Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Hello Parents, 
Happy Thursday!  I cannot believe I am writing my last blog to you! Where did our year go??

There isn't much to tell you this week...

Tuesday, May 30 - That morning we will be finishing some things up in our classes and cleaning out desks. They will need their book bag to take home their stuff. They will need to bring a sack lunch that day. Milk will be provided. They should wear tennis shoes for Field Day. 

Wednesday, May 31- We will have mass that morning. After mass we will have a closing of the year instead of later that morning. The remainder of the day we will be in our rooms. Dismissal time is at noon. There will not be lunch for the kids. 

Report Cards will be done and online for you next week. 

Finally, let me say I have enjoyed this class immensely! I know there were 25, but it never felt like that to me. I couldn't imagine this class without one of them! They are all so special and so unique. I was lucky to be their teacher! I thank you for that! I thank you for choosing our school, our family. It was my pleasure to be their 5th grade teacher. I know they are ready to move on to middle school and all that it brings, but it is never easy to say goodbye to my kids. They will always be mine. I hope that all of you have a wonderful summer! Don't forget to have them pick up a book, newspaper, magazine once in awhile. Throw them a math problem to keep them on their toes. Tell them it's homework from Miss Surma! 😊 Enjoy sleeping in, softball and baseball games, camping, fishing, or just taking a vacation! For some of you, I know I am saying goodbye to you because now I have taught your youngest! That makes me a little sad as well! 

I will be here for most of June, but I will spend the majority of my summer back home in Doon. It will be my final summer in my childhood home. I want to be there as much as I can before we sell it this fall. 


Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Hello Parents, I am so sorry that last week I totally spaced off writing a blog. It was a crazy week! I hope you had a great weekend. I left Thursday afternoon and drove to Davenport where I met up with my sister Penny. We then took off for Butler, PA. We spent the night in Portage, Indiana and then took off again on Friday to finish the drive. We arrived in Butler around 5:15 their time. We went to watch our niece AnnMarie perform in the Youngstown Playhouse production of Hairspray. It was AMAZING! I thought my niece did an amazing job as "Penny" the best friend to the lead Tracy. My niece cried when she saw us after the show...that made the long drive totally worth it! We are heading back there in about 4 weeks to spend a week out there. 

The Baker's Neighbor play is this Friday. We have two shows. Half of the class will do their play at 10:45 and the other group will be at 2:15. The afternoon show may end up in Mrs. Mitchell's room. We have a lot of different activities going on at STM on Friday and the forecast isn't helping. When you arrive for the afternoon play, I will have 5th graders greeting you at the door. They will tell you where to go for sure. They have done a great job of memorizing their lines! It is really coming together!  

Costumes: 
Manuel-- dress clothes you wear to mass

Pablo-- the same thing, but you can add a cap if you want.  Just need to look like an older guy in the village

Carlos and Sisters-- they are kids. They can wear what they wear to school unless they want to do something special

Villagers and Women-- They are too look like older people in the village. If they want to wear dress clothes, be a farmer, wear caps, carry a cane, dress like an old lady or man...all good! 

Judge- Mass clothes- I will supply the black robe

Math-- They are still finishing up the math test over dividing decimals. When we are all done with that, I do plan on starting a new chapter even though I know we won't finish it. I would like to get to some fraction stuff before they go. They have done a lot of that on ST Math, so they will probably catch on quickly.

Religion- We are doing guidance, but this week we have been using that time to practice for the play.

Book Reports- They are due on Wednesday, May 24. They will need to bring it to school along with their costume. They will start to share their reports on that day, but I know we won't be able to get through them all. We will use Thursday and Friday to get them all done. 

Last Days of School- 

Tuesday, May 30-- They can bring a sack lunch that day to school. Milk will be provided. We will have Field Day that afternoon from 1-3. You are welcome to join us for that. I will plan on them cleaning out their desks that morning. They should come with their book bag to take belongings home that day. 

Creston Public School has now stated that we will have a 3 hour early out on May 31. There won't be lunch that day. We will be having mass that morning. They don't have to wear mass attire for this day. 

I hope you have a great weekend! I plan on going to Waterloo. My niece Gracelyn is graduating from Columbus High School. 
God Bless,
Miss Surma

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Happy Thursday Parents! I hope you are having a great week! I am so glad it isn't raining! 


