FIFTH GRADE LITERACY As students move to the Fifth Grade, books become much more complex. In these higher levels, readers might be asked to analyze the role of setting in the story- is it contributing to the mood of the scene, is it acting like another character? Symbolism and figurative language are increasingly present and readers must analyze symbols to figure out the deeper meaning. Additionally, content and themes in fifth grade level books become much more mature. Readers are taught always ask, ‘Why is this important?’
Just as in the grade before, fifth graders read both fiction and non-fiction. They read to learn about many different things in the world around them---growing up, history, current affairs, environmental issues such as fracking. When learning new information, often students work on projects to teach others about the topic they studied. Students choose the best method of presentation, consider their audience (who they will present to—their classmates? Second graders? Mr. Spatola?) and get to work on their projects. Projects take many shapes and forms- skits, Powerpoint presentations, dioramas, persuasive posters, and illustrated informational books are all different projects taken on by fifth graders.
November/December Reader’s Workshop
Unit 3- Diving into the World of Fantasy Focus Skills: Envisioning, Analyzing, Synthesizing, Interpreting Themes & Messages,
PS 172 Fifth Graders spend November and December delving into the genre of fantasy through a variety of short stories and novels. Students begin the unit by watching the movie, ‘Animalia’ as an introduction to the elements of fantasy such as: fantasy setting, magical creatures, good vs. evil, quest, and magical symbols, character change, and more.
As students begin their fantasy books, the volume of reading seems to grow. Fifth graders readily become engaged in the fantasy world their books present and in the themes fantasy books develop through the character's quests, change, and the depiction of good vs. evil. They participate in book club discussions around the ideas they develop on fantasy characters, the quest, themes/messages, good vs. evil, and symbolism.
Fantasy Book Clubs provide students will a place to share the ideas they come up with as they read fantasy stories. Book clubs are a great way to build excitement for reading. During book clubs, students plan for discussions and take part in practicing the skills of listening and speaking.
Reading Workshop- September/October
Unit 1- Building the World of the Story Focus Skills: Monitoring for Meaning, Determining Importance
Unit 2- Developing Ideas about Characters & Books- main and secondary characters, character relationships, repetition, symbolism, lessons, messages and themes Focus Skills: Interpretation, Analyzing, Supporting Inferences with Evidence, Synthesizing
Reading Workshop is a time of the day when students are directly taught how to be a ‘strong’ reader. The period might start with the students looking at a shared text, reading small parts, and thinking together about ‘what is important’ in that part. Then together, students and teacher name what the author did- this ‘naming what the author did’- allows children to create a list of important places to read carefully. For example, the students’ list might include: reading carefully when you notice a strong emotion, reading carefully when the character’s problem pops up, reading carefully when a character interacts with another character, etc. Once independent reading starts, students work on building reading stamina, practicing reading skills. Most fifth graders enter the grade reading levels R/S and end the year reading levels T/U/V.
Through individual reading conferences, guided reading groups, and independent practice, students will actively work on becoming stronger readers. Teachers meet with students at least once a week to assess the child through a conference and teach him/her. In a conference, students receive reading ‘jobs’ to focus on until the next conference. Reading jobs are worked on daily, both in school and at home. The student ‘records’ his/her reading job in various ways—in a reading notebook, in a Powerpoint presentation, in a packet, in a voice recording- the ways to record a reading job are endless! Students also have the opportunity to create book projects that are a reflection of the book or highlight a specific reading skill they have worked on.
Students who have mastered the focus skills at their independent level will move on to working on other skills such as prediction, inferring, synthesizing, and interpreting the text. When the teacher determines the student is ready, he/she will move on to the next reading level and begin to practice some of the skills in the next level.
To support your child at home, you can ask him/her to:
show you their reading job & make sure they are practicing and recording their reading job
talk about their current reading book- Who is the main character? What kind of person is he/she? Can you show me parts in the text that support your character idea? What is he/she struggling with? What is his/her problem? Who are the secondary characters? Are they helping or hurting the main character? How? Did your character change by the end of the story? How? Did he/she ‘grow up a little’? Did he/she learn a lesson? What themes are popping up in your book?
read aloud to you to practice fluency- making their reading sound smooth and filled with expression
My name is Mr. Manley and I am the new Physical Education teacher at P.S. 172. I am very excited to join this community of teachers, students and families. I’ve taught Physical Education and Health the past six years at the middle school level and coached a variety of sports to all ages. I look forward to getting to know you and your child this upcoming school year.
