Brooks Benjamin Staff Photo




It has been an honor to be your child's teacher this year. We've learned so much, we've made new friends, and now we're ready for summer. Thank you so much for being stellar parents and helping to make this year fabulous! 


This is our last full week of school and we've got quite a bit happening. Monday is our field trip, Friday is our Wax Museum dress rehearsal, and we'll be rehearsing and finalizing all wardrobe and props in between.


Since the students have been working so hard on their wax museum projects and the end of the year is approaching at lightning-fast speed, I have decided to make the final book reports optional. If a student turns one in and it adheres to the guidelines on the information sheet, he or she will receive a 100. If a student doesn't turn one in, it will not count against him or her.


We'll be I-Ready testing on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday this week. Students will film their Brain Pop videos on Thursday and Friday and will continue researching their chosen Wax Figure individuals in Mr. Stewart's room each day.


Testing will continue this week. Students will be working on their Brain Pop videos each day after testing is finished.


Testing begins this week. Be sure to get plenty of sleep and eat a healthy breakfast!


This is our last week of instruction before testing begins! We'll be practicing editing paragraphs and will have an assessment over it on Tuesday. 


Testing is right around the corner, so we're going to spend this last week of instructional time on some test-prep material. 


This week, we'll be revisiting homophones and working on the trickiest of the tricky ones. We'll also be using short informative texts to help us see how many different ways they can be structured. 


Nine more weeks . . .

That's all we've got!

But don't you worry,

We'll still learn a lot!


So be here on time,

Please do your best,

Don't go home early,

Don't fail the test!


Just one more thing,

Then I'll be done:

Each day while we learn,

Be sure to have fun. 


But seriously, don't fail those tests. That really is important. Like, really really important. :)


Informative presentations are due Tuesday.

Storyboards are due Wednesday.



This week students will be using the same two articles they used for the argumentative essays to build a presentation to teach us the information they found in each article.

While this won't technically be an essay, I will be requiring every student to write out an informative-essay outline to accompany their presentation.


think we're finally back. Hopefully the extra days off have given everyone some time to heal up and feel better. This week we'll be continuing our essays. Students will identify their topics, find their articles to read, and begin writing on Monday or Tuesday. The final, fully edited essays are due on Friday.


This week we'll be revisiting persuasive essays!


I'm seeing some incredible improvements to everyone's quality of answers on the tests we've had. Let's keep up the good work, keep thinking before we write, and show that end-of-year test who's boss when it gets here!


I will begin taking grades on the students' Debate Club answers this semester. Every Friday, students will turn in their best answers to the question I pose to them and the following week, they will receive their grade with an explanation of how they did and what they can improve on.


This week, in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., we'll be reading about some of America's greatest Civil Rights leaders and discussing how they had an impact on our nation.


This week we'll be working on prefixes, suffixes, and root words as well as forming exceptional answers using the RARE strategy. 


I hope everyone had an amazing break! We didn't get any snow, so that was a bummer. But winter's not over yet, so maybe there's still some hope.

On Wednesday, we'll be taking the day to let students present their STEM projects and then we'll be jumping into our first lessons of 2017 on Thursday. 


Welcome to the last school week of 2016!


This is our last full week of school for 2016. Can you believe that? 

Yeah, me neither.

But even though the break is right around the corner, we've still got some learning to do and some tests to take. So be ready, students. It ain't over yet!


Happy Monday!

We'll have our figurative language test this week and will begin our lesson for our very last test of 2016 as well. Our Christmas program will be on Tuesday and the SWPBS mini bash will be this Friday.


I hope everyone had a wonderful and safe break. Can you believe that we don't have much longer until we're halfway finished with school?


We've got the Nutcracker field trip planned this week and some programs coming up, so be sure to look at the calendar for info on all of the events. 


This week is an incredibly short, week, but we'll still be working pretty hard. Our goal is to finish Bridge to Terabithia, continue discussing story elements, and write a summary for the book. We'll also learn about an extra-credit opportunity for any students who wish to participate.


This week, we'll be getting ready for not one, but two tests. Our reading test will be over comparing and contrasting story elements and our grammar test will be over verb tense shifts as well as the perfect verb tense. 

Which isn't so perfect.

Because it's tough.

But that's okay, because we've got plenty of notes to study!


This week we'll be working on improving our writing by looking at verb tenses and improving our reasoning skills by comparing and contrasting story elements.


Happy Halloween!


I hope everyone had a wonderful weekend! We've got a lot going on this week, so be sure to check the calendar for times and dates. Our grammar test will be Wednesday and on Thursday we will begin our third and final type of writing workshop, narrative writing.


Welcome back! Be sure to take a look at our school calendar. We've got several events coming up that you won't want to miss!


