Fifth-Grade Class News

 Robin Rocans, Fifth-Grade Teacher


Fifth Grade News - May 19, 2017

Here is why I love fifth grade and fifth graders - we discussed the following topics this week in class:

- Office of the Keys and clapping in church,

- Batting averages and Decimals in Space,

- Breeds of chickens and eggs,

- Cow gas and the greenhouse effect,

- Sue the dinosaur and how she got her name,

- Slavery and spirituals,

- Gettysburg Address and infantry,

- Floating and atoms, and

- Tennis.

It's funny how we start discussing one thing and that leads us to look something up and talk about another thing.  As you can well imagine, there's a whole lot of "discussing" going on in fifth grade - and I love it!  Be sure to ask your child what they know about these topics.

In addition to all that we had a visitor this week that I was so excited about.  One of my former students from about twenty years ago stopped by to talk to us about how he went from being a ten year old future NBA star to a musician and actor.  He was one of my favorite students, and I love how he shared with the kids about fulfilling their dreams - but maybe not the one they thought.  This really made me think about where my current fifth graders will be twenty years from now.  I could probably make some predictions, but only God knows for sure!  Jeremiah 29:11 tells us, "For I know the plans I have for you", and He sure has shown me that many times in my own life.

Next week we have a regular-old week, but we are having some special visitors which should be fun.  In addition we will be having a Math test on Friday on decimals and percents.  We should also be finishing up our Sojourner Truth book and our study of the Civil War.

Please be sure that your child has done their research on a historical figure for the book project that is due next Friday.  They don't have to read a whole big book - just gather information about the person and display it on a poster board.  They do need to be prepared to give a short speech as that person.  Thanks for your help.

We are currently suffering from a combination of sinus infections, allergies, and a whole bunch of headaches in our class.  Part of the problem, at least as I can figure, is that it has gotten too hot, too quickly.  Weren't we just wearing coats last week?  And while we do have the air conditioning on, the kids are really thirsty.  I've been giving them paper cups to fill up, but it would really be helpful if they had a water bottle.  A lot of the time I think that the many headaches are from not drinking enough.  Thanks for your help with this.

Blessings to you and your this weekend! 



Fifth Grade News - May 12th

Happy Mother's Day to all the women who love my fifth graders!  The kids and I did some research about the history of Mother's Day, and did you know that the woman who invented Mother's Day didn't like what Mother's Day became?  She originally promoted the idea because she had lost her own mother and wanted people to have an opportunity to spend time with their mothers.  Instead it had turned into a commerical holiday - filled with commercials of all the things you were supposed to buy your mother to show you loved her!  I hope that you and  your family get to spend time just enjoying being together this Mother's Day.

Speaking of mothers, we owe a word of thanks to a bunch of fifth grade moms.  Thanks to Mrs. Monroy-Pop and Mrs. Romero who joined the non-track kids last Friday.  Thanks to their help we were able to walk over to Luther North to watch the track kids and then enjoy some ice cream at Dairy Queen.  Thanks to Mrs. Lee, Mrs. Nieves, and Mrs. Radcliff for joining us Wednesday at Harmony House.  We had a great visit with the kids singing, playing the harmonica, piano, and guitar, and teling jokes.  We, of course, also played bingo which is always the highlight.  I am so pleased that we have been able to make so many visits to Harmony House this year.  It really is a blessings for not only the residents there, but for our kids as well.  Thanks to Mr. Markworth for driving us.

This week we took the spring MAP tests.  I wish you could see the kids taking these tests.  You can really tell which ones they like and which they don't.  The Language and Reading are always stinkers because they require reading long passages and answering questions.  Plus you have to sit still for a really long time!  Not fifth grade's best skill.  We took several of the tests last period which made it extra hard to focus.  Overall the kids did well, and you should expect the full results of your child's tests in the next few weeks.  It's funny the kids still think that their going to sixth grade depends on how they do on these tests.  I assured them that they are all going to sixth grade - no matter what!  Of course I say that even though I would love to keep all of them with me for another year.

Today was the Ice Cream Social/Book Fair/Registration Night, so I hope that you had opportunity to browse some books, eat some ice cream, and do some investigating about next year.  Mrs. Franklin has some really cool plans for how she is going to organize sixth grade next year, and I told her that this was a great bunch of kids to do this with because they are so easy to work with.  Thanks to those of you who were able to take care of registering for next year - it really helps us plan for the next school year.

This week, besides testing and a field trip, we still did some work, including working more on poetry and starting a new reading book.  We are reading a biography of Sojourner Truth to go along with our study of the Civil War.  This is the only non-fiction book we've read as a class, and I think it is going to be beneficial to the kids to see that it is a different kind of reading.  In addition I gave the kids their next book project - a poster to go along with a biography of a historical person.  The specific directions went home on Wednesdday, and the project is due Friday, May 26th.  We also finished up our measurement unit in Math and the baseball unit in Gym.  

Next week is a pretty regular week, if there is such a thing, with the exception of a half day on Friday.  That night is a big one for our eighth graders as we all will be attending the eighth grade recognition dinner.  This is always such a joyful celebration of the kids, some of them having been at St. John's their whole school career.  Extended care is available Friday afternooon - paperwork about that went home this week.

Again, Happy Mother's Day to all of you.  Is there any greater blessing in our lives than those children and grandchildren that God has given us to love?  Enjoy!



