Novel Study
    One of our book clubs just finished Bridge to Terabithia! Each week the students read a passage and write down discussion questions, figurative language, and new vocabulary. They also search for personal connections with the text and select a favorite passage. The discussions are rich as the students debrief their weekly reading. This group is moving onto Out of the Dust.
Congratulations, Purple and Blue novel studies! My Purple Group finished Mr. Popper's Penguins and are now reading Who Was Ferdinand Magellan. My Blue Group just finished Hatchet and they are now reading I Am Malala. 




Chibi Art
    Mrs. Schildan, Mrs. Bishop, and Mrs. Wernet taught us about Chibi art! Chibi is Japanese art form and it translates to "cute" and "small". The kids had a blast creating self-portraits and Pokemon characters. If you're at school be sure to check out our awesome bulletin board. For now, click here for pictures.


Valentine's Day
    We had a blast celebrating Oregon's 158th birthday and Valentine's Day! After singing Happy Birthday to our wonderful state, the students set up their Valentine mailboxes and voted for boxes in the following categories: most creative, best sports, most artistic, best animal, and best reading box. I was blown away by their creativity. We did a Valentine's Day coordinate grid, maze, vocabulary activity and cartoon. Click here for more pictures.


Hat Day
    Middleton has earned over 13,000 golden horseshoes! To celebrate this success we had a Hat Day.



Oregon Symphony
    We ventured into the big city of Portland! Middleton's fifth graders attended the Portland Symphony. The conductor was incredibly engaging and he captivated all of our attention. The students were very excited to hear a song from Star Wars. Click here for more pictures.
 

BizTown Prep
    We are headed to BizTown in February. In preparation of our future BizTown jobs we are currently learning about a free enterprise economy and owning a business. Students teamed up to create a company, prototype, and product. They had limited natural and capital resources to use but that didn't stop there creativity. We had a great variety of products: minions, fortune tellers, book marks, fancy airplanes, candles, neck-hats, and dog bones. Click here for more BizTown pictures!






School Board
    Room 24 appreciates the School Board! We wrote them cards to thank them for all the hard work they do.



Middleton Geography Bee
    We went to cheer on the Middleton Geography Bee contestants. One student from each fourth and fifth grade classes competed. We were so proud of Saif and all the students as they shared their knowledge.


Winter in America
    The fifth grade music concert was perfectly named considering we rescheduled the concert three times due to snow! We enjoyed a wonderful recorder and choir performance. The kids worked SO hard to prepare and their hard work paid off. Click here for more pictures.


Spirit Award!
    Our class resolution was to win the Middleton Spirit Award and within one week we did it! Our class burst with cheers when we found out on Friday. We are proudly displaying the Golden Horseshoe in our class window. 



Geo Bee   
    Room 24 hosted a class Geo Bee! We had 10 contestants and seven rounds. The students were so knowledgeable about geography facts. Saif won our class competition, way to go!



New Year Resolutions
    The fifth graders thought long and hard about their strengths and challenges. They picked one skill to focus on, wrote a resolution, and developed an action plan to achieve the resolution. We then took a moment to acknowledge how awesome they all are. This group of kids has SO much to be proud of! The students wrote their own affirmations and shared them with me. I am so honored to teach these students, they continuously amaze me. Let's not forget the goal and affirmations we wrote for Room 24. See below.




Biomes
    One of the cool things in fifth grade is doing science and social studies rotation. Just like middle school, the fifth graders rotate classrooms for these lessons. For example, I taught a lesson on plant and animal adaptation to all four fifth grade classes over the span of four days. This way the students get 16 different lessons during a four week period and the fifth grade teachers get to teach every fifth grade student! 
    The lessons were building up to our big biome research project. We then spent a month researching specific biomes and putting together reports. The students will show off their reports later this year.





Donut Party
    After three months of hard work my students earned a donut and reading party!! Each kid got five donut holes and curled up with a fun book. To add to the excitement, they could read any book they wanted (picture books, comic books, etc.)! They also could sit anywhere they want- this is very exciting in fifth grade! My heart melted as the kids cheered for reading.


Team Day
    Prior to Thanksgiving break we celebrated Team Day. The students wore gear supporting their favorite team. The Ducks were clearly outnumbered... maybe it was a prediction of how the Civil War game would turn out! Once a Duck, always a Duck.



Magical Art
    We were spoiled with a private two hour art session on Thursday! The students painted beautiful magical snowmen in a winter forest. Thank you to the moms who hosted the art session. Each student was smiling from ear to ear. Click here to see many more photos.