I can't believe this is the last week of our first nine weeks. Time really does fly when you're having fun. Or staying busy. Hopefully it's been a bit of both.

We'll be finishing up our Fractured Fairy Tales Tuesday and will have a test on Wednesday. On Friday, we'll begin a new activity we'll be participating every single week: Debate Club! 


We'll be doing something a little wacky this week. We'll be reading fairy tales and using them to talk about point of view. Then we'll be flipping each one of them on their heads and completely rewriting them to make the "true" versions of the stories no one has ever heard before.


Again, I was blown away with the quality of the essays last week! I'm so proud of our fifth graders. They're already working so hard.

And speaking of working hard--this week we'll be working on some reading and grammar at the same time. 


We will continue working on our persuasive essays this week. Students will have plenty of time to work on them in class, but any unfinished essays will have to be completed at home.


This week we will have our test over theme and citing evidence. On Thursday, students will begin working on their second essay. And after reading the incredible final drafts they turned in for their last ones, my expectations are even higher this time.


This week we'll be exploring theme and citing evidence to back up a claim. But first...


Everyone's informative essay is due Tuesday. Students will be in full writing and editing mode on Monday. Each student will have the opportunity to print a copy of their essay at school.


Our first week back was a huge success! I already had incredibly high hopes for this year, but seeing how hard these fifth graders work, my expectations are now though the roof.

The test over last week's material will be on Monday. On Tuesday we'll begin working on our first--dun dun DUUUNNNNNN!--essay. Fully edited and typed final drafts will be shared (for a grade) next Monday.


Welcome back!

I hope everyone had a fabulous summer break. This week, we'll be getting our feet wet (under-the-sea theme...nailed it) by diving (I'm really on a roll) right into our standards. Be on the look out for our newsletter that will go home this week. If you have any questions, feel free to contact one of us.

Let's have a "fin"tastic (okay, I'll quit now) year!


Have a wonderful summer break, everyone!


Thank you, fifth graders, for being exceptional students and, parents, thank you for supporting us teachers throughout the year. I hope you all have a magnificent summer break. You've certainly earned it. :)


Two weeks!

This week we'll be creating some fun book trailers for our favorite books as well as finalizing our wax museum speeches and wardrobes. 


As you probably know by now, the state tests have been cancelled. I know, I know. You're crushed. We all are. But I think we'll make it through this just fine. 

*holds in happy squealing*

This week we'll be presenting book report projects (due Monday) as well as finishing our speeches. Be sure to begin bringing in your wardrobe as soon as possible because next week we'll have an official dress rehearsal!


This week, students will be selecting what individual they would like to portray in the wax museum. 

And then next week...



We'll be revisiting editing passages this week. This will be a multi-standard skill because it utilizes all of the skills we've learned throughout the year. This week students will also begin researching which person in history they want to portray in the wax museum on May 18th. 


Please be looking for information regarding any of the several events we have coming up. We've got field trips, cookouts, bashes, and more, so please check your child's parent folder each night!


This week we'll be working in teams again, but we'll be doing something a little different. Students will be creating an advertisement for an interplanetary travel agency of their choice. The ad will be showcasing a particular planet and will try to persuade customers to visit. I can't wait to see what everyone comes up with!


Welcome back! Here we are, post spring break, ready to take on the last nine weeks of school. There's a lot happening academically as well as non-academically, so be looking for newsletters, permission slips, and information on our websites for the latest news!


This week will be our last week before spring break! Friday is the third nine-weeks bash, so be sure you're doing everything you possibly can to earn those Dojo points. And remember, tardies and absences will count against you for this bash as well as any upcoming field trips.


We made it! Round one of testing is over and we can finally breathe a collective sigh of relief. We'll continue learning and reviewing and inching our way toward round two. And when it comes...

We'll be ready. 


It's here!

Part one of the TN Ready test.


And we.




This is our last week before our first TN Ready test! But I'm not worried, because we're ready for it. The test on March 1st will be the essay-writing portion. Students will be given two prompts and will write two essays in response. The essays will be either informative, opinion, or narrative. We won't know which ones they'll be until we take the test.

But like I said...

I'm not worried. :)


I hope everyone had a great weekend! Since we've been running into some snow here lately, we'll be finishing up what we were trying to finish up before. Maybe this time we'll actually get it done. :)


Our very first STEM Friday was a blast! Students worked in groups to build a house for Coraline Jones (the main character in the novel we're reading) that could withstand gale-force winds. Or at least the wind from a hair dryer, anyway.

This week students will finish up reviewing theme and summarizing by taking a moment from their own lives and turning it into a movie trailer. It should be fun!


