Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Food Drive

Student Council members with donation boxes for the food drive. 6th graders are assigned cereal and fifth graders tuna fish. Thank you for your donations!

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

In math the fifth graders have been using their knowledge of area to find the volume of rectangular prisms (boxes). First they found volume by determining the number of snap cubes that would fit in the box. Then they moved to using standard units, like cubic centimeters. This week the students will be building cubic units with paper and sticks...cubic inches, feet, yards and meters. This will help them develop an intuitive understanding of the size of various cubic units.

The sixth graders have been studying fractions and decimals and the relationship between them. This has been very challenging, especially determining decimal equivalents for fractions like 1/3, where the denominator isn't a factor of 10 or 100. We are also using benchmark fractions to determine fractions' and decimals' relative magnitude.

Parents, please check your children's passport a few times a week. It will keep you informed about how they are doing with homework, preparation and behavior. There have been several children who regularly don't get their homework done on time. Thanks.
Luke Fisher

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

We are currently working in Book Clubs in literacy class. Students, in groups of two or three, are reading and discussing the same text. Students are reading knowing that they will write about their reading every other night for homework. The responses are expected to take about 30 minutes for each entry and the goal is to show their thinking beyond the text. Ideas to write about include the "signposts," studied in our first reading unit, as well as strategies covered in current mini-lessons from our new mentor text, Home of the Brave, by Katherine Applegate.

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Congratulations to the Spelling Team!

The WES Spelling Team competed in the state Spelling Bee and took 2nd place! Congratulations to all! Thank you to the fabulous coaches, Mrs. Lackley and Mrs. Malik.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Math News

The students did a wonderful job presenting their work during conferences. Revisiting problems from earlier in the quarter, and creating a presentation, solidified important mathematical concepts.

The 5th graders have started a short unit on area and perimeter. As we use area models throughout mathematics it's important that students are fluent with both area and perimeter. They will work with squares and rectangles with constant perimeter and changing area, and changing perimeter and constant area. They will be using reasoning skills that will test their understandings!
In another week or so we will study volume. The students will start by building models of rectangular prisms to find their volume.

The 6th graders have just started a unit "Comparing Bits and Pieces." They will study fractions and ratios, with special attention to equivalency and fractional parts.

Social Studies Update

For the past week, 5th and 6th graders have been working on mapping skills. In particular, each student has been practicing using latitude and longitude coordinates on various  maps including a Vermont tourist attraction map and the fictitious map of Washaho.

Using latitude and longitude coordinates plays an important role in the simulation Discovery 3 which we have also recently begun. During this 2 to 3 week simulation on exploration and early colonial settlements, students will work together to establish early colonies and begin to set up forms of government. Each day, the groups will need to work together to complete projects. Creativity and problem solving will integral parts the colonies success.

Friday, October 23, 2015

It's hard to believe that the first quarter ends today! Thank you for the quick return of the conference sign-up sheets. Report cards go home Friday, November 6, and conferences begin Monday November 9.

In literacy our nonfiction reading unit will cumulate with a persuasive letter, taking the point of view of a researched explorer. The business letter will seek sponsorship for an expedition of exploration, arguing a thesis with reasons and supported with text based evidence.  We will soon start book clubs, where partners will choose a novel to study. 

Our school Halloween Parade will begin @ 1:30 on Friday the 30th. We'll parade through the Village in costume, and gather on the playground for a treat provided by Norman Williams Library. "Night of the Great Pumpkin" is that evening, from 5:30-7:00.  If available that evening, all student council members have signed up to facilitate an activity. 

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Buddy Sharing

Mrs. Giller's sixth grade homeroom shares personal narratives with first graders.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Conference Sign Up!

Sign up sheets for student-led conferences have been sent home. Please return the slip as soon as possible.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

On Wednesday, October 14th, at 11:00, the 6th graders will be walking to Marsh Billings Rockefeller Historic National Park for an afternoon of photography and ecosystem study. During their time at the park, students will split their time between be working with park rangers to identify natural and unnatural disruptions to the park ecosystems and learning to take better pictures and use photography to collect evidence of changes in an ecosystem. We will be returning by 2:40.

