Welcome to 2nd semester!
Our 5th grade mathematicians are getting a taste of pre-algebra, with an introduction to variables, order of operations (Please Excuse My Dear Aunt Sally, anyone?), generalizing patterns with algebraic expressions, and using algebraic thinking to solve complex problems. This unit is foundational to student success in middle school math, and it’s fun to see and hear the buzz in the classroom as students work collaboratively to wrap their heads around this new way of thinking about problem-solving.
It was great to see so many 5th graders at our ice skating social last weekend, playing together, taking risks together, and enjoying each other. What a gift for students to be in this Seven Peaks environment, developing healthy relationships with their teachers, and with each other, as they enter their middle school years. Thank you, as always, for partnering with us in educating your kids.
Art with Mrs. Macauley
In 5th grade art the students have been working hard to finish up their renaissance prints. They learned all about renaissance architecture as well as collagraph printing and then combined their knowledge to create beautiful collagraph prints. Look for the prints hanging in the Upper School wing! We have since launched into our ceramic heritage heads unit, which started with a family interview about each student’s ancestry (hopefully this sounds familiar:). Once information is collected each student will find a way to honor their heritage in their work, creating a ceramic interpretation of someone from their heritage!
In science news, the fifth grade class is finishing up our Earth Systems unit with an in depth study of our local hydrosphere here in Bend. This week the class conducted a hands-on experiment testing samples of water from our school’s drinking fountain and from the Deschutes River. Our results were very positive and matched the majority of our predictions, we have a very healthy hydrosphere!! We also had a visitor, Kolleen Miller, from the Upper Deschutes Watershed Council stop by to discuss our local watershed and the importance of protecting it.
In the Design Lab, the fifth grade had another special visitor, Cassandra, who stop by to be interviewed for our new design challenge: How can we support a local Special Olympian or Paralympian? When completing a design cycle is it important to understand and be empathetic towards your user and their needs. The fifth grade class created, then asked our visitor many deep level questions, in order to better understand what it is like to have challenges in life and the satisfaction you feel when you overcome them. In addition, we brainstormed ways we could help this athlete reach her Olympic goals. Our ideas are coming together and it looks like a Carnival Fundraiser may be coming to SPS soon!!
Fifth grade has been learning basic skills, rules and the positions of basketball. To maximize class involvement they will play modified versions of the game. We will continue to focus on fitness, sportsmanship and the importance of following the rules.
Watchout! Students are brushing up on their arguing skills!
In 5th grade we have wrapped up our Narrative writing unit and are now working on Argumentative Essays. Over the next several weeks students will practice supporting their ideas with sound reasons and relevant examples!
In Reading we are focusing on how to get the most out of nonfiction texts. When analyzing nonfiction, students will be identifying and discussing a variety of text structures. Nonfiction is amazing because main ideas and supporting details, cause and effect relationships, chronological sequencing and a variety of graphic features can all be found on a single page!
Math with Ms. Wenndorf
In 5th grade math, students are becoming masters of long division. We are making reasonable estimates, interpreting those pesky remainders, and using place value blocks and money to understand why the long division algorithm works. This group of kids has a wide range of experience and skill with division, yet they are incredibly supportive of one another. They write appropriately challenging problems for each other without judgment, offer coaching as needed, and celebrate each other’s successes. We are also intentionally working on teamwork skills, such as productive communication, equal participation, staying on-task, and prioritizing mathematical understanding. It’s rewarding to see kids take ownership for their own learning, and develop the teamwork skills needed to be successful in 6th grade.
Music with Mrs. Miller
Our Holiday Sing-A-Long is right around the corner! We are so excited to show our parents all the hard work we’ve done in preparing for this fun evening. Please have your student to their classroom at 5:30pm on Thursday, December 21st in festive Christmas attire (dressy is not required). Our show will begin promptly at 6:00pm and following the conclusion, we invite you to join us to walking or driving to our neighbors at TouchMark and blessing them with a few Christmas carols. We will sing 3 songs as a school community at the end of our show – and you’ll have the lyrics on your programs to take with you to TouchMark. The residents are very much looking forward to seeing us and we are excited to have this Community Partnership in giving to others. Thanks for all your support!
Humanities with Ms. Boyd
A huge congratulations to the fifth grade class for collecting so many donations for The Giving Plate. The class enjoyed filling food bags, then loading them onto the Giving Plate truck, as well as dressing up and running laps during the Turkey Trot. Thank you parents and family members for all of your support and school spirit!!
In Humanities news, the fifth grade has started a Native American research project. This project will involve research, note taking, paraphrasing and synthesizing information based on a specific Native American tribe. The students will first study the region their tribe was located within and how this region’s environment affected the food, homes, clothes, ceremonies, religion and art of the Native peoples. Don’t forget, the 50 states test is on Thursday, December 21.
Math with Jeannie Wenndorf
In 5th grade math, we have been digging deep into multiplication, learning many strategies for multiplying factors. Students have been stretched to look for connections between the different strategies, and to multiply any size factors with confidence. Parents, do you know why the standard algorithm for multiplication works?? Ask your child to explain it to you!
Last week, we participated in the Noetic Math Contest, which consists of 20 very challenging problems for students to solve independently. The kids had great attitudes, truly enjoying the challenge of doing hard work! They are growing in their ability to persevere when the solution isn’t apparent, justify their thinking to one another, and make mathematical conjectures of their own to test.
Language Arts with Mr. Wenger
During the first several weeks of school we spent a lot of time establishing a strong and productive classroom community. Now, as the leaves begin to fall off the trees, we are heading into the more academic section of our school year. In Language Arts, the kids have started to work on their first personal narrative. We have introduced and practiced several writing strategies designed to help kids generate ideas worth writing about. It has been great watching the kids begin to compose stories about themes and experiences that they value! Enjoy this photo of the kids working together to prep their pumpkin for decorating to our school wide pumpkin decorating contest.
Art with Mrs. Santucci
The 5th graders have had a busy couple months in the art room. What a wonderful class of enthusiasm and creativity. So far this year we have been reviewing the elements of art as well as just completing a unit on Picasso inspired self portraits. Please visit the middle school wing soon to see your child’s fun and creative contour line drawing self portrait! Currently, we have launched into color theory and the students are busy demonstrating their color knowledge through Op Art. Please feel free to come by and visit anytime!
The fifth grade class has moved on from studying how scientists think (The Scientific Method) to understanding how matter and energy flow through ecosystems. Currently, the class is delving into a Biome/Ecosystem Mural Project featuring:
- 12 animals common to their biome. Including at least one insect, one bird, one reptile, and one mammal.
- At least 6 plants common to the biome.
- A world map: coloring in the places where their biome is located.
- A description of the basic characteristics of their biome. Average temperature (summer/winter) and the average precipitation per year.
- Labelled abiotic factors found in their biome. Also an explanation of how these abiotic factors are used or needed by the biotic factors in their biome.
- A description of the adaptations of two plants on their mural and how those adaptations allow the plant to survive in its biome.
- A description of the adaptations of three animals on their mural and how those adaptations allow the animal to survive in its biome.
- The identification of at least three different decomposers found in their biome.
- Finally, the creation of a labelled food web of plants and animals found in their biome.
This will be one intensive hands-on project that requires students to apply all of the concepts they are currently learning in a creative and interesting way.