Sunday, September 25, 2011

What's Up 9/26

Please, please turn in your emergency cards and disaster forms asap
Turn in your conference sign ups asap.
Signups for the Fall Festival were sent home last week. Our class is in charge of the garden booth.

Volunteers – Right now I am looking for volunteers to come in first thing in the morning on Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday to monitor the class as they settle in and work on their mathboard. During this time I will also ask the volunteer to do a visual check on completed homework. During this time I would like to pull a small group of English language learners.

I also would like one person to come into class once a week to help with copying and things like that.

Behavior – We did it! We got a 5- in Art this past week! However we had some problems in PE. Ms. Tronvig reported that “the same” small group of students brought our class down to a 4-. I was very upset to see a 3 from music when we had received a 5+ last week. Please talk to your child about this. Remind them that the purpose of school is to learn, not socialize in class, and that it is their job to listen and follow directions. Otherwise they are wasting precious instructional time for themselves as well as the class.

Math -  We are working on multiplying and dividing a whole number and a fraction by a fraction.

English Language Arts - Theme 1 is Nature’s Fury
This week we are continuing to read  Eye of the Storm and beginning Volcanoes.
Strategy focus; monitor/clarify
Comprehension skill: categorize and classify
Word work: word roots struct and rupt, reading dictionary definitions, singular and plural nouns, and long vowels
Writing: details, organization, writing a strong lead, placing information in the best order.


Monday, September 19, 2011

What's Up

We have 32 students in our class. I miscounted last time. There are so many it’s hard to keep track. J

Field trip October 7, to SFMOMA

Turn in your conference sign ups asap.
Make up pictures Tuesday, September 20.
Community on the Green – September 21 5:30-7:30 4th and 5th graders will be performing
Look for signups for the Fall Festival. Our class is in charge of the Garden booth and Snack stand.
Band will start this week. The students do not need to bring an instrument yet.
A series of reading programs are being offered through CSU Eastbay. The web site is

The Biography posters look wonderful!

One student has presented their poster and I have to say… It is my hope that all students get what he got out of this assignment. He worked hard and felt proud of his work. He discovered that the person he chose was actually more interesting that he first thought, and he learned something new from the person he studied.

Behavior – Our class, called “The New Leaves” by Ms. Forrester, was so happy to receive recognition for our restaurant behavior at the all school assembly. On the down side she did have to talk to us about our behavior in Art class.  I am sure that The New Leaves can change this. On the up side, we got a 5+ in music and are doing well in PE.

Math -  We are working on decimals, converting fractions to decimals and decimals to fractions, placing fractions and decimals on the numberline, multiplying fractions and whole numbers, and multiplying two fractions.

English Language Arts - Theme 1 is Nature’s Fury.
This week we are reading Eye of the Storm.
Strategy focus: question
Comprehension skill: text organization
Word work: syllabication, alphabetical order and guide words in the dictionary, conjunctions, compound sentences, and long vowels
Writing: writing an article using who, what, when, where, how.


SFMOMA Permission Slip

September 19, 2011

Dear Parents,

Our class is scheduled to go to the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art where we will have a tour that includes a hands-on art activity on October 7, 2011, at 9:50-11:30. We will then go to Yerba Buena Gardens across the street to eat lunch before returning to school at around 1:15.

Thank you,
Kirsten Julin

My child___________________________has my permission to attend the field trip to SFMOMA on October 7, 2011

Parent Signature_________________________

Day time phone number_____________________

I _______________________would like to chaperone on this trip. I can take_______students in my car.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Back to School

Kirsten Julin                                   

BACK-TO-SCHOOL-NIGHT                          or

FIFTH GRADE                 
SEPTEMBER 2011                                                   618-4350 x3214

Grade Level Highlights

Social Studies - United States major pre-Columbian settlements, explorers, relations between new settlers and Native Americans, colonial era, American Revolution, U.S. Constitution, patterns of colonization, immigration, settlements and general information about the fifty states

Math - application of the four basic arithmetic operations to fractions, decimals, and positive and negative numbers, determine length, area, and volume of simple geometric figures with the use of formulas, understand angle measurement and use a protractor and compass to solve problems, use grids tables, graphs, and charts to record and analyze data

Reading - Houghton Mifflin state adopted reading series and literature books aligned with the grade level standards focusing on comprehension, word analysis, fluency, systematic vocabulary development, and language conventions

Science - earth, life and physical sciences emphasizing the scientific method of hypotheses, observations, and experimentation and validation of hypotheses

Language Arts - writing paragraphs and essays in the different genres (narrative, expository, summary, persuasive, response to literature, and letter writing) with a 5th grade focus on personal narratives, persuasive essays, and research reports

Snacks – All students are allowed to eat a healthy snack during their morning recess.  Please try to send snacks that will feed their mind and body as well as their appetites.

Differentiated Curriculum - Curriculum is designed to accommodate varied learning styles and capabilities.  We do this with dynamic multiple groupings, with open-ended assignments, with pre and post testing, and most importantly with a rigorous and challenging curriculum.

Report Cards – Reports are based on grade level standards.  They will be distributed in December, March, and on June 14.

Assessments – In addition to our on-going classroom evaluations, we participate in the district’s math and English/Language Arts assessments that will be given at the end of each trimester.   We also administer Reading assessments to each student three times a year.  The scores will be recorded on the report cards.  Students also take the California STAR Tests.  This year our test window is April 23 – May 18. 

