March Newsletter 2005

Fifth Grade - Mrs. Vraney

March 23, 2005

Dear Parents,

I hope this newsletter finds everyone getting ready for a much needed spring break. The students have been very busy this past month. I would like to fill you in on what we have been working on and give you a preview of things to come.

All of the math classes are currently studying Module 5, "Creating Things". In this module, the students will be comparing fractions, investigating customary units of length, adding and subtracting fractions and mixed numbers, investigating capacity, multiplying mixed numbers and dividing fractions.

We will be finishing the book, The Night of the Twisters. This will end theme 3 "Our Changing Planet". After break we will read and study books that are on the theme of school. In writing, the students have learned to outline important information by picking out the main idea and details. They also learned more about the strategy "specialized vocabulary". They learned why authors write with technical language and how readers can define these special words. Currently, the students are using their outlines to write a classroom report. Mr. Flaherty came in a helped us revise our introductions so that they state a main idea and have an interesting "hook" to capture the readers' attention. Reports will be finished and shared before spring break. I hope to post them in our hallway for parents and other students to see.

Has your child been looking more closely at food labels lately? We are finishing our food and nutrition unit in science class. We have studied the food pyramid and discussed the six nutrients: fats, carbohydrates, protein, vitamins, minerals and water. The students have conducted experiments to test for fat, protein, starches and sugars in a variety of foods and liquids. They have learned about indicators and what materials indicate the presence of these nutrients in foods and liquids. We created posters to demonstrate our study on vitamins. We traveled to Homestead and talked to the head of the food service department. She explained to the students how our hot lunch program is set up and how lunches are put together. This unit certainly raises the awareness of the importance of choices in what students put in their mouths on a daily basis.

In social studies we are still studying the colonization of our country. In our present chapter, students are studying who came and why. They learned who the founders of the colonies were, and about the conflicts the colonists had with each other and the indigenous people of that area. In the next chapter, we will study the colonists' lives. We will do projects that look at jobs the colonists held, how they dressed, what their homes looked like, games they played, schools, etc. We will look at how the environment affected some of these areas. We will also look at how the success of the colonies led to political and economic conflicts. There will be a big emphasis on economics in relation to the colonists in this unit.

As you can see, we are busy, busy, busy here in the fifth grade. We are showing that as the end of the third quarter draws to a close, we are becoming more mature and more ready for the challenges of Steffen Middle School. I hope everyone has a safe and enjoyable spring break.



Missy Vraney

updated - March 21, 2005(mv)

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