Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Hello Parents, I hope this has been a good week for you! It always seems a bit crazier for me when we have 4 days. 

Mass- The 5th graders did a great job with our mass on Wednesday! If your child wasn't in this one, they will be in the next one which will be after Thanksgiving. 

Reading- This week they are reading a story called Double Dutch. This is a nonfiction story about a group of girls that have a Double Dutch jump rope team and they compete in contests. We are working on sequencing of events this week. Their grammar is working on nouns-- common and proper. They know the rule for proper nouns is that they have to begin with a capital letter.  They did a worksheet on Wednesday that gave them a common noun like state. They had to give me a proper noun like Alaska for that word. They also had to practice their spelling words by writing them in rainbow colors! 

We are almost finished with our book Wonder. The movie comes out in November. I told the kids that IF it comes to Creston, I will pick a day to go and if any of them or you want to join me ...we can see it together! I know many of them have watched the trailer already. It's funny because a scene I read on Wednesday is in the trailer. They told me it doesn't happen at's in the day. I told them...that is because they can change things from book to movie. One of them said,"The book is always better!" I couldn't agree more!

Math- We are halfway through the chapter. They are working on multiplication by single digits right now. This should be review. They are also estimating to find the product. I have them rounding the number to the largest place value position and then they can do the rest mentally. On Wednesday they did more of this, but had to fill in the answer in a crossword box. Many of them told me the answers weren't working in the boxes until we looked over their work. We found errors like the copied the problem wrong, they multiplied wrong, or they added instead. It is a good checking position for them! 

Acts of Service- Last weekend I saw a post from a father in Idaho who was talking about his 8 year old son. This son is bullied every day because of his facial deformities- much like Auggie in our book. The son has even talked about suicide. He is 8.  I felt horrible and messaged the dad privately. I asked him if my 5th graders could write Jackson letters to hopefully lift his spirits and let him know that others are thinking of him. The father, Dan, is beyond grateful. So, I am going to have them make Jackson some cards and I will mail them.  What I want our kids to realize is that we need to accept all differences, not just the ones that we can see on the outside. We need to accept all people and they don't have to have major deformities for us to stand up for them. Okay, I'm done now. :)

Have a great weekend! I hope to see some of you at the Color Run on Sunday. I really enjoyed it last year! I am heading Waverly and Dubuque this weekend. I get to finally see my niece  Grace play soccer for Loras College! Go Duhawks!  
God Bless, 
Miss Surma

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Dear Parents, Happy Thursday! I hope you are having a great week! The heat is back! This will be great weather for Balloon Days! 

Reading- This week they read a story about two kids who are running for class president. They each have to give a speech to their classmates to persuade them to vote for them. Miata is all about doing things that are good for the school: cleaning up the graffiti, getting computers, etc. Rudy wants to get ice cream served every day at lunch and more recess time. The 5th graders caught on pretty fast to who was taking it more seriously. We did talk about the kind of language they used in their speeches as well. Miata used more formal language, while Rudy used more informal. His was more idioms and slang terms. We also read a short excerpt on two other kids running for office and using posters to persuade the votes their way. On Wednesday, I used that thought and combined it with our book Wonder . Auggie in our book is teaching us about being kind to kids who don't look like everyone else. He has some facial deformities. So they worked in pairs to persuade all the students in STM to be kind to everyone. 

I am really trying to open their eyes and ears to the things they do and say to each other that are so negative. They tell me they fight like brothers and sisters, which is true, but at the same time that doesn't make it right. We are having a lot of little talks in the classroom about what is acceptable and what isn't acceptable. I just want them to be aware. We need to make sure we are following our social contract. We are making small strides. 

They will test over this story on Friday. It is also week 3, which means that there will be an extra story for them to read and 10 more questions to answer. I am slowly getting grades on our grade book that is online. We had some glitches because of the new upgrade, but I think those are worked out now. 

Facebook-- I hope you are checking out the pictures or posts I put on for our classroom. If you aren't connected-- ask to join St. Malachy Fabulous Fifth Grade! 

Math- This week we have been getting involved with Algebra. They are working on the different properties-- Commutative, Associative, Identity, and Distributive. We are also learning about using exponents with the base of 10. I told them this is good practice for middle school. We are about half way through our chapter. 

Religion- They took their first test on Wednesday. We are taking a short break and working on a project. I am friends with a woman from my hometown who sends care packages to any service men and women who are overseas. This summer she gave me a tour of her work room. It is quite the production.  The 3-5 graders are writing short positive sayings or messages on mailing labels. Those labels will be put on baggies that are filled with shaving equipment, snacks, stationary, candy, toothbrush and toothpaste. Next month we will be making Christmas cards. They will be sending out boxes in early November so we need to get those done. IF you know of a service man or woman who is stationed overseas and want them to receive a package, please let me know their address. Tracy will gladly send them one too! 

Reminder: NO school on Monday, September 18. 

Mass- The 5th graders have mass next Wednesday. I had to divide the class up. I don't have enough jobs for 18 people. Please know you are welcome to join us!!! They will have their parts on Thursday or Friday sp so they can practice this weekend if they need to. 

Have a great weekend! Enjoy your activities or if you are around for Balloon Days! 

God Bless, 
Miss Surma

Monday, September 11, 2017

Parents, IF you would like to place your book order online instead of sending it to school, here is the code you will need for me. 


Use that when ordering online! You pay online as well. I will get an email that you have placed an order and make sure it goes through!

Miss Surma

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Hello Parents, Happy Thursday! I hope everyone enjoyed the long weekend! 

Spirit Day- This Friday is our first one of the year! $1 for sweats. They can also sport their favorite team for Iowa vs ISU or whatever school they choose to cheer on! 

