October 28- November 2

Monday: Our spelling list for the week is list 32 #1-10 with the bonus word counselor.  We took notes in our reader’s notebooks on context clues.  We looked for context clues in our reading and wrote down new vocabulary in our word work section.

Homework: Spelling and vocab homework are due Wednesday

Tuesday: We took notes on colons in our writer’s notebook.  We practiced using colons by completing a free write activity.  The only requirement was that students use 3 colons, 2 semicolons, and 3 commas in their writing.

Homework: Spelling and vocab homework due tomorrow

Wednesday: We took more notes on context clues today.  We discussed different types of context clues and the signal words that would clue us in that there might be a context clue for the unknown word in our reading.  We did a practice sheet looking at antonym and synonym context clues and we filled out  a graphic organizer on an unknown word we encountered in our reading today.

Thursday: We had a shorter lesson today.  We took notes on techniques for proofreading spelling.  The students went through one of their old writings and checked for spelling mistakes.  Research shows that if students go through their work and circle the words they think they misspelled, they’ll be 95% accurate in isolating those words.  That is an encouraging statistic that we CAN catch spelling mistakes and learn how to fix them.

Friday: We took a spelling and vocab test and wrote peer responses to the weekly letter.  Students had time to silent read at the end of the period.

NOTE: Students can email me photographs for art class until Friday, November 18th.  We will be working on self-portraits soon and will be using these photographs as a reference for our art project.  I need to digitally alter the photos, so students won’t be able to use hard copies.  They will need to email their own photo or use the one I’ve taken of them.


October 28- November 2

Monday: We worked on a worksheet together in Bible dealing with the covenant God made with the Israelites.  In language arts we talked about rereading in nonfiction to clarify meaning.  We used our science textbook to model how we can reread, use the glossary, and look at pictures and diagrams to improve our understanding.  We also read about mummies and pyramids.  We watched a couple Horrible Histories (you can watch one below).  Horrible Histories was a British TV show for kids that covers some of the topics we study over the year, so look for more to come!  Lastly, we took notes on volume, mass, weight, and density.  These can be very tricky concepts, even for adults, so review the information when you can and always ask questions!

Homework: Station 4 on science worksheet (you can use a calculator), spelling homework is due Wednesday (list 1 words 11-20 with bonus word measure)

Tuesday: This morning we talked about the covenant made with David and how God didn’t allow him to build a temple.  Students started working on a worksheet that they’ll finish tomorrow or Thursday.  We took notes on summarizing sections of nonfiction text.  We practiced together from our science books, and then the students used their book of choice to summarize a section.  This afternoon we spent the day working on Heritage.  The students presented their pinwheel projects and then we completed stations mummifying an orange and creating a cut-away diagram of a pyramid.

Homework: Spelling homework is due tomorrow.  Some students were not ready to present their pinwheel projects.  They will need to present tomorrow and Thursday.

Wednesday: Our chapel speaker this morning talked about the things we can use to “clothe” our inside, such as compassion, love, and gentleness.  We talked more about summarizing in language arts, and students wrote a summary of what they read during class work time.  We read about the Rosetta stone in Heritage and completed workbook page 15.  We reviewed mass, density, and volume in science by doing a quick practice worksheet and a review workbook page (35).

Homework: Any work that was not finished during work time is due tomorrow.  Many students need to turn in spelling homework that was due today.

Note: I apologize for being a little slow in grading recently.  We’ve moved into a new house and the internet won’t be up for another week, so I haven’t been doing it at home like usual.  I’m working on grades while at school, but it may take a couple more days for grades to be fully updated online.  I will notify students of any missing work they have before the weekend so they have a chance to turn it in before the end of the quarter.  

Thursday: We spent the morning working on Tuesday’s Bible worksheet and making sure we don’t have any other unfinished worksheets in our desk or folders.  We talked about how to use context clues in our reading if our book doesn’t have a glossary.  Context clues will be what most people rely on to figure out unknown words outside of school.  It is very important we learn how to use them.  We completed a history frame in Heritage over the Middle and New Kingdoms of Egypt.  We also filled out a graphic organizer on pages 60-65 in our science textbook.  We found the main idea of each subheading and wrote down two supporting details.  Reminder: Supporting details are specific facts that are related to the main idea.  They give more detail or specific information about the topic.

