Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Hello Parents, Happy Thursday! I hope you are having a great week! 

Reading- They are taking their unit 2 test this week. The scores won't go home until probably after Thanksgiving.  They have their book reports due on Thursday. I know many have chosen the poster. Hopefully next time we will get more of a variety! When we get back from Thanksgiving we will start the next unit. Our next unit focuses all of its stories around the Revolutionary War. I believe almost all of them focus on a person who played a role (major and minor) in that war. 

Math- This week they are working on learning the standard algorithm in long division. This is the way you were taught. Some have caught on pretty quickly. Others are having to go a little slower. It's not a surprise. This is a shorter chapter so we will most likely test sometime in early December. 

Religion- Our chapter this time is about the eight Beatitudes. They  don't have to memorize them, but they will work on creating lists of ways we can live the Beatitudes out in our daily lives.

The 5th graders will also have their next mass on November 29. I believe Father is also blessing our Advent wreaths. Our Advent Angel activities will begin that day as well. 

November 20 is our Frey Pizza Lunch for TJ and Nate. No guests at lunch that day please. 


Food Pantry- We will go to work there on Friday, Nov. 17. 

Have a great weekend! I am going to be doing a second coat of paint in my basement and my report cards! 
God Bless, 
Miss Surma

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Dear Parents,
Happy Thursday! I hope everyone had a great 3 day weekend! I was able to get some painting done in my basement! It was good to see everyone for conferences! 

Reading- This week we are reading a story called Cougars. It is an informational article. It reads more like their science book might. I always learn something new about cougars that I didn't know. Did you know that they can't roar? In grammar we are working on using quotation marks when directly talking to someone or quoting information from a book or source. They will have their test on Friday. Since next week is our unit 2 test week, there won't be any spelling tests. 

Book Reports are due on Thursday, Nov. 16!

Religion- They are pretty much done with the mysteries! We will be getting back into our religion books! Our next focus will the Beatitudes.Soon Advent will be here so that will also become a focus. 

Math- So our "new math" lesson went really well this week! They quickly grabbed onto using partial quotients when dividing. The area that was the trickiest was the subtracting. We are now going to delve into estimating using compatible numbers. They won't be rounding. They will have to know the factors of a number-- their multiplication tables can be a HUGE help with this! 

Veteran's Day Celebration- the K-8 kids will be listening to guest speaker Ray  (Bubba) Sorensen on his painting of the Freedom Rocks in Iowa, but we will also have some vets in the gym to meet. We are asking the kids to wear red, white, and blue on Friday to show support. They can also wear sweats since it is a Spirit Day! 

STEM Night- Don't forget Thursday night is our 2nd annual STEM night! Come and enjoy all kinds of activities. I know the committee has been working really hard on this day! 5:30-7:30 :) 

I hope you have a great weekend! I am heading back to Doon. My siblings and I are going to empty the house of the remaining furniture on Saturday. 
God Bless, 
Miss Surma

Monday, October 30, 2017

Iowa History Projects Due on Wednesday, November 1st. 


Students need a sack lunch/ no drink on Wednesday as well! 

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Dear Parents, 
I hope you are having a great week! We actually have 5 days! Woo hoo! I hope you all received the email with the link to sign up for a conference with me! I can't believe we are here already! 

Reading - This week they are reading a nonfiction story about the Everglades.  A class of 5th graders go there for a field trip. This story is really trying to persuade the readers to see the importance of saving them and what we can do to help. They also use a lot of vocabulary that is a little harder. We talk about the brackish water. We talk about the animals that live there. The two seasons that exist (wet and dry) and what that means. 
Spelling- This week our list is full of homophones. I told them that they would have to understand the difference in meanings for Friday's posttest because I will mix the list up. 
Grammar- They are using the conjunctions ( and, but, or) in sentences. They other key to remember is that they need  a comma before the conjunction. 

Halloween stories-- All of them have been edited. Many are already typed and printed. Next week we will share them aloud. I will post them in the hallway so you can read them while you wait for conferences. Thanks to the movie IT, there are a lot of killer clowns. :)


Math- We started our new chapter on Wednesday. This is division. We went over the basic rules again. Some of them still remember it from 4th grade. Some are struggling to remember what numbers I multiply and subtract. It is the standard algorithm, so it's the same as you learned as a kid. I try to stress that while it may be easy for some of them, it isn't for everyone. We need to help those kids that struggle with it! 

Religion- They have all passed the Sorrowful Mystery Quiz. They will quiz over the Glorious Mysteries on Friday. 

Service- They are making Christmas cards for me now. I will be mailing them to Doon and they will be included in care packages for our soldiers who will be overseas this Christmas. 

