Monday, May 13, 2019

May Update

Happy May!

Upcoming events:

Thursday , May 16 - Growing and Changing Body Presentations (click on the link provided to see the letter we emailed a couple of weeks ago)
Wednesday, May 22 - Field Day (more information to come)
Friday, May 24th - End of Year Celebration

We are excited to celebrate the end of our students' elementary education with a big celebratory picnic. This year's picnic will be at Stroh Park (please note that this is different from years past) from 10:00am – 1:30pm. Students will ride buses to and from this event therefore you will need to fill out the permission slip online through My School Bucks.

Students will be provided with sub sandwiches at the park courtesy of Gold Rush, but we would love your help with a few other items. Please see our Sign-Up to help out. We welcome family to the event to join in the fun, but, unfortunately, cannot provide food for all, so please pack a lunch for yourself and head to the park!

This is really a fun family event! We do have the whole park to ourselves this day so we encourage you to bring soccer balls, volleyball nets, shade structures, lawn chairs, frisbees, etc.

After the picnic we will return to Gold Rush and gather in the gym for our End of Year Slideshows. If you are only attending this portion of the day we should be beginning around 2:15.

At the end of the slideshow please stay in the gym while the students return to their classes for final goodbyes. Administration will speak to you for a few minutes and give you instruction on how to help the school say farewell to these great kiddos in our traditional Clap-Out.


Reading
We are finishing up historical fiction book clubs this week and then will be moving on to a quick fantasy unit using short stories. I'm excited to watch these book clubs and see kids analyze fantasy themes and symbols. I know that many kids in the class love fantasy so this will be a great way to end up our year of reading!

Writing/Social Studies
We have begun writing research reports that tie in with our social studies unit on Colonial America, Native People, and Revolutionary War. Students have been researching the different topics to extend their learning.

Math
We have embarked on the foundations of algebra by analyzing patterns and rules. This will help us finish out our year.


As more information comes out about field day and other end of year activities, I will make sure to email it in my weekly newsletter.

Thank you for everything this year! Your support and partnership has meant the world to me! We couldn't have had success without it!

Wednesday, April 3, 2019

April 2019


IMPORTANT DATES
April 8 - 12: CMAS testing 10:00-12:45 daily
April 16, 17, 18: CMAS testing 10:00-12:45 daily and 2:00-3:15 (Wednesday only)
April 15: Outdoor Ed (see online registration below)
April 19: NO SCHOOL
April 29: Visit to Cimarron Middle School

OUTDOOR EDUCATION
Outdoor Ed is scheduled for Tuesday, April 15th. In order for your child to participate in this field trip/program you must register (includes online permission form) & pre-pay on-line by going to:

MySchoolBucks.com > Login > Add your student if you have not already done so > Go to School Store in upper right corner > Field Trips > GRE - 5th Grade Stone Canyon Outdoor Ed. The MySchoolBucks link can be found on GRE’s website under Parent Info or click here
  • Registrations MUST be completed by 2 days prior to your field trip.
  • Online registration is for your student only- please do not register yourself or younger siblings.
  • Free/Reduced students will have the option of selecting "no payment" but must still register.
  • No refunds

MATH
In math, students are extending their understanding of multiplication, division, and place value to include decimals. Use the links below to access different tools and games that can be used at home!
Game Center
Math Tools
Math Words and Ideas

READING
In reading, we are diving into historical fiction book clubs. Students are figuring out not only the setting and the characters but also the theme and issues that will become important. We are also applying our reading strategies to monitor for comprehension and using strategies to infer the meaning of complex words.

Additionally, students are using the strategy of determining importance to record important ideas and construct main ideas from supporting details in our nonfiction texts. This will be an especially useful strategy as students embark on their Colonial America research for our informational writing.

WRITING
In the next few weeks the kids will use checklists to create meaningful writing goals as we work on our informational papers. For our first writing topic, students will research Colonial America. Students will then apply their research strategies and different note-taking tools to learn and write about the American Revolution.

