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This week in class 11/13-11/17

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Hope you all had a great weekend! Being from New England, Fall is my favorite season because of the colors and holiday season! Here are some important dates, and what we will be learning in class before the Thanksgiving break! ūüôā

Things to watch out for

  • Field trip forms were sent home Friday for our field trip 11/29. Because it is the week after the break, please return forms and money by Friday (11/17).

Important Dates
11/13: Science Test
Author visit- Don Tate
11/14: Math Test
11/20-11/24: Thanksgiving break
11/28: Spelling Bee
11/29: Field trip to the Zach Theater

This Week We Are Learning:

  • Math: Our unit test for multiplying and dividing fractions is Tuesday. We will be reviewing Monday before the test. Students may study by referring back to our problem solving examples and homework they completed and corrected in class. Our next unit is¬†Unit 4:¬†Introducing Volume and Finalizing Fluency with Whole Number Multiplication and Division. We will begin this unit with a pretest to assess students’ background of finding volume and multiplying and dividing whole numbers. We will end the week with reviewing multiplication strategies in preparation for multiplying with fluency a 3 digit by 2 digit number.
  • Science:¬†We have our Science test Monday on experimenting with forces. Our next unit will be changes to land, formation of fossil fuels, and alternative energy. This week students will go to the science lab to explore how landforms such as deltas, sand dunes, canyons, and glaciers are formed as a result of changes to the Earth’s surface by wind, water, and ice. Students will be rotating stations set up in the lab to answer what forces cause changes to Earth’s surface and what the result of those changes are. We’ll wrap up the week exploring how sedimentary rocks are formed as a result of streams and rivers eroding and depositing sediments over time to create layers by observing a sediment jar (bottle with water and different materials such as gravel, sand, and dirt) to see how layers of sediments are formed because heavier materials will settle to the bottom when carried by water.

Thank you!

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This week in class 11/6-11/10

Hello! I’m back! ūüôā Although I’m sad to leave my baby after being home with him for 3 months, I’m so excited to be back teaching 5th grade and to meet the students! Thank you for your patience and flexibility during this transition. I’m looking forward to getting to know your families throughout the year. Please feel free to contact me with any questions.

Important Dates
11/10: Veteran’s Day Assembly
11/13: Science Test
11/14: Math Test
11/28: Spelling Bee

This Week We Are Learning:

  • Math: This week in preparation for our Math test on Tuesday, we are solving problems where students will need to identify the correct operation for the problem and solve. Students will¬†explore the ideas and concepts of multiplying and dividing fractions through contextual situations or real-world problems using objects, pictorial models, area models and estimation. Dividing fractions by a whole number and dividing a whole number by a fraction tend to mix students up, so we have been doing a few practice problems together as a class and discussing different strategies students could use to solve (ex. drawing a picture, asking if their answer makes sense in the end). We took notes this week to assist in studying and homework/classwork.¬† (There are anchor charts under the Math tab on my website if you would like to see!)
  • Science:¬†This week we are exploring forces, such as gravity, friction, and magnetism, and the effects these forces have on an object. Students are conducting hands on experiments, such as dropping marbles from different heights into sand and rolling toy cars down different surfaces. In their experiments they are coming up with a testable question that test one variable. We also discussed how repeated trials are required to demonstrate the reliability of results. The test on forces will be Monday.
Weekly Updates

This week in class 4/3-4/7

Hi! After a week of STAAR, it may feel like we’re done with the year, but we¬†still have learning going on! ūüôā Here is an update on our week as well as some other things going on in our school.

