Search This Blog

Sunday, December 13, 2015

The Hail Mary of weeks!

What a crazy winter we have been having so far! (Knock on wood!)
Sorry for the lack of updates. I have been fighting this nasty virus on and off for a few weeks, and it's totally throwing me off my game.

First of all, for those of you who were able to make it to conferences, THANK YOU! It was such a blast seeing everyone and answering questions. You are all so wonderful, and I feel very thankful to have such a wonderful group of parents this year!

Second of all, the kids and I have been working very hard on our informational unit. The kids picked a topic that they wanted to learn more about in relation to Native Americans, and I am so impressed with the topics the kids have chosen! I am really enjoying watching the kids get really into their topics, and dive into their research. They are continually asking some great questions, and learning more about the purpose of what they are doing. It's awesome.


Lastly, on Friday before we all head off to break, the kids will be partaking in the first "Maker's Day" event. Brian Miles, our amazing technology guru/sensei is heading the project, which is good news for everyone. Mr. Miles (who teaches technology to most of the 5th graders in my room) has a bunch of amazing tech tools that the kids will get the opportunity to explore and learn with all morning. Not only that, but the rest of the 5th grade teachers will be having other hands on types of activities including tech, art, and creativity.  It's going to be a blast!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Keep your eye out for the pamphlet this week!


It's looking to be a tough, but rewarding week, much like the "Miracle in Motown". Let's have fun! Please let me know if you have any questions or concerns. I am looking forward to this break as a great time to rest, relax and revamp,and I know the kids are too.


And if you are wondering how the "Game" is going...that's the "revamp" part.

Happy Holidays!
Best,
Jen











Saturday, November 14, 2015

Fall Conferences

Good Afternoon! Happy Weekend!


I hope everyone is enjoying their weekend so far, and are gearing up for another wonderful holiday season. I can't believe Thanksgiving is just around the corner! 

On Friday, I spent the day in Chicago at a conference, and had the pleasure of listening to our curriculum developer, Lucy Calkins. She is one of the members of Teacher's College Reading and Writing project, which is how many of the K-8 teachers in Middleton are being trained in the workshop model. She was able to briefly discuss some of the main aspects of teaching reading and writing in the model, and give a good summary of what she focuses on for an entire week in just a few hours.  I came away with many great ideas and understandings of our curriculum, and am excited to roll up my sleeves a little higher for the oncoming quarters. 


The students are currently working on a new understanding of non fiction reading and writing. To start the unit off, I focus a lot of my attention during reading on strategies to help them understand everything they can. Through understanding and "orienting" themselves with the type of text and structure they are reading, to word work and features of non fiction, the students should walk away knowing how to look at non fiction, and get the most from it. During writing, we are warming the kids up to presenting "all that they know" on a topic, and working on adding in the basics to non fiction writing. Once they are finished with these presentations, the kids will then pick a topic that they will actually dive deeper into informational writing. 

In Everyday Math, many of the kids are working on long division and since I know my kids will be taking the unit 4 test before break, I suspect that many of the kids are in that same boat as well. So parents, be aware, there will probably be a math test next week in your child's class. If you're not sure, check with your child.

We finally finished up our first science unit last week on Landforms. I was very impressed during each of the investigations how well the kids figured out and discovered the main ideas of how landforms are created. Even more so, whenever we did these investigations, the kids all were highly engaged and were speaking the language. It looks like my class has a lot of scientists this year! 



Announcements:  
1. Parent teacher conferences are Tuesday and Thursday of this week
I have a few slots available if anyone needs to sign up or reschedule. However, this also means that I will be running a tight ship both of these nights. Conferences are only 15 minutes, and the better I can stay on time, the better everyone will be. Especially on Wednesday and Friday, when I have to come back and teach after some long nights! 

If you have any concerns or questions, please let me know now, so I can  satisfy your needs, and focus on what YOU want to know. 


Here is the main idea of my conference:

1. How your child rocks
2. What your child is rocking at in class
3. Anything goals your child has for next quarter
4. How I am going to help your child achieve that goal
5. What your child thinks about 5th grade
5. Questions ( time permitting)

again please let me know if you have any issues, questions or concerns.

2. I've been noticing my library has been getting a little thin. Which means, it looks like this is a good time for a book round up.  If you see any of my classroom library books laying around the house or car, can you please have your child bring them in on Monday? I think we need to review the library check out protocol with my kiddos. As many of my graphic novels , (Bone, Amulet, and Inuyasha)  which are supposed to stay in the room, and Diary of a Wimpy Kids books, have not been checked out and are not in their spots. 

If you are unsure, my books have my name written in them on the inside cover, as well as a letter dot in the corner. Some may not have these, most of them do. 



