Friday, March 21, 2014


By this time you have heard about the PARCC field test. As of now the schedule has our homeroom  taking various parts of this test as follows:
Math on Wednesday morning (3/26)
ELA on Thursday afternoon (3/27)
Reseach/Narrative on Friday (4/4)

During the two weeks of testing grade 5 students will remain with their homeroom teacher for Math and ELA.  We will be teaching a unit in Geometry in Math, and will be continuing with independent reading and writing activities in ELA. Science and Social Studies will continue as normal. As the week progresses I'm sure we will need to "tweak" the schedule and our plans, so we remain flexible as well as curious about PARCC.
 Since this is just a field test, as you know, no results will be shared with us or you.  I have discussed the test with all of my students and reminded them to do their best, but not to feel any pressure. They will be taking the test on Chome Books.  There will be questions that they may not feel confident about answering.  They all seem to understand that this is an opportunity for Burlington kids to get a little experience with this format of testing before the the actual test occurs in the future.
If you have any questions I urge you to contact me or  Mrs. Johnson or Dr. Conti.

The only MCAS assessment they will have is the Science/Technology MCAS sometime in May.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Spring Social Raffle Basket

Mrs. Cargile has agreed to collect money for our class' Spring Social Basket.  Please send in $2 in an envelope.  If you have any questions, please contact Mrs. Lee or Mrs. Cargile.
Thank you!

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Social Studies Test this Friday

I just wanted to remind students in rooms 13 and 14 that they can use Quizlet to study the vocabulary for our chapter 7 test. You can have access to the flash cards and games in the jaffe/lee group. If you have not tried this handy and fun study tool yet, why not try it now? 
Just go to and search jaffe/lee.  If you need to sign up, be sure to have a parent do this part!  Happy studying!

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Fox Hill Fraction and Decimal Club

This is a great opportunity for students to review what they learned about fractions and have fun! The club meets on Mondays and Wednesdays 3-4, beginning March 26.  Notices have already gone home, but reminders will be sent, so watch those backpacks!

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Canceling morning math help...

I have bus duty this week, so I am unable to meet with my math friends on Thursday.  Please try to catch me during HELP block or at recess if you need help!

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Another Harriet...

Harriet Hanson

At five A.M. her work began,
changing bobbins-filled for empty.
She drudged twelve hours through each day,
six days a week for paltry pay-
until the bosses cut all wages.

In factories around the town rose loud complaints.
“This isn’t right,” the mill girls shouted. “We will fight!”
Some risked their jobs, went out on strike,
and marched as one down the street.
Arm in arm,
they sang their song.

Harriet’s friends were scared.
They argued long.
Their parents counted on their earnings.
Should they stay or turn-out, too?
The strikers were about to pass.
“I’m tired of talk!” she spoke at last.
“I don’t care what you might do!
I’ll go alone.”

Harriet joined the throng,
but then she saw-
a surging swirl

of fellow workers follow her!

by Ann Whitford Paul

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Celebrating Women's History

Harriet Tubman

  by Eloise Greenfield
Harriet Tubman didn't take no stuff
Wasn't scared of nothing neither
Didn't come in this world to be no slave
And wasn't going to stay one either

"Farewell!" she sang to her friends one night
She was mighty sad to leave 'em
But she ran away that dark, hot night
Ran looking for her freedom
She ran to the woods and she ran through the woods
With the slave catchers right behind her
And she kept on going till she got to the North
Where those mean men couldn't find her

Nineteen times she went back South
To get three hundred others
She ran for her freedom nineteen times
To save Black sisters and brothers
Harriet Tubman didn't take no stuff
Wasn't scared of nothing neither
Didn't come in this world to be no slave
And didn't stay one either

     And didn't stay one either

- See more at:

Sunday, March 2, 2014

March Newsletter

Hello Families,
Hopefully March will bring sunnier skies and warmer temperatures!
February, though short, was a busy month. Students in my ELA class began researching topics of interest to write brief research compositions. Topics ranged from Alaska to Neptune! As I read these, some common needs were revealed and will continue to be addressed this term. Most students still need support, understandably, in taking notes in their own words to avoid copying text directly from their sources. Revision and editing are also areas which will continue to be a focus in our writing workshops. Since March is Women's History Month, our informational writing this term will take the form of a diary. Students will read a biography about a woman that they would like to learn more about and then create a diary. Directions for this will come home this week.
In Social Studies we are beginning to study the War for Independence. As we learn from text, primary source documents and images, and some video clips, students will again be asked to write from a different point of view. After exploring different topics such as the Boston Massacre, the Stamp Tax, and the Boston Tea Party students will take a position and write a letter expressing and supporting their opinions. "Loyalists" and "Patriots" will "compete" for points during this unit, bringing some novelty and excitement to our class sessions! Later in the term, I am hoping students will be able to create glogs, online interactive posters, to publish and share their learning.
In math we have finished Topic 5, which focused on division, and I will continue to support students who need further remediation. Though I have missed a few Thursday morning help sessions due to snow days and illness, I have met with my math students at HELP or in class in small groups or individually, and I will continue this practice to make sure they have the remediation they require. The first lessons in Topic 6 focused on multiplication of decimals by multiples of ten. Most students grasped the "short-cut" of simply moving the decimal point to the right. More difficult for them to comprehend is the idea that the product of a whole number multiplied by a factor that is between 0 and 1 is less than the whole number. For example: 26 x .5 = 13. The series of lessons in this topic builds on this essential understanding so we will be spending considerable time establishing this. 
Finally, but equally important is our continuing focus on creating and maintaining a nurturing and supportive classroom environment. The fifth grade team presented a video at a recent assembly that showcased not only our students' talent and fun-loving nature, but also their understanding of what it means to "Be The One". Clips included students sharing, working together, including everyone, and standing up to bullying behaviors. I am very proud of their effort, as is Mrs. Johnson. In our morning and closing meetings each day we share stories and hopes and concerns in order to become more closely connected to each other. This is such an important time in our day. I treasure this brief moment in our day when we can all enjoy each other and have a fun activity or just share a laugh.
Lastly, report cards will be sent home soon. Though no day is set aside for conferences, I am always available to meet or talk by phone to discuss your child's progress.
Please continue to check the blog for updates, and feel free to contact me directly anytime! Thank you for your continued support!