Saturday, August 5, 2017

The Countdown in On!

If you are a Room A1 classroom parent this school year, please feel free to get a leg up on all the beginning of the year craziness by filling out my survey for families before school starts. You can fill that out here: Ms. Nosek's Family Survey

Want to support our class this year? Help us access alternative work spaces including the ability to stand up and move around while we work! Check out our Donors Choose Project.

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Happy Summer!

Summer time is officially here! The solstice was just a couple days ago and the sun is making its presence known here in The San Francisco Bay Area! I hope everyone is having a great summer full of fun, relaxation, unscheduled time, and lots and lots of reading.  If you're wondering how to best prepare your child for the upcoming school year (whether your child is entering 5th or 6th grade), here are a few important tips... 

  • Truly enjoy and take advantage of the unscheduled time summer offers. Students need this time to recharge and take advantage of the unique learning that unstructured time can provide.  Also, there is nothing wrong with a little boredom here and there! Learning how to deal with unscheduled time is a lifeskill that should be practiced.
  • READ. Please ensure that your children read anything and everything they choose to get their hands on. What should they read? Anything their heart desires. Nothing motivates children to read more than being invited to choose their own books. If your child chooses it, it is worthy of being read. For more information on summer reading, please take a look at this.
  • Visit libraries, museums, parks, and natural outdoor spaces. I know I'll be doing this all summer, and I cannot wait to talk about these adventures in books and in our natural world with my new fifth graders in August!

Happy Summer! 

I spent the first weekend of summer up on the Northern California coast- this was taken just north of Bodega Bay

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Keeping the Reading Going...

Dear Room A1 Families,

When your fifth graders entered our classroom door this past August, I told them that my biggest hope and goal for them was to not only be curious thinkers, but also to become or grow even more as highly engaged readers. Your child and I are happy to report that our mission has been accomplished!

In addition to being highly pleasurable and a great way to pass the time, study after study has found numerous benefits to reading more. This great image from my current read, Disrupting Thinking by Kylene Beers and Bob Probst, nicely sums up some of those findings. To continue their lifelong reading journey that they started in elementary school, it is absolutely critical that your almost-sixth grader continues to choose his or her own books for pleasure reading this summer, in sixth grade, and then beyond in the future.

Remember, the right book to read is the book your child chooses on their own; it's the book they can’t wait to read, the one they may read under the covers with a flashlight, or even heard about from one of their friends, or that they included on their summer reading plan (ask your child about their well developed plan for reading this summer!). The right time to read might just be those in between times (as my literacy-ed hero Donalyn Miller so smartly points out). In between times are when we’re waiting in line, sitting at a sibling’s sports practice, or even waiting for the rest of the family to wake up on a weekend morning. The best time to read certainly does not have to be a dedicated hour. Although, wouldn’t it be great if all of us could find that hour everyday- imagine how much kinder and wiser our society as a whole would be!

It is my sincere hope that your almost middle schooler continues to read for pleasure after we say goodbye on June 1st. The academic and social demands of middle school can easily allow pleasure reading to fall by the wayside. This is why every entering sixth grader needs a reading champion to keep them going with what they started way back in kindergarten and intentionally crafted here in fifth grade. Encouraging and ensuring frequent trips to the local or school library, one of our many local bookstores, or even a few downloads on a tablet are a good start!

Access to books, time to read, and choice in what they read are the key to keeping our kiddos on the path to lifelong reading. It has been my absolute pleasure being your child’s reading champion this year. It is an even greater pleasure to pass this baton on to you and our greater Palo Alto & Stanford community as a whole. Remember, literacy is power- all kids are capable of great things through this power!

Happy Reading!


Local Reading Resources
Middle School Library Overdrive (free digital reading & audiobooks starting 7/1)
Mitchell Park Library, 3700 Middlefield Rd.
Rinconada Library, 1213 Newell Rd.
East Palo Alto Library, 2415 University Ave.
Books Inc, in Town & Country Village
Kepler's Books, 1010 El Camino Real

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

12 Days to go!

Dear Room A1 Families,

We're in the homestretch- including today, our kiddos have 12 days remaining in their elementary school journey! The fifth grade end of year schedule is jam packed with more items than I am probably listing here. Please take a look and let me know if you have any questions.

  • Many of our classroom library books have gone missing. At some point this week, can you please take a look at home to see if any of our classroom library books have gone overlooked or unreturned? Thank you for your help with this! 
  • We will have a Room A1 Classroom Celebration on Thursday, May 25th after lunch. This is the same day as Field Day. Field Day will be in the morning through 11:30AM. Our class celebration will start at 1:00PM and go the remainder of that day.

  • We are in the midst of an interactive math and business unit called BizWorld, where students become entrepreneurs, start up their own friendship bracelet companies, and are manufacturing and marketing friendship bracelets to sell to our buddy class. In addition, they are learning some practical concepts around money. 
  • In writing workshop, we are learning about the art of writing sincere thank you letters. In doing this, each fifth grader is writing a letter of gratitude to a few adults who have helped shape their journey.
  • We are currently also making plans for summer reading. Ask your fifth grader all about their plans toward the end of this week!
  • 5th grade promotion on June 1, the last day of school, is from 8:30-10:00AM. There is no dress code for the students, but we ask for no heels or unsafe shoes to be worn. The students will be getting on and off the risers, and we do not want anyone to fall. Students in the past have dressed in everything from everyday school clothes to something more “dressed up.” After the ceremony, there will be a reception immediately following on the patio by the Kindergarten classrooms from about 10:00-10:30. After the reception, 5th graders are free to go home with parents. They need to be checked out in the office.  No student may leave school without being checked out by parents. Students also have the option of staying at school until dismissal time, 1:15PM.

