Sunday, May 20, 2012

Newsletter 5.20.12

What a beautiful weekend! I can’t believe that this the last week that I will be teaching these kiddos! The year really has been great and I will be so sad, but proud, to see this group of kids grow-up and move on.
I just want to take the time to thank all of you for the great year! I really appreciate all the things you have done to help me out, such as, the donations, gifts, parties, volunteer time, the hours spent at home helping with homework, checking power school and tracking down missing work, and most of all raising the most AMAZING children ever!!!! I have truly loved every moment of this year and will never forget these kids! I couldn’t have asked for a better year! God has really blessed me!

The Week Ahead:

Writing: The kids are working to get all of the pages finished for their portfolios. This week we will be working on their proud page, reading page, April/May book report page, time capsule page, and the back cover. We have a lot of work to do! But we will get it finished.

Math: We just tested on chapter 11 on Friday. We will do two math lessons from chapter 12 on Monday and Tuesday.

Social Studies: The kids have been working hard on learning about the preamble. The kids will have a short quiz on Tuesday. It will be a Cloze type test where they will fill in the missing words in the preamble.

Reading: We will continue to read our last classroom novel, Esio Trot.

·        Please send in your child's Family Life text that was sent home.
·        Wednesday- Relay for Life Breakfast and Talent Show
·        Wednesday at 9AM is Field Day. Feel free to come spend the day with us if you would like. PLEASE make sure that your child has sunscreen and a water bottle for the day. Also, the school newsletter has details of what your family is to bring for Field Day, according to the first letter of your last name.
·        Thursday is the last day of school! Noon Dismissal- No extended care
·        Thursday- Yearbook Signing and Mass
·        Thursday- Report cards go home.
·        I will write one more blog entry about educational summer suggestions.

Table Talk Questions:
1.      What has been your FAVORITE memory from 5th grade?
2.      What is your child looking forward to in middle school? What are they nervous about in middle school?

Have a wonderful SUNNY week and an amazing summer!
Love, Ms. Alley J

Monday, May 14, 2012

Newsletter 5.14.12

Only one more newsletter left after this one! Wow the end of the year is quickly approaching. We have a great week coming up!

The Week Ahead:

The kids will be attending Mass on Wednesday for May Crowning. Please send in a flower with your child. There will be no Mass on Friday.

We are starting our Family Life unit. The kids will be using our Family Life textbook in class with me this week. I will cover the general information about growing up, and then a doctor is coming to cover the more technical information. The doctors will coming on Friday afternoon at 1:50. Dr. Jane Reardon will be speaking with the girls and Dr. Jay Crockett will be speaking with the boys. After the doctors visit, I will be sending home the text book to read with your child. The last section of the text (I cover the first section, the doctor covers the second section) will be up to you if you want to cover it with your child. This part of the book talks about marriage and I know that every family has different views on this. Feel free to keep it as long as you need and return it when before the end of the school year.

We will be working on some last pages to add to their portfolio books. The kids will be completing a page that includes all of the novels that we have read together this year. They will also be completing a Proud Page. They will pick out an assignment/test/etc that they are really proud of. They will be writing a paper of why they are proud of that piece.

We will continue on with chapter eleven. We will be completing lessons 11.5-11.7. We will review on Thursday and the last math test will be on Friday.

We will check Unit 17 on Friday. There will not be a test over this unit.

Social Studies:
The kids will be learning about the Preamble. The short quiz over the Preamble will be next Tuesday.

The kids will be making recycled solar system models in class. They will work in groups to decide how they want to assemble their solar system. They will bring creative items from home to make a unique solar system model. The kids will present their models to the class next week.

The final book report is due on Friday. The only part left to complete of their author study is the List A and List B projects. The kids are to pick ONE item from List A and ONE item from List B to complete at home
We finished The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle and they loved it! I have one last book to read with the kids. It is called Esio Trot by Roald Dahl. We will start this book on Tuesday.

  • If you read the school newsletter, please disregard the note about the 5th grade going to Fuji Steakhouse. We will not be going there this year.

  • May Crowning is on Wednesday. Your child can be out of uniform on Wednesday if they are in their "Sunday best" clothing. No jeans please. They also need to bring a flower. 

Table Talk Questions:
    1. What item did you pick for your "Proud Page?" Why are you proud of this item?
    2. How do you find the volume of prisms, cylinders, cones, and pyramids?
    3. What was your favorite novel that we read together this year and why?

Have a great week!
-Julie Alley

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Newsletter 4-29-12

This week, it will be May! Can you believe it? 19 days of school left!

I loved the engagement party that the kids threw for me on Friday! It was so cool that they planned everything out! The party consisted of decorations, signs (my favorite being the-Ms. Alley is No Longer Single-sign), streamers, pop, homemade cookies, Ring Pops, flowers, plants, singing, cards, a diorama of Nick's proposal, and a reenactment of Nick's proposal! I will never forget that party! These kids are so thoughtful!

