Fifth-Grade Class News

 Robin Rocans, Fifth-Grade Teacher


Fifth Grade News - February 14th

It certainly was a week of love for fifth grade!  The kids loved that we were able to participate in the Lutheran Schools Weeks activities we missed due to the cold.  We enjoyed dressing up both days, the speakers on Tuesday afternoon and, of course, the ever-popular Chapel Family Olympics on Wednesday.  We loved hearing Mrs. Prats talk about her Native American heritage on Monday morning.  Did you know that an eagle feather is considered scared in Native American culture?  Everyone loved all the treats we had this week - munchkins on Wednesday and heart birthday donuts on Thursday thanks to Kristina and Mrs. Kelly, and all the Valentine's Day treats on Thursday  The class and I were so disappointed that we couldn't go to Harmony on Wednesday, but we were able to spread some Valentine's Day love thanks to Kristina and Mrs. Kelly who brought our gifts to them.  The kids especially loved the idea that they don't have school Friday or Monday!  But the best love we talked about this week was the love of God in our Memory verse - that Jesus laid down His life for us and we in turn are to show that kind of love to our brothers and sisters.  I'm so grateful that we are at a school where we can celebrate Valentine's Day with cards and candy, but that we can also celebrate the love of our Saviour!

The fifth graders finished all the MAP tests this week, so results should be coming home in the next few weeks.  They really did a great job based on their RIT scores.  As I told the kids, pretty much everyone got smarter!  While it's encouraging to see their scores improve, it's important to remember that these tests are just one way to monitor your child's progress.  In fact next Friday is the mid-point of the third quarter, and the kids' reports will be released on Friday, February 22nd.  The reports give us the chance to see your child's day-to-day progress which is equally important.  Please let me know if you have any questions about either the mid-term reports or the MAP test results.

We did have a lot of special activities going on this week, but we did some regular work as well.  In Religion we continued with our sex ed lessons, in Math we are working on some prealgebra concepts, in Language Arts we talked about double negatives and why it's important to speak and write correctly.  In Reading we finished Because of Mr. Terupt - such a sweet story with a great message - the importance of forgiveness.  In Social Studies we continued with the Revolutionary Way, and in Science we started a new chapter on water.  We played a little football in PE, and the kids had Music, Spanish, and Computer. 

We are getting close to having a Math test on Chapter Six as well as a test on the Revolutionary War.  I will let you know when I have the exact days for the tests, and study guides will be coming home for both tests.

Thanks again to Mrs. Carey, Mrs. Kelly, Mrs. Radcliff, and Mrs. Streif who offered to drive us to Harmony on Wednesday, and also understood why we couldn't go.  I hoping that the concern about the flu is gone by March, and we will be able to visit the residents again.

Saturday night is the Talent Show, and many fifth graders are involved.  Please plan to enjoy seeing their talents while helping out the eighth grade class raise funds for their class trip.

Blessings to you and yours this long weekend!    



Fifth Grade News - February 8, 2019

Well it sure has been a crazy week in fifth grade - good, but crazy.  It is always a big deal when we take MAP tests because there are no time limits on these tests - everyone gets as much time as they need.  So, for example, on Tuesday everyone had to sit still for two hours so people could finish.  On Wednesday we sat for another two hours, but even at that, not everyone finished.  The good news is that means the kids are taking these test seriously because they are difficult.  Just based on the RIT scores that we get right after finishing the tests, the fifth graders have improved, in some cases, considerably.  I told them this was our proof that they were getting smarter!  I'm writing this Thursday morning so we still have two more tests to go, but I've been proud of not only the results, but the behavior of the kids.  God did not intend for fifth graders to sit still for such a long time!  Please look for your child's complete results to come home in the next few weeks.  

We had two special visitors this week - both on Tuesday - and the kids were excited by both.  Mr. Hoyos, Olivia's Dad, who works for the Cubs came in to tell us about his job which is pretty cool.  We got to see the security cameras used to keep everyone safe, and even got to wave to the man who was at control central.  I especially loved how Mr. Hoyos shared the role faith plays in his job.  How blessed are we to have parents willing to take their time to teach our kids about things they could never learn from a book!  Speaking of blessings, Pastor Ehrhard came and hung out with us on Tuesday and spent a bunch of time explaining the "unforgivable sin" and answering quite a few other questions.  I told the kids I was so proud of how smart they sounded when discussing the Bible.  Pastor offered us the chance to ask him questions in the future, so we now have an "Ask the Pastor" box in our room for questions.  

