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Grade 5/6 Tobin

Welcome Fifth and Sixth Graders!

April 13, 2018

In math the fifth graders worked on reviewing how to find the area of rectangles.  They also started working on finding the areas of triangles. Sixth graders worked on balancing equations.

In reading, fifth graders are continuing their unit on adventures by reading an excerpt from Journey to the Center of the Earth. They are also working on some tricky spelling words with Latin roots. Sixth graders are reading a story about Don Quixote, and talking about how other cultures can influence us.


We continued our exploration of ocean currents this week by studying the Great Ocean Conveyor Belt.  We also had a special program from the Arts Alliance during this time.


Students worked on reviewing the requirements for their position paper and started a project called “Globalization and You -The impact of a t-shirts global journey”.

April 6, 2018

In math the fifth graders completed their unit on decimals.  They have also started a long term activity where they will design their own Taco Truck -complete with decimal, area and perimeter activities.  The sixth graders finished up the first portion of their algebra unit.

In reading, fifth graders are continuing their unit on adventures by reading and writing about astronauts’ adventures in space. Their spelling pattern is Greek roots.

Sixth graders are reading and writing about how people are working to preserve the Earth’s resources. Their spelling pattern this week is a series of prefixes.


This week we explored ocean currents through a series of experiments using a  tanks filled with water. We continued to explore concepts of density with temperature and salinity.


To prepare for the Model UN students reviewed the UN Millenium Development Goals that ended in 2015 and learned about the Sustainable  Goals that have taken their place. Students had to answer different series of opinion questions regarding the goals.

March 23, 2018

In math the fifth graders have continued to work on multiplying and dividing decimals.  They will be starting to use these skills to work on metric conversions. Sixth graders finished up their PACE Task on statistics and have started a unit on algebra.  They have been working on writing and evaluating expressions

In reading, fifth graders have started a new unit on adventures. This week they read a story about finding adventures in ordinary events. Sixth graders looked at myths, thinking about how past cultures used stories to explain things in nature that they didn’t understand. Both groups practiced spelling some difficult words, compound and multisyllabic.


We started our expedition on the ocean by completing some experiments that assist us to understand how the oceans act as a heat reservoir.  Be sure to ask your child what happens when a lighter is held to a balloon filled with air or water!


Students learned about the “Voyage of the Dollar Bill” in the global market and also also how currency exchange works.  They wrote opinion pieces about our currency exchange simulation. They are also working on their country research for our Model UN project.

March 16, 2018

In math the fifth graders have been working on multiplying and dividing  decimals. Sixth graders completed the PACE performance Task “It’s the Harlem GlobeTrotters!”

In reading, fifth graders are concluding a unit on adapting with some spelling review and some informational reading practice. Sixth graders are reading a story about combining our resources and working for change.


Student completed their paper cup challenge!  They have also started on their new expedition about oceans.


Fifth and sixth graders wrote haikus for the Young Author’s Project and started a new unit on economics.  In the spring students in grade 5-8 will participate in a Model UN. Students will begin their country research and work on a position paper.

March 8, 2018

In math the fifth graders started and completed a  short unit on decimals to the thousandths Next they’ll be working on dividing and multiplying decimals. The sixth graders learned how to make box and whisker plots as part of their statistics unit.

In reading, fifth graders are finishing up their unit on adapting by thinking about the way we sometimes change ourselves to fit different situations. We are also practicing reading and interpreting a variety of different graphic sources. Sixth graders are reading a story about how different generations can learn from each other.


Students are wrapping up their unit on energy transfer by completing a project.  They have to engineer a way for a paper cup to keep water as warm or warmer than a foam cup.  It will be exciting to see all the great ideas!


Fifth and sixth graders are completing a final informational writing project about Lewis and Clark.

February 15, 2017

In math,  fifth graders wrapped up their algebra unit and started on decimals.  Sixth graders have been working on a new chapter that focused on the measures of central tendency.

In reading, fifth graders are reading about how animals adapt to survive, and studying some tricky homophones for spelling. Sixth graders are reading an informational text about inventions of the future.


Students continue to explore energy and energy transfer.  This week we used peanuts as fuel to heat water!


Fifth and sixth graders have been studying the journey of Lewis and Clark.  They had the opportunity to write a letter to Captain Clark explaining why they would or would not want to join such an expeditions.  They also labeled maps of the US from 1803 and started a journal much like the one Meriwether Lewis would have kept of his observations.

February 9, 2018

In math,  fifth graders have been working on finishing up their section on algebra.  Sixth graders have been completing histograms and will start working on mean, median and mode as they continue their study of statistics.

