Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Hello Parents, 
First, the sickness season is upon us. I have a little of both in my rooms. We have the vomiting and we have the sore throats and fevers. Remember if your child has a fever they have to be 24 hours fever free before returning to school. We are wiping down desks and we are going to halt shaking hands in the morning just to eliminate the extra touching and passing of germs. 

Reading- This week we read our final story in this unit. It was the true story about 2 different teenagers and their roles in the Revolutionary War. Joseph Martin fought as a teenager in the war. He was paid a silver dollar to join the Continental Army. He signed up for 6 months. He also gave a bit of a description of the battlefield.  Sybil Ludington was like Paul Revere. She rode all night on horseback to summon soldiers to meet at her dad's farm so they could go off to the battle. Next week we will have the Unit 3 test. We don't have school on Monday, so this will begin on Tuesday. 

Religion- This week we are finishing up our chapter. We also talked about two saints and how they dedicated their lives towards God. One was Maximilian Kolbe. He was a Polish priest that was sent to a concentration camp during WWII. He also volunteered his life so that another prisoner could live. He was killed there. I showed them a little video on his life as well. They had a lot of questions about that time. We did end up talking about it at length due to my dad coming from Poland at the end of WWII. They will be testing over this chapter on Friday. 

Math- we finished our decimal chapter on adding and subtracting this week. They will also have a test over this on Friday. Friday is a heavy test day. Next week we will begin multiplication and division of decimals. 

Monday, January 15- no school for our students. We (the staff) will be heading to Des Moines for professional development. 

Friday, January 19 we will go to the Food Pantry to work. 

Catholic Schools Week- In folders this week will be a sign up to help at our kickoff mass for CSW. The mass will be at Holy Spirit Church on January 28. Please look over your schedules to see if your kids can help us out. The PTO will provide a breakfast in the basement following mass. 

I hope everyone has a great weekend! I hope you stay well!!! I hope you stay warm since it looks like our temps are going to fall again!  See your kids on Tuesday! 

God Bless,
Miss Surma

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Hello Parents, 
Welcome back and Happy New Year! I hope everyone had a great time over the Christmas break. I really enjoyed my time in Pennsylvania! We did go into Pittsburgh for a day, but most of the time was spent at home. It was very relaxing! 

Reading- I assigned them their next book report on Wednesday. They are reading Newbery Honor or Newbery Winner books. Mrs. Weight and I went through them in our school library. Everyone has chosen one. I told them they have until next Wednesday, Jan. 10 to change it if they need to. If you hear them tell you they are bored or don't understand it...let me know so we can change it now! Their project will be due on Thursday, February 15.  It gives them about 6 weeks. 

On Thursday, they will start their next writing project. Next Monday we will start our last story in this unit. That will mean the week of Jan. 15 will be a unit test week. 

Math- This week they are working on adding and subtracting decimals. 

Religion- We are talking about baptism. Today we read the story of John the Baptist when he baptizes Jesus. 

Spirit Day- This Friday they can wear sweats for $1!

Trivia Night  is set for January 20. We'd love to see you there! 

There is not much to this letter. I hope everyone is staying warm! 

God Bless, 
Miss Surma

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Dear Parents, I hope you have been having a great week! Only a couple more days before break!

Reading- They will take a test on Thursday over their story. This week they read a story about James Forten. He was a free African American during the Revolutionary War. He worked on ships until he joined the military for the American side. His job was to bring up the gun powder that was stored below deck on the ship. It was used in the cannons. It was a dangerous job. When their ship surrendered, he was taken prisoner aboard the Jersey. Luckily for him, he was not sent back to the West Indies and sold back into slavery. In his later life he bought the sail making business his dad had worked for and became quite successful. He also worked as an abolitionist and fought for the rights for women to get the right to vote.We discussed how he isn't considered a hero because he didn't do any one thing that stood out, but all the things combined still make him someone who is heroic. 

We have one more story to read in this unit. I am going to wait to do that until our first full week back from Christmas break. When they return for those 3 days we will do some other things.