Learning Academy - 4/5 grade groupings. It is 40 minutes a day. Students will go to different classrooms. This is part of our reading intervention program. Students have been assessed and will either attend classes for extra support in reading or participate in other classes to enrich their learning.
5th Grade Promotional Ceremony and Party – These are both on the last day of school and are organized by parent committees.

Parent Volunteers – District policy requires that all volunteers complete the district application before working in the classroom or going on field trips.  If you have a packet on file, please stop by the office to verify that all of your information is up to date.  If you are driving on a field trip, you will also have to complete the district’s auto insurance form, which needs to be completed every year.
Classroom Volunteers – Parents are always welcome in the classroom.  Students welcome the personal attention and assistance they receive from adults.  If you are interested in working in the classroom, please let me know so we can work out a schedule.  If you have a special interest that you would like to share with the students, such as a science lesson, please contact me to set up a time.

Outdoor Education - All 5th graders are invited to an Outdoor Education Program.  It will be located at the Pigeon Point Lighthouse, a program we know well.  It will be 3 days and 2 nights. **It is never too early to begin fund raising.

Common Sense” built around discussions and experiences as we analyze relationships such as problems and solutions, causes and effects, actions and consequences and privileges and responsibilities.

Our class will focus on a program that deals with respecting one another and solving conflicts. We are learning how to better express ourselves with the “I message”, and we are learning how to give a meaningful apology with “the clean up.”


I message

I feel…
When I…
I need…
Will you…?

The Clean Up

I know that I…
I apologize.
What can I do to make it right?
Next time I will…

Will you forgive me?

I encourage you to use these powerful tools in your home to support what we are working on in school.

Weekly Schedule
Computer Lab – Monday 1:05-2:05
P.E. – Monday 2:15-3:00 and Wednesday 9:00 – 9:45
Art – Tuesday 2:15-3:00
Music – Thursday 1:05 – 1:50
Library – Friday 1:15-2:05
Learning Academy – 11:20-12:00

5th Grade Instrumental Music
Wednesdays 12:20 – 12:50 “A” Group
Wednesdays 12:55 – 1:25 “B” Group
Fridays 1:15 – 1:45 “A” Group
Fridays 1:50 – 2:25 “B” Group

Homework - All students are expected to have and use a Roosevelt Planner that they copy their daily assignments into and carry back and forth from school to home every night.  Homework will be assigned every day and occasionally your child will need to work on their long-term projects over the weekend. Homework is a chance for students to practice and apply skills learned in the classroom.  Given that, I understand that occasionally assignments are a bit much. When this happens please send me a short note so I can address the particular issues. Please don’t forget that every fifth grader should be reading 30+ minutes or more each week. Please help teach your child organization and responsibility by looking in their backpack, folder, reviewing their homework, and removing notices.

Monthly Reading Project – Beginning in October your child is expected to turn in a reading project based on the reading that your child does each night.

After School Help – Your child is always welcome to stay after school to get help on homework provided that I do not have a meeting on that day.

Classroom Blog – Find out what we are doing in class and read about upcoming events.  Join our blog (

Field Trips – We are scheduling a variety of field trips that enrich our grade level standards.
  • San Francisco Museum of Modern Art       October 7
·      NASA/AMES                                  December 16
·      Pigeon Point                             January 11 – 13
·      The Tech Museum                         March 23
·      Marine Science Institute                 May 31                               

Helpful Websites – - This is the site the students use in the computer lab.
All second through fifth grade students have a Study Island account.  Student usernames are typically their last name and first initial, plus Roosevelt (e.g. for Joe Smith the username would be SmithJ.Roosevelt).  The password for all students is hornet. - math - social studies - practice math facts and feed the world

Monday, September 12, 2011

What's Up In Class

We have two new students. Victoria and Xavier. They are a great addition to our class. That puts us at 31 students.

I was so happy to hear Ms. Forrester compliment our class on their restaurant behavior. We also have received compliments from Ms. Tronvig. We have turned over a new leaf and I am very impressed with the class’ behavior.

Please note that Back To School Night will be on Thursday at 6:15 in the multipurpose room. Ms. Lipka, Ms. Thomas and I will be presenting together. I will post the back to school packet of information on the blog.

Biography Poster final draft is due Friday

This week we begin Reading Academy. If your child has signed up for instrumental music, that will begin next week.

Students have been placed in reading groups based upon their testing results from beginning of the year assessments as well as last year’s CST Scores. If your child is in one of our intervention groups they will be tested regularly to assess whether they have met benchmark goals and will be moved to another group if needed. I have let them know that in order for them to switch out of a group they must work very hard, including working on their reading at home. Notes to families of students who are in our reading intervention will be sent home soon.

In Math we are working on equivalent fractions, comparing and ordering fractions and mixed numbers, fractions in simplest form, tenths, hundredths, and thousandths. Last week we worked on improper fractions and mixed numbers and converting them back and forth. Some students still need extra support in this. We will continue to work on this in class but please provide extra support for your child at home.

We have begun the district adopted reading curriculum. Theme 1 is Nature’s Fury. This week we are reading Earthquake Terror. We are working on sequence of events, using a thesaurus, different kinds of sentences, subject and predicates, and base words.

In writing we continue to focus on narrowing a topic, staying focused on the main topic, choosing the best details, and including all the information a reader needs.

Michelle has found that there is free tutoring at the Castro Valley library. Please see the link below