News from Room 24 – May 9, 2018

Time flies when you’re having fun.  And we are certainly having fun (which must be how it is already almost halfway through May…).  We have been delving headfirst into our Japantown Storyline Unit.  Students received their immigration acceptance letters, traveled via steamship to the United States, created a paper portrait of their character, and are now working to build their home and family business.  The creativity abounds in this group and I cannot wait to see their finished buildings.  Feel free to swing through before or after school to check things out for yourself!

Art Night was truly a delight this year.  I think these are some of my favorite art projects I have ever done with a class.  The docents were knowledgeable and informative.  Thank you to all who were able to come and listen in.

We have started taking multiplication quizzes twice a week (Monday and Friday) and tracking our progress on mastering our facts to 12.  Several students have been very diligent in practicing at home, but many need more practice!  Please find a routine to help your child practice their facts.  They will be expected to know them fluently at the beginning of 5th grade.

Enjoy the warm weather!

Ms. Elissa


News from Room 24 – April 25, 2018

Last week, we took a walking field trip to Reed College.  We were able to view the campus, some of the biology labs, the fish ladder, the canyon, the nuclear reactor, and the bouncy bridge!  It was a full day of walking but the weather was perfect!  On Monday, we traveled back in time through Oregon’s past at the Oregon Historical Society where we were able to see 9,000 year old sandals that belonged to a Native American, a dugout canoe, preserved animals from Lewis & Clark’s expedition, a real covered wagon, and a ton of other interesting artifacts!  This exhibit is being remodeled at the end of this month, so we were fortunate to sneak in before it closed.  I wanted to say thank you to all of the chaperones who were able to come with us on our field trips!  We couldn’t have done it without you.

We are continuing to work our way through our state testing.  Over the next two weeks, students will be working on the math portions of the test.  First, we will take the Math CAT which is a longer comprehensive assessment of students’ math understanding.  Next week, students will take the Math Performance Task which is a shorter exam that focuses on problem solving strategies and how students communicate their mathematical thinking.

Next Thursday is Art Night and I am on the look out for docents!  I will need about 9-12 docents for our pieces this year.  Please take a look at the form and sign up for an available time slot if you can.  Return your form by Monday.

I hope you have had a chance to review your child’s report card with them.  Please return the signed envelope to let me know it made it home.

Enjoy this sunshine!!

Ms. Elissa

News from room 24 – April 11, 2018

Students are finishing up the ELA CAT (Reading) portion of the Smarter Balanced Assessment this week.  Next week, students will take the Writing Performance task which asks them to read several articles and do a longer writing piece about them.  We will examine the practice test online to get our minds prepared for the task ahead.

In math, we are taking a deeper look at geometry by measuring angles with protractors, and learning some of the unique properties of triangles.  Protractors can be a tricky tool, but students have been having a lot of fun with them so far!

In writing, students are revising, editing, and getting ready to publish their persuasive essays.  Get ready to be persuaded!  There are some very convincing arguments being crafted in here.

Our field trips are approaching soon!  We will walk to Reed College on Friday, April 20th to take a tour of the campus, see the reactor, and look at the fish ladder.  On Monday, April 23rd, we will take a school bus to the Oregon Historical Society to tour the Oregon, My Oregon exhibit.  If you signed up to be a chaperone, look for an email from me later this week!

Finally, we are gearing up to launch our Japanese American unit next week!  We will be doing a lot of creating during this unit, so if you have popsicle sticks, empty spools, foil, beads, pipe cleaners, or any other odds and ends lying around, please send them in!

Thank you for all that you do!

Ms. Elissa

Smarter Balanced Assessments Practice Tests

We will be taking the 4 modules of the Smarter Balanced Assessments over the next several weeks.  Students looked at the ELA CAT (reading) Practice Test today with a partner in class to get familiar with the format before we take it next week.  We will continue to take some time to review the practice tests before each module of the test.

