Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Welcome to 2008!

Hi Everyone!

Happy New Year! I hope you all had a wonderful break with family and friends. I had a busy time traveling to family in NY, NJ, and CT. It is always nice to be with family, but the "getting there" part can be a real grind!

Anyway, we are now back in full swing and had a great first week. There were a few mentions of "I miss Mrs. Brush" or "It's strange without Mrs. Brush here". I am glad that they enjoyed working with her last semester. She was a tremendous asset to our classroom community and her presence will be missed.

Let's get to it...here's the update from Room 5:

New Teacher Shower: We hosted a shower for Mrs. Brush and supplied her with all the things we think a new teacher needs. She received so many wonderful gifts. Thank you for your generosity and support with this project.

Winter Carnival: Thanks to all the parents that came in and volunteered to help the 4th graders celebrate the holidays. They were quite creative this year! We mixed up the children and rotated rooms to have the opportunity to participate in 6 different activities such as holiday stories and crafts. It was a wonderful afternoon for all!


Holiday Bingo


Holiday Stories

More Crafts

Mathematics: We are working on our division skills. We have switched to a Division Mad Minutes test, but will return to Multiplication tests on a "surprise" basis. We need to be prepared! Our Division test was today and we will be moving into fractions next.

Social Studies: We wrapped up the Northeast Region. We have started to explore the Southeast Region. Do you know what states make up the Southeast Region? What is the climate like? What products are grown there? Things to start thinking about...

Science: Mrs. Brush concluded her unit on Matter. Click on the link below to see a short video from our lab on the sound of matter.

We also did a matter lab on sink or float and tried to make aluminum foil boats that could support pennies. Check out Caroline and Ashley's successful boat building skills? (It is sideways. I am still learning about putting videos on blogs...and how to rotate them!)

In January, we will begin a new project to kick off our study of Animal Adaptations. Do you know what animal adaptations are? What makes a bird a bird? We will become experts on birds and the many adaptations that they have.

Reading: We are studying poetry and have been performing some poems in class. We are also playing "I-SPY" and looking to find poetry terms within the poems. We want to know if there is rhythm, how many stanzas, is there poetic license, is there a rhyme pattern, and other terms that we are learning. The children worked in partners and to select a poem to share with the class. They will get to be the teachers. See the photos below.

Writing: The At-Home Writing Project was due on December 20th. Another writing project will be assigned in January. In class, we will begin a new 5 paragraph essay as well. Hint: Start thinking about what you would wish for...

Help Wanted: Do you enjoy working with budding writers? Are you good with grammar? Can you revise and edit? Do you have computer skills/knowledge of MS Word? If you answered yes to any of these questions, than this is the job for you! We are currently seeking parents to assist with Writer's Workshop on Thursdays and Fridays from 10:55-11:35 am. Please send me an email if you are available to help us out on either day.

Indoor Recess Fun: Over break, I bought a microphone for us to use in class. Justin was inspired to bring in his "Are You Smarter than a 5th Grader?" game and host his own version at recess. He even brought prizes!


  1. Please re-stock your child's pencils, highlighters, and gluesticks. If possible, label each item with your child's name.

  2. Please label your child's snow gear. Many items are being "relocated" to the Lost & Found on a daily basis. I actually have laundry markers in the classroom, if you would like your child to do it at school.
  3. I will be sending out a paper survey regarding the blog this week. Please complete it and return it to school. I will be sharing it with Mrs. Whitten and will be using it to plan the future of our blog. I appreciate your honesty with your answers.
Thank you and have a great week!
-JoAnne Gorham

Friday, December 7, 2007


Hi Everyone,

I hope you are all finding ways to keep warm during this recent streak of chilly weather. At school, we are working hard and beginning new units of study. We have many things to accomplish before we break for the New Year. Please encourage your child to stay focused during this hectic holiday season.

Here's the update from Room 5:

Science: Mrs. Brush has begun her fabulous unit on Matter. On Monday, we all traveled to the cafeteria where stations were set up for us to "explore" matter. Our objective was to discover the "Big Ideas about Matter." We used gloop, oobleck, playdough, scales/balances, tubs with water to test for sink/float, and much more. Thank you to Mrs. Leonard, Mrs. Ransden, and Mrs. Stott for coming in to help us run the stations and especially for the help with clean up! See if your child can tell you anything about the big ideas.

Making Oobleck with water and cornstarch

What are the Big Ideas here?

Mrs. Stott assists with the equitable dispensing of cornstarch!

Sink or float? Let's test and find out!

Some types of matter will dissolve into other types of matter. Some will not.

Mathematics: We have finished with multiplication and are now moving into division. Please keep practicing your facts! We are still taking our Mad Minutes quizzes and will begin to switch it up with division. Congrats to Brenna & Meg for completing 60 facts in 2 minutes. Many others are also close to 60!

Social Studies: We are in the Northeast Region and have completed some fabulous sensory poems. Mrs. Guitard (our FSC field study student) also came in and shared a lesson on the Iroquois. We are learning about their families, shelter, clothing, food, and festivals/religious beliefs and making flip-books to organize our information.

OnWednesday, Mrs. Ransden came in to talk about her French Canadian heritage and the holiday traditions that they celebrate. She also shared some French songs with us and taught us to say a few holiday phrases in French. Thank you for offering your time and sharing your traditions with us.

Writing: We continue to work on our 5 paragraph essays at school. Are you working on your "At Home Writing" assignment? It is due on December 20th. Be sure to use your calendar to help you plan your time and see me with questions.

Reading: We will begin our unit on Poetry next week. I am so excited to share this unit with the students as we have many great activities planned. We will write, read, and perform poetry. Please check out the websites for poetry that I have posted on the blog and get inspired!

Indoor Recess: We are having a great time with our new board games! Thanks again to the P.T.O. for approving our grant for new games! Apples to Apples is a Room 5 favorite!

Unifix Cubes: a classic!

Boggle, anyone?

BrainQuest for Kids


  • 12/14- Book Order is due today.
  • 12/14- Field Trip the Harvard Museum of Natural History. Chaperones need to arrive at 8:20. We are leaving at 8:30. Remember to pack a lunch. No candy, soda, or glass bottles. Dress in layers as the museum is either roasting or freezing!
  • 12/20- At Home Writing Project is due at school. Please send all draft work in with the final copy.
  • 12/20- Holiday Party in the afternoon. Contact Michelle Ransden if you are interested in helping to organize this event.
  • 12/21- All-School Meeting: Winter Songfest
  • 12/21- 11:30 Dismissal for Students

Friday, November 30, 2007

The Vocabulary Parade

Hi Everyone!

I just wanted to post pictures from the Vocabulary Parade. It was so nice to see so many parents able to attend. I know the kids had a wonderful time and walked with pride from classroom to classroom. The costumes were fantastic representations of words. This year was also the first time that Mrs. Zia, Mrs. Villaflor, and I also joined in the fun! We look forward to having it again next year. Thank you for helping to make it such a success.

Check out our great words...























Social Studies & Read Aloud: We read a great book to support our study of the Northeast. Did you know that there was a molasses explosion in Boston? Ask your child to tell you the tale of:

We also welcome a new student to our classroom from Lincoln Street School. Welcome Caitlynne! We are thrilled to have you in our class.


  • 12/3- School House Rocks will visit us with perfomances by students from Algonquin

  • 12/5- Wednesday: Multiplication Test

  • 12/14-Friday: Field Trip to the Harvard Museum of Natural History

Thanks and have a great week!