Sep 21, 2013

Septemeber 23

I apologize for not posting more blogs; however, learning to comment and score Zaner-Bloser writing assignments has be quite time consuming. 

Zaner-Blosser Writing

Thank you for your support using the Zaner-Bloser program.  Please encourage your child to use the   e-books and other reference materials the program offers.  I have included page numbers to the Strategies for Writers e-book in the assignment instructions. I, also, encourage you to help your child with the revising and editing of their writing.  When I work with students individually on written assignments, I tell them to read out loud to me every word they have written.  This revising strategy helps them to hear their writing and pick up on extra words or missing words. 


This coming Wednesday, September 25, the Caughlin Ranch Math Committee will be hosting a Math Night at school between 6:30 -7:30.  I highly recommend you and your child attend.

We will be finishing up Unit 2 in Everyday Math by the end of the week. This unit focused on estimation, statistics, addition and subtraction.  I have had question regarding how much time should be spent on IXL assignments. IXL is great program for reinforcing and practicing math skills. I would like every student to work toward achieving 100% on a skill; however, I do not want students spending hours achieving 100%.  20-25  minutes of honest to goodness hard work is enough time.  If a student can reach 100% in 10 minutes, that's great.  If after 20 or 25 minutes they are at 75% that is good enough. They have practiced the skill and will have a better understanding of it. What I will down grade students for is having practiced a skill for 3 minutes with score of say 50%.  That student can put in more effort.


We have finished our novel unit and have focused on reading information text related to science and social studies. We will begin using the district provided reading anthology, as well, as other teacher provided resources to work on specific reading skills.  You child's Independent Reading assignment which includes her/his personal AR point goal, WOW! words bookmark, story map, and character analysis is due October 4.  This is several days later than the original due date because students requested an extension.


We have begun using the FOSS kit, Mixtures and Solutions.  It was quite challenging managing the chemicals and equipment for 33 students, but we did it.  I'll I can say is it takes extra time setting up and passing equipment out. Our first lab was making and separating mixtures.  I encourage you to talk to your child about this investigation.

Social Studies

We recently studied ancient American cultures which intrigued the students.  This coming week will focus on North American Native Americans.  The following week will be the Age of Exploration, which will then lead to exploration and colonization of the Americas.  Our major focus in 5th grade social studies is the 13 English colonies and the American Revolution, but I believe students needs background information on North American Native Americans and exploration to fully understand colonization.

Fall Fest

Caughlin Ranch's annual Fall Fest will be October 4.  I know PTA needs a lot of help to make this event happen.  A flier about this family fun event went home in Friday Folders.  If you did not receive one, information is available in the office. I will be volunteering at the event and look forward to seeing my students and their families there!

Posting Videos and Photos

I would like to occasionally post videos and photos taken in the classroom.  Before I do so, I will review the information parents submitted about posting photographs.  I realize many parents do not want their child's pictures on-line. 

Please e-mail with questions, comments, or concerns.  Thank you for supporting your child's education.

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