Fifth Grade

*This page is used to fill you in on what the class has been working on during the past week, as well as a sneak peek into next week.

Hello 5th grade parents,

It’s GFGA week in 5th grade!  The students have worked hard in researching information about their city, contacting people, choosing activities, restaurants, and hotels, organizing an itinerary, calculating a budget, creating a display board, and more, and now they get to enjoy sharing their trips and selecting which one we’ll go on!  We’ve been presenting them in class and taking notes on each one, and this afternoon, the 4th grade class visited and got to see what the different options are.  The next step will be to vote on their top 3 choices, and I’ll add up their votes and determine 4 finalists that I’ll announce after Thanksgiving Break.  Those 4 projects will be presented again, and then we’ll make our final decision.  The projects will be displayed during Grandfriend’s Day, so feel free to drop by and take a look.  The students have done an excellent job!  Here is what else we have been working on in the core subjects this week.
1) In Math, we’ve been working on pan-balance problems and the steps to solving basic equations.  Students are building on their understanding of variables and how to write expressions and use equations to help solve problems.
2) In Language Arts, we read a story called, “Jake Drake Know-It-All”, about a boy realizing working with his friend on his Science Fair project is much more fun, especially when they work carefully and discuss what they’re doing.  We also had our author visit on Monday, which was really neat.
3) In Science, we haven’t had much time this week, but students have continued to work with stream tables in Lab, and I did introduce the next topic on plate-tectonics, which we’ll learn about how plate boundaries impact Earth’s surfaces by causing earthquakes, volcanoes, trenches, and mountains.
4) In Social Studies, students got together once to discuss a few more decisions for settling planet Zorp and we’ll continue this class-adventure after Thanksgiving break.  Mostly, we’ve been sharing our GFGA Projects and getting excited about all the possible adventures we could be going on!
Announcements:
1) November Assembly – tomorrow at 2:10 in gym.  Thankfulness theme(we’ll share thankfulness quotes) and Ethan and Jake will be recognized as this month’s Talented Tornadoes.
2) Grandfriends Day – Tuesday, from 8:30-12:00.  5th grade guests will start in the classroom and then do a scavenger hunt tour from 9:00-9:30.  From 9:30-10:30, half will be in Art, and half will be in the classroom seeing a quick Science demo and doing a math activity with their family member or friend.  The school performance is at 10:45 and then children are welcome to leave directly after that for the break! 🙂
3) Spelling Bee – students have words to study if they’d like to participate, and we’ll do our class bee the week of 12/14.  The finals will be held in January.
I hope everyone is having a great week, and, as always, let me know if you have any questions about anything.  Take care,
-Dan Forringer

Hello 5th grade parents, (for week 10/30-11/3)

