Week of January 20th-January 24th News For the fifth and sixth grade classes

Dear Parents and Guardians,

We were just wishing each other “Merry Christmas”, and here we are, already looking toward January’s end. Some notable things accompany this time of year. They are the following:

  1. January 20th-Martin Luther King Jr. Day. Our school will be closed.
  2. January 21st-Report Cards will be distributed.
  3. January 26th-January 31st-Catholic Schools Week is celebrated.

   *a special calendar was sent home in this week’s Tuesday folder, denoting all of the activities that will make this week a special one for our students, parents, faculty, and staff of our school.

Of course, amidst all of this, life continues as usual with academic lessons that need to be learned. Please note those that I have planned for my fifth and sixth grade students.

Fifth Grade Next Week

Religion. I have jumped to the back of our book, eager to present the unit called “Life is Precious”. The first chapter of this unit focuses on these main ideas: Life is a gift from God; Creation is in our care; The Fifth Commandment says that all human life is to be treasured. In today’s society, so many things contradict this; sadly, our children may see and hear these things. How wonderful to be able to endorse the contents of this chapter with a special look at Mother Teresa of Calcutta, who took Jesus’ love to those most forgotten.

,English. We will continue our work on the diagramming of sentences. Tucked within each different type of diagram do, the students will show their ability to relate each word in the sentences to each other, based on their part of speech, their role in the sentence, or their dependence on each other.

Reading. Oh, the students are enjoying Shiloh. I just knew they would. As we begin chapters five and six next week, the themes of family, honesty, and responsibility to one’s conscience will be more fully developed. Oh…let us not forget a very important theme in this novel…love of a dog. Having seen so many of the cuties that were at our pet blessing in October, I know many of my children are relating to Marty’s love of Shiloh.

Social Studies. We are a bit behind in this subject. However, the lesson that we began this week and is to be continued next week, presents a widening of conflicts that led to the Civil War.

Spelling. I have returned to a resource that I used at the beginning of the year called “Vocabulary Virtuoso.” The class will be receiving a list of ten new words. A variety of activities will be done to give practice in the use of these words (using their meanings in different contexts).

Sixth Grade Next Week

English. We have taken a bit of a detour from grammar and mechanics, and we are exercising our ability to philosophize, while also searching for precepts that others have written to elevate our souls.   It has been fun to encourage them to “dig deeper” and “dig even deeper” to share their interpretations of some fabulous quotations. We will integrate these lessons with some skill work, most notably conjunction and interjection use.

Reading. Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry is proving to be a thought-provoking book. I was hoping it would be…

As we progress through the beginning chapters, some sensitive topics present life the way it was during the Great Depression in the rural deep South. I am enjoying hearing the children read the dialect of that time, quite flawlessly. One student told me that he is very capable of assuming this way of speaking because of his early days spent as a youngster in Tennessee. Anyway, we are developing our vocabulary along the way, and sharing our responses to questions that require pensive thought.

In conclusion, thank-you for spending time reading my offerings for January’s third week. Of course, I must keep with my tradition of sharing a precept with you, so…

         “Good actions are the invisible hinges on the doors of heaven.”

                                                                    Victor Hugo

Have a week that is happy, safe, and adds more hinges to heaven’s doors.

Warmly,

Miss L. Boron

Lessons and Activities for Fifth and Sixth Grades Week of January 13th-January 17th

Dear Parents,

Our first week back after the long Christmas vacation has been going so nicely.  I enjoyed seeing the children, and I do believe that they grew taller during the two weeks away from school.

Because my planned lessons can be easily summarized, I will be able to put into practice one of my resolutions for the new year—brevity.  With that said, please note below the lessons that your child will be involved in.

Fifth Grade

Religion.  Before Advent began, we were studying the meaning and  importance of the Eucharist, the sacrament that is the heart of Christian worship.  Well, with our Advent and Epiphany activities completed,  we are returning to that now…the students will be working together on a study guide in class that will be used to prepare for an assessment that will be given on Thursday.

