Dear Parents/Guardians,

We have been working on many new skills in Room 315. We have taken the NWEA math assessment. My printer isn’t working however I will send home your child’s results as soon as I can print them.

This week we will be working on the following:

Language Arts:

We continue to work in our guided reading groups. We also have been responding to questions based on reading levels to check for comprehension. The student’s should be reading at least thirty or more minutes every night. We have been practicing reading comprehension as well as writing arguments based on selected text in a program called CERCA. This program helps students to build an argument based on evidence, reasoning, counterargument and audience to support a claim they have made. This week’s article and question: “Are Video Games Harmful?”


We are working on converting fractions to improper fractions, mixed numbers, decimals and percents. These aren’t easy concepts therefore I am taking my time to make sure the student’s understand why they are doing this and how to make these conversions.

Homework: Study Link 5.8,5.9,5.10,5.11.

Social Studies:

We are exploring Spanish settlers to the Americas in the 1500 and 1600’s.

Homework: Review questions pg. 142, Homework Practice worksheet.

Have A Great Week!


Dear Parents/Guardians,

Winter is really here!;)- All is well in Room 315. The children are getting excited about winter break and I have to work extra hard to keep them “calm.”

Last week I sent home you and your child’s Class Dojo account number. Please follow the directions on the card and you will be able to receive reports about how your child’s day is going or how the classroom’s day is going. I won’t always have time to send a report home, but Class Dojo is another way of communicating with you about your child’s behavior during the day or week. You have to log on by using your account number.  Thanks

Reminders: On Friday, December 12, 2014, the fifth grade will attend the performance of The Nutcracker. We will leave school at 9:00 a.m. and return at 11:30. We will be walking to Mandell Hall located at the University of Chicago. Please remind your child to dress warmly, hats, gloves and coats.

There is a Winterfest program to be held on December 17, 2014. There will be two performances, one at 1:30 p.m. and one at 5:00 p.m. A note will go home with your child today. Please return it by Tuesday, December 9, 2014. Thank You

This week we will be working on the following:

Language Arts: We have started reading a class novel, Eagle Song. This story lends itself to our social studies unit on native American’s. We will also continue to work in our small reading groups.

Writing: We will be writing an expository essay based  on a topic of the students choice.

Math: We will begin Unit 5, Fractions, Decimals and Percents. This week we will review fractions and their different forms,  i.e. mixed numbers or improper fractions.

Homework: Study Link 5.1, 5.2, 5.3, 5.4.

Social Studies: The children presented their Explorer’s Box Project last week. They were great. This week we will review Chpater 3, “Early Explorers.” We will complete a Study Guide to review for next week’s assessment of the chapter.

Homework: (Students will be told when homework assignment is due): Worksheet, “Other Nations Explore”; Study Guide.

HAVE               A              GREAT              WEEK!


Dear Parents/Guardians,

I hope you had a restful Thanksgiving. I did, I’m still full!;)- Hopefully the students and I can recuperate from all the fixings so we can continue learning.


Field Trip: December 12, 2014; Mandel Hall, The Nutcracker; Cost: $9.00.

This week we will  be working on the following:

Language Arts: We will be reading two non-fiction articles, “Don’t Touch the Water,” and “The Molasses Flood of 1919.” Both articles are filled with information about two natural disasters in our history. Students will then answer questions based on these two articles.

We will also take leveled comprehension test on two stories. Reading for information and then to use the information or text to respond appropriately to questions based on the text is an important skill.

We continue to work in our groups and we will be reading a short novel as a whole class starting this week. We will also continue to work in our Daily Five notebooks, completing skills based assignments independently.

Writing: Students will choose a topic to write an expository essay on. The will use a graphic organizer to outline their thesis and other important elements in creating a finished product.

Math: We have completed Unit 4, Division. We will review for the test on Tuesday and will take the unit test on Wednesday. We will begin Unit 5, Fractions, Decimals and PerCents on Thursday.

