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Declaration of Independence


The students have really enjoyed the following videos and media we viewed in class.  I promised to post them on the blog.



Mrs. Phillips is in San Francisco


Hello Dear Parents,

I informed each class that I was taking a trip to San Francisco this week.  It’s rare that I would take a vacation during this school year, but the opportunity presented itself, and I snatched it!  I made meticulous sub plans and am checking email daily.  There will be no homework this week.  I hope everyone is having a wonderful week in Indiana.  It was warmer there than it is here when I left!

Kind regards,

Mrs. Phillips

ISTEP Online Practice


ISTEP Testing is around the corner, February 27th – March 2nd.  Please avoid prearranged absences as much as possible.  Testing usually occurs first thing in the morning.  We would greatly appreciate students participating in online practice at home to familiarize themselves with the format of the testing.  Any student who completes this practice test before February 27th, will receive 4 positive token punches!  Please send your child’s homeroom teacher an email or note verifying completion or print the final page (sign and date it) of the practice test and turn it in.  It will be far more valuable if an adult sits down with his or her child and goes through each question together!  Thank you for your time, concern, and support!  Follow the link below to access the online practice.  Be sure to choose the appropriate test for your grade level.


Social Studies Happenings


A couple of weeks ago, I sent home an information slip about an upcoming virtual field trip through Skype with the Boston Tea Party Museum in Boston, Massachusetts.  The students will get to experience the events leading up to the Boston Tea Party through role play and speaking parts.  Students will also have a tour of a replica of the ship anchored in the Boston Harbor and see a reenactment of tea being thrown overboard.  This event costs $150 per class which is roughly $5 per student.  Many student have not yet returned their $5 fee.  I’m offering a reward of donuts for the first class who completely pays their fees.  If the cost is a financial hardship, please contact me, Mrs. Phillips, and I will make arrangements privately.  I will send home new slips in the Friday folders of students who have not yet paid.  Thank you so much for supporting this exciting opportunity.  I know things get lost in the shuffle; so no worries if you haven’t paid yet.  Our Skype event will be on March 28th.

I also like to have a full service tea party during this time period to provided a sensory experience to reinforce learning and stress the importance of tea in the British culture.  The colonists were making a great sacrifice throwing tea overboard because they very much enjoyed their tea time!  I need parent volunteers to help clean China, set the table, and serve tea/food.  It’s a really neat experience for the children.  Please contact me if you are able to help with this event.  It will be in late March, the week before Spring Break.

Lastly, I often do not give the students homework besides studying for quizzes and test.  I’m going to start posting questions on the blog for discussion at home so that you can monitor your child’s comprehension of what we are learning in class.  I feel so fortunate to teach the curriculum I do because the children seem very interested and engaged, but home discussions will help check if they are really soaking in the material.

Holiday Well Wishes and Thanks!


The triad teachers would like to say thank you for the generosity shown toward us this holiday season!  We hope you have a beautiful Christmas and a Happy New Year!  We look forward to seeing your children back on January 3rd!  

Social Studies Grades


Dear Parents,

Please don’t panic!  I entered some grades today and have quite a few missing assignments, so some kids have an uncharacteristic lower grade.  If you see your child is missing an assignment, please encourage him or her to turn it in and see me if they are unsure of said assignment.  I will gladly accept assignments and enter grades once I have them.  Also, I plan to be reaching out to any parents of students who are struggling, apart from missing assignments, before Christmas break.  Thank you for your support!

Mrs. Phillips

Longitude and Latitude


Last week in social studies were learned about longitude and latitude.  This will be an ongoing skill we work on that can be challenging.  I found an online game the children really enjoyed playing.  Here’s the link:


States & Capitals Resources


We are working on the Northeast region’s states and capitals this week, but I wanted to re-post the videos and links from last week’s homework page.  These videos and activities are good for reviewing all 50 states and capitals.  I will have quizzes throughout the year over all 50 and students can earn bonus points depending on number of correct answers.  I think it’s an important life skill to have a grasp of your country’s geography so I’m hoping the kids will remember where the states are beyond 5th grade!




Words Their Way Practice Activities


We began Words Their Way (Word Study) in Language Arts.  Students will be given their word study lists on Mondays and will be tested over the words on Wednesdays of the next week.  These lists are differentiated so there are up to seven different lists in one class.  Please refer to your child’s accordion file for their current lists.  

Bi-Weekly Expectations:

  1.  Students must know the definition of each prefix and sample word.
  2. Students must know to spell each spelling word.
  3. Students must understand and apply the meaning of each vocabulary enrichment word.

At Home Activities to Practice the Spelling Words:

  1.  Type/write the words 3 times each
  2.  Write the words in fancy letters
  3.  Write your words ladder/stairstep style – b, ba, bag
  4.  Have an adult quiz you
  5.  Write the Words in ABC Order
  6.  Divide the words into its syllables
  7.  Make a set of flash cards to study with
  8. Write a synonym or antonym for each word
  9.  Find the words in a book/magazine
  10.  Sort the words by their parts of speech

At Home Activities to Practice Vocabulary Words:

  1.  Write a sentence or story incorporating the vocabulary words  correctly.
  2.  Make flashcards.
  3.  Draw pictures to represent each word.  
  4.  Write a synonym for each word.
  5.  Write an antonym for each word.

9/11 Memorial


On Monday in social studies, we discussed the tragic events of September 11, 2001.  It was a moving, somewhat emotional discussion with many students sharing connections they had to the event.  My goal in this lesson was to explain an important event in history, identify what we can learn, and gain appreciation and respect for the victims, survivors, and people who helped and protected us then, and continue to do so now.   As we learn about our nation’s history this year, we will inevitably come upon things that are not proud moments, for example, slavery and the destruction of the Native American population; however, we can’t ignore what is not pretty in the past.  What I strive to do is focus on the positive and the growth we have made as a nation.  We may not be perfect, but I want students to understand the great privilege of being an American and the freedoms we have.  I want them to take pride in their country and honor people who serve and protect us, while striving to always improve and address issues of injustice and inequality.  My heart is full of love for all who serve our country in the military, police and fire departments, or other ways.  Thank you to any of our families this applies to!   The students were very fascinated with a virtual tour of the 9/11 Memorial Museum in New York, and I told them I would post the address on the blog.  I had downloaded a guide that discussed some of the artifacts and how to tour with children.  We also watched a video clip of fellow WIS 5th grader teacher Mrs. Robison’s class being visited by her students from the year of 2001.  I’m posting both links below.  Thank you for taking the time to read this and I hope this may spark meaningful dinner time conversations at home.  Bless you all!

Westfield teacher turns to 2001 students to teach current students about 9/11


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