5th Grade Weekly Update, Week of December 4th

ELA: On Monday, students will take a vocabulary test covering vocab from Chapters 14-17 of Shades of Gray. This week we will focus on comparing our two novels Turn Homeward Hannalee and Shades of Gray. We will use a Venn Diagram compare the protagonists from each of the novels. We will also learn about story elements found throughout Shades of Gray: static and dynamic characters, theme, exposition, rising action, the climax, falling action, and the resolution/denouement. Students will be given a study guide on Monday covering both SOG and THH. The final test for these two novel will be given on Friday. It’s vital that students finish their reading of Chapters 9 and 10 over the weekend so they are prepared to answer questions on their study guide early in the week. They do not need to have their Literature Circle job completed, just make sure those last two chapters are read! Our final lit circle will meet on Friday. Students were given their averages of the first four weeks’ grades. Once the last lit circle has met, all of the six weeks’ grades will be averaged as a test grade. In grammar, we will continue to study verbs, specifically irregular verbs this week.

History: We will focus on leaders of the Civil War this week and their contributions to the Civil War. We will also study the Peninsular Campaign and the Battle of Antietam. On Wednesday, we will watch a biography about Stonewall Jackson, giving students a better understanding the type of man he was and his contribution to battles throughout the war. Last Tuesday, students were introduced to our Civil War Feast project. They should bring a copy of the recipe they have chosen by Monday, or else they will be assigned a recipe. Our feast will take place after our day band concerts on Thursday, December 14th. This assignment is a great way to experience the lack of availability of certain food items and what food tasted like when there was a Civil War going on that divided our country so drastically. I’m attaching the project sheet to this email. Please let me know if you have any questions!

Math: On Friday, students enjoyed learning about winter holidays including Hanukkah, Christmas, and Kwanzaa. Thank you to Bella and Macey for bringing in items to share with others and explaining more about Hanukkah! Afterwards, students selected a holiday related math coloring sheet that reinforced subtracting fractions. We will display these for others to see in the classroom! This week, we will continue to learn how to subtract mixed numbers and practice problem-solving skills, such as working backwards. Since several of our lessons will focus on problem-solving this week, we will not complete a weekly problem-solving packet. We will resume the problem-solving packet on December 11th.

Science: On Monday, we will begin our Earth’s Forces Cell. During this CELL, students will perform several investigations designed to reveal the Earth’s forces of gravity and friction, and the way that these forces affect the motion of objects on Earth. Through discussion and experimentation, students learn about the effects of balanced and unbalanced forces on stationary objects as well as objects in motion.

To spark students’ interest in our new topic, they were given a mystery scientist sheet on Friday, which is due Monday. They have been given clues about a famous scientist and their job is to use those clues to discover the name of the mystery man or woman. If your child correctly guesses the name of the scientist and records the resource he or she used when researching, then his or her name is placed in a raffle to win a prize! This is an optional assignment that students love to participate in!

Other: Please be on the look out this week for a letter detailing our Winter Wishes gift exchange with fourth grade. This has become a beloved tradition between our grade levels that our students look forward to! Those who choose to participate will be a part of a secret gift exchange with a fourth grader. There is a $15 limit on gifts and students will receive a favorites list of their fourth grader to help guide them when buying gifts.

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