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!

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