Thursday, October 29, 2015

Choose a Novel


In Literature this year, you will notice four "Choose a Novel" units. These units give students the opportunity to choose a novel from a list. As they read, students complete online comprehension questions every 2-3 chapters. In order to make these assignments more enjoyable for avid readers and for the creative kids out there, I've decided to offer another choice.

You can either complete the online lessons as you read each novel OR you can create a book report project when you are done with each book. When you turn in your final project, I will grade it. If you get a 80% or higher, I will mark the entire "Choose a Novel" unit complete. That way, you can read your novel of choice independently (in the car, before bed, etc.) while working on your other Language Arts lessons during your school day. 

You will still read four chapter books this school year to complete the Literature course. Two must be from the K12 Novels List and two can be any chapter book that you choose. Just make sure it's interesting and at your reading level (not too easy or too hard). You can complete the projects any time between now and June. If you want to do book reports for a couple of the novels and then do the others online, that's fine! You can pick and choose. Click here for tips on how to P.I.C.K. a book that's right for you!


Choose a project. Make sure it includes the following information. Each category is worth 5 points (5 x 9 = 45 total points possible). Your project must be neatly done and easy to read. Extra credit will be given for additional items and creativity. Don’t forget your name!

 Book Title & Author
The Setting of the Story
Favorite Character
An Important Event
A Memorable Quote
Would you recommend the book to a friend? Why?
Your Book Rating
A problem in the story, and its solution.
Include colorful images that relate to the story.

Choose one...

Book Reflection Sheet
Fill in the Book Reflection sheet. Make sure it is neat, colorful, complete and creative!

Slide Show Presentation
Create a presentation using Power Point or Key Note. Include a title slide with your name.

Go to Choose “Create a Glog.” Design a poster for your novel. Add images to bring your poster to life. Send your final Glog link to Mrs. Sol.

Create a short movie or book trailer with all of the information listed above. Upload it to You Tube or send the file to Mrs. Sol.

Create an animated presentation using Prezi. Send the link to Mrs. Sol. Click on the Prezi below to see how it works.

Song, Rap or Poem
Write a song, rap or poem that includes the nine items listed above. Record your masterpiece on You Tube, Vocaroo (or create an audio file) and send the link to Mrs. Sol.

Create a diorama of your novel and send Mrs. Sol photos of it. Bonus points if you’re in the picture dressed as a character!

Other Awesome Idea
Your choice! Present the information in a way not listed above. Write a play, use digital media, make a scrapbook, write a letter, create a collage, etc. Just make sure you include all 9 items listed at the top of this page.

...and please don't turn in a book report on your favorite movie.
That would be a movie report. ;)

Happy Reading!

Friday, October 23, 2015

It's Pumpkin Time!


Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Gators ♥ Numbers


If you ask me, October 20th is the perfect day to learn about comparing large whole numbers using >  =  symbols. Am I right?

You can compare many things in life, such as cats and mice...

You can also compare numbers.

Before we go any further, let's time travel back to third (or maybe second) grade.

(That's me in 3rd grade, circa 1978. The one in the yellow Dittos.)

In your younger years you might have learned about alligators who liked to eat numbers. 

BIG numbers.


The alligator's big mouth and sharp teeth always opened to the bigger number,
as do the < and >  symbols.

Even though we are big fourth graders, we can continue to use this visual to remember the correct way to write the greater than and less than symbols. I still do and I'm an old lady.


Now let's talk about comparing crazy-big numbers with multiple digits! This is actually really fun. You always start with the digit that has the greatest value (the one on the far left). Compare the numbers with the same place values. If they are the same, move to the right until you find numbers that are different.

The numbers above start out the same 5261. However, when you get to the hundreds column, you notice that the numbers are different . Well, which number is greater (or larger) 8 or 6


5,261,884  <  5,261,615

(5,261,884  is greater than  5,261,615)

Done! Move on!

Check out these examples below. The highlighted digits are the ones we compared to find out which was greater. Notice how they have the same place value? That means they can be compared.

Here are a few helpful resources for this concept...


Check your k-mail for a printable version of the notebook page for this week. You can use the Grip and Rip trick to quickly add it to your spiral. Here is a look at my notebook page. Please make sure your spiral is up to date before next Tuesday's class!

Click on any picture on this blog to enlarge it.

Many student have already completed the Quick Check. If you have not, please send me a k-mail numbered 1-8 with your answers. I'd like to have all Quick Checks recorded by Friday. Thanks!


