Monday, December 19, 2016

Mismatch Day Friday

Friday, December 23 is our last day of school before vacation. The entire fifth grade is celebrating with a theme: MISMATCH DAY!
On Friday your child may dress in the most mismatched clothes possible! (Please do not buy anything- have your child create their outfit from what you already have)
At the end of the day, outfits will be judged and prizes awarded for the most colorful, creative and of course, mismatched.
Just a note for room 13 students- we have PE in the morning, so you may bring your outfit and change after PE class. Don't forget sneakers!!!

Monday, December 5, 2016

Thank You!

Our food drive was a great success! Thank you to all who contributed and a special thank you to our parent volunteers for delivering the food!  
Volunteers  helping to deliver food to Burlington Food Pantry

Friday, December 2, 2016

Animal Enclosures

Room 13 Science students worked hard on their animal enclosures!  Ask your child about this great engineering and animal science experience!

Monday, November 28, 2016

Say "Cheese!"

Room 13 will be retaking our class photo on Wednesday right after Music at 9:35.
(If you want to have your school photos retaken please return the original order envelope on Wednesday.  Students who were absent on picture day in October will receive a new order envelope.)

The Vocabulary Parade brought out our creative side!!  It was a great way to spend the day before Thanksgiving Recess. I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday.  Don't forget the food drive ends on Wednesday. We are still looking for a couple of parents to deliver the food on Thursday.  Thanks to everyone for your support of this Student Council project.

Monday, November 14, 2016


It's the second annual Fox Hill Vocabulary Parade!

 For this all-school event, your child should select a word and create a "costume" that conveys the meaning of the word. A flyer about this event was sent home last week, and it included ideas for grade-level appropriate vocabulary words. We also discussed this in class today and children know they should not wear costumes on the bus, but rather bring it so they can put it on at school.

Another important date to remember is WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 30. Fifth Grade Student Council is running a holiday food drive to benefit Burlington's People Helping People. Our grade has been assigned the following food items to collect: pancake syrup and spaghetti sauce. There is a box in our pod for your family's contribution.
💞We are also in need of volunteers to pick up the food collected and bring it to  People Helping People.  If you are available around the first of December please let me know!

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Math Help

Fifth graders are welcome to come to school early on Thursdays for extra help in math. Just come right to my room at 8 am.

Check this blog on Thursday mornings if you are planning to come in early, as I will post a message if I am unable to meet.

Monday, October 3, 2016

Picture Day

Picture Day is Wednesday, Oct. 5.
Please be sure to bring your order form on Wednesday!

Friday, September 16, 2016

September 17 Constitution Day!!

Be a STAR on my blog! 
Take the Preamble Challenge!
Image result for constitution images

The Constitution is our country's most important document.  It is the basis on which all our laws are made, enforced, and interpreted.  The Preamble clearly states the reasons our founders wrote the Constitution.  

Memorize the Preamble and be ready to recite on Monday or Tuesday next week.  I will record your recitation and you could be a star on my blog!!

We the People of the United States, 
in order to form a more perfect union, 
establish justice, 
insure domestic tranquility, 
provide for the common defense, 
promote the general welfare, 
and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, 
do ordain and establish this Constitution 
for the United States of America.

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

First Day of Fifth Grade

We had a great first day! 
Students have a morning message to read at the start of the day. It is a greeting and often gives a task or asks a question.  

Homework is posted and students copy it into their planner.

We spent time today talking about expectations and how to make this a great year!

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Welcome to Fifth Grade!

Dear Fabulous Fifth-grader,
I can’t wait to get back into our classroom and start preparing for the new school year.  Teaching is my absolute favorite thing to do.  Don’t get me wrong- I love summer: the beach, barbecues and good books!  My porch is my favorite place in the summer, because it’s where I can curl up and read for hours in any kind of weather.
Let me mention a great book I just finished.  It’s called Raymie Nightingale  by Kate DiCamillo.  The story tells about three girls who find friendship one unusual summer.  As the lives of these unforgettable characters unfold you learn that it takes a lot of bravery to be kind.  The toughest character in the book turns out to be both brave and kind, though you’d never guess that when you first meet her.  That’s what I love about reading great books. There are so many unexpected moments.  This book is realistic fiction, but my all time favorite genre is historical fiction.  It’s so exciting to me to be able to connect with the past while reading such a fascinating story. I look forward to hearing what your favorite books and genres are.  