This week my class will begin partnering with UT as we implement a new series of lessons to review theme, summarizing, and main idea. The information we collect will be used in a presentation during the International Literacy Association. Obviously no names or pictures will be used in the presentation since this is more of a session to teach other teachers how to effectively foster an understanding of theme, summarizing, and main idea in the classroom. It'll be our first time ever doing something like this, so we're excited to try it out! Plus it involves watching some scenes of our favorite cartoons and even coming up with our own movie, so...yay!


Well I think this week might be a full week. However, we do live in Tennessee and you know what they say about the weather. We'll be picking right back where we left off and we'll hopefully see you all at our TN Ready night on Monday. Class pictures will be rescheduled, so make sure you look for information regarding that.


We're beginning this week with a test over what we learned last week, so be sure to study those journal pages!


Everyone did an amazing job last week jumping right back into the routine! There was no grumbling or moaning or eye rolling. I'm so proud of the entire fifth grade for being so ready, respectful, and responsible. I expect that exact same level of preparedness this week as we work with several informational texts to get prepared for the writing assessment in February and the TN Ready test in May. 

Fundraiser announcement!

The fifth-grade student council is preparing for a fundraiser that will begin in February and they need as many coffee tins as they can get. If you have any empty ones that you're about to recycle, please think about donating them to our school (washed out, if you don't mind) so we can use them.



Welcome back!


We did it! We made it to the last week of this year. Of course, we have a whole other pair of nine weeks to get through, but let's not worry about that right now. :)


Nine and a half days. NINE AND A HALF DAYS! Can you believe that? I'm not sure that I can. So we'll be going an extra week over the break to make up for the fact that time is flying by so quickly.

Naw, just kidding. :)

This week, students will be writing their second official informative essay. We're gearing up for that writing text that's going to take place in February. And by jove, they'll be ready for it!


Okay, folks. Tighten those belts back up because we've got a full three weeks ahead of us! We'll be finishing up the reading and grammar standards before the break and starting all over again (in a completely different way) when we get back. 


I was absolutely blown away with the STEM projects the students brought in! They were all so different and unique and completely wonderful. There were a couple that didn't quite fit the guidelines, but every bridge did hold the two pounds. And there was one student who brought in a bridge that held more weight than the rest...

Thomas Daniels!

Thomas and I have talked, and for his prize he'll be earning an individual Skype visit with an author! Congratulations, Thomas!


Our STEM projects are due this Wednesday! Students will be presenting their bridges and discussing how they made them right after our grammar and reading tests.


I hope everyone had a fun-filled, scary, and safe weekend!

This week in class we'll begin talking about theme and summarization. Everyone has taken their test on Bridge to Terabithia and I couldn't be more happy with how well the students responded to the book. We'll start our second novel this week and it's one that directly connects with BtT. And speaking of connecting things, the optional bridge projects will be due this Friday. If for some reason you didn't see the information sheet I sent home last week, let me know and I'll make sure you get another copy.


We've got a lot going on this week--book fair, Red Ribbon Week, Halloween parties, Monster Math night, tests--so be sure to check those parent folders and agendas for more information!


Goodbye, fall break. Goodbye, first nine weeks. 

And hello, rest of 2015! We're diving right back into our lessons this week as we charge toward the halfway point of the year.


Here we are, just one week away from the end of the first nine weeks. I can't believe how fast this year is going by. And I'm so proud of every student for working hard, trying their best, asking wonderful questions, and constantly trying to improve their writing and reading.

Our last test of the nine weeks will be on Wednesday, so be sure to study. Let's go out on a good note. Then on Thursday, we'll be going to Oakes Family Farm and Friday is the first nine-weeks mission!

And then...FALL BREAK!


I hope everyone had a great weekend!

This week we'll have our test on Tuesday over point of view and using reference materials. Field trip money and permission slips are due Thursday, so please get those in as quickly as possible.

Then next week will be our last week before fall break...which means we'll be twenty-five percent finished with school!

Mind = blown.


I hope everyone had a restful weekend! Our grammar test will be on Monday and students will be presenting their finished informative essays that day as well.

Be sure to look over the newsletters for important dates regarding Scholastic book orders and our upcoming field trip.


Can you believe it? We're already halfway through the first nine weeks! 

I know, time flies, right? But even though it's moving fast, we're keeping up. This week students will continue writing their compare and contrast essays (due Thursday) and we'll have our grammar test this week, too. 

We've also got some important dates to remember. Grandparents' lunch will be Tuesday the 15th and individual pictures will be Thursday the 17th. 

This Friday we'll also be having our first Skype visit with an author! Kali Wallace, the author of Shallow Graves (the excerpt we used for our first close read), will be talking with the fifth grade about her writing process, her inspiration, and answering any questions they might have. 