Homework: Study Link 4.6, 4.7, 4.8, 4.9. Review for unit test.  

Social Studies: This week we will present our Explorers Box Projects. We will review Lesson 4, “Other Nations.” The students will review what regions Europeans explored of the southern regions of North America. Students will also complete review questions  (1-6) on page 141 in social studies text.

Homework: Review questions pg. 141, (1-6).

Civics: We will write our “first person” narratives based on what we have learned about immigrants and their experiences coming to America and their experiences once here.

 HAVE                   A                   GREAT                  WEEK!



Dear Parents/Guardians,

As we prepare for the Thanksgiving holiday and days off, I’d like to take a moment to say thank you for all the support you give to our students. I think they are progessing and seem to enjoy learning.  A strong community is important to learning.


This is a short week, only two days! Tuesday is the last day before the holiday.There will be no turkey and stuffing served at Ray on Wednesday(:)!

Fees: $85.00

Field Trip: We will be attending Mandel Hall on December 12, 2014 to see The Nutcracker. All permission trips and cost, ($9.00) should be in by now. No child will be taken on the trip without these items.

This week we will be working on the following:

Language Arts: We will take a comprehension test on the article, “DontTouch the Water.” This non-fiction text is about a chemical spill that made the water in West Virginia counties undrinkable

Writing: The students will write a letter to Ms. Jack about the absolute most favorite chapter book they have read since third grade.

Math: We continue to learn to divide. Please support your child in the learning of their times tables. Homework: Study Link 4.6, 4.7.

Social Studies: Last week the student’s were given the Explore Treasure Box Project. There was an agreement form at the bottom of the instructions for the project that was to be signed by both you and your child. The project is due December 1, 2014. There will be no late submissions of the project. We think the fifth graders will have fun working on this project over the Thanksgiving holiday. The students will bring their social studies books home to support this project and they have been instructed that they can also find information on or any kid friendly website.


Ms. Jack





Hello Everyone,

Apparently my blog didn’t want me to log on this week,  maybe it thought I was tired! (:) But here I am with updates for this week and next.


The week of November 24, 2014 is a short week. The last day before the break is Tuesday, November 25th. I do hope you are preparing for a restful and peaceful Thanksgiving.

Food Drive:

We are having a food drive to support those in need. Please allow your child to bring in canned goods before the Thanksgiving Day holiday. Thank you for your support.

Class Fees: $85.00

Earplugs: Please supply your child with a set of earplugs that will be used to isolate the sound from the IPAD’s used by the students. I am certain they can be purchased at Target, Walmart or possibly the Dollar Store.

This week we will be working on the following:

Language Arts:

We will continue working within our smaller guided reading groups. We will also continue to practice using a new application called CERCA. This application supports the student’s in learning how to use text evidence to support a claim or argument they may have based on the text.

I have asked the students to read a selection in their Journey’s books. “Elisa’s Diary” is a realistic fiction story about a little girls experience of trying to fit into a new culture in a new land. The students will have a short writing assignment based on the story.

Homework: Read Elisa’s Diary. Write a sentence for the vocabulary words based on the story.


The students are working on writing expository “How To” papers. They  have completed a sketch of the procedures or explanation of how to do something they have solid knowledge of. The focus of the paper is to first write an interesting beginning or topic grabber, provide the details of the information in sequential order and finally to write an ending that summarizes or reminds the reader of what the purpose for writing the paper.


This week we will begin Unit 4, “Division.” We will be learning new strategies for division. One strategy is called partial quotients. The students can always bring their Student Reference books home to support their learning. I encourage the use of them as they can also help you in supporting your child in thinking about math slightly different than you may have learned it. (:)

Homework: Study Link 4.1-4.2, 4.3, 4.4, 4.5

Social Studies:

This week we will explore Explorers and Technology. We will learn about explorers that “discovered” or found different regions around our world. There will be a fifth grade project due Monday, December 1, 2014 based on this chapter. “Explorer Treasure Box Project” will ask the students to create a box(shoe size)of information about an explorer during the time frame within this lesson. The box will include things significant to their explorer. No late projects will be accepted.