The Week Ahead:

We will start chapter 16, Jesus’ Work of Healing.  

We will be finishing up chapter ten in math this week. We will be doing lesson 10.8 and 10.9. We will have two days of review. The test will be on Friday. 

Social Studies:
We will be starting up chapter 10 over The Constitution. The kids will be memorizing the Preamble by singing the School House Rocks video.

The kids have finished making a planet book. Next week, we are going to explore the moon! The kids will be working on learning the phases of the moon and we will be creating a fun and yummy project to help them understand the phases.

We will continue to read The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle and complete activities in their Reading Logs.
We also will be working on the one page observation/reflection of your child's author for the April/May book report. Remember that on Friday, May 11th the third summary is due.

The kids will be completing unit 16.

Table Talk Questions:
  1. The kids are memorizing the preamble. Do you remember learning it from the School House Rock video???? The kids are watching that video on the Smart Board to help memorize it too. Sing it together this week!
  2. What planet is your favorite and why?
  3.  What phase is the moon in now?
  4. What have you discovered about the author that you are studying? What have you learned about his style of writing?
Have a great week!
-Julie Alley

Monday, April 23, 2012

Newsletter 4-23-12

What an exciting day! As said before in the last blog post, I told the kids that I got engaged! We had so much fun today talking about weddings, proposals, and much more. I think the kids’ favorite part was me promising them an extra recess each day this week to celebrate! J Thank you so much for all of the congratulations! Nick and I are very excited!

We will be traveling to the Federal Reserve and the planetarium tomorrow (Tuesday.)  The kids will need to bring a lunch and a water.

The Week Ahead:

On Wednesday, we will review the chapter that the kids finished up last week. The religion test will be on Thursday.  

We will continue with chapter ten. The kids are continuing to work with algebraic equations and graphing data.  This week, we will be completing lessons 10.5-10.8.

Social Studies:
We will continue to learn about the American Revolution through the social studies text and adding to their American Revolution folder.

The kids have been working hard learning about our solar system! The kids are working on their planet books this week. We are also traveling to the planetarium on Tuesday to discover more about our solar system!
Next week, we will be talking about the rotation and revolution of the earth. We will also be working on phases of the moon.

Today we finished part 1 of our classroom novel. We will start part 2 of our classroom novel on Wednesday.
The second summary for the April/May book report is due on Friday. I have been talking with the kids and observing the three books that they are reading in class. They are all aware of the deadlines for the summaries and are doing very well with personal responsibility and organization with this project! I am very proud of their hard work! The third and final summary is due on Friday, May 11th. The kids have been working very hard in computer class to complete their author biography. That project is due on Friday, May 4th. You may need to send in a flash drive with your child so they can save it and work on it at home, depending on how much they have individually completed at school.

We will test unit 15 in vocabulary on Friday.

Table Talk Question:
  1. We finished part 1 of our classroom novel, The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle, on Monday. It ended by Charlotte wanting to join the crew. Make some predictions with your child to guess what might happen in part 2 of the novel.
  2. Talk to your child about visiting the Federal Reserve. What did they learn about our money system?
  3. Talk to your child about the planetarium. What did they find most interesting?

Have a great week!

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Newsletter 4-1-12

I can't believe it's already April! We had such a busy week last week and we are ready for another! Even though it is a short week, we have a lot of units to wrap up before spring break.

The Week Ahead:

Circle of Grace permission slips will be sent home on Monday. Remember, this lesson is over safety in the media. We will be doing these short personal safety lessons this week.

Unit 14 vocabulary test is on Thursday.

We will be completing the last two lessons in chapter nine (9.9 and 9.10) on Monday and Tuesday. We will review with a study guide on Wednesday and the math test 9 will be on Thursday.

The kids got the information for the April/May book report last week. The kids will be completing an author study. This book report will take two months to complete. They will pick an author that they have read and are interested in. They will need to have read one book by this author before-hand and will read two additional books by the same author. The kids will be working on different assignments with the author throughout the two months. Some projects will be completed at home and some will be completed at school. Check out your kid’s rubric (orange paper in binder) for more information and due dates.

We will continue to read from our class novel, The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle, and complete comprehension activities in their reading logs. The kids are really loving this book!

Social Studies:
We will continue to work on chapter eight this week over the American Revolution.  The kids really want to reenact the Boston Tea Party—so stay tuned for a video of their amazing performance.

We will finish up our unit over simple machines. The kids will be working on building their last simple machine, the pulley. Then we will go on a simple machine scavenger hunt. We will review on Tuesday. There will be a short and simple test over the simple machines on Wednesday.