I hope everyone had a nice, long weekend! 

We'll be diving right back into our Reading, Grammar, and Writing standards this week. This month, we've also got a few events like grandparents' luncheon, fall pictures, and our TN Ready night, so be sure to check those newsletters for important dates.


This week we'll be finishing up our first close read and taking a text on the skills we've been practicing for the past few days. 


Our Olweus Carnival will be Monday night! We've got some great games and prizes for everyone and we hope to see you all there!


Please make sure to check your child's agenda each day and sign it. That's a great way for you to keep up with his or her assignments, homework, and text schedule.

Also be on the lookout for a permission slip with information on our first field trip! 


Monday will be presentation day! Students have been working hard on their first argumentative essays and I can't wait to hear them. On Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday, we'll be working on reading texts, predicting, annotating, and beginning some grammar (conjunctions, prepositions, and interjections) as well. 

Friday is our all-day Olweus kickoff and if it's anything like last year, it's going to be an incredible one.


Welcome back!

The fourth-grade teachers told me I'd love this group of students and I have to say they were absolutely right! We had a great week last week and I can't wait to see what this year brings. It seems that everyone's ready to learn and prepared for class and I couldn't be happier.

We're hitting the ground running this week with learning how to write compelling argumentative essays. Be sure to check your child's agenda every signle evening and sign it after you have looked at any assignments he or she might need to complete. Newsletters will go home every Friday (sometimes Monday) and will list any important dates or events coming up.

We hope everyone signs up for Class Dojo this year because we'll be using that as our main mode of communication. It's so perfectly easy and brilliant that the entire school has adopted it as our primary positive behavior system.

If anyone has questions about anything, feel free to contact us. Our email addresses are listed at the top of each newsletter.

Thanks and let's have a fantastic year!


We survived!

TCAPs, anyway. Because now we need to strut our knowledgeable stuff for Star tests. And then, after that, we'll be working on our Wax Museum speeches. Wax Museum Day will be during the last week of school (tentatively on the 21st after the Honors Assembly). Be sure to look for information in your child's binder!


Here it is. The last week before the big test. We can do this. We're ready. And we're going to be getting even more ready with our TCAP Olympics this week!


Monday will be dedicated to taking our social studies pilot test.

This week and next week will be the last weeks before TCAPs. Yay! 



Some of you have been selling the snot out of those candy bars! Nicely done. We certainly appreciate the help and I know every student does, too. 

This week's pretty calm, but we do have our Zaxby's Share Night on Thursday. Of course, that just means that if you can swing by Zaxby's at 5:00 pm and pick up some food for yourself or for your family, the store will donate a portion of the proceeds to Midtown Elementary. Which means another win for our students!


This week we'll be diving back into some writing...but in a totally different way. We're going to be learning about the writer's voice, dialects, and how to spruce up dialogue and action with authentic-sounding characters!

Study guides and short stories will be due Monday, April 4.


Are you as relieved as I am to have had a spring break that actually resembled spring?

Now that we've had a week to recover from the time change, we'll be diving into the curriculum pretty hard to get as ready as possible for the TCAP. Make sure you take a look at the calendar. We've moved several of the events that we missed due to all the snow and some of them are happening this week.

Also, please note that the Roane Writer's Student Writing Contest deadline has been extended to March 29th. So you've still got time to turn in your submission!


Students will be sharing their narratives on Monday after they take their analogies test. I can't wait to hear the amazing stories they've all been working on!

Our 3rd nine-weeks bash is this Friday. And next week...SPRING BREAK!



That was interesting, wasn't it?

Don't think of it as two weeks we missed. Think of it as a practice run for the balanced calendar if it passes!

But we're back and ready to finish up this nine weeks (which we only have two weeks left of, might I add). We'll be picking right back up where we left off with analogies and narrative writing. So be sure to bring your writing journals to class each day.


The MIST writing test is O-V-E-R!

I'm so proud of everyone for working so hard as we prepared for it. Consider these next two short weeks your reward for doing such an amazing job. Of course, that doesn't mean we won't be working.


But we do have some fun things planned! We've got Math and soup night this Thursday and Zaxby's night next Thursday. We've also got a Valentine's Day party planned for this week, so be looking for information in the newsletter about each of these events.

Below are the BrainPop videos the students filmed in class for main idea and informational texts. Enjoy!

Voyager group:

Discovery group:

Apollo group:


This week we'll be learning some very new skills, so make sure you bring your A-game to class!


Also, the 5th grade will be taking the MIST writing test on Wednesday, so please make sure your child is at school on time as has had a good breakfast.


Go ahead and ask me if I think the 5th grade students are ready for their writing tests.

