March Newsletter Dear Parents, After a long winter we are finally seeing signs of spring! Along with better weather comes a very busy fifth grade schedule. MCAS tests, field trips, and the fifth grade play will make March a very busy month. In Reading, we have been preparing for the English Language Arts MCAS test. We have discussed test taking strategies that will enable the students to focus on the passages, and efficiently answer the questions. The ELA MCAS test is scheduled for Wednesday, March 23rd and Friday, March 25th. It is important that the children get a good night sleep and have a healthy breakfast on the days of the tests. We will continue working in reading groups once the tests have been completed. We have established a goal for each child to read at least 40 books this year. Students should be reading for at least 30 minutes each night. Magazines are a great alternative to books. If anyone has a kids’ magazine subscription at home, the class would appreciate any donations to the classroom library, once your child is done with it, of course. The children have been responding to their reading in their response journals by writing letters to me and to classmates. I would like the children to start writing letters to you. This is a great way to develop a reading relationship with your child. The children will read, and respond to their reading in their journals. They may write questions they have during reading, personal connections to the story, predictions, etc. I am asking you to write a short letter to your child in their journal. You can ask questions about what they are reading, or share some reactions to what you might be reading. You can flip through their notebooks and read old entries to get some ideas. Thank you for helping with this! Please let me know if this is a problem. I will provide you with more specific directions soon. In Writing, the children have been working on personal essays. The children are writing mini stories that support their thesis statements. I look forward to hearing the children’s essays during our next authors’ party. In Math, the children have been working on multiplication and division problems of larger numbers. Our Math MCAS test is approaching fast. The Math MCAS is scheduled for Wednesday, May 11 and Friday, May 13. We will begin reviewing for math soon. In Science, the children have finished learning about Weather with me. They have learned about weather maps, various weather instruments, storms, fronts, and air pressures. Hopefully, the children become more aware of forecasts on television or in the newspaper. Barry Burbank, a meteorologist from WBZ News, will be visiting Dunning School and talking with the entire fifth grade. Barry is coming on Wednesday, March 16h. I think there will be a video clip of his visit on the 5pm. news that evening. Next, the children will be learning about animal adaptations with Mrs. Berlin. Our class will be visiting Drumlin Farm on Monday, March 14th. In Social Studies, we have finished learning about the 13 Colonies. The children researched a colony in groups and prepared a glog for their presentations. They also included an “advertisement” which is quite entertaining. You can view their glogs online. We will now be learning about slavery. Our spring conferences are right around the corner. Early release Thursdays begin on March, 17th. I will be sending home a conference schedule preference sheet soon. I look forward to meeting with you to discuss your child’s progress in fifth grade. Finally, the fifth grade has been working hard on their play. Parents are invited to the final performance on Friday, March 18 at 9:30. The play should last approximately 1 hour. I hope that you can make it! Please feel free to contact me if you have any concerns about your child. Sincerely, Michael Pearson Reminders: Open House at Walsh Middle School: Thursday, March 10th at 7pm Drumlin Farm field trip: Monday, March 14th Barry Burbank visit: Wednesday, March 16th Fifth grade play performance for parents: Friday, March 18th at 9:30 ELA MCAS: Wednesday, March 23 and Friday, March 25 Math MCAS: Wednesday, May 11 and Friday, May 13 Science and Technology MCAS: Wednesday, May 18th and Thursday May 19th This month we will be collecting cans of tomato sauce for our local food pantry, A Place to Turn. We are in need of more tissue boxes. Thanks!