Thursday, May 17, 2018

Hey there Parents, On your child's religion test you might see a scratched out score. I had counted one wrong, and in reality it is wrong, but I messed up on their study guide. I had told them the wrong answer. So I gave them the credit because of my error. 

Miss Surma

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Hi Parents, 
I hope you are enjoying your week. Boy, these last weeks seems to fly by us! 


Play- Just a reminder that our play is on Friday at 2:15 in the gym. The first graders will be joining us. Grandparents are welcome to come if you cannot make it! The play lasts about 10 minutes. The 5th graders will come down to my room afterwards for our little celebration. They get to eat the the pink frosted cake! If you are taking them home with you instead, please just let me know. Thanks! They should have their costumes with them when they comes to school on Friday. I have discussed with them what they should wear. Please don't go out and buy brand new stuff! Hit their closet or yours first! 


Math- Last week we spent the entire week subtracting mixed numbers with borrowing. This week we are working on numbers in a series. There is spot for them to figure out what the next number in the series would be. Their job is to figure out the pattern first-- are the numbers increasing or decreasing? Once they know that-- they know they have to add or subtract to get that missing number. The toughest spot right now is when they have to subtract a mixed number from a whole number. An example would be 8-3-4/6=? 

Religion-They are taking a test today. After this we are getting into our guidance books. That will probably be how we end our year. 

Reading- Next week they will read a story and do spelling again. I decided not to do that this week because of our crazy week with the field trip , our play, and the visit to the middle school. In your child's folder are their scores for our last unit test. I copied off the wrong sheet, but I made it work. 

FAST- In their folder next week will be a score sheet to show you their  scores from their FAST testing. These are the reading tests they have done to show their work in fluency. I was really excited about their scores! I was also so so so happy with the class overall with our Iowa Assessments! 100% proficient in reading! WOO HOO!!!!!  83% were proficient in math! That made me so happy too! 

Permission Slips- I am still missing these from 4 kids. Please return them as soon as possible. Thanks! 


Middle School Visit- Today they are visiting the 6th and 7th graders. They split our class in half. So they are getting a taste of science, math, and language arts. They are learning about block scheduling. 

Train Ride--- Our field trip was great fun! I really enjoyed the trip even if I hate heights! I would love to tell you that your children were so understanding, but instead I heard things like...Miss Surma, what if we tip over? Miss Surma, what if the brakes go out? Miss Surma, we didn't die!!!!! hahahaha
Many of them need to go to confession for trying to convince me we were over the 156 ft bridge! haha It was a lot of fun and I think they enjoyed it more than they thought they would! 

I hope everyone has a great weekend! The weather looks perfect! 
God Bless, 
Miss Surma


Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Happy Wednesday! I hope your week is going well. The weather is so nice! It is making it difficult to be in the classroom for the students and the teachers! 

Reading- They are taking their unit test this week. That should be finished up on Friday. Next week we will focus on the play. I may do some grammar and spelling with them. We will see how our practices go. 

They tried out for the play on today. I will give them their roles tomorrow. Their job is to start memorizing their lines after that. I know there will be some that are disappointed that they didn't get the role they wanted,but I need those extras just as much as I need the people with more lines. EVERY role is important! By Wednesday of next week, they need to have it memorized. I will be the one with the script. 

As for their parts-- I have talked to them about costumes. The hardest ones will be the villagers and women. I usually tell them to dress more like an adult in town. They can also dress up as little old ladies and men. I have had kids use walkers and canes. They have taken dresses from their Grandma's closet. Some of the boys dress like farmers or they wear dress clothes and ties. They just need to be an adult! 

Manuel- mass clothes

Pablo- mass clothes with a hat

Kids- wear their own clothes (shorts, etc)

Judge- Mass clothes, I will provide the black robe

The play is next Friday, the 18th at 2:15. It's only about 10 minutes. The kids will go back to the room for cake and juice afterwards. If you are taking them home instead, just let me know. 

Math- This week we have spent most of our time subtracting mixed numbers. This time they have had to borrow from the whole number to be able to finish it. I showed them two ways to do it. One way is the way we were all taught-- turning them into improper fractions first. The other way is dealing only with the fraction portion first and making sure we have like denominators. I would say most of the class chose the second route. To me it is a lot easier than dealing with improper fractions and bigger numbers. Either way is correct! I gave them the option. The next step will be looking at mixed numbers and figuring out the pattern.

Religion- This week they were learning about the Vatican Councils and the Ecumenical Council-- just what it is. Next year I need to have Father in for those conversations. He was telling me some interesting history of it during lunch today. 

Field Trip- I have 9 forms returned. I would really like the others by Friday so I don't have to remind them on Monday. Remember it will cost them $10.  They will need a sack lunch and drink that day. We are leaving here at 8! If they are a breakfast eater at school--it will have to be a quick one! Sorry. We need to stay on schedule. 

