Ms. Williams' Page and Announcements

May 21, 2010 

Dear Parents,


This will be my final entry for the current year.


First, let me tell you how much I appreciate your allowing me to work with your children this year. Every class has its own personality and while this class is very active, indeed, they are also quite kind to one another. That is a reflection on you. This class is adventurous and more than ready to move on to bigger and better things.


I know that you children will do well in their future endeavors with your support. Their abilities are evident.


Thank you for the privilege.




In science we are attempting to complete a “planet project” in which students will design their own planets. The first challenge is for students to figure out how many days they have been alive and where their planet is placed within our solar system.  They will continue with identifying life forms on their planets and giving evidence of the level of intelligence of the life forms. Some students have already begun the project and are really getting into the details.




In math we are racing through using formulas to determine the volume of three dimensional figures and I hope to get to ratio and proportion before they leave me. Our days are fully packed so finding time to cover it all is a challenge unto itself.


At some point next week students will be taking a math placement test which will be used by the middle schools. There is nothing for students to study. This will be used to help place students for next year’s work and the new curriculum.




A special thank you goes to all the parents who helped at the Immigration Simulation. It was a wonderful production. You should have seen Mrs. Zahnd working with the doctors on call and corralling the passengers back into family groups to head through immigration, Mrs. Page corralling the students after registration to send them on to their next stop, and Mrs. Vidolin being our tough customs officer.


Mrs. Pitts guarded the “staircase of tears” sending students, whose passports were stamped with a visa, on to the ferry to NYC, and the others off to detention. Mrs. Stanish had to be tough as well, helping Mrs. Marchand with controlling those sent to deportation. We had some travelers sent to deportation/detention for failing to have the proper paperwork, some for medical reasons, some for attempted bribery of an immigration official and others to simply await a further investigation. Some arrived with a suspiciously large amount of money and this also required investigation.


Mrs. Shiparski was amazing, speaking to the arriving passengers in their native languages while changing currency and running a small emporium. Meanwhile Mrs. Schulten, with her trusty assistant, Mrs. Strickland lavished attention on the 1st class passengers.


I hope I haven’t forgotten anyone. It was one of the smoothest simulations we have ever run and that was due to the committed involvement of so many parents.


When we debriefed the students back in the classroom, the major complaints were that:

a)     Only 1st class got the “good food”

b)     Investigations were not completed quickly enough so students could get out of deportation and back to the process

c)      Some money that was carelessly handled found itself unofficially donated to the “widows and orphans” fund


A fine time was had by all.



Congratulations on your graduate and have a wonderful summer!



 General Procedures

Following is the web address for the gradebook program to access your child's grades:

                          Kiss                                 Laughing                              Cool                               Smile

Be aware. Where it is appropriate, I do allow students to correct errors on papers for half credit. So if a student makes an error on a 10 point problem, in most cases, if they correct the error, they can receive 5 points back. This is available in both math and science if students must re-work the problem to get answers. Changing True/False or Yes/No type answers from one to another will not be credited. Cooperative group or lab grades cannot be redone as it would be very difficult to reproduce the conditions.

If your child is making revisions, please have them work directly on the original paper whenever possible. The paper has been marked. The marks let me know exactly where to look to see if the problem has been resolved.

                            Kiss                                 Laughing                              Cool                               Smile

When submitting assignments on looseleaf paper, students are expected to use a three line heading as shown below:

Last name, First Initial
Subject - Assignment
                                    Kiss                                          Laughing                                     Cool                                       Smile

Handwriting grades are based on the following criteria:

Slant: The correct slant is vertical for manuscript and at a forward angle for cursive.

Alignment: Writing sits ON the line, not above or below.

Size: Full space fifth grade writing should take up three-fourths of the given space. This allows for the top fourth of each space to be used to accommodate tail letters on the previous line. (Note: Please use standard, wide-lined paper. College rule, also called narrow-rule, is too narrow for 5th graders - even if they like it.)

Proportion: Full space letters should be twice the size of half space letters. Intermediate letters, in cursive the letters t, p, s, should take up three-fourths of the space.

Formation: Individual letters and their connections to other letters must be formed in the correct manner.

General Neatness: The appearance of the paper DOES make a difference.