English.  Our week of lessons will be on the diagramming of sentences.  Diagramming, you may be saying?  Yes, this lost skill is actually one that helps the students to see that the subject and the predicate are the anchors of sentences; also, they enhance their ability to identify adjectives, adverbs, direct/indirect objects, and subject complements in relationship to the nouns and verbs.

Reading.  Having just begun Shiloh this week, (Yay!), we will be reading this award winning novel for the next number of weeks.  Vocabulary  development, comprehension activities, predicting, and class or small group discussion will enhance our learning.

Spelling.  The new word list that I intended to distribute this week will be given to the class on Monday.  The spelling skill presented is that of singular and plural possessives.

Social Studies.  Lesson three of the unit on the Civil War presents the conflicts and compromises that developed between the North and the South. 

Sixth Grade

Reading.  Like the fifth grade students, we began a novel study this week.  I chose another award-winning book, Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry.  I am looking forward to sharing the pride, strength, and deep respect for humanity that this author presents among the pages.  I believe that this group of talented students will share interesting insights and responses to what they read, pensive thinkers that they are.

English.  Upon completion of our unit on Adverbs, we will begin the very important unit on capitalization and punctuation.  This unit encompasses those extremely important, yet sometimes tedious, rules of mechanics that are necessary to the functional and technical aspects of writing.

In conclusion, I think I need to say “whoops”…I did not achieve the brevity that I alluded to at the beginning of this newsletter.  However, I do hope you find the content of these paragraphs helpful to you.

Over Christmas vacation, in between the wonderfulness and splendor of the season, I had a couple of challenges presented to me.  While going through one of my favorite book of quotes, I found this African proverb’s words a helpful reminder.

     “However long the night…the dawn will break.”

Therefore, may I conclude by wishing you much sunshine,

Miss L. Boron

Fifth Grade News for the week of December 16th-20th

Dear Parents,

…..and now the hustle-bustle begins…

Please note the extra activities that will occur this week.

l.  Monday, December 16th.  In the morning, the students will have a dress rehearsal for their performance in the afternoon.  Their presentation to parents and guests will be at 1:00.

2.  Thursday, December 17th.  The children will spend most of this day practicing for the Music Christmas Program.  The performance will be that same evening at 7:00 in the Basilica.

3.  Though not considered an extra activity, but an integral part of our school day on Wednesday, a reminder that our children’s school Mass will be at 8:30. 

Tuesday and Wednesday should be regular days in our classrooms.  So…below are a list of activities I hope to accomplish on those two days.

Fifth Grade Lessons

Religion.  We will be opening our week having a classroom prayer service that honors St. Joseph.  It is in the form of a script that was written by a retired teacher; it is so tender, and I chose it because Jesus’ foster father does not get enough attention, does he?  Also, we have been learning about The Jesse Tree in Religion class.  My students will do some research on the roles of four special people in Jesus’ life, and we will create our own version of a mini-Jesse Tree.

Reading.  Unfortunately, my class did not get a chance to do this week’s planned lessons on “Reading for Details”.  Therefore, on Tuesday and Wednesday, we will be doing that packet.  Also, I have a pre-reading activity set and ready to go for our January novel study of Shiloh.  Hopefully, we will get to that, too.

English.  By Tuesday, we should be finished with the first half of our unit on verbs.  If that ends up being so, the children will have an assessment on lessons 4.1-4.5 of that unit on Friday morning.  If we do not complete all the lessons sufficiently,  our evaluation will have to wait until we return from Christmas vacation.

Social Studies.  The children will have an assessment of Lessons One and Two from the unit on the Civil War.  They only need to study from their Civil War activity packet.  Everything that will be on the test is in their packet and has been reviewed many times.

Sixth Grade Lessons

Reading.  Both days will contain lessons on basic reading skills.  This week, some of the work done indicated a need to review using context clues to define unknown words.  Also, choosing details from an article that correctly answer questions is requiring additional work.  I have lessons planned for both.