We did do a bit of work around all the tests, visits, and special classes which can't be missed.  We started our lessons on sex ed, and the kids seem to be quite excited.  We spent time talking about the difference between boys and girls - not the physical differences - but the ways boys and girls act and how people think boys and girls should act.  In Math we finished up our theme parks which we started last week on Disney Day.  I'm always amazed at the kids' imaginations when I give them these kinds of projects.  It also was a nice break after all that too-long division!  We started a unit on variables and expressions - sounds fancy, but really just using a letter to represent a number in an equation.  In Language Arts we did several activities, including some research, in connection with Black History Month.  In Reading we continued with Because of Mr. Terupt, in Social Studies we continued with the Revolutionary War, and in Science we continued with ecosystems.  We, much to the kids' dismay, did not have gym this week because we took the MAP tests in the afternoon.  They did have Spanish, Music, and Computer, however.

Next week is going to be a fun one because we have rescheduled the theme days we missed during Lutheran Schools Week.  Tuesday will be Future Occupation Day - dress up like what you want to be when you grow up - and Wednesday will be Chapel Family Color Day.  We will have activities each afternoon to go along with those themes.  We are also going to have a special guest on Monday.  Thursday is Valentine's Day, and while we don't really have a party, the kids are welcome to bring valentines and treats, if they'd like.  On Wednesday we are going to Harmony House for our February visit, and I still need a few drivers if you are able.  We don't have school on Friday due to a meeting all the teachers need to go to at Concordia University.  We also don't have school the following Monday due to President's Day. 

On Saturday, February 16th there will be a talent show here at school to raise money for the eighth grade class.  I'm sure there will be more information in the Parent Bulletin, but I wanted to let you know about it because a bunch of fifth graders are participating.  The show starts at 6:30. 

The PTL Auction is coming up soon, and the fifth grade class is being asked to provide items for a Dinner Basket.  I think what they are looking for are gift cards to restaurants.  This is always a fun, and profitable event for St. John's, and the PTL has been invaluable in providing opportunities for our kids through the funds they raise.  Thanks to them the fifth graders get to use chromebooks for so many things!  Thanks in advance for your support of this event.  

Blessings to you and yours this weekend!


Fifth Grade News - February 1, 2019

If this wasn't already going to be a crazy week . . . . never before in my career have I had two snow/cold days off.  But I guess never before in Chicago have we had two days of negative 20 some degrees before!  I think it was a wise decision for us to not have school, but it was kind of funny to be home in the middle of the week.  I know the kids were disappointed about missing Future Career Day and Chapel Famliy Olympics Day, but we will be rescheduling them.  I'm just glad that we were still able to have VIP Day.  The fifth graders did a great job working on their Bible story skits, and it was fun to have so many guests in our classroom.  Thanks to all of you who helped to make this day special either with the PTL activities or helping our VIP's to get to St. John's.  Please look for information in the next week or so about the rescheduling of the other events.

We didn't get a whole lot done this week with only 2-1/2 days of school, but we did take a test on long division.  I was really proud of the kids.  Every one of them greatly improved from the pretest I gave at the beginning of the unit.  Most of them were only able to correctly answer one or two problems then, and on the test most everyone got an A or B.  I love when you have concrete proof that the kids are learning.  In Math we started a new project designing our own theme park.  In Language Arts we finished up the pages for the book we made to give to our VIP's on Friday.  We read more in our novel, did a bit more work with the Revolutionary War, and read an interesting article about beavers and their affect on the environment in Science.  In PE we learned more about how to play football, and the kids did have Spanish with Mr. Bryant.  

Next week is an important one - we will be taking the winter MAP tests.  We will take one test on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday afternoons.  As I've said before these test are important because they will show the progress that your child has made since the beginning of the year.  We are going to take the tests this time on the Chromebooks in our room, rather than the computer lab, because I think it will be more comfortable for the kids.  Please look for the results of these tests to come home in the next few weeks.

Thanks to all of you who came to Pastor Ehrhard's installation service.  It was a wonderful service, and an exciting time for our church and school.  Pastor was around a lot this week, and it was great to see him involved with the kids and their activities.  

We are going to be going to Harmony House on Wednesday, February 13th - just in time to celebrate Valentine's Day.  Please let me know if you would be able to drive.  Also the fifth graders are able to share valentines and treats on Valentine's Day, if they'd like.  I think it's sweet that they still like to do that! It's already going to be a crazy week with our Harmony visit, Valentine's Day, and no school on Friday.  

Hope that things went well for you and your family during this extreme weather, and that you enjoy the warmer weather that God is sending our way this weekend!




Fifth Grade News - January 25th

The good news is that the fifth graders have done a great job the first half of the year, but the bad news is that they are already done with half of the year!  I wish you could come and spend a day with us and see how well the kids discuss things, work together, and just generally make being their teacher a joy.  Please be sure to check your child's second quarter report card today on Fast Direct, and please let me know if you would like to meet to discuss any concerns.  We will be doing the winter MAP testing the week of February 4th.  These are important tests because they will show us what progress each child has made.  The results of these tests will be sent home shortly after. 