We continue to learn about immigration and will be writing journal entries or letters to “someone” back home.

HAVE     A    GREAT    WEEK!




Dear Parents/Guardians,

A beautiful fall day it is. We have been doing lots of fun, engaging learning. Last week we were entertained with an assembly for Spanish Heritage month. The authentic dancers were awesome.


School Fees: $85.00

Field Trip permission slips: Field Museum, October 29th, $6.00, The Nutcracker, Dec. 2014, $9.00 Total:$15.00.

This week we will be working on the following:

Lanuage Arts: We will c0ntinue to work independently in our Daily 5 groups. Each group is reading a book appropriate for the group’s level and interest. We will also take a comprehension test based on a selected article.

Math: We continue with Unit 3. We will explore angle meaures using a protractor, review compass skills and identify various geometric shapes.

Homework. 3.1,, 3.4

Writing: We are writing narratives based on art prints. These narratives are written in the first person and reflect a character created by the student’s. We will be editing these narratives this week.

Social Studies: We will finish Chapter 2; The Native Americans.”We will review for th chapter test.

Homework: Chapter Review, Northwest People Comparison handout.

Civics: Room 315 had their mayoral and aldermanic election last week. The student’s did an awesome job. I wish I had viewtaped it. The student’s spoke with such coviction and created some great posters. They said they had so much fun! (We do have to have a run-off election as two student’s tied for the mayor! :)-

HAVE           A            GREAT               WEEK!

Dear Parents/Guardians,

Happy October! We are moving along in Room 315 and in fifth grade. Everyday we learn new and exciting things and sometimes forget them!;)- That’s o.k., that’s what’s makes learning fun.


I have sent home two field trip permission slips. The trip to the Field Museum is $6.00, The Nutcracker is $9.00. Please enclose both fees(for both trips), in the same envelope with the correct amount of money as getting change is difficult. Also don’t forget the signed permission slips. Thank You

This week we will be working on the following:

Language Arts:

We will continue to practice working independently as well as in small groups. We will be making predictions based on  group reading selections. The goal is to have the student’s become independent learners while I work with small groups of student’s to support their learning. We will also be reading a short selection and answering comprehension questions.


We are writing narratives based on art prints in the classroom. The student’s were asked to look at the prints and create stories that reflect the mood of the prints as well as writing from their created character’s point of view.

Homework: Continue to work on your narratives.


This week we will take the Unit 2 assessment on large numbers and different addition, subtraction and multiplication stategies. We will review before the assessment scheduled for Thursday. We will also begin Unit 3, Geometry this week.

Homework: Study Link 3.1, 3.2, 3.3.

Social Studies:

We will explore the people’s of the Northwest and the Artic. We will identify key words and write complete sentences to respond to the review questions based on the text. There will be accompanying materials for this lesson.


Room 315 will hold its mayoral election on Friday, October 17,  2014. The student’s were given a handout for this activity last week explaining the roles of the mayor, alderman and community residents. They were also given a handout “Writing About My Community” on which they could express their concerns and talk about the issues that are important to them.

Have   A     Great     Week!



Dear Parents/Guardians,

Well this newsletter really isn’t for October 6-October 10th, it’s more like October 9th-October 10th.!(:) Please forgive my late letter. I wasn’t at school on Monday and the rest of the week went by before I knew it. However the substitute for that day left me a message saying how well the children behaved and performed. For that, I am grateful. We have a great class!