English.  I had planned this lesson for today (Thursday), but we did not get to it.  So, next week we will differentiate between adverb clauses (which are actually dependent clauses in sentences) and adverb phrases (those simply describe verbs).

I love this quote from Mother Teresa about Christmas that I would like to share with you…

        At this Christmas when Christ comes, will He find a warm heart?  Mark

       the season of Advent by loving and serving others with God’s own love

       and concern.

May we all be spending these weeks making our hearts as warm as possible for the Divine Infant of Bethlehem…Miss L. Boron

Some News from the Fifth Grade For the week of January 6th-10th

Hello, Parents,

I decided to get this written before our Christmas holiday vacation so that I might feel ahead going into the new year.  I will make it a more abbreviated version this time.  Hmmm…I feel a New Year’s resolution on the horizon.

Fifth Grade.

Religion.  We will study about the Epiphany, or the Visitation of the Magi to the Divine Infant.

Reading.  With our novel study of Shiloh about to begin, we will do some prereading exercises our first week back.  Also, I will be using a book excerpt about The Underground Railroad that appears in our Social Studies book to have my students become book cover illustrators.

***One additional note about Reading…Our school is beginning our winter MAP testing; the Reading portion for 5th and 6th grade students will be on Tuesday, January 7th.

English.  We will be reviewing and concluding our initial work on verbs.  There will be an assessment given on Thursday (I believe).  It will test the students on Lessons 4.l-4.5.

Social Studies.  We begin Lesson Three of our Civil War unit.  In this chapter, the students learn about the three compromises that Congress passed to try and relieve tensions between the North and the South.  Also, we will examine the impact of Harriet Beecher Stowe’s Uncle Tom’s Cabin on the anti-slavery movement.

***I have just concluded grading the test your children took on Lessons One and Two of the Civil War Unit.  Would you believe I had students that received grades of 110% and 115%.  There answers were so thorough that bonus points just had to be given.  Isn’t that wonderful?

Spelling.  Your children will receive a mini-packet of work that accompanies their new list of words.  The spelling skill will be on singular and plural possessives.

Sixth Grade

Reading.  As you know (because you have ordered a copy for your child’s use—and thank-you for that), we are beginning our novel study of Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry.  We have begun some preliminary work this week in class, and I hope that my students will find this award-winning book among their favorites.

English.  Like the 5th grade class, we will be preparing for an assessment on January 9th.  Your child has already indicated this in their agenda.  They know that it will be on Lessons 5.1-5.6 (varying lessons on adverbs, adverb clauses, and adverb phrases). 

Well…I am not altogether certain if this qualifies for a more condensed version of my former newsletters.  However, as the old saying goes “Practice Makes Perfect”.

Please receive my wishes for your Christmas to be one of blessings.  At the conclusion of our spelling test last Friday, I asked my children to write down one thing they would love to receive for Christmas.  Their answers were not the typical ones that I have heard in the past.  Among them were violin lessons, a book about cats, and how about this sweet one—“Time to be with my family.”  See, I told you I have a wonderful class…Anyway, again,

            May the Divine Infant of Bethlehem take birth in your hearts.

Fondly, Miss L. Boron

Fifth Grade News for the week of December 16th-20th

Dear Parents,

…..and now the hustle-bustle begins…..

Please note the extra activities that will occur this week.

  1. Monday, December 16th. In the morning, the students will have a dress rehearsal for their performance in the afternoon. Their presentation to parents and guests will be at 1:00.
  2. Thursday, December 17th. The children will spend most of this day practicing for the Music Christmas program. The performance will be that same evening at 7:00 in the Basilica.
  3. Though not considered an extra activity, but an integral part of our school day on Wednesday, a reminder that our children’s school Mass will be at 8:30.

Tuesday and Wednesday should be regular days in our classrooms. So…below are a list of activities I hope to accomplish on those two days.