This week we finished up our study of the Ten Commandments, prepared for a test on long, long division, got done with those pesky verbs, added a few pages to a special book we are preparing for next week, read further in Because of Mr. Terupt, continued with the Revolutionary War, and talked about changes to ecosystems.  In PE we are doing a football unit, and the kids had Spanish, Music, and Computer with Mr. Friend. 

Next week in between all the celebrations of Lutheran School Week, we are going to do a project with the Ten Commandments, take a Math test on Monday, add a few more pages to our special book, continue with our novel and the Revolutionary War, and talk about animals and their adaptations. 

Please be sure to check the Parent Bulletin for all the special activities going on next week, especially the dress-up days.  The invitations for VIP Day were sent home last week so your child can bring someone special to school next Friday. 

Sunday is a special day here at St. John's as Pastor Ehrhard will be installed as our new pastor.  Everyone is invited to the dinner at 4:00, and the all the kids are being asked to sing at the 6:00 service.  This will be a lovely way to welcome Pastor Ehrhard and his family to our St. John's family!

Blessings to you and yours this weekend!   


Fifth Grade News - January 18, 2019

Hard to believe, but today is the end of the second quarter of fifth grade.  Honestly, I can't believe how fast this year is going by, and I think the kids feel the same way.  They really are a great bunch of kids - slow, but hard workers - hardly any shenanigans - and alway excited to do new things - perfect combination!  Probably the only little problem we have - and it's not everybody - is turning in homework.  Please be sure to check your child's planner and my daily e-mail to see what the daily homework is, and please check your child's grades on Fast Direct to make sure they have turned everything in.  Second quarter report cards will be released next Friday, and if you would like to meet to discuss your child's progress in fifth grade, please let me know.  

This week was a pretty regular one, so we were able to get a lot done.  We continued with our study of the Ten Commandments in Religion, longer long division in Math, and those pesky verbs in Languagre Arts.  We are also working on a new writing project based on several different picture books.  Everyone is enjoying our new novel Because of Mr. Terupt.  It's a sweet book with a great lesson, and a lot of it is funny.  Ask the kids about the grass counting project!  In Social Studies we are learning about the Revolutionary War.  A few kids knew quite a bit, but the majority of fifth graders really didn't know anything about the war which makes it fun to teach.  In Science we talked about competition, symbiosis, and the food chain.  In Art we did a picture after learning about Edward Hicks and his Peaceable Kingdom picture.  I chose this to go along with the various acitivities we did about Martin Luther King Jr.  I always think if you have a day off, you should know something about the reason.  In gym we are doing a unit on football.  The kdis also had their usual Spanish, Music, and Computer classes.

Two projects that came home recently:  the January Historical Fiction Timeline project which is due Thursday, January 31st.  The fifth graders need to read an historical fiction book approved by me, and then make a timeline about the history of the story.  The reading of the book and making the timeline needs to be done at home.  This week I sent home a Doodle for Google entry form.  The theme this year is "When I Grow Up, I Hope . . . "  which also fit in nicely with our discussion of Martin Luther King Jr.  The idea is the kids design a doodle around the google about something they hope for the future of their family, city, country, world, or environment, etc.  These rough drafts are due back next Tuesday.

  We will be having both a Math test and Verb test soon - probably next week depending on how the last few lessons go.  I'll send home a study guide a few days before so you can help your child prepare.  

We were orginally scheduled to go to Harmony House next Wednesday, but they called, and due to a flu outbreak, noone under the age of eighteen is allowed to visit.  Our next visit is scheduled for Wednesday, February 13th when we'll celebrate Valentine's Day.

Next week is the start of the St. John's Eagles Tournament for our seventh and eighth grade basketball teams.  This is always a fun time which requires a lot of volunteers, so if you are willing to help, please contact Mrs. Mackie.  

The following week is such a fun one here at St. John's - Lutheran Schools Week.  Please check the Parent Bulletin for all the specifics, but each day is a special dress-up day and we have school-wide devotions in the morning and a fun activity in the afternoon.  My favorite day is VIP Day when we have a chance to introduce our family and friends to our school.  A form for the kids to use to invite their VIP should have come home today.  Also in connection with Lutheran Schools Week and the installation of Pastor Ehrhard, all our students are being asked to sing at a special service on Sunday, January 27th at 6:00.  Mrs. Jurica has been working on a special song for the kids to share.  Thanks for your support of this important event for our church and school.

Blessings to you and yours this weekend!