If you have time I’d love to hear from you about what you are doing or what you are reading this summer.  You can e mail me at or you can send me a postcard at Fox Hill.  I’ll be in and out of school over the next couple of weeks setting up our classroom.  I’d love to hear your suggestions about what makes a great classroom, too!

I know the idea of coming back to school makes some excited, and some- well- not so excited, but remember, you have so many cool activities and experiences to look forward to.   I am so happy I can be a part of making your last year at Fox Hill a super memorable one.  

Enjoy the rest of your summer! I can’t wait to meet you!


                                                                                  Mrs. Lee

Monday, June 20, 2016

Poetry Posse Rides Through Fox Hill!

These talented poets spent time during Spirit Week performing their poems to students throughout the school!  What a great way to show school spirit and a love of creative writing!

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Independence Day Comes Early!

Students enjoyed a great celebration of learning on Friday when they shared their knowledge about the American Revolution!

 Though the Patriots won the day; the Loyalists win it this year!

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Have a Pet for the Summer!

Summer Visiting Animal Program

The Burlington Science Center is looking for homes for some of its animals over Summer vacation.
gerbils-tarantulas-water frogs
--The Science Center will provide cage, STARTER food, 
shavings, and care sheet for each animal.
--CALL MS. WENDY PAVLICEK AT (781)-270-2928 or e-
mail asap if interested.  
--Animals are distributed on a first come, first serve 
--All animals must be picked up by June 14th making 
an appointment with Ms. Pavlicek.

Thank you.

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Thank You to our Arts Specialists

We are asking that fifth grade chorus and band members to contribute to a recognition of our fine arts teachers.  These tokens of thanks and appreciation were given to teachers on last week's wonderful Fine Arts Night.  We ask that chorus members bring in $2 and chorus/band members bring in $3.
Thank you for your continued support of out arts programs and teachers!

Sunday, May 1, 2016

Happy May! If it's Spring, it must be time for our Spring Concert! "We Haz Jazz" is almost ready to swing onto the stage, and I must tell you if the show is even half as good as the rehearsals we are in for a treat! I have thoroughly enjoyed listening to these talented kids each morning! (The music room is right across the pod!)  I hope to see you all at Fine Arts Night  on Thursday (6:30-9:00).  Mr. Scarpula has been busy hanging the children's amazing artwork, so be sure to look for your artist's work!

Another sign of Spring is. of course, testing. Last week we had our ELA PARCC assessments, and I remain impressed and proud of my students.  They took the test seriously, but kept it in perspective. They worked hard, and did their very best.  This coming week we have four mornings of math testing.  Each unit should last about 60 minutes.  It will be a busy week!

In other curriculum news, we have started our study of the American Revolution, a perennial favorite topic.  We kicked things off by assigning half the classes to be "Loyalists", and half "Patriots."  These teams compete for points in and out of class. Students will select a topic and research it so they can present it on our own version of "Independence Day," the culmination of our research.  The day will begin with student presentations, and then we will move on to academic "battles" in which students compete for more points.  Who will be victorious- Loyalists or Patriots?
Lessons have included the French and Indian War, the Stamp Act, the Boston Massacre, and the Declaration of Independence.   In addition to student research and lessons, we will head to the Concord Museum to experience the events of April 19, 1775.  Students are learning about this day from the perspective of a person from a prominent Concord family.  We have our own Reverend Emerson, as well as other leading citizens whose participation helped make a revolution.  The children are very engaged and are enjoying playing their roles!

