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Friday, December 16, 2016

Cheers to 2016

What an incredible end to our year together!
STEAM a Palooza went off with a SMASH! It was an absolute blast, and I know that they all really enjoyed meeting and listening to the presenters, as well as participate actively. My brother, Jeff, who came in to talk and share engineering experiences- mentioned how impressed he was not only with the kids but with how many questions and how creative all of them were. I hope your kids come home today excited to share their experiences! I uploaded a few photos on the slideshow from what was taking place in my room if you want to take a look!

The students will have no major homework over break, other than to read and to log. I asked them earlier this week to keep track of how much they read- they should be reading 30 minutes at least for 10/16 days, so 300 minutes at a minimum. When they get back, we will be doing our second round of Fountas and Pinelle testing to see how much growth there has been, so even though we are on break, we never break from reading! I also encourage the kids to spend a little time researching their nonfiction topics and gathering more information. Doesn't have to be finished when we get back, however, we are in the drafting stage, and a lot of them are a little lost and disorganized.  A little bit of time spent researching here and there over break goes a long way.

Lastly, I wanted to thank you all from the bottom of my heart for your generosity and thoughtfulness. I was bombarded this morning with lots of gifts and cards, and a plethora of hugs! Your children are so kind, and it is really a gift that I wake up and thank my lucky cards for every day. I can't say that enough.

Other than that, I don't have a lot of announcements.  As always, please let me know if you have any questions or concerns.  I hope everyone has a safe, healthy, fun, and relaxing break. Please be safe if you are traveling somewhere (especially in this crazy weather we are having!!), and I look forward to seeing all of you in the new year!

Happy Holidays,

Tuesday, December 6, 2016


Good Evening Everyone! 

Sorry for the delay in information! I thought it would be a good time for a quick update on what the class is up to these days.


The last few weeks or so, in both Reader's and Writer's Workshop, the theme has been nonfiction. I am spending a lot of time working with the kids on reading non fiction, and strategies to help dissect information, as well as ways to read between the lines. After spending time in NYC this summer at the Teacher's College Reading and Writing Project Institute, I learned a lot more about ways to amp up non fiction, and how to teach it better. It was a mind blowing institute, and I am eagerly trying to find ways to incorporate what I learned with the kids. This means that I am going off the curriculum book a little bit, but it's already helping the kids read and see more while they are reading.

In writing, we are starting the  "Lens of History" writing project.Usually, I choose a time period and they pick the information, however, this year I asked them to chose what event or time THEY wanted. Now, considering they are interested in almost everything from Star Wars to Cold Wars and dinosaurs and black holes, this has taken a little bit of time and effort. I worked on creating a tool to help them make sure they have a good topic, which I passed out to them today. It's a 12-16 page packet (most of the pages are places for them to find and collect information for their writing), with lots of tools for them to use. I asked that they keep it at school so they don't lose it, but if you would like a copy, I can certainly attach it to an email/ put it on the resource page. 

This writing project will require some time spent outside of class looking up information, and gathering resources. If you could help your child with this process, that would be awesome! They will have them the rest of this week to get more information, as well as next week. 


On the Friday before Winter Break, December 16th, the 5th grade team has invited a few community members to join the kids on a new event called, "Steam-A-Palooza". In hopes to help enrich and motivate students in the S.T.E.A.M categories of education (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math) we will have many speakers share what they know and how they use S.T.E.A.M in their profession. Some speakers will be familiar faces ( Brian Miles and Eric Engle to name a few), including my own brother Jeff will be attending. We will be taking part in this activity from 8:30-11:00. 

After the "Palooza", students will be having "math" with me, and then spending the last hour of the day with their W.E.B leaders in some fun activities. So all in all, Dec. 16 will be a very fun and exciting day for everyone. 


I usually do a holiday themed Read In, complete with Pajamas, a projected fire place on the white board, and a warm  cup of hot chocolate. We are having the last read in of the year (for 2016 that is) THIS FRIDAY from 8:20-10:20. 

 The students were also wondering if YOU would like to join us! If you are interested,please let me know if you can make it. Feel free to come and read with your kiddo! They would LOVE it!

I can't believe 2016 is almost over, and that this school year is flying by so quickly, Thank you so much for all of your support and continued communication with me.Looking forward to many more amazing weeks to come.