SOCIAL STUDIES
In social studies, we have been building background on early explorers and are moving into early settlements in North America. The kids have been analyzing different sources to develop understanding. Our learning in social studies is tied to our informational writing.

SCIENCE
Our class is beginning a new science unit, the FOSS Mixtures and Solutions Module. We will be studying basic concepts in chemistry, finding out how materials interact with each other. Children will learn what happens when simple materials, like gravel, salt, and water, are put together. They will also learn techniques for separating the resulting mixtures and solutions. As our studies continue, we will investigate combinations of materials, like baking soda and calcium chloride (the salt used to melt ice on roads), that react when mixed, producing new products, like chalk, carbon-dioxide gas, and table salt. These are exciting discoveries!

Monday, March 4, 2019

March 2019

Below you will find updates on what we are doing and important dates to keep in mind.

Important Dates
March 7 and 14:     Conferences (link) Password: digger
March 11-15:         Book Fair
                               Monday - Wednesday 8:00-4:00
                               Thursday - 8:00-6:30
                               Friday - 8:00 - 2:00
March 18-22:         Spring Break

Reading
We are continuing to look at nonfiction, but will be venturing back into fiction for book clubs. We will be focusing on theme, perspective, summarizing, analyzing author's craft, and more. For the most part, we will be reading about the beginnings of American history starting with Explorers and the foundation of the colonies. We will be reading Blood on the River: Jamestown 1607. This is a historical fiction story about the struggles and triumphs of the foundation of Jamestown.

Writing
We are continuing to write our Research-Based Argument Essay. Students have selected a topic of their choice and have begun researching. My hope is to be done with this essay by the week after Spring Break. From there, we will be moving into a research essay on the American Revolution.

Math
We have been working on multiplication and division of fractions and soon will be embarking on multiplying and dividing decimals. Students have been using bar models to help them understand the various ways that we multiply fractions and they have also been using the traditional method of multiplying fractions. It is easy to jump right to the traditional method, but students need to understand what the number stories mean as well as the conceptual ideas behind their thinking. This is why we work using a bar model.

Social Studies
We have started our investigation in Early Exploration of the Americas! We will cover early explorers and move into the foundation of colonies.

Monday, February 4, 2019

February 2019

We have a busy month this February! Below you will find information on upcoming events (Valentine’s Day, Legend Wish Week, and GRE Kindness Week) as well as happenings in our classroom.

Important Dates:
February 11-14 - Kindness Week and Legend High School Wish Week
February 14 - Valentine's Day Party
February 15 - No school/Teacher Professional Development
February 18: No School - President's Day
February 19: Mike Nelson Weather Presentation
February 21 - Box Tops Due

Wish Week is just around the corner!
Gold Rush has agreed to participate in Legend High School's Wish Week. This is an amazing time of year with fun activities and many ways to donate to a great cause. This year Legend will be honoring two wishes. First Sara Raspanti, a student at Legend, went on her wish trip to Milan, Italy for fashion week this past September. Additionally, we will be raising money to grant another wish for this years wish kid who will be revealed to Gold Rush students on February 7th. Wish week will be February 8th-16th.

Below is a link to purchase a T-Shirt for Wish Week, all proceeds will go to the Make-a-Wish foundation and will also serve as admission into the following activities:
  • Saturday, February 9th - Feeder School Festival - Wear your T-Shirt and get 5 free tickets for activities and concessions. At Cimarron Middle School from 4:30-6:30 
  • Monday, February 11th - Picture Scavenger Hunt 6 pm @ Legend - Free admission with Wish Week T-Shirt
  • Wednesday, February 13th - Dodgeball Tournament 6:30 pm @ Legend - Free Admission
Click Here to Order a T-Shirt - Order by February 7th to get the most out of your purchase. Shirts will be delivered to Gold Rush daily, the week of February 4th.
Student Wish Week T-shirt link

Gold Rush Kindness Week 
February 11th - February 14th
This year, we have 3 activities to support Kindness Week:
Legend Wish Week Change Challenge-The change brought in will go to Legend Wish Week recipient (the recipient will be announced on February 7th). The class that donates the most money (change) will receive a pizza party.