I am so  excited and thrilled to see all of you next week! 
Have a great rest of your weekend! 

-Jennifer





Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Break

So, the kids and I have been up to a few things the last two weeks. First of all, the students earned a phenomenal read-in. They had an absolute BLAST. We pulled some of the collaboration furniture into the room, moved all of the tables and chairs to the side and cuddled up on the floor with our stuffed animals (yes, I had one to. I have a "Toothless" that I am quite fond of...). It seemed like they really enjoyed the experience, and I am looking forward to the next one.
On a side note, the upstairs floor HAS INVITED US to another read in tomorrow, between 8:45-9:45, same rules apply. Anything they bring with them must stay in their lockers after the read in.









Last week, we had a truly incredible opportunity of welcoming a member of the Oneida community, Mark Denning.

Mark came to us last year and spoke to the students briefly about Native American heritage and culture. We loved it so much that Mrs. Muniz was able to get him for an entire week! Each day last week the students were engaged in a variety of activities that explored Native American horses, lacrosse, stereotypes, dancing and houses.  They had a blast and did a marvelous job learning with him each day. We haven't started talking about Native Americans just yet, so it was a fabulous pre teaching experience.

We are finishing up this week with a few units. Namely, the Narrative writing unit, as well as the Interpretation Book Clubs.  On Tuesday, we spent time reading our stories out loud to our "ships" and then nominated up to two people to share in in front of the entire class voluntarily.  I was so impressed with everyone who shared their stories today. They all embraced each other's strengths and challenges, provided feedback and celebrated our first, of many major successes.


Let me know if you have any questions, I will try to update again soon!

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Tallies

I can't believe that October is already almost over- it seems like yesterday I was just realizing we had made it through our first month together! Today, I am staying home due to a nasty cough and cold that I have been trying to fight for four days. It finally got to the point where as I was losing my voice yesterday, I realized that if any of the kids has this cough, I'd be calling the nurse. 

This week the students have been working very hard at staying on task and focusing, to earn a read in on Friday. We were very close last week, but we ran out of time. This week however, they seem to be working extra hard to achieve that goal. 

In class the students are typing up their first narratives. I am really enjoying reading what the kids have written, and am noticing each year that the writing is getting better and better. I am very proud of their stamina and their effort every day during writing period. Many students struggle with having to write and rewrite over and over- as it is a rigorous cycle, but many of the kiddos are staying positive about it. 

Students are also starting their first of many book clubs this year. We are working on looking for themes and figuring out the major ideas in books. The students and I have made contracts outlining the boundaries and expectations of book clubs. They seem to really like the idea and have chosen some pretty great titles to read as well. 

We also started word study this week officially. Every morning when the kids arrive, once they've settled in they do a word sort, and write it in their journals. For homework each night, they need to practice the sort on the yellow sheet, and write their words in a silly way. In class, we will be working on applying their words in their writing and in their reading, to help them recognize the rules and patterns of the language. They will only have word study homework 4/5 days each week, no work on Fridays. 

If you have any questions or concerns, please let me know. 

ON a side note, the game is going well-  we've slowed down a little bit, as I've been working on trying to keep up with everything else going on. Hopefully we finish this first mission quickly and and can get started on our next mission. 


Friday, September 25, 2015

Everyday Math Videos!

I made some screen casts involving the partial sums and difference method with whole numbers and decimals if you need help understanding what your kids are doing. This is my first time trying this out, so it's not perfect, but it should help.  Feel free to email me if you need any help!



Partial Different Method with Decimals didn't work, so I will work on this on Monday.

goo.gl/jmeJVq: Partial Difference Method with Whole Numbers

goo.gl/w7xj6U: Partial Sum Method with Whole Numbers


Thursday, September 24, 2015

Habits

Whew, week three is over.
They say it takes about three weeks to form a habit, and I think our class is generating some good habits, and habits we need to continue working on.

In reading, our class has been working really hard on creating thoughts and ideas that help us be active readers, and create some really 5th grade mature ideas. My goal this year with them is to help them discover messages and ideas in books that are below the surface. The more meaning they get out of a book, the more it resonates with them.

In writing, we have been working on prewriting our ideas for our narratives. We've been talking about ways to add details and perspective to our stories. I encourage all of you to talk to your child about their topic, because a lot of them are writing stories that involves YOU in it! The more perspective they have from you, the more they can learn about creating suspense and irony. And believe me, they are already off to an excellent start on it.

For the game, most of the students have earned enough points to go on their first "mission" on Monday. Hopefully that works on well.

Coming up in the near future is an exciting opportunity to learn more about landforms and contour maps by contouring our very own backyard at KMS. I might need some parent volunteers to help out, so if anyone is interested, please let me know! The date of that activity is TBD.