Substitute- I am gone on Friday. I am leaving after work tomorrow. I am going home to leave some flowers by my mom's grave for Mother's Day and then heading to Waterloo.I know it is a long trip for flowers, but worth it in my eyes.  My niece Emily has a soccer tournament in Waverly on Saturday with her high school team. This is my chance to see her play. Mrs. Bearden will be here in my place. If you change how your child is getting home--contact Sarah in the office. She will let them know. 

I hope everyone has a great weekend! Happy Mother's Day to all the moms! I hope you get spoiled a little bit !

Thank you to the PTO for our teacher gifts each day! It has been lots of fun this week! Thanks for your work with the Lap-A-Thon last week! I am soooooo  excited to take that pie in the face on the last day of school! 

God Bless, 
Miss Surma



Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Hello Parents, 
Well, if you hadn't heard-- the flu bug has hit our room. So far I have had 5 kids come down with it. I am hoping the others will not!

Reading- They are taking their test over the story and spelling test on Thursday. I want to dedicate Friday to their book reports. That usually takes a little longer. They should have their project and their costume with them on Friday. They won't be wearing it all day. It will be something they change into and they will be back to their normal clothes when we are done. 

Next week they will be doing their unit 5 testing. I believe this one is a benchmark test which means more stories, but the same number of questions. They will also be trying out for our Baker's Neighbor play. They will have a script and their part by next Friday. My plan is to show the play on Friday, May 18 at 2:15 pm. Mark your calendar. The play is only about 10 minutes. 

Math- They are adding and subtracting fractions with unlike denominators. I had to do some background work this week on changing improper fractions to a mixed number and vice versa. Then add making sure it is in simplest form to the that as well. I know the kids that were out sick on Tuesday had a difficult time understanding, but we did a small group session on Wednesday morning and they grabbed on quickly. The trick will be teaching them to have to borrow with subtraction. That one is always a little slower. 

Religion- We are in our new chapter and it is one I haven't taught before, but looking it over, I felt it was needed. We are talking about the hierarchy in the church-- the pope, bishops, priests. We are reading some of the stories from the Bible when Jesus was gathering his Apostles. We watched a quick 5 minute video from the movie The Bible on when Jesus met with Peter and helped him gather his fish in the nets. Peter being the rock of the church is a very important Apostle.  We also read where the Apostles had to choose someone to take Judas' spot and they chose Matthias. 


Food Pantry- I am switching our dates with Mrs. Sickels' class because of our play. The 5th graders will go to the Food Pantry on May 11, next Friday, instead of the 18th. 

Lap-A-Thon- I know this is tomorrow. I am praying they will be outside. They should have an extra pair of shoes and socks to change into AFTER they are done running. They should also have a water bottle with their name on it to use during the run. I think they will run outside as long as it isn't pouring rain. 

Yearbook Cover Contest- Anyone interested in drawing/coloring the possible cover for this year's yearbook is asked to submit it by May 9 to Mrs. Simmons. If they want to do something digital on a Google document, they can do that as well. 

Field Trip-In your child's folder is the permission form and letter about our trip on Tuesday, May 15. Please fill it out and return by Friday, May 11. Make sure you also pay for the trip as well at the same time. I am excited and a little nervous to go. I don't do heights very well so I may not look out the windows very much! I am excited because I used to read a story in our old series about Kate Shelley. I am going to read that to the 5th graders before we go so they have some background knowledge of this famous Iowan. 

I hope everyone has a great weekend! I know First Communion is Saturday night. 
God Bless,
Miss Surma




Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Happy Wednesday! I hope you are enjoying these warmer temps! I know we are at school! It is fun to be at recess across the street again! The kids did a great job with the rosary and the mass this morning. We had Father Kirby from Winterset. We didn't get to do the Sanctuary song, but that is okay. The 5th graders will have one more mass on May 23 with the 4th graders. Not everyone will get a job. 

Reading- Tomorrow is going to be our "Friday" in reading. They are going to be testing over the story and having a spelling test. We don't have school on Friday. This week they read a historical fiction story about a family who are pioneers going across America to get to Oregon. The girl in our story keeps a journal. One of her experiences is a buffalo stampede. I showed them a scene from Dances with Wolves where John Dunbar is awakened by the buffalo stampeding by his fort. I didn't show the "hunting" scene. I said they could watch the movie at home with you! They understood the power of the animals and the dust storm they can create! 

In our grammar we are talking about comparative and superlative adjectives and adverbs. For example: dirty, dirtier, dirtiest or fabulous, more fabulous, most fabulous. We added adverbs today. Adverbs describe verbs and adjectives and many times end in -ly. You need to just add the words more or most in front of the adverb. 

Math-- The tests are coming to you today to get signed. They really did great. Many were close to 100% but because they didn't show their work or didn't write their fractions in original form they missed them. I was pretty adamant about that the entire chapter and even yesterday I repeated it a few times while they tested. We started in our chapter 6 today. They are back in their own math books. It is still chapter 6 but now we are adding and subtracting fractions. They will most likely be learning about mixed numbers and improper fractions too.

Religion- They took their test today. We will start a new chapter on Thursday. I think in May I will switch from religion to doing their Guidance book. We will most likely end our year with that. 