Because I'll say, most definitely! I'm so impressed with everyone's hard work and sticktoitiveness these past two weeks while we've picked up our pencils and written them down to tiny little wood and graphite nubs. 

This week, Ms. Brudecki will be taking over a few days while she teaches some lessons she has planned.


I hope everyone had a restful weekend.

This week in class we'll be doing more writing, but we'll be focusing on persuasive essays. Students will be taking a look at articles that are about the great Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. this week.


Last we learned how to gather information to write a five-paragraph essay. This week, students will be using what they've learned to write their own essay. During the week, they'll have time to research their topic in their social studies books as well as time to use the iPads for research.

Fully edited and typed essays will be due Friday for a reading grade. Students will be given time during the week to type, but if they've got a computer and printer at home, I will encourage them to work on it there (with your help, of course) as well.


Here are the Bridge to Terabithia book trailers the classes made before the break! I hope they'll play--it was a little tricky getting them on the page. 





*deep breath*

*long exhale*

That was a nice break. Relaxing and fun and everyone we could have asked for in a two week hiatus from school. And just think, we're halfway through the year! Which means we're that much closer to TCAPs and the writing test and STAR testing and...well, you get the idea.

So we'll be diving into the curriculum with a vengeance this week, working on writing, grammar, reading, and test preparation. But don't worry. We'll make sure to have a lot of fun while we do it! 


Welcome to the last week of school, folks!

Make sure to check the calendar for important events that'll be happening this week.


Can you believe it? This week will be our last full week of 2014. Yes, this means the break is right around the corner. No, this doesn't mean we'll be taking it easy. 

*insert evil laugh here*

We'll be sure to have fun, but we've got some important things happening in the next two weeks. We've got our second book studies due, we've got a Bridge to Terabithia book trailer to film, and we've got an author Skype visit to plan for.

So, buckle in, ladies and gentlemen, it's gonna be a wild nine and a half days!


Parents and students,

I hope everyone who celebrates Thanksgiving had a wonderful holiday. If you don't celebrate it, I hope you had a fantastic time off work and school!

This week, we'll be working on writing opinion pieces and covering parts of speech in class. The Bridge to Terabithia presentations were wonderful and I appreciate everyone's hard work. Students have picked their second book to read and have already begun working on their presentation for that. It will be due the week of December 15. 



This week is going to be short and sweet, folks. On Monday and Tuesday, we'll be sharing our Bridge to Terabithia presentations and continuing to read from our second novel.

Then after that...



Students will choose a book for their second novel study this week. Choices are due to me for approval by Thursday. However, the sooner students bring in their choices, the sooner I can approve them. And the sooner I can approve them, the sooner they can begin reading!

And remember--Bridge to Terabithia book report projects are due by Monday, November 24.


This week we'll finish our first novel, Bridge to Terabithia. It's been a wonderful read with some heart-wrenching twists. But just like the popular proverb goes: all good things must come to an end.

After our test Monday, we'll be diving back into two topics that we've already learned--summarization and comma usage. Students will also be choosing their book report idea for Bridge to Terabithia as well as choosing which novel they'd like to read next. So, in short, we've got a busy week this week!


I hope everyone had a wonderful and safe Halloween! To everyone who brought in supplies for our Trunk or Treat or for our classroom party: Thank you so much. You're incredible.

This week is going to be a little less hectic. However, we do have some things going on, so be sure to check the calendar. 


This week is packed with events!

Be sure to check the calendar for how we're celebrating Red ribbon Week each day. On Friday, we'll be ending the week with a Walk-a-thon in the morning and our Halloween parties in the afternoon.


And in between, we'll be wearing some crazy outfits, having our Trunk or Treat event, and even taking a test.


*throws confetti*


Dry your eyes, guys and girls. Fall break is over.

*moment of silence*

But that's okay because you've missed your friends and teachers and now you get to see them again!

*moment of celebration*

And what's even better is that we're 25% through the school year. Plus, report cards will be going home soon and you finally get to share your grades and results of your hard work with your family. We've also got some pretty exciting holidays coming up soon, so that's kind of cool, too.

So let's keep the enthusiasm high and the complaints low so we can learn everything we can possibly learn before we have to say, "See ya in 2015!"


Welcome to the last five days of the first nine weeks!

We're changing it up a bit this week. Instead of working on the reading and grammar standards, we'll be working on our writing. This week, every student will create a narrative piece of work by going through the writing process. These pieces will be due on Friday and will need to be fully edited and in final-draft form (printed or handwritten). 

And, of course, we'll be having our nine weeks bash this Friday from 1:00-3:00. We've got a ton of fun things for everyone to choose from, so be ready to spend your stars wisely!