In reading, fifth graders continued their unit on facing obstacles by reading a short story about a girl who faces a difficult challenge. Sixth graders read aloud a short drama, practicing adding expression and inflection. Both groups continued reading their independent books during choice time.  


Students wrote informational pieces about the Vikings.  They also started to learn about the amazing journey of Lewis and Clark!


This week we were finally able to test the water wheels and complete the science lab that accompanied this activity.

February 2, 2018

In math,  fifth graders worked really hard to wrap up the addition, subtraction, multiplication and division of fractions.  A lot of hard work!  Sixth graders worked on their statistics unit by reviewing line and dot plots.  They also wrapped up their calendar work for January.

In reading, fifth graders started a new unit on adapting to new and difficult situations. Sixth graders worked on reading informational text and pulling out main idea and details.


During writing fifth and sixth graders split into groups to read more about vikings.  Each group had a specialty focus and students had to share their information with the rest of the class.


During expedition we explored energy and waterwheels. Students built waterwheels and tested them to see how water was transferred/transformed to do work. Students also read about different energy sources.

January 25, 2018

Spirit Week Feb 5-9

Monday: Superhero/Villain

Tuesday: Favorite Character

Wednesday: Olympics/Sports

Thursday: Monroe Mustangs

Friday: Lip sync Battle

In math,  fifth graders worked on simplifying algebraic expression and are wrapping up division with fractions.  Sixth graders are finishing up percents and started a new unit on statistics.

In reading, fifth graders researched an artist/inventor of their choice, practicing their informational reading and notetaking skills, Sixth graders read a story about Jane Goodall and worked on a spelling pattern with prefixes.


During writing fifth and sixth graders completed their radio broadcasts and started a short  research unit on the Vikings.

We are at midyear -if anyone is interested in getting together to review student progress please let us know. We are happy to set up a time to check in.


During expedition we have been reading about wind energy.  On Google Classroom students completed a “wind energy guide” after they read about how wind is formed and how wind turbines can be used to create electricity.   Students built pinwheels and testing them to see how strong they could be.

January 19, 2018

In math,  fifth graders worked on creating expressions for algebra and learned about dividing fractions.  Sixth graders worked to wrap up their unit on percents.

In reading, fifth graders examined several informational texts about special effects. Sixth graders read a story about exploring the Arctic. Both grades worked on a set of spelling words and looked at different types of graphic sources.


During writing students worked on their drafts of the radio broadcasts  about the hurricane they chose last week.  Students also practiced their poems that they had chosen from the UNHCR poetry project.  Cursive copies of the poems with pictures are located across the hall from our classroom.

Expedition News

During expedition students reviewed the different experiments we have done and had to create a trifold showing which ones highlighted radiation, convection and conduction.  

January 11, 2018

In math,  fifth graders have been practicing multiplying fractions.  They have also started their algebra unit and are learning how to evaluate expressions.  In sixth grade they are continuing their study of percents by learning more about interest rates, commissions and sales tax.

In reading, fifth graders practiced reading informational text and have been studying some tricky spelling words with double consonants. Sixth graders are reading a play, and working on homophones.


This week we continued to look at migration through the lens of storms.  We read information about hurricanes and watched a video.  Students are each picking a hurricane or cyclone to study.  

Expedition News

This week we followed up on our experiment on the Second Law of Thermodynamics by creating graphs to share our data.  Students also continued to explore heat transfer/conduction through an experiment with butter.

January 5, 2018

Welcome back and Happy New Year!

In math,  fifth graders have been working on multiplying fractions.  They have also started their unit on algebra.  Sixth graders have continued to work on percents.   They also have been reviewing tape diagrams and their use with ratios.

In reading, fifth graders have been learning about one of the earliest paleontologists, Waterhouse Hawkins. Sixth graders have been reading a Mexican folktale and working with some tricky compound words for spelling.


Each student picked a poem from a collection on migrations/refugees  compiled by UNHCR.  Students rewrote the poem in cursive and drew a picture to represent it.  They will be reading these to the class.

Expedition News

We have been working on understanding heat and heat transfer.  We read an article on thermodynamics and students completed a graphic organizer.   We also be completing an experiment to test the second law!

December 15, 2017

The best of the holiday season to you and yours!  Have a great winter break and we’ll see you in 2018!

In math, Fifth graders started their new unit on multiplying and dividing fractions.  Sixth graders started percents. In reading, both fifth and sixth graders worked on their PACE narrative writing prompt. No vocab or spelling homework this week!

Expedition News

This week we continued to do some experiments that allow us to explore different types of energy.  