Math- This week was about estimating by rounding and using benchmark numbers. They learned to round to the nearest 0, 0.25, 0.50, 0.75, and 1. When we get back we will begin adding and subtracting decimals. 

Food Pantry- On Monday the 4th and 5th graders walked to the Food Pantry to deliver our school's donations. Each student had at least one bag,but some had more to carry. I would say the families of STM did very well with their donations! I know Mark and Mary really appreciate it! Thank you so much for helping them out! 

They need a sack lunch on Thursday. Milk will be provided. They can also wear their favorite Christmas shirt, sweater, etc. They can wear pajamas as long as they deal with Christmas.  If they have necklaces, antlers, etc... wear those tomorrow! I can't wait to see how they look! We will be singing after we eat. You are welcome to join us for the caroling in the gym. It will be from 12:30-1:00. 

I hope everyone has a wonderful Christmas with your families. This is the first time  I won't be in Doon for the holiday. That seems very weird. I am flying to my sister Eva's in Butler, PA on Saturday. It's an hour from Pittsburgh.  I will be there for the week with her and her kids! I am excited to see them! I know they have snow already. Safe travels to everyone! I will see you in the new year!  Merry Christmas! 
God Bless, 
Miss Surma

Monday, December 18, 2017

Parents, Just a reminder that your child will need a sack lunch on Thursday. Drinks will be provided. 

We are also telling the kids to dress to show their Christmas spirit on that day! Maybe they have one of those ugly Christmas sweaters or just a t-shirt! Maybe they can dress in Christmas colors! It is optional!  

Have a great week! 4 days! Hold on tight!
Miss Surma

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Dear Parents, I hope you  are having a great week! Well, my desk was covered in packages of cough drops last week and it looks as though they shared it with me! So thankful! :)

Geography Bee- If you'd like to join us for the 2nd round, it will be after mass next week on Dec. 20.

Friday is Spirit Day! Wear sweats for $1!

Reading- This week they are reading a story about Molly Pitcher! Her real name is Mary Hays. She was on the battlefields during the Revolutionary War. She brought pitchers of water to the soldiers during the battle due to the extreme heat! She also took over firing a cannon once her husband had been injured! She was a true hero on those grounds. In grammar we are focusing on regular and irregular verbs. This is based on what happens when you change a verb from present tense to past tense. Simply adding -ed would be a regular verb. If the spelling changes for example from teach to taught-- that is an irregular verb. 

Math- We are working on our decimals! So they are working on writing them in standard, expanded, and written form. They also are learning to compare decimals and then write them from least to greatest or greatest to least. We will be working on rounding them too. They will most likely have to round them to a certain place value position.  We have talked about how you refer to them in tenth, hundredths, and thousandths. The decimal is referred to as point or the word and. It depends how we are working with them.  I am also making them say the numbers in word form to me instead of just saying one point two five (1.25), they have to say one and twenty-five hundredths. 

Religion- They are finishing up their chapter on Advent. They went to reconciliation on Tuesday. When we are in the chapel waiting, they are supposed to be spending their time in prayer. Many of them I found have a hard time sitting quietly and still. I decided they know how to pray the rosary, so that is what we did! If they had to leave for their confession, they did that and rejoined the rosary after their penance was said. It was really cool because we didn't have any of our papers or our rosaries, but they knew exactly what to say and where! It also quieted them down for some time spent with God. It was just a simple, but very cool moment for me as a teacher! 

Pen Pal- We finally received a letter from our pen pal Mason. If you remember, Mason is a little like Auggie in our Wonder book. The kids are going to be writing him a letter or Christmas card before we leave for break! It was nice to hear from him. His mom had also written that he had recently gone through jaw surgery so that was why it took so long. We will keep him in our prayers and hope his recovery goes well! 

December 21- Remember they will need a sack lunch! Milk will be provided. 

Lunch this Friday-- The main dish this Friday is hamburger gravy over biscuits, but the alternate is a sack lunch that you would need to provide. Please talk to your children! Milk is provided so no drink is necessary. 

