December Update

                                December 1st, 2019

Dear Parents,

                As I write this, school has just been cancelled due to the snow falling outside. I decided that this would be a good time to update you on what is happening in room 211!

                First off, thank you to all who came to parent conferences! It means so much to have you take the time out of your busy schedules to come discuss the progress of your child!  Speaking of progress, report cards will be going out to you on Thursday, December 12th. As I always tell my students, the scores and comments reflect their growth and where they need to go as they continue their fifth-grade journey.

                During the next three weeks before Christmas, we will be busy! In reading, students will be reading about the Titanic and practicing how to infer the meaning of words. They will also be trying to answer the question, “Could the Titanic tragedy have been prevented?” We will look at the facts and make inferences based on the nonfiction texts.

                The Titanic is not a Christmassy topic, but during the last two weeks before Christmas, we will read short Christmas stories written by Cynthia Rylant. These stories are meant to have students continue to practice how to infer. The stories are Half-way Home, The Christmas Tree Man, For Being Good, and Silver Packages. Students will be bringing these stories home to read, and I encourage you to read with your child. They are uplifting tales that really pull at the heart-strings! In class we will be discussing and completing various activities.

                In writing, students will be finishing up their explorer slideshows. They have researched three different explorers during the Age of Exploration, and they have designed a slideshow with a summary about each explorer. Our focus was on how to research and how to write a powerful introduction and conclusion. After we finish with the project, students will be learning more about how to use their author’s voice, along with the incorporation of descriptive verbs, adjectives, and adverbs.  I will be reading the picture book, Voices in the Park, to demonstrate this skill. Each year, it is one of my students’ favorite books!

                In math, we will be multiplying and dividing decimals over the next few weeks. Depending on weather, we may have to finish up Topic 7, dividing decimals, after the holiday break. Our math building block has continued its success in developing skills and challenging students. Even though we are months away, we are beginning to practice for the SAS test in the spring. Students need to feel comfortable with the interface and the types of questions being asked.

                In science, students will investigate the different spheres that exist on Earth and how they interact. Students will also be observing the percentage of fresh water that is on Earth and how people have an effect on the land.

                We will also be discussing land in social studies as we begin our unit on colonization. The explorers set the stage for getting people ready to start colonies. Students will find out the difficulties of the first colonies, and students will be introduced to another mystery from history, Roanoke Island!

                All in all, we have a bustling few weeks ahead! A few reminders that our Holiday Stroll is on Thursday, December 12th! Also, students have their DARE essays due to Officer Avery on Monday, December 16th.  I will include the guidelines on the website, too! Our holiday party will be on Friday, December 20th ,  in the afternoon. I will send out an email to parents who signed up for goodies!

                Thanks again for your continued involvement in your child’s education!


Mandy Laliberte 

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