Posts by pjjack

Dear Parents/Guardians,

This week marks the thirty fourth week of the school year. My how time flys!:- We will be quite busy these last weeks, so hang on. We will be taking field trips this week and next. The first trip will be with Ms. Dana on May 20th, 2015. Students were selected on a first come, first serve basis. Next week on May 22, 2015, we will see a Spanish dance at Northeastern University with Mr. Walter. The cost of the trip is $10.00 and students are to bring a lunch. Some students will also go on a trip with the choir this week. As you can see we have a very full week ahead.

The students will be taking the Spring session of the NWEA Assessment next week. As I stated with the PARCC Assessment, the students should get a good nights rest and eat a healthy breakfast in the morning. The testing session begins May 23-25 and will include reading and math.

This week we will be working on the following:

Language Arts: We will take the REACH assessment this week. The students are given a short passage and a prompt to respond to. The students are encouraged to write using information from the text to support their ideas.

We will also answer questions related to an article in our SCOPE Magazine. “Death Valley” is an interesting non-fiction article that tells of three women’s struggle to survive after getting lost in this desolate desert. We will write an organized essay that explains what makes Death Valley so fascinating, yet so dangerous.

Math: We will complete Unit 9 this week and will begin Unit 10. I’d like to cover concepts we have not yet gotten to so we will be working through some lessons in Unit 10 and will go back to cover all of Unit 10 during the next weeks.

Homework: Study Link 9.7-9.10, Study Links in Unit 10.

Social Studies: We are studying the American Revolution. We are learning how to take notes to support our understanding of this time in history. We will also participate in playing “Jeopardy Revolutionary War.” There will be chapter reviews to answer questions based on the chapters.

Civics: We will complete “LaCausa,” the story  of Cesar Chavez. The Mexican migrant worker led his fellow workers to form the Farmworkers Union despite overwhelming odds.

Have A Great Week!

Dear Parents/Guardians,

I hope all is well. This week starting Monday, April 27th- April 29th, we will be taking the PARCC Assessment. As I stated the last time we took the PARCC, all we really want is for the children to use the knowledge they have and to do their best. I have no doubt they will.

This week we will be working on the following:

We will continue with Unit 9, Coordinate points. We will also explore areas of rectangles.

Homework: Due to PARCC testing, I try to limit homework until after testing is over to ensure the student’s get a good nights rest. We will resume homework after testing.

Language Arts:

We are practicing writing poems using figurative language such as metaphors and similes. We are also turning inanimate objects into “real” objects through personification, a genre  of poetry. We will also be reading passages from various sources and taking comprehension assessments based on these selections.

Social Studies: We will take the chapter test on The Colonies.

Civics: We are reading “LaCausa,” the story of Cesar Chavez, a migrant worker who started the Farmworker’s union.

Have A Great Week!



jack 1

Dear Parents/Guardians,

Yes, this is me holding the first thing I’ve won since I’ve been at Ray School. I won the book raffle for Room 315. I thank all the parents and staff that make Scholastic Book Fair possible each year and who so generously provide opportunities for students and teachers to enjoy their love for books. Again, thank you.

It was a pleasure talking with all of you on Report Card Pick-up Day. I have always enjoyed spending time with you and sharing what we think would be beneficial to our children’s growth.

This week we will be working on the following:

Language Arts: We will be reading a play in our SCOPE Magazines entitled, The Golden Curse, and the article, Can Money Buy Happiness?  We will identify  the theme of both genres and then write a letter that supports a claim as to whether we think it’s true/not true that money can buy happiness. “What do you think? Uhmmmm!”:) We will also  write poems using figurative language to describe things in the form of limmericks and personification.

Math: We will complete Unit 8 this week and take the unit test on Wednesday. We will review before taking the test. We will begin Unit 9, Coordinates and Volume.

Homework: Complete any incomplete Unit 8, Math Boxes and Study Links. Review for test on Wednesday.

Social Studies: We will review for a test on the Thirteen Colonies. The brochures for The Fourteen Colonies were great! Thank you for supporting your kids during what many of them thought was “not fair” to assign over Spring Break. They so enjoyed presenting them to the class! 🙂

Civics: We will be discussing Civics from the point of view we hold as the values and ethics considered  essential to being a good citizen. LaCausa, a biographical story about Cesar Chavez, a migrant farmworker who worked tirelessly to form the Farmworker’s Union through his determination, loyalty, honesty and responsible dedication to a cause that created a movement, will be used as our text. We will have a project at the end of our reading.