Students will need to bring the following for our trip to the park:

  • a lunch and water bottle
  • layers of clothing
  • raincoat
  • backpack
  • good walking shoes
The Park has enough cameras for each student. Students should not bring cameras or phones.

Please contact Mrs. Kurash with questions or comments. 

Thursday, October 8, 2015

October 8, 2015
In math this week the fifth graders have been working on multiplication strategies. We have studied the area model, partial products, and using prime factorizations. The purpose of learning these strategies is to develop a deep understanding of what multiplication means, and to develop an intuitive understanding of the distributive property.
Later in the year we will learn the "standard U.S. algorithm." We hold off teaching it now until these other concepts are in place. Students taught the algorithm too soon often do not learn to use it correctly and to recognize nonsense solutions.
Don't hesitate to contact me if you'd like to learn these strategies first hand!
Luke Fisher

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Our amazing spelling team!

Our fifth and sixth grade spelling team holds their last practice before the district competition on Friday. Good luck and congratulations for all your hard work and dedication.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

This week the sixth graders are learning to find the least common multiple and the greatest common factor from two numbers prime factorizations. Prime numbers are the building blocks of our number system and facility with them is very important. They will use these factoring skills throughout their math education.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

After studying the strategies that create a powerful personal narrative, the fifth and sixth graders are working hard on writing their own this week. We love the new chrome books!

Friday, September 18, 2015

This busy week included a trip to Sculpture Fest on Tuesday. Students will create their own sculptures in art class next week. Here Nixon, Wyatt and Taylor sketch the area they would place their sculptures. 

Enjoy another gorgeous summer weekend and don't forget tonight is "Movie Night" at WES.

Wednesday, September 9, 2015


Greetings Parents,

The fifth and sixth grade classrooms are looking for chaperones for our field trip to Sculpture Fest, next Tuesday, September 15. At 9:00 we will board buses at WES, chaperones are welcome to meet us there if preferred, and are scheduled to leave the grounds to return to WES at 10:35. Sculpture Fest is on Prosper Road, at the home of Peter and Charolotte Davenport. Please contact your student's homeroom teacher if you are able to help.

Thank you!

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

September 8, 2015

In math this week all the fifth and sixth graders are working on "The Product Game." They are using what they know about factors and multiples to play. The game forces them to strategize based on a number's factors. Understanding factors and multiples sets the "concept" stage for much of the rest of the work we will do in both grades this year.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

September 1, 2015

Greetings from the 5/6 Team,

Our first few days have gotten off to a good start. Students have been practicing routines, getting to know each other and building back their academic stamina.

For the next week, students will continue to need to have an adult sign their planner each night. This signature indicates that the assigned homework has been completed. We will continue to make sure assignments are being recorded in each student's planner. Please let us know if you have any questions or concerns and you can also reference our homework policy by following the link on the right of this blog.

Our first field trip is on Tuesday, September 15th to Sculpture Fest. Please return the school permission slip if you haven't already and let us know if you would like to chaperone for this outing.

Here is a  questions to ask your student from this week's literacy class:
What is a BUB?

Investigating States of Matter

Fifth grade students finding the mass and volume of different states of matter.

Monday, August 10, 2015


Welcome to Woodstock Elementary's fifth and sixth grade newsletter! We hope you all had a wonderful summer and are looking forward to the excitement and opportunities a new school year brings.

The fifth and sixth graders of Woodstock Elementary will have three classroom teachers this year. Mrs. Giller will have a sixth grade homeroom and teach literacy to all three homerooms, Mrs. Kurash will also have a 6th grade homeroom and will teach social studies and science, and Mr. Fisher will be the fifth grade homeroom teacher and math teacher. We are looking forward to a fantastic school year and welcome parents and students to visit our new web page frequently to view what is happening in our classes!

See you soon,

Mrs. Giller
Mrs. Kurash
Mr. Fisher