Fees: $85.00 – Please submit fees as the fees are what pay for materials to support learning.  Thank You

Field Trip: We will be taking a field trip to the Field Museum on October 29, 2014. I will be sending a permission slip home on Friday. The cost of the trip is $6.00 and the students should bring a bag lunch. We have another field trip scheduled for December 12, 2014. This trip is to see “The Nutcracker” at Mandel Hall in Hyde Park. It is imperative we receive the money in advance as there is a deposit that must be paid to reserve our tickets. So please send  in the monies for each of these trips as soon as possible. We do so appreciate your support.

Famous Dead Person Project: The fifth grade will have a History project that will  be fun and educational. Ms. Krecik created the project in which the student’s will select a famous person to protray. The student’s will dress like this person and will also deliver a speech detailing the early life, accomplishments, and death of the famous dead person. A oral presentation of the speech, costume/dress-up as the famous person as well as poster, maps or other props to support the presentation will be needed. The due date is October 31, 2014. There is an accompanying rubric to grade the project. The children have received the  handout with this information.  Please help your child to pull those costumes together. Thank you

Earplugs: I have asked the student’s to bring in their personal earplugs to used for RAZ Kids. RAZ Kids is an application that supports literacy.

This week we will be working on the following:

Language Arts: We will continue to work on activites that support, “Malala, the Powerful.” This is a true story of Malala, a Pakastani young woman who has dared to stand up for her belief in education for all woman in Pakistan.

Independent Reading: Please check with your child to make sure they are reading the same book until they complete it. They should be reading this book during reading time at school as well as for homework. Please sign the reading logs on which the children are asked to record what they are reading. These reading logs are due each Monday.

Math: We continue with Unit 2. This week we will explore making magnitude estimates, (estimates of larger numbers). We will also continue to practice multiplication of multi-digit numbers and solve number stories using this algorithm. Please continue to support your child in recalling the multipication facts.

Homework: Study Link 2.7, 2.8, 2.9, 2.10.

Social Studies: We will learn about the Native American groups of the Southwest and West. We will explore how climate and the geography effected how these groups lived long ago.

Homework: Tuesday: Write the definitions and a sentence for vocabulary words. Thursday: Complete pg. 18 handout, The Southwest.

Civics: We will be preparing to elect a mayor and alderperson as well as listen to the concerns of the citizens for our upcoming election. The student’s have been asked to buy a poster on which they will feature the platform they are running on. They will also write a 1 minute speech telling why they should be considered for the office. The student’s have been given a handout. Room 315’s speeches/poster and election will be held on Friday, October 17.

Have a Great Week!



Good Morning Parents/Guardians,

I hope you had a restful weekend. I can’t believe we are almost at the fifth week of school. My how time fly’s when your working and having fun! (:) We are continuing to learn routines and to practice working independently in Room 315.


Fees $85.00

Lunch forms: Thank you for returning the lunch forms even if they didn’t apply to your family.

This week we will be working on the following:

Language Arts: We will begin reading from a monthly magazine, Scope. This magazine is like the Times Magazines used in the primary grades. The magazine contains various current event articles as well as fictional reading. The readings are of  high interest level to the student’s and will engage them in thoughtful dialogue.
We will be reading the first selection in the magazine. Malala, The Powerful that tells the story of Malala Yousafzai, a fiften year old girl from Pakistan who beat the odds to keep her commitment to other young Pakistani girls that want to be educated in school. The focus will be to identify the main idea in this informative, narrative piece.

We are also practicing working independently on activities that are  productive and support the skills we are learning during Language Arts. Our Daily Five Notebooks will provide organizational skill support as well. Please make sure your child is bringing home and returning to school their independent reading books. These books should be completed. The point as I have stated previously is to help the student’s to develop stamina and consistency in their reading.