Social Studies- Mrs. Sickels and I changed the due date for their Iowa project due to Halloween festivities. The 5th graders should bring in their project and final paper on Wednesday, November 1. It is no longer on on Halloween. 

I hope everyone has a great weekend! Don't forget about the Vendor Fair here at STM on Saturday! I have to head to Doon to get some more stuff and to do some more packing so I will unfortunately not be able to go! :( 

God Bless,
Miss Surma



Hey Parents,
 Our weather is getting colder and I am trying to remind your kids they will need a coat for recess. The fleece or sweatshirt they wear all day in the building doesn't really count. If they don't have a winter coat yet, they should have something extra they could put on over their sweatshirt. I heard the high for Friday is 40 with possible snow. I want them to be prepared for the cold. 
Thanks so much,
Miss Surma

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Happy Thursday! I hope everyone is having a great week! I hope you enjoyed the longer weekend! 

 Boxes- Mrs. Stoner is saving kleenex and shoe boxes! If you have any at home that she could have, please send them to school with your child. She wants them for STEM Night. Thank you!

Spaghetti Supper-- Don't forget this Saturday is the PTO Spaghetti Supper. The Civics Club will also be doing games and activities! Check it out! I may see you there! I will be working with the desserts and salads! 🍝


Reading- This week they are reading an excerpt from Old Yeller. I told them you may have read this book or watched the movie when you were a kid. We focus on visualization, dialects, and proverbs and adages. The latter one is usually the most difficult. We don't really use them these days.  For example, "don't burn your bridges".  We tend to speak differently now. Their slang is much different. We talked about dialect is not the accent someone has, but how they say their words. In the story, our main character refers to the dog as a yeller dog, not a yellow dog. Our grammar piece is on direct and indirect objects. 

Math- We are finishing our chapter. There will be a test on Friday. For this first test, I give them a packet of notes to refer to as they take the test. They covered a lot of different things and I know it is a lot to remember. They will also be able to refer to their notes on the order of operations so they can remember the steps they need to follow. If they don't finish the test on Friday, they will on Monday. 

Religion- They have all passed their prayers! Now we are working on knowing all the mysteries of the rosary. They are working in pairs playing a matching game. Eventually they will take a quiz. They only quiz over one mystery at a time. 

Halloween Stories- I am slowly editing their rough drafts. Some of them have gotten theirs back and are typing their final drafts on the chromebooks. They will be posted outside our room. You can check them out during conferences! 

Conferences-- Watch for an email for signing up for a time to meet with me. I can't believe we are already here! 

Friday we are going to work at the Food Pantry! 

Have a great weekend! 
God Bless, 
Miss Surma

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Dear Parents, Happy Thursday! I hope your week has gone well. We have had a GREAT week! Today is our Friday. Remember, there is no school for your kids on Friday or Monday due to professional development for us. 

Reading- In your child's folder is their scores from last week's unit test. Now, some are not really great scores. That doesn't surprise me much because this is a Benchmark test and they always seem to be more challenging. I did also have a long talk with them though because that can only be part of the issue. I told them they cannot read these one time and think they have comprehended everything because their scores show that can't be working. They have an hour to do these tests. They aren't really timed. I spread them out over the week. There is no reason to rush. I have a feeling some may not have bothered to go back to the story to look for answer. We can talk more at conferences too. 

This week they are reading a nonfiction story about tree kangaroos. These are elusive animals. We are taking the journey with some scientists who want to put some tracking devices on them so they can gain more information about them.  We focused a lot on cause and effect with this story. On Wednesday we read a short story-- a myth. It was about how koalas came to be to not have tails. According to the myth it was because he was out searching for water with a tree kangaroo, but was lazy and liked to whine. The the kangaroo finally found water, the koala being so excited sliced off his tail on a sharp rock. The myth was trying to teach that you should do the work and share the rewards instead of being greedy and lazy.

Math- We are still working on the chapter with order of operations. Some of them are forgetting there are rules they have to follow in order to solve an expression. I slowed down a bit on Wednesday so I could work with some kids on making corrections. On Tuesday, they were introduced to parentheses, brackets, and braces. They took notes of the order of operations in their notebooks. They will be able to use that when they finally test over this chapter. 

Religion- We are still saying the rosary. Many of them have memorized their two prayers! I just have a few left. When they are all done, we will work on the mysteries of the rosary. 

Muffins with Mom is next Thursday! I will probably see many of you there! 

Prayers- Our prayers go out to Fr. Halbur and his family. His aunt and uncle died in the wild fires in CA earlier this week. 

Have a GREAT weekend! I am actually staying in town! I have a house that really needs cleaning! I also have a book that I need to finish for my book club! I hope everyone enjoys their long weekend! Have some fun! 

God Bless,
Miss Surma