Fifth-Grade Class News

 Robin Rocans, Fifth-Grade Teacher


Fifth Grade News - December 8, 2017

A lot of business today . . .

First of all thanks to all of you who attended our Christmas Service Wednesday night.  The fifth graders did a great job speaking, singing, and even playing instruments.  I hope that this service was a blessing to you.  A big word of thanks to Mrs. Jurica for all the work she put into this service.

Thanks to all of you for the kind and generous birthday gifts and wishes.  It really did make my day special.  Thanks to Mrs. Leith for the delicious cake and cupcakes.

Next week we have a bunch of special events.  Not so special are the Noun and Math tests that will be sometime next week.  Study guides will come home the day before.  The fun things are the Christmas Bazaar which will be on Friday and a tentative field trip on Wednesday.  There is a special flyer in the kids' folders that explains the bazaar.  As to the field trip, we will be going to Harmony House, a local nursing home.  I have been taking my classes there for the last six years, and it is always a wonderful time for the residents and the kids.  We share a devotion, sing some songs, do some visiting, and always play bingo.  We are hoping to secure a bus driver, and I will let you know that we are going for sure.  If you would like to join us, we'd love to have you.  We leave right after Chapel and return in time for lunch.  

The following week will be fun with dress-up days each day.  Please check the Parent Bulletin for the specific details.  

Speaking of dressing up, as a school, we will be looking more closely at the kids to make sure they are following the dress code.  Two things to be aware of - the kids may not wear any type of boot in the classrrom and sweaters and sweatshirts have to be blue or white or specifically St. John's wear.  Also we go outside every day, unless the temperature is below a certain point, so please be sure that your child is prepared.  I have a bunch of kids who don't have hats or gloves and a few thinking they can go out in 20 degree weather with just a sweatshirt on.  Thanks for your help with this.

We had a fun week this week - doing a bunch of Christmas-related projects, and I'm looking forward to the next two weeks as well.  You really need to check out the stories the kids wrote.  They wrote the story of Jesus' birth, but from someone else's perspective.  They did a really clever job with this, and you'll find the stories hanging out in the hall.  It is such a blessing to be at a school where we can talk about the real reason for the season!

Have a great weekend!


Fifth Grade News - December 1, 2017

You are invited to the St. John's Third Through Eighth Grade Christmas Service "The Greatest Gift" on Wednesday, December 6th at 7:00 in church.  Mrs. Jurica and all the students have been working very hard preparing to share this amazing story with you.  Every year I think about what a wonderful way this service is to start off the Christmas season.  Looking forward to seeing all of you there!

This week we started a few new things and finished up a few old things.  In Religion we started talking about the Ten Commandments and what they mean for our lives.  In Math we started a new unit on really, long long division.  Working through this process reminds the kids of how important it is to know your multiplication facts.  In Language Arts we continued doing some writing, editing, and talking about nouns.  We also did a lesson on inference.  In Reading we finished up our two novels with the James and the Giant Peach readers doing a research project on an insect from the story.  In Social Studies we started a unit on the original thirteen colonies.  In Science we continued talking about plants - how seeds work and what tropism is.  In Gym we started a unit on basketball and in Computer with me this week the kids did research on the life cycle of a plant.  The kids also had Spanish with Mr. Bryant, Music, including Chirstmas Service practice, with Mrs. Jurica, and a Computer class with Mr. Friend.  

Next week we are going to change our room over from Thanksgiving to Advent and Christmas with a bunch of new projects.  In addition we will have several practices to prepare for Wednesday night.  The 5/6th basketball season is ending next week with tournaments at St. Philip and the final home game on Tuesday.  Thanks to Mr. Duran, Mrs. Franklin, and Coach Zanders for all their work with the kids this season.  

Today is the mid-point of the second quarter, so Fast Direct will be unavailable until next Friday, December 8th, when you can view your child's mid-term report.  As always please let me know if you have any questions or concerns.  I'm quite pleased with how well the fifth graders are doing, though we still occasionaly have a bit of trouble turning in homework.  Thanks for all you do at home to make sure that your child is taking care of the work they need to do to reinforce what is being taught at school.

There are all kinds of special acitvities going on here at St. John's in connection with Christmas, so be sure to check the Parent Bulletin for dates and times.

Blessings to you and yours this weekend as we begin the season of Advent!



Fifth Grade News - Thanksgiving Edition

This morning I asked the fifth graders to tell me what they are most thankful for.  Here are their answers - can you guess which one is your child's response?


My soul.

Animals, my house, food, water, clothes, heat, air conditioner, life, God, heaven, forgiveness, school, and education.

Shoes, food, drinks, family, and friends.

Friends, family (obviously), a great teacher, and good grades.

My family, my friends, my church, and my teachers.

My family, my friends, and God.

My siblings, nature, and water.

Grossery Gang, Trashpacks, and technology.

Stephen Curry, my family, and my friends.

Sports, my family, and my brothers.

Baseball, basketball, floors, and doors.

And what am I thankful for?  For my God, my family, and Him putting me at a place where I can share the Good News of Jesus everyday!  

Blessings to you and yours this Thanksgiving weekend!