Book Reports- These will are due next Friday, May 4. They need to come to school with their report that day and their costume. They will change into the costume when we begin to share these. Sorry, this is not something they do in front of you. You will get to come and see their play in May. It wouldn't be a bad idea to have them practice presenting their book report to you at home. 

Due to the book reports next Friday, I plan on making our reading program 4 days again-- just like this week.

Lap-A-Thon-- Don't forget this is next Thursday, May 4. The 5th graders will be running/walking from 10-11am. Don't forget to have your kids do what they can to raise some money! I don't mind a pie in the face for them! It wouldn't hurt for them to have an extra pair of socks and shoes to wear after the run in case of mud or wet shoes. 


Remember your kids don't have school on Friday. We have to go to Des Moines for some PD. 

Have a great weekend! Looks like the weather will be beautiful. 
God Bless,
Miss Surma





Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Hello Parents, Well, I'd like to say Happy Spring, but I am not sure Mother Nature has seen our calendar. I know my siblings in Eastern and Northern Iowa are getting hit yet again! I'm glad that isn't us. 

Reading- This week we are reading a story called Vaqueros. It is the history of cowboys and how they got started. It really goes back to the time of Columbus being in Spain. The barbed wire that ranchers and farmers use is  kind of what stopped the need for them. Thanks to Fernando for helping pronounce the Spanish words so easily!!! 
In grammar they are working on easily confused verbs. We went over words like lay and lie, can and may.  We discussed that many people say they are going to "lay out" at the beach. When in fact that is the wrong usage. Really you are "lying out". I told them lay is like the word "set". You put stuff down on your desk, on a table, on your bed. You "lie" down to take a nap. You "lie out" in the sun. 

Math-- This week we were comparing fractions by changing the denominator. Then they have to use the greater than and less than signs. On Wednesday, once they learned how to change them, they had to write them in greatest to least or least to greatest. We are getting close to the end of our chapter. They will test over it next week. The earliest will be Tuesday, but I need to see how Friday goes. 


Religion- They are finishing up the chapter on Spiritual Works of Mercy. They will probably test over it next week. On Thursday I will hand out their Rosary or Mass parts. You are invited to join us for mass and the rosary before mass if you can make it. 

In the News- I hope you were able to check out the link I posted to show the 5th graders on the KWWL news. I assume they saw my tweet! Pretty cool they included us in their story. The kids are really good about praying for Jake every morning. 

Clean-Up Day- On Friday we are raking the school grounds. I am not sure how much the 5th graders will get to help because it is also our day to work at the Food Pantry. They can wear sweats that day or shorts (no charge). If they want to wear a hat --that will cost $1. If they want to donate another $1, that will go towards flowers and soil for this summer. All rakes should be labeled! They should also have a pair of gloves! 

Just so you know...they all survived the Growth Talk!!!!! Woo hoo!

This Friday we have school, but the public school does not. You will need to drop off and pick up!

We don't have school on the 27th. The teachers have to go to Des Moines for professional development. 

Have a great weekend. My plan is to head to Sioux Falls after work. My sister and I are going to Doon on Saturday to pick out a spot for the bench we had made for our parents. Hopefully their snow will be melted!!! A girl can dream! 

God Bless,
Miss Surma

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Hi Parents, As I am writing this blog the ground is shaking from the work outside. WOW! I am glad I don't live where there are earthquakes.  I hope you are having a good week. 


Testing- We should be done on Thursday. I will use Friday as a backup if we need to. I am pretty sure we will get scores back before the end of the year. The kids are doing well. They are taking their time and don't seem to be rushing. 

Math- We are doing some review work with our fractions this week. I don't feel comfortable moving on. I think they need some more practice with simplifying fractions and finding the common denominator. 

Religion- We are focusing on mercy, but our bigger focus will be the Spiritual Works of Mercy. On Wednesday they did their skits. Oh my goodness. They were funny. I was going to tape them, but we did them outside to get away from the construction sounds and it was so nice out! The problem there is it became harder to hear. They definitely showed forgiveness in all of them. The common theme was some kind of bullying, but they really were funny too. You have some great actors! 

Earth Day- Our school will clean up the school grounds on April 20. There is a flyer going home with more information. We will be needing rakes that day. 

There won't be any busses on April 20th. The public school has their professional development on that day. All of our STM kids will have to be dropped off and picked up by cars. 

April 27- No School for STM. We have our professional development that day in Des Moines. 

Mass- The 5th graders will be leading the rosary and doing mass on April 25. You are welcome to join us. I know the 6-8 graders are taking a field trip that day to the Conception Abbey. I believe Father Halbur is going with them. We will have a substitute priest that day. I don't know who that will be. We will start practicing that next week. I am confident they will do fine. All the kids will have a job either with the rosary or the mass. 

Book Reports- I know many of them are working on their projects or have already finished them. They are due on May 4. They will need a costume that day as well. 

I hope everyone has a great weekend. Next week will be back to normal with the classes. We have really enjoyed the construction. It hasn't been very loud and we love watching the progress each day! The back doors and my window are good lookouts! 

God Bless,
Miss Surma