Fifth Grade Update by Mrs. Reneker
Fifth graders have the opportunity to be great leaders and role models to all the other grades. They lead brainercise activities in classrooms every morning, are assigned ball box duty at various times throughout the year, can apply to be tellers at our Pekin Savings Bank, and are able to start playing instruments in band. For the most part, they have been adjusting well to the fifth grade routine.
They recently finished their first unit over volume in Everyday Math and are now learning the US standard algorithm for multiplication. (The way we parents learned when we were kids.)
Basic math facts are forever important, so each week students take a three minute timed test over addition, subtraction, multiplication, or division. They work to complete 50 problems in three minutes. They are tested each quarter, and once they achieve 50 correct in all four operations, students get to play math games on their Dell Chromebooks during the testing time.
I always say, “Practice makes progress.” The more they practice the better they’ll get, so quizzing them at home, while riding in the car, or having them practice facts on computers or ipads will help. Students can also log in to connected.mcgraw-hill.com and play Everyday Math games at home. Their username and password are taped inside their daily planner.
It is my hope that Everyday Math will help our young people be more confident, competent problem solvers.
Our focus in science has been the study of Ecology. Students learned about plants and animals of various biomes including desert, tropical, polar and temperate, and they will soon perform an ecology readers’ theater to other classrooms. They are also making posters which you will see displayed during upcoming parent-teacher conferences.
Students will also be dissecting owl pellets. This is always a favorite activity. Owl pellets are balls of fur and bones left over after an owl has a meal. All the parts that cannot be digested form a tight ball that the owl coughs up. Pellets can be found in barns or under trees where owls roost. Ask your child to sing you the “Owl Pellet Song”. Students separate the bones from the fur, identify the animals that had been eaten, and sort bones into categories. They then glue the bones to poster paper and label their findings. Please take time during parent-teacher conferences to view this project in the glass display case near the elementary office.
In social studies, students have learned all about different maps and globs and how and why they are used. We have recently concentrated on North America and specifically the regions within the United States.
Please continue to ask your student about what they are learning in their classes, and don’t forget to check their planners nightly. Feel free to jot down questions or comments in those planners. We check them every morning.