Okay, students. We've got two weeks left in this nine weeks. That's all. What does that mean to you? Well, it means you all have two weeks left to bury your noses in the books and work as hard as you can before report cards are printed. Make sure you take every opportunity given to you to ensure your grades are as good as they can be. That means you should:

  1. make corrections
  2. ask questions
  3. proofread your work
  4. finish your homework
  5. study with parents or guardians
  6. come to us if you need extra help with anything

We want everyone to succeed, but remember--it takes work from both of us to make sure that happens.


I need to give a huge round of applause to all of the students for finishing their first official 5th grade essays!

So, here it goes...

<insert applause here>

This week we'll continue to work on our writing by learning how to create sentences that are easy and interesting to read. We'll also be studying point of view of different stories, poems, books, and articles.


I hope everyone had a good weekend!

This we'll be working on our compare/contrast essays. I'll be taking the finished and FULLY EDITED product up on Friday. That will be the reading portion of everyone's grade this week. The grammar part of the test will be on paper.

Remember, after school begins Monday, so don't forget to head to the cafeteria if you've signed up for a class.


Can you believe it? We're halfway through the first nine weeks.


I don't have to tell you all, though, that this doesn't mean we get to slack off. It means we have to keep working just as hard as before. 

On a totally different note, I want to say how proud I am of our students. We had a pretty intense day on Friday with our Olweus anti-bullying program and they represented Midtown Elementary so well. It reminded me of a wonderful quote that I think will become a sort of mantra in our classroom this year:

“The only time you look in your neighbor's bowl is to make sure that they have enough. You don't look in your neighbor's bowl to see if you have as much as them.”

-Louis C.K.


You may have noticed we didn't have a test on Friday. That's because I didn't think we were quite ready for it. So I moved it to Thursday of this week. That gives us a little more time to dive into the standards and review what we need to work on.

Friday will be our Olweus Anti-Bullying kick off. The group Move to Stand has a full day of AWESOME planned for our students. I can't wait to see what they bring!

Don't forget, though, this Thursday is our community night from 6:30 - 7:30. Food will be served at 5:15. We hope to see everyone there!


I hope everyone had a great weekend!

We've got a fun week planned for our class. Our author Skype visit with Jennifer Malone will be this Tuesday and we'll be playing some fun grammar games all week long. And, of course, the long weekend we'll have isn't half bad either. 


Well, we got a little behind with all of the fun back-to-school activities we'd planned last week. So our test has been moved to Monday. We'll pick up right where we left off and get back on schedule. I hope. 

I sent home an invitation to connect with our class on a wonderful (and free) website called Class Dojo. It's such a cool program and you can even download the app to your phone or tablet. 

So what do we use it for?

Great question! With Class Dojo, you'll be able to get real-time updates on your child's behavior (positive and negative) and receive messages from me as they happen. It's a wonderful way to communicate with all of you and for you to communicate right back! I've got a few students already signed up, but in order to send or receive messages, you'll also have to create a new account and plug in the parent invitation code. It's on the same paper with the student activation codes. 

Lost it? No problem. Just let me know and I'll send home another one.


Ladies and gentlemen, we're going to be going over a lot this week.

Some old stuff? Sure.

Some new stuff? Of course. 

But by Friday, you'll feel like you never left school for eight glorious weeks of summer break. And if you can pretend that's a good thing, it makes it so much better.

This year is going to be so good. No, not just so good. It's gonna be great! We'll be reading some amazing novels, working together, learning in small groups, using technology, playing games, acting, singing, creating, and even visiting with some authors via Skype!

And we'll be doing all of this with a fantastic teacher from UT, Ms. Lindsay Brudecki! 

I'll be posting the 5th grade newsletter on my page each week. Be sure to take a look at that as well as the assignments and HW page for information regarding what assignments we'll be doing in class as well as what homework to expect.

And as always, if you have any questions, feel free to call the school at 882-1228 or email me directly at 

Welcome back!  

Hello, everyone!

Yes, I'm going to miss the late mornings of summer and the lazy days spent watching my dog barking at absolutely nothing outside... but I'm also very glad to be back. And this year I'll be taking on 5th grade Reading, Language Arts, and Writing!

I can't wait to see everyone again. Since our theme this year is SPACE, let's slam the thrusters into hyper drive and get this year started. 

-Mr. B

5/12 - 5/16  

Monday is our Ultimate Paper Airplane Competition! I hope you and your group are ready to fly!

For the rest of the week, we'll be working on our wax museum speeches and costumes. Remember, every student who is participating is responsible for his or her own costume. The speeches need to be completed by Friday.

5/5 - 5/9  



Let the celebrating begin! However, we've still got a little work to do. We'll be doing one last group experiment in science and working on the Wax Museum as well. There are also a ton of events scheduled for these last three weeks, so be sure to check the calendar. 