Reading- This week they have been taking the Unit 5 test. You will see their scores next Thursday in your folders. Next week I plan on doing a story from our next unit. This next unit, they will be given another book to use. It is more like a magazine. They will have a spelling test and test on Friday. Next week I will also be giving them their scripts for our play. We will hold try outs next Thursday most likely. I would like them to know their roles by Friday so they can start memorizing their lines.  So... I am looking at the plays being held on Friday, May 19. I will have to do one in the morning and one in the afternoon. I will let you know more when I have it all figured out!

Book Reports- They are due on May 24. I keep reminding those students are reading, they need to keep this going and not just do it while at school. They will run out of time. IF your child is doing the poster...they can use the tri-fold ones like at the science invention convention or just the big poster board paper found at Wal-Mart. You might also check out Dollar General or Dollar Tree. 

Math- We are plugging away at our chapter. This dividing decimals by decimals is throwing some of them. They need to remember that the decimal has to be moved in the divisor and in the dividend and then they need to put it in their answer! :)  We are getting near the end so there will be a test coming soon.

Religion- We finished  the Ten Commandments so we are going to work on our Guidance book now until the end of the year. 

Recess- This is just a story. I had duty on Wednesday and we stayed on this side. I had a big group of 5th graders that played 6-Square. Then I had another group on the hill. I looked up and noticed some of the girls doing tumbling stunts. Then the boys were trying their hand at it.  Then I suggested wheelbarrow races. They did that and then moved onto building a boy pyramid and a girl pyramid. Then they did piggyback races.  I didn't stay for anything more, but boy were they fun to watch. I was giggling at them constantly. I just loved how they were getting along! Then it dawned on me that we are running out of days. I got a little sad!!!!

The 5th graders will be visiting the middle school wing and spend time with the 6th graders next Wednesday after mass. They will eat lunch with them and go to recess. They will have their normal afternoon. I know the middle school information night is the next evening for you and them! I love this day for them, but I hate this day for me because I know I am going to lose them soon! 

I will be gone on May 12. Mrs. Bearden will be here to sub for me. They will be going to the Food Pantry that day.  That is also a Spirit Day.  My sister and I are leaving Thursday night for Pennsylvania. Our niece AnnMarie is a freshman at Youngstown State and has the part as Penny in the musical Hairspray. We have never seen her perform. It will be a LONG drive and a short trip! I will be back on Monday! 

On Tuesday after our testing I showed them the video of my niece's senior trip to France and Belgium. You can find it below. They visited sights of WWI and WWII. They saw battlegrounds and cemeteries,and Catholic churches. I also had to show them a quick video on the Christmas Truce so they would understand the significance of the soccer balls in the video.  It's about 30 minutes...watch if you like history! 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sYevMi49nMk 

Have a great weekend! I am heading to Waterloo on Friday. My niece Grace has her senior prom on Saturday. 
God Bless, 
Miss Surma

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Hello Parents, I hope you are having a great week! Our trip to St. Louis was GREAT! We had a lot of fun, plus we all took back a lot of great ideas for future activities at STM.  Most of my sessions were religion based. They dealt mostly with ideas for service projects. 

Field Trip- First, thank you to the parents that went with us to Des Moines. Your assistance was wonderful. The day went so great! Once again, I got a little teary eyed watching them all perform their jobs. They have been working so hard at school, it was just so great to see them put it all into action. They learned to value their lunch breaks! They were so busy. Mrs. Sickels and I helped in the book store. I couldn't believe how quickly we had to work. Our CEO was constantly paying bills after her lunch break! 

Reading- We are reading our last story Lewis & Clark in this unit. We read about their expedition to find a waterway that went from one coast to the other. We learned about the barriers that slowed them down.  In grammar they are working on contractions. In spelling we are working on the adding the suffix-ion. They will test on Friday. Next week will be our unit test week. 

After that, we will be working on Unit 6, but I will also be doing the play with them. We most likely won't finish Unit 6. Most of them have also picked their latest autobiography or biography book. I told them they needed to make that choice by this Friday. They have a packet with the information needed to create this book report. They will have to have a costume. I told them NOT to go out and buy something...check their closet or yours! The Rerun may also have something they can use. If you have questions- shoot me an email. These will be due on May 24.  The packet also includes questions for them to answer as they read their book. I did tell them that once they are done reading the book and if they still have questions that are unanswered, they can look those up online.  They are required to read the book first. 

Math- Now that Biz Town is done, we will get back to our division chapter! 

