We have a couple of really important events happening and I want to make sure that everyone has the information they need! We are headed to Salem on Friday the 18th, our Wagon’s Ho musical will be on June 1st, and on June 6th the fourth and fifth graders will compete in a track meet against Holt at Sheldon High School! We are also going to finish our Smarter Balanced testing the last two weeks of May and have our last book talk speeches. We are going to be busy.
Salem – May 18th
Please see the blue half sheet with important information. After the tour we will eat lunch in the field across the street from the capitol building. I will provide water bottles for each student in my class, but it will be very warm that day. Please apply sunscreen in the morning and have your child bring a hat for lunch. There is some shade that we can sit in, but I don’t want any sunburns!
Wagon’s Ho Musical – June 1st at 11:30
You are invited to our spring musical as the 4th graders travel the Oregon Trail. They will read journal entries, sing songs, and dance! Student’s are asked to dress in a similar style that they pioneers would have dressed. Boys – jeans, button up shirt, bandana, and a hat (optional). Girls – long dresses or skirts, jeans, apron, bonnet. Please do not go out and purchase anything, just look around your house and see if you have anything that could work. We have some extra costumes that we have collected over the years for students who might need them. The most important thing is not neon colors or athletic clothing if possible. We would like the costumes to match the performance.
Track Meet – June 6th at Sheldon High School
All the fourth and fifth grade students from Willagillespie and Holt are invited to participate in our first track meet! Each student will get to sign up for 3 events either track or field. We have ribbons to award and fun to be had by all! If you would like to come and watch or volunteer please let me know! Students should bring a water bottle and wear appropriate running clothing! It will be so much fun!
The end of the school year always goes by so quickly, especially when we have so many fun events to look forward to!
The kids did great on our first Smarter Balanced test. Most of the class finished their ELA CAT test last week and this week we will start the writing performance task. The writing performance task asks students to read a couple of articles, answer 3 research questions and then write a paper. It can be overwhelming, but we came up with a schedule to make it seem less daunting:
1. Read the questions and the sources.
2. Take notes on a piece of paper.
3. Start answering the research questions.
4. Finish answering the research questions.
5. Plan paper.
- Quick write
- Word web
- Venn Diagram
6. Write rough draft of paper.
- Capitalize first work of every sentence
- Include ending puncutation
- Check spelling
- Choose more interesting words
- Add transition words
- Sensory details
8. Type your final draft!
I think this helped calm many of their nerves, and they realized that if it is spaced out it is not as overwhelming. Here is our testing schedule this week:
Friday: 1:15-2:30 (if needed)
Please take a look in your child’s homework folder. They received a bookmark today and need to record 30 minutes of reading for each book in order to get the 2 free baseball tickets! This Friday our PTO is also hosting a movie night! Sorry for such a long update, but it seems like there is always so much to add as we near the end of the school year.
This week we will start our first Smarter Balanced test. We will be taking the reading CAT, which is a comprehension test. I have tried really hard to let the kids know that I want them to do their best, but if they really don’t know an answer to just take their best guess and move on. They should not be stressing over the test! Please check in with them this week and let me know if anything comes up!
We will test on Tuesday from 1:15-2:15 and on Thursday morning from 9:00-10:00. It is really important for students to be at school as much as possible when we are testing so that they do not have to make it up later. Also, when we test in the morning students need to be on time. I cannot let students into the room once we start testing so if they are late they will have to sit in the office until our class has finished.
Here are some good tips for testing weeks:
- Get lots of sleep
- Eat a good, nutritious breakfast
- Wear comfortable clothes
- Bring headphones (helps block out noises)
This week I will be going through permission slips for Google use at school. Most of you filled one out at the beginning of the year, but if you did not, please sign it and send it back to me. Our class is going to learn how to use Google Classroom on Tuesday the 24th! I am really excited for all the new things the class and I are going to learn. The instructor told me that it is really important that kids have headphones for some on the activities we will be doing. I do not have enough headphones for the entire class so if you could send a pair with your child I would really appreciate it! Thank you so much!!
Happy April! I know the saying says April showers bring May flowers, but I am really hoping for some April sun! We are only 11 weeks away from summer and as exciting as that is, it is also a little stressful. The end of the year will be very busy for us and will go by quickly.
This month students need to be reading their last book talk book. It is a biography and as they read they need to fill out the outline that was sent home before spring break. We will use the outlines to write and type a 6 paragraph paper in class. If students do not complete the outline they will not be able to write the paper at school. Please help them stay focused and work on it a little every night!
The end of the school year also brings state testing. We will start Smarter Balanced testing on April 17th. If you have any questions or concerns about this please call or email me and I will happily give you more information!
Our class is in need of more snack. If you would be willing to provide something we would greatly appreciate it! Here are some ideas: granola bars, fruit snacks, crackers, pretzels, carrots, little oranges, bananas, etc.
I am so enjoying this year and all of your kids! It has been wonderful watching them learn and grow this year and I cannot believe we have only a couple more months together. I plan on making the most of these last couple of months!
Another round of book talks are in the books! I know that some of the historical events are difficult for the students to understand, however, they did a very good job explaining the main idea of the event or time period. We are now switching to our last book talk of the year! This is a biography and should be about one person they are interested in. We will go to the library this week with the hopes that everyone will have a book before spring break. Students will also go home with an outline today that they must fill out while reading their book. We will use the outlines to learn how to write a 6 paragraph essay in class! Please take a minute to read over the instructions and ask any questions as soon as they arise.
This week we are working on respect as a school. We often do a booster the week before a break to really help students focus, especially as they get excited for the week off of school! Our class is amazing in this area! We are always working to be more aware of how we show respect to ourselves, others, and property.
One more week to spring break!
This is a busy time for fourth grade and many papers were sent home on Monday. The most important paper that was sent home was the permission slip for our field trip to Dorris Ranch on March 13th. Please read over the yellow paper and return the bottom half to me by March 8th. If you would like to volunteer you need to have already filled out the volunteer background check online.
The second most important topic is our next book talk. I sent note cards home a couple of weeks ago so that the students could start writing and practicing their speeches. Students are responsible for their visuals and I am not sending home posters with kids unless they have asked for one. All visuals are due on Monday, March 12th. Here are the dates and times for book talks if you would like to come and watch:
Monday (3/12): 8:45 – 9:30
Tuesday (3/13): 1:05 – 1:45
Wednesday (3/14): 10:00 – 10:30
Thursday (3/15): 8:45 – 9:45
Next week is our book fair! Please look for the times that you can come and take a look with your child. It is so fun to pick out new books and there will be many popular titles to choose from. If you are unable to attend, you can send money with your child and they can go to the book fair before school. I will choose some books that I would love to add to my classroom library. If you would like to purchase a book for my classroom I would greatly appreciate it!
Sorry for such long post, but there is so much to share 🙂
Spirit week! Read across America week! The beginning of March. This is going to be a fun week filled with silly clothes, shoes, and some fun facts about Dr. Seuss. I really enjoy getting dressed up and having some fun at school. In case you lost the paper that went home last week here is our spirit week schedule:
Monday: Crazy socks and mismatched shoes
Tuesday: Pajama day with a stuffed animal
Wednesday: Wacky Wednesday (crazy hair, wacky outfit, etc)
Thursday: Wear red and perform random acts of kindness
Friday: Twin day or crazy hat
We will still be doing lots of learning this week so make sure to come with your best learning attitude!
I just wanted to take time to brag about our class! Every adult who gets the opportunity to work with our class has only positives to say 🙂 I hear things like “they are so respectful”, “they worked so hard”, “great listeners”, “so prepared”… and the list could go on. Last week Ms. Poppen wrote our class a classroom WOW for being so focused and ready to learn during music. We also had Mr. Alex, our artist in residence, in our class for four sessions. I was so impressed with how well they listened and participated during the art lessons, especially because it was something new and challenging!
This Thursday is our school OBOB tournament. Students who are participating will be called to their battles throughout the day. I know that everyone has worked very hard reading their books and studying for the competition. It can be difficult for students who don’t make it to the finals or win, but everyone who participates is a winner! It is amazing that they have dedicated their time to reading books 🙂 Good luck to everyone!
Lastly, our next field trip to Dorris Ranch is coming up. Our class will go on Tuesday, March 13th in the morning. Our bus will load at Willagillespie around 8:45 and we should be back to the school by noon. If you are interested in going please make sure you have filled out your background check online. It is only our class going that day so I do not need to cap my volunteer list!
Report cards are going home today. Please take a look at everything that is included and write down any questions or comments on the front of the report card envelope. Once you have signed saying you received the semester 1 report card, please send the envelope back to school. I will use these envelopes again at the end of the year.
Last week the artist in residence came to our room to work on portraits. The class has loved having him here and this week we will be making a portrait tile! I am so proud of how respectful the class has been during his instructions, and how hard everyone has tried to keep up with him. I sure am thankful to be learning something new as well.
I am glad to be in the second half of the year and am looking forward to all we still have to learn!
Happy first day of the second semester! I love setting new goals and improving upon an already fantastic year. This morning at our morning meeting we talked about what type of 5th graders we want to be, and that we need to start practicing those characteristics now. Most of the class agreed that being kind to younger kids, being respectful in the hallways, and listening were important characteristics for 5th graders. I 100% agree!
This week and next week we have an artist in residence coming to our class to work on a ceramic tile project. He will be here on Tuesday and Thursday mornings from 9:45-10:30. I am really excited for this opportunity and I hope the class learns something new and enjoys their time. Next Tuesday and Thursday we might need a couple of extra hands, so if you are free one of those mornings please let me know.
Next Wednesday is Valentine’s Day and we will be celebrating friendship in the afternoon. Today you will receive a class list with everyone’s names. If you choose to bring a Valentine, make sure to include everyone. We will not be eating any candy that is brought with Valentines and if you can try to bring something other than candy that would be great. (stickers, erasers, pencils, crazy straws, etc.) Please note that you do not need to spend money on Valentines. Homemade cards are really special! It is great to make others feel happy and appreciated!
Sicknesses are going around. Please wash your hands, drink plenty of water, and try to stay healthy!