Class Information / Reminder

We hit the ground running in the morning. I hope you have enjoyed your Fall Break!

You will receive a Homework Packet on Tuesday that will be completed and turned in before your test on Friday.

This week we will be reading a series of informational articles. Your test on Friday will cover the skills you will learn this week. We will return to reading from our StoryTown text book next week.

Reminder: Hatchet Novel Projects are due October 30th! (Click on the image below to enlarge.)


KWL of the NFL

2011-NFL-Week-1-Picks1The DES 5th grade took a break from working on Hatchet book reports this Wednesday. The class completed a close read on an informational text about the NFL. The students enjoyed reading about this topic. . .SCORE for Mrs. Wilson!

The before activity was a KWL chart. Cooperative learning groups came up with one thing they knew (K) about the NFL and one thing they wanted (W) to know about NFL. After the close read, learning groups came up with one thing they learned (L) about the NFL from the text.

The students also completed comprehension responses after the close read. The DES 5th grade will be integrating more and more informational text as we progress toward becoming college and career ready!


Class Information Week of October 14th – 18th

This is the last week of class before Fall Break. We will work on book reports all week. Every 5th grade student must turn in their Hatchet book report on Thursday the 17th. The homework for this week will be to work on the report each night and read for AR points.

The DES 5th grade students have also been assigned a project. They must choose one project to complete and turn it in by October 30th. (See Below)


Parent Peek: The 7 Habits & Characterization

I am pleased that I have the opportunity to give parents a peek at what happens in our classroom through this blog. This week I want to share how we incorporate the 7 habits into our curriculum and how we analyzed the main character from Hatchet by Gary Paulsen.

We seek to incorporate the 7 habits into our classroom procedures and curriculum every day. One way we have done this is to recognize moments in Hatchet when the main character’s actions exemplify one of the habits. When students recognize a habit, they are allowed to post it outside our classroom so that the habit can be shared with all of the students at DES.




We also analyzed the main character this week. Learning groups listed facts and traits about the character. The groups then detailed how the character has changed after his experience in the wilderness. The responses were even better than I had expected. Students recognized that the main character changed in many ways including developing a new respect for nature and maturing into a determined, self-reliant young man. If you have never read Hatchet, the 5th grade highly recommends it!




Parent Peek: Before – During – After

One of the reasons that I keep a classroom blog is to keep parents informed about homework and upcoming tests. The other reason that I keep a classroom blog is that I want parents to get a “peek” at what their child does in class.

How many times have you asked, “What did you do in class today?” I am a parent and the usual response that I get is, “Stuff”. I bet your child has given you a similar answer from time to time.

So here is a peek at what we did one day last week. Lessons are divided into 3 strategies: Before, During, and After. This is posted on the board and informs students of what strategies we will be using in class each day. On this particular day, these were our strategies:

Before – Splash Predictions (Learning groups are given 5 or 6 words that will be “splashed” throughout the text. Learning groups use those words to predict what they think will happen next in the text.)

During – Magnet Words (Students use index cards to list “magnet words” while reading the text. The words reflect the main idea and important details that they gathered as they read.)

After – Magnet Summaries (Students use the back of their index card to compose a short summary using the magnet words they gathered while reading the text. Summaries are turned in as they walk out of class for the teacher to check for understanding.)





I hope you enjoyed your “Parent Peek!”

Class / Homework Information Oct. 7 – 11

We have 2 weeks until Fall Break! The DES 5th grade will finish reading Hatchet and write a book report in these last 2 weeks before the break. Students received a Hatchet Novel Project sheet last week. Students need to choose 1 project to be completed by October 30th.

This week’s homework (Click on images to enlarge):



We can synergize! Together is better!

Cooperative learning groups play an important role in our class. Students learn to work together to meet a common goal. Cooperative learning requires that students respect individual opinions, recognize others talents or strengths, and help group members overcome areas of weakness. The meaningful discussion that takes place within these groups truly amazes me as I travel from group to group observing and assessing student understanding. They are learning to synergize. . .to cooperate! They are learning more than they realize. They are learning important life skills!

This is just one sample of a synergy activity that we did as a “before” or introduction to the lesson. This is our vocabulary 4-square. Groups are given a vocabulary word. The groups have to fill out “4-squares” of information associated with the vocabulary word.

Synergize. . .Together is Better!