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Welcome to the Seahorse Team!

Swiftly flow the days
Seedlings turn overnight to sunflowers

Blossoming Even As We Gaze.

Dear Parents,
Welcome to one of the one of the most exciting years of your child’s school career. Fifth grade is such a joyous time as children embark upon new adventures in the world of learning. This will be a year filled with important transitions along with the introduction of new skills. It is my hope to make your child’s learning experience a joyful one and I hope to instill a love of learning that will last throughout your child’s lifetime.

~ Please remember you can check your child's grades and progress using MMS. If you have not already signed up to use this helpful tool, please contact the main office for directions.
Please do not hesitate to call or e-mail me with any questions or concerns!

A little bit about me... ;)
I have taught pre-school, kindergarten, first grade, third grade, fourth grade, and fifth grade. I also taught homebound students in grades five through ten. I am married and have one daughter, Shauna, who is also a teacher. I love reading books, writing stories, animals, learning new things and most of all… teaching!  My favorite place to visit is Disney World, so if you plan to take a trip there, don’t forget to take me along!  smiley

 Homework is an important extension of what is being taught in the classroom and is an important part of your child’s fifth grade experience.  Your child has a homework planner that should be coming home each day. Homework is listed on our classroom dry erase board and it is your child’s responsibility to record it in his or her planner. Weekly assignments will also be posted and updated on my web page.  Please check planners and my homework page nightly.  Please make sure work is handed in on time. Credit will be deducted for late assignments. 
 Students will be immersed in narrative and expository selections throughout the year.  A variety of texts will be chosen to integrate with our curriculum such as class sets of periodicals, informational books/technology, poetry and classroom library materials. This will allow us to respond to narrative and informational text as we discuss and challenge ourselves to extend our thinking and build a strong comprehension foundation. 

Students will be actively engaged as they participate in literature circles/cooperative groups.  A literature circle is more than a book club. Whereas a book club's discussion may only center on events and plot, a literature circle format promotes discussion from varying perspectives, which provides members with a deeper understanding of the text. During the reading of the selected literature, students work on emphasizing skills such as higher order questioning, vocabulary development, in depth conversations of story elements, tone/mood, author's purpose and responding in writing. Students use their experiences to create meaning, make connections and engage in lively discussions about the literature they are reading using accountable talk. This allows students to take an active role in their learning as I circulate and act as a guide or facilitator. The primary voices in a literature circle are the students'.
We will be using our Comprehension Tool Kit to assist us in building and extending comprehension strategies as we respond to a variety of literature. We will incorporate GO charts: Activating prior knowledge, visualizing, predicting, working with challenging vocabulary, higher level questioning, inferring, determining importance, making connections (text-to text, text-to self, text-to world), summarizing and synthesizing.  

Students will be also be engaged in Close Reading throughout the year.  This is where the children will dig deep into complex text and examine meaning thoroughly and methodically. Students will be encouraged to deliberately read and reread as we uncover layers of meaning that will deepen and foster comprehension. Directing the children’s attention on the text itself empowers students to build understanding of the central ideas and key supporting details.  It also enables us to reflect on the meanings of individual words and sentences; the order in which sentences unfold and the development of ideas over the course of the text. This ultimately leads students to arrive at a deeper understanding of the text as a whole.
Daily at home reading is encouraged to build a strong literacy foundation that will enhance and extend vocabulary development,  build fluency, foster comprehension skills, build your child's reading stamina and strengthen his or her reading strategies.  I will be meeting with students to check on progress and growth throughout the year.  Making time for independent reading will help build a love for literature that will last a lifetime.

Read To Me
By Jane Yolen

Read to me riddles and read to me rhymes,
Read to me stories of magical times.
Read to me tales about castles and kings.
Read to me stories of fabulous things.
Read to me pirates and read to me knights,
Read to me dragons and dragon-book fights.
Read to me spaceships and cowboys and then,
When you are finished ~ please read them again.
Remember to make reading to and with your child a life-long treasure!

Writing-Workshop is an important part of our day. We will focus on the 6 Traits: Idea Development, Organization, Conventions, Word Choice, Sentence Fluency, and Voice.  Students will be immersed in a variety of expository and narrative writing activities. We will learn to write a strong paragraph that includes a Focus Statement (topic sentence), Proof (supporting details) and a Closing Statement that wraps it all up and ties back to the Focus Statement. We will learn how to be "Text Talkers" and cite evidence. We also will respond to a variety of expository texts independently and with team members to share and further discuss writing.  Author Share will be featured in our classroom to build a love of writing, share our success  and our talents as we celebrate our accomplishments as growing authors. These ongoing experiences help students continue to deepen and strengthen  their literacy skills. 

Word Work and Grammar:

Multi-syllabic Words
Wordly Wise
Figurative Language
Parts of Speech
Vocabulary enrichment