Field Day
      We were warned of thunder and lightning but our positive attitudes kept the weather away! We had a BLAST at field day. Many parents spent hours planning the perfect combination of kickball, capture the flag, minute-to-win-it games, and more. Everyone was smiling ear to ear. What a perfect celebration to honor our amazing fifth graders.

      In September I created a scrapbook for each student. As the year has progressed an amazing volunteer (thank you!) and I have added student work to the scrapbooks. The scrapbooks serve as a work portfolio for each student and also include fun picture and cute mementos from fifth grade. As the end of the year approaches, the students all are decorating their scrapbooks. My hope is you will hold onto the scrapbook and it will be fun to look back at in future years. I recently found my fifth grade portfolio and had a blast looking through it all.

Invention Convention
      Room 24 was bursting with excitement as our scientist prepared to present their inventions. Students were asked to create an invention that improves life or the world. I was blown away!

Kickball Party
      They earned all of their party beads- again!! We had a kickball party with four teams from Room 24 and ended the party with ultimate tag.

Field Day
      As fifth graders we had the special responsibility of working at field day! Room 24's students did a wonderful job hosting fun stations for kindergartners and second graders. The fifth graders had a blast playing after their shift was over.

Oregon Battle of the Books (OBOB)
     I am so impressed by all of Room 24's participants! They participated in a book competition and the majority of the contestants read all of the books. 
One of Room 24's OBOB teams made it to the District Competition! They answered tricky questions and did a wonderful job collaborating. Way to go! 

Revolutionary Rebellion
The Patriots rebelled against England! The colonialists were subject to tax after tax and Patriots often suffered worse taxes than the Loyalist. The Patriots converted many Loyalists and then held meetings to elect their own government. With their new elected officials in office, the Patriots created a Declaration of Independence, three newspaper companies, and their own currency. The biggest moment was when all Patriots started tearing up the English pounds!! Way to go, Patriots. You broke free from the crown!

Kids Making Miracles
     On Friday evening I was honored to join Middleton and Edy Ridge students at Doernbecher Children's Hospital. During the Kids Making Miracles event we celebrated students who made miracles for other children. Middleton and Edy Ridge students have helped raise money for Liam's Club. I'm so lucky to work with amazing kids! 

Talent Show 2016
     Three students from Room 24 performed in the Middleton Talent Show. They sang and did improv and blew us away! The Middleton staff surprised the students with a flash mob (including the dance move Dab). We all had a blast!!

Hail the Queen!
     We traveled back in time to the Revolutionary Era. Students are now Loyalists or Patriots and are earning pounds. The students decorated characters and our classroom is covered in British and American flags. Keep an eye on the newsletters and photos to see what is going to happen!

     Miss Hamachek's sister studied in Russia this spring. Natalie brought back a present for the class!

Mother's Day
     To all of Room 24's moms, THANK YOU for all that you do! Your kids are amazing and I am so thankful for each of your families. Below are some of the beautiful tulips the students painted and cut out. 

Middleton Carnival
     Thank you to all of the families that contributed to the carnival. I was blown away by the carnival! It was a blast seeing so many students having a great time.

Middle School Visit
     We split up and headed to Sherwood Middle School and Laurel Ridge Middle School. At both schools the fifth graders had tours and special visits from older students. We even lucked out and got to eat lunch in the cool middle school cafeterias! 

Middleton Pride!
     We won Best School Spirit two weeks in a row! Upon winning we were giving the Golden Horseshoe to proudly display in our classroom. The students earned this high honor by wearing Middleton and Sherwood apparel and colors.

Artist in Residence
     We had two wonderful sessions with our Artist in Residence Larry Verdorn. During our first session we learned about proportions and sketching as we made the outlines for our paintings. After tracing the lines and erasing the pencil marks we began session two. Mr. Verdorn taught us six different painting styles. As we learned how to blend water color paints one student was blown away and exclaimed, "holy moly!". With tremendous focus the students began to paint their Revolutionary Era art. We aren't done quite yet but we hope to have them completed by conferences! 

Combating Stereotypes
     A few weeks ago we read the book Hey, Little Ant. The plot is about a boy who wants to squish an ant. At first glance the book is simple and silly. The students dug deeper and discovered important lessons about stereotypes and biases. We learned what stereotypes are, identified how stereotypes have impacted history, and brainstormed ways to end stereotypes and biases. Once again, the students amazed me with their big hearts and sincere thoughts.