Overall, it's been a great start to the year so far. Things to be on the look out for is word work hopefully will be ready to start next week, as well as the missionaries.

I hope everyone has a wonderful 3 day weekend, and enjoys the wonderful start to fall!

Also, on Sunday there is going to be Supermoon  Eclipse around 9:00. I hope everyone can check it out!

http://www.wired.com/2015/09/watch-weekends-total-lunar-eclipse/

-Ms. Davidson

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Day One, Volume 2

Welcome back to school, and welcome to Ms. Davidson's classroom blog!

Today is always one of the most exciting days of the school year. Everyone was so energized to start, they were even sprinting around the corner from the main entrance, trying to get to their new lockers asap. It was like the bell had rang for recess or something.

Today the kids and I spent a lot of time getting to know each other and learning names, as well as  talking about routines and procedures, and unfortunately, we are not done. I am pretty confident that I have learned everyone's name already, except for a few mispronunciations (spending hours making name tags and class lists will do that) but the true test is when they are wearing different shirts tomorrow, so we shall see. And even though it was a lot of talking and listening, the kids were fantastic! I am really looking forward to seeing how well this group transitions into the middle school, and how we all work together. I think there are a lot of amazing personalities that I can't wait to learn more about and embrace their strengths and challenges.

 There was also a good chunk of time this morning sorting out school supplies and materials.  Thank you to all of those parents who donated materials to the classroom, cleaning and non cleaning. My cabinets are completely full and ready for the year to come.I am sure that your kids already gave you the low down- please note that there is NO homework tonight, but I will be sending home a few slips for the kids to bring back as soon as possible this week.

Please mark on your calendars September 17th. That is open house night. I have a ton of things to talk about, and I looking forward to meeting all of you.

I hope that your day went well, although I am sure the house was a little quieter this morning.

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

It's July Already..

Can't believe the summer is already close to being half over! Time is always moving to fast it seems.

I am absolutely loving seeing everyone on Thursdays- I will be there again tomorrow, same time same place. 11-1 at the Middleton Public Library. I am usually at a table in the front or in the chairs in the back!

Thursday, June 25, 2015

#BestkidsintheWORLD

I was so excited to see so many familiar faces at the Library today! If you were not able to attend, no worries! I will be there on most Thursdays tutoring in the morning, so I will be hanging around for an hour or two afterwards!

Molly and Anna recommended The Time of the Fireflies by Kimberly Griffiths Little, and I was so into it I got to chapter 10. It's a great fantasy novel with some time traveling down south in the Bayou.  I was also able to pick up the The Thief Lord  by Cornelia Funke, who is the same author of our last read aloud, Inkheart. Hopefully that is just as exciting and easy to read.


Tuesday, June 23, 2015

First Library Day

I hope everyone has having a fabulous summer so far!

First of all, I am going to be at the Middleton Public Library from 11-1 this Thursday,  working on some reading  if anyone would like to join me!


Second of all,  I was so excited to see a few of you at the Madison Radicals game last weekend- it was a great game to watch! One of the players from Chicago Wildfire made the ESPN top ten list at #2 for an incredible catch at the end.  That's usually a good sign for everybody. This weekend they have a bye, then the next weekend after the fourth they are playing Indianapolis (7/12 - "Family Day"), and then Cincinnati the weekend after, all in Madison. Tickets are $5 and kids under 12 get in free!


Espn top ten catch: AJ Nelson (Chicago Wildfire)


Brain Hart's Dramatic Catch

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Gratitude.

I can't believe the school year is over. I've been crying on and off the last two days, and my heart is very heavy. I never thought I would say that I hate the last day of school. I have been trying to come up with the best way to end the year with the kids. I have written this blog about 15 times over and over and it's been very challenging to find the right words to say.

First,  I have truly enjoyed having your kids be in my class. I feel so blessed to have had their uniqueness blossom in 504 this year.  I loved learning about who they are, as well as help them find their way through this year. We've had ups and downs and bumps and bruises, but we've all made it out surviving, strong and resilient.

Second, Teachers always say that you never forget your first class.
 I don't think it is feasible to forget the kind of impact the kids have made on me. I've learned so much about teaching this year, I can't wait to carry on and continue growing as an educator next year.

Third, I am so happy that Kromrey is a 5-8  building. I do not know how 5th grade teachers in previous years (now 4th grader teachers) and the 8th grade teachers handle the separation. I am excited for the next group of kids, however, I am even more excited that I can continue supporting this group for the next three years.

Lastly,
Thank you parents.

Thank you so much for your endless support and compassion. Thank you for following up with your child and helping them stay organized and focused. Thank you for coming to parent teacher nights and open houses, and spirit afternoons and field trips. Thank you for being an active role model in our community, and in our classrooms. The kids see that, and they model that behavior whether they realize it or not.

