Class Update

 

Happy December!

It was nice to have a full week back at school after Thanksgiving break. We are wrapping up our Native American study unit and are looking forward to having a special visitor help us do this. Next Tuesday, December 5th, Maurice Crandall, Ira’s dad, will come in to fifth grade to tell Native American tribal origin stories from the native perspective and address any questions that students may have. Maurice is a Native American studies Dartmouth professor and we’re looking forward to learning from him. And please remember our Writers’ Potluck Breakfast next Friday, Dec. 7th at 9:00. The students are looking forward to showcasing their work, and of course indulging in a second breakfast! Later that day we will take a fifth grade hike on the TA trails to the Thetford town forest to learn about the different native trees and observe signs of early settlement.

Fifth grade mathematicians have been hard at work this month solidifying their understanding of the base-10 place value system on both sides of the decimal point, and using this understanding to solve meaningful problems. We have also been working to build fluency with mathematical representations of arithmetic operations, including number lines, tape diagrams, and set models. In one of our most interesting projects, we processed the money TES students collected for UNICEF on Halloween. All 5th graders computed the total amount of money raised ($191.55) based on the counts of different types of coins. They needed to use their place value understanding to make sense of this situation, as well as lots of addition, multiplication, and division computation. From there, different student teams investigated different questions about this total, including “What could UNICEF spend this money on?”; “What was the average amount of money raised by each student?” and “How much money could the school raise next year if every student in the school raised this much money again?” Students were engaged and thoughtful throughout this project, and we shared some of our findings at this morning’s All School Meeting! Students completed an assessment on adding and subtracting decimals in class today. We’ll continue to practice these skills in our Daily Review sessions, and in the next few weeks before the break, we’ll shift our attention to fractions.

 In science, we have been working with mixtures and solutions; learning about saturation, solubility, and concentration. Experiments have worked with the solubility of different materials (for example, citric acid verses salt) and identifying a “mystery chemical” based on the mass of the saturated solution.

Our class will be hosting the next All School Meeting on Friday, Dec. 15th. Please feel free to join us in the gym from 10:30-11:00 if you are available.

Have a nice weekend.

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