Social Studies and Science Update

We have spent the last 3 weeks learning about Native American cultural groups.  We studied 5 groups:  Arctic, Pacific Northwest, Plains, Southwest, and Eastern Woodlands.  We primarily used History of Us to read about each group and supplemented with short video clips from the Discovery Education website. I love History of Us, and we will use it frequently for the remainder of our social studies topics throughout the year as we are learning about the formation of our country.  History of Us tells the story of the United States in a very engaging way.  The author includes funny anecdotes and unusual facts.  We are not going to do a project to culminate Native Americans because I’m anxious to move on to Early Explorers, however the students will have an open note assessment on Monday which requires them to think about the information and make comparisons between the groups to find similarities and differences – something we have been doing in class discussions frequently.  The primary concepts I hope students understand about Native Americans is that each group had to adapt to the environment they lived in to survive; I want them to be able to describe how they adapted.  Native Americans were very resourceful and used natural items for many purposes.  We have analyzed the natural resources available in each region and studied their kinds of technology, ways of governing themselves, customs and traditions, and economic activities.  I’ve also been stressing that Native Americans groups had much in common with each other, but also had unique differences.  The differences are largely based on how they adapted to the environment in which they lived.  Native Americans will feature broadly in our further study of American history with a focus on interaction between them and Europeans.

Christmas Carol Field Trip to IRT

The classes of Haywood, Phillips, and Tice will be going on a field trip to the Indiana Repertory Theatre on Wednesday, December 20, 2017.  We will be attending the IRT Mainstage performance of A Christmas Carol, by Charles Dickens.  This IRT annual classic is done in a very creative way and reinforces the themes of treating everyone with respect and kindness, of giving without wanting something in return, and about year-round generosity.

We will be sending home permission slips and more information in the Friday Folders this week.  Please watch for those and return them on Monday, if possible.  The permission slip along with the money should be returned by Tuesday, November 7, 2017.  If you have any questions, feel free to contact your child’s teacher.


Personal Narrative Writing

The students completed and published their personal narrative writing projects today!  I am so proud of the students’ efforts and the way they all turned out.  We spent two full weeks working on these, including a week of revisions.  Graded papers will go home after break so please be watching for them.  I hope you are as pleased with them as I was; we definitely have some future authors among us!

Guiding Principles Spirit Week!

Mark your calendars… the week of October 9th-13th we will be having a Guiding Principles Spirit Week! We want to bring more attention to our 5 Guiding Principles and what better way to do it? 
Monday: Get your thinking caps on… it’s Hat Day!
Tuesday: Revel in academic responsibility… wear your favorite college gear!
WednesdayExercise your honesty. Wear exercise clothes or team uniform!
Thursday: Show compassion like a superhero for Superhero Day!
Friday: Rockin’ Respect… wear Rocks spirit wear!

Earth, Sun, and Moon Notes

I’m re-posting these notes from the homework page in case I have any kids who need to make up the quiz from Friday or for review.

Here are the concepts you need to understand for the quiz, along with videos to review:

  • The Earth’s rotation on its axis causes day and night.  When the Earth is facing the sun on one side (Western or Eastern Hemisphere), it is day.  The opposite of the Earth is experiencing night at that time – and vice versa.
  • The Earth’s tilt on its axis is what causes seasons.  The Northern and Southern Hemispheres experience opposite seasons because the Earth is tilted toward the sun in one hemisphere during summer and tilted away from the sun in the opposite hemisphere during winter.  The sun’s rays reach the earth’s hemisphere that is experiencing summer at shorter, more intense angles during the summer than in winter.
  • Shadows change as the Earth moves in relation to the sun.  Shadows form on the opposite side of a light source; so when the sun is in the east, the shadow will form to the west, and vice-versa.  A shadow’s length increases as the angle at which the sun’s rays reach Earth increase.  A shadow is shortest at noon because that’s when the sun is highest in the sky and at its shortest angle – 90 degrees.

  • The movement of the moon in relation to the sun and Earth causes the moon to change in appearance.  These changes are called phases.  It takes about 1 month for the moon to finish one cycle of its phases.
  • The New Moon phase begins the cycle.  At this time, the moon is between the sun and Earth with the lit side of the moon facing away from Earth, so we don’t see the moon – or just see a dark shadow of it.  As the moon moves through its phases, we can see different amounts lit.  As the light grows, the moon is waxing and the light is on the right.  Once the moon reaches its position where the Earth faces its fully lit side, (full moon) it begins to decrease in light or wane, and the light is on the left.

Image result for phases of the moon


We are all looking forward to meeting with you!  Please note that the front office doors WILL BE LOCKED AFTER 3:45!  For those of you who have later times, we have arranged to have DOOR #20 open for you!  This is the north side door that leads into our hallway from the BUS parking lot.  Parking is between our building and the Middle School.  

Social Studies & Science Update

We are culminating our U.S. Regions Unit this week with a project.  The kids are really engaged in a variety of activities to showcase their knowledge of a chosen region.  Some students are creating a collaborative Google slides project, some are creating amusement parks with characteristics of a U.S. region, some are creating news shows, and others are making amazing, creative personification drawings that make a U.S. region into a person.  I’m so pleased with the quality of work I am seeing and the teamwork.  We will finish projects on Monday and present on Tuesday.  This is an in class project, but hopefully your child has been telling you all about it.