Raz Kids:

The fifth grade student’s will be using Raz, a reading program to support listening skills. The student’s will be able to listen to a story on their IPAD’s, take a comprehension test on the selection and then receive their score. The program tracks the student’s growth and moves through levels as the student becomes proficient at the level they are working on. The student’s do need earphones so they can isolate the sound as multiple student’s will be working on this activity at the same time. I have asked the children to get permission from you to bring their earplugs to school. Please put them in a plastic baggie if you have one and the student’s will write their names on the bags. The earplugs will be used by that student only. Thank You

Math: We are working on Unit 2. This week we will be practicing making estimations for real life situations and writing and solving number sentences. I will be giving timed multiplication fact test. Please continue to practice the multiplication facts with your child so they can quickly recall them.

Homework: Study Lin 2.4, 2.5, 2.6, 2.7

Social Studies: We will begin Lesson 3, The Plains People in our text. We are learning about the Early Americans of North America. There will  be a vocabulary quiz on the terms that accompany Lesson 1-2. These words are: ancestor, migration, artifact, civilization, tradition, class, confederation, wampum, wigwams, palisade.

Civics: In Civics we are learning about the role of the mayor and the city council in Chicago. We will have a mock election in which the candidates will present their posters and a 1 minute or less speech. Community residents will also present a poster and speech that will address their issues and concerns for their communities and the city. I will send home the background information for the activity as well as a rubric.

Have         A             Great     Week!

Hello Everyone,

This is the beginning of yet another exciting week. Room 315 is focused and ready to learn more this week than last! (:)   I enjoyed speaking with parents last week during Open House. Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions. My email address is


Fee: $85.00 to support student learning

3 ring binder notebooks: I have asked the students’ to have 3 ring binder notebooks for Language Arts. I have purchased dividers for the students. If your child doesn’t have a three ring binder notebook, (not the biggest size, but the small one), please provide them with one. Thank You

This week we will be working on the following:

Language Arts: We will take the comprehension test on the realistic fiction selection, Up and Running. The reading strategy is to compare and contrast the characters in a story about a student election. This story ties in nicely with our Civics lesson in which we will have a mock election.

Independent Reading: Please make certain your child is reading a chapter book that seems appropriate for their reading ability. This week I I will  determine the approximate reading level of the students to support their learning style and needs. As stated before, some student’s start books and never finish them. I expect the student’s to build stamina for reading longer books, to develop their vocabulary as well as to broaden the ideas they are exposed to by reading various genre. The books should be selected with an emphasize on interest as well as reading ability. Good Fit books are books that meet these criteria: If you don’t understand five or more words, the book is probably too hard, the book should interest the reader, the book shouldn’t be too short or too long for the reader

Homework: The student’s are required to read at least thirty minutes each evening and to complete a reading log with a brief summary about the pages they have read that evening. This log is collected on Monday and a new one is started for that week.

Writing: We are still working on the personal narratives we started last week about memorable times. The focus is to have the student’s write using more details and vivid or descriptive language. We are learning how to expand our thoughts to develop paragraphs that are focused and interesting.

The poems the student’s completed entitled, “I Am The Color Of….” were excellent. Our student’s are very creative and are striving to do their best work.

Homework: Monday: Write personal narrative that was written in writing journals, on a clean sheet of notebook paper, complete with heading and indented paragraphs. Tuesday: Write a Dear Ms. Jack letter about your reading.

Math: We will take Unit One test on Monday. This unit reviewed fractions, prime numbers, exponents and place value. The student’s have taken a quiz on the unit as well as reviewed the concepts that will be on the assessment.

We will begin Unit Two this week. Unit Two will focus on estimation and computation of whole numbers in addition/subtraction and multiplication.

Homework: Monday: Review Study Quiz for Unit One test on Tuesday, Sept. 23, 2014, Tuesday: Study Link 2.1,  Wednesday, Study Link 2.2, Thursday, Study Link 2.3, Friday, Study Link 2.4.

Social Studies: We will continue to learn about the Early Americans who inhabited North America. We will begin Lesson 2, “The Eastern Woodlands”. Vocabulary words are: Division of labor, palisade, longhouse, wampum, confederation and wigwam. The student’s will write the definitions of these words in their Social Studies journals. There will be in class writing including comparing/contrasting of Iroquois/Algonquian tribes and Chapter Review questions.