It has been a particularly exciting week, with all the fun outfits in honor of Spirit Week!  I’ve included a couple pictures, one of us posing in our Halloween outfits on Tuesday, and another of a few of the Mr. Forringers in their best “teacher/golfer” poses this morning.  We also had a fun, “Bring a friend to school day” on Monday, with 3 lovely visitors, and a special pizza lunch and popcorn snack in the afternoon in honor of that event.  We end the week with Fall Carnival tomorrow afternoon, which I’m sure the kids will enjoy.  We’ve also tried to stay productive, and here is a brief summary of what we are currently working on in the core subject areas.
1) In Social Studies, we’ve been learning about the early settlers, focusing on Jamestown and the Plymouth colonies, and discussing what has made them successful.  Students got to play some online games to learn more about the Jamestown colony as part of their homework this week.  We’ve also been checking in about their GFGA projects, and I look forward to reading their essay drafts tomorrow.
2) In Science, we’ve started our new unit on Earth’s Surface, starting with a lesson on what makes up soil.  We’ve also discussed the parts of a river, in preparation for working on stream tables, which will help students see examples of erosion and deposition.  
3) In Math, we are wrapping up our unit on fractions, working on the cumulative review in chapters 3-4 of the workbook covering all the fraction skills we’ve worked on.  We took a pretty brief cumulative assessment this morning, and we’ll go over this and look at it more closely tomorrow, before starting our new topic on introducing Algebraic concepts starting next week.
4) In Language Arts, we read “Sparks will Fly”, which is a short story about Ben Franklin and his fascination with electricity.  I also introduced the writing diamond, which is a format for organizing writing short stories.  We talked about “showing, and not telling” scenes, and did a little acting to demonstrate this.  Students have also really been enjoying our read aloud, “Out of My Mind”, by Sharon Draper, which is about a 5th grade girl with cerebral palsy who is very bright, but unable to communicate.
Announcements/Reminders:
1) Fall Carnival – tomorrow afternoon!
2) Candy Drive – Do you have more candy in your house than you can eat? Why not give it away? JUST TRYAN IT is a non-profit supporting families battling pediatric cancers. They are collecting candy and delivering it to the parent lounge at UNC Children’s Hospital. TDS will be collecting unwanted Halloween candy in a box at the front of the school Wednesday (11/1) through Friday (11/10). If you have any questions, please contact Kate Newman.
3) Report Cards – they are scheduled to go live Friday. Let me know if you have any questions.
4) Nutcracker presentation – Barriskill dancers will be coming on Monday, 11/6, in the afternoon to perform a portion of their show. You can also refer to the website to get tickets for the real performance.
5) Parent-Teacher Conferences – next Friday, 11/10. Everyone should be scheduled now, so let me know if you have questions. I am not expecting your child to attend this conference, but he/she is welcome to if that is your preference. We will discuss their academic progress in the first quarter, as well as how they are doing with behavior and socializing, and we’ll come up with a couple goals.
6) Author/Illustrator visit – Monday, 11/13.
7) Puerto Rico Potluck – Thursday, 11/16.
8) November Assembly – Friday, 11/17. It will be a theme of Thanksgiving, and we’ll recognize Ethan Weimer-Kopf and Jake Pettibone as this month’s Talented Tornadoes!
9) Grandparent’s Day – Tuesday, 11/21.
As always, let me know if you have any questions about anything, and I hope everyone has a good end to their week. Take care,
-Dan Forringer

 

Hi 5th grade parents, (for week of 10/23-27)

It’s a short week, so I decided to go ahead and send out the update today.  Here is a brief summary of what we are currently working on in the core subject areas.
1) In Science, the students took their Weather test this afternoon, which we’ve been reviewing for in class and using the flash cards and sample short answer questions students were given.  Next week, we will start our new unit on Earth’s Surface.
2) In Social Studies, we finished our short unit on Early Explorers and students took a quiz on this, which they got back today.  We will now be turning our attention to early American colonies, like Plymouth and Jamestown!
3) In Language Arts, we finished our class novel and the students each got in groups and acted out important scenes from the book as a way of reviewing and leading to some final discussions.  We have also watched clips from the movie.  Next week, we’ll start our next Imagine It unit on Energy at Work.
4) In Math, we’ve been working on mixed number computation skills this week, including subtraction with borrowing and solving fraction word problems.  We’ll finish this unit and have an assessment next week.
Announcements/reminders:
1) October Assembly – Thursday, 10/26, starting at 2:10 in the gym.
2) Teacher workday – no school Friday.  The first quarter is officially ending and report cards will go live next Friday.
3) Spirit Week!  Monday – PJ Day, Tuesday – Costumes Day, Wednesday – Wacky-Tacky Day, Thursday – Teacher-Student swap Day, and Friday – Classroom choice(our class has chosen a “survival” theme, which could include forest-related creatures, tropical island, etc…)
4) Nutcracker Performance – Monday afternoon, 11/6, in gym.
5) Puerto Rico Potluck – Wednesday, 11/8.
6) Parent-Teacher Conference Day – Friday, 11/10
7) Author/Illustrator visit – Jonathan Miller will be coming to our school for the day on Monday, 11/13, to speak to the Lower School!
8) PA Speaker: Mitch Prinstein will be coming on Wednesday, 11/13, at 7:00pm.
9) Halloween Candy for Just Tryan It: Do you have more candy in your house than you can eat? Why not give it away? JUST TRYAN IT is a non-profit supporting families battling pediatric cancers. They are collecting candy and delivering it to the parent lounge at UNC Children’s Hospital. TDS will be collecting unwanted Halloween candy in a box at the front of the school Wednesday (11/1) through Friday (11/3). If you have any questions, please contact Kate Newman.
As always, let me know if you have any questions about anything.  I hope everyone is having a good week and enjoys the long weekend.  Take care,
-Dan Forringer

Hello 5th grade parents, (for week of 10/16-20)

