Hello 5th Grade Families,

I hope you had a fabulous Thanksgiving week.  In spite of the astonishing fact that the Medaris family Thanksgiving did not, for the first time that I can ever remember, include an actual pumpkin pie, our celebration was fantastic.  Pumpkin pie creme brulee was a delicious substitute for the pie, in spite of the fact that the survival advice the Native Americans provided the early Europeans probably did not include the use of a butane torch. But I digress...I look forward to taking the reigns from Michele and galloping off into this very busy time of the year, but really, is it ever NOT busy?  I'm beginning to wonder...

As Michele steps back and takes some time to relax and smell the flowers, I want to thank her so, so much for doing such a wonderful job with the students over these past many weeks.  After visiting with the many children and parents in our conferences and hearing their enthusiastic thoughts about the past eight weeks, it was clear that Michele did a wonderful job! It was certainly not an easy undertaking, stepping into some well worn shoes.  Learning about the students and their needs, and also the needs of the families, all in such a short period of time, was hugely challenging, but boy did she make it look easy. I am so happy to be working with her as a partner this year.

Schedule Change: Winter Concert and Parent Meeting right next to each other!!!!
I just discovered that the parent meeting and the Winter Concert are in the same week-- two nights in a row!  Crud.  I am so sorry that I made that mistake! The Winter Concert was just not on my radar.  It is a super ginormous pet peeve of mine when families are asked to attend so many events in a week like this, so NO WAY!  I would still really, like to get together for a parent gathering, however, so let's reschedule for Thursday, January 10th, from 6:30-8:30.  I promise I will try hard to make the gathering informative and inspired!  So mark/change your calendars accordingly.

Upcoming in class:
We begin a second Ancient Civilizations block with a dive into the amazing and mysterious world of Ancient Egypt.  During this block of study I will also introduce the children to our class play, our longest (and hopefully most entertaining and fun to perform) production yet.  We will also dive back into Writers Workshop again, and I will be working with the children further in following a writing process, which includes drafting, revision, editing, and general stylistic techniques for expressing their very amazing thoughts in clear and effective ways.

In math we will continue further into the world of decimals, including multiplication and division of decimals.  I will be working with the children on the extremely important technique of estimating numbers as well, and we will begin larger division with double digit divisors (6844÷55).

The students get to choose their own book to read during this block.  However, I would like to approve their title before they launch into it, so I will be asking the children to pass their titles to me by this Wednesday.  If your child is struggling to find something they are happy with then please point her or him to me and I will see what magic spell works on them.  I have my ways...

Upcoming Dates:
Winter Concert: Wednesday, December 5th (Not quite sure about start time yet.)
San Jose Egyptian Museum: Wednesday, December 12 (normal drop-off and pick-up times apply)
Parent Meeting: Thursday, January 10th, 6:30-8:30.  Childcare is provided.  Please RSVP at:
Half Day/Winter Festival: Friday, December 14.

Okay, I think that's all. I look forward to seeing everybody again!




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