In ELA my students continue to impress me with their poetry and creative writing.  I hope to share some of their work on this blog, so keep tuned in!
We will begin reading our next core book, a wonderful novel about an orphan living through The Great Depression- Bud, Not Buddy. This book offers many opportunities for students to learn about that time while exploring themes of survival, friendship, family, race and class differences, and children's rights.  We will most likely employ literature circles as we did when reading Hatchet. 

We still have a few topics to cover in math, including some measurement and geometry. This week we are finishing up a unit on algebra.  What with PARCC testing and our Spring Concert, our schedule will need to be flexible this week, so it is hard to say exactly when we can finish one topic and begin another.  I am available every morning at 8:00 if your child needs help in math.

Other happenings this month include a visit to Marshall Simonds where students will hear from the principal,  Mr. Connors and have a quick tour of the school. As we look forward to the end of the year there are so many fun activities, but there is also lots more work to do! Please feel free to contact me anytime with questions or concerns.
See you soon1
Mrs. Lee

Monday, March 7, 2016

Students Explore Clay in Art Classes

Clay from the Ocean

    Have you ever wanted to create a pinch pot fish? Well, now the fifth graders at Fox Hill are! If you didn't know, pinch pot fish is a clay fish in which the body/mouth is made out of a pinch pot.
    After the students make the pinch pot base, which takes a  whole art class, the pots go into a bag so that they are still fresh and will not harden before students are ready to turn them into fish.
    Students will create fins and eyes to put on there fish and will be able to create gills as well. Once students put the entire fish together, they are able to paint!
    “I am very excited to do clay because we don’t do clay in art class very often.” Valerie, a fifth grade student working on her own pinch pot fish says. “Clay is my favorite part of art class because it’s different from what we usually do and Fox Hill is lucky to have clay and our great art teacher, Mr. Scarpulla.”
    “I am excited to do clay because I really like making clay models. This is my first time doing a 3D clay model and I am so excited.” say Anya, a fifth grader who is also making a pinch pot fish.
    Our art theme for this year is water, so making clay fish fits right in!

Thanks to Mercedes M. for this post!

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

March News

I hope everyone had a relaxing February break. We are back at work in all of our subjects. In math we are adding and subtracting fractions, and will be focusing on fractions for the next few units. My fifth grade colleagues and I are always looking for ways to keep kids engaged in math , so we are trying a fun new idea. Every Friday for 30 minutes during math we have SUM Club (Students Understanding Math). This is a chance for kids to experience focused math instruction with a different teacher and in different groupings each week. The work done during SUM club is designed to help kids who need extra practice, as well as kids who need to explore beyond our core curriculum.
In ELA we celebrated African American History Month by reading the work of great poets like Eloise Greenfield and Langston Hughes. Students discussed themes and language and then worked on their own poems using the ones we shared as inspiration. Their work is very moving and genuine, and shows an understanding of the cruelty of segregation. As they work to revise and edit their poems I hope to share them on this blog. This month is Women's History Month so students will read a biography and create a "journal" sharing the life and contributions of a famous woman. The directions and rubric for this project, which is due March 31, are on the blog. 
In addition, this month we will begin to read Hatchet by Gary Paulsen. This core book is always a favorite with students. In the book, 13-year-old Brian Robeson's plane crashes in the Canadian wilderness, beginning his harrowing survival experience. Survival is the central theme; students will explore the ways in which the human spirit survives, not only physically, but emotionally. There are sequels to this book, (The River, Brian's Winter, and Brian Returns) so I would encourage students to continue reading independently about Brian after we finish Hatchet.
ELA students did a great job writing informational pieces and presenting them to classmates. In this month's writing workshop we will focus on persuasive writing. We have already done some weekly essays in this genre, so I hope to use those pieces as a starting point for our instruction, building on what students can already do!
Social Studies classes are finishing the study of settlement and colonization of America, and will soon move on to the causes of the American Revolution- another favorite topic! As part of this work we will visit the Concord Museum in April. More information about that field trip will come home at the end of this month.
Members of the Student Council have been hard at work raising money and awareness! We had a very successful Yard Sale before February vacation and raised over 900 dollars for the World Wildlife Federation to help with efforts to save the Amur leopard from extinction. Thank you to parents who supported this cause with donations of items and money and time!
Fifth grade students are also hard at work being tutors to younger students in many grades and subject areas. We are very proud of these responsible volunteers who give their time to help others!
Finally, all fifth graders will have an opportunity to run our very popular Fox Hill Post Office. Thanks to Mrs. Jaffe's facilitation, this annual activity supports our writing goals as well as our strong Fox Hill community spirit. There are writing supplies and a mailbox in the lobby for parents who want to write to their children. If you are at Fox Hill in the next few weeks feel free to write a letter and participate in this fun activity!