It has been a full and productive week, with lots going on, so I will jump right into the subject summaries.
1) In Language Arts, we continue to read our class novel, with students starting to learn the reading response assignments they will complete during Lit Groups.  They use these to discuss different aspects of the story and develop deeper understanding and connections to the characters.  We’ve also discussed Michelangelo, since he has a role in the story, and we carved soap sculptures in class today!
2) In Math, we’ve continued to work on proper fraction concepts, focusing on comparing fractions and reviewing computation skills before taking a quiz on Wednesday.  Students got the quizzes back today and we went over these carefully in class.  We also did a fraction scavenger hunt and played a math basketball review game.
3) In Science, we finished our last lesson on Weather, learning the difference between Climate and Weather and the 3 main factors that impact climate.  Students have been working on the Chapter Review and received a study guide for their Unit Test that will be on Wednesday.
4) In Social Studies, we’ve been learning about early explorers, and today students got to use compasses and be explorers themselves, answering some questions and finding clues that led them to buried treasure!  Students also turned in their itinerary drafts, which I will read this weekend.  They’ve received instructions for their final projects, which have been posted on the GFGA google doc.
Announcements/Reminders:
1) October Assembly is Thursday, 10/26 – There will be a Hispanic heritage celebration, and we’ll recognize Ellie Pittman and Olivia Schonwalder as this month’s Talented Tornadoes.
2) That Thursday also represents the end of the 1st grading period.  Report Cards will go out the following Friday.
3) 10/30-11/3 is Spirit Week – you should have received an email with the details!
4) Conferences – Most all of you have signed up for a conference.  That day will be packed, so if any parents are interested in setting up a conference after school on a separate day in lieu of conference day, send me an email and I’d be interested in setting that up.  The purpose of these conferences is to discuss report cards and have a general check in and discussion about your child’s progress so far this year.
I hope everyone has had a good week and is enjoying the beautiful weather!  Please let me know if you have questions about anything.  Take care,
-Dan

Hi 5th grade parents, (for 10/9-13)

What a fun Potluck event on Saturday!  Thanks again to Stacy and John Dombrosky for hosting and it was so neat getting the chance to see the kids and families interacting outside of school and having a good time together.  The food was amazing, projects were beautiful and informative, but the biggest hits were probably the crazy mouth game and Ana’s guinea pig, Taco!  Tomorrow, we take our first field trip to the Schoolhouse of Wonder at West Point on the Eno river.  Keep your fingers crossed for good weather, and students need a packed lunch and appropriate clothes for being outdoors most of the day.  Here are some of the specifics on what we’ve been working on in class this week.
1) In Language Arts, we’ve started reading a new class novel, “From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler.”  This is an award-winning classic about a brother and sister running away to the Met in NYC.  Students wrote about one of the themes of teamwork this week and we’ll be working on reading comprehension strategies and spelling/vocab throughout the unit.
2) In Math, we’re continuing to explore skills with proper fractions, including adding, subtracting, multiplying, dividing, and comparing fractions.  We’ll do some review activities and take a quiz on these concepts next Wednesday.
3) In Science, our focus this week has been on clouds and precipitation.  We’ve learned many different types of clouds and what clouds are made of and the weather they indicate.  Next week we will be finishing our Weather unit and getting a study guide for their next major assessment, which will be the following week.
4) In Social Studies, we have started learning about early explorers, from Marco Polo, to Columbus, to the conquistadors.  We learned how to use compasses and read about the adventures of different explorers in our textbooks.  We also discussed the GFGA and how to write an itinerary, and they received their next checkpoint assignment.
Announcements/Reminders:
1) Field Trip tomorrow – don’t forget lunches and water bottles!
2) Parent-Teacher Conferences – these are 4 weeks from tomorrow, 11/10, and you should receive a sign-up genius email for signing up.  If you don’t receive it by this evening, please let me know so I can fix the problem!  This conference takes place shortly after the first report cards come out, and will be a good opportunity to touch base on your child’s progress during the first quarter of 5th grade.
3) October assembly – Thursday, 10/26, is the October Assembly, which will have a celebration of Hispanic heritage.  We’ll also recognize Ellie and Olivia as this month’s talented tornadoes.
4) Friday, 10/27, is a Teacher Workday, so no school that day.
I think that’s it for now.  Please let me know if you have questions or comments about anything, and I hope everyone has a wonderful weekend!  Take care,
-Dan Forringer

Hi 5th grade parents, (10/2-6)