     Each week we get to read with Mrs. Smith's second grade class. The students have developed strong relationships throughout the year. It is always a weekly highlight when I hear and see a fifth grader being a wonderful role model for this little buddy. Way to go! 
April Fools!
     To raise money for Liam's Club, the students dressed up like teachers! I saw Duck gear, minions, and dresses. Some of the kids were inspired by Coach T's sporty wardrobe. I tricked the students by dressing up like a kid: minion shirt, Converse, pink pants, and a drawstring Nike backpack. The ultimate prank was when the entire class created a secret plan to act like cows! They roamed the room- mooing and chomping on imaginary grass. We couldn't stop laughing.

     The kids earned another class party! We ventured outside into the beautiful weather and played kickball. We had to figure out the rules because the last time I played I was in fifth grade! 


Liam's Shirt Day
     We wore green and blue to support Liam's Club. 97 percent of the class participated- out highest total so far!

Team Day
     Room 24 loves Liam's Club! To help raise money for a great cause we wore our favorite sport jerseys and hats. Like any true sports team, we had to take a happy picture and a serious picture! 

Western Day
     Middleton students had another special dress up day! The students collectively earned 22,000+ Golden Horseshoes! We donned our best western apparel.

     We spent a week creating the ideal robot. We had to plan the tasks the robot would complete, the structure of the machine, and adventures the robot would have. The task stretched our imaginations! The final step was constructing a miniature prototype out of tin foil. We had a blast! 

Middle School Questions
     Sherwood Middle School and Laurel Ridge Middle School visited Middleton's fifth graders. The fifth grade students learned about sixth grade and had the opportunity to ask their burning questions! Both middle schools brought sixth grade students, experts on any middle school question. There is a parent information session on March 31st at 6pm. We will visit the middle schools on April 21st.

Pi Day
     How many digits of pi do you have memorized? The first three, 3.14? The first five, the first 10?! On March 14th the date aligned with the first three pi digits, 3/14 = 3.14. To celebrate we looked at the digit sequence and learned pi equals that crazy long number! The students graphed the digits of pi, creating a city skyline. They were then given the prompt: Pi City was a peaceful town and they never saw it coming. One day...
The stories were very creative and the students added details to their graphs that enhanced the stories.

Reader's Theater
     All 30 actors in Room 24 were shining on Thursday! We did our first Reader's Theater. We began by doing a whole group reading of the script and then broke into small groups, where each child got a speaking role. This week we focused on Abe Lincoln after reading a book about our former presidents. 

Robot Adventures!
     In fifth grade we focus a LOT on non-fiction. The fifth grade teachers strive to incorporate creativity and imagination. For instance, when researching ancient Americans the students wrote as if they were in a tribe. To stretch out imaginations and have fun we began a robot project. The prompt was simple: Create a robot that will improve your life. The results were spectacular! The students brainstormed, drew models, wrote adventure stories, and on Friday they will make miniature prototypes out of tinfoil. 

     How much water do you use a day? What's the best way to measure your water usage? Ounces, cups, gallons? We pondered these questions and did some experiments. Below is a picture of food dye in water, before it was mixed up. We discovered that 16 cups of water are equivalent to one gallon of water. This lesson helped us apply division to multiplication and vise versa. The students also got to practice using ratio tables! 

BizTown Business
     On our 101st day of school we got to go to BizTown! The two months of lessons and preparation really paid off. Each student was assigned a job and checking account. The students worked incredibly hard to keep the customers happy and the businesses running smoothly. The students were shocked to discover that there didn't seem to be enough time in the day to do every aspect of their job. This is a wonderful "real world" lesson that we discussed after the field trip. The students balanced their checkbooks, shopped, paid bills and taxes, and contributed as a citizen of BizTown. The 101st day of school may stand to be my favorite day of the 2015-2016 school year. Click here to access the folder with all of my pictures from BizTown.

BizTown Elections
     Over a dozen fifth grade students ran in the election for BizTown mayor. Room 24 was proud of Ryan and Dawson. They did a great job making posters and giving their speeches. Way to go!

Valentine's Day
     We had a blast! We voted on mailbox themes (best animal, sports, creative...), passed out Valentine's, learned crazy facts, and played a few games. 

Ancient America Project
     Would you want to live in a nomadic tribe, village, or empire? The students faced this question and had to defend their answer with evidence based on one ancient American tribe. The class became detectives, searching for research on each lifestyle. Students found that some reliable sources contradicted each other, while other sources had shocking facts (human sacrifice... no thank you!). The students compiled their research and used their strong evidence to support their opinion. The final step was to cite the sources (a complicated task) and to create cover pages. I was blown away by the quality of the covers!

We love Mrs. Burke!
    To celebrate Counselor Appreciation Week we brainstormed everything that Mrs. Burke does. She has a big job!! To honor her hard work we made cards and put them in a special envelope. Thank you Mrs. Burke, you are amazing! 

