Saturday, October 30, 2010

What a Bunch of Characters!

P.S. 58's Character Parade was a blast! And class 5-316's costumes were very imaginative. Check us out below. 

It was a great day... thanks to our amazing 5-316 parents and students!
Happy Halloween!!!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

To the Roof! To the Farm!

Today we went to Brooklyn Grange Farm, an urban rooftop form in Long Island City, to see a local and organic model of food production! It was a gorgeous day and we chomped on many leaves listening to our tour guide, Anastasia.

With the sky line as our backdrop, we saw eggplants, snap peas, red thai chili peppers, a variety of greens and much more, including a man-made bee hive. We learned that bees are very important for farmers. Do you remember why?

Here Steele tries an edible flower. Mmmmm, flowers.

Issy's new hairstyle. 

The compost pile

Yannique partakes in the edible flowers.

The very hungry class dines on leaves and flowers.

Danea and her red chilis. 

Mollie thinks about taking a bite.

We promised our tour guide we all would plant something after we left, even if just on the windowsill. After hearing how important and necessary plants are to our lives and health, I'm going to have to follow through. What are you going to plant??

Special thanks to Monica, Jose's mom & our amazing chaperone! :-)

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Birthday Memories!

With a vegan cupcake from Babycakes & a brand new vacuum for our classroom, it was time to party!

Thank you all for a wonderful day! xoxo, Karen

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Class 5-316 Memoir

Outside I show boredom, but inside I’m at peace.
I’m a true Puerto Rican girl.
Whenever I see my cat it is like a jolt of energy hits my heart and drains out all of the bad.
Amelie just kept on giggling and smiling.
No book, truly, can hold all the happy memories my hamster brought to me.
My friend and I shared a secret smile.
My heart beats with every memory of my family.
The times I had no friend, loneliness spread through my body.
That cute puppy is not real, and he never was, but that is good enough for me.
When I think of my grandma, I feel empty inside and my heart breaks in half.
And when I draw something he tells me that it’s ugly and he says, “I’m better at drawing than you.”
Mom is a person that I will always keep in my heart.
I love my family but…?
I’m going to get a bird and nothing is going to stop me.
I am thankful to have a family that cares about me.
My sister and I are best friends.
Only five minutes later I regret what I said to my mom.
When I hear people using the word “cool,” my smile turns into a disappointment.
I will always say, “When you leave, I die inside,” and I hope they don’t forget that.
Every time I see my family I get a warm feeling in my heart.
My mom is beautiful inside and out.
When you see somebody else smile because of you, it makes you feel great.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Super Duper Whammy!

This week's Super Duper Whammy problem is a bit lengthy. To make things easier for you to attempt it, here it is on our class blog. Good luck! Don't forget to show all work.

Friday, October 8, 2010

It's... Pajama Day!!

Today we wore our most comfy clothes for a great cause... our 5th grade trip! The whole school donated their dollars to help raise funds. Our thanks to all who contributed.

Reading for a Better World

"The Social Studies center is coming! The Social Studies center is coming!"
We got to spend some time in the slowly-growing S.S. library recently. With graphic novels, vibrantly illustrated texts and current points of view, we were able to bring back a ton of issues and struggles to our Action Board.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

This Week's Lunch Group Documentary: The Story of Stuff

This week's Documentary Group selection is: The Story of Stuff
The Story of Stuff is a project aimed at informing young people about the relationship between "stuff" and sustainability. The project is a series of short animated films, the first and most well-known below. Not a member of the Documentary Club? No problem! Thanks to many excited individuals hoping to spread the film's message, it is available free!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Grammar Resource

In speaking to many of our 5-316 parents, it seems grammar is a concern. I thought I would pass on some information on a podcast that I just love. It's Grammar Girl's Quick & Dirty Tips for Better Writing! Though it is not necessarily geared towards 5th graders, episodes, which focus on a single grammar convention usually chosen by viewer emails, are very clear and backed by easy to follow examples. They may be a great resource for you and your child. Take a moment to look at the many 6-8 minute episodes available free on her website or subscribe to the free podcast through iTunes! Again, to reiterate: some episodes are clearly for advanced "grammartarians", but there are plenty that'd be appropriate for your child. 

Of course, if the word "podcast" makes no sense to you, feel free to email us for a explanation!

Monday, October 4, 2010

The Plant Whisperer

Andres does such a fantastic job caring for our class plant. When he is not pruning carefully he is keeping track of when it was last watered, spraying its leaves and making sure it's in a location with plenty of light. It will be wonderful to watch it grow throughout the year.

This brings to mind a few things:
- Would anyone be interested in taking our plant home and caring for the plant during recesses and long holidays? Please comment if you're interested.

- Notice the use of "its" and "it's" in the first paragraph above. "It" only gets an apostrophe S (you know, this --> 's ) when it is used as a contraction... the short way of writing "it is" or "it has".  When I use it to show possession, like "its leaves", it has no apostrophe.

- And back to plants, I hope you are all getting excited about visiting Brooklyn Grange Farm later in the month!

Friday, October 1, 2010

Our Special Guest Speaker: Professional Blogger Philip Elmer-DeWitt

Professional blog writer Philip Elmer-DeWitt paid us a special visit this past week to share his expertise in blogging and offer us some practical tips for improving our blogs! We all left Friday afternoon hoping to update our blogs to ensure we get repeat visitors.

Some of his tips were:
- Blog often! If you can, at least once a day.
- Know your subject and write to encourage reader comments.
- Add links to your blog. Maybe someone will link back to you.

Let's show him we follow directions. Please comment on this post! And Philip, is this what you mean by links?

Special thanks to Ewan and his mom for setting up such a great afternoon.