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                            What’s Going On in Mrs. Hidalgo’s Class?

August, September and Beyond…

Important Dates to Remember:

  • Science Fair Part 1 (Topic) due Sept. 24—See outline guide for specifics
  • Modern American Writers Book Talk due Sept. 24th
  • Rosh Hashanah Observance-Sept. 25-26th’———————————

General Studies:

  • Science: Resource Use/Misuse and Conservation
  • Writing: DREAM BIG Creative Writing Piece

-Weekly T’filah Prompts and Video Homeworks

-Problem/Solution Resource Paper

  • Reading: Maniac Magee, Modern American Readers Book Talk

-National Geographic Readers (Australia, Peru, Greenland and Peru)



After starting the year refreshing our minds about the scientific process, we have begun our journey into resources! How are resources used/misused? How are people around the world conserving resources and trying to make differences in the lives of the people within their communities? These are the essential questions that we will be exploring in the next few months. This week students are taking part in an oil spill simulation, where they will both act as environmental engineers and as budding scientists. This work will be coupled with comparative literature analysis through National Geographic readers in the countries of Indonesia, Australia, Peru and Greenland. Here students will learn about each countries resources and conservation efforts. With this knowledge students will practice writing problem solution pieces as well as creating environmental awareness posters.  Exciting work to come…Whole Foods Scavenger Hunt focused on Fair Trade, product analysis and student inventions of PRODUCTS THAT PROMOTE PEACE ON THE PLANET….

Coupling this science work we will be meeting with our first grade buddies for the first time this week. Our theme this year will be GROW TO HEAL where we will work with our buddies in the garden, growing and creating products that the students can use/grow to take care of their bodies and minds….some examples are homemade bug spray, aloe-vera lotion, homeopathic flu remedies and much more. Stay tuned!


We finished our first class novel, Maniac Magee and the students will be presenting their first creative projects this Friday. Projects are ranging from paraffin model representations to YOU ARE THERE video interviews, to written parodies of the text. In connection to this novel, students were assigned their first MODERN AMERICAN BOOK TALK novel where they have an opportunity to practice their presentation skills, as well as share the juicy details of a new novel. Reading skills that we will be practicing over the next few weeks include reading for detail, dissecting words to interpret meaning, and finding textual evidence to back up our thoughts. Written reflection in conjunction to our readings, both class novels and regular short reads, is a regular practice and part of class and nightly homework.


Students were extremely successful on their first writing piece, focused on the theme: DREAM BIG. After reading a picture book to inspire thought, we brainstormed ideas related to following through with ideas, and turning our ideas and the goals we each set for ourselves (or our characters) into reality! Students used constructive verbal and written feedback to draft their paper and will continue to use both teacher and peer editing opportunities as a way to improve in their writing. With regular opportunities for written reflection in video homework, responses to literature as well as within the 5th grade writing curriculum, students will have a multitude of opportunities this year, across the subject areas, to become stronger writers! Our next piece will be a problem-solution paper focused on the resources in the 4 countries listed above along with a reflection on a book about Ghandi, focused on LIVING LIGHT.

Mathematics:  Number Theory

 We have started the year off studying Number Theory, essentially whole numbers and their properties. We used arrays to represent factor pairs and incorporated this into being able to recognize when these factor pairs illustrate the Communicative Property. We then analyzed the factors and reviewed the difference between prime and composite numbers. As a tool to observing and understanding properties of whole numbers we practiced Divisibility Rules. From here we practiced our calculator skills by squaring and unsquaring numbers using the calculator. We will tie up the unit of reviewing equivalency concepts for whole numbers by introducing factor strings and prime factorization.

Please continue to review multiplication facts and daily work if your child struggles with any of the skills, along with asking them about what they are learning. This solidifies the work being done in the classroom and emphasizes its importance it has in the real world!


Additional Notes:

  • Our overnight to Greene Family Camp was a huge success! Pictures to come!
  • Please check RENWEB with your children each night if they start to fall behind. At the beginning of the year it is a great way to both stay on top of what they are learning, and ultimately to help them become more independent learners!
  • Remember that I am in the classroom Monday-Thursday for lunch, providing students with busy afternoon schedules a time to get ahead on their work. If they choose, recess is another time in which they can work to get ahead on those busy family/game days. Friday lunch is a day of celebrating their work efforts, and we will be listening to music!
  • On yoga days, please make sure the students dress appropriately. It will be in homework logs as well as on RENWEB.
  • I will send out information in the next few weeks about our Whole Foods Field Trip. It will probably be a 3-4 hour trip and I will need drivers!

Thank you guys, today and always for your support!

Peace and Love in Learning, Paz y Amor en el aprendizaje,