This year has been incredible. I am going to miss them dearly. Next year has tough competition to beat.

Thank you. Have a great, and safe summer!

-Ms. Davidson



Monday, May 18, 2015

Permission Slips

So sorry for the inconvenience of all the permission slips heading home- there are a lot of events coming up!

Here is a quick list of the events!
1. WEB field trip tomorrow to Parisi Park (Tuesday 5/19)
2. End of the year pool party at Middleton Pool (6/9)
3. Pen Pal Picnic party (6/8)

If you have any questions, please let me know.


Monday, May 11, 2015

Crunch time

I hope everyone had a marvelous Mother's Day weekend! The kids worked extremely hard on their scarves last week, and were super excited to give them to you this weekend! I hope you asked them how they made it! It was quite the process! 

I was very happy that the weather was so nice this weekend- I hope everyone got to enjoy it one way or another. Not sure if the kids told you, but I made a pretty grown-up purchase last month, and am now a first time homeowner! The last few weeks have been busy for my family and I, as we have been spending all of our free time gutting the place out for remodeling. With the celebration this weekend, everyone came together and we made a lot of progress. Nothing made Mrs. Davidson more excited than taping windows on Saturday. But now, the walls are primed and ready to paint- and wow does that make a load of difference! HGTV and Home Makeover make it look so easy- but it took us all day to get to that point! At this rate, we are hoping to have the project  completed by July- so keep your eyes peeled for your new neighbor in July! :)


This week and the next week look pretty dangerous. :P

**final round of reading assessments will be happening all week  the next 3 weeks**

Tomorrow we will have our MAP reading tests, which will take the entire reading time from 11:40-12:40. There will be make ups later this week and next week if they do not finish. Also, my math students will have their unit 10 math test. These next two units are much shorter than units 6-8, so testing will happen pretty quick in the next 3 weeks. 

On Wednesday, the students will get to watch the musical performance of "Shrek the Musical" held in the Dining Commons at 2:30. I saw them practice a bit on Friday, and it's pretty awesome. I am very excited for the kids to see it! 

On Thursday, the 14th, my Math kids will be taking their MAPS math tests, and they will have the entire time to complete their tests.  

Then on Friday, students will be hanging out with Officer Wilson one last time to talk about internet safety. Officer Wilson is our School Liaison officer, and he is returning to "the streets" next year, and we will be joined by a new officer next year. 

Next week on Tuesday, we will be having our final W.E.B. gathering, and the students will be going to Parisi Park.

Let me know if you have any questions or comments. 
There are only 4 weeks left!!!





Thursday, April 30, 2015

"Stuff"

Wow...
Approximately only 6 weeks left. We have officially started talking about preparing for next year already- I can't believe the year is almost over...

Currently we are working on writing memoirs in Writing, and I am soooooo excited about their progress so far. I highly encourage that you take the time to talk to the kids about their topics- any sort of memories or perspective that you have on what happened in their lives can help give them a big picture. Or whipping out the good ole' photo album is always helpful. We are hoping to have the Memoir unit finished by the end of May, and that will be our final writing unit.
I am so proud of how much they have accomplished this year- and they are trucking through this unit very well.

For reading, we are working on understanding the true meaning of books, but using our interpreting skills. We should be done with that next week, so we can start reading fantasy books. Currently, we are reading Inkheart by Cornelia Funke as our read aloud, so that should jump start their understanding for fantasy.

Other major announcements is that our kids finished marvelously with Badger Assessments- we had everyone finish in two days or less- which is awesome considering the type of testing as well as the amount of kids having to take the test.

But even though one set of testing is finished, we still have our final round of Fountas and Pinelle testing (reading assessments) and Spring MAPS testing. The window for both of those will be starting up next week already, so be prepared for our final round. It is because of this that I am foregoing social studies/science test.

Also, on May 19th we are going to have a WEB leaders field trip to Parisi Park, so please make sure you turn in a permission slip.


Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Starting the Last Laps

Welcome back from spring break!
I hope everyone enjoyed the family time and the extra sleep! I know I really enjoyed the rest. Especially after the Basketball team's success over Kentucky Sunday night.  And thank goodness for wonderful kids to help distract me from the depression that followed Tuesday morning. Gotta love being a Badger Fan. 
Gah.
On Wisconsin! 

Winter is coming 6th Grade is coming! 
The big message I have been preaching about this week has been that these are the last laps of the run. We are less than 9 weeks away from these 5th graders officially being 6th graders. This means that I am going to really push these kids to work on being more organized and prepared for class and for the transitions. I have noticed that many of you have already purchased an expanding file or binder- this is awesome. It makes the kids keep their essentials together as much as possible, and not have to go to their lockers as often throughout the class period. . I highly encourage this so kids can reduce their transition time looking for a pencil. Yippe!! 

