September 23

Week in Review #2

Another week is complete. Our class is already off to an amazing pace. Last week our class finished the story “Earthquake Terror” by Peg Kehret. We focused on the literary elements in the story, sequence of events and making predictions as learning targets. Can you name all of the literary elements? Remember these elements really help to describe a fictional story. Also, if you can explain literary elements you have Knowledge for this skill on your matrix for Theme 1. Make sure you mark it off. Check out the video to jog your memory.

In math we’re getting a better idea of how well we’ve mastered our basic math skills. These are facts like 8 x 4. These facts are really helpful when we start to work on more challenging problems for math later in the school year. Also, our class studied place value. It’s important to see the patterns in place value. These patterns help us to decode numbers. Do you remember how many numbers equal a period? Yes, three. Every three numbers and the pattern starts over again. We separate these sets with a comma. Check out the video to refresh your mind.

Finally, we made it to science this week. Kids began to study environments. I was super impressed to see so many kids excited for our first investigation. We looked at all of the factors of an aquatic environment. Kids defined if these factors were living or non-living. Can you recall all of these factors for our aquariums? Kids setup these environmental systems on their desks.

Levi Observe’s Organisms











For our challenge question this week, what’s the difference between fact and opinion? This will be important for both reading and science this school year. Play Binky’s Facts and Opinons to review this concept.

September 11

Week in Review #1

In review, during the last few days we worked very hard on building the supports that will help us to be successful with our learning. We watched a video about how 2 monkeys worked together to solve a problem. If monkeys can cooperate we should be able to as well. Together we developed a Code of Cooperation. These are the guidelines that will give us the “know-how” to act with one another. Jarell was the author for this document and helped to lead the activity.












In order to create more meaning behind why we’re at school we challenged ourselves to think of other reasons why attending school is important. The Portable People came up with some great answers.

“To learn about math, reading, writing…..”

“To go to college.”

“To get a good job after college.”

“To have a better life.”

This reflection helped us to form a better purpose for being in room 35 each school day.

Recently, our class had a discussion about why it’s important to read. We used an exercise called “The 5 Why’s” to help develop more meaning once again. I was pleased to see the responses our class came up with. The photo below illustrates our thinking.

In the next few weeks we will be focused on a Theme for reading, Nature’s Fury. Nature is the world around us. It’s the living organisms, the geology, the weather, etc… This theme focuses on how powerful, unpredictable and devastating the world we live in can be on a daily basis. Based on the way I explained nature, what images come to mind when I say Nature’s Fury?  Think about the state we live in. Tell your folks about the first story we read, “Earthquake Terror.”  Maybe they remember the earthquake in 1989 that shook the stadium during the World Series.

Also, we just started to investigate our math curriculum. Place value will be the big idea. You’ll be excited to know that there are quite a few online resources free to students at the Math Connects site.  Students can use these activities to supplement their learning. Sometimes there are tutors.  So, if you don’t understand something you might find a math tutor video for a lesson that will help you to make more sense for you learning.

Get ready to learn more about environments and the scientific process. 5th Grade science is just about to begin.  For a challenge question, “What comes to mind after looking at the picture below?”

Adapted from

September 3

Class of 2020

Adapted from MHS.

Welcome to room 35! I’m excited to get started with everyone. I hope you had a fun and restful summer. Mine seemed to fly by too fast, but I’m really excited about the transition the school year brings and learning more about you.

We will officially start on Wednesday the 5th of September. Get what you can on the classroom supply list and we’ll sort out the odds and ends when you get here on the 5th. In other words, the main supply you need to come to class with is enough positive attitude to last the school year.

Our main purpose for these first couple of weeks will be to create the infrastructure that will support our class. You will be helping me to build our classroom community.

To make things a bit more visual for you, here’s our schedule for this year:

9-9:45 Literacy

9:45-10:30 Music/PE

10:30-11:30 Literacy

11:30-12:15 Handwriting/Science/Social Studies/Art

12:15-12:35 Lunch

12:35-12:50 Recess

12:50-2:15 Mathematcis

2:15-2:30 Recess

2:30-3:00 Mathematics

3:00-3:15 Campfire (Class Meeting)

3:15-3:28 Clean-up/Dismissal

*Note: Breaks will be given when needed. It’s very difficult for healthy learning to take place without them.

**Note: Feel free to bring a snack for break time. We will talk more about what is a healthy snack later this week.

I realize this can be a stressful time for students and parents. We have a very experienced team of 5th grade teachers and support staff to help you do your very best. Please rest assured that you are in a great place that is safe and driven to focus on our school mission…

“Strive for your highest potential!”

I’m going to be stealing an idea from Mr. Rodger’s, another 5th grade teacher on the Challenger team, by asking you a challenge question at the end of some blog posts. Hopefully this starts to exercise your brain a bit.

Challenge: What does the picture at the beginning of this post have to do with our classroom?

September 3

Gabe’s Summer

This summer, after school ended, I had to move to Tijuana, Mexico. It’s sometimes fun to be over here, but the boring part is I don’t have any friends to be with; so, I dont have anything to do.

I might go outside to ride my scooter or my bike but that’s it. My dad took me to a restaurant on Wednesday with my family. It was awesome. Afterwards we went home and watched a series called ancient aliens. It talked about how Egyptians were visited by aliens that gave them ideas for airplanes, ect….

This week I was thinking about school, some friends and some other stuff. What I don’t like is we barely started summer and over here they have started school already. My mom said we are not starting school until we get at least one more month of vacation. So that’s what I did this summer.