Dear Fifth Grade,
In Chinese lesson this week Ms Ding began to teach them how to do calligraphy of Chinese characters with ink and brush. This is a bit of a rite of passage at Urban Prairie, and the students were very excited.
We have closed our Language Arts Block. While I was planning the year, I went back and forth about whether we should have a stand-alone language arts block or not. It turned out to be great. We were able to dive into grammatical and compositional details that would’ve just been shoved into another block or lesson. Having taken the time to do them properly and to practice our grammar skills without stress will benefit us in the work to come.
With this work we close the first part of fifth grade, the twilight whispers of our fourth grade-ness. When they return in December, they will be stepping into their true fifth grade selves. At the same time, we’ll start our first of three Ancient Civilization blocks. All those newly-honed language arts and geographical skills will be hard at work!
In non-academic news, they have been a delight this week. Lots of laughter and jokes. I started a new lunchtime reading book a couple weeks back, The Hobbit, which has been well received thus far. They have learned by heart all 13 stanzas of Casey at the Bat, and can recite it with lots of drama and suspense. Very entertaining. All in all, another in a series of productive and enriching weeks in fifth grade.
- Binders: Complete binders are due first thing on the Monday we return.
- Reading: Read from their selected book every day. They should aim to finish their first book AND the book project over Thanksgiving break so they can move onto their second book. (Note: Longer books were given an exception.) Please check in on this project, as it is easy to get behind due to the break. They must read 2 books (unless exceptions were given) by December 13 and complete a final project for both books by Dec 19.
- Music: Practice instruments.
- Parent-Teacher Conferences are next week.
- Come prepared to share their highs and lows in Gr 5 so far. What are your simmering or burning questions about middle school? What aspects of their education do we want to look at now before they enter the middle school years? What questions do you have for me at this time? Please feel free to email thoughts/questions to me ahead of time.
- Field Trip, Friday, Dec 13. We need 3 chaperones to join us for a long adventure that last the entire day. Email me if you’re available and interested. We will be taking the bus to a far off neighborhood and then be walking, so chaperones should be comfortable walking in chilly weather.