GRE Spirit Days- Feb. 11-14
  • Monday: Team Kindness (Sport Day)- wear your favorite sport gear
  • Tuesday: Kindness comes in all colors- (Rainbow Day)- wear rainbow colors
  • Wednesday: Kindness is our Super Power (Super Hero)- wear superhero stuff
  • Thursday: Kindness is the Gold Rush Way (GRE & Legend Day) wear GRE shirts or colors. 
Cram the Cruiser (Click here for more information)
  • Food donations will be collected in atrium
  • All donations will go to fill backpacks for kids in Parker
  • The backpacks are filled with enough food to get kids through the weekends when they do not have access to nutritious meals from school.
Math
We are in the middle of our unit on decimals. Students have been working on ordering and comparing decimals. This week we will continue our study of decimals by rounding decimals to the nearest one, tenth, or hundredth. Using number lines and grids as models students are building their understanding of rounding decimals. This week we will also be finding fraction and decimal equivalents which will lead us into adding and subtracting decimals.

Reading
We are diving into building our reading comprehension using complex nonfiction texts. Students are developing an array of strategies to help grow their comprehension in reading. These strategies include summarizing, adding in headings by annotating, rereading, previewing text structures, and building knowledge of academic vocabulary. You can help your child at home by asking them to summarize what they have read. Summarizing helps students better understand what they are reading, notice when meaning breaks down, and remember the important parts of what they are reading. Students should determine multiple main ideas and supporting details while considering the author’s main ideas and how ideas connect to one another. 

Writing
We are still working on our argument unit. Students are using research groups to develop new thinking. We are recognizing that a good argument is supported by reasons that are backed by evidence. Students are analyzing a variety of texts and studying arguments identifying what makes a strong argument while researching both sides of an issue.

Science
We have been conducting a variety of experiments learning more about what happens when water evaporates and understanding more about water vapor. We have carried out our experiments using our knowledge of the scientific method.

As always please let me know if you have any questions, comments, or concerns. Have a great week!

Sunday, January 13, 2019

January 2019

Happy New Year! We have had a nice first week back to school and I enjoyed listening to all the kids share their stories from break! Below you will find some information regarding our curriculum and dates that are important to remember.

Important dates
January 14 - Spelling Bee 2:00
January 18 - NO SCHOOL (teacher inservice day)
January 21 - NO SCHOOL (Martin Luther King, Jr. Day)
February 18 - NO SCHOOL (President's Day)

Reading
Our focus for this semester will be on nonfiction texts; however, students will still be working in fiction book clubs and focusing on the work we have done around themes. Right now, we are learning about complex nonfiction texts and all of the features that we need to muddle through in order to understand the text itself. In order to do this, we are focusing on text structures, text features, vocabulary, main idea & supporting details. In order to help your child with nonfiction, and continue to foster their love of reading, you can help them gather materials that are nonfiction. Going to the library or encouraging them to read magazines like Sports Illustrated for Kids, Time for Kids, Scholastic News (they have access to this online), and more can help spark their interest in learning.

Our goals are:
I can summarize a text by explaining how multiple details work together to communicate the main idea.
I can identify the claims presented in a text.
I can explain how a claim in a text is supported by reasons and evidence.
I can explain the relationship between specific parts of a nonfiction text and the overall organizational structure of the text.
I can compare how two texts from the same genre approach similar themes and topics.
I can determine the meaning of unknown words and phrases.
I can describe the meaning of common idioms, adages, or proverbs.
I can identify symbolism, metaphors, and imagery in a text.
I can use headings and images to signal logical groupings of information.
I can link reasons and evidence or details to main ideas using words, phrases, and clauses.

Writing
Students will begin working on formulating a research based argumentative essay. In the beginning of our unit, we will be working on writing on a common argument: Should Chocolate Milk be served in schools? Once we are done with that, students will be invited to research an argument of their own.

