Monthly Archives: November 2012

Winning Design, Résumés, and Summarizing

First, please take the time to admire all of the designs entered into our museum contest.  Students worked very hard on their designs and should be very proud of themselves.


The winning design below was submitted by Alice, Charlotte and Rachel.



Students worked on their résumés. They should complete them for homework if they did not turn them in today. We also worked on another way to summarize. We talked about the “Somebody Wanted But So” method of summarizing, where students use those words to help them focus on the bigger picture behind their stories rather than getting bogged down in the smaller details. Next week students will be assigned to jobs and we’ll begin to focus on the exhibits that might be found at our museum.

Museum Designs and Résumés

Over the last week or so, students have been busy designing (to scale!) the front of our museum. Today they voted on their top three choices from all of those submitted. There was a clear winner which will be announced in class tomorrow. Stay tuned for details!

They worked hard on their résumés in class. It was fun listening to the discussions today about which university was the best for which degree based on their desired jobs. My classes are full of people who very ambitious and some who had to be dissuaded from the idea of obtaining 10 PhDs. This did generate some good conversations on how college works, how references work and why it’s not a bad idea to have a wide variety of experiences. I had copies of my résumé in class to help them get a feel for what one looks like and how it might be structured. They will have half of class tomorrow to work on their résumés before they turn them in. Students will also be working on another quick summary of their biography.

Museum Careers

Students must apply for a job at our museum. We discussed the kinds of jobs one might have at a museum and what kind of education that might be required to hold those jobs. Students are writing résumés based on the job they want. We talked about how important it was to use correct spelling and punctuation in your résumé – as that is their introduction to the people looking to hire new employees. It was great hearing students talking about what kind of degrees they might need in order to obtain the jobs they wanted. We had a short discussion on the different degree levels.

We will vote on museum designs tomorrow before Spanish. I will post a picture of the winning design.


Today students were given a list of all the stems we’ve done so far this year. They should use that list to help them study for the quiz next Friday. Students also had to use those stems to create pseudowords. This activity is generally a lot of fun as students do their best to outdo each other by coming up with the sillier or longer words than their classmates. We also talked about how understanding stems have meaning will help them understand words they encounter in other subjects.

Students also had Spanish. They practiced their songs and learned a little bit about Puerto Rico.

Designs, Vocabulary and the Geography Bee

Designs and evaluation papers were due at the end of class today but some students asked to finish them this evening. They’ll be due at the beginning of class tomorrow.

Vocabulary is back. The next quiz is December 7. All students have a packet with the due dates on the front. There are different vocabulary groups, so there are different Quizlet groups. Students may create accounts on Quizlet (with parent permission). If they tell me their user name I can add them to our class and they can compete against other students while they study.

Links for Quizlet vocabulary pages:

Groups A, C, and D
Group B

Links for Quizlet spelling pages:
Group C
Group D

The following students are the fifth grade finalists for the school-wide geography bee. Congratulations!

Austin G.
Claire M.
Elodie P.
Gabby W.
Meridith F.

Biography Descriptions

Below you’ll find a wordle that shows how students described the subjects of their biography (clicking on the picture will take you to a larger version):

Wordle: Biography Descriptions

A reminder that biography choices included Marco Polo, Hatshepsut, Joan of Arc, Barack Obama, Leonardo da Vinci, Teddy, Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt, Amelia Earhart, Queen Eleanor of Aquitaine, Bill Gates and Albert Einstein.  Time periods covered ranged from 2000 BC to the present. Students picked people from Africa, Asia, Europe, North and South America. Their next charge is to find a way to bring this diverse group of people into a single museum.

Thanksgiving Break

Today students wrote a one-word summary of their biographies and let me tell you that was not easy. They took that word and then wrote a one-sentence summary, which was used as a topic sentence to write a one-paragraph summary. The goal of the assignment was for them to be concise and to really think about how they wanted to describe the subject of their biography.

Museum facade designs are not due until the END of class on Monday. No one is required or expected to work on them over break. The only homework they have is to read – their choice. The only students who have specific homework are those who have not yet finished their biographies.

Students also had Spanish. They were introduced to their third and final song for the presentation in January.

Enjoy your Thanksgiving break!

Biographies & the Geography Bee

Students should be finished reading their biographies by tomorrow. There is a small group of students for whom this is not true. Students reading Queen Eleanor, Frank Lloyd Wright, Helen Keller and the Kheridian biography will all have until Monday to complete their biographies as these books were longer than most of the other biographies.

We’ll have time to do a quick summarization activity tomorrow and do a check-in on the bios.

We had a few students absent, who will complete the geography bee upon their return. As of right now, there are five students in fifth grade who have answered 6 out of 7 questions correctly. I’ll post more information once the absent students have completed the bee. I think students has a lot of fun and also learned some interesting information about places about which they may never have heard.

Everyone’s doing something different!

Today’s starter stumped them: The more you take away from me, the bigger I become. What am I?

This morning the Wolf Pack were presented with their donor letter and asked to submit designs for the front of the museum.

The Eagles and Yellow Jackets worked on their museum designs and/or read their biographies.

The Blue Devils and Tigers participated in the Geography Bee.

Museum designs (the front only) will be due at the end of class on Monday, November 26. The intent is not for students to work on these over Thanksgiving break, but rather for them to have all of class on Monday to complete their designs.

My favorite quote of the day, which was said as the student sketched the column in question: “No, that’s a Doric column, this is an Ionic column.”

Field Trips & Schedules

With the recent field trips, not everyone is doing the same thing on the same day. Today the students who were not on the field trip took their triweekly quiz and had Spanish.

Tomorrow, the Wolf Pack will receive a copy of the donor letter and be asked to begin their work to submit a design for the front of the museum.  The Blue Devils and Tigers will participate in the geography bee tomorrow and take their triweekly quiz on Monday.

The Wolf Pack, Eagles and Yellow Jackets will participate in the geography bee on Monday.

By Tuesday, 11/20, all students will have taken their triweekly quiz, participated in the geography bee and begun the process of submitting a design for the front of the museum. Remember that students should be completed with their biographies by 11/20. They were given the task of using post-it notes to ask questions, mark important bits of information and/or words with which they struggled. They will have to write a short summary of their biography and in the next few weeks will spend some time comparing and contrasting different biography subjects as they begin to construct their museum.