__Homework__

This quarter’s homework routine is basically the same - math practice, study spelling words, and nightly reading Monday through Thursday (although students are encouraged to read everyday! The more the better!). Math will generally be a digital lesson on zearn.com that reviews the lesson done in class; this allows us to spend less time on tech during the day and maximize the amount of time I can spend helping students as they work out problems in groups and individually on paper. In order to avoid too much screen time, students will choose one activity on their weekly reading response sheet to complete. This shouldn’t take long, but serves as a way to ensure accountability for daily reading and get them thinking about what they have read. Students write their weekly Words Their Way spelling list in their agendas on Monday, so they can review them for 5-10 minutes each night in preparation for Friday’s quiz. Homework should feel like a review that helps students improve reading skills and reinforce skills from the day's lessons. It should not take more than an hour to complete or be a source of undue stress. If it is, please let me know so we can work together to make sure homework is productive to learning. Students are welcome to complete the Zearn lesson in the lab after school, and they can stay with me for reinforcements from 3:00-3:30 any day.

__Personal Devices__

Because the Zearn lesson will now be completed as part of homework, students will not need to bring their devices to school as often. If there is a special project that they will need devices for, I will try to give advanced notice through the weekly blog. Otherwise, students should bring devices for Friday math enrichment and choice time, but generally won’t need them on other days unless otherwise specified.

__Math__

We began a new unit on multiplying and dividing fractions last week! Over the next couple months, we will cover the following standards:

- Use parentheses, brackets, or braces in numerical expressions, and evaluate expressions with these symbols
- Write simple expressions that record calculations with numbers, and interpret numerical expressions without evaluating them.
- Interpret a fraction as division of the numerator by the denominator (a/b = a ÷ b). Solve word problems involving division of whole numbers leading to answers in the form of fractions or mixed numbers
- Multiply a fraction or whole number by a fraction
- Interpret multiplication as scaling (resizing)
- Solve real world problems involving multiplication of fractions and mixed numbers
- divide unit fractions by whole numbers and whole numbers by unit fractions. (Students capable of multiplying fractions can generally develop strategies to divide fractions by reasoning about the relationship between multiplication and division. However, division of a fraction by a fraction is not a requirement at this grade level.)
- Convert among different-sized standard measurement units within a given measurement system (e.g., convert 5 cm to 0.05 m), and use these conversions in solving multi-step, real world problems
- Make a line plot to display a data set of measurements in fractions of a unit (1/2, 1/4, 1/8). Use operations on fractions for this grade to solve problems involving information presented in line plots. For example, given different measurements of liquid in identical beakers, find the amount of liquid each beaker would contain if the total amount in all the beakers were redistributed equally.

__English Language Arts__

We’re continuing to build nonfiction reading skills this quarter with our brand-new class novel Promises to Keep, a biography of Jackie Robinson written by his daughter Sharon. The fifth graders have impressed me with their ability to have meaningful discussions about complex themes such as race, segregation, and breaking barriers. An important part of reading nonfiction successfully is vocabulary; we practice using context clues daily in order to understand new words and phrases. In addition, we will be working on the following skills for informational text this quarter:

- Makes inferences using quotes from the text.
- Determines the main idea(s) of an informational text based on key details.
- Summarizes informational text.
- Explains important relationships between people, events, and ideas in a historical, scientific, or technical text using specific details in the text.
- Compares and contrasts multiple accounts of the same event or topic.

__Social Studies__

Last week we kicked off a new unit on culture. We began by examining our own cultures in order to better understand the concept of culture in general. Next week we will use what we have learned so far to make a culture Wordle project - it may be helpful to discuss holidays, food, language, values, beliefs, and other examples of your family’s culture with your 5th grader in preparation for this activity.

__Science__

We’re having so much fun using what we learned in last quarter’s study of planets and the solar system to create our Morning Circle presentation for January 27th: The Milky Way’s Got Talent. We can’t wait to share it with you!