Thursday, February 25, 2016

You've Got Mail...another student guest post

The Fox Hill Post Office Returns This Month!

As you may have heard, the annual arrival of the Fox Hill post office has happened this month! What happens during this special time is all of our fellow fifth graders get together to deliver the mail that all of the students from around the school write to their friends and family. Delivering a letter is very simple, you just write the student’s name, their address, and our zip code and you put it in our mailbox found in the center of each pod, but beware! If you fail to put on the address, the name, or if you write messy, the letter will not be sent and you will never be able to talk to that person! You must also write quickly because this event only lasts for a limited time only so start writing! I really hope you enjoy this annual event at Fox Hill School, and happy writing!

We also encourage parents to write to their children. There are supplies and a mailbox in the lobby! 
Thanks to Jonathan B. for this post.

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Another Guest Post


The school yard sale is coming to help the Amur Leopard. The fifth grade voted on assisting Amur Leopard conservation. Now, the fifth grade Kindness Committee is working on getting the yard sale organized with IMovies for awareness and scheduling times for the yard sale. The main reason for the Kindness Committee choosing the Amur leopard was because of its population. There are only about 50 left in the world. The yard sale money will be sent to WWF (World Wildlife Foundation) who will use the money to help Amur Leopards and the conservation sites where they live. People will bring in belongings that are gently used and unwanted to the Kindness Committee. Students and parent volunteers will then put the belongings in the yard sale for others to buy.  The yard sale is this Friday, so please send in items and or money to shop!

by Sam P.

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Student Guest Post

Here is an important announcement written by Jackie B.....
Who said “Yard Sale?”

    I said yard sale! Or, well a “yard sale.” The fifth grade Kindness Committee has chosen an animal to raise money for-the Amur Leopard-and we have a great idea to raise money for it. A “yard sale!” Our yard sale will be located in the Fox Hill cafeteria on Friday, February 12th. It lasts one day only. Fifth graders families-you included-will donate things to our yard sale by February 12th, and we will prepare the items for the sale. Please, do not bring in worn out items, or broken items. Bring in new things, or unused. We recommend things like…
  • Toys
  • Games
  • Books
  • School Supplies
  • Clothing
    If you have anything listed above in good condition, we urge you to bring them in! Other grades will come to the sale and buy some of the things, and the money we get will be used for the critically endangered animal.
    Please help us out and contribute to our “yard sale.” We can bring the low numbers of 57 Amur Leopards left in the wild to 75! We just need your time, effort and help.
    Thank you for taking time out of your day to read this.
Thank you to Jackie B. for this great post!!!

Monday, February 1, 2016

Room 13 News

58 degrees!! in February!! Where are our snow days?  The weather is certainly up to its unpredictable tricks, and as I look at my students wearing shorts and T-shirts, I know that our New England weather may yet give us a dose of winter!

Inside, however our work remains focused and on target!  February is African American History Month, and we will be exploring and reflecting on the contributions of African Americans throughout the month. We begin with a poem written by an African American poet each day in our ELA class. The first poem is “On Liberty and Slavery” by George Moses Horton, born a slave on a tobacco farm in North Carolina. As students identify themes in these many diverse poems I am hoping they will see the unique voice each poet brings to his or her experience as a person of color in America.  Our Social Studies classes will also read articles and look at primary source documents that reveal the history of African Americans in colonial times and the Revolutionary War.  