Also, make sure you get your River Ridge field trip permission slip and money AS WELL AS your Zoo field trip permission slip and money turned in by this Friday.

4/21 - 4/25  

Here it is folks... the last week before TCAP testing! And we're finishing up just in time.

We'll be taking our last social studies test on Tuesday. For the last three days of the week, we'll be focusing on TCAP review and making sure we're ready to knock it out of the park next week!

4/14 - 4/18  

Only two more weeks until TCAPs! 


Our last science test of the year will be this Tuesday. We'll finish up these two weeks by working on the little bit of social studies we have left.


After TCAP testing is finished, we'll be preparing for our last class-wide project of the year: The Wax Museum!

4/7 - 4/11  

This week will be our last week of science. After that we'll switch back and finish up our social studies. 

3/31 - 4/4  

Our first science test is this week, so make sure you're brushing up on those atomic words and everything else that... matters. 


Get it?

3/24 - 3/28  

I hope everyone had a relaxing spring break!


We've got one last nine weeks to get through. And the TCAPs are right around the corner. I know, I know.. yikes. But don't worry, we'll be ready!

3/10 - 3/14  

The clouds are fluffier, the sun is brighter, the air is warmer. Which can only mean one thing...




But before it officially says hello, we're going to need to get through this week. We've got the 4-H Clover Bowl on Monday at Harriman High School. We've got a test on Tuesday. We've got new material we're learning on Wednesday and Thursday. And if we're lucky, we've got a Brain Pop movie to make on Friday.




Let's get to work!

3/3 - 3/7  

I hope to see everyone at the Dr. Seuss Family Night this Thursday! We'll have tons of fun things for students to do and the teachers will be available to talk about the upcoming tests and the changes the students will be seeing.

2/24 - 2/28  

The 4-H baking contest will be this Tuesday. Be sure to bring in 3 samples of your dessert on a plate. Also be sure to include your name, class, and ingredients list somewhere on your entry. This can be written on an index card and taped to the plate.


I can't wait to see (and taste) what you all come up with!

2/17 - 2/21  

I'm beginning to wonder if we're ever going to have a full week of school again!


The good news is that we're back and it's looking like warmer weather is ahead of us. We're getting ready to dive back into social studies this week, so be prepared.


We have a test scheduled for Friday.



2/10 - 2/14  



The nine weeks projects were AMAZING! I heard so many teachers complimenting the hard work you all put into them. Great job, everyone!


Now... can you believe we're officially halfway through the 3rd nine weeks? Which means TCAPs are right around the corner. But don't worry--we don't have any plans on slowing down.


We'll be switching back to Social Studies after our science test this Tuesday. 


2/3 - 2/7  

Please note that our 3rd nine week presentations have been moved to Monday. 

If you signed up for after school classes, make sure you're ready to begin those this week! 

1/27 - 1/31  

Please note that our 3rd nine week presentations have been moved to Tuesday. The 4-H meeting is still scheduled for Monday.

If you signed up for after school classes, make sure you're ready to begin those this week! 

1/20 - 1/24  

Make sure you're finishing up your projects! 

Everyone's science 3rd nine weeks project is due this Friday.

The 4-H poster contest will be next Monday.

1/13 - 1/17  

Pretend like last week never happened...

Because it sort of didn't!

We'll be picking up on Monday where we were planning on picking up last Monday. 


Please note that the 3rd nine weeks projects are due no later than Friday, January 24th.

The 4-H poster contest will take place on Monday, January 27th.

1/6 - 1/10  

Welcome back, everyone!


I hope everyone had a fantastic break. I'm looking forward to getting started back in science. Remember--our next 4-H meeting will be the poster contest! We'll have a day in class where we can work on those, so don't worry.

12/16 - 12/20  

It's here!

The last week of school!

Well... for this semester anyway. I hope everyone has a fantastic time this week and a super-safe and exciting break.

I want to make sure I give a HUGE shout out to our 4-H speech contest participants, Abby Payton, Nathan Goss, and Skylar Brackett (who will be going to represent Midtown Elementary in the regional contest since she PLACED FIRST AT THE COUNTY COMPETITION! WOOOOHOOOO!)

12/9 - 12/13  

Two weeks to go! Remember, our 4-H speech winners (1st and 2nd places) will be competing at the Roane County Court House on Thursday. I hope to see my winners there, representing Midtown Elementary proudly!

We'll be finishing up social studies this week and will be finishing 2013 with some science.

I'll be sending home a letter on Friday about our mid-year party and some supplies that we might need. If anyone would be willing to send in some goodies, we'd certainly appreciate it. 

12/2 - 12/6  

Okay, everyone. Let's snap out of our way-too-much-food daze and get ready for these last three weeks of 2013.

