2009-2010 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

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 time is dedicated to learning about the term Greenwich Mean Time, time zones, and seasons. 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 last year. This year, we have been working primarily with St. Martin's Episcopal School in California. St. Mary's in Iowa has join us recently. We will work more with those students before the school year ends. The students created podcasts and drew pictures.

This is a sample podcast written about science class.

All podcasts and images can be accessed by clicking on a time GMT time period in the first column of this page. Your child can help you navigate to the page. They still have to complete their reflections on the project.

We had an opportunity to participate in a Skype call with the students in California. We will do so again before the school year is over. Here are some images from the Skype call and podcast creation.

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. Working on presentations helps the students gain confidence in speaking in a loud and clear voice in front of their peers.

The second presentation was simply used as a starting point for leaving comments for second grade students in Illinois who were learning about landforms. Our students left comments to tell what type of landforms they have seen.

The fifth grade has been working to practice typing with both hands on the home row. We have worked on A to R and will finish A to Z by the end of the school year.

The students in fourth though eighth grade enjoyed listening to the authors of the 39 Clues book series through a webinar presented by Scholastic. The students learned about different methods to analyze clues in the books in a variety of settings including math, geography, and reading. Here are a few photos from the event.

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.