Archive of ‘News from Mrs. Walenta’ category

What’s Coming Up- Week of Sept. 17th

We have a busy week ahead! We will be starting the week with picture day on Monday September 17th. Please remember to send in the picture forms! Throughout the week we will continue to do classroom bonding activities. On Friday our fabulous fifth graders will celebrate all of their hard work by having a hat day! YES….on Friday Sept 21st the students will be able to wear baseball caps, silly hats, whatever kind of headwear they wish while in our classrooms. 🙂 Also, take time to check out Mrs. Bretz music blog. Once you are on her blog you can leave a comment and your child will earn extra tickets to turn in during music class.

Math: Math switching will begin next week Monday!  Please see purple sheet (coming home this weekend) for which teacher and class your son/daughter will have for math this year.  The first unit is Multiplication and Division Word Problems.  This unit encourages students to  analyze the structure and language of different types of work problems and to discuss different models that can be used to solve word/story problems.  Students will be learning how to do combination and comparison problems, multi-step problems, solve functions and algebraic equations, as well as practice with factors.

Writing: The week has been spent talking about what a memoir is and sharing with the students popular books that others have written as memoirs.  It is so much easier for our students to hear specific stories that accomplished writers have written in this genre, then to just start writing.  We are in the process of forming their background and getting them moving toward exciting life stories.  We have also decided what we like to write about and formed our “Life Topics” for which we can derive our own specific memoirs.  This week will be the start of our process of narrowing down our ideas and working toward one great piece.

Reading:  Next week 5th graders will focus less whole group instruction, and move into partner and independent work using the strategies that were modeled this week. Our focus will be how to find the importance of text in short stories, examine and interpret tricky words, and practice writing responses to our reading.  We also will continue to build stamina in reading by providing individualized daily reading (IDR) in our classrooms. Kudo’s to the fifth graders for a great start in their nightly reading!

Homework Update!



This is an update on how homework for my classroom currently will look. It may be added to once our math groups begin meeting.

On Friday I sent home a reading log. I talked the students through this log. They will be expected to read 150 minutes a week. It may be completed as many minutes per day that works with your family situation; as long as the total for the week is 150 minutes. If they turn the log in signed by you by Tuesday of the following week they will earn 2 smile bucks! 🙂 It is so important for students to read…read….read to improve their reading ability. The log will be sent home  on Monday and will  not be accepted after Tuesday of the week it is due. They will have a little longer to complete the log I just sent home which will be due Sept 17th or 18th.

In addition, I will be sending home each Tuesday a word study page for the students to complete. Please look for this to come home each week and have the students return them the follow day which would be Wed.

Thank you for helping your child find a quiet place for him/her to complete their homework each night. If you have any questions, please let me know! 🙂


What’s Coming Up- Week of September 10


Wow, it has been an enjoyable beginning of school for our 5th graders! It was fantastic having our classmates get acquainted by each of them sharing their special talents. It was so cool seeing the variety of talents within our classroom!  What a talented group of kids! 🙂 Throughout the next few weeks we will continue to do some class bonding activities. Near the end of next week we will be participating in a online bullying awareness survey. We have a no tolerance bullying policy! Please stay updated on school happenings by checking our blogs daily.

The first unit we will be working on in math this year is Basic Fact Fluency.  The students will practice multiplication and division facts in order to continue developing these concepts and help students learn/master their facts.  We will be using a variety of strategies that will allow all students to be successful.  These strategies include games, timed tests, partner work and much more.  Please practice with your son/daughter the next few weeks to give your child an extra boost with their fluency and confidence.  Thanks so much!

The first unit we will be doing in writing this year will be Memoirs.  We’ll be expecting the students to rise to new heights this year, to reach for horizons that are far more ambitious than they have ever known.  This year will be for work that is more grown-up, more important, than anything they’ve done before.  We will be building off our Personal Narratives and taking it to that next level.  Memoirs will require more reflection, synthesis, and critical thinking usually in a retrospective fashion (a now and then).  Memoir is the writer’s effort to say something big and important about himself or herself.  It is also their chance to “read” or reflect on the stories of one’s own life and develop interpretations, or life lessons, about one’s own life.  We have years of stories, now is the opportunity to lay these stories out and reflect on their meaning.
Therefore, this week we will collect snippets of as many memories as we can and write.  Some will be stuck for ideas, so we will rely on what we know: first times, last times, important people, place, and things. Here’s to a great week of writing 🙂

Our school year begins by reviewing test taking strategies, and building stamina for reading.  Using short story fiction and nonfiction texts the 5th graders will revisit the sequence of good test taking strategies for multiple choice style tests. We will model how to think through a text when reading by leaving thinking tracks, how to highlight important information, and practice how to eliminate silly answer choices.  By the end of the week the focus will shift from answering multiple choice questions to answering questions with a written response. We will distinguish answering questions in writing that use the verbs: describe, tell, list, explain, and interpret.  Each day we will reserve time for the students to have independent reading time.  During this independent reading time, we will be conferencing with the kids to get to know their strengths and interests in reading.  Beginning next week we will begin our daily reading homework and have kids keep track of their daily minutes in a reading log.  Make sure to check with your child’s teacher’s blog to see how they will be managing this weekly homework.  Happy reading!

Reminders to begin our 5th grade year!


I am looking forward to meeting all of you at our school open house next Wednesday, August 29th from 6:30- 7:30 PM! 🙂  That evening while checking out our 5th grade classroom, please take time to sign up to bring shared classroom supplies, help at classroom parties, and check that I have your updated e-mail!

Don’t forget to check the classroom supply list on my blog! It would be wonderful for the students to bring these supplies on the first day of school! 🙂

If you have not had a chance to fill out my parent survey, please take a few minutes on my blog to complete it before school begins. Reading parental input is always helpful for me to receive in site into my students!

Looking forward to a great year!



Supplies for the Year

I know many of you are excited to school shop.  Here are the supplies to pick up:

Supply list needed for the classroom:

  • Pencil Box
  • 2-Spiral notebooks (wide rule)
  • 4-pocket folders (red, yellow, green, blue)
  • 1- two pocket folder with fasteners
  • Sticky Notes
  • Extra #2 Pencils
  • Two Dry Erase Markers
  • Highlighter
  • Scissors
  • Glue Stick
  • Clorox Wipes (any disinfectant disposable wipes)
  • Box of Tissue
    Please do NOT bring a trapper keeper!  These are just to TOO BIG to store in the classroom.

Highly Recommended Item

  • Gym shoes to be left at school for Physical Education Class

Below are additional supplies that kids often like to bring for their private use.

  • Colored Pencils
  • Erasers
  • Colored Marking Pen for Editing (not black or blue)
  • Small Pencil Sharpener
  • Locker Mirrors
  • Magnets to hold pictures in lockers

Printable Supply List 2012-13

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