( see if you can decode the hidden message in this paragraph for something else really exciting this weekend, for all you book worms out there!)

State Testing/ Badger Assessment
Coming up next week is the first round of our state tests, the Badger Assessment. 
On Tuesday, April 14th, the kids will be working on the chromebooks from 11:40-1:20 on the English/Language Arts portion of the test. These tests are VERY different than the MAPS or anything they have taken before. We have spent a few hours already looking through the practice test online and the tutorial, but I encourage all of you to go on the DPI website and look at it/practice it yourselves...it's super intense.  On April 21st, the 22 and the 23  (the following week), the students will be doing their Math portion of the Badger Exam. It is spread over three days because on the 22nd, teachers are instructing the students with something called a "performance task". It is a scripted mini lesson that teachers will take to instruct and work with the students, so on the 23rd, the test will refer back to  that task the day before. 
Originally, the ELA portion was to have this as well, equating to almost 9 hours of testing, but about a month ago, the state removed this portion to shorten the amount of time being spent. 
The worst part about all this, is that next year this test will be completely different most likely...

Engineering Expo
On the 16th of next week, students will be headed to the Engineering Expo. we will be leaving from the school at 8:30 and arriving around 2:15-2:30. I will send out another email on Monday with more information for chaperones. The big thing is that the kids will need to carry with them their sacked lunches, and there are a lot of freebies that will be passed out to the kids. If you have a string backpack, or a small backpack, please have your child bring that with them on the trip so it is easy to carry. 

Human Growth and Development
Students will be taking part in Human Growth and Development classes next week, if you DO NOT want your child to take part in the class with their peers during phy ed time, please inform me now so I can send you the permission slip as soon as possible. 

Grades 
are posted in the Parent Portal. :)





Zachary Howe
Shout out to a great friend of mine, Zachary Howe, who came in Monday morning and talked about being an author. He just self-published his first novel, The Heir of Olympus and the Forest Realm in February.  Zach and I have known each other since we were 13, and it was quite a surprise to find out that he had been working on publishing a book. He told the story to the kids about how he hated school growing up and how reading the Harry Potter series changed his life and inspired him to write.  He also talked about how to be motivated for writing, and how important reading and writing work together. He also spent a good chunk of time talking about Greek mythology, which was fascinating! It was a great activity for the first day back from break, and a great learning experience for everyone. I was so impressed by how many students really knew so much information about mythology. They even had a few minutes to work on their own ideas for a myth. I think a lot of the kids really learned a lot from his message, and enjoyed his presence. 

Here are some photos that I took of the kids with Mr. Howe: 




I am currently reading the book when I have some free time (which is quite rare) and I highly advise for an audience of 15 and up. :) It's awesome so far- and I am only on chapter 5! 


Let me know if you have any questions. I can't believe we are running out of time already! 

:(
-Ms. Davidson 







Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Spring is here!!

I don't know about all of you, but I know I am just loving this beautiful sunshine!

Since spring is officially right around the corner, here are a few things to be on the lookout for:

1. The Engineering Expo on April 16th. 
The entire 5th grade is heading to the UW and hanging out in the engineering part of campus. We  are so excited to spend the day learning and exploring together. We will be having lunch- so we do ask that you either sign up for a sacked lunch from the school, or bring your own healthy (NO NUTS) lunch.  I also can bring about 3-5 parent volunteers ( I have one signed up!) if any one is interested.

2.  Human Growth and Development
Click this link for the official letter being sent out:
http://goo.gl/LfCYDT

This is the only time we are doing Human Growth and Development in 5th grade. Students will not be missing classes, they will be doing it during their phy ed encore time. If you do not want your child to participate with the group, you need to send in a permission slip by Friday, April 10th.

3. Lots of BOOKS!
Our library has expanded greatly! It's a new project for me to make sure we have good, leveled and interesting topics for our kiddos to read consistently. However, I have noticed that the library has dwindled. If you see a book laying around at home that has a dot sticker in the corner with a letter written in it, please make sure your son or daughter brings that back!




.


Wednesday, March 4, 2015

March Madness

It has been such a crazy few weeks- I can't believe it's March already!

Spirit Week is underway and it is going amazingly well. The class chant for our class is "Cougars show me 5- 04! We want more!" and "KMS- is the Best! Rawr!"

