Thursday, December 4, 2014

January Newsletter!

Can't believe it is January already! The 5th grade is moving full steam ahead into 2016. Our best wishes to all our 5th grade families for a happy and healthy New Year. 
Onward and upward, 
the 5th grade teachers

Special dates in December and January: 

14: Career Day (fundraiser)
15: PS 58 Read-a-thon starts!
16: Cine Bistro Night!

18: Dr. MLK, Jr. Day (no school)

Our 5th Grade mathematicians have mastered many different multiplication strategies and are ready for division. This second unit will deepen their understanding of whole number division and numerical expressions. Students will be asked to use different strategies from the previous unit to double check their understanding for this unit.

From there, 5th graders will go directly into fractions. In this unit students will learn the relationship between fractions, decimals, and percents. Using this knowledge, the students will find equivalent fractions, order fractions, and add commonly used fractions. They will multiply and divide fractions and whole numbers. Our 5th graders will also work on ordering, adding, multiplying, and dividing decimals. In order to work with fractions and decimals, students will use different models such as number lines and area models in order to assist and deepen their understanding.

In reading, 5th graders completed their interpretive book club units with wonderful projects which demonstrated their individual mastery. The students have since moved onto informational reading.  In this unit, students will determine main ideas and key supporting details, compare and contrast text structures, and analyze multiple points of view on a topic. They will become “experts” in a topic of their choosing and learn that not all information comes from a single source.

For our writing unit, the 5th grade has been developing research skills, learning different strategies of note taking to get the most out of our non-fiction reading. We have been focusing on finding the main ideas of sections of text as well as the supporting details for those ideas. Using various presentation styles, students will culminate the unit by teaching one another about their topic of interest.

In current events, the campaign trail is heating up, but we have wrapped up our unit on the U.S. Government and the election process. 5th graders are moving west to begin our study of Westward Expansion. It was during this period that the United States had a destiny and mission to expand its boundaries by moving westward. Students will research The Trail of Tears, the Transcontinental Railroad, Lewis and Clark, The Gold Rush, and The Oregon Trail. They will learn how these were turning points which changed life for thousands of people. 

We are pleased to announce a partnership with the Anne Frank Center in NYC. Once a week, a teaching artist will be coming into each of the 5th grade classrooms where students will learn lessons of Anne Frank in a meaningful and relevant manner. The program will integrate artistic, literary, historical, and/or performance-based components. The students will be taught how to respond as leaders in challenging discrimination, intolerance, and bias-related violence in a positive and constructive way. 

Friday, October 3, 2014

Our October/November Newsletter!

Welcome to the first installment of our 5th Grade Parent Newsletter! This busy year is already in full swing. Please mark your calendars with the grade's special events and check in on our units below. We look forward to a great year!
-the 5th grade teachers

Special dates in October and November: 

1: Robin Hood field trip
2: Ballroom Dancing starts!
7/8: Picture Day!
12: Columbus Day (closed)
13: School-wide Lice Check
15: Wacky Wardrobe Day! (dress-up day)
19-23: Scholastic Book Fair
23: 5-316's Cine Bistro!
30: PS 58 Storybook Parade

2: Dia de los Muertos Celebration
3: Election Day (no students)
5: Parent-Teacher Conferences
11: Veteran's Day (closed)
17: Hippie Day! (dress-up day)
19: 5th Grade Harvest Festival!
26, 27: Thanksgiving Break (closed)

Our 5th grade mathematicians began the year working on a project which challenged their knowledge of equivalent fractions and gave them the opportunity to work in groups. The children reviewed and learned new math vocabulary along the way. In the upcoming unit, we will learn to differentiate between prime, square, and composite numbers. We will work with the powers of 10 and finding the prime factorization of a number. The rest of this unit will be focused on introducing different strategies for multiplying multi-digit numbers. After working on multiplication, we will move on to division. We will learn different strategies for division and be able to analyze the remainder within division word problems. Please remember to make sure your child sets aside time to practice their multiplication facts at home on a regular basis.

In reading and writing, we have started off the year teaching students to draw upon all they have learned in the past to push themselves to begin reading with more intellectual independence. This unit teaches students to read with inference and interpretation, developing text-based theories about characters and supporting those theories with evidence from the text. We will study characters, building theories not only about the main character but about all of the characters in the story. Students will also begin to compare and contrast characters. Students will draw on all the work they have done in previous years around thinking deeply and with nuance about characters—considering what a character holds close, that character’s complexities, the way that secondary characters act as mirrors of main characters—to deepen their abilities in inference, interpretation, and being able to talk and write well about reading. Throughout the unit, students will work to back up their thinking with quotes and exact details and references to the text. In the next unit students will add on to their existing knowledge about informational reading. This will include determining the main idea and key supporting details, and comparing and contrasting text structures.

In Social Studies, we will study closely the separation of powers and how our government of a new nation came to be. We will pay close attention to the differences between rights and responsibilities, the full meaning of the preamble of the US Constitution, and what it means to be a citizen. This will help us as we expand our New Nation through Westward Expansion-- our next Social Studies unit!