Sunday, January 22, 2017

Wrapping Up Quarter Two

Hello 4th and 5th grade families,

It's hard to believe that this school year is already half over.  This post will detail what we've been up to the last few weeks of the quarter.  Please be sure to take a look at the important dates listed below.

Reading:  During the last few weeks the students were introduced to Google Classroom; a platform to organize assignments, share links, and have collaborative discussions.  Posted on our Google Classroom site were several text sets from a website called Newsela.  The students were able to sign in using their AISB google information and gain access to several articles about environmental issues, the refugee crisis, and news from Africa.  One great feature of Newsela is that it allows students to change the text difficulty so that the same information is accessible to all students, despite their stage of reading development.  We used articles to review how to extract important information from non-fiction texts and write concise summaries.  I hope that students continue to peruse this site and stay informed of big issues around the world.

Writing:  Wrapping up the quarter, students spent time self-editing and peer-editing their work. Students also wrote an independent writing sample to help chart their growth in the traits of ideas, organization, word choice, sentence fluency, voice, and conventions.  Their development is clear and I believe they have benefited from trying out different genres and styles this quarter.  Each student will share one original poem at the assembly this Thursday.  I hope you've seen them practicing their performance at home!

Grade 4:  The fourth graders have finished their units on multi-digit multiplication and division.  We have derived the first 25 primes, found all the factors of large numbers, and explored divisibility concepts.  These concepts will be used frequently in the upcoming fractions unit.  So far, students have explored fractions and deduced that fractions must be of equal parts and that there are multiple ways to represent fractions.

Here is a video to review factoring.  

Optional IXLs for review: A10, D15, D22, E16, E17, E8, D4

Grade 5:  We have finished our units that review multi-digit and decimal multiplication and division. To get ready for work with fractions, students reviewed the concepts of prime and composite numbers, divisibility rules, finding the greatest common factor and the least common multiple, and prime factorization.  This foundation will allow us more time to explore complex fraction concepts and apply them.

Here are a few videos to review the concepts of decimal arithmetic and prime factorization.

Optional IXLs for review:  F1 to 7, I1, I9, J3, J4

Social Studies:  The students took on a challenging task as a final project for this unit.  As a particular character (a lettuce farmer, a 4-yr old child, a recent graduate, a widow, etc.) students reviewed the primary and secondary resources we created and researched to decide whether, overall, life in Bamako is improving or declining from that particular perspective.  Students created and presented Google Slide presentations to share their position.  Though this was difficult, students rose to the challenge and learned a lot from the process.  We will be moving on to Science for quarter three.

Upcoming Important Dates

January 26th:  4/5 to present at Morning Assembly
January 26th:  Q2 Report Cards go home
January 28th:  PTO International Fair
February 3rd:  ES and Grade 6 Music Performance

The students shared in my birthday celebration last week.  The birthday song where they counted up to my new age went on much longer than it normally does ;) Thank you for the sweets and gifts!

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Online Learning Day

Here you can find information on the assignments for the at-home learning day, January 13th.  

Please note that in addition to the email that I sent:

  • Intermediate French students (with Ms. Isabelle) have poems (po├ęsies) to work on.  
  • Advanced French students should read and summarize their selected stories or tales from Africa, France, and Quebec

Much of the work requires internet access and a computer.  The students use Google Chromebooks often at school and so they may be a bit confused about how to access their email, Google Drive, and Google Classroom from a home computer.  One way to do this is to..
  • Enter your email and password
  • Here you will find your writing and in the "Share with Me" folder you will find some resources for Social Studies
  • A quick way to get to Google Classroom is to go to once you are signed into google and then click on 4/5 Literacy
For those that don't have a way to do online work at home I have made separate accommodations and explained it carefully to them.  

Your child should be able to do all of this independently.  Suggested total time is 3.5 hours for all work.  Somewhere between 3 and 4 hours is expected. Please do not have your child work for more than four hours and be sure to allow them to take breaks as needed.  

Although it is not included in the plan, I wanted to remind you of the reading resource we have online,  Your child could use this as an alternative to their silent reading book choice.  Directions for access are below.
  1. Visit  
  2. Click on the green "Kids Login" button
  3. Enter teacher username amali0 (that is a zero)
  4. Find your name, click on it, and enter your unique password (the beginning of your email address, before the @ sign).  
Please email me with any questions or concerns,
Ms. Fezekas