Today, some of the MHS pep band and the 8th grade students came and performed some awesome pep songs for the kids. We even had a surprise visit from "Bristy" the MHS Cardinal (we named it Bristy as of today if it hasn't been named yet, after Bristol Street. I was vying for Chuck, but I was vetoed.. ) Bristy and the kids had a blast listening to the band, and we even got an entire 5th grade conga line to dance for the last song. Unbelievably, there were no injuries or fights. Gotta love a little conga!

Tomorrow, I am super excited for our guests to come. We have the Green Bay Packer drum core coming to perform, as well as THE Buckingham Badger.

Should be a blast.

So for all of you parents who are coming for parent teacher conferences tomorrow night- it's going to be a fun day to come afterwards.  As the schedule stands, I have a very booked day- with only about 15 minutes for dinner. So please, if you have anything you want to discuss with me, please let me know now so we do not go over our allotted time. I am very excited to touch base with all of you! It's been an incredible quarter (or two)!




Thursday, February 19, 2015

Spirit Week

Looks like the cat is out of the bag- and a lot of the kids already know about "Spirit Week."
That's okay- they don't know what we have planned...

So just a reminder, if you would like to help us with the grand finale of Spirit Week, please sign up on SignUpGenius. If you did not get the link to sign up, please send me an email and I will be sure to resend it to you!

If you cannot volunteer your time, but still want to help out, we are looking for some donations of supplies!

If you can bring in any of the following, that would be super helpful!!


Origami Paper
Duct tape
Face paint
wigs/costume apparel


Also, please make sure that students are bringing in their contracts for ART!

Monday, February 16, 2015

Read and Write #20- Harper Lee

http://www.timeforkids.com/news/continue-classic/212241

1. Who is Harper Lee?
2. What is she famous for?
3. Why is the book coming out now? Why was the book so delayed?
4. What is the subject of the book?
5. Why are people excited about this book?

Monday, February 9, 2015

Valentines Day

Good Morning!  I hope everyone is off to a great start of their week. I apologize for not updating all last week- we were pretty busy!

In writing last week, we read an incredible book that really got us thinking, entitled ,"The Junkyard Wonder" by Patricia Palacco. It was a very inspiring and thoughtful true story of a girl who overcame many learning obstacles (as well as some of her "junkyard friends") to be where she is today. The kids and I discussed the book over  two periods and pulled out SO many different ideas of themes, symbolism and character development.

This was very helpful because now the kids are doing that on their own. They chose a picture book to analyze and write a literary essay. We are in the process of looking for evidence and amping up our body paragraphs. I have really enjoyed this unit- I love watching the kids pick up on hidden meanings and author's purpose.


Announcements for the week: 

This week is Kindness Week, which is an exciting time for the kids to go and express kindness everywhere they go. I am sending home Kindness tickets with the kids this week so that the kindness spreads at home. I would like to fill up a jar with these tickets and celebrate it with them next week.

There is no school on Friday, due to Staff Development Day. Which means, that we are celebrating Valentine's Day on the Thursday before. The team and I sat down last Wednesday and discussed protocol for this celebration, and we asked that the kids make it even. This means that if they choose to bring in valentines, that they bring it in for everyone in the class, and that they are only cards. NO candy, and no treats connected to it...it's a policy thing.






Friday, January 30, 2015

Exploration and Technology

Today we performed a homemade play in social studies to begin our Explorer's Unit.
The kids had an absolute blast. We had to perform it two times so everyone had a role. I am looking forward to the rest of the unit as we discuss the explorers. Thanks to our wonderful guest teacher for helping me, Ms. Steele.

On a side note, I would like to announce a celebration today. Out of the 28 students in the class, the 22 that have been tested, almost everyone has improved at least 2 reading levels, and some even up to 5 reading levels. THAT IS AMAZING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 

So, what does your child's "letter level" mean exactly?


N-P      3rd grade 
Q-S      4th grade
T-V      5th grade
(we would like all of our 5th graders to be reading at a V at least by the end of the year, or close to)
                       W-Z     6th, 7th and 8th grades. 


I will be continuing with assessments until the end of next week. Congratulations to everyone! There is still a lot of time left until I test again in May. Keep up the GREAT work everyone! Don't forget to READ READ READ READ READ and log!! It totally pays off!! 


If you did not turn in your class selection sheet, please make sure that you bring them on Monday. 


Have an excellent weekend! I am super proud of everyone! Stay safe, stay clean, and stay healthy :)

(Who is watching the Puppy Bowl on Sunday? I know I sure am....)
Go PACKERS!

-Ms. Davidson 

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Survival of the fittest

Oh what a joyous feeling it is to be back!! I woke up this morning so excited to be reunited with the kiddos, and happy that I didn't feel as awful as I had the previous day.