Thanks Mr.Russ, our technology support for taking the picture!



board 3

board 2

Dear Parents/Guardians,

Welcome back. I hope you had a restful spring break. I did!:) This week there will be Report Pick Up. I will be sending home a sign up sheet. Please select 3 times you think you’d like to meet with me. I will do my best to honor one of the times selected. If none of the times  are available, I will select a time very close to one of your choices. Thank You


Please send  a box of tissue. Many sniffles around this time of year. Thank You

This week we will be working on the following:

Language Arts: We will be reading a short non-fiction text, “La Causa, The Migrant Farmworkers Story.” about Cesar Chavez, the Mexican migrant worker who united the farmers to form a very powerful farmer’s union. The focus of the learning for this story will be how one persons’ determination and values can change the lives of others. We will have discussions as well as extended response questions that encourage critical thinking.


We will continue to work on Unit 8, Fraction/Multiplication/Division and Fraction of problems.

Homework: Study link 8.6, 8.7, 8.8, 8.9, 8.10.

Social Studies:

We will review The Thirteen Colonies in our social studies text. We will prepare for a test on this chapter. We will also share the project, The Fourteenth Colony, completed over spring break.


We will use La Causa, “The Migrant Farmworkers’Story as the text for Civics as well as Lanuage Arts. The focus is on how civic responsiblity can create a movement as well as a leader.

P.S. The photos above show the Civics project completed by the fifth graders for Woman’s History Month. As you can see, the student’s did an excellent job with their drawings of a notable woman, as well as producing outstanding interviews and realistic fiction stories based on their famous person.

Have A Great Week!

Ms. Jack






Room 315

Room 315 -Hard At Work!

Dear Parents/Guardians,

Are you looking out the window? Do you see the same thing I see or is that confetti falling from the sky? Spring, bah-humbug!-:) Oh well, who knows what tomorrow may bring.

We have completed the PARCC Assessment and we are returning to our routine. I was so proud of the children because they were focused, determined and they did their best. Thank you for all your support.

We are scheduled to take a walking field trip to The Musuem of Science and Industry, Thursday, March 26th. There is no fee, the children should bring a lunch and they should dress warmly. If the weather is like it is today, I doubt we will be going. I will keep you informed.

Request: I am asking each student to bring a box of kleenex. Runny noses are rampant!:)-

This week we will be working on the following:

Language Arts: This week we will take several reading comprehension assessments. The focus will be on reading non-fiction text to support identifying the author’s purpose for writing the article. Last week we read, “LAFF” a fun science fiction story. We will be taking a grade leveled comprehension assessment on this selection as well. We will read an article on the IPAD’s for CERCA. CERCA is an application in which the students are asked to read a non-fiction selection and then formulate an argument based on a prompt or question. The idea is that the student’slearn to present and defend an argument or claim they have made based on the article.

Math: We will continue to work on Unit 8, Fractions and Ratios. We will complete Lessons, 8.4-8.8, Operations with Fractions.

Homework: Study Link 8.3, 8.4, 8.5,8.6

Social Studies: We will continue to explore The Thirteen Colonies. We will complete the lesson review for homework and assigned worksheet pages.

Homework: Tuesday: Lesson Review, pg. 184; Wednesday, handout, The New England Colonies.

Civics: The children should be working on their Woman’s History Project. They have received handouts that we have reviewed in  class to support the project. A rubric was given to the students. By now they should have selected their notable woman and be well into working on the mock interview, a short, (no more than one type written page), and a drawing of the person using a picture of her.  The projects are due Friday, March 27th.
P.S. The format of the rubric will look awkward. I copied it from Word and this is how it appeared. The children will know how to read it.


Ms. Jack


Dear Parents/Guardians,

Yesterday was beautiful! Let’s hope for more of the same. This week the student’s will be taking the PARCC Math Assessment. The test will last two days. There is really no prior preparation for the test. The focus should be on instructing student’s to do their best, no stress and think about what they have learned throughout the year. Please remember for all learning, a good night’s rest and a sufficient breakfast supports thinking. I am confident the children will do just fine.

We will be going on a field trip on March 26, 2015. We will visit the Museum of Science and Industry. There is no cost for the trip however the children should bring their lunch. Please make certain your child has returned the permission slip. They cannot attend if there is no permission slip on file. Thank you.

This week we will be working on the following:

Language Arts: We will be reading non-fiction articles in our SCOPE magazines and complete accompanying comprehension pages. We will also begin reading a science fiction selection, LAFF, in our Journey’s books. The target skill is to examine details about characters, setting and plot. We will also practice making inferences about what the author means and predicting what might happen in the future. I thought this would be a nice diversion from testing.:)-

Math: On Tuesday and Wednesday we will be taking the PARCC Assessment in math. Again, the children know to do their best and to apply their thinking in a critical and thoughtful way. We will take Unit 7 test on Friday.