Be sure to take a look at the calendar. We've got a pretty full schedule ahead of us. But don't worry--we'll be tossing in some fun moments along with the not-so-fun moments like tests and homework. 

I hope everyone had a wonderful break! The next one's right around the corner!

11/18 - 11/22  

Remember that we've got Biztown this Wednesday. Make sure to pack a lunch and a drink and put your name on both.

I also want to say thanks to everyone who showed up to Math Night and helped make it a huge success!

11/11 - 11/15  

We've got a fun week ahead of us! Biztown is this Thursday and Family Math Night is the same evening from 6:00 - 7:30. We hope to see everyone there!

Project Candy officially ends this Friday, so please bring in any candy you wish to donate by then. And a huge thanks to Ryan Dubois for coming up with such an incredible idea!

The 4-H speech winners are as follows:

1st place: Nathan Goss, Skylar Brackett, and Patrick Haynes

2nd place: Nathan McNelly, Braden Ferrell, and Abby Payton

3rd place: Brandon Powers, Hayden Isham, and Quentin Kolski

Congratulations to our winners and everyone who participated!

11/4 - 11/8  

Thank you, everyone, who made BOO at the School a success! We had a great turnout and we couldn't have done it without you.

The Walk-a-Thon was so much fun! As soon as we find out how much money we were able to raise for the school, I'll let you all know.

And, again, thank you to everyone who brought in supplies for our Halloween party. We had a spooktacular time!

This Wednesday is our 4-H speech contest. Every student has been gathering research and preparing for it. I can't wait to see who wins!

10/28 - 11/1  

What a week we've got planned!

Boo at the school this Tuesday, the Walk-A-Thon and 4-H this Wednesday, and a test and Halloween party this Thursday.

Be sure to stay awake for everything--it's sure to be a blast!

10/21 - 10/25  

Welcome back!

We're getting the second nine weeks off to a running start. We've Red Ribbon Week is next week and we've got some exciting things lines up for everyone, including BOO at the School!

We've got a science test scheduled for next Monday (10-27) as well.

Let's make this nine weeks even better than the first!

10/7 - 10/11  

Can you believe it?

We're in the last week of the first nine weeks! Which means we're a quarter of the way through school. Which mean we only have three quarters left. Which means we still have a lot to do and less and less time to do it in!

But don't worry--we're right on track. Even though our Promethean Board bulb has decided to take a hike, we'll keep on learning, old-school style.

Thank you to everyone who brought in some equipment for our next labs. We'll be putting that to good use this week.

9/30 - 10/4  

Parents and students,

If any of you have some empty 2 liter bottles you can donate to the class, I would certainly appreciate it. We'll need six for an experiment we're doing on Thursday.

Thank you!

Mr. B

9/23 - 9/27  


We'll be switching over to science beginning this week. Be sure to bring your science composition books every day. We'll be taking a few notes, doing some experiments, and working in groups. 

Our first science test will be this Wednesday over cells and cell organelles. 

9/16 - 9/20  

We'll be having our last social studies test (for a while) this Wednesday. It will cover some of the major Civil War battles, leaders, and events. On Thursday we will switch over to science and begin our unit on cells and living organisms.

Please note that I will be assigning homework on Monday night. The homework will be for every student wo complete the 5 interview questions needed for the social studies project. These can be found on the project information sheet. I have extra copies for any student who cannot find theirs.

Social studies projects are due this Friday! Be sure to ask your child of he or she has finished his or her job for the project. We've had plenty of time in class to work on these. I'll be sure to ask on Monday as well.

9/9 - 9/13  

It's hard to believe, but we're almost halfway through the first nine weeks! 

Be sure you're checking your child's agenda EVERY NIGHT and looking at the assignments that have written down for the day. Don't simply open it up, sign it, and hand it back. Look for HW (homework) or TEST TOMORROW (with study pages in parentheses). And please don't just ask if your child has finished his or her homework. Ask to see it, go over it with him or her, and help correct it if needed.

Our first 9 weeks social studies project is due on Friday, September 20th. Students have been working in class to complete everything, but some of them will need to do additional work at home. It will be noted in the agenda if they do.

Thanks for all the hard work and I hope to see you all on Parents' Night this Thursday!


Two weeks in and it's flying by!

I want to say thanks to those who have been signing all the papers we've been throwing at you. Most of you are also doing an awesome job of remembering to sign that agenda as well. Remember, that's our main communication tool with parents so it's extremely important to look that over and get it signed.

We've got a pretty big test coming up on Tuesday. Be sure to study that composition book and sing that government song. 

I've updated the calendar with some important sates. Be sure to stop by there and check it out.


Mr. B