Fifth Grade Lessons

Religion. We will be opening our week having a classroom prayer service that honors St. Joseph. It is in the form of a script that was written by a retired teacher; it is so tender, and I chose it because Jesus’ foster father does not get enough attention, does he? Also, we have been learning about The Jesse Tree in Religion Class. My students will do some research on the roles of four special people in Jesus’ life and we will create our own version of a mini-Jesse Tree.

Reading. Unfortunately, my class did not get a chance to do this week’s planned lessons on “Reading for Details”. Therefore, on Tuesday and Wednesday, we will be doing that packet. Also, I have a pre-reading activity set and ready to go for our January novel study of Shiloh. Hopefully, we will get to that, too.

English. By Tuesday, we should be finished with the first half of our unit on verbs. If that ends up being so, the children will have an assessment on lessons 4.1-4.5 of that unit on Friday morning. If we do not complete all the lessons sufficiently, our evaluation will have to wait until we return from Christmas vacation.

Social Studies. The children will have an assessment of Lessons One and Two from the unit on the Civil War. They only need to study from their Civil War activity packet. Everything that will be on the test ins in their packet and has been reviewed many times.

Sixth Grade Lessons

Reading. Both days will contain lessons on basic reading skills. This week, some of the work done indicated a need to review using context clues to define unknown words. Also, choosing details from an article that correctly answer questions is requiring additional work. I have lesson planned for both.

English. I had planned this lesson for today (Thursday), but we did not get to it. So, next week we will differentiate between adverb clauses (which are actually dependent clauses in sentences) and adverb phrases (those simply describe verbs).

I love this quote from Mother Teresa about Christmas that I would like to share with you…. “At this Christmas when Christ comes, will He find a warm heart? Mark the season of Advent by loving and serving others with God’s own love and concern.”

May we all be spending these weeks making our hearts as warm as possible for the Divine Infant of Bethlehem…Miss L.Boron

News From Fifth Grade for the Week of December 9th

Dear Parents of fifth and sixth grade students,

Our second week of Advent will happily have us going to Mass on Monday, December 9th (The Feast of the Immaculate Conception) and on Wednesday, December 11th.  On Thursday, December 12th at 6:30 p.m., there will be a Mass and celebration to honor Our Lady of Gradalupe.  Our classroom’s Nativity was adorned this week by the students’ presents for Baby Jesus; also, we have a prayer on our desk that we say daily…

                    Divine Infant of Bethlehem,

                    Come and take birth in my heart.

Tomorrow is the Feast of St. Nicholas.  We are prepared to celebrate the tradition of being visited by this kind man (formerly a bishop) by placing our shoes out in the hallway by our door.  Hmmm…I wonder what little goodies might fill those shoes.

I would like to share subject topics, skills and activities that I have planned for next week.

Fifth Grade.

Religion.  Our reading and class discussions will have the students recognizing the importance of planning for Christ’s coming during these weeks of Advent.

Reading.  Our week opens with an open-book assessment on “McBroom the Rainmaker”.  As I assumed, the class enjoyed reading this tall tale together.  On Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday, we will be doing comprehension skill development.  Each day, the students will receive a different passage about a famous person; after our reading of it, challenging questions are asked that assess an ability to locate details, analyze the context, and summarize. 

English.  We continue our work on the newly started unit on verbs.

Spelling.  The final test will be given on Thursday, December 12th.  Because of our annual Christmas visit to the Koger Center on Friday, I was concerned that concentration may not be at its peak on that day.

Social Studies.  We began Lesson Two from the unit on the Civil War.  The learning objectives for this lesson have the students understanding the struggle for freedom that the slaves endured.  Within that context comes familiarity with the abolition movement and the Underground Railroad.

Sixth Grade

Reading.  I believe we will conclude our work on the nonfiction selection about Mt. Vesuvius.  Watching a video about the author’s methods of research about the ancient civilization that got destroyed in Pompeii because of the volcano’s eruption was intriguing.  Following this work, we will do some work on using context clues to define unknown words.  Our week will conclude with a reading comprehension activity on the life cycle of plants; after reading an extensive passage, your child will be using the context to locate information, following directions, and create a diagram based on information given.