Table Talk Questions:
  1. Give your child some real-world questions dealing with area, perimeter, and volume.
  2. Play a family game of sparkle with your child’s chapter 14 vocabulary words! Your child can explain the rules---it is a favorite game in my classroom!

  3. Ask your child about their April/May book report. What author are they interested in doing? What three books have they chosen (remember- 1 book can be a book that they have already read and 2 books must be new.) Help them plan out and set deadlines so that they can finish all the books on time and write their three summaries at home. Maybe you can print them out a calendar to help them stay organized!


Sunday, March 25, 2012

Newsletter 3-25-12

We had fun with the math bee last week! It was a tough competition, but we found three winners to represent St. James at the final math bee at St. Pius. Our winners are Olivia, Kevin, and Chase. Hopefully they can bring back a trophy on April 27!

The Week Ahead:

Religion: We will start chapter 13 Pentecost, A Scripture Story.
I will also be sending home a form for our upcoming religion unit. Each grade level is required by the diocese to present a Circle of Grace lesson. Circle of Grace is our personal safety curriculum. The fifth grade covers safety in the media. We talk about positive and negative media that the kids encounter today. There will be a permission slip sent home this week where you can opt out of the lessons. This is separate from the "Family Life" unit that is coming up near the beginning of May.

English: We have finished our 5-paragraph recycling essay in class. The kids should be taking everything that we are doing in class and applying it to their non-fiction book at home to complete their March book report.

Math: We will be completing lesson 9.3-9.6 and 9.8 this week. The kids will be learning about coordinate graphs, area, and volume.

Social Studies: We will be continuing to read about the events that led up to the Revolutionary War.
On Thursday, we will be taking a virtual field trip to Ellis Island!

Reading: We have started our new novel, The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle. We will keep reading it throughout the week and the kids will complete activities in their reading logs.  
We will be working on a Scholastic News issue on Monday.
*Remember that the March book report is due this Friday, the 30th.

Science: Last week the kids got to build a hand drill to learn about the simple machine, the screw. This week, the kids will get to build a catapult, spinning top, and egg beater.

-Reconciliation on Monday
-Lifetouch Class Picture is on Wednesday
-Accreditation visit is on Tuesday
Table Talk Questions:
1.      Ask your child to share their topic sentences for their book report 5-paragraph essay. Really try to stress the importance of starting their essay with an attention grabber that gets the reader excited about the topic.
2.      Ask your child about the simple machines that they are building. What type of simple machines are they? How do they work? Did their group use cooperation and team work to build their simple machine?
3.      Keep current with our last novel of the year. Ask your child about the events in the novel. If you would like to read along with us, I can send a copy home.

It looks like we get a break from the rain!!! Enjoy the sunshine!
-Julie Alley

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Newsletter 3/18/12

We had so much fun last week. We took our AWESOME art study trip to the art gallery in Excelsior Springs. On Friday, the kids got to dress up in crazy St. Patrick’s Day clothes!  

We have a short week ahead of us. There is no school on Friday. Teachers will be gathering for religious professional development.

The Week Ahead:

Religion: We will finish up chapter twelve and test on Wednesday.

English: We will be finishing up our 5-paragraph recycling essays. All that is left is for the kids to write the bibliography and the final copy. After completing this activity in class, the kids should have no problem completing their book report five-paragraph essay at home.

Math: We have finished up chapter 8. We will review on Monday and test on Tuesday. This test will mainly be over adding, subtracting, and multiplying fractions.

Social Studies: We will be working on chapter 8. We will be learning about the Boston Massacre and the Boston Tea Party. We will be working on some more activities for their American Revolution project.

Reading: We are going to start our new novel, The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle by Avi. This is such an AMAZING book! Kids always love this action-packed book. And again, it integrates with the time period of our social studies curriculum.
On a long, grueling journey from England to Rhode Island in 1802, a 12 year old changes from a prim and proper girl to a swashbuckling mate of a mutinous crew and is accused of murder by the captain. Awash with shipboard activity, intense feelings, and a keen sense of time and place, the story is a throwback to good old-fashioned adventure yarns on the high seas.

Table Take Questions
1.      We are starting our new novel. Before we start, we will be learning about different parts of a ship. Have a conversation with your child about what they have learned about ships and how the novel is beginning. Strengthen your child's reading skills by asking them to make predictions of what will happen next.
-Report cards went home on Friday. Please keep the report card at home and send back your envelope.
-No school on Friday.
- I sent home a letter for parents to sign giving permission to have a classmate of mine to teach a short reading lesson to my class. I will be in the classroom with her the entire time. Please send back the note on Monday. Thanks!

Have a sunny (but probably rainy) spring week!

-Julie Alley

Pictures from the art study trip: