Newsletter for the Week of November 26, 2018

I hope that you had a wonderful and relaxing Thanksgiving weekend!  I am thankful because my class has the reputation of having the greatest, most supportive parents.  After having met all of you at the conferences, I have to say that this ‘rumor’ is true!  I am also grateful that my little students make me laugh, sometimes to the point of tears! 


What’s up? 

Math: Students are studying decimals.  They are comparing the value of decimals to the thousandths place and adding them with regrouping.  They are writing decimals in standard form, word form, and expanded form. 

Writing: Students worked on writing a strong conclusion.  We are also continuing to expand our vocabulary with the use of the thesaurus.   

Religion: Students studied chapter six in their “Blest Are We” text.  They made pictures of sacramentals that are used in the Sacraments of Baptism and Confirmation.   I have been slowly testing individuals for their fifth-grade prayers.  Students are going to the church to have a lesson with Father Scott on the liturgical calendar and the various colors of the Liturgical Year. 

ELA: Students reviewed pronouns and how to properly use them in sentences. 

Science: Students are working in groups to finish their food webs.  I have extended the due date to Monday since the posters are not completed.  Students have researched some of the organisms within a given habitat and have labeled the organisms as consumers, producers, or decomposers.  They are showing the energy flow within the food webs. 

Literacy: Students have finished the first round of “Because of Winn-Dixie,” “Among the Hidden,” and “A Year Down Yonder.”  We will begin the second round of the same books on Monday.  These books are so good that I want all of the students to read at least two out of three of them.  Students went to the library on Thursday and checked out fictional books on the Holocaust.  They are to read these books on their own time and create a diorama that will be due on the first day back after Christmas break.  I have included pictures of samples of “book reports” on my web page.   

Social Studies: Students are studying five Native American tribes: the Makah, the Mississippians, the Creek, the Anasazi, and Cherokee. 



Music: Grades 4 & 5: This week in music class, students are preparing for the Foundation event that takes place this Thursday by working on singing together and matching pitch and tempo. They are also preparing songs for the Christmas Program, and reviewing rhythmic notation.  

Spanish: First Grade through 5th grade continued working on the home by drawing and labeling their bedrooms. They also worked on adjectives and expanding their vocabulary and 3rd-5th grade continued putting sentences together.  

Physical Education: In physical education the students are working together and are successful at 5 – 6 man stunts!!  Holding firm your own weight contributes to the success of another supporting you.  Communication is important for successful support in building a stunt. SLE 3. An effective communicator who: expresses oneself through the arts and technology. November is Diabetes Awareness Month. Diabetes is a condition that prevents the pancreas from making insulin. Insulin is the hormone that helps get energy (glucose) to the body.  Students will review how the pancreas works and are playing tag to simulate insulin getting energy to cells, so we can move! What is “added sugar”?

Art: Fifth grade artists are working on tessellations as a math/art project. Some of the students are working on rotations in their tessellations.

Book Reports

Hello Students!

Beginning in January, you will be presenting book report projects.  Book reports will be due on or about the fourth Tuesday of the month (except, of course, for December and June).

You will be reading an independent book outside of class and presenting the books in various formats and mediums.

It is important to remember that you will be reading this book on your own, after you are done with classwork, after school, or on the weekends.  Because of this, you may need to make a schedule as to how many pages you should read each night or each weekend in order to have time to finish your report when it is due.

Among the choices are: diorama, food representation, oral report, timeline, stop-motion movie, rainbow report, poster, a biography fold-out figure, or a format of your choice.  Do not use the same medium more than once.


Month Theme Format
December Holocaust,  Fiction


January Holocaust,  non-fiction


5 paragraph research paper with a bibliography  (this will be done in class)
February Famous African-American





military personnel,



civil rights activist




biography fold-out figure


rainbow report


March Famous Woman (not from the entertainment fields, preferably a scientist, judge, entrepreneur, athlete, politician, civil rights leader, women’s suffrage movement leader, etc.) Oral Report (3×5 notecards will be turned in as part of your report.  You may dress up as the person you are presenting.)


April Famous Native-American,






Biography fold-out figure


Rainbow report



May Famous artist

(performance art, visual art, multimedia, etc.)

The poster will include your own rendition of the artist’s original work alongside an actual picture of the original work (this can be printed from the internet).  It will also include a summary of the artist’s life.
June Your choice!!! Your choice!!!

Stop-motion movie, diorama, food representation, or a medium of your choice that I have preapproved.  Let’s discuss it!

Here are some examples of “book reports.”

