

Mr. Drum

Mr. Drum’s Class Newsletter February 19

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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.
 

Cheers!

Mr. Drum

Mr. Drum’s Class Newsletter February 12

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Dear Families,

Here are some upcoming events

February 14 Jump Rope for Heart and Valentines Day

Please send in all Jump Rope for Heart donations by Tuesday! As we discovered in class, 78.7% of the donations go directly to the American Heart Association programs. Ask your child if s/he remembers how to solve this math problem: If I raise $50, how much of that money will be used directly for programs?

Students will have a 45 minute exercise time in which to increase their heart rate. This will take the place of our Monday P.E. time. Since it’s also Valentine’s Day, students are welcome to bring in treats. However, let’s try to support our healthy hearts with some healthy treats, if possible. Please remember that students who are bringing something should bring something for everyone. Also remember we have milk and nut allergies in the class.

Parent Teacher Conferences February 27- March 3

On Friday I gave the students their Parent/Teacher conference forms. Please remember that school gets out early that week, at 12:50p.m. I’m asking for the conference forms back by this Wednesday so that we can confirm dates by this Friday. You’ll receive your child’s report card at the time of the conference.
Here’s a link to the conference form if you did not see one from your child: February Conference Form

What’s Happening in Class?

Culture Studies

Last week students were encouraged to bring in some information about their families. Many students took this opportunity to share their ancestry and heritage. Our students have backgrounds that span every continent except Antarctica, and many different countries. I’ve been intrigued to hear what the kids have to share, and we’ll continue the sharing this week.

In addition to this, we are delving into an historical study of immigration to look at when and why different groups of people came to the United States, how immigrants have been treated over the years, and what causes immigration within a country.

Language Arts

Students have finished the unit on Informative Reading and Writing, though we’ll continue to practice with book clubs and other work. Last week we did start our new unit about Argument reading and writing.

History

Students are learning about how the 13 Colonies were formed and the similarities and differences between them. This week they’ll have a test on all the states and capitals. Students will have a chance the following week to do another test if necessary. Colonial America page

Math

We’ve had long time to work on decimal multiplication and division, and are now getting into fraction multiplication and division.

Science

Students have begun learning about the Solar System! To support our learning, I’m declaring February 15th SOLAR SYSTEM DAY! If any parents can volunteer that day, please let me know. I need different leaders for different stations. We’re going to do most of the activities in the morning, from 8:15-10:00. Solar System Page

Donations Needed

We are getting low on pencils, dry erase markers, and paper towels. If you can provide any of these items, it would be greatly appreciated.

Cheers!

Mr. Drum

Newsletter January 22, 2017

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Dear Families,

I hope everyone is staying healthy and free from that flu bug going around! Here’s some news regarding our class.

Field Trip Tomorrow

Please make sure your child has written permission to go on our field trip tomorrow. We will be seeing a play about HIV/AIDS and other health topics. For more information, please see the YouthAware website.

Chinese New Year

No school on Friday to celebrate Chinese new year.

What’s happening in class?

Language Arts

Students are working on reading and writing informative articles. Last week they began preparing for an article about the school, and this week they’ll continue to gather information and write. Last Thursday the first drafts of the Blood on the River Essays were do. I was disappointed that a majority of our class had not finished, with some students not even having started. We had great success when I sent home a note about an essay being due, but I was hoping not to have to send notes home each time. Looks like I will go back to sending home notes so that parents are more aware of big assignments. However, let’s remind our students that they have to learn to be responsible for these assignments and should not have to rely on parents and teaching nagging to get them done.

Math

Recently we’ve been doing more word problems, some related to our work with decimals, some to work with other skills. We’ll continue to practice different strategies to help students work with word problems. At the moment we’re cruising along with decimal multiplication and division and students are doing a good job with these concepts.

Science

The big thing we did in science this week was the Pampanito field trip. Thank you parents for getting money and field trip permission slips to me. Thanks again to the chaperones who joined us! Students not only explored the submarine, but did some science explorations involving density, buoyancy, making periscopes, sonar, and more. I was quite excited by the science lessons and how they connect to the Next Generation Science Standards. We will work more with density and buoyancy when we start the Water Planet unit. I’d also like to continue to explore periscopes at a future date. If anyone is interested in helping to find some mirrors and pvc pipe for this, please let me know.

Students also looked at the results of some of their science experiments. They were trying to see what more they could learn about metals by mixing them with other substances, such as vinegar, salt water, etc. Some students created other experiments to learn about the conductivity of metal, hardness of metal, or how metal vibrates. We’ll wrap up this learning soon and move on to the Water Planet unit – not the Living Systems unit, as I had written of earlier.

History

At the beginning of the year we were working on learning states and capitals. Although we took a break for a long while, we’re back at it now. Students have been taking tests on the regions of the U.S., but will ultimately be tested on all the states and capitals at once. Students will get a grade for their knowledge of states and capitals.

Currently we’re studying the Plymouth colony in Massachusetts. We are connecting our history learning to language arts by writing about the colonies using different text structures. This weekend students are responsible for typing up one of their text structure writings. So far we’ve done a Jamestown chronological and problem/solution, and a compare/contrast with Jamestown and Plymouth. Go to my Jamestown and Plymouth page for more information on what students are learning.

Health

A week ago students finished presentations about different nutrition presentations. We are going to continue now to utilize this information to explore healthy food choices. We are also going to do some projects that will integrate both new and old math concepts.

Cheers

Mr. Drum

Happy Holidays and Welcome to 2017

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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.

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

December Newsletter

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Dear Families,

Happy Holidays!

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.

Holiday Potluck

Hopefully you received information from Jenny Chu about our Holiday Potluck on December 15. Please sign up if you are able to contribute a dish or help out with serving or clean up. I look forward to seeing some family members there! In case you need it, follow this link to the Google Spreadsheet sign up.

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!

Cheers!

Mr. Drum

Mr. Drum’s Class Newsletter November 6

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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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