Things to look out for:

  • Silent Auction has already started and ends Thursday, April 6th at 8pm. Go to www.32auctions.com/PSE2017. Create an account in less than 60 seconds and start bidding. Some items include teacher activities, gift cards from the League, The Melting Pot, Chick-Fil-A, Phil‚Äôs Ice House, Third Base, Blaze Pizza, Face to Face Spa, Adventure Kids Playcare, Target, The Rotten Bunch, Dream Dinners, Fire House Subs, Painting with a Twist, Aqua Tots, Waterloo Swimming, Pluckers, tickets to Disneyland, Ultimate Eye Care kids sports glasses, It Works products, hooded towels, and MUCH MORE! Check the flier that will come home with your student this week. You don‚Äôt want to miss it!
  • Our carnival is set to happen on Friday, April 7th from 4:30-7:30. The inflatables, games, food, prizes, vendors and student helpers are all set. However, we desperately need parent volunteers to make this all come together! It takes all of us to make an event of this magnitude successful. Please sign up for at least one hour to help. I promise you will have fun and get to meet many of our awesome Sommer Stallions. An added bonus is the weather forecast looks beautiful!
    As an incentive, the top two classes with the most parent volunteers will get to choose if they want an extra recess, drawing time at the table during lunch or to pick a locker for prizes. Simply click on this link to volunteer: http://www.signupgenius.com/go/805084eafa828a75-sommer7
  • Round Rock Empty Bowls Festival needs our help!! Students, faculty and community are challenged to bring items for the food drive benefiting The Round Rock Area Serving Center. The campus ( at each level) with the highest number of items by¬†April 6th¬†will be recognized at the Round Rock Empty BowlsFestival on¬†April 8th! Help feed our community and drop off items in the purple barrel located in the main Sommer hallway. More information at¬†http://emptybowlsroundrock.com¬†and flyers located around the school.

     

    Link for More Information: http://RRISD Food Drive Video/ Empty Bowl Festival

    Flyer for Food Drive Needs: Flyer for Food Drive Needs

Important Dates:
4/3:¬†5:30 Elementary Art Exhibition “Meet & Greet” at the PAC
4/3: 6:30 Bond Presentation at Westwood High School
4/4: National School Librarian Day!
4/5: Early Release
4/6: Class Pictures & Spring Portraits
Report Cards go Home
4/7: Carnival  4:30-7:30.

This Week We Are Learning:

  • Reading/Writing:¬†Students will be working on a research paper to inform their readers of a historical event of their choosing. Students will be conducting research from a book as well as use online databases to find all their information. Today, students brainstormed specific events. We discussed what were broad topics and how to narrow it down to an event (WWII would be too broad but a student could choose to focus on Pearl Harbor). We will be talking about skills such as paraphrasing, organizing information into notes, and writing a thesis statement guide the main idea of their topic.
  • Math: Students are working on a PBL where they are redesigning our classroom. Using what they know about measurement, conversion, and area/perimeter, they are designing their ideal classroom space. Today they continued to measure all the movable items in our classroom to include in their blueprint. We talked about drawing things to scale and how they need to think about how to represent the items on their blueprint as accurately as possible. Next week, groups will present their design and we will vote on our favorite. Then we will be moving our classroom around to fit the winning design!
  • Science:¬†¬†We’ve started our new unit on adaptations, traits, and metamorphosis. Last week we discussed how organisms have different structures that have different functions that help their survive. For example, a shark has several rows of sharp teeth (structure) to help them break down their food/meat because they are carnivores (function). This week students will be exploring more about structures and functions by designing their own super animal and plant that would have structures to give it the greatest chance of survival. I’m sure they will come up with some interesting and creative animals and plants!
  • Social Studies: We¬†are beginning our next unit on the Civil War. This week we will learn about the various causes of the civil war, including tension between the north and south over slavery and growing industrialization.
Weekly Updates

This week in class 2/27-3/3

Things to look out for:

  • Unfortunately, it is a week of testing.
    • STAAR Ready Science is this Tuesday
    • Wednesday is our Reading test
    • Friday is our Math test
  • Please take a few minutes to complete the parent survey if you have not already. The district would appreciate any feedback you have. The survey will be open until March 10.¬†Parent Climate Survey Link

Important Dates:
2/28: Science STAAR Ready
3/1: Reading test
3/2: 5th grade teachers out for planning day
3/3: Math Test

This Week We Are Learning:

  • Reading/Writing: In reading¬†after our assessment Wednesday, we are reviewing for STAAR. We will be working on skills that were missed on the STAAR ready as well as reviewing genres and working on strategies for the test in March.
  • Math: Our current unit on coordinate planes, algebraic rules, and 2D figures is still going on. ¬†We’ve learned about the characteristics of shapes and¬†classified them based on their attributes. Students have notes in their math journals as well as examples we did in class.¬†I strongly suggest studying now for this test.