It’s heritage project week!  The students have been very excited to share about their family heritage and the projects are looking great!  I know this is one that you had to be highly involved in, so thank you for your efforts and discussions with your kids, and I hope it’s led to some meaningful and valuable experiences with family.  I look forward to seeing most of you at the Dombrosky family’s house on Saturday for an evening of fun and sharing and good food!  Here is a quick summary of what else we have been working on this week.
1) In Science, we’ve been reading about weather instruments in lesson 3, and we’ve also continued our discussions of severe storms, making tornadoes in a bottle and watching some videos about how they are formed.
2) In Social Studies, we did some final reviewing and then students took their Native Americans test on Tuesday.  I gave these back this afternoon and we went over them and they should be signed and returned.  We’ll now start finishing our GFGA checkpoints, and get ready to start thinking about this project!  We’ll also start discussing early explorers next week.
3) In Math, we’ve started our unit on Fractions, beginning with identifying and finding equivalent fractions and finding the GCF to simplify fractions.  We’ll continue to work on proper fraction computation over this next week.
4) In Language Arts, we’ve been sharing heritage projects!  We’ll start up a new novel study unit next week.
Announcements/Reminders:
1) TDS News!  Another exciting project Student Council has been working on the last week has been starting a TDS News program, which right now will consist of a video shared at the beginning of each month.  We showed our first one yesterday, so be on the look out for more about this.  Big thanks to Jake Pettibone for taking the initiative to learn an editing program and being highly involved in getting this going! 🙂
2) Talent Show – tomorrow starting at 1:30 in the gym!
3) Picture Day – Monday, 10/9, is picture day.  Students have their forms and should turn them in by Monday if they want pictures.
4) Dine-out at Smashburger is Tuesday, 10/10.  Support TDS by having dinner there that evening.
5) Schoolhouse of Wonder field trip – Next Friday, 10/13, we’ll head to the Schoolhouse of Wonder to learn more about Early American life.  Students will need packed lunches and appropriate outdoor attire for this day.
6) Grandparents and Special Friends Day address forms go home with the kids today – please check these for accurate information.  Thanks.
7) Book Orders – if students would like to order from the Scholastic Book orders passed out this week, I’d like to get these tomorrow so I can call in the order.
I think that’s it for now!  I hope everyone has a good end to the week, and I’ll see you Saturday.

Hi 5th grade parents, (for 9/25-29)

It’s been another exciting and productive week in 5th grade!  Students presented their Native American clay models, we did a couple fun air pressure demos this afternoon, and we’ve done a “Spy challenge” in class each day, in honor of our book club book.  Here are a few more specifics on what we have been working on in the core subject areas.
1) In Science, we did two experiments this afternoon that they should be able to show you at home if you’d like: “The Million Dollar Bet” and “Balloon in a bottle”.  We completed lessons 1 and 2 on the water cycle and hydrosphere, and today we focused on wind and hurricanes, since that’s been a very relevant topic of late!
2) In Social Studies, students presented their clay models and took notes on the environment, homes, food, and traditions of the different tribes.  I gave them a study guide for their test Tuesday, and we’ve written some flash cards and practiced writing complete answers to the questions they’ll be tested on.  Students will play NA Jeopardy tomorrow, and can take this home to review as well.
3) In Language Arts, we read a story about the Yup’ik eskimos and how they have held onto their traditions and heritage, even as times have changed drastically and their culture has been introduced to new technology.  I’ll give the students one more checklist for their heritage projects tomorrow, and am excited to see these next week!
4) In Math, we worked on the bar model problem solving strategy and reviewed for our test on whole number multiplication that students took today.  I will return these tomorrow and they will go home to be signed and corrected as needed.  We’ll do a Ted Ed riddle tomorrow in class, and then start our new unit on Fractions next week!
Announcements/reminders:
1) September Assembly and Pep Rally – We’ll recognize Anna Makanui, Lucy Calloway, and Ana Dombrosky as 5th grade’s Talented Tornadoes for the month, and have some fun pep-rally games and a faculty vs. student volleyball game!  Have your kids wear their TDS shirts! 🙂
2) Talent Show – next Friday, 10/6, from 2-3 in the gym!  Families are welcome to come enjoy the talent!
3) Heritage Pot Luck – next Saturday, 10/7, from 5-8pm!  Thanks for filling in the Sign-Up Genius, and I hope this will be a fun get-together to enjoy some good food, games, and company! 🙂
4) Schoolhouse of Wonder field trip – Friday, 10/13.  Students will need packed lunches for this, so don’t order hot lunch that day.  We’ll also be outside most of the day, so students should dress accordingly.
5) Student Council – congrats to Jake and Ellie for being elected class reps.  Also, thanks to Lyndsay, Ethan, and Avery for being a part of the Service Committee and helping throughout the year.  Keep your fingers crossed as we attempt to start a TDS News Program once a month we hope to broadcast for the first time next week!
I hope everyone is having a good week and looking forward to the cooler temperatures over the next few days, and please let me know if you have any questions about anything.  Take care,
-Dan Forringer