Our goals are:
I can identify the claims presented in a text.
I can explain how a claim in a text is supported by reasons and evidence.
I can introduce a topic in an introductory paragraph.
I can use headings and images to signal logical groupings of information.
I can link reasons and evidence or details to main ideas using words, phrases, and clauses.
I can provide a concluding section or paragraph at the end of a text.
I can state clear claims about a topic or text.
I can provide reasons for claims that are supported by evidence.
I can integrate information from multiple sources into a text.
I can write for the purpose and task described by a prompt.
I can edit for subject/verb agreement and inappropriate shifts in verb tense.
I can edit for correct capitalization.
I can use italics, quotation marks, and underlining to indicate the titles of works.
I can use commas to set off elements of a sentence and to form lists.
I can edit for spelling.

Math
We will be finishing up our work on addition and subtraction of fractions and we will be working on decimals next. Students will be learning how to order, compare, round and add/subtract decimals all the way to the thousandths place. When this short unit is over, students will be moving on to multiplying and dividing fractions and decimals. In order to help your child, you could have them put the cost of a couple of items on the grocery list in order from least to greatest. Here is an example of what the students will be learning:



As always, you can refer to my weekly newsletter for more specifics on what we do each week. Please let me know if you have any questions!

Wednesday, December 5, 2018

December Update


Important Dates
December 19 - Field Trip to Museum of Nature and Science
December 20 - Class Party at 11:40 (more details to come)
December 21-January 4 - Winter Break
January 7 - School Resumes
January 21 - No School (Martin Luther King Jr. Day)


Upcoming Field Trip & Science
We are excited to add to the classroom learning of our Life Science Unit on Body Systems by going to the Museum of Nature and Science and experiencing a dissection of a lamb's lung. Students will first rotate a few experiments and fill out a lab book to record their findings. After, they will work in pairs to dissect a lung, getting hands on experience of the great things we have been learning in class.

Our field trip to The Denver Museum of Nature and Science is on Wednesday, December 19th, 2018. The cost is $14.50. In order for your child to participate in this field trip/program you must register (includes online permission form) & pre-pay on-line by going to:

MySchoolBucks.com > Login > Add your student if you have not already done so > Go to School Store in upper right corner > Field Trips > GRE - 5th Grade Denver Museum of Nature and Science. The MySchoolBucks link can be found on GRE’s website under Parent Info or click here. Registrations MUST be completed by 2 days prior to your field trip.

· Online registration is for your student only- please do not register yourself or younger siblings.
· Free/Reduced students will have the option of selecting "no payment" but must still register.
· No refunds

Happenings in class…
Math
In math, we have been working hard on our Fractions Unit. Students have been modeling fractions by using array models and using what they know about equivalent fractions. This week we began using clocks as a model to help add fractions. Throughout the unit students will be comparing and ordering fractions, adding and subtracting fractions, and adding and subtracting mixed numbers.

Standards that will be addressed:
· I can add and subtract fractions with unlike denominators using a diagram or model.
· I can add and subtract fractions with unlike denominators arithmetically.

Reading
In reading, we are using our book clubs to analyze themes more in depth. Students are writing and talking about different texts to uncover life lessons, challenges, and important shifts. Additionally, thought prompts are continually being used to push their thinking.

You can help your child with reading at home by asking questions that explore the similarities and differences in themes across texts. Examples: Where do you see your theme being conveyed in another text? How is the theme similar? How is it different? Additionally, students might consider how characters are similar and how they differ as well as characters’ problems and relationships. When sharing ideas on theme students should use evidence from the text to support their thinking.

Writing
In writing, we have started our unit on response to literature. In workshop, students are responding to prompts after reading a passage of text. We have been working on the organization and structure of our responses as well as the content.

Science

In science, we are continuing our study of our human body systems and connecting them back to health and wellness.