Homework: Spelling test tomorrow, today’s history frame and science graphic organizer are due, and some people are still missing yesterday’s science workbook page and quick practice

Friday: We are wrapping up the unit on covenants in Bible class.  Next week we will review and take a unit test on Tuesday.  Students can use some resources on the Bible quiz so it shouldn’t be too challenging.  We took notes today on choosing a “just right” nonfiction book.  We went to the library to practice selecting books that are at our reading level, and students checked out a just right book that they’re interested in to use for a report we’ll be starting next week.  The students wrote creative stories in science as if they were on another planet with different states of matter.

Homework: Make sure all missing work is turned in

NOTE: Students can email me photographs for art class until Friday, November 18th.  We will be working on self-portraits soon and will be using these photographs as a reference for our art project.  I need to digitally alter the photos, so students won’t be able to use hard copies.  They will need to email their own photo or use the one I’ve taken of them.

October 21-25

Monday: We finished the stations we were working on last Wednesday.  We also got our new spelling words for the week.

Tuesday: We went over 5 common comma mistakes today.  The students used the comma rules we talked about in class to respond to four different prompts.  I’m hoping to see more commas in their work!

Homework: Spelling and vocab homework are due tomorrow, today’s assignment is due tomorrow

Wednesday: We took notes on fix it strategies to use when we aren’t understanding what we read.  Sometimes it’s easy to zone out while reading, and these strategies will help get us back on track.  The students read 10-15 pages of their book and tried using one of the strategies talked about in class to improve their comprehension.

Thursday: Today was a writer’s day.  We did a quick practice with commas and then took notes on semicolons.  We practiced adding semicolons and commas to sentences and then wrote our own sentences using semicolons.

Homework: Spelling test tomorrow, make sure all work is caught up

Friday: We read a story that was above grade level in order to practice fix it strategies while reading.  We did a quick practice on semicolons and wrote a weekly letter.

October 21-25

Monday: We read a play about Abraham and started to fill out a graphic organizer on the story of Abraham sacrificing Isaac.  In language arts, we took notes on nonfiction text features and looked for those new text features in our nonfiction books.  In science, we read an article on evolution and creationism.  We started working on a T-chart listing the differences between evolution and creationism from the article.  The students need to finish this on their own.  In Heritage, we started the unit on Egypt by learning about the Nile river.  We watched the first part of a video on ancient Egypt (the beginning two sections): click link here.

Homework: Finish T-chart from article, spelling homework is due Wednesday

Tuesday: The students wanted to continue our debate on Adam and Eve, so we took some time to do that this morning and to organize our desks.  In language arts, we took more notes on text features and determined which text feature we see the most in our reading.  In the afternoon, we reviewed the unit on fossils.  We will have a science exam on Friday.  The students can use one side of an index card during the exam.  Many of the students have remarked that they don’t think a study guide is the best way for them to study, so we are trying something different and will see how it goes!  In Heritage, we did map work and reviewed the importance of the Nile river.

Homework: Science exam Friday, spelling homework is due tomorrow

Wednesday: Our chapel speaker today talked about how incomprehensible God is.  She used the example of Job and situations in her own life to illustrate how we can’t always know the mind of God.  During language arts, we talked about how good readers of nonfiction don’t always start at the beginning of the book.  Sometimes readers will use the table of contents or index to locate specific information that will interest them the most.  This afternoon we only worked on Heritage.  We talked about the unification of Egypt through Narmer (sometimes known as Menes).  We added labels to the Narmer Palette (see below) for today’s notes.  I loved this activity because it directly related to how text features can improve our understanding, something we’ve been talking about in language arts.  Finally, we broke into groups to make a movable Narmer action figure and a unified Egypt crown.