Hello 5th grade parents, (9/18-22)

I hope everyone is enjoying their Thursday out of school.  Here is the brief summary of what we have been working on in the core subjects, and what is coming up.
1) In Language Arts, we read a short story called “Ms. Ida’s Porch” about a family telling their children about living through segregation and how “you can only know where you’re going in this world if you know where you’ve been.”  We made connections to our heritage and discussed the projects the students have been working on.
2) In Math, we continued to work on whole number computation skills, most recently doing a lesson on the Order of Operations(PEMDAS).  We also worked on some problem solving skills and will start preparing for our chapter test next week.
3) In Social Studies, we have continued to research our Native American tribes and will finish our clay models and prepare to present these next week.  Students also received their next GFGA checkpoint assignment to list 10+ activities we might do in their city.
4) In Science, students took their first Chapter Test on Tuesday and they got it back Wednesday and we went over it together.  We also kicked off our new unit on Weather, brainstorming topics and questions we hope to answer, and they did a neat experiment on water pressure in Science Lab.
Announcements/Reminders:
1) September Assembly – Friday, 9/29 at 2:10pm in the gym.  We’ll have a pep-rally, volleyball game, and recognize September’s Talented Tornadoes, which are Anna Makanui, Lucy Calloway, and Ana Dombrosky in 5th grade.
2) Heritage Pot Luck – Saturday, 10/7, at 5pm at Stacy Dombrosky’s house.  You should have received a Sign-Up Genius email to help organize what food is coming, and I look forward to seeing many of you there! 🙂
3) Schoolhouse of Wonder – Friday, 10/13 – our first field trip of the year is coming up.  Students will get to experience some hands-on activities about what life was like for Native Americans and Early Settlers in America, which will go great with what we are learning in SS.  Students will need a packed lunch for this day, and outdoor clothing.
4) New Student! – You have hopefully heard that we added a new student to the class yesterday.  When you get the chance, please welcome Victor Brown and his family to the TDS community.  The class has been very excited and I’m sure he will be a great addition! 🙂
Have a wonderful finish to the week and weekend, and, as always, let me know if you have questions about anything.  Take care,
-Dan Forringer

Good afternoon 5th grade parents, (9/11-15)

It has been another productive week, with students starting to settle in to the homework routine and classroom expectations.  We’re finishing some of our first units, and starting to work on our first projects, which require time management and organizational skills that may be challenging at first.  In particular, I hope they’ve all discussed ideas with you for their heritage projects, and they will be letting me know their plan tomorrow for which ones they will create.  Stacy Dombrosky (Ana’s mom) has offered her house as the location for the Heritage Pot Luck we’ll have in October, and I’ll send out more information about that soon.  Here is what we’re working on in the core subjects, as well as a few reminders/announcements for the week.
1) In Science, we finished Chapter 1 and students received a study guide for their first assessment on Tuesday of next week.  We completed the chapter review pages and worked on the smart cards in class this afternoon, so they should have a lot of good ways to prepare!
2) In Social Studies, students have started creating their clay models of their native american tribes, focusing on showing the environment, homes, traditions, and how they get food.  Students all have a resources page in their google docs and we got a lesson from the new librarian, Mrs. Rich, on best strategies for researching information.
3) In Math, we’ve been working on whole number multiplication and how the distributive property is involved in the standard method of multiplication.  Today, we did a quick cryptography lesson (in honor of our Spy School book) and then started looking at whole number division, which will be our focus for the next few days.
4) In Language Arts, we read a story called “The Dancing Bird of Paradise” about a Japanese-American girl who loved to dance, but was placed into an Internment Camp during World War II.  It’s a true story about Sahomi Tachibana, who persevered and continued to dance and became one of the most well known Kabuki dance teachers in the United States.
Announcements/Reminders:
1) Hurricane Relief – reminder that students can bring in gift cards(for Target, Walmart, Home Depot, Lowe’s, Kroger, Amazon), art supplies, toys, coloring books, or children’s books.  We’ll all be writing them cards on Friday in Crossroads.
2) Student Council – next week is Campaign Week, so students will announce if they are running for Representative in their class, and we’ll share speeches on Friday.  This year, for students who run for representative and don’t get elected, they may choose to join a Service Committee that will assist at certain times.
3) Talent Show – now is the time to start planning if you want to participate for the Talent Show on Friday, October 6th!
4) GFGA check in – all students should have tried contacting their visitor’s bureau and potentially received/gathered materials.  They will have an assignment next week to find activities to do there, but the official project will not be assigned until we complete the Heritage Project.
5) Field Trip forms – I think I have everyone’s, so thanks!  To clarify, NO MONEY needs sent in for field trips this year, since there will just be a 1 time charge to TADS that will cover all field trips.
6) Schoolhouse of Wonder – speaking of Field Trips, our first one has been scheduled for Friday, October 13th.  I could potentially use 1 or 2 chaperones for this trip, so you can email me if you are interested.
I hope everyone is having a good week, and please let me know if you have any questions or comments about anything.  Take care,
-Dan Forringer

