Important Dates

  • 02/05/24 – 5th and 6th Grade Take-Home Test Due Date
  • 02/06/24 – Progress Report Grades Finalized
  • 02/09/24 – No School


  • Black History Month – One of my daughters attends Howard University, and I flew her home this weekend since she didn’t have school on Friday. We talked all weekend about Black History Month. I shared with her how less than 200 years ago, slaves were killed for learning how to read. And now, we have to provide incentives for some children to read. Well, there was a reason blacks were not allowed to read. Reading leads to knowledge and knowledge leads to freedom. As black people in America, we have physical freedom now. But are our minds free? This led me to discuss Harriett Tubman with my daughter. I told her you would have thought every slave wanted freedom, but not all did. Ms. Tubman made several trips to plantations to rescue slaves, but some were resistant. Those slaves felt it was easier to be enslaved, to be fed scraps from pigs, and to be beaten than to be free because freedom cost too much. Freedom cost time, responsibility, accountability, intelligence, resourcefulness, and uncertainty. They felt that was more work on top of their fear of being captured. Ms. Tubman wanted more for the resistant slaves than they wanted for themselves. They couldn’t see the big picture because they were blinded by the familiar, and the familiar was substandard.
  • Star 360 Math Results – Students will receive their family reports this week. Although I am pleased with the growth that I saw with the students who grew, I am not pleased with the number of students who did not grow. It is fine if a student has yet to reach expectations because it is the middle of the year. It is alarming when a student regresses. This means I have to help them recover from the loss and still grow to meet the expectations in the next 4 months. So, this means these students will have more work to do. I get most of my growth from small group work. When I meet with a small group, the other groups have to work on their small group work independently. This is a time, in which students have to regulate themselves while I meet another group. Everyone has work to do at this time whether I meet with them that day or not. Students are going to have to be serious this semester and do what is necessary to improve.
    •  5th Grade  6th Grade
      The number of students whose scores increased  41 out of 53 students  39 out of 47 students
      The number of students who met expectations  31 out of 53 students  32 out of 47 students
      The number of students who grew at least 1 year  22 out of 53 students  19 out of 47 students
       Average growth   6 months in 4 months  7 months in 4 months
  • Small Group Folder – Students have been assigned new small groups if their percentile ranking changed significantly. I have packets of work that I will give to students, so they need a two-pocket, plastic folder with 3 prongs in the middle. I have some but not enough for 105 students. I told students a couple of weeks ago that they would need the folders. It was also listed on their supply list at the beginning of the school year. This folder will be used exclusively for students’ small group work.
  • IXL – Students will be given their IXL usernames and passwords via email from IXL by next week. This online tool will be used for small-group and whole-group work.
  • Take-Home Tests – This was our first take-home test, and I am proud of the number of students who were prepared to enter their answers. Over 95% of students, including students who were absent on Friday, had their take-home test. Although most students completed their take-home test, some students did not learn the concepts. I warned everyone that the Google Form was not going to be easy. Any time a teacher has an open-book or take-home test, please know it might be more difficult than a regular test. I think part of the difficulty is most students underestimate the rigor, so they do not prepare well. I want to share with you an example from each grade level’s take-home test versus the Google Form.

  • Retake Test – I did not give a retake test on the previous test. I decided to allow this week’s test to override the previous test if students had a higher test score. For example, if a student scored 69% on the previous test and 89% on this test, then they will receive an 89% on both tests. I am doing this because the skills on this test are built on the last test’s skills. So, with the added practice from this unit, students should have an increased test score along with it being a take-home test. This holds for both 5th and 6th grades.
  • Weekly Homework Calendar

Learning Objectives

5th Grade Skills

  • I can estimate sums and differences of fractions.
  • I can find the least common denominator (LCD) of at least two fractions.
  • I can add unlike fractions. 

6th Grade Skills

  • I can use a ratio to describe a relationship between two quantities.
  • I can use multiplication and division to generate equivalent ratios.
  • I can compare ratios to solve problems.