Religion- I meant to show this before Easter, but I couldn't find my tapes. I did find them finally in the lounge! They are watching The Ten Commandments.

On Wednesday, Troy McBroom, Mrs. Kendrick's dad, came to our room to talk to the 3-5th graders about his trip to Israel. It was so cool. We saw pictures of the Jordan River, he showed us pictures of the cave in which Jesus was born. They had to put marble down on the floor because too many people were coming in to chip it away and take it with them. He showed us the Garden of Gethsemane where Jesus prayed before he was arrested.  We saw the place that Pilate most likely held the trial of Jesus. He showed us where David fought Goliath. He even brought some rocks back from that area. He gave each child a small bottle of shells from the Sea of Galilee. He taught them some common words to say in Hebrew. 

Lap-A-Thon is set for Thursday, May 4. The kids should wear clothes that are comfortable to run in. They may want sweats in case it is chilly. I usually recommend 2 pairs of shoes and socks for that day. Many times that ground is really muddy. This way they can change when they get done. They can bring a water bottle and music to listen to while they run. They should return their pledge envelope by next week. There will be a sign up genius being sent out to all parents if you want to help that day. 

Next week is May already!!! Where did our year go?? My time with your kids is running out! 

Please continue to pray for Leisha Clark and her family with the passing of her mom.  Father also announced that Father Pins' mother also passed away. We will keep them in our prayers. 

Have a great weekend! 
God Bless, 
Miss Surma

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Happy Thursday! I hope you are having a great week! This is such a crazy month! It is flying by us already!

Reading- Okay with these two weeks being really strange, I told the kids we would read our story like normal, but that I would not test them over this one. They will still have a spelling test next Friday. There are just too many things on our calendar this week and next week being gone, I don't feel it is fair to test them over it. We read a story called Rachel's Journal. It is historical fiction about a girl who records the accounts of her family's travel on the Oregon Trail in the 1800s.  Again, they won't have to be tested over this story, but will have a spelling test next week. 

Next Friday I will also talk to them about their final book report. 

Math-- This week we worked on dividing decimals by whole numbers. The decimal part doesn't seem to be throwing them off too much, but some are struggling to remember how to divide. So, feel free to give them a problem to divide at home! 

Biz Town- This week they received their job assignments. Mrs. Sickels and I spent a few hours on Sunday night going over their interviews. We decided that we needed to take into account our knowledge of each child's interests and capabilities when choosing their jobs. Some of the jobs were never applied for, which means some kids got a job they never asked for. They were all well received and I believe that day we are at Biz Town, they will be so busy and having so much fun, they will forget they may not have the job they really wanted. I can't wait to see them in action! This week they got together with the people they are going to be working with and had to create a name for their business. They also had to write up ads to be done for the magazine and radio in Biz Town. The CEO/CFOs had to fill out forms for the bank. They will also be writing some short articles that will be included in the Biz Town magazine! 

When we go, they will need a sack lunch and drink. They will also need to wear mass day attire. They are going to work! 

Clean-Up Day- The school will be cleaning up our school property on Friday, April 21. We are asking your kids to bring a rake to school that day if they have one! Make sure your family name is on it somewhere. If they have work gloves, they can bring those too. We will be raking along the fence and by Father Halbur's house. 

Iowa Assessment scores are going home today. Please look in your child's folder for their results. 

Religion- This week they worked in small groups to brainstorm ideas of how we can live out the Spiritual Works of Mercy. We then created an 8 page book to combine all of their ideas. I gave them the task of fulfilling one of them in the next week. I did take away the 7th one because technically they could all use that one because we do it every day in morning prayer. I want them to step out of the box and try to see what else they could do. They have until next Friday. If they are really struggling, they should talk to me on Thursday. I may be able to remind them of something  they didn't even consider.  I realize these are harder to do, but that doesn't mean that you can't do it. It just means you have to work harder. 

I hope everyone has a blessed Easter! Safe travels if you are celebrating elsewhere! Enjoy the break! I will see your kids again on April 20!!!

God Bless,
Miss Surma

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Happy Thursday Parents! I hope your week is going well. I feel like it is flying by! I have a feeling the entire month will feel like!

Literacy Night- Tonight is the night!!! It is a Come and Go! There will be a lot of games and activities for the kids! They can meet an author! They can stop by the Book Tasting for the 4th and 5th graders. The 5th graders do not have to stand by their book. If they come to the event...just go have fun and experience it all! I know the Literacy Committee has put a lot of effort into this event! 