    Malia taught us about the Vietnamese New Year. Tet celebrates the lunar cycle with wonderful traditions, such as the dragon dances. We even saw a miniature version of the dragon costume!

Tribal Sticks
    We gathered, dried, sanded, and decorated our tribal sticks. The class researched ancient American color symbolization and decorated their sticks accordingly. During the month of February, we will have a new bulletin board with a photo of each kid and their tribal stick. 

Appreciating the School Board
    January was School Board Appreciation Month. We spent time brainstorming how to write a sincere thank you note. We also developed an extensive list of jobs preformed by the school board. The students each wrote a thank you note to an individual school board member. 

Spelling Bee
    We hosted our class Spelling Bee early in the week. All students put forth their best effort! The following day the eight top contestants continued the class Spelling Bee. We went through many challenging words before having a winner. Congratulations, Claire!!

    We had a thrilling Monday! Spike, Tyler's bearded dragon, visited Room 24. The students watched Spike eat his favorite snack- blueberries. They got to pet Spike and ask many questions. We found out he loves warm places, chasing crickets, and munching on an occasional blueberry. Thanks for visiting, Spike!

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
    Throughout the year we've talked about equality and freedom. We dove into the work of Dr. King and other civil right leaders. The students studied the famous "I Have a Dream" speech and compared multiple videos about Dr. King. We found it interesting that four videos about Dr. King all had different information. Some of the videos even contradicted each other! Way to go, Room 24 researchers and historians.

Tall Tale Circle
    We spent a week studying tall tales: Paul Bunyan, Sally Ann Thunder Ann Whirlwind, and John Henry. We loved the exaggerated character traits and actions. The students had a blast writing their own exaggerated descriptions. During quiet work time, a group of boys finished their assignments and sat in the "Tall Tale Circle" to draft their own tall tales. Moments like this bring so much joy.
        Here are some of the students' creations:
        "He is so fast he can run to Jupiter and back in a third of a second."
        "He is so old he was alive when George Washington was president."
        "She is so tall that the ocean only comes up to her toes."

Birthday Celebrations 
    Our fifth grade class loves to celebrate birthdays! We have the birthday kid sit in the special tall chair. The class gathers around to sing "Happy Birthday"... but this song may sound different than you imagine. The birthday kid gets to pick the style/voice we sing in. Some popular selections include: Spanish, opera style (our ears ring for hours after opera), cha cha cha, old prospector voice, etc. The birthday kid gets to answer birthday questions and we end the celebration with a special birthday pencil. It's a blast! 

Geo Bee 
    Our fifth grade students had the opportunity to compete in the Geo Bee (geography bee). After going through 94 questions, we had a winner- Dawson!! Congratulations to all participants. I'm proud of each and every one of you.

Jumping back into fractions and decimals! 
    After winter break we quickly realized our fraction and decimal skills needed to be brushed up. We had two days to review important concepts. Our second day was spent at rotating math stations. The all around favorite was the 3D number line. Students had to work together to determine where to place the decimal and how to pronounce the number.

Winter Performance
    Months of hard work paid off!! The younger students sat in awe as the fifth graders performed.

The Strange New World of Decimals
    In our new math unit we are looking at decimals; how to add, subtract, multiply, and divide. To test out our decimal knowledge we solved equations by making predictions and then checking the answers with calculators. This was very insightful! The fifth graders understand the purpose of the decimal but not how it "moves" during equations. Some helpful reminders for your student:  $171 = $171.00 = $171.      .8 = .80 = $0.80 

Thankful Speeches 
    I am so proud of each student in Room 24! The thankful speeches were heartfelt and well rehearsed. I can tell our preparation (tongue twisters and practice) at school and at home paid off. I was also impressed by the amount of students who made posters and PowerPoints (optional projects) to provide visuals for the audience.


 Jeopardy II 
    To prepare for the full Unit 2 math test, we brushed up our skills while playing Jeopardy. We listened to the show's theme song while every student answered every Jeopardy question. This allowed one team to steal 300 points!

Bingo Party! 
    After three months of hard work, the students earned their first "Party-Bead Party" and we had a blast playing Bingo. The prizes were random and silly and the students loved yelling out the Bingo number for each roll. 

Art Literacy
    While doing a great art project, we learned about the tradition of Dia de los Muertos. The students picked an outline, sketched a design on paper and traced the design onto the medal. The final step was to flip over the metal and color it in! 