English.  The learning skills that will be presented are:  correctly using negative words (no, not, never), deciding whether a word is an adverb or an adjective, and differentiating between adverb clauses and phrases.

In conclusion, let us keep our attention on Jesus’ birth.  There is so much darkness in our world…how blessed are we to live these weeks focused on the one true source of light for all of us.

Be well and happy,

Miss L. Boron

Fifth Grade News for the week of December 2nd-6th

A Word From Miss Boron

Since I am writing this before the Thanksgiving holiday, I would like to begin by sharing my feelings of very deep appreciation to each and every parent of my fifth and sixth grade students.  You have been supportive and very helpful.  I know that you are dedicated to your child’s education, and all  your efforts manifest themselves in the academic accomplishments of your student.  A perfect example of this was witnessed today as your child came into school this morning, toting their Civil War project.  Every student had one to present, and our classroom looks like a mini-museum honoring these special people that they chose to memorialize.  Anyway…thank-you from the bottom of my heart…

We are entering one of the busiest times of our academic school year.  Did you happen to glance at the December calendar sent home in last week’s blue folder?  Wow-ee!  Our first week back after Thanksgiving may be the most docile, so I hope much work will be accomplished.

Fifth Grade.

Religion.  As you know, my class is presenting Monday’s Morning Prayer.  The skit, readings, and music will herald the beginning of Advent.  We will continue talking about this time of waiting throughout the week.

Reading.  We will be reading our first tall tale of the school year, “McBroom the Rainmaker”.  It is an adorable story about life in the West, full of exaggeration, similes and metaphors.  I know the children will enjoy it.

English.    We are beginning our unit on Verbs. 

Spelling.  A new list will be distributed on Monday.  Deciding to take a break from homophones, the new words will be some of the most frequently misspelled words that fifth grade students struggle with.

Social Studies. 

We will be concluding the Lesson One activities; our learning packets presently include our work on defining vocabulary words, understanding our learning objectives, and summarizing the lesson’s main ideas:  what were the largest differences between the North and South’s ideologies and what was the largest contributor to the rise of slavery in the South?

Sixth Grade Next Week

Reading.  We will spend one more week on the selection “His Majesty, Queen Hatshepsut”.  It is an extremely difficult read, even with the very talented students that are members of this class.  I was tempted to leave it for now, however, I think they are developing the important skill of reading with a concise focus (in this case, finding particular characteristics of the Queen embedded in their reading).  They are doing this as a small group activity, and in my eavesdropping, I hear them sharing in the reading and then, determining whether anything in that particular reading indicates any of the traits that they are being asked to find.  So…we will persevere…

English.  We continue our work on adverbs.

Well…amidst all the hustle and bustle of this holiday season, let us continue to remind our children about the true meaning of all the excitement.  We best teach this with our own devotion to Jesus’ birth.

Warm regards, Miss L. Boron

Week of November 25th-November 29th

Hello, Parents,

I know that I am writing this a bit early in the week, however, when there are only two days to plan lessons for, it surely is much easier.

The children are looking forward to Thanksgiving, and when we return, it is time to celebrate the Advent season. My class will be presenting the Morning Prayer service on the Monday we return, so our hope is that it will set the tone of this beautiful season with the honor it deserves.

Fifth Grade Next Week

Week of November 18th-November 22nd

Hello, Parents,

On this rainy (but a bit warmer) Friday, I am thinking about all of the different activities that signify this busy time of the year. The children are, at this very minute, practicing with their Strength and Movement teachers for their upcoming Christmas performance. I am collecting permission slips for our annual trip to the Koger Center, we have our mugs ready for “Hot chocolate Friday”, and I am trying to prepare for my class’s Advent presentation on December 2nd. Whew! I think I may have to increase my vitamin input. Anyway, amidst all that we do have learning to be done.

Fifth Grade Next Week.