Fifth Grade News - November 17, 2017

A big word of thanks to Mrs. Jurica for organizing our field trip to Concordia University on Thursday.  We were able to participate in the special Wind Symphony Youth Concert which including our very own Ben Heinz.  This was a great opportunity for our kids, and I appreciate Mrs. Jurica's efforts to make it possible.  Also thanks to Mrs. Scifo who joined us.  

This is an exciting weekend for our fifth and sixth grade basketball teams as they play in the St. John's Eaglet Tournament.  A big word of thanks to Mrs. Mackie who spends countless hours not only working the tournament, but also organizing the whole thing.  Thanks also to all of you who helped in some way.  An event like this takes many people to make it a success, but is also a great chance for our kids to use their God-given athletic abilities to bring glory to God.  Good luck Eagles!

This week we talked a lot about Pilgrims and giving thanks.  We had several devotions that talked about why it's important to be thankful for our blessings.  We also read about the Pilgrims, including that they came to the New World so they could worship our God in the way they wanted.  Talk about something to be thankful for!  In Social Studies we read the Mayflower Compact and reinacted how it would feel to be all squished together in a ship.  We also talked about what we know about the First Thanksgiving and how much of it is true.  In Math we finished up our current unit on long division and took a test on Friday.  The next unit is even harder long division - on my!  In Language Arts we worked more on how to properly edit, including searching for ways that commas and capital letters are used.  We also wrote two Thanksgiving-themed stories.  In Reading we continued with James and the Giant Peach and Fablehaven.  We should finish those soon, and the kids will have a culminating project connected to their novels.  In Science we talked about plants, including the amazing ways God figured out photosynthesis and pollination.  In PE we continued with our nutrition unit - talking about the importance of being physical and looking at food labels to see if food is really good for you.  The kids also had Spanish with Mr. Bryant, Music with Mrs. Jurica, and Computer on Thursday with Mr. Friend.  Yet another busy and productive week.

Next week is a short one, and we will again be doing Thanksgiving related projects, including a few STEM acitivties.  Please remember that we have a half day on Wednesday, and no school on Thursday and Friday.  There are basketball games next week, but they are away games, so please check the Parent Bulletin for details.  

We will also be starting to practice for our Christmas Service which is on Wednesday, December 6th.  There will not be regular Memory verses these next few weeks, as the kids will be required to memorize parts for the service.  Look for that information to be coming home soon.    

Blessings to you and your family this weekend!


Fifth Grade News - November 10, 2017

Did you see the permission slip that came home this week?  Mrs. Jurica has worked very hard for third through fifth grade to attend the Wind Symphony Concert at Concordia University next week Thursday.  There is no cost for this trip, but we do need the signed permission slip.  This is a wonderful opportunity for our kids.  Not only do they get to hear some fabulous music, but they will get to visit Concordia which is where most of the teachers, including myself, graduated from.  I love that they are being introduced to higher level Lutheran education.  We will be leaving around 11:30 and will be back around 2:15.  We will eat lunch before we go, and hot lunch will be served early.  Please let me know if you would like to join us for this event.

This week we talked about some of God's attributes and the armor that God provides us when tempted by the devil.  We also did several activities related to Veteran's Day, including a devotion in Religion which included writing a thank-you note to a veteran.  In Math we tackled long division.  It took a bit of work, but I was able to get rid of the cob-webs, and everyone seems to at least grasp the basic concept.  This is such a hard thing for kids - you have to keep all the numbers lined up and keep track where you are in the process.  But I think we are going to be okay, and we will have a test on long division next week some time.  A study guide will come home.  In Language Arts we continue to work on being able to edit - our own work and others.  I got some good advice from our literacy coach, Tim Bouman, that I'm trying because many of the kids just don't seem to be able to spot mistakes.  I feel this is an important skill for their writing, so we'll keep working on it.  In Reading we our still doing literature circles with two different novels which is going well.  In Social Studies we are talking about the early English settlements, including the mystery surrounding Roanoke.  In Science we started a unit on plants, including doing the classic experiment with celery stalks in different colored water.  In PE we started a unit on nutrition and the importance of taking care of the body God has given you.  In Computer this week we did some research on Veteran's Day.  The kids also worked on vocabulary in Spanish with Mr. Bryant, and had Computer class with Mr. Friend.  Mrs. Jurica has started work on the Christmas program.  Hard to believe that it is only a few weeks away!

Next week we will continue with all of the above, including a Math test on long division.  I'm looking forward to Thursday's trip to Concordia.  I understand that the bus is being worked on so that we can all go on field trips soon.  I have always taken my classes from St. John's on monthly visits to a local nursing home, and I'm looking forward to being able to do that again.  

Dr. Hendricks has been around school quite a bit this week, and he has expressed how impressed he is with our school.  He is the one working hard to get the bus up and running, and he is also working directly with the teachers to make sure that we continue providing the excellent Christ-centered education that St. John's is known for.  We are blessed to have a man with his experience and heart for Christian education here with us.

It was fun to watch the fifth graders play in the basketball game on Tuesday.  There is another game next Tuesday, and then the St. John's Eaglet Tournament from Thursday to Saturday.  I know that Mrs. Mackie is looking for volunteers - in the kitchen, at the admissions table, and at the scorer's table.  Please let her know if you would be able to help.  These tournaments are a lot of work to prepare for and run, but it is such a great way to showcase our school and our kids.  

Blessings to you and yours this weekend!