When the kids came in, I stood by the door and held a Lysol container full of wipes out for the kids to take. They looked at me funny because I was wearing a surgical mask, but they looked at what was in my hand, and then the kids didn't even have to ask what it was for. They all came in, greeted me, grabbed a Lysol wipe and cleaned down everything at their desk and chairs. Some kids even went further than that and cleaned the counter tops (thank you to those students!)

Then once they came in after Encore, everyone was trying to fill me in on the last two days which apparently had many ups and downs, and they ensured me that they did everything they could to be good leaders. There is nothing in the world that makes a teacher more pleased then knowing that even when he/she is gone, the kids have their best interests at heart. 

We were so excited to be reunited that we wasted the first 20 minutes on just goofing around and giggling. It got to be so bad I had to turn out the lights and make them rest.

That took another 5 minutes. And I couldn't keep the grin off my face the entire time.

Then we all finally got to work, and had a fabulous day.


Thank you so much for being such wonderful and understanding families, I know it hasn't always been easy. I can't believe the year is half over and I only have a few months left with them!




Friday, January 23, 2015

MAPS

FINALLY!

The students have all finished their MAP tests with me today. It was incredibly frustrating, we had more problems happen in the last two days with it than I have had the 4 times I've proctored it. However, almost everyone has finished (aside from those who were absent today).

I am confident that they did well. :)

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Que Magnifique!

What a crazy and fun filled day we had!

To start our morning, most of the class went to La Petite, a french bakery across from West Town Mall. It was so amazing watching the kids take part in a cultural experience in the community! They were all so polite and friendly, as well as very patient. I am very proud of all the kiddos for representing themselves and KMS in public.

They definitely put on quite the show. They had to order all of the food in French (that's to Monsuier Voss' excellent teaching, he had a dialogue cheat sheet for the kids to use, as well as myself!!!). I was very impressed by how much they have learned in such a short amount of time. With the help from Nick T., Jose, Lian, Savian, Mrs. Shaw and Hansen, Ms. Davidson was able to order some delicious treats. Thank you to everyone for the assistance!

Also, it was a pleasure seeing many of you at the cafe! How wonderful it was for you to join the class!!

Here is a great video of them performing a poem at the end of the experience to express their "Merci"

The poem is entitled 
O Soliel
O Soleil, O Soleil
Montre-toi!
De Toute ta Lumiere
illumine-moi
Pour qu'a mon tour je puisse
Rayonner autour de moi. 

Oh  Sun, Oh Sun
Rise up
With all of your light
Illuminate me
so that in turn I may
Shine out all around me

video










Tuesday, January 20, 2015

On Demand!

Welcome back! I hope everyone had a fantastic weekend!

Tomorrow I will be starting the Fountas and Pinelle mid year reading testing. This is the form of assessment we use to help base your child's reading abilities and their "reading level." The goal for 5th grade is to be at a level U by the end of the school year. Hopefully, with all the reading they do in class and at home, the students should have moved up a letter or two by now, depending on where they started at the beginning of the year. This means that we will be having a guest teacher the next two afternoons. The kids know her- she's awesome.

They will be with me for writing both days, however.
Tomorrow, we will be doing an opinion on demand. The kids are already pretty frustrated with me because they just had to write their informative post on demand, (45 minutes of non stop writing) on Friday. The way our writing curriculum works is that we are assessing writing with a post test and a pre test. This is the "pre test" for opinion writing, and we wont be taking the "post test" until after we finish our argumentative essays in March-ish.

What that means is, the kids will be spending the writing period tomorrow writing about an issue and taking a stance on that issue. They are welcome to bring in any information that will help them prove their point.

Some ideas that I expressed today were:
1. Should we have longer school days?
2. Should we have a year long school year or keep summers off?
3. Should we drink chocolate milk at school? Eat pizza?
4. Should we have more recess
4. Should teacher's assign homework?

Students should be able to :

  • write an intro
  • state your opinion or claim
  • give reason and evidence
  • organize your writing
  • acknowledge counterclaims
  • use transition words
  • write a conclusion 



On another note, our very own, Hansen, will be competing in the District Spelling Bee tomorrow night at the PAC! We are so excited for him to represent our school and our class! Good luck Hansen! We will be cheering for you!!


Wednesday, January 14, 2015

The Authors

Watch out Oscars, and the Academy and goodbye Golden Globes, The Authors has now arrived and has established itself as the elite award show at Kromrey Middle School. 

Reported with help from the Kromrey News, Mrs. Davidson (the real Mrs. Davidson) and Ms. Davidson. 


The first annual "Authors" award ceremony was a huge success! Aside from the lack of background and classy music, the show was a huge hit. There were only a few tears, but lots of smiles.  We even had some musical free-styling from Nick T and the Bliss Band!

Thank you to all the parents who came and supported the celebration! Hopefully next round we will have more time! What a fun ending to our writing successes.