Math Jeopardy
       With Thanksgiving Break approaching, the students prepared to take a mini-math test. After reviewing our practice test, we began a competitive game of Math Jeopardy. The students named their own teams (for example, Mathematical Unicorns) and diligently answered every question! 

Thankful Chain
       Each day we have so much to be thankful for! During the month of November, our classroom has had many discussion about ways we are fortunate. We began a thankful chain, connecting each student's gratitude. I encourage you to do this over our holiday break. 

Fifth Grade Fashion
       As one of my favorite photography bloggers says, "Today in microfashion..."

Painting the Storms
       After reading a story about a professional storm chaser, we were inspired to create our own storms. We began by painting stormy skies and then examined the vast variety of tornado shapes and colors. The art is hanging in the hall, come take a peek! 

Oregon Gardens
       The weather held out for our much anticipated field trip! The students studied biomes for the past two months and finally got to see real life examples of the biomes during nature walks. Thanks to all of the volunteers who helped and to Aura Poon for the class pictures.

Harvest Party
       The fifth graders partied in style! We had a blast playing Truth or Scare, spooky Bingo, and eating tasty treats. Thanks to all the families who contributed. 

Create a Monster
       Contrary to the popular fifth grade belief, math doesn't always have to be in the form of worksheets. Today we took a few minutes to solve a math mystery. Using diameter, radius, fractions, area, perimeter, multiplication and division, we solved the monster mystery and created our own creatures. Following Step 5, the students personalized their spooky Jack-O'-Lanterns.

Fan Mail
       After reading Dear Mr. Henshaw some students were inspired to write letters to their favorite authors. I encourage students to do this throughout the year. Maybe an author will write one of us back!

       We've been studying biomes for the past month. The students are now beginning their biome projects. The projects will be completed individually, but we teamed up for the research. Ask your student which biome they are researching.

Hat Day
       The students looked spiffy in their hats! 

Volume and Rectangular Prisms
       The mathematicians assembled and built rectangular prisms. We first found the volume of a cubic inch and then progressed to a cubic foot. We had to imagine what a cubic yard would look like! 

Finding Volume
       We figured out how to find volume for rectangular prisms: length x width x height. Now it was time for a bigger challenge. The students constructed models of obscure shapes and dissected the models to find the volume. Mathematical formulas are great, but there are so many times when we need to think outside the box.

Finding the Area
       The activities began! The students measured out a square foot and discovered 144 inches fit inside of a square foot! The students scoured the room, searching for rectangles with different areas. The smallest rectangle was 1 square inch and the largest rectangle was over 80 square inches! Then they accepted a bigger challenge... predict the area of the white board. Below you can see the class measuring the base and height (a.k.a. length and width) of the white board with our square feet. 

Fun Run!!
       We ran and ran and ran! The fifth graders were role models as the younger grades cheered them on. Way to go, Room 24! You guys are speedy linguine.

Elbow Partners
       We love to brainstorm and teach one another. Often times we work with our "Elbow Partner"- the person next to us. Two minds are greater than one! 

       One of the special aspects of teaching is that you get to be part of the students' lives for nine consecutive months. During this time, you experience them questioning, exploring, and growing. You see the students' identities develop and evolve. 
    As each day passes, I get to know the students better. I am so excited to see where this year takes each one of them. As E.E. Cummings once said, "It takes courage to grow up and become who you really are". To my students I challenge you: Have courage, follow your passions, and be kind to yourself and others. 

Exploring Multiplication 
       As we dove into multiplication we discovered the Commutative Property: 4x6 = 6x4. We also explored parentheses, leading us to the Associative Property: (2x4)x5 = 2x(4x5) = 4x(2x5). We were slightly suspicious, so we turned to arrays to prove these theories true! 

Leaning Tower of Pasta
       We examined towers from around the world, studying their structures and designs. The students had state of the art building supplies... pasta, tape, and one marshmallow. Working in teams, they build marvelous structures that seemed to defy gravity.

Icebreakers II
    Stacking cups was far too simple for the third day of fifth grade. The students encountered a new challenge. Make a pyramid of cups without physically touching any cups. The only tools provided were rubber bands. The students were resilient and creative! 

    The students of Room 24 are getting to know each other better and better. During one icebreaker activity, the students had to race to make the tallest tower! One team was robbed, as their impressive tower crumbled in the final seconds of the competition. 

First Day of Fifth Grade!
    The students marched into Room 24 with backpacks and smiles. During our first day together we had many discussions about our class norms. What makes a quality teacher? What makes a quality student? How do we handle problems in Room 24? Within our class, there are students joining from four different elementary schools, so these fifth graders were full of ideas to share! I look forward to getting to know the students better as each day passes.