Homework: Heritage map and the Gift of the Nile worksheet are due Friday.  Science exam Friday



Fossil Jeopardy (Try playing with a friend!  This was not created by me so some of the questions will not show up on the test, such as questions about coal, gas, or fuel)

Fossil Games (Play any of the games below to practice for the exam.  This was not created by me so may have extra information we don’t need for the exam)

Linking Verb Jeopardy (Play with a friend or on your own!  See how well you know your verbs)

Spelling Words Game (Play games to practice spelling for tomorrow’s test!)

Friday: We’ve been studying covenants God has made with his people in this unit.  We looked at God’s covenant with the Israelites today.  In language arts, we talked about helping verbs and did a practice exercise on it.  We also took a spelling test and free read our nonfiction books.  In the afternoon, we took a science test and worked on our Heritage projects.

October 14-16

Monday: Today was a reader’s day.  We talked about description and how authors use varied verbs, specific nouns, and adjectives to paint a picture in the reader’s head.  We went to our books and evaluated whether the author used enough description and looked at their specific word choice.

Tuesday: We took notes on author’s purpose and determined the author’s purpose in our books.

Wednesday: Today we did stations working on different language arts skills.  The stations had a strong grammar focus, and I’m hoping that the students can feel more confident with grammar concepts as we finish stations next week.

October 14-16

Wow!  It must be a short week because I forgot to update the website!

On Monday, we started a new unit in language arts.  We will be working with nonfiction books for the next month or so.  Nonfiction is a very large part of what 5th and 6th graders need to know each year to meet Minnesota state standard requirements.  It’ll show up on the Iowa Basics at the end of the year and will help students better understand their textbooks in Heritage and science.  Sitting down and reading nonfiction isn’t always something we think about, but I can’t emphasize enough how important it is.  We also got the study guide for Heritage and are working towards the end of the unit in science.

Homework: Study guide will be due tomorrow (students receive points for completing it)

Tuesday: In Bible, we spent another day working on a fill in the blank worksheet on the Genesis story of the flood.  This also ties into what we learned in science with how the flood may account for many of the fossils we have found.  In language arts, students picked a nonfiction book that interested them to start reading.  They also filled out the worksheet “Nonfiction Reading Log” on their new book choice.  We finished reading to the end of the science unit and answered the chapter questions.  We wrapped up the day with a Heritage study game.

Homework: Nonfiction Reading Log and exit slip

Wednesday: We had a very interesting chapel speaker talk on Guinea in Africa.  He is a missionary to Africa and shared pictures with us about life there.  He also gave each student money from Guinea to keep as a reminder to pray for the people and missionaries there.  In language arts, we took notes on nonfiction text features and examined the text features in our science book.  This afternoon was a little different than normal.  We had  visit from four furry friends (golden retriever puppies- pictures to come), and we celebrated Bob’s retirement from bus driving.  But don’t worry, we also got some work done in all the excitement!  We took our Heritage exam.

Homework: Have a wonderful, long weekend!  Remember to keep up with your Book It goal.  It’s nearing the end of the month and you can get a Pizza Hut personal pan pizza certificate for meeting your monthly reading goal- what a tasty incentive!


October 7-11

Monday: We finished typing our stories today.  We will meet in peer editing groups tomorrow to critique each other’s stories.  If students finished early, they started on a grammar packet.  Our spelling words this week are words that drop the final -y and add a suffix.

Homework: Spelling and vocab homework is due on Wednesday

Tuesday: The class was divided into groups of 3 today to work in peer editing groups on their stories.  Each student made editing marks on the stories they read and gave them helpful critique to improve their writing.

Homework: Bring home stories to critique if not finished in class.  Spelling homework is due tomorrow

Wednesday: Students met in their peer critique groups to talk about each other’s writing.  For the most part, those discussions sounded productive and constructive.  On Friday, we will edit our stories for a final draft.  Students NEED to keep track of the two peer edited stories and not throw them away.

Homework: Grammar Packet is due at the end of the day tomorrow

Thursday: We took notes on Show, Don’t Tell and worked on making improving sentences by making them more descriptive.  Later we went to our reading and found 3 examples of showing to put in our notebooks.  This lesson should help us tomorrow when we go to rewrite.

Homework: Spelling test tomorrow.  Grammar packet is due today and students will need to read 15 pages of their book and write 3 examples of showing into their notebooks.