I hope you have a great weekend!
God Bless,
Miss Surma

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Dear Parents, Happy Thursday! I hope you are having a great week! Well, our temps certainly match the month we are in right now. I did really like those 50s though.

Reading- This week we read a story called Can't You Make Them Behave, King George?  It is a nonfiction piece about the Revolutionary War,but also about King George the third. He really thought he was doing right by the Americans and didn't understand why they wanted their independence. After the Boston Tea Party happened, he decided they were being rebellious children and he needed to show them he was a strict father. He closed the port into Massachusetts. This only made the Americans stand firmer on their ground. It backfired for him.  I talked to the kids about the musical Hamilton, which is about Alexander Hamilton, but people like George Washington and John Adams are in it. Last week we read about Adams. I introduced them to some of the music from the musical with the focus being on King George's songs. He had an illness back then, but no one realized it. They had thought he'd gone mad. His decisions and comments were a little crazy. His songs are like that. He sings sweetly about how killing your friends and family is a sign of how much he loves you. I loved the expressions on your kids' faces when they heard those lines. WHAT????  So they are listening more to the music from the musical. We are also working on figurative language. We are focusing mostly on similes and idioms. On Wednesday, they had to draw an idiom out from a stack and then draw a picture to match it. Those will be posted in the hallway. If you're in the school, you can stop by and see them.

Math- We are starting a chapter on decimals. First, we will focus on understanding the  value of each number. Then we will work on adding and subtracting them.

Religion- We are focusing on an Advent chapter right now.  We have mass on Friday. We will be praying the rosary as a school beforehand if you'd like to join us. I believe that will start at 8:50.

Singing- Next Monday, Dec. 11, the 5th graders will be going to the church to sing for the CCW. They will also have lunch there. They are in for a treat! Those ladies provide a very yummy buffet! They do not need to dress up for this. We will be back for classes by 1:15.

Geography Bee- The 2nd round will be after mass on Dec. 20. You are invited to come and watch if you'd like! It will be in the gym.

I hope everyone enjoyed the concert on Wednesday night! I thought the kids did a great job! Thank you, Mrs. Stoner!

Have a great weekend!
God Bless,
Miss Surma

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Dear Parents, 
I am writing this on Tuesday because I will be heading to Doon on Wednesday night. My siblings and I will signing the final sale papers for our house in Doon. I am not excited about this at all, but I know it has to be done . Anyway, Mrs. Bearden will be here with the 5th graders on Thursday. 

Reading- This week we started our new unit. This unit focuses on the Revolutionary War. I believe every story will be about a person who played some role in the war. Our story this was called Dangerous Crossing. It is a historical fiction story about John Adams and his son Johnny Quincy Adams and their voyage to France. The war isn't going well for the Americas, so John Adams goes to France to get more help in their fight against England. We also talked a lot about life on a boat when you are at sea for over a month. No plumbing, no showers, etc. Not such a great time.  In grammar we are talking about subject and object pronouns and their antecedents. They will test on Friday over the story and the spelling words. This week in spelling they are looking for the VCCV pattern. Ask your kids what that means! 

Math- We are finishing up our chapter on division. They will do a review on Wednesday. The test will be on Friday. I am telling Mrs. Bearden to make sure they all do the extra practice on Thursday. One thing they need to remember is that any question that starts with the word "about" is asking them to estimate. In division that means using compatible numbers. For example if it is 846➗ 23.  You would round 23 to the nearest 10, making it 20.  Then look at the first digit in the dividend. Can 2 go into 8? Yes, so now you are going to divide 800 by 20 or you could divide 840 by 20. Both 800 and 840 are compatible with 20. There will be no remainder. 

Religion- They will have their religion test over the Beatitudes on Thursday when I am gone. Our next topic will be Advent.

Advent Angels will start on Wednesday. Keep a lookout in your child's folder for information on what we are donating to the Food Pantry this year. Please do what you can to help out. 

Lighted Christmas Parade is on Thursday night. If your child wants to ride our float, let Sarah know in the office. I'm afraid I won't be back in time to watch the parade. 

I hope your week is going well. Have a great weekend! 
God Bless, 
Miss Surma