Religion. We have concluded our Chapter Five work on the Eucharist. The children should be studying their class notes for an upcoming quiz that will be given on Tuesday. They have been told what to focus their studying on.

Reading. During our reading of the story, “The Coming of Long Knives”, we are going to focus on the reading skills of previewing and drawing conclusions.

English. The class will have a unit test on Thursday. The test will assess their mastery of the content presented from lessons 5.1-5.5. Each lesson on adverb use has been presented and practiced. However, independent study needs to be done; they have already written in their agendas the date of the test and what they need to review in their personal studying.

Social Studies. Today I will be collecting their cards indicating who they have chosen to memorialize for their Civil War project. As you know, directions for this came home this Wednesday; please review them with your child if any questions arise. Next week’s lesson will focus on the growth of slavery in the South.

Spelling. Our test will be given on Friday. Can you believe there are so many homophones in our language? Eeeeks…and there are still more to come…

Sixth Grade Next Week

Reading. Our reading of “His Majesty, Queen Hatshepsut”, has given the students a chance to share much of their background knowledge of ancient civilizations. Also, I am looking forward to hearing their presentation on the ancient wonder that each of them chose.

English. Like my fifth grade students, we are studying adverbs. This class is also spending more time on our workbook’s maintenance exercises that include a variety of skills (parts of speech, verb tense, sentence structure and diagramming). I consider them mini-lessons that accomplish much with four or five questions.

The author of this quote is unknown; whoever did say it, though, surely gives us a lovely sentiment.

“Happiness is a perfume you cannot pour on others

without getting a few drops on yourself.”

Isn’t that a nice thought for us to keep close? I hope you think so…

Enjoy your weekend,

Miss L. Boron

November 11th-15th

Dear Parents and Guardians,

Our new week of school will begin with our celebrating veterans by attending the parade on Monday. Some of our classmates have parents in the military, so it will make the day an especially meaningful one. Also, there is early dismissal that day, so our classroom time is minimal.

However, Tuesday through Friday are normal days, so below please find my planned lessons for Tuesday through Friday.

Fifth Grade

Religion. We are continuing our work on the Eucharist. I did not get nearly as much covered as I wanted to this week, and I cannot discount the importance of this topic for our children. After all, it is the center of Christian life.

English. We are coming along nicely with adverbs. After our lesson on using troublesome adverbs correctly, we will be ready to review for an upcoming quiz that I would like to have the children take next week. I have not chosen an exact date, because I am uncertain how long we will be working on the above-mentioned lesson.

Reading. I am sooooooo looking forward to presenting the next story to your children. It is called “The Coming of the Long Knives.” It is a piece of historical fiction that depicts the trials of a Navaho village when white soldiers, the Long Knives command that they leave their home. This will piggy-back so well with the selection we read in our Storyworks about the mystery of Roanoke.

Social Studies. We are getting ready to begin the Civil War. I am creating a packet of materials that I hope will make their journey through the textbook pages a bit more palatable. Much information is presented in the book, so consolidating the material will help (I hope). We will begin our study by having the students become familiar with the issue of slavery and the major differences between the North and the South.

Sixth Grade

English. Our incorporation of sentence diagramming within our other lessons, is being so beneficial. Being that the students need to know parts of speech, sentence structure, and the relationship among words in a sentence, many of the arduous skills associated with the mechanics and grammar of English at this level, are being accomplished as they diagram and we review their work. I am happy when errors are made and they explain why they chose to put words where they did in the diagram. When their classmates offer differing thoughts, real learning is taking place. It is great!

Reading. On Tuesday, the students will present the ancient wonder of the world that they chose to research. This activity is meant to set the stage for a few stories we will be reading from the anthology of stories on ancient civilizations.

I know…I know…you are waiting for my ending quotation, right? In all seriousness, I enjoy leafing through my book of them and finding ones that I hope you will like. So, how about this very short, but quite poignant one…

“To be loved, be lovable”.

Wishing you much love in your lives,

Miss L. Boron