Greetings from Tr. Devon!
In Language Arts, we are reading The Green Book by Jill Paton Walsh. The book begins thus: "Father said, "We can take very little with us." Only one book each. Father, Joe, Sarah, and Pattie, and lots of other families, are leaving a dying earth on one of the last escape ships. They are headed for a far planet that they know almost nothing about, hoping it can sustain human life. The main character, Pattie, is so young that she will not be able to remember the Earth. But being the youngest, she gets to name the new planet--"Shine," she calls it, a planet where all the plant life sparkles like glass.
How will they build with mineral laden wood they cannot saw? How will they survive, when their rabbits die from eating the glassy grass, and their wheat shines like diamonds? How will they build a community--what will be valued, and why? And then, when they meet other living beings, how will they co-exist?
One step they take in building a life together is to share their books. Joe's copy of Robinson Crusoe is not in great demand (there are multiple copies), nor is Sarah's copy of The Pony Club Rides Again. Many people would have swapped things for a chance to read Father's technology book, but he won't let it out of his sight--he clings to it as his passport toward becoming the new elite of their community. But it is Pattie's book, the "green book" of the title that becomes the most important. Its pages are blank, and her older siblings had mocked her choice. But in the end, this is the book that will tell the new story the colonists are creating. It is no longer empty, but "full of writing, very large and round and shaky."
Every time I read this book with the fifth graders we have wonderful discussions over what book they would take with them to planet Shine. If you were only allowed one book – what would it be?
In Math students will explain patterns in the number of zeros of the product when multiplying a number by powers of 10, and explain patterns in the placement of the decimal point when a decimal is multiplied or divided by a power of 10. Students will also use whole-number exponents to denote powers of 10. Finally, students will be able to fluently multiply multi-digit whole numbers using standard algorithms.
In Science we are continuing to learn about the characteristics of living things and how animals and plants are classified. Students will discover how organisms grow and reproduce and how traits are passed from one generation to the next. Students also explore adaptations and discover adaptations that allow plants and animals to live in water and on land. Finally, students discover what makes up an ecosystem and describe how energy moves through an ecosystem. This unit leads us into our study of owls, complete with an owl pellet dissection!
In Grammar class students are continuing to focus on marking punctuation; specifically end punctuation, commas, semicolons and colons. Choosing the correct end punctuation is a basic step in punctuating your writing as a fifth grader. This month we will focus on using commas to set off phrases and clauses, and in conjunction with appositives. Students will also learn that semicolons are used to tell the reader to pause, or even stop, before reading the rest of the sentence. In addition, that a colon can be used to introduce a list in a sentence or a quotation.
Towards the end of the month in Social Studies we will start our Explorers unit and study different types of maps in geography.
Important Dates for October:
ON GOING FIFTH GRADE PROJECTS:
This year, in conjunction with Learning Pathways, the fifth (and fourth) graders are continuing with the independent study project that was started last year. An independent study is a student-centered project that involves students working individually to investigate self-selected topics. These topics are connected to the curriculum and the students’ personal interests. Differentiating the curriculum remains at the center of our continued initiative – Learning Pathways. An independent study project is the most effective strategy to use in addressing the needs of all learners in the group. It provides an opportunity for students to study topics of interest in-depth while learning and practicing a variety of skills.
An independent study meets the needs, readiness, interests and learning preferences of students. It also allows students to experience learning beyond the classroom and encourages independence. Additionally, it teaches research skills and improves reading, writing and presentation skills. The semester-long project provides opportunity and time to explore in- depth topics. The fifth graders came to school in September with a chosen topic to study, and hit the ground running on their research and planning. Click here to view the timeline of due dates and the in-school work session schedule.
The goal of having the student’s conduct an independent study project was to:
The outcome of the independent study project is to create a formal writing piece at the completion of this assignment, as well as a presentation that reflects the child’s learning preference. Focus topics that were chosen by the fifth graders include leading a healthy lifestyle, mythology and its influence in our history and more present pop culture, the megalodon shark, Thurgood Marshall, and ospreys.
Stemming from our all-school theme, Celebrating You and Me, during the 2009-2010 school year, International Week has traditionally been a time for the Goshen community to come together to honor and celebrate the diverse families we have here within our student body. Former alum, Jonathan K., said it best when asked why we have International Week, "We have International Week to learn about cultures other than ours, to have fun, and to understand other country's people, food, and traditions." This year's International Week will take place on Monday, April 27th - Thursday, April 30th, and is the culmination of the studients' yearlong study of three focus countries. This year students are focusing on Ireland, Puerto Rico (US Territory), and Thailand. International Week will be filled with guest speakers, activities and quite often culinary treats! International Week concludes with the One World Cafe, an on campus potluck featuring the cuisine of the countries studied, music and other activities.
Fifth Graders will specifically be focusing on PUERTO RICO throughout the school year!
FIFTH GRADE RESOURCES:
Click on the picture for a copy of the Fifth Grade Specials Schedule.
Click on the picture to familiarize yourself with the Playground Rules.
Click on the picture to read about the ABC’s of Tr. Devon.
Opportunities to lead are abundant and Goshen students are encouraged to embrace these opportunities. Students who learn leadership skills early in their academic careers grow to be confident and compassionate leaders.