Thursday, December 29, 2016

December 2016

Highlights from Last Week

Our holiday concert on December 15th was great.  Most impressive was the band who played good music!  They are quite a talented group. 

In the classroom, we continue to work on fractions, the painted essay, and colonization.  Our colonists have made it across the ocean and to the New World successfully.  Each colony will land, when we get back to school.  Landing involves strategically picking the best land to settle.   

5th graders rap for their classmates - explaining when to use Least Common Multiple (LCM) and Greatest Common Factor (GCF)

"Colonists" writing in their journals

We had our first auction of the year on Tuesday.  Some of you may have received an extra special Christmas gift out of the deal!  It was fun.  Students earn Rhoades' bucks by being responsible about homework and other things around the classroom.  In 2017 I will add a new way to earn money!  

We celebrated the last day before vacation with a visit from the high school band and chorus carolers, followed by our Heifer Project raffle, holiday crafts, pizza, and a movie.  Some pictures highlighting that day follow.

Fun with Crafts - 5R and 5B

Thursday, December 15, 2016

November-December 2016

November flew by and we are now into December! With the holiday break
fast approaching I thought it is time to share some more happenings in 5R! 

Sean has been the 5R photographer of the week, for a couple of weeks now!  Below are some photos that he took.   

 Brayden and Taylor reading and responding to the Article of the Day.  We have a class membership to ReadWorks Digital.  Each week there are a series of articles, topic-themed, that the students read and respond to in their digital Book of Knowledge.  The articles are short.  Reading and responding to them takes about 10-15 minutes.  They are also at various reading levels.  Research shows that the more students read on the same topic, the more general knowledge they will gain and remember.  They are also enhancing their vocabulary.

    Just some clowning around!
 Maria, the golden apple, picking our Go Noodle brain break

 We are reading Blood on the River.  This is the story about the first settlers of Jamestown.  This historical fiction book is skillfully written to include vivid and real details of the Jamestown colony and its members.  It fits very nicely with our colonization unit that we are currently working on.  

Students working in the classroom

      Photos courtesy of Sean!

The Painted  Essay  
Small groups worked together to created an organized essay from sentence strips.  They did a great job figuring out if sentences fit in the RED paragraph (introduction), YELLOW paragraph, BLUE paragraph, or the GREEN paragraph (conclusion). There were also a few paragraphs that needed to be trashed!

  Stay tuned... next week you will find out how our colonists are doing on their trip to the New World!

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Happenings in 5R October 27th through November 7th

The students in 5R continue to be enthusiastic about learning new things and that makes my job so pleasant and easy!  I'll share with you a few highlights from the past couple of weeks, although I imagine your children may have already shared some of them with you. 

On October 28th we had our second DENS meeting.  DENS stands for Doesn't Everybody Need Somebody.  These groups of 6-7 children span grades K-5 and meet once a month with a staff member.  It is a social skills activity that reinforces what we are learning in our new Second Step program.  

We completed our Lego Battle on the 28th, as well.  The pictures tell the whole story. This engineering and design project is a popular part of our science curriculum.  

The Students filled out a critique frame at the end of the engineering of catapults unit.  I've included some of the comments below.
Critique Frame

  • I loved it when…
  • It frustrated me when…
  • I used to think _____, but now I realize ______ because I think…
  • I wonder…
  • I realize…
  • I was confused when…
  • To make it better I would have…
  • I was impressed when you…
  • The best thing I learned was...
I loved it when we started making our catapults because I wanted to make my design. ~Taylor
It frustrated me when my design kept falling apart. ~Gary
It frustrated me when we had to build it because I didn't have an idea. ~Miranda
I used to think that if you could shoot farther it was better, but now I realize that accuracy is best. ~Ezra
I wonder if there was a new design that nobody used. ~Sean
I wonder how I could keep the cap on while I was flinging the marshmallows. ~Ava
I realize I have to add more height to the base of my catapult so the marshmallow will be able to go far. ~Maria
I was confused when I couldn't figure out how to connect my pieces. ~Brayden
To make it better I would have secured the cap better. ~Farren
I was impressed when Madeline kept trying and trying. ~Tara
The best thing I learned was if it doesn't work it is okay. All you do is learn from your mistakes. ~Madeline
The best thing I learned was sometimes you are not always right. ~Owen
The best thing I learned was how to actually build a catapult and research to get more ideas. ~Casey

Last week was a short week, so there isn't a lot to report! A few highlights from The Class News:
Monday: I enjoyed Haunted House Tag in gym class. ~Farren
Tuesday: We got to vote in Social Studies. ~Madeline
Tuesday: We made self-portraits in Art. ~Brayden
Tuesday: We got new pencils! ~Ava
Wednesday: We got to finish our math poster. ~Sean

Our current math unit is adding and subtracting fractions. The object of this lesson was for students to solve story problems involving addition and subtraction of fractions with unlike denominators and rewrite fractions as equivalent fractions with like denominators.

We started this week off with a school-wide celebration, as the alpha-bit jar was once again full! Our celebration was a crisp, refreshing outdoor recess on Monday morning! A great way to start the week!

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Let the Lego War Begin!

In science we have been learning about the engineering and design process.  What is an engineer?  An engineer is someone who collaborates with others while asking, researching, imagining, planning, creating, and improving.  Is an engineer ever wrong?  Does an engineer's plan ever fail or need improvement.  Yes indeed!  That is why being an engineer is so much fun.  

Our first engineering project was to create tin foil boats to save the pennies club (see highlights from the week of October 3rd and 10th).  After making vast improvements to the floating penny savers, it was time to move on.  That is when we learned of the problem facing Bob and Jack:


Problem:  Two Lego men named Bob and Jack aren’t getting along.  They are about to go to battle.  The town has decided that they may design a catapult to help them in battle.  The town council agreed that they may both only use the supplies provided by the town.

The supplies each man will receive are:
  • Rubber Bands
  • Two sizes of popsicle sticks
  • Mini Marshmallows
  • One bottle cap

If you were Bob or Jack how would you design your catapult so you would have the best chance of winning?

After doing some research about catapults, the students each designed and built their own prototype.  

Yesterday we started the battle...

Here are a few photos - stay tuned for more, as the competition continues!

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Highlights from the weeks of October 3rd and 10th

We have had a couple of busy, exciting weeks in 5R!  
     Last week in Language Arts we worked on organizing and writing good paragraphs.  I think the favorite paragraph assignment was when we had to write a descriptive paragraph about Ms. Rhoades' jelly beans!

         Our first social studies unit is coming to an end and we are finishing up our 3 Branches of Government posters.  We will continue talking about government through the November presidential election.

     We started our first science unit:  Engineering and Design.  The first investigation was to solve this problem:  The Pennies Club are out for a leisurely afternoon on a boat.  Everything was just peachy until the boat sprang a leak and sank!  The only supply they have is a 12 inch by 18 inch piece of aluminum foil.  You need to rescue as many members of the Pennies Club as you can.


     Thank you to all families who took the time this weekend to bake bread to donate to Willing Hands.   We had a great presentation by King Arthur Flour on Wednesday showing us how to bake bread.  I'll admit, I always thought baking bread was a lot of work, but after watching Sadie and Kate assist the KAF baker, it looked pretty easy!  It was a great learning experience for our students!