Sunday, November 4, 2018

November 2018

Important Dates
11/6 - No School; Election Day!!
11/12 - 11/16 - Fall Book Fair
11/14 - Celebration of Learning & Family Feast
11/19 - 11/23 - Thanksgiving Break
12/21 - No School; Winter Break starts
12/21 - 1/4 - Winter Break

Celebration of Learning (12:30 - 1:00) & Thanksgiving Feast (1:00-1:20) See Mrs. Brown's Blog for more information.

Reading
We are continuing to look at theme, however we are constantly trying to dig deeper and analyze the texts that we are reading. Last week, we compared theme between two texts. We also started new book club books. The hope is that we can continue our comparison between two or more texts. 

The standards in fiction texts we have been working towards are:
I can compare how two texts from the same genre approach similar themes and topics
I can identify details in a text that develop a theme
I can compare characters, settings, or events in a narrative text
I can describe relationships between events in a narrative text

To help your child, after they finish reading, ask them what is the author trying to teach you in the story. You can start with, "The big lesson is..." or "Sometimes in life..." You can ask them what the big idea of the story is and how the characters or setting influence that idea. Asking them questions like, "What does this book say about (the big idea, ie Friendship, hope, family, etc)?"
After Thanksgiving Break, we will begin a four week study of nonfiction.

Writing
We wrapped up our narrative unit by looking at mentor texts. We dug into the author's craft to study how the author's wrote their stories and then we picked small craft's to work on in our own writing. You will see this writing at the Celebration of Learning. The current unit has been our paragraph boot-camp getting students ready to write strong multi-paragraphs. In a week, we will begin our study of responding to literature. Students will use short stories and have to formulate a response based on a question this is provided to them. 

The standards that we have been working towards and will be working on are as follows:
I can create event sequences that illustrate a clear causal relationship
I can use descriptive details to develop settings, experiences, characters, and events
I can use dialogue to develop character personality and reactions
I can separate run-on sentences in a draft
I can edit for subject/verb agreement and inappropriate shifts in verb tense
I can edit for correct capitalization
I can use italics, quotation marks, and underlining to indicate the titles of works
I can use commas to set off elements of a sentence and to form lists
I can edit for spelling
I can write for the purpose and task described by a prompt
I can write for the audience identified by a prompt
I can integrate information from multiple sources into a text
I can state clear claims about a topic or text
I can provide reasons for claims that are supported by evidence

Math
We have finished up our unit on volume and will be taking the test on Wednesday. After that, students will be working with equivalent fractions, ordering fractions, and adding and subtracting fractions and mixed numbers. During the unit, students will work on the following:




Here are some things that you can work on with your child at home:



The standards that we have been working toward and will be working toward are as follows:
I can multiply multi-digit whole numbers using the standard algorithm.
I can divide multi-digit whole numbers using strategies based on place value, the properties of operations, and the relationship between multiplication and division.
I can use the properties of place value and multiples of 10 to simplify and solve problems.
I can shift a decimal value in relation to its decimal point by multiplying or dividing it by a power of 10.
I can compare decimal values.
I can determine the volume of right rectangular prisms by packing them with unit cubes.
I can calculate the volume of right rectangular prisms arithmetically.
I can calculate the volume of three-dimensional figures composed of right rectangular prisms.
I can analyze the relationships between numerical patterns.

Science
We have continued our study of living systems. Students have learned about the makeup of cells and soon will be embarking on the study of tissues and organs. After Thanksgiving, we will be sending home information regarding the field trip we will be going on. This field trip to the Museum of Nature and Science will further our understanding of body systems including a dissection of a lung. Students will also learn about the circulatory, respiratory, and digestive system. We will briefly touch on the endocrine, muscle, nervous, excretory, and skeletal systems as well.

More information
Please continue to collect box tops. We will have another collection in February or March. Also, if you can spare some more canned foods or non-perishable foods for donations that would be awesome! I am trying to dig through my own pantry for donation. The pantries become bare around holidays and if we fill those pantries at the Parker Task Force, we will be helping our fellow community members! Thank you so much!!