Hello 5th grade parents, (9/4-8)

It’s a short week, and I’m seeing many of you tonight, so I will try to keep this brief!  The 5th graders are making good progress with learning routines and expectations, and we’ve had a productive week.  Here is what we’ve been working on in the core subjects:
1) In Math, we reviewed chapter 1 and took our first assessment on Wednesday, which students got back today and we went over carefully.  Our next unit is on whole number computation, and we’ll be working on multiplication and division skills for the next week or two.
2) In Language Arts, we read a story called “Our Song” about a girl from Senegal, Africa, who visits Africa to learn about her heritage.  We’ve talked more about what heritage means to us, and I will officially introduce the Heritage Project tomorrow and students will work on that over the next few weeks.
3) In Science, we discussed the results of our Oobleck investigation, and continued to learn about the scientific method and how scientists investigate.  We’ll work on lesson 3 today in class and do another investigation about what type of paper towels absorb water best tomorrow.
4) In Social Studies, we’ve split into our tribe groups, and students read and answered questions about their specific tribe, preparing to make a clay model in class to visually represent different aspects of their tribe to the class.  Students also all know their GFGA city and should be trying to contact their visitor’s bureau to gather more information for creating a field trip.  You should also have been shared a google doc with information about this project.
Announcements/Reminders:
1) Back to School Night – tonight, starting at 6pm!
2) Book Club – this is an optional lunch club that I’m offering for students who are interested in reading and discussing a book during our free time! 🙂  I hope to pick a book and get started next week.
3) Hurricane Harvey Collection – refer to the TDS Newsletter, and we’ll discuss this more in class tomorrow.
I hope everyone’s having a great week, and I look forward to speaking with many of you tonight and sharing more information about the year!  Take care,
-Dan Forringer

Hi 5th grade parents, (8/28 – 9/1)