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  • Science:¬†¬†We will be starting our new unit on ecosystems. Students will build on their prior knowledge of what an ecosystem is and explore how organisms interact with both living and nonliving things in order to survive.
  • Social Studies: We are still towards the beginning of our new unit in SS over westward expansion. ¬†This part of the unit takes place over a few days because of the fact that we identify the motivations of the 49ers, the impact Chinese workers had on the development of the Transcontinental Railroad, and other factors that attributed to the growth of the gold industry out west. ¬†We do not have a date set for this test, but expect more information to come out over the next week or so
Weekly Updates

This week in class 2/20-2/26

Things to look out for:

  • We will have a Science¬†Assessment¬†Monday on the water cycle and weather and climate
  • STAAR Ready Science is this Tuesday

Important Dates:
2/27: Science test over weather/climate & water cycle
2/28: Science STAAR Ready
3/1: Reading test
3/2: 5th grade teachers out for planning day
3/3: Math Test

This Week We Are Learning:

  • Reading/Writing:The cereal box bio projects were a huge success! ¬†I really loved seeing the creativity of our students and the hard work they put into the project.

    The remainder of this unit will revolve around connecting themes and ideas across genres.  This primarily will deal with reading text from poetry, nonfiction, and fiction and see how they relate to each other.  There will be an assessment for this unit.  Our plan is to take it next Wednesday (3/1) In writing, this week we will be finishing our procedural writing assignment.  The students have been writing about something they are experts on.

  • Math: Our current unit on coordinate planes, algebraic rules, and 2D figures is still going on. ¬†The class has done a really great job with the first two categories and our focus will be moving towards classifying 2D figures this week. ¬†This can be a little difficult because this portion of the unit is not simply about identifying shapes. ¬†It also includes creating a hierarchy based on the features of each shape. ¬†An example would be:

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We will work on multiple examples of this over the next week and a half in preparation for the test.  The plan is to test on Friday, March 3rd.

  • Science:¬† Our current unit has been a review of the water cycle and a continuation of learning the differences between weather and climate. ¬†The students did come in with a lot of knowledge on both subjects and have done well so far in class. We identified features on a weather map and the difference between weather and climate. We then will review for the unit and test next Monday.
  • Social Studies: We are still towards the beginning of our new unit in SS over westward expansion. ¬†The students learned about the Indian Removal Act of 1830 on yesterday¬†and today we learned about¬†the Gold Rush of 1849. ¬†This part of the unit takes place over a few days because of the fact that we identify the motivations of the 49ers, the impact Chinese workers had on the development of the Transcontinental Railroad, and other factors that attributed to the growth of the gold industry out west. ¬†We do not have a date set for this test, but expect more information to come out over the next week or so.

Today we had the author Nathan Hale come to speak to our 5th graders about his books! He writes his books on historical events and stories. He is a comic and author, and today, he shared the history of the Lewis and Clark Expedition through drawing and fantastic storytelling! The students were so engaged and could relate his drawings to what we learned and are learning in history.

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That’s it for me! Thanks!

Weekly Updates

This week in class 1/30-2/3

Hi!¬†Here is a look at our week. We have the STAAR Ready Math today and the Cedar Valley showcase/Maturation Friday so it’s a little shorter than usual.

Things to look out for:

  • We will have a Social Studies Assessment this Thursday 2/2 on our Forming a Nation unit. It includes how our government came to be (Articles of Confederation, Great Compromise, Constitution, Bill of Rights, etc…)
  • Maturation permission slips went home last week (blue slip). If you would like your child to opt-out, please make sure it is returned signed. Otherwise, all students will be listening to the presentation (boys and girls are separated).
  • If you do not plan on ordering coupon books for the Great American Savings Fundraiser, please make sure to send the booklet back to school. If not, you will be responsible for the $25 cost of the book.
  • Order forms for our 5th grade shirts went home this week! Please return by Friday 2/3! They are green and white.