The rainbow book report has a picture from the book and eight sections. Each section has an important detail from the book. It is colored as a rainbow but the words are bold, not obscured by the colors.
The timeline lists important dates and events from the book. Pictures may be added for interest.
The poster will resemble a movie poster with exciting details from the book. It will include a title and a picture.
The diorama will include a scene from the book with a written explanation of the scene.

A biography fold out report (front)

Pictures of Students at Work

Rhys’ version of an Aesop’s fable. Medium: Stop-motion movie. Moral of the story: together we stand, united we fall
Social Studies Study Group
Alden’s cross section of the Earth
Earth’s Layers
by Nature
Ava and Cooper showing off their science project: Earth’s layers

Newsletter for the Week of November 13, 2018

I would like to extend my gratitude to all of those who have served our country.  To all of the veterans, thank you for your sacrifices, your bravery, and your service.  God bless you and your families.

Social Justice: As of 2017, there were 742 homeless people in Whatcom County ranging from ages 0-78.  Counted among them were families.  That’s why I think it is such a blessing that Hope House is right on the campus.  Hope House gives us a great opportunity to share our blessings with just some of the hundreds who are homeless.  I want to thank those who have already brought food to school so we can FILL THE FOYER WITH FOOD!  And please remember what Cheri Woolsey said to me last year: after the Human Food Chain in November, all of the food that the students have brought in is gone by January.  That is why 5th grade has a food drive all school year long.  Thank you for your generosity!


What’s up?

Math: Chapter 3: add and subtract decimals.

Conferences were a great time for reflection for all of us.  Upon further reflection, I will be working with the entire class to do more story problem solving.  This means that we will be slowing down a little in the math book so we can dive deeper into the problem solving areas and not just rush through the book to cover all of the algorithms in each chapter.  In the end, it may mean that we do not finish the entire math book, but there is always summer to study.  Quality, not quantity!!!

Literacy:  We are reading Because of Winn-Dixie, Among the Hidden, and A Year Down Yonder.  Every night (except weekends) students will read their assigned chapters and return to class the next day to discuss the readings.  We make predictions, talk about idioms, colloquialisms, similes, or metaphors.  We answer inferential and literal questions about the text.  Students work on vocabulary and character trait sheets.

Students have told me that they miss doing book reports, so I am excited to have them share their Aesop’s Fables.  After Christmas, students will be assigned book reports due on a monthly basis.  There will be more information about this coming soon.

ELA/Writing: Students have finished their position papers and saint papers.  We will be reading some of them in class.  We will be working on the anatomy of a paragraph by focusing on topic sentences, supportive sentences, and a strong conclusion.  We will be working on generating ideas, doing away with run-on sentences, and eliminating common grammatical errors.  Students worked on identifying the topic sentence in a paragraph and looked for the details that are in the supportive sentences.

Students worked on analogies.

(There is no spelling list this week.)

Science: Students are working in groups to study various habitats.  They are defining consumers, producers, and decomposers.  They will be making food webs.

Social Studies: Students will have a chapter 3 test next Tuesday.  I have asked them to take notes in class, but to also take their book home this weekend to study for the test next week.  We are reading about the ways in which historians gather and interpret information.

Religion: Students are reading chapter 5 “We are Baptized into the Body of Christ”

We are reviewing religion vocabulary each afternoon and memorizing our 5th grade prayers.  Cooper has been tested on all of his 5th grade prayers and has passed all four of them.  Many are demanding that I test them so they seem very excited to recite them!

Art: Fifth grade artists are learning about translation and rotation tessellations in art and create their own tessellation art work.

Music: This week in music class, 4th and 5th graders will be preparing for their upcoming performances. They will be learning about the significance of intonation, and the importance behind practicing and refining their work before presenting it in front of an audience. They will also be adding to the classroom music gratitude wall.

Physical Education: Students are working with partners in the gymnastic/stunt unit, they have begun to create a gymnastic skill entry performance leading into a 3 – 4 man stunt. They should work on handstands at home to improve balance and strength. School Wide Learning Expectation; 2. An engaged active life-long learner who: C. works collaboratively.



Thursday, November 15th

Book Fair today in the library


Friday, November Nov. 16th

Book Fair today in the library

Grandparents Day begins at 9:30 am in the gym with prayer and welcome

Mass at 10:30 am with Dress Uniforms

Kindergarten Thanksgiving feast in the gym 12 pm


The SLE of the week is: A Servant Leader of Assumption Catholic School is a person of integrity who constantly accepts responsibility for personal behavior.

SLE students of the week are: Santiago, Estela, Alden, and Mary