One Month to Go

I hope everyone had a wonderful weekend despite the rain and clouds.  A reminder as we enter this time of year, our last month together, that we are still working hard in class.  Please continue to encourage our students to complete homework, give their best efforts while at school both academically and behaviorally, and stay well prepared for our SOL tests that are almost finished.  I am very proud of the effort during the first three days.  Today we completed part 1 of math today and will take part 2 tomorrow.  We got this!!

In addition to the first rounds of testing being complete, we also have reason to celebrate with our final PTA performance.  This Tuesday, May 24th, the 5th grade will provide a musical treat before our Ice Cream Social.  Students are asked to wear jeans and a solid blue or yellow shirt Tuesday evening.  They should report to the classroom at 6:45 pm.  The PTA meeting will start at 7:00 pm, immediately followed by the social on the bus loop.

Coming up this week:

  • Language Arts: This week, we will continue writing our opinion essay about robotic pets.  Students will read several other articles in our current issue of Storyworks Magazine, continuing to hone skills, and we will work on another unit of Greek and Latin Roots.
  • Math: The big day is here.  Our Math SOL will be taken on Monday and Tuesday.  Students will be testing with their math teachers both days.  After testing students will continue to switch to their math classes as we work on hands on activities and extension projects incorporating the units studied throughout the school year. 
  • Science: Again, the focus this week will be on Social Studies.
  • Social Studies:  We have begun the last unit of study on the United States geographic regions.  Students began by drawing their own version of the West region and making a list of the 11 states and capitals.  This week, we will explore western geography and begin our virtual tour through the various states.

From the Latest Newsletter

Big Ideas

  • Thank you to everyone who came out to the “Spring Spruce Up” event this weekend! We appreciate you dedicating your Saturday morning to help the PTA Landscaping and School Beautification Committees make our school beautiful.
  • This week we will be taking the spring round of our MAPs tests. We will be taking the reading test this Tuesday and the Math test on Tuesday the 26th.
  • Career Day will be this Wednesday. Students are encouraged to dress as their profession! Don’t forget this is also a Half Day for students!
  • The Spring Carnival will be here this Friday, April 22nd.  Thanks in advance to everyone who already has and is planning to help out to make this event a success! If you have not signed up to volunteer for the event, the PTA will still use your help. The teachers & staff look forward to seeing you and your family there!
  • The 5th Grade Activities Committee is collecting pictures for the end of the year slideshow until May 15th.  Be sure to return the permission slip for your child to be included and submit any pictures to

Inside the Classroom                                                            

  • Language Arts: This week, students will be finishing up our reading unit on the “Black Frontiers.” Our word study list for the week will look at the roots TRACT, which means pull.
  • Math: Students will display their knowledge of area & perimeter of various polygons. Students will also learn how to find the volume of these polygons.
  • Science: Students will continue to study sound.  They will have the opportunity to participate in several hands-on experiments in order to better understand how sound is created and travels.
  • Social Studies:  Students will be diving in to the Southwest region of the United States. The class will be taking virtual tours of several historic landmarks in this region.

Happy Short Week!

News You Can Use:

  • As mentioned last week, we have begun preparations for the transition for middle school.  Parents new to Henrico County’s Parent Portal will be asked to set up an account in Power School. It opens for elementary parents on January 20. If you already have an account, you will not need to create a new account.  Later this month, 5th grade teachers will be entering recommendations for middle school courses on Power School.  You will then be asked to select/approve the course selections during the parent window from February 15-19th.  Although you will set up your account in January, you will NOT be able to make any course request selections until Feb. 15-19. Mrs. Woody and Mrs. Otley, our school counselors, will provide a “Help Workshop” for any 5th grade parents who would like help setting up their account this Thursday, January 21st from 8:30-10:00am in the Springfield Park “CAVE.”  Please RSVP to Mrs. Woody at #527-4630 or email by Jan. 19th, 2016. 
  • We are also scheduled to have our Health Education Family Life classes this Wednesday.  Please remember to turn in the yellow form IF you do NOT want your child to participate.
  • Please don’t forget to send in order forms (orange half-sheets) if your child intends to eat lunch at school during next week’s half day.