Finally, here is the happiest math page ever created...

See you later, alligators.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015



Today's SLASH class was riveting! We continued working on ways to answer text-based questions completely. We have a fool-proof way to remember all of the parts of a convincing and thorough response. Just R.A.C.E. through it!

When we talk about R.A.C.E. Mrs. Sol's class is referring the "recipe" we use to remember the parts of a complete text-based response...

Read the question carefully. Does the question have many parts? Once you understand what is being asked, read through the text one more time and highlight the text evidence you find. If it's a magazine or book that you can't write in, you can use a sticky note to mark the spot.

When defending your answer, always cite information directly from the text! In our class, we take a quote from the text and copy it word for word. Since we are using someone else's writing, we always use quotation marks and cite where the quote came from.

The sentence starters above and in the R.A.C.E. printable will help you think of good ways to begin each sentence. For example, when quoting text, a good way to start might be:

In paragraph 2, the text states...

On page 32, Avi wrote...

In the article "Eskimo Life"...

Line 6 of the poem states... 

After citing the text and adding a direct quote, explain how the text excerpt proves your answer is correct. This is a good time to elaborate and add your own thoughts. Really convince the reader with the information and commentary you provide in your answer!

To explain further, here is an example of a complete text-based response. Click on the image to enlarge. 

What makes this a thorough and convincing answer?

We restated the question in our answer.
We answered all parts of the question.
We cited text, adding a quote from paragraph 3.
We explained our answer and added our thoughts.
So, in other words, we are awesome.

But what else is new?

Here is the TBR assignment for this week. Read the story called "The Wink" (above) and then answer the questions completely in your notebook. Use the information on this page and in your notebook to guide you. Edit your response as needed. Make sure words are spelled correctly, sentences are capitalized, and you remember all parts of the R.A.C.E. writing strategy. Then complete the online form before Friday (check your k-mail for the link).

Here's a peek at our notebook page for this week. The R.A.C.E. Flip Book!

You can print it at 75% if you want it smaller.


Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Math 5: Using Al Gore Algorithms to Multiply


Fifth graders are kicking off their math year with  
multiplication algorithms. 

No not Al Gore. 

I said, "AL-GOR-ITHMs."

The algorithm we're dealing with today will help us to solve multiplication problems in 4 steps.  

X the Ones
Magic Zero
X the Tens
Add 'em Up! 

This video will help explain in more detail...

Let's try it...

If you are having a hard time with this concept because you don't have the multiplication facts memorized, please feel free to add this multiplication chart to your spiral. It will come in handy a lot this year!

Here is our 5.NBT.5 notebook page from this week, if you want to double check your answers.  Please make sure your notebook is up to date before next Tuesday! Remember, you can click on any image on this page to enlarge it.

Nice job today! See you tomorrow at 12:00 for SLASH!

Math 4: The Place Value Shuffle


Yep! Today we had fun learning about place value. Now we can understand and explain the value of digits.

What's a digit?


What's place value?


If you're looking for a place value song to sing for the next 3 months, here you go!

Place value, place value, movin' to the left...

I can dig that groovy beat.

That leads us to the Place Value Shuffle! 
Put on your dancin' shoes!

In our decimal number system, the value of a digit depends on its place, or position, in the number. Each place has a value of 10 times the place to its right. A number in standard form is separated into groups of three digits using commas.

This chart shows the value of each digit in a large number. Each number value is 10 times greater than the number on its right.

Going the opposite direction… each digit is 1/10 of the digit on its left.

That's it! You've got it!

Here's a mini-lesson on this phenomena using base-ten blocks.

Moving on...

Next we talked about finding the value of a digit within a big number. To figure out the value you have to look at all of the numbers from right to left.  You start with the ones place and multiply by 10 for each digit to the left. A quick way to do this is to count the digits to the right of the number you are finding the value of. Then replace those digits with ZEROs.

We're finding the value of 9, so we can replace the digits to the right of 9 with 0s. The value of 9 in 196,528,347 is 90,000,000 or ninety million! Click here for a tutorial review of how to find a value of a digit.

Here is a look at this week's 4.NBT.1 notebook pages. If you click on the image, it will enlarge. A printable version can be found in k-mail. Please check your work and make sure your notebook is up to date before Tuesday, October 13.

[click to enlarge]

For more Place Value fun, check out these games!

Keep up the great work!

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Happy October!


Here is our October class calendar!
Check your k-mail for a printable version.

[click image to enlarge]