2008-2009 Electronic Newsletter for Fifth Grade


The fifth grade students have been working on a variety of projects this year. I would like to share our work with you. As we work on the Internet, I have taught the students to find the links through a website called delicious. If your children would like to use the websites at home, they should be able to click on the All Tags link on the right side of the screen and navigate to the 5th-grade link. They may need your help finding a website. I have included notes for each website to help you help them.

Saint Michael Delicious account

There is a link saved to send your name to Mars on a computer chip. We did not do this in class. You may use the link with your child if it is of interest to you. My whole family is sending our names to Mars on the 2011 mission. As a parent, you may be interested in creating your own Delicious account. You can save bookmarks and open them on any computer.

As the year progresses, I work on many different projects with the fifth grade students. You may click here or click on the word fifth on the left side of the screen to see my plan for the year.

We have used a variety of software this year. We see each other twice per week this year and have been able to complete more complex projects. A large portion of the early part of the year was dedicated to learning about the term Greenwich Mean Time. We collaborated with students from around the globe to learn how time zones operate. The project is called Time Zone Experiences. The project was recognized with a Chase Multimedia in the Classroom award. The teacher of our partner class, Mrs. Parisi at the Denton Avenue Elementary School, submitted the project. The students created podcasts and drew pictures. They can be accessed by clicking on a time GMT time period in the first column of this page. They still have to complete their reflections on the project.

Earlier in the year, the students had an opportunity to test our new tablet PCs. We listened to La Bamba through Discovery Streaming. The students practiced typing the lyrics using Open Office Writer. Open Office is a free suite of word processing, spreadsheet, presentation and drawing tools that is similar to Microsoft Office. The fifth grade students used Windows Journal to test writing with the stylus. These tools are now being used on the second floor thanks to the prize we won from CDWG and Discovery.

The fifth grade explored Excel earlier in the year. They learned how to move between cells and type basic information.

As part of their reading grade, the fifth grade students created a diorama book report. The students learned how to use the macro button on the digital camera and took photos of their diorama. They added their image and index card description to a wiki. They answered several questions about the digital camera, the photos they took, and book report projects, too.

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We have worked on two PowerPoint presentations in class. In the first presentation, the students were asked to find three clip art images that represent something they like to do or enjoy. Each slide was to have one image and at least five supporting sentences in the notes section. Once the presentation was complete, the students learned to use a website called Wordle to create a word cloud. Wordle counts the number of times a word is used in a series of sentences. The more the word is used, the bigger it appears in the word cloud. Here is an example from one of our student's presentations.
5thWordle.png

We have recently been learning how to find facts on a website for use in a word processor document or a PowerPoint presentation. The students first found seven facts about amphibians using Yahooligans. They arranged those facts in a Word document and determined which fact was most important. They practiced placing an image from Yahooligans into Word and copying a citation for the image.

The students are currently researching a topic of their choice in Yahooligans. They are again finding seven facts. This time, they are placing those facts in a PowerPoint presentation. As they find an image on the Internet, they are creating a proper citation for the image. This is an important skill as they move into middle school.

During Terra Nova test week, the students and I explored optical illusions. They continue to enjoy exploring the illusions in their spare time. You might want to ask your children about the Free Rice website. It is a great opportunity to learn and help others.

The school has a Flickr account to store photos taken throughout the school day. Please take some time to enjoy the photos. Click on a blue word (tag) to see that collection of images.