Thursday, May 8, 2014

Persuasive Writing

We have begun a new writing unit of study on Research-Based Persuasive writing.  To kick it off, we have talked about the controversy surrounding chocolate milk being served in the cafeteria.  Students read an email from Mr. Shea about whether we should ban chocolate milk or not.  We then learned to not form an opinion on the matter until we researched the facts.  Naturally, the next step was to research the nutritional value of the chocolate milk and compare it to white milk and to other beverage choices.
At this point, students were able to form an opinion on whether they thought chocolate milk should be banned.  They formed a thesis and supported their thesis with two or three reasons based on data.  Students then wrote letters to Mr. Shea to let him know what they thought about serving chocolate milk.  We are finishing up our letters and then we'll begin doing a little research on a different topic that they are passionate about.

Important Dates to Remember:
5/15 Gundalow field trip (permission slip sent home today)
5/29 Boston field trip
6/9-6/13 Environmental School at Seacoast Science Center

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Circus News

Hello parents of the 5MC classroom!  I'm sure your kids have come home very excited and telling you about the circus!  Gary the Clown dedicates his time for two weeks a year helping kids learn circus skills.  As a fifth grader, your child is able to be in this year's circus if they have good behavior, do their homework, and read 30 minutes each night.  This year's circus will take place in the gym on Friday, April 25th at 9:15.  - by Rory L.

Circus News

You may walk by the gym and you might hear screams of joy.  That's because we are enjoying revealing our talents.  We all love doing the trapeze, spinning plates, or doing stilts (except for Aidan).  Everybody enjoys spending time with Gary and having free time.  We all enjoy learning new stuff to then perfect.  Everybody loves Gary and they all respect him.  So overall, we all think he is awesome!
-by Marcello S.

Monday, April 14, 2014


Our little writers have been extremely busy working on their informational books on the American Revolution!  When they are done, most will have completed five different "chapters" in their books on their particular topic.  Each student became the resident expert on a subject and their goal is to teach the rest of us all about it.  I've been very impressed with their ability to sustain their energy throughout the tasks of reading and researching, note-taking, and then writing a chapter at a time.  This is the first major research that they've done on a historical topic.  We will be preparing to share them in some fashion, around the time of our trip to Boston on May 29th!  Stay tuned for more information about that field trip.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

5MC Update

Our maple syrup project is going great, thanks to all of you and to Mr. Whisler, of course!  This week we've been checking on our maple trees in the New Franklin yard.  The kids have been making observations about the weather and how much sap has been collected each day.  Mr. Whisler already has many bottles of syrup; we're just waiting for the labels to be ready from the printer and then we'll start selling.  It's very exciting to have the kids involved in this maple business.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

It's been a while since I've added to the blog.  The time in fifth grade is flying by like crazy!

In math, we just finished up Topic 5 on dividing large numbers.  The kids have done very well with the standard algorithm.  Be on the lookout for the Topic 5 tests to come home.  Please review with your child, sign them and send them back in.  I keep them for their portfolios, which you will get at the end of the year.  We have now begun combining Topics 6 and 7 on multiplying and dividing with decimals.  They are learning the skill of estimating the answer first, then ignoring the decimal and multiplying, and then putting the decimal back in.  This teaches better number sense than simply counting the number of places the decimal point is moved and then plopping the decimal point in the final answer.  They will learn that trick too, but only after they've practiced good number sense.

In writing, we are adding all our final touches onto our Personal Narratives before publishing.  The kids have added some fun elements to their stories like a Dedication page or an About the Author page.  We will soon be having some sort of a Writer's Celebration to show off our stories to our parents.  We'll keep you posted on the date of that celebration.

In other news, our maple project will be picking up steam soon here.  The students have met with Randy Whisler, a parent in Mr. Fleischer's class, a couple times now.  They have learned how to identify a maple tree and how to tell if a maple tree is large enough in diameter to tap.  The tapping of the trees is somewhat based on the weather.  Since this has been such a cold winter, we may be looking at the end of February or beginning of March to actually tap the trees with Mr. Whisler's help.  Students will be coming up with a company name and logo for our maple syrup project soon.  Please continue saving and sending in your (rinsed out) gallon jugs for us.  We will need 300 milk gallon jugs (approximately 3 per tree at 100 trees).  Thanks for your continued help in this fun and exciting project!

Tuesday, November 19, 2013


Before: My teacher is mean.
After: "Lina, get over here to the board and answer 10,374 X 687,543!  Everyone else, open up to page googol and start working.  Come on, chop, chop, let's go!  We don't have all day."  Mrs. McGuigan's face was purple, contorted with rage.
As I went to the board, Eli muttered, "This book only has one zillion pages."
"Then get the next volume!" Mrs. M yelled.  She threw a big, far purple book on Eli's desk.