A Look into the Classroom

  • Language Arts: We will return to our reading textbook this week as we look at selections that focus on the Southeast region.  Students will learn more about Everglades National Park and several legendary Jazz musicians from New Orleans.  In reading these stories, we will also discuss the characteristics of fiction and non-fiction literature.  We will also review the third unit of our Greek and Latin root study and take the unit test on Friday.
  • Math: Students will wrap up their units on adding and subtracting fractions before moving onto concepts of probability.  Students will look at tree diagrams and the various forms that one could write about the probable outcomes of a situation.
  • Science: This week’s science will focus on the groupings used to classify plants and animals. Students will look at what makes a plant vascular or non-vascular and discuss the difference between vertebrates and invertebrates.  They will extend their knowledge of classification through several taxonomy sorting activities.

Happy New Year!

News You Can Use

  • Welcome Back!!  I hope that you each had a restful break and some good times with family and friends.  The two weeks definitely seemed to fly by, but we are ready to get back into the routine of 5th grade!
  • Our next Young Science lesson is on Wednesday, kicking off another science unit on living systems and classification.
  • Over the next two weeks, we will also be visited by guidance counselors from our local middle schools. Yes, it’s that time to start thinking about classes for next year and what the transition will be like from elementary to middle school.  Hungary Creek is coming on Thursday, January 7th and Holman will be stopping by on Monday, January 11th.  Be on the lookout for school specific paperwork to come home over the next few weeks.
  • Coming home today are letters about our Health Education Family Life Classes on January 20th.  Please read about the curriculum that will be covered and complete the forms IF you do NOT want your child to participate.

In the Classroom

  • Language Arts: Students will complete their final Wizard of Oz activity as we work on writing a multi-paragraph compare and contrast essay.  We will pick back up with our weekly word study of Greek and Latin Roots.  Our reading focus this week will be on the idea of summarizing and using the text to support our ideas as we read about the influences that shaped our country with some cross-curricular work in our Social Studies textbook (Chapter 3).
  • Math: This week, we will review a few of the basic concepts covered with fractions before we left for break.  We will also complete computation and word problems where students will have to add and subtract fractions.  The more comfortable students are with their multiplication & division facts, the easier it will be to simplify and manipulate fractions.
  • Science: We will begin exploring living systems, discussing how scientist classify plants and animals.  Key vocabulary will include cell parts, vertebrates, invertebrates, vascular, and non-vascular.

Turkey Day is Just Around the Corner

Here’s what life looks like in the classroom this week:

Language Arts: We are almost half-way through our novel study with The Wizard of Oz.  Students are working nicely on their folders to keep up with the sequence of events and character development.  I am looking forward to seeing their thoughts as we move into more aspects of the book that are drastically different from the movie.  There will be no weekly story or word study during this shortened week.  We will begin again after the holiday.

Math: Students are working on rounding decimals as well as computation with decimals currently.  The different math classes are moving at slightly different paces, but all students should be reviewing their basic facts as we work on adding, subtracting, multiplying, and dividing decimals.

Social Studies/Science: We will continue our discussions on the history of schools in Henrico County this week. Students will compare education of the past to the school system of today.  Next week, students will complete a review assignments on science topics covered so far before we begin our unit on Oceanography!

Happy Monday!

We’ve made it to October!  YAY!  Check out information from this week’s newsletter below:

  • Interims came home today.  Please sign and return by Friday.
  • Also, by Friday, please return the permission slip and money for in-house field-trip with Young Science.  Our first lesson will be here before we know it on October 28th.
  • For anyone looking to show off their creative side, students are encouraged to enter the PTA Reflections Contest.  There are many categories in which they can enter: choreography, film, literature, composition, photography, and visual arts. The theme is “Let your imagination fly…” and these projects are due October 14th.
  • For those interested in the I.B. program at Moody Middle School, applications are now available.  There will also be an information session at Moody on October 22nd that I highly recommend if your child is interested in the program.