Homework: Monday: States and Regions/Compare/Contrast of Native American tribes, Wednesday: Worksheet, pg. 16, Thursday:  Select  a “Common Good” listed in reading selection or one not listed in selection and write a paragraph explaining the value of this common good.

Civics: The student’s will run for mayor of their named community. The election will simulate the election process in Chicago, (as much as possible, with some details omitted, (:)! The students will write a 1 minute speech on why they want to be mayor and the community will vote as well as write 1 minute speeches explaining the issues they would like addressed in their community.

Have                A            Great     Week!






Dear Parents/Guardians,

I hope all is well. It looks like I got my blog up and running thanks to Mr. Russ, our CUIP tech man. I have explained to the student’s if they don’t have access to a computer at home, I will print out a copy of the newsletter.

We have gotten off to a great start. We are working together to build a safe, exciting and fun learning community. The student’s are taking pride in their accomplishments, socially as well as academically. The Positive Behavior Intervention Strategy program, or PBIS,  is being used this year to promote positive behavior. The children love it and enjoy receiving the Warrior tickets to purchase items in the Ray School store. Thanks to our PBIS team who put the program into action.

Open House:

Open House will take place this Wednesday, September 17, 2014 for 5:00-7:00 p.m. You will gather in the auditorium to be greeted by the Ray School Administration. You will then go to your child’s homeroom to  meet with the teacher ad learn about 5th grade! Hope to see you there.

A Few Reminders:

  • School fees are $85.00
  • Please know it is chilly in the building at times due to a change in the weather. Please remind your child to bring a sweater.

This week we will be working on the following:

Reading: This week we will begin reading an informational text entitled The New Babysitter. The target skill is identifying text and graphic features in a story as well as the strategy of asking questions to uncover aspects of the story we wonder about. We will write definitions for this selection and a sentence for each definition.

Homework: Reading for at least 30 or more minutes per night. Complete reading log with summary log. This log should be signed at the end of the week.


Math: We will continue to learn about factors of numbers, square numbers and exponents. The students will be taking quizzes that will help them to identify multiplication facts they haven’t learned yet. Please ask them to show you the mini-quizzes they take in class and then are to check the ones they have problems with in their Student Math Journals, pg. 9. Some multiplication facts are more problematic than others to learn, so ask your child to share with you this page in which they are to put a check mark on the facts they don’t know and then to check them off when they have learned that fact.

Homework: Study Link 1.8, 1.9, 1.10, Unit Review

Social Studies: We will continue to  learn about the cultures of early Americans. We are reading Chapter 2, Lesson l in our social studies text and will then go on to explore The Easter Woodlands in Chapter 2, Lesson 2. Vocabulary words for this unit include: Division of Labor, palisade, longhouse, wampum, confederation, wigwam.

Writing: The student’s have done a great job on making memorable moment timelines. The student’s  will begin to write their first draft of the most memorable moment in their  life based on the timeline. The focus is writing a personal narrative in which the the author tells about a personal experience in their life. This narrative is like creating a story in that there’s a beginning, a middle and an end to the story. The narrative should tell the story of one specific time rather than a series of events throughout the students life. Forming paragraphs with a topic sentence, details supporting the topic sentence, use of descriptive language and the author’s “voice” is what creates writing that is thoughtful, creative and well written.

Homework: Begin to write your first draft of your most memorable experience based on your timeline.

Please refer to the homework schedule I hand out at the beginning of the week. I leave room on this schedule for additions and revisions.

Important reminder: Please remind your child to wear their gym shoes on Wednesday, Room 315’s gym day. Also the new website for Ray school’s P.E. program is the following:

Thank you for your support.

Have              A           Great            Week





This is a tree. It represents a new year! Happy New Year!