You can always see upcoming assignments, presentations, Free Dress days, etc. on the calendar on the top of our class website http://www.issosua.com/grade-5.html.
Here are a few to note:
- Tuesday, December 12th - Optional Parent Talk about 5th Grade Puberty Education 3:00 pm
- Thursday, December 14th - Economic Fair from 2:30-3:30 (the Holiday Bazaar goes until 5, but the students will clean up after the first hour)
- Thursday, December 14th - Holiday Show 5:30 pm
- Week of December 18-22nd - Puberty Education in 5th Grade
- December 22 - January 8th - Holiday Break (no classes)
- Monday, January 8th - Professional Development Day for Teachers (no classes)
- Tuesday, January 9th - School Resumes
The 5th graders are hard at work on the Economic Fair projects! We have several class periods a week to work on this, so the bulk of the work should be completed in class. Some students may need help gathering their materials. We’ve been talking in class about ways to collect, not buy, reusable materials. Students are encouraged to use materials that can be collected naturally (shells, driftwood, etc) or reach out to their communities - some have asked to make an announcement at school about collecting recycled toilet paper rolls, egg cartons etc, or asking neighbors to save their old bottles instead of throwing them away, etc. They should have their materials ready next week so they can use their class time to create their projects. They’ve been asked to create one prototype first so they can evaluate and adjust before making all of their products. Don’t forget to mark your calendars - the Economic Fair is part of the Holiday Bazaar which will be on December 14th. Although the Bazaar runs from 2:30 - 5:00, the students will only be selling from 2:30-3:30. They should all plan on staying at school until 3:30 that day. After that they are free to enjoy the Holiday Bazaar or go home and get ready for the Holiday Show at 5:30.
Coding is a hugely important skill for the 21st century, and the 5th graders have been so excited to participate in the annual Hour of Code, and international event to promote coding in schools. They understand that coding can lead to many career opportunities, build critical thinking skills, and provide a way to make positive change in the world. This week, students worked on coding projects of their choice in order to earn their 2017 Hour of Code certificate (displayed outside the classroom - come check them out!). Next week they will take their skills a step farther in order as they teach grades K-4 about coding and get their younger peers started on their coding journeys! Ask your 5th grader what project they completed for their own certificate, and what grade level they signed up to teach!
We’re finally wrapping up our study of adding and subtracting fractions! Students have learned to work with fractions by visualizing and drawing fraction models, as well as making equivalent fractions. I’m really impressed by how much they’ve grown in their fraction knowledge; in class I see them trying different strategies and thinking critically about tough word problems. Right now they’re applying their skills to word problems and even trying out some algebraic thinking. Monday will be the last lesson of the unit. Tuesday is a review day, and Wednesday they will have an assessment on adding and subtracting fractions. Assessments can cause many students to feel nervous or anxious - if your 5th grader expresses these feelings, just remind them to relax and do their best. The important part is how much they’ve improved, and every single one of them has made huge progress in this unit!
We’re also wrapping up our persuasive essays next week! We’ve been working step by step to write engaging introductions, strong arguments supported with facts, and meaningful conclusions. Students have also learned to cite their sources with the online resource Easybib.com in order to avoid plagiarism. Next week we will be revising and editing the essays - they are due Friday!
As we discussed at Meet the Teacher night, we will be doing Puberty Education for the 5th graders the week of December 18th - 22nd. The emphasis will be on understanding their bodies and the changes that begin to take place during adolescence. We will break this up into four classes: 1) puberty and hygiene 2) changes in the female body 3) changes in the male body 4) question day (this is the only day that will be divided by gender - this ensures that all students are given the same information, but also have a chance to discuss in a single-sex environment where they may feel more comfortable asking questions). Parents should be aware this is happening, as students may come home wanting to discuss further and ask more questions. Any parents wanting a more in-depth preview of the material to be covered is invited to attend an optional parent talk on Tuesday, December 12th from 3:00 - 3:30 in the 5th grade classroom. This is not required (I know there’s a LOT going on right now!) but is offered as a support - puberty education can be daunting for students and families both!