Homework: Unit 7, review, (Study Link), Math Box 8.1, 8.2

Social Science: We haven’t been able to read, “TheThirteen Colonies in our text however we will begin the chapter this week.

Civics: I have changed the due date of the Woman’s History Project to March 27, 2015. I will give the children a rubric and another explanation of what should be included. They have received a copy of notable women they could choose from and a copy of a thoughtful interview with Mae Jemison. I have instructed the children to select a short book if one is available in our school library. I have also listed websites for them to visit for information related to their selected person. If you have any questions, feel free to contact me at


Ms. Jack


Dear Parents/Guardians,

It’s Spring! Well, not really, but it certainly feels like it comparatively speaking(:- I hope you had a restful weekend despite the loss of ONE WHOLE HOUR!(:-    Oh well!

Tomorrow Grades 3-8 will begin to take the PARCC Assessment. I have talked to the student’s about this test and have assured them this first test will not be used to determine promotion. I have also stressed that they should just do their best. We have reviewed some of the practice material therefore familiarizing them with the format. It is important that your child prepares for this assessment as well as any assessment or school day, by going to bed early, especially with the time change, eating a good breakfast and getting a hug or a high five from you before they leave! Thank you for your support!

This week we will be working on the following:

Language Arts:

We will take a comprehension test on the realistic fiction story, Darnell Rock Reporting. We will also use SCOPE, The Language Arts Magazine, for our reading text. We will read the non-fiction articles, Your Cell Phone Could Ruin Your Life, If You Let It, and Toys of Terror, an article that stresses the importance of keeping dangerous toys away from small children. We will continue to read in our small reading groups.

Reading Logs for Homework


We are continuing with Unit 7, Postive and Negative Numbers. This week we will practice subtracting postive and negative numbers.

Homework: Study Link 7.8, 7.9, 7.10, 7.11

Social Studies:

We will learn about The Fifteen Colonies in the new America. We will have assigned worksheet pages for homework as well as lesson review questions.

Civics: Woman’s History Month Project

The student’s should know by now what famous woman they want to do their project on. There is a page linked to this blog that explains the project as well as links to websites that have information about famous women. I will be giving out a rubric for the project, (interview, fictional story based on person and drawing of famous woman. The project is due March 16, 2015.






Dear Parents/Guardians,

I hope all is well and  you’re still staying warm. We are still working dilegently and having lots of fun and excitment doing it.

This week begins Women’s History Month. We will have a project to celebrate the accomplishments of notable women, past and present who have contributed significantly to our society.

This week we will be working on the following:

Language Arts:

We will begin reading a realistic fiction story in our Journey’s books. Darnell Rock Reporting. This story fits in nicely with our focus on persuasive writing as the main character tries to persuade his school to turn a deteroriating playground into a garden for the homeless. We have persuasive dialogue everyday in Room 315. We will write a sentence for the vocabulary words. They are: unique, urge, minimum, effective, deteroriating, dependent, violation, granted, issue, ordinace, exception.

We continue to read independently to improve our comprehension skills and we also meet in small reading groups to read books selected for the group.


We are writing persuasive compositions on a topic of choice. We are working through the editing process now.


We are moving along in Everyday Math. Unit 7 explores number operations using exponents, scientific notation and parentheses in number sentences as a part of the curriculum.

Homework: Study Link 7.4, 7.5,  7.6, 7.7

Social Studies:

We will be taking the test on Chapter 4, The Colonies, on Friday. I will be sending home a study guide before the test. The students always complete Chapter Reviews after each lesson in a chapter and we discuss the answers after completing the normally homework assignements.

Homework: Study Guide for Chapter4. Review chapter by rereading chapter.


As stated above we will have a project for Women’s History Month. Our project will include finding information on a website or reading a picture book or small book about the person of choice. Then the student’s will conduct an interview using questions that specifically tells about the events in this individuals life that has helped them to accomplish their goal or dreams.

I have created a page attached to my blog page that has links as well as the details of the project. Room 315’s project will be due March 16, 2015. I will putting together a packet for the student’s to use to support this project. I will keep you posted as to when the interview, story and drawings of this individual is due.

Dear Parents/Guardians,

Shall we take a vote of who wants winter to be over!? You think it might be 100% for over?(:-) I hope everyone is staying warm and healthy.

This week I’d like to add a few more websites to my blog for you and your child to use at home after all homework has been completed. Please use the links on the side of this blog to support reading and math. I think they are all free. Please let me know if you have any trouble.

This week we will be working on the following:

Language Arts:

We will review our reading of “Why Can’t You Make Them Behave, King George?” This historical fiction story tells in a humorous way the settling of early America by the Pilgrims and their struggle to become independent of Britian’s rule.