Important Dates:
2/2: S.S Test
2/3: Cedar Valley MS visit for all students/Maturation/T-shirt forms are due
2/9: Field Trip to HEB Center/Progress Reports go home

This Week We Are Learning:

  • Reading/Writing: We are continuing in our Persuasive text unit. ¬†In reading, students are able to recognize¬†different persuasive techniques that authors use to try and convince their readers to do or believe something and have seen how the same techniques are used in advertising like in commercials and print ads. In writing, students will continue drafting and editing¬†a persuasive letter to me to convince me of a change to make in the classroom.
  • Math: We will be introducing coordinate planes. Students will learn how to locate points on a coordinate plane and understand what ordered pairs are.
  • Science:¬† We are continuing¬†our unit on the Earth‚Äôs rotation and the sun, moon, and Earth. This week we will be learning about the moon and its phases as well as comparing the sizes and characteristics of the moon, sun, and Earth.
  • Social Studies:¬†Our unit test is this Thursday. Some topics to review include the Preamble, understanding our system of checks and balances, knowing the amendments in the Bill of Rights, the branches or government, and the causes and effects of the War of 1812. We will be doing a review today and tomorrow (Kahoot) in class that I will share on Google Classroom tomorrow.

That’s it for now! Thank you!

Weekly Updates

This week in class 1/23-1/27

Hi! Here is look at our week as well as some important middle school/STAAR dates!

Things to look out for:

  • Middle school visits:

    Friday, Feb. 3rd 9:00-11:30:  Cedar Valley Elective Showcase (students visit the school)

    Tuesday, Feb. 7th 1:45-2:30:  Cedar Valley counselors visit Sommer
    STAAR Ready Dates:
    Math¬†STAAR¬†Ready–¬†Jan. 31, 2017
    Science¬†STAAR¬†Ready–¬†Feb. 28, 2017
     
    Reunion Ranch:
    Wednesday, May 16th, 2017

Important Dates:
1/27: Math Assessment
1/31: STAAR Ready Math
2/3: Cedar Valley MS visit for all students/Maturation
2/9: Field Trip to HEB Center

This Week We Are Learning:

  • Reading/Writing: We have started our¬†unit on persuasive text. ¬†Not only will the students be reading and analyzing persuasive writing, they will also be writing a persuasive essay of their own. In reading, students will be looking out for different persuasive techniques that authors use to try and convince their readers to do or believe something. In writing, students are drafting a persuasive letter to me to convince me of a change to make in the classroom. They are working on looking for good reasons and using evidence to convince their reader of their cause.
  • Math: Our very long math unit is coming to an end! We are testing in this unit on Friday (1/27). We have completed dividing fractions by whole numbers and vise versa and will be reviewing for the test for the rest of the week. ¬†I, like many of you, learned that the simple way to divide fractions is to ‚Äúinvert and multiply‚ÄĚ. ¬†There have even been a few students in class who are familiar with this skill. ¬†While it is a skill that the students eventually will figure out, it is not how I‚Äôve taught fractions so far. ¬†I want the students to understand how you divide fractions, not just a quick way to do it. ¬†We‚Äôve used pictures to help us and have identified that, yes, the resulting answer‚Äôs denominator is related to the dividend and divisor we started with. ¬†Here is an example of the anchor chart we created as a class:

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  • Science:¬† We¬†have started our unit on the Earth’s rotation and the sun, moon, and Earth. In this unit, students are investigating how the Earth rotates on an axis, creating the apparent movement of the sun and our day and night cycle.
  • Social Studies:¬†In our Forming a Nation unit, we are exploring more of how our government came to be what it is today. We’ve covering the 3 branches of government, how we have a system of checks and balances, and the difference between the state and national government. Next we’re learning about the Bill of Rights as well as some important founding fathers.

That’s it for now! Thank you!