Dollars for Scholars-- The votes are in for the 5th grade essays! The three essays moving on to the contest belong to Ashlyn Baker, Austin Evans, and Dillon Starlin! Congrats! I believe the winner will be notified in May after a mass. We never know which one! 

Math- This week they worked on estimating the quotient of decimals. They were using compatible numbers to get their answers. We don't do rounding when we divide, we get a much closer answer and no remainders when we use compatible numbers. 

Today we will be working on Biz Town. We are going to practice interviewing. They will interview for their jobs tomorrow afternoon. We have asked a couple of parents from 4th and 5th grade to help us out. We asked parents who weren't attending Biz Town. We are also going to have the 5th grade parents interview the 4th graders, and the 5th graders will be interviewed by the 4th grade parents. We are just trying to make it more realistic for the kids. There is a good chance they won't know their future employer so we wanted to keep it as close to real as possible. Mrs. Sickels and I will make final job decisions and let the kids know some time next week. 

Religion- We have started a new chapter that focuses on Jesus' mercy. The main points are the Spiritual and Corporal Works of Mercy. In 5th grade we really focus on the Spiritual Works, but it is always good to go over both of them. I found a short little video that I am going to show them. Besides using our book, it does a good job of explaining these and what we can do to help others "spiritually". It is coming out at a great time because I think we can easily relate what we do during Lent that is helpful. 

Holy Thursday, April 13- Next week we will celebrate the Seder Meal as a school. It is one of my favorite traditions that we do here. That day there won't be an alternative at lunch. We will eat family style. That afternoon will be the Cross Walk. You are welcome to join us on that day. We are planning to leave around 12:30. This was a wonderful experience for all of us last year. I just hope the sun shines and the rain stays away. Miss Steinkamp is planning to take a picture of the entire student body in the church that day. It will be used in future ads and the newspaper next year. They would like students to wear a white shirt. If it is a t shirt-- it is to have as little writing on it as possible. We may also make them wear it inside out for the picture if there is too much on the front. I would also suggest tennis shoes and not sandals to walk in. That will be much easier to walk in. I believe we are doing this rain or shine, so if it is raining, they might to bring an umbrella to school. 

Good Friday, April 14-- There is no school on that day! Remember no school on Monday- Wednesday the following week. The teachers will be in St. Louis. 

Tomorrow, Friday, April 7 is a optional sack lunch day! Just remember we are still in Lent. 

Have a great weekend. I am heading to Doon. I am meeting my sister there. Next week is the first year anniversary of my mom's passing, so we wanted to get home. I hope all of you have a GREAT weekend. 

God Bless,
Miss Surma

Thursday, March 30, 2017

Hello Parents, 
I hope everyone had a great week off! I moved from my apartment to a house on Prairie Street (renting;not buying). Two of my siblings came down last Saturday to help with the big stuff along with some great men from church! It took us less than an hour to load and unload! 

Dollars for Scholars- They wrote their essays before we went on break. This week they used their Chromebooks and typed them up in a Google Doc for me. They shared it with me and then I printed them off! I am waiting for all to finish. I need to turn in the top 3 next Friday to be judged. 

Fire Posters- Congrats to Tucker! He came in 2nd place in the state contest for 5th graders! Woo hoo!!! He was invited to a luncheon in Osage, Iowa. He will receive his award then. 

Math- This week we started back with dividing decimals by 1, 10, 100, and 1000. On Tuesday and Wednesday they worked in small groups using Base 10 blocks to divide up the decimals by whole numbers.  We will continue with Biz Town on Thursday and Friday.

Reading- This week we read a story called The Birchbark House. This is a story about a Native American girl who is upset with her sister and wants to make her envy her. She ends up befriending a couple of bear cubs until the mother bear shows up! Then she tries to reason with the bear to convince her that she wasn't going to harm her cubs. 

We are also working on Perfect, Past, and Future Tense verbs in grammar. On Monday we used has or have in front of our verbs, but we needed to make sure that our verb was in past tense. You have to love the English language that tells us we are working on Perfect Present Tense, but using past tense verbs! :) 

Remember that on Monday we don't have school. 

Make sure you are watching the April calendar. The month is really chopped up and I have a feeling it will fly by!!! 

Have a great weekend! 
God Bless, 
Miss Surma