Parents sometimes like to take a look at the practice tests to see what tasks their child is being asked to complete.  Here is a link if you are interested: 

Ms. Elissa

News from Room 24 – March 21, 2018

We wrapped up our unit on fractions and this week I am sending home students’ post-assessments.  Students did well overall, with a class average of 82%! Please take the time to review the test with your child, noticing where they were successful and what they still need to work on.  This particular assessment required a lot of labeled pictures and many students lost points for not labeling or explaining their sketches clearly.

When we return from break, students will be starting multiplication fluency checkups twice a week where they are asked to solve 40 problems in 2 minutes or less.  Last week, we took some time to see what it would feel like to attempt this feat and students made flashcards to practice.  Please support your child in memorizing these facts with regular practice for 10-15 minutes at a time.  We aim to have all facts through 12 mastered by the end of the year.

This week, students are completing their second natural disaster research project.  This time, students focused on strategies to compare and contrast information between their first and second topics.  We also practiced using a rubric to self score our work before submitting it to be graded.  It gave many groups a chance to make important changes independently!

In writing, students are outlining a second persuasive essay.  After spring break, students will choose which outline they would like to take through the rest of the writing process and publish.

In social studies, we are covering Black History in Oregon.  We are using an article from the online Oregon Encyclopedia to build up some background knowledge on our state’s historic laws and policies that deterred Black people from immigrating here.  Later this week, partners will take a closer look at specific individuals or events and create timeline markers for our giant timeline in the hall.

I hope you all have a delightful spring break!  Don’t forget to read!

Ms. Elissa

News from Room 24 – March 7, 2018

This week we are wrapping up a math unit, starting a new writing unit, and beginning a second study of a natural disaster topic.

In math, we have completed Unit 3 on fractions and division.  Students will be taking the post-assessment on Wednesday and I am looking forward to seeing their growth.  Next, we will do a mini-unit on conversions before heading into Unit 4 which covers new aspects of geometry and measurement.

In writing, we just launched a new persuasive writing unit.  Students learned to turn a personal opinion statement into a persuasive argument and will work to give evidence and personal stories to back up their claim.

In literacy, our research teams are launching into a comparative study of a different natural disaster topic.  This time around, students are thinking about how their second topic is similar to or different from their first topic and use that as a jumping off point to build greater understanding.

Last week in social studies, we watched a video about Lewis & Clark and the Corps of Discovery.  We took notes on the wide array challenges the Corps faced as they traveled from St. Louis, Missouri to the Pacific Ocean.  Some student takeaways were: “They would have been super strong when they made it back!” and “I can’t believe more people didn’t die along the way.”  This week, our class will learn about the Oregon Trail and the trials and tribulations that arose when traveling with a family across the U.S. in the 1800’s.

This week is also Project Second Wind Food and Fund Drive at Lewis.  There is a box outside of our room where you can drop off canned goods and shelf-stable foods.  Please help our school make a difference!

Take care,

Ms. Elissa

News from Room 24 – February 21, 2018

So much for that early spring that was predicted… The snow sure is pretty, though.

This week in literacy, students are crafting a poster presentation with their natural disaster research groups to share the information they have learned.  They have worked hard to improve their nonfiction reading, summarizing, and synthesizing skills as they research.

In writing, students are completing a writing work sample as an assessment on how they are progressing on their 5-paragraph essay writing skills.  They chose a topic, completed an outline, and are working to write out their essay to show off their talents as a writer.

In math we are taking another look at division and how it relates to fractions.  This week, we are figuring out how to solve division with a remainder.  Students will look at the different ways a remainder can be handled in different situations.  13 cookies divided between 4 people looks very different than 13 people divided into 4 groups.

We are continuing our studies of the history of the Klamath River Basin.  How water in the basin should be used is a long and ongoing conversation between Native People, ecological groups, farmers, ranchers, and others.  Students are working in pairs to research specific events related to the use of water in the basin, creating a timeline marker, and will share their research with the class.

Stay warm out there!

Ms. Elissa