We will also take a comprehension test on Marion Anderson. “When Marion Sang: The True Recital of Marian Anderson” tells the story of the famous contralto who won world wide acclaim for her voice but also for the courage she displayed during a most difficult time in American history.

We continue to read in small groups books selected by me and that lend themselves to the reading level of the students.


The students will be using an article we read in class from our SCOPE news magazine to write summaries. “We Were Just Like You” explores the more than 50 million oeople who were chased from their home countries by war and violence only be become refugees.

We will also write persuavive essays based on what we have learned in both Language Arts and Social Studies. The topic, “Was It Fair for the Pilgrims to Demand Their Freedom from Great Britian?” Using information from our social studies text and our Journey’s book, the students will convince their reader why they think it was/wasn’t fair for the Pilgrims to want their independence. We will complete this writing in class.


We have reviewed for Unit 6 test and will take the test on Tuesday. We will begin Unit 7 in Math Journal 2 on Tuesday.The first lessons will focus on exponential notation, scientific notation and using parentheses in number sentences involving more than one operation.

Homework: Study Link 7.1, 7.2, 7.3, 7.4.

Social Studies:

We will review for Chapter 4 in our text. Building the First Colonies includes the Spanish,Virginia,Plymouth and the French and Dutch colonies. We will review worksheets we’ve completed in class to accompany these lessons. We will take the test on this unit by Thursday or Friday.

Have A Great Week


Dear Parents/Guardians,

I hope all is well. We are preparing for the Black History Celebration and I do hope you will be able to attend a great event. All of Ray’s student’s have prepared a tribute to an African-American that will be on display on Wednesday, February 11, 2015. There will be a walk through so you can see the projects, performances by Ray student’s in the auditorium, a Spoken Word presentation and a culminating “feast” in the student cafeteria. I hope to see you there.

This week we will be working on the following:

Language Arts: We will be reading from our Journey’s books a historical fiction story, “Can’t You Make Them Behave, King George?” We weren’t able to read this story last week due to changes in the school week. This story fits in well with our social studies lessons on the beginning of America. The story ask the essential question, “How did people’s opinions lead to a revolution?” The focus of this lesson will be to distinguish fact vs. opinion.

We continue to work on Unit 6, Using Data;Addition and Subtraction of Fractions. We will complete Lessons 6.5-6-10. These lessons deal with anlysis of sample data.

Homework: Study Link 6.5, 6.6, 6.7, 6.8, 6.9.

Writing: We will begin to write persuasive essays. The topics will vary however the main focus will be on writing a persuasive letter as well as convincing someone to buy a product you think they need. This is called the Bandwagon approach.

Social Studies: This week we will continue to learn about the colonies. We will review last weeks lessons on “The Colonies.” There will be homework assigned.

We will also complete the Shadow Boxes for our Black History projects. These projects will be displayed for your enjoyment during the Black History Walk-Through.

Have    A   Great    Week!

Dear Parents/Guardians,

I don’t know about you, but Chicago winters are getting a bit too much for me!(:) Let’s hope Spring is right around the corner.

This week we will be preparing for several events. To celebrate Black History Month, Ray will host it’s annual Black History Celebration on February 11, 2015. There will be two performances, one at 1:00 p.m. for the students and an evening performance at 6:00 p.m. There will be a dance performance by Ray school student’s, a Poetry Slam and a celebration of food to be enjoyed by all in attendance. I will be working with the fifth through eighth grade for the Poetry Slam. I have asked our fifth graders to participate if they so chose. Please make plans to attend. There will be a walk through to allow you to visit some great work by our student’s based on the many contributions of African-Americans throughout the years.

This week we will be working on the following:

Language Arts: We will be reading selected text based on events in Black History. One non-fiction reading will be from our Social Studies book. We will explore the Civil Rights period and famous African-Americans who have helped shape our history and our present. The students will also read selected text from other sources as well as listen to several read-a-louds from “Scraps of Time” and The Watson’s Go to Birmingham.”

Math: We will continue with Unit 6.

Homework: Study Link 6.1, 6.2, 6.3, 6.4

Social Studies: We have been learning about the settlement of America by the early colonists. We will learn how the Virginia colonies were formed. There will be several handouts to be completed as well as lesson reviews to be completed for homework.

Writing: The students will gain more practice writing persuasive essays. The topic will be one of the students choice.

Civics: In keeping with the theme of Black History, we will continue to explore the Civil Rights Movement and its impact on our society. There will be no major project for this mini-unit as we are working on a project for Black History Month.

Please stay warm!

Ms. Jack