Some snippits:
"Oh Stephen, who is your date that you brought with you today, and who are you wearing?"
Stephen: um...I don't have a date. And I am wearing nothing. I mean no one."

Ms. D: Wow Zack Bliss, I see that you have won the award for Best Vocabulary! How does it feel?
Zack: It feels so great. I like words.
Ms. D: So Who are you wearing and who did you bring with you today as a date?
Zack: Uhhh, I didn't bring a date, and I'm wearing Nick T.!
Ms. D: Oh wow that's an original tie by Nick T. I hear everyone is wearing him. He's an up and comer'. Tell me about this tie of his that you are wearing. What is it made out of?
Zack: It's made out of ductape.
Ms. D: Well it's just fabulous.

Thank you to the 7th and 8th grade phy ed students for the applause!



Stephen kissing his award for "Best Teacher Voice"




Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Celebration

Tomorrow we are having our Writing Celebration during EL time (3:17-3:48) You are all welcome to join in the fun.

We are planning on hosting our own Golden Globe style award ceremony, entitled, "The Authors". Please have your child wear "fancy" clothes. (Whatever they feel best in!)(( we can construct our own ties and tiaras if needed!))

Also, this month's book orders are due THIS FRIDAY, the 16th. The more books your purchase when you use the classroom code, the more books I can buy for the kiddos in our slowly depleting library. :D




Monday, January 12, 2015

Trial #1

Today starts the beginning of the end of easy EL time.

If you are in the "Read and Write group" for either session, please read the following article and fill out the response questions on the board.

http://www.timeforkids.com/news/person-year/201896

Questions to respond to:


  1. In 2014, what major award did Malala win?
  2. What did Malala say to the United Nations?
  3. In our discussion about Power today, how did Malala's actions shift the Power from the Taliban?
  4. Who were the other people nominated for the award?
  5. What are your thoughts about this award?



Friday, January 9, 2015

Recap

Wow! What a great first week back!
The kiddos were very tired the first few days- an anxious for a snow day/cold day- but regardless, they still put the petal to the metal and worked very hard. It's been hard trying to get back in the routine (as I am sure it was not easy getting them out of bed all week!!) but they are slowly removing the cobwebs.

I have been working very hard all week on trying to set up a new schedule for Extended Learning time. The kids know it's coming and we will go over expectations next week.
SO far the  plan is this:

EL time will be split into 2 times. 3:21-3:35 and 3:35-3:49
Mondays and Wednesday will be Reading focused days
Tuesday and Thursdays will be Math focused days.

On Reading days, the kids will do two of the following activities: 
Book Club with Ms. D, Read and Writes, Word Work and Reader's Theater.

On Math days, the kids will do two of the following activities:
Math Club with Ms. D, Moby Max/EDM games, Math Masters and Dreambox.

Not everyone will do all the activities all the time, some activities some students will not qualify for. 
This is being done to ensure that every student's needs can be met. 

Keep in mind, some students will have band lessons or other services to attend. The class is also required to partake in Guidance lessons 2 times a month, as well as some library time as well.  I will allow some days for students to work on independent reading or math homework for one of the two sessions.

This is an experiment that I hope goes well. I am not sure when we will rotate activities (weekly, or monthly) but I will figure out an answer to that shortly.

For writing, the original plan was to be completely done by Monday- however, there were a few impromptu lessons from myself and  Mr. Miles (technology). I would like the kids to have their drafts completely typed up, so we can revise and edit easily on  Monday and Tuesday, then celebrate on Wednesday.

Working on planning a celebration for writing...would any parents be interested in coming in and listening to some information writing?

Send me an email if you are interested.

Have a great and warm weekend!!

**to comment, click the comment button below, then write your comment. Next, press "publish", Google will then ask you if you want to comment as a google + user (students, you do not have access to this feature) or as a temporary blogger. Click temporary blogger (if you do not want to use your google+ name) and write your name as a user name.


Thursday, January 8, 2015

French Class

If your child has French this quarter,  they are headed to La Baguette for a field trip with Monsieur Voss. The permission slip needs to be turned in TOMORROW, the 9th. All of them have received a slip to take home, but if he/she misplaced it or did not bring it, it should be in your email inbox.

The trip is on the 22nd. Do not send money until the day of the trip.

-Au Revoir, que magnifique!
7424 Mineral Point Road Madison, WI 53717
(608) 827-6775

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Welcome!

Welcome to 504!



What an incredible first semester we have had! I made a new years resolution to do better at many things for the oncoming months- and communication was on the top of the list. Hopefully, I will be able to keep up and inform all of you on what has been going on in our classroom community! Feel free to post and reply! 


-Ms. Davidson