In the month of September, students in grades Pre-K to 2nd grade will be participating in a variety of locomotor and fitness skills as well as learning to cooperate with others. Students in grades 3-5 will be participating in team building activities and personal fitness. For their safety, please have them come prepared wearing sneakers on days that they participate in Physical Education.
Please feel free to contact me with any questions you may have.
Welcome to art! My name is Mrs. Siskar and I teach art to class K 103 and grades 1-5 for the 2017-2018 school year. I’m so excited to have a creative year together in the art room. Childrenl have art class once per week for 50 minutes. Participation in the art room is encouraged and we can prepare each student by making sure on their assigned day for art they arrive prepared and ready to learn!
I recommend no new clothes on art class days. Even though everyone will wear their art t shirts to protect clothing accidents and messy masterpieces still happen. Please provide your child with the following materials by September 25th so they feel prepared and ready to learn.
MATERIALS: Students inall grades are required to wear an oversized T- shirt or art apron to protect their clothing from arts materials. Please write your child’s first and last name on the shirt in permanent marker. Many students bring an old recycled shirt, as it does not need to be newly bought. Throughout the year this will be returned home for washing when needed and to be returned to school the following week.
Grades 3, 4, 5 : Sketchbook with blank pages OR a composition notebook. Please label your child’s name and class room on the front. This will be used for in class drawing, writing activities, and occasional homework. If your child does not bring materials each week they will be marked unprepared, as this limits your child’s ability to appropriate participate and engage in learning.
Additional materials are also appreciated:
SEPTEMBER IN THE ART ROOM: As each class in grades K-5 begins to learn the routines for our art room we will be starting with a school wide community art lesson inspired by the literature The Dot, by the author Peter Reynolds. Students will be using their imaginations to invent their own dot artwork and contribute it to our community dot gallery. September 15th is International Dot Day!
Parent Conference Night: Wednesday September 13th Parents & students meet me in the auditorium during our enrichment fair to make a dot together for our dot gallery.
ART DOJO This year I will be connecting with parents through classroom dojo to share student masterpieces and communicate your child’s progress and different art events throughout the year. Please make sure you are connected to your child’s classroom with their teacher’s invitation.
If you need assistance with materials or have questions, please contact me by email.
Welcome to 2017-2018 school year at P.S. 172! I hope your summer was a fun and relaxing one. We have an exciting and creative year ahead in the art room. There is a small number of materials your child will be required to bring to art class each week to support their success and preparedness for their learning experiences.
Students inall grades are required to wear an oversized T- shirt or art apron to protect their clothing from arts materials. Please write your child’s first and last name on the shirt in permanent marker. Many students bring an old recycled shirt, as it does not need to be newly bought. Throughout the year this will be returned home for washing when needed and to be returned to school the following week.
Grades 3, 4, 5 are additionally required to bring a composition notebook with lines OR a sketchbook with blank pageswith their name, and classroom labeled on the front. This will be used for in class drawing, writing activities, and occasional homework. If your child does not bring materials each week they will be marked unprepared, as this limits your child’s ability to appropriate participate and engage in learning.
Additional materials are also appreciated:
small or large paper plates
Please contact your child’s teacher or myself with any questions or concerns regarding these materials. I look forwarding to working together this year in supporting your child’s artistic growth! Thank you,
Mrs. Siskar email@example.com
The following are dance units/ mini units we will be working on in Sept/Oct- In Prekindergarten and kindergarten, we start the year creating good habits for dance class. We learn how to move safely in one place and through space. We also learn how to focus our energy on our bodies and not our voices. Our focus in our first larger unit will be pantomime, in which the children will learn and create movement to communicate ideas. We will then move to studying opposites in movement and how contrasting efforts can give us a wider dance vocabulary. We will then work on a unit based on the fall, in which the children will continue to explore movement options based on books, poems, songs, pictures and other inspiration based on the autumn. In first grade, students in dance class start the year learning how to do a set warm-up. This warm-up helps children keep their bodies safe throughout class and reminds children how to move in their own space with energy and effort. First graders will focus on making shapes of different sizes with their bodies, taking movement with which they are already familiar and extending it in creative ways. After we have expanded our movement possibilities, we will study the human body and how our bones, joints and muscles allow us to move in different ways. In second grade, students start the year with a complex warm-up routine which incorporates standing, sitting and traveling all while executing various movements. We will work together to develop our movement vocabularies by performing movements at different levels, in different shapes, and in assorted relationships with other students. We will also challenge ourselves by planning dances with multiple movements and working to remember and perform our dances. We will also practice our audience skills as we respectfully watch other students perform their dance work. In third grade, students first learn a set warm-up which we will use throughout the year in order to keep our bodies healthy and safe. Our first big unit of study will be Chinese dance, and through books, photos and videos, we will be studying the dance characteristics, culture, costumes and music of Chinese dance. Students will also begin to create their own choreography based on the characteristics of Chinese dance, which they will perform for their classmates and assess together. In fourth grade, we start the year by reviewing the importance of a good warm-up and learning the important components that keep our bodies healthy and safe; raising our body temperature, building strength and stretching our muscles. Our first big unit focuses on American Indian dance, aligning with the social studies standards in fourth grade. Using books, images, videos, poems and more, we will learn several American Indian dances and also create our own choreography based on what we have learned. In fifth grade, students take the reins! They’ve learned the importance of a good warm-up for several years, and pretty soon, students lead our class warm-ups! We quickly start our unit based on New York and choreographers who have lived and worked creating dance based on New York. We will study the choreographers Jerome Robbins, Trisha Brown and Pascal Rioult, learning about their different dance styles and characteristics and practicing their movements. Our creative and team-working skills become important when we use the ideas and movement styles of these NY based choreographers to craft our own dances, also relying on our audience and assessment abilities to help ourselves and each other continually improve our work.
