Tuesday, January 28, 2014

January 24 Newsletter

Hello Questers!

Here is the latest news!

Ferry Beach

We had a good turn out for our parent informational meeting for the Ferry Beach trip.  In conjunction with this meeting, we talked with our students about the trip, and their questions, ranging from "What video can we bring for the bus?" to "Are the meals good?"  In order to give us time to plan for this, the deadline for informing us that your child will not be able to attend the Ferry Beach trip is Friday, February 7th, and you can let us know by e-mailing Tom Drake at tdrake@wwsu.org.

Questers Without Borders
We are officially on our third session of our "Questers Without Boarders" project.  Above is a link for the official QWB website and helpful links to all related assignments.  Students presented "Resources" Google Presentations of their continents on Thursday in their Geography groups.  This week we will focus on the languages of our continents.  Here are the guidelines for the week.

This week will mark the end of our Ancient Egypt in Motion unit and the beginning of our study of Ancient Greece and Astronomy.  Students will be be working in small groups throughout this unit, which will include an exploration of the history and culture of Ancient Greece as well as the interactions of the earth, moon, and sun.


Students ended the week with a quiz on multiplying fractions.  Our focus will stay on fractional reasoning, as this is one of the most important math topics for 5th graders.  We have built an understanding of the multiplication of fractions.  Here is a series of videos that may be helpful when working with your student at home.

Mr. Weekly help videos are now linked to the Quest website.  There will be NO Mr. Weekly this week.  Instead, students will be working on a fractions poster at home.  The guidelines can be found on the Quest webpage.  


Congratulations to Sarah Bartolomei and Ashley Proteau for representing the Quest Team at the School Wide Bee last week!   Good work Questers!

Language Arts

We have concluded our Ancient Egypt reports and dioramas.  Students used Google Research and learned how to cite sources using this tool.  We will continue to work with citing sources in the upcoming months.  Our POW for the week is to edit these reports.

 Students also participated in a diorama project for their Ancient Egypt topics. The dioramas look fabulous!  Now, we are moving into Ancient Greece, and our mythology / drama unit.

Questions to ask your student:

  • What did you put in your diorama?
  • What did you need to edit for your report?
  • What polis are you in for the Greek studies?
  • What are some of the languages spoken on your continent?
  • What will the theme be for your fraction poster?

Let us know if you have any questions!

Monday, January 6, 2014

January 6 Newsletter

Hello Questers!
Happy New Year!

 We are diving into our Ancient Egypt in motion unit!  This is a completely interdisciplinary unit, and we are excited about the lessons and learning to come!

During the ESB time, students will be doing various experiments regarding motion and ancient Egypt.  We completed one regarding moving "pyramid stones" up ramps, and on Wednesday, we will be giving our "Chariots" a try.  (Please help your student to remember his/ her snow gear that day). We will also be creating physical maps of Ancient Egypt. 

 During LA block, students will be completing a Project Based Learning assignment in which they will be researching a particular topic with a small group, writing an individual paper, and completing a small group diorama to fit in the glass case at the end of the hallway. 

Research skills:  Students will all be reading Everything Ancient Egypt, a National Geographic book about our study. 
Students will also be learning keyword searches on selected search engines, and how to find a rich source for research.  We will begin citations with this paper as well.  The work for this unit will be done in class, but I will add photos of the completed dioramas to a newsletter!

Math:  Students will continue to explore fraction operations through number line activities and math games.  By next week, we will be jumping into fraction multiplication with an emphasis on understanding the mathematics through modeling.  Mr. Weekly #4 will be passed out on Tuesday and is due on 1/14.

Questers Without Borders
For the second half of this year,  students will be taking part in a geography project entitled “Questers Without Borders.”  Questers Without Borders will challenge your student to understand one continent in depth, and several continents in overview.  The students have chosen their continent, and have been put in groups with other students who are studying other continents.  

Students will be given a new geography ‘theme’ every other week to help focus their presentations.  They will begin their work each in class.  The presentation will take place the following week, with the intention that the project is finished at home.  It is incredibly important that students are prepared each week for their presentations as they are accountable to their group members.  At this point, the presentations are in a blue book, called their "passport."  Eventually, we will include other methods of presentation including  powerpoint/google presentation, summary/word document, poster/visual, drawings, and other artistic representations. 

The first assignment, due this Thursday, is completing a map that shows physical features of the continent they chose.  Students should select 5 - 10 of the following to label on their continent's map in their passports.
oceans / seas
highest point

This will be presented to the small groups on Thursday, January 9th. 

Other items:  There will be an evening meeting about the Ferry Beach Field Trip on Thursday, January 23rd at 6:30.

Questions to ask your student:
What continent will you be focusing on for your Questers Without Borders?
Have you looked at the comments on your narrative?  What will you edit first?
What is your small group going to work on for the LA Ancient Egypt Diorama assignment?
How did your group sort the fraction cards?

Have a good week!