Fifth Grade News - May 5, 2017

Did your fifth grader tell you about . . . solarians and how many of them you need to buy a pizza?  . . . Robin Hood and what the fourth wall is?  . . . how they either did at the track meet or what they ate at Dairy Queen?  All this in one week in the life of a fifth grader!  We have had a great week, and we owe big words of thanks to many people for making all of it possible.  Thanks to Mr. Bohus for joining us Wednesday at Emily Oaks Nature Center in Skokie where we learned about energy and food chains and the real cost of pizza and why we should be careful with our fossil fuels.  Thanks to Mrs. Baldwin, Mr. Duran, and Mrs. Lee who joined us on Thursday when we went to see Robin Hood at the Filament Theatre.  It was a great performance and especially nice that we could just walk there - and walk safely thanks to all our chaperones!  On Friday more than half of the fifth graders were involved in the conference track meet at Luther North.  Thanks to Miss Bahr, Mrs. Franklin, and Mrs. U for all their work preparing the kids for this fun event.  The non-track kids and I walked over to Luther North in the afternoon to watch a bit and then enjoyed some ice cream at Dairy Queen. Thanks to Mrs. Monroy-Pop for joining us for that trip.  

Well how are we ever going to top this week?  Well we probably can't, but we do have a busy week next week too.  On Wednesday we are going to Harmony House for our last visit, and we would love to have you join us.  On Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday we will be taking the final MAP tests of the year.  These scores are the most important of the year because they should be a pretty representation of your child's progress.  Please look for scores to come home within a few weeks.  Also next week is the Ice Cream Social/Book Fair/ Re-Registration Night on Friday.  This is a wonderful opportunity for the whole family to have fun eating and browsing while at the same time letting us know your intentions for next year.  All the teachers will be available to meet with you that night in case you have any questions.   

Today is the mid-point of the fourth quarter (sadly!).  Mid-term reports will be released next Friday.  The kids continue to do well though it is getting harder to get everyone's homework done.  But I sure know the feeling - go for a bike ride on a beautiful Saturday afternoon or do lesson plans?  Even teachers struggle to maintain during these final weeks.  But I always tell the kids - would you give up in the fourth quarter even if you were leading by 25?  No, of course not!  So finish strong!

Next week in between all the other activities we will continue with our Holy Spirit/Faith Religion lessons, measurement, a bit more poetry, a new novel and book project, the Civil War, matter, and baseball.  

Again thanks to everyone who helped us in some way this week.  The fifth graders and I are truly blessed to be able to do all these fun things, and without your help, it wouldn't be possible.

Blessings to you and yours this weekend! 


Fifth Grade News - April 28, 2017

Is it even possible that in a day or two it will be May?  The amazing weather God has blessed us with almost makes it feel like summer.  The kids and I were even able to have gym outside a few days.  Besides the beautiful weather, the best thing about this time of the year is all the great things going on here in fifth grade and at St. John's.  

If you are looking for some fabulous treasures, please be sure to stop by the rummage sale here on Saturday.  Also please plan on joining us on Friday, May 12th for the Ice Cream Social/Book Fair/Re-Registration Night.  This event will give you an opportunity to eat some ice cream, buy some books, and learn a little bit about sixth grade.  There are no formal presentations that night, but all the teachers will be available, as well as other folks to help you get ready for the 2017-18 school year.  Not that I want to give MY fifth graders away, mind you, but it really helps planning and scheduling for next year when people register early.  Mrs. Franklin has included an introductory letter in our Fridays folders, so please be sure to take a look at what she has planned for next year.  

Next week fifth grade and I have an amazing week planned.  On Wednesday we will be going to Emily Oaks Nature Center in Skokie to learn more about energy which we have been studying in Science.  As part of the activity, we will be having lunch there provided by school, so no need to send a sack lunch.  If you would like to join us, please just let me know.  We will leave right after Chapel and return around 1:00.  We will be going, rain or shine, and the activity is all outside, so please make sure your child is dressed appropriately.  The kids may wear jeans, but they need to have a St. John's shirt.  

On Thursday we are going to the Filament Theatre along with fourth grade to see  Robin Hood.  This is a great opportunity for our kids to see a live, professional theater production.  Word of thanks to Mrs. Baldwin for helping to organize this trip for our kids.  We will be walking over, so please make sure that your child is prepared.  Regular school dress code applies for this trip.  Would you like to join us?  We are leaving at 9:00 and will be back around 11:00.

On Friday about two thirds of the fifth graders will be participating in the all-day track meet at Luther North.  The rest of us will be having a regular school morning.  Then after lunch my plan is to walk over to Luther North to check out our kids, and then stop somewhere for a snack.  Would you please send a small amount of money for your child to purchase an ice cream cone or other snack.  Regular Friday dress code will apply, and, I'd love to have you join us, if you are able.

Meanwhile back at school . . . we will be continuing with our study of the Holy Spirit and faith in Religion, measurement in Math, and poetry in Language Arts.  We will be starting a new non-fiction book in Reading to go along with our study of the Civil War in Social Studies.  In Science we will be finishing up our study of energy, and in PE we will be continuing with our baseball unit.  

Again, if you would like to join us for any of our trips next week, I would love to have you.  I really do need at least one other adult to join me, especially for the walking trips.  The fifth graders are very well behaved "on the road", but it's always good to have another set of eyes and ears.  

Blessings to you and yours this weekend! 


Fifth Grade News - Easter Edition

This week I used the words from a song as the basis of my devotions.  Have you heard Oh Glorious Day?  What a perfect song to remind us of all that our Saviour has done for us.  Each day the kids made a symbol to go along with the words:

Living, He loved me

Dying, He saved me

Buried, He carried my sins far away

Rising, He justified freely forever

One day He's coming

Oh glorious day, oh glorious day

I pray that you and your family have opportunity to worship and praise our Saviour for Living, Dying, Being Buried, and Rising all so that we can celebrate with Him that day He comes back for us!  Oh Glorious Day, indeed!