It has been an exciting first full week, as we start getting into our first academic units and continue to learn the routines and expectations in the classroom.  We’ve had a few behavior discussions and the class has responded well, and they are off to a good start!  Thanks for sending in all the great toddler pictures!  We’ll be working on making up some fun captions for these and creating our bulletin board this afternoon!  Here are some specifics as to what we have been working on in the core subject areas.
1) In Math, we’ve been learning about place value and expressing whole numbers in different forms, and we’ll have our first unit assessment next Wednesday.  Students also received their first Superstars sheet due tomorrow, which they’ll usually get on Wednesdays, have a chance to collaborate and work on them in class, and then turn them in Fridays.  We also did our first Ted-Ed Math riddle investigation this morning, which I thought the kids did a great job with!
2) In Language Arts, we’ve read our first story about heritage in Imagine It, and students will have their first reading and spelling tests tomorrow.  We also started our first read aloud book, On the Run: Chasing the Falconers, by Gordon Korman, which the kids seem to be really enjoying!  We have also started our Wordly Wise routine, so students should have taken home a “Wordly Wise list” and have a schedule for when assignments are due.
3) In Science, we’ve started our unit on the Scientific Method and completed lesson 1 on what scientists do.  We’ve discussed the scientific method and prepared for our investigation we will do tomorrow on whether Oobleck is more like a solid or a liquid.  We’ll perform tests and collect data and draw conclusions about this fascinating and messy substance that has qualities of both solids and liquids!
4) In Social Studies, we have selected our GFGA cities, and we’ll head to the computer lab tomorrow to find the city’s visitor’s bureau and their first assignment will be to try to contact them and talk to someone about what 5th graders can do in their city!  They might send them free brochures and maps as well.  We have also started our unit on Native Americans, with kids watching a home video through google classroom and playposit, and then discussing it and some of the major tribe groups in class.
Announcements/Reminders:
1) Welcome to Ms. Todd Tignor!  TDS has hired a 4th/5th grade Teacher Assistant that will spend time helping out in our classrooms 4 days a week.  Ms. Tignor has 30+ years teaching experience and has recently moved back to Durham and we are excited to have her join our school.
2) TDS shirts tomorrow – students are asked to wear their white TDS shirts for a school picture tomorrow.  With the forecast calling for rain, students may want to just bring their shirt to change into if needed, but we’ll keep our fingers crossed for okay weather!
3) Back to School Night next Thursday, 9/7, from 6:00-8:00pm.  See you there!
4) Teacherease/grades – you should have received an email from Kelly Aguilar about the online grading program.  I do post grades consistently throughout the quarter, so this, along with the homework website, are good resources for keeping up with their work.
5) Talent Show – October 6th.  Good time to start considering… 🙂
I hope everyone has had a good week and is looking forward to a nice, long weekend!  Please let me know if you have any questions or comments about anything, and I’ll talk to you later.  Take care,
-Dan Forringer

Hi 5th grade parents,

It has been an excellent first couple days with the new 5th graders!  We’ve talked a lot about rules, routines, and what respect means to us, and we’ve also played some “getting to know each other”(GTKEO) games.  We created a list of how we want to show respect this year, and I put it together into a contract that we’ll all sign tomorrow(attached).  We also learned how to put up/down and fold the flags, and started our first read aloud book.  I will use this update to briefly share what we’re currently working on in each of the core subjects, so here is what we are getting started with.
Subject Summaries:
1) In Language Arts, students wrote me a letter in their writing journals and shared a little about the books they read over the summer.  They picked one book to write a brief book review about, and we’ll share these tomorrow.  Our first unit is on Heritage, so we’ll be reading stories related to heritage and doing a project to learn more about our own families and traditions.
2) In Math, we did a couple logic puzzles yesterday to get the kids thinking and recognizing that a lot of math is problem-solving and gathering information.  Today, we reviewed factors and multiples and explored the divisibility rules for the numbers 1-10.  We then applied the rules to make factor lists and determine if numbers are prime, and played a factor game.  Our first unit in Math in Focus will be on place value and number sense with whole numbers.
3) In Science, they’ve done a couple fun demos in Lab with mentos and coke, and then we’ve also experimented with our Airzooka and Hand Boiler in the classroom.  We played 20 questions today and are becoming more familiar with the Scientific Method, which is what our first unit will focus on.
4) In Social Studies, I will officially introduce the Great Fifth Grade Adventure(GFGA) Project tomorrow, and students will start narrowing down which city they’d like to do.  We’ll begin working on this, and then our first class unit will be a study of the different Native American tribes that live in the US.
In addition to subject summaries, I’ll include reminders and announcements about things that are coming up soon.  Here are a few events, along with a couple requests from me.
Announcements:
1) Information Sheet and Toddler Picture – the students all took home an information sheet today for you to fill out, and I would also love to get a toddler picture of them, that we will use for our “Guess the 5th Grader!” bulletin board.  They’ll write captions that go with it, so feel free to pick this with them and discuss ideas! 🙂
2) Back to School Picnic – this Friday(8/25) at 5:30pm.  See you there.
3) TDS Dance Club and Fall Sports teams are looking for participants.  Let me know if you have interest in that.
4) Homework website – Here is a link to the class website, which is mostly going to be useful as a place to see their homework assignments and upcoming projects.  This will start to be updated next week as they start to receive more typical homework.  There is also a link on the website to the class gallery that will have pictures from the year.  The password for this gallery is tornado518: http://triangledayschool.org/classrooms/fifth-grade/homework/
5) LS Back to School Night – Thursday, September 7th, at 6pm.
That seems like enough information for now.  I hope everyone is having a good week, and let me know if you have any questions.