Friday, May 5, 2017

One Month to Go!

It is hard to believe that we have a little less than a month left of fifth grade! 18 school days to be exact.

Just a few quick items for now:
  • Please be sure the middle school field trip permission slip has been turned in. 
  • Also, we only have 7 student seat belts for our Terman trip on May 11th. If you are able to drive, 10:15-12:30, please let me know as soon as possible. 
  • Our American History Project presentations have been absolutely wonderful so far! If you need a reminder of presentation times, please visit this link
If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to let me know.

Ask an A1 fifth grader about how they're reorganizing
the classroom library.

Saturday, April 8, 2017

Post Spring Break News

I hope everyone had a relaxing spring break!  I know I did.  I spent the break here in The Bay Area enjoying different restaurants, reading, cycling, running, swimming, and of course writing- lots and lots of writing!

Just prior to spring break, our fifth graders went through a wonderful science 
Learning About the Heart! 
experience with dissecting sheep hearts.  I'm sure you've already heard all about it!  I just want to take a moment to give a huge thank you to Andi and Charlotte for volunteering with us that day.  Your help was absolutely invaluable.  Andi, thank you for also being sure that all of our fifth graders were getting individualized explanations based on their needs and questions.  I could not have done this without you! 

The end of our fifth grade year together is quickly approaching.  We have so many wonderful year-end activities that we're starting this week.  Below is everything you need to know that pertains to Room A1 fifth grade activities.  Information about the year-end fifth grade activities will be sent to you from your fellow fifth grade parents via Up to Us.  If you have any questions about any of those activities, please send a message to the organizing parents.

Room A1 Year-End Information

Fifth Grade Class Picture
Please remind your fifth grader to wear the fifth grade class shirt on Friday, April 14th.  We are going to spend time that day taking the class photo for the fifth grade year book.

Final American History Project
Last week, I introduced our year-end American History Project to the fifth graders.  They are really excited about selecting a topic in American History that matters to them and then doing some type of presentation project.  Ask your fifth grader all about it! Since this is a presentation project, all room A1 fifth graders will have a time to present.  Please sign your fifth grader up for a time using this Google doc.  There will be three to four presentations per time slot.  The order of presentations are indicated on the doc.  We hope you'll be able to join us for the presentation!  As always, please let me know if you have any questions.  You can also learn more about this project by taking a look at this doc that the fifth graders are using to plan out their projects.

State Testing
CAASP Testing starts on Tuesday, April 18th and ends on Tuesday, May 2nd for room A1 fifth graders.  The kids will have eight tests to take during this time period.  Since these tests can be exhausting and cause a little bit of stress in some kiddos, I highly recommend not making a big deal out of them or doing anything special.  If you are interested in learning more about CAASP Testing, take a look at this document developed by the California Department of Education for parents. Room A1 students will not receive homework during this time period.  However, they will still read at home.  But, as our fifth graders will tell you, reading is not homework, it is now our way of life

Terman Field Trip
All of the fifth graders in PAUSD attending Terman will head over there on a field trip on May 11th.  I believe we will leave school a little before 10:00 and arrive back just before lunch at 11:50, however I may be off a little on those times.  I'll confirm next week once we're back in session.  If you would like to drive and chaperone, please send me an email.  

Many of our new classroom library books from the Teachers College
Fifth Grade Collection.  We were so excited to receive them! 

Please do not hesitate to let me know if you have any questions.  Thank you!

Friday, March 3, 2017

Early March Update

We have a busy March ahead in Room A1!  Here are a few timely things to take note of:

  • Our Tech Museum field trip is this coming Tuesday, March 7th.  We'll depart school at 8:45 and arrive back by 2:25.  Please be sure to bring a packed lunch from home that day.  We will not be able to buy lunch at the museum.  Thank you to our driver/chaperones!  
  • Friday, March 10th is a day off from school.
  • An important puberty education parent information letter from Health Connected is being sent home today in the Friday folder.  Our puberty education lessons will take place the week of March 13th.  
  • We'll be starting our living systems science unit soon- we're kicking it off with heart dissection on March 28th. Thank you to Andi and Ammie for volunteering on the afternoon of the 28th for this.  If anyone else would like to volunteer- the more, the merrier for this activity!  Just send me an email to let me know.
  • We also have Nixon's annual curriculum night open house on the evening of the 28th- My apologies in advance if we have an lingering odors from heart dissection that day! 

I'm currently working on our trimester two progress reports.  Those will be ready to view in Infinite Campus on March 9th.

This week, we celebrated Read Across America at school!  Be sure to continue the celebration at home by reading with your family! 

Please feel free to send an email or pop in after school if you have any questions.