Thankful Chain
    "There is always, always, always something to be thankful for." This quote stuck with us during the month of November. Each day we took a few minutes to jot down what we were thankful for. Students would then assemble the chain and connect it in the hall. Our gratitude took up an entire bulletin board! Over the break I hope your family has a chance to reflect on what you all are thankful for.


We are thankful for our veterans!
    We spent two weeks writing about things we are thankful for. (When we return from conferences we will turn the essays into speeches.) We also talked and read about the origins of Veterans Day and why it matters.  Once the students finished their essays they were given another task: to write a thank you card for veteran they know or a Middleton employee. I asked them a simple question, "Why are you thankful for this person?" Their cards blew me away and I know the cards will warm the hearts of the recipients.


The Oregon Garden
    We lucked out with perfect weather! It was a little foggy and chilly but that helped us observe condensation and different ecosystems. I was amazed by the Oregon Gardens! If you have not been there then I recommend adding it to your list and stopping by this year. We studied structural adaptations in the tropical greenhouse. We then observed many types of seed packages, including artichokes, coconuts, and beans from Central America. This was only the first half of the field trip! Later we walked through a forest as we searched for signs of animal activity. I would give this field trip a 10 out of 10. Thanks for all the chaperones who shared their time. Click here for more pictures!





October 31st
      We did our big Harvest Party celebration on Friday. To honor Halloween falling on a Monday I sprinkled fun "spooky" activities throughout the day. We used area, perimeter, and diameter to make jack o' lanterns and zombies. We used skittles to practice fractions. Lastly, we read a fictional story about a schoolhouse ghost. Have a safe and fun evening! 


Socktober
      During the month of October we collected socks for people in need. We began by brainstorming and making posters. We made flyers to send home and reminded all of our friends. On October 31st we did a final count of our sock collection and I lost a bet with the class... If they collected OVER 1,000 pairs of socks then I would dress up as Mrs. Potato Head for a whole day. A deal is a deal, Mrs. Potato Head is teacher for the day. Our total count was 1,016 pairs of socks!
 We then spent time graphing our sock collection. Look below to see all of our hard work.
    



Harvest Party
      Thank you to our Room Mom and Room Grandma for the wonderful party. Many parents joined our festive party and got a kick out of all the costumes and activities. The kids were smiling from ear to ear and had a wonderful time. Be safe trick-or-treating tonight! 


Going the Distance
      Do you remember adding and subtracting fractions? Adding and subtracting fractions can be tricky! To help us better understand the math skills we imagined fractions as time, money, and distance. The students were given a big task: design a park using fractions and kilometers. The trickiest part was that the fractions all had different denominators. 

Wave Lab: Oregon State University
      

We toured the beautiful campus of OSU and saw one of the world's largest tsunami research centers. While visiting the Wave Lab we learned about engineering, jetties, erosion, hurricanes, and tsunamis. We watched as tsunami waves were replicate (see the green arrow) and then went to the BIG wave lab and watched more testing occur. An OSU senior toured us around campus and the kids were amazed by the grand size of the campus. One of my favorite quotes was from a fifth grader was, "This is MUCH bigger than Middleton!" We escaped the rain, had a great tour, saw amazing science in action, and had lunch in a college cafeteria. Even as Duck fan, I have to say this was an amazing field trip! 




Fun Run 2016
      

The students ran and ran and ran! Room 24 ran a total of 354 laps!! That is worth celebrating. It was a great work out trying to keep us with them :)








Everyone Counts
     

Each student in Room 24 contributes to our classroom community. We thought of inspirational messages for each other and covered our wall with words of encouragement.



Stacking Challenge
      As we wrapped up our first week of fifth grade we had one last challenge. The students had to move six red cups from a double stacked tower to a pyramid formation. There was a catch... they could only used five rubber bands to move the cups- they couldn't use anything else! In the picture below you will see the original formation on the left, the cups moving in the middle, and the end pyramid on the right.





Fifth Graders
      We couldn't pass up the opportunity to take a class picture during the first week of school!  



First Day of Fifth Grade!
      All summer long I have been waiting for this day! We had a team challenge: which team can build the tallest tower? The simple concept had a twist, there were different sizes of cups and the teams received different numbers of cups. Through this competition we realized that we all needed different support systems and strategies to successfully make a tall tower. The same goes for learning, we all need different types of support and strategies to be successful learners. I can't wait to know this great group of students better!