Students are passionate about so many issues. They did a great job researching topics for their informational pieces in my ELA class.  We have learned about chocolate, leopards, different dog breeds, WWII, electricity, and the water cycle thanks to our class of writers. They used various formats to communicate information, including posters and digital books.  Next, we will look at writing as a way to persuade.  Of course, careful research and note taking are essential parts of this work, so we continue to hone those skills.   I am also hoping to have students contribute more guest posts to this blog. The more authentic writing kids can do the more invested they are in the process.  This, of course, makes the writing more purposeful and engaging!

In Math we have finished Topic 7 which was division of decimals.  We are onto fractions next after some pretesting to assess what students know and what they need.  One thing I noticed while we were working with decimals was that many students seem to lack experience with money.  In these days of gift cards and online shopping, children don’t always know what coins are worth, or how many nickels are in a dollar, (or even what a nickel is).  When was the last time you used coins?!  It may be helpful for kids to break open their piggy banks and count the coins, or help you go through your pockets and sofa cushions and roll those coins!

I am very proud of our fifth grade for stepping up to the many responsibilities they have.  We have noticed better behavior lining up in the morning, and afternoon, as well as at lunch. Many have volunteered to be tutors, and still others are committed to work on the Student Council’s Kindness Committee which is working to raise money to adopt an endangered animal.  You will be hearing more about that in days to come!

Happy February!
Mrs. Lee

Thursday, January 7, 2016

January Newsletter

Happy New Year!!

I hope you all enjoyed the break from school!  Now we are ready to jump into the new year, and some new learning, but first I'd like to mention the wonderful the winter concert performance.  I was moved to hear the amazing voices of our chorus, and delighted by all the wonderful songs and spirit they conveyed.  I know parents and the rest of the Fox Hill family thoroughly enjoyed the performance.  I can't wait for the spring concert!
December also had us working on explorer projects which are just about ready to be shared in Social Studies classes.  This week students are using the rubric to evaluate their own work, and make any revisions they see.  I am proud of how hard all my students have worked on these projects and I am excited to see the finished product!  As we move forward in Social Studies we will be looking at colonization as a result of European exploration. One of the unfortunate effects was the displacement and death of many Native Americans.  King Philip's War is one example of the conflict between Europeans and Native People, so we will be watching an American Experience program called "We Shall Remain; After the Mayflower."

We continue writing informational pieces in ELA.  Students had many lessons and conferences to help guide them through the explorer piece, so now they are going to try an informational piece on their own.  We have many varied interests in our ELA class, from octopus to geothermal energy! I am looking forward to learning about all these topics from my fellow writers! My own piece is about Iceland and how it is has become such a popular vacation destination.
To support this work in our writing class, now that we have finished Number the Stars, we will spend some time reading about and researching our topics in reading class. We will hone our note taking skills, and turn notes into running text. Each writer will also decide what form his or her writing will take.
Our next novel will be Hatchet by Gary Paulsen, and I expect to start that by the end of January.  In the meantime please continue to encourage as much outside reading as possible.  Since we discussed theme, plot structure, setting, characters, mood, figurative language, and foreshadowing, I have asked students to read their independent books with some of these elements in mind.  As they read they should be jotting thinking on a post it, so they can write informed and thoughtful weekly reflections in their Reader's Notebook.  This is a major component of our reading work, and it gives me a clearer idea about what, how often, and how deeply students are reading on their own.

In Math we are finishing Topic 6, multiplying decimals, with a test on Friday, January 8.  Topic 7 is about dividing decimals.  Please take a look at the Home School Connection sheet that will come home at the start of the unit.  This resource can help explain the concepts and skills being taught in this topic.

As you know our student council Kindness Committee got things rolling in December with two successful fundraisers.  They are at it again and have some wonderful ideas.  I have also been impressed by the number of children willing to give of themselves in other ways.  Our tutoring program will begin soon.  Student council members are working on a survey that will help place fifth grade tutors with younger kids who need a little help in their schoolwork.  Other student council members are working on a poster to help make our Recess Rules clear, and still others are working to organize a Fox Hill clean up crew. We are working together at Fox Hill!