Students worked with partners to read and “map” the experiences of refugees. Each person shared their information  with the class about a country they studied.

***Week of December 18th -No Homework***

Dec. 22 Winter Break Begins

Jan. 2 School Resumes -First Day of Skiing

Jan. 10 Early Release

Jan. 19 Geo Bee

December 1, 2017

In math, Fifth graders  have been working on  adding and subtracting mixed numbers and using those skills to complete word problems.  Sixth graders completed their unit on ratios and have now moved on to rates.

In reading,fifth graders are beginning a unit on artists and inventors. They are looking carefully at sequence, and practicing fluency with reader’s theater. Sixth graders are reading about challenges, focusing on some difficult spelling words, and reviewing graphic sources.

Expedition News

We are wrapping up our final projects and getting ready to move to a science unit about energy transfer.


We are starting our new focus on migration and will be focused on informational writing.

November 17, 2017

Fifth graders  have been working on adding and subtracting unlike fractions. In reading, fifth graders have been reviewing the stories we read about doing the right thing. They are also writing a narrative about a time when they had to make a choice to do the right thing (or not).

Sixth Graders have continued their study of ratios by expanding to equivalent ratios and real life situations.  They enjoyed “Guess my Ratio” and “Equivalent Ratio Bingo”. In reading, sixth graders have been researching an ancient civilization and working on note-taking and distinguishing between main ideas and details.

Expedition News

This week we reviewed genetic traits and started our final project using the “Defined Stem” Program.


This week students have been busily finishing up final writing projects for the trimester and reviewing different types of figurative language.

November 9, 2017

Fifth graders  worked on their “Movie Theater” performance task and continued their work on fractions. In reading, they read the famous poem “The Midnight Ride of Paul Revere” and worked on spelling patterns of tricky final syllables.

Sixth Graders continued their study of ratios. In reading, they read a non-fiction text about Ancient Egypt and worked with main ideas and details.

Expedition News

During expedition students have been studying the circulatory and digestive systems.  We even learned about how astronauts circulatory systems are impacted in space. Students used an interactive digestive system and bone game.


During writing students have been choosing one of their narrative pieces to work on for publication.

October 20, 2017

Fifth graders  have been working on order of operations and doing really well! In reading, we are working on identifying sequence in a story, and reading several short texts around the idea of taking risks to help others.

Sixth Graders have been working on  dividing fractions and multiplying decimals.  They also had time to review some key concepts about fractions. In reading, we are reviewing identifying the main idea and details in a text. Our topic for the week is examining past relics and what we can learn about ancient cultures.

October 13, 2017

Fifth graders reviewed the addition of decimals and also worked on dividing three digit numbers by two digit numbers. In reading, our question for the week is “Why is honesty important?” - and we are studying digraphs and descriptive narratives.

Sixth Graders have been reviewing finding the Greatest Common Factor of sets of three numbers, while also working on dividing whole numbers by fractions, handling improper fractions and mixed numbers. In reading, we are thinking about why it’s important to know about the universe, focusing on main ideas and details.

Expedition News

This week we used the program “Kahoots” to review information on cell organelles.  Students also began the first part of their performance task.  This involves designing and creating cell models using shrinky dinks. One challenge in designing these is to mathematically figure out how much our models will shrink!

October 6, 2017

Fifth graders continued their work on multiplying two digit numbers and started to work on dividing by 10’s, 100’s and 1000’s. This week is a review week in reading. Students are writing an essay about a character in one of their independent books who has faced a personal challenge. They are working on finding evidence, using hooks, and organizing their ideas.

Sixth Graders started a new unit about multiplying and dividing by fractions.  We started this unit by reviewing multiplying fractions with whole numbers and fractions, finding reciprocals and divide fractions using “Fun and Fabulous Fraction Stories”.  In Reading, we are using this week to review and work on essay writing skills.

Sept 1, 2017

Fifth graders worked on tasks
from a “Week of Inspirational
Math” and started their unit on
really large whole numbers! In
Reading, we read a story called
“Red Kayak” and talked about
what inspires people to act
courageously. We also had
some fun with homographs and
different kinds of sentences.

Sixth Graders worked on
Positive numbers, number lines
and inequalities. In Reading, we
read an excerpt from Old Yeller
and talked about ways we can
protect the people we love. We
also practiced looking at the
setting and thinking about the
ways setting can impact a story.

August 2017

Welcome Fifth and Sixth Graders!

Mrs. McKeever, Ms. Judy, Mrs. Meckes  and I are all excited to welcome you all back for the new year!  Looking forward a great year filled with OODLES of learning adventures!

See you soon! Mrs. Tobin