Reading- This week we are reading a story called The Royal Mystery. It is about two girls at camp, but one is definitely used to a certain way of living, so she has to get used to camp life. Plus, she also is kind of secretive about her life and family so there is a great little twist at the end of the story. This story is also written in a play format so we discuss how the style of those are written. We talk about scenes, stage directions, and the clues we are supposed to show when reading (how a character reacts). In grammar we are discussing the four types of sentences and the punctuation they each require. On Wednesday, they were given a sheet of sentences to cut out. The next step was to read them and decide what kind of sentence it was and then glue it on piece of paper in the right column. It seems like the imperative and interrogative ( command and question) sentences get the most confusing.  You will see in their take home folders their score sheets from last Friday's test. 

Math- We are working on place value this week. On Tuesday and Wednesday they were showing how to write a number in standard, word, and expanded form. The most confusing seems to be the difference between showing me the value of a number and the place value.  Value tells me what a number is worth. Place value gives me a name to that number-- hundreds, ten thousands,etc. 

Religion- We always begin with our creation story. The most important thing I try to relate to them is that we are all created in God's image. We are made to be like him. That means our actions and words should also resemble him. We also focus on the mystery of the Holy Trinity. They will be creating pictures to show me how three things can all be in one item. 

Food Pantry- Our first visit will be next Friday, Sept. 15. 

Book Order- In your child's folder is a book order. If you would like to order, please return them by next Friday, Sept. 15. IF you are sending a check, write it to me or Scholastic.  Thank you!

I hope everyone has a great weekend! Maybe I will see you at the Food Fair on Sunday! I am working at the dessert booth! 
God Bless, 
Miss Surma

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Hello Parents, 
I hope everyone is getting into the groove of school again! Welcome to 5th Grade!!!  So, this blog is my main way of keeping you up to date on what we are doing. I very rarely send home paper stuff. I will post things on our Facebook page as well, but you should always check here for information. 

Reading- This week they are reading an excerpt from Wayside School . This is a humorous fiction story. There are some silly things that happen in the school and with the teacher! We are focusing on creating a story map to identify the problem in the story , the events, and the resolution. We are also talking about irony. In grammar we are working on identifying the simple subject and simple predicate of a sentence. I am trying to get them to focus on finding the noun and the verb!  They took a spelling test on Monday. They will have a posttest on Friday. I don't do bonus right away. I will base that on some pretest scores to see. Once they are doing bonus, they continue to do it. They are learning that in 5th grade everything but math is done in cursive, unless I tell them otherwise. This is great for many of them because it is forcing them to slow down. They will test over this story on Friday. They will take an online test as they did last year in 4th grade. 
We also got them on Quizlet this week. They will be able to work on spelling and vocabulary words there. 

Math- They took a pretest this week. On Wednesday we started our first chapter. It focuses on place value. They will be working with millions and eventually we will be working the place value positions of decimals. 

Religion- We always begin our year discussing the Bible and how to locate readings or passages in the different books. We then move into the story of Creation and the Holy Trinity. 

Spirit Day is next Friday! They can wear sweats for $1! It is also the big CY-Hawk game so they can support their favorite team! I will most likely be supporting the UNI Panthers. I might be "allergic" to those other colors! :)

I am reading the book Wonder to them. This is a fave of mine. I am also working with them on acts of kindness. In the book, August was born with some facial deformities and he is just beginning his 5th grade year. He was home-schooled up until this point. It is a great story on accepting differences and bullying. We will have a REAL-LIFE Auggie as our pen pal. His name is Mason. The kids will be sending him letters so we can get to know him better. He is 11 years old. I'm also trying to get them to catch some acts of kindness so we can fill our jar. It's kind of like the bucket fillers. 

Facebook- If you are on Facebook, make sure to look for my page St. Malachy Fabulous Fifth Grade. Ask to join and I will take care of the rest! 

Chromebooks are up and running! They are already typing letters up for their Iowa History project with Mrs. Sickels. 

Holy Spirit International Food Fair is set for September 10. 

I hope everyone enjoys the three day weekend whether you are staying put or traveling. I am heading to my hometown of Doon. My siblings and I will be putting our childhood home for sale this fall. I am going home to do some more packing, donating, and pitching this weekend. Have a great weekend!!!

God Bless,
Miss Surma

Saturday, August 26, 2017

St.Malachy 5th Grade      “Our 9”
Each of the 9 months of the school year all members of our 5th grade class are dedicating their prayers/work to various individuals who have made a positive impact on their lives.
August 24- September 1

Praying/ Working for:
Fernando Acuna
My dad
Ava Adamson
Uncle Devin
Spencer Brown
Uncle Tyler
Olivia Burwell
My dad
Vincent Eblen
My brother Joe
Tristan Evans
My grandpa
Jersey Foote
My mom
Ava Ford
My mom
Taryn Fredrickson
Grandma Tracy
Mila Kuhns
Cousin Ellie
Aubrie Mohr
Grandpa Moffitt
Charles Rudolf
Great Grandpa
Josh Schaefer
Mattias Schultes
Coach B.
Taylor Smith
Great Grandma
Parker Varner
Sasha Wurster
Great Grandma
Carley Zollman
My brother
Miss Surma
Coen Family

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Hello Parents ! Welcome to 5th Grade!!! This is your journey as well as your child's! I wanted to invite you to my 5th grade Facebook page, if you are on Facebook. That is where I will post pictures or videos of your kids during our year together. This is a CLOSED group, so you will have to click JOIN and then I will admit you in. I am keeping this just for us. 

The group's name is St. Malachy Fabulous Fifth Grade. That is what you will search! 

I am excited for our year!

Miss Surma