Last week began our Ancient Civilizations main lesson block. The students were fascinated by the Hindu tales of gods and heros, dragons and rakshasas (demons). Perhaps they have recounted to you the heroics of Rama as he, his devoted brother Lashman and the valiant monkey Hanuman, saved Rama's beloved wife Sita from Ravana the wicked ten-headed, twenty-armed king of the rakshasas. Along the way, we have had enlightening discussions on the Hindu concepts of reincarnation, the caste system, dharma, and karma and discovered why the Ganges River is considered to be sacred. The students drawings of the god Brahma are excellent (the artistic level of this class is quite high) and their various writings have been quite interesting to read.

In math we continued our fraction work with finding the greatest common factors to aid in reducing fractions to their simplest form. From here on, all fraction answers must be in their lowest terms (at least until high school when they will leave answers in the improper form for higher math). This week we will be estimating fractions (closer to 0, 1/2, or 1) and working with least common multiples to find the least common denominator between two fractions.

This week we will also be starting a new book, The Iron Ring by Lloyd Alexander. This book evokes the atmosphere and themes of Ancient India and belies the authors fascination for the epic works of India (i.e. The Ramayana and The Mahabharata). It is an enchanting story that would make an excellent "family read" for topics of discussion.

Now a word from Karen about EVF...

Hear Ye, Hear Ye!  EVF is 12 days away and Knight's Quest is our 5th Grade challenge this year!

Plans are underway for a fabulous obstacle course, but we need your help.

-$10 per family (or any amount you are comfortable donating) by Friday Oct 12 for equipment and misc. materials needed to set up the course.  Money can be placed in the donation box in 5th grade cubby or given to Toyoko
-Will someone solicit a dry ice donation from a supplier in town?  Contact Karen
-Tarps (preferably Brown, grey, black, or green) or Canvas Painter's Drop Cloths labelled with your name if you want it back
-Rope, Twine, Line (Preferably stuff you are willing to donate as it may need to be cut)
-Bungee cords labelled with your name if you want them back
You can leave these items in front of the classroom by Wed Oct 10 but the sooner the better so we know what we have would really help us out.

Because of the nature of this booth we need a lot of help to set-up on Friday afternoon and Sat morning, and run and breakdown the booth during the day so that it will be fun and safe for the kids.  Please sign-up for one or more shifts on this google Doc  There are also opportunities for the kids to help run the booth, their sign up sheet will be post outside the classroom this week.  You will be contacted to confirm their time and task.

Thank you all, and have a wonderful week!

Michele Conyers

5th Grade Co-Teacher
Stone Bridge School


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