What’s happening in the classroom:

  • Language Arts: Students will continue to talk about the meaning behind many well-known words and phrases as we wrap up our work with Frindle.  They can also expect to spend a bit more time discussing Author’s Purpose.  Our final Greek and Latin root of Unit 1 will look at words that use DICT, and we will focus our writing on using verbs.
  • Math: We will continue working with computation and word problems.  Students will look at the word clues that will help determine whether they should add, subtract, multiply, or divide.  Please spend a little time each day reviewing math facts with your child.
  • Social Studies: As we look at the social sciences and the different themes within, students will explore what it’s like to be a geographer as we review map skills and begin our look at the geography of Henrico County.

Coming Up This Week

Here’s a recap of what you will find in this week’s newsletter:

Coming up in the classroom:

  • Language Arts: We continue to push forward with our study of Greek and Latin Stems.  This week we will focus on SPEC words, and the idea of “seeing.”  Students will explore adjectives and adverbs in their reading and writing passages this week.  We will also begin work on our second story from the textbook, an excerpt from Frindle, as we study author’s purpose.
  • Math: We are working on solving word problems with addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division. We will continue to review even, odd, prime, and composite numbers. 
  • Science/Social Studies: We will wrap up our intro/review of the scientific method before moving into a quick unit on the themes of social studies for this year.  We will look mostly at the idea of geography and practice our map skills.

Other Thoughts and Reminders

  • IB Applications: For anyone interested in the I.B. program at Moody Middle School, applications will be available from Ms. Otley (one of our school counselors) beginning Wednesday, September 30th and throughout October. There will be an information session at Moody on October 22nd. I highly recommend attending the information session if your child is interested in the program.
  • Reflections: This year’s theme is “Let Your Imagination Fly”! Information about all of the categories, as well as the Student Entry Form, can be found on the PTA website under Programs-Reflections. Remember that all entries are due by Wednesday, October 14th.  Please encourage your child to use this opportunity to show off their creative side!

Happy Friday!

This is a quick update for parents.  I have sent a test email to the class.  Please send me an email if you did not receive one.  Here are the quick announcements for next week.  Look for more curriculum-related information to come home in Monday’s newsletter.

  1. Picture Day is Monday!!! – All students will have their pictures taken for the yearbook. Order forms went home last week.
  2. Monday is also our Fall MAPS Reading Test. Students worked phenomenally hard on math this past week.
  3. Graded papers come home on Mondays and signed Springer Checks (with papers attached) should be returned to Miss Atkins by Friday of the same week. Please make sure you are checking your child’s folder on a regular basis.

Pushing Ahead in 5th!

I enjoyed meeting many of you at Back-to-School night last week.  Thank you so much for your support of what is happing at school.   I look forward to working together to ensure a positive 5th grade experience for you and your student.

This week we began taking the fall round of our MAPs tests. A letter explaining the tests and how they are used to guide instruction came home Friday. We will take the test in both reading and math.

Please remember this Wednesday, September 23rd is now  a FULL DAY OFF for students.

Coming Up In The Classroom:

Language Arts: We will complete our reading stations with the short story, “Sees Behind Trees,” as we discuss narrative elements.  Student should expect a comprehension quiz at the end of the week.  We will use this week to wrap up our look at nouns and then move into adjectives and adverbs as we look at grammar.  Our next word study list will focus on “man” words.  As a reminder, the students should complete a homework activity each night.

Math: All math classes will transition from prime and composite numbers into our computation unit.  Students should expect to work with addition and subtraction of whole numbers, both in isolation and word problems.

Science: Students will continue measuring with meter sticks, balances, and graduated cylinders to practice working with the metric system.  They will also review the steps of the scientific method and look at both inferences and observations.