In the month of September, Pre-K students will learn how to utilize their voices in order to sing songs. We will start by singing familiar songs, which many students were exposed to when they were younger. During this month and the coming months after, the students will be developing their voices and improvising movements for each of the songs.
In the month of September, the students in kindergarten will be learning about many different instruments including the Tambourine, Djembe, Guitar, and the Egg Shakers. Students will be using these instruments to develop the important skill of keeping a steady beat. Building up from this skill, students will also have a chance to experiment with different rhythms, making sure that the rhythms being performed are played steadily. The students will also be clapping their hands or playing percussion instruments while singing children songs to reinforce the idea of steady beat, and to develop their individual voices.
1st Grade Curriculum
In the month of September, the students in first grade will review steady beat, one of the most important skills a young musician can develop. Once reviewed, students in first grade will learn about quarter note and eighth note rhythms, using one syllable and two syllable words to help the students understand the timing of each rhythm. Students will then begin to compose their very own rhythms using one syllable or two syllable words, which will then lead them to having a share of their composed rhythms in class. There will also be a great deal of singing to further develop the students own voices.
2nd Grade Curriculum
In the month of September, the students in the second grade will be reviewing steady beat, and will be performing rhythms using quarter notes and eighth notes. The rhythms will first be performed by clapping, but instruments will then be introduced into the performance. Students will also be singing and clapping the same rhythms being sung in order to practice quarter note and eighth note rhythms. After the students have practiced, there will be a slight introduction to the pentatonic scale, a scale in which sounds pleasing to the ear, and is very fun to play.
3rd Grade Curriculum
In the month of September, students in the third grade will be focusing on maintaining a steady beat, but what changes in the third grade is that students will now have to pay attention to a time signature, which tells you how many beats are in a musical phrase or measure. Not only will they have to watch for how many beats are in the measure, but they will also have to know which of those beats are strong (louder) and which are weak (softer). Students will also review past rhythms, and incorporate this idea of strong and weak beats into their performances.
4th Grade Curriculum
In the month of September, the fourth grade will put to use their skills in maintaining a steady beat and use it to perform Native American percussion music. While learning and performing Native American music, the students will also be practicing traditional notations such as quarter notes and eighth notes, eventually leading to notes of different timings (whole notes, and dotted quart notes).
5th Grade Curriculum
In the month of September, the fifth grade students will begin by practicing steady beat, which will then lead to learning new rhythms. These new rhythms will feature sixteenth notes, one step up from eighth notes (instead of two notes to a beat, there will be four notes). These new rhythms bring about a new term called syncopation, which is a skill every musician should know how to perform.
SEPTEMBER – OCTOBER SCIENCE NEWS
As we get ready to say goodbye to summer, I look forward to another "sciencesational" year with my super scientists. Both Pre-K classes will be having Science this year. As kindergarten scientists are using their "detective" skills to collect clues, first grade scientists are going on a treasure hunt to gather recyclable objects for our treasure box collections. Grade 2 scientists will be recording observations and learning how to collect data and draw conclusions. Grade 3 chemists will be creating "top secret" formulas, while fourth grade ecologists begin a unit on animal studies. Grade 5 chemists will be concocting mysterious mixtures and solutions and working on spectacular lab experiments. We say hello to Autumn on September 22nd with some "cool" fall activities. Please feel free to contact me, if you have any questions or concerns. I can't wait to work with you and your child during this upcoming school year.