This past Monday, we took time to remember the tragic event that happened on September 11, 2001.  I told the kids that this is one of those life events that most people remember exactly where they were and what they were doing when it happened.  We talked about the event itself, discussed why it happened, and most importantly how people came together and helped each other.  As for the why, I explained, there is no good reason, but insanity and messed up thinking.  We watched a Brainpop video that did a wonderful job of explaining about terrorism and how terrorists groups have an agenda that they want to push on others and choose violence to get their message across.  I stressed that most people in the world are good people and we can’t let fear take over our lives.  We mostly focused on the people who help us everyday to make our world safe – police officers, fire-fighters, emergency medical technicians, and military were prominently mentioned and appreciated.  The students wrote letters to people in these lines of work and I plan to deliver them.  I want to extend a personal thank you to any of our parents who work in fields where you provide safety, medical help, protection, and care during times of crisis.

In science, we will be starting a unit on the solar system next week.  We will learn about the scale and components of the solar system, and how the movements of the earth, sun, and moon causes shadows, moon phases, night and day, and seasons.  We will use our science text books and do some hands-on activities to aid in comprehension and engagement in the topic.

Carmel Symphony Orchestra Field Trip

We have an exciting field trip to the Carmel Symphony Orchestra on November 15th at the Carmel Palladium.  This field trip will be absolutely free!  It’s an amazing experience for the children to go to the Palladium.  It’s so fancy!  Also the conductor is skilled at making this a very kid-friendly experience.  They will learn about the instrument groups and be enriched by listening to classical and contemporary music and hopefully be inspired to learn more about orchestral instruments!

Students will leave WIS at 9:45AM and should return at approximately 12:00PM.  Our class will be able to eat lunch at our normal time (when we return from the field trip).

There is NO cost to attend this field trip.  Because of the limited space available to us, we are not able to take parent chaperones with us on this field trip.  Thank you for understanding!

Please return your child’s permission slip for this field trip if you have not already done so.

Word Study Information and Practice Ideas

We have just begun Words Their Way, which is our “Word Study” program in 5th grade.  Students are grouped based on the initial placement test that we took at the start of the school year.  The Words Their Way program teaches students the spelling patterns and roots that will help them with their spelling and ability to dissect words to help with understanding of their meanings.  Students are given their word list on Monday and the quiz is always on the next Wednesday, so they are given a week and half to prepare. Students are responsible for knowing the patterns, how to spell the words on their lists, the vocabulary, easily confused words, and/or prefixes/suffixes.  Spending 10-15 minutes each night preparing for this will help them be successful on the quizzes.  Students are expected to keep their word lists in their accordion files.  I have attached a list of ideas for practice/study at home:

_____  1)  Write 24 words in ABC order.

_____  2)  Write 10 words and use a line to divide each word into its syllables. 

_____  3)  Make a set of flash cards to study with.  Part of Speech and Definition

_____  4)  Write a poem, including at minimum 5 spelling words 

_____  5)  Write a synonym for 10 words.  

_____  6)  Write an antonym for 10 words.  

_____  7)  Create a photo gallery or picture collage of at least 7 spelling words.  Drawing

_____  8)  Create  one compound sentence and one complex sentence using 5 words in each sentence 

_____  9)  Cut out letters from a magazine to build 15 words.  Glue your words onto a piece of paper. 

_____  10) Sort all words by parts of speech: noun, verb, adjective, etc. 

_____  11) Write a  tongue twister sentence for 5 of your spelling words.  (All words will start with the same letter.  Example:  Pink pigs play the  piano.) 

_____  12) Write 10 words in a secret code.  Remember to include the key for your code!

_____  13) Write 10 spelling words in pencil and then use two or three different colored crayons to trace over the words. 

_____  14) Type 10 words three times each under sort heading on the computer and print it out 

_____  15) Make a list of all your spelling words on a word  search program and print it out. Try: (

_____  16) Have someone write 10 words but they must mix up the letters in each word.  Write the correct word next to the scrambled word.

_____  17) Create a spelling quiz using 15 words. 

_____  18)  Draw a picture for 10 words. 

_____  19)  Write a definition for 10 words.  

_____  20)  Write a story or song using at least 10 of your words. 

_____  21)  Come up with your own fun way to practice your spelling words! 

_____  22)  Write 10 words with fancy letters. 

_____  23)  Ladder Words – Write 10 spelling words as below: 
                  Example: bag

_____24) Sort according to your headings 

_____25) Sort according to affixes  example: prefix/suffix 

_____26) Add prefixes or suffixes or both to 8 words 

Preparing for math tests

There are several ways to prepare for a math test.  To begin, students have a study guide for the tests.  The study guide should be in each student’s accordion file.  We often take notes over the lessons.  These should also be in accordion files.  The instruction book is also helpful.  As we go over the lesson, students take notes in this book.  Go to the current lesson, and look over the pages for each lesson.  I hope this helps.  Mr. Haywood