Greetings from Teacher Devon!
My, oh my! Can you believe March is here already?! Before you know it spring will have sprung and this wacky winter will be a thing of the past! One can only hope that happens sooner, rather than later. This month fifth graders are keeping active and busy as their final year at Goshen is on the downhill end. Here’s what we have for the month:
Having fun at recess while playing in the snow!
In language arts we are continuing to read the book Out of the Dust, which is a novel that provokes interesting conversation and emotions. This novel takes place during the thirties and the main character is the 14-year-old Billie Jo Kelby who is a long-legged red-head with a talent for the piano. Although drought and economic depression make for a dismal future, Billie Jo's family adamantly hopes for better luck and a good, long rain. The Kelbys also are eagerly anticipating the arrival of a new addition to their family – the baby boy her father has always wanted. Before the baby arrives, however, the dust gets stronger. The fierce dust storms and their aftermath drive many of their neighbors off. They're heading to California where things are bound to be better. Billie Jo watches neighbors and life- long friends give up and move west to the green promise of prosperous California. Surveying the lonely landscape of the left behind, Billie Jo can't help but envy those who have escaped the Dust Bowl.
The climax of the story is the tragedy. Her father leaves a pail of kerosene by the stove (we never learn why) and her mother, thinking it to be water, spills it on the stove when making tea. The flames send her mother out the door screaming for her father and Billie Jo grabs the pail and throws the remaining kerosene out the front door just as her mother is rushing back inside. Immediately the flames engulf her mother fatally wounding her and the baby. They also burn and scar Billie Jo's hands so that playing the piano (her passion in life) becomes impossible.
Billie Jo's already remote father becomes unreachable after the death of his wife and baby. Billie Jo fears that they're both turning into the dust that has covered everything. After trying to carry on without support, a year passes without any improvement, and Billie Joe decides to escape the dust in pursuit of a better life. Billie Jo soon realizes that running away will not help anything: in times of crisis, togetherness is the only wellspring of strength and hope. Be sure to talk to your fifth grade about the journey Billie Jo goes through in Out of the Dust.
In social studies studies we are incorporating Out of the Dust into the curriculum and studying the events leading up to the Great Depression, the Great Depression itself, the Dust Bowl, as well as WWII. Towards the end of the month we will start our unit on the history of Washington, D.C. as we prepare for our trip in April.
In science students are continuing to explore the layers that make up the earth and discovering how weathering, erosion, and deposition change the earth. Students will identify water, land, and air as important resources of the earth. Students will also learn about the water cycle and how land and water together affect and change climate. During this chapter students will see how people can use inexhaustible resources, such as wind and the sun, to create energy to power our homes and businesses. Fifth graders will define and give examples of renewable and nonrenewable resources. Students will discover the ways water is used and why water is important, as well as how wastewater is treated, how water pollution can be reduced, and how water can be conserved. Also, they will learn how land resources are used and how people can preserve the land in various ways. Additionally, students will learn about the water cycle and be able to explain the role of temperature in the cycle as water changes from one state to another. Students will compare and contrast climate and weather and describe how the tilt of the earth causes seasons. Fifth graders will learn how several factors – including land, water, global wind patterns, humidity, and elevation – affect the climate in different ways. Finally, students will learn how volcanoes and changes in the patterns of ocean currents cause changes in weather patterns.
In math students are interpreting a fraction as division of the numerator by the denominator (a/b = a divided by b) and solving word problems involving division of whole numbers leading to answers in the form of fractions or mixed numbers. Students will also be finding the area of a rectangle with fractional side lengths by tilting it with square units of the appropriate unit fraction side lengths, and showing that the area is the same as it would be found by multiplying the side lengths. In addition, fifth graders will learn to multiply fractional side lengths to find areas of rectangles, and represent fraction products as rectangular areas. Lastly, they will interpret multiplication as scaling (resizing) by: explaining why multiplying a given number by a fraction greater than 1 results in a product greater than the given number; explaining why multiplying a given number by a fraction less than 1 results in a product smaller than the given number; and relating the principle of fraction equivalence a/b = (n x a)/(n x b) to the effect of multiplying a/b by 1.
Playing math games during free time!
Dates to Remember:Wednesday, March 11th – All School Gathering Thursday and Friday, March 19th & 20th – Parent Teacher Conferences Monday, March 23rd – Friday, March 27th – SPRING BREAK
FIFTH GRADE GOALS FOR 2015: "My goal for 2015 is to read 1,750 pages and to improve in my homework." - Jack "My goal for 2015 is to get to green belt in karate." - Molly "My goal for 2015 is to learn more and please others with things I do." - Grace "My goal for 2015 is to make more friends and include others." - Pete "My goal for 2015 is to improve my writing skills." - Andy
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 sea turtles. The fifth graders did a wonderful job of presentig their information during the final presentation!
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.
From mindful beginnings come global perspectives. In teaching our students to see goodness in everyone, we prepare them for the world outside of Goshen – to be caring, compassionate, involved, invested, curious, problem solving citizens of this earth.