PParent Information

Parent Information

Check out the information on the summer reading program

Dear Reading Support Family,

The Birmingham Education Foundation is offering a summer reading program, this year, called “Bee A Reader!”All students going into grades K-5 next fall can participate.

The program is explained in detail on the district’s fusion page: http://bee-a-reader.birmingham.k12.mi.us and I’ve attached all of the files here, as well.

Here is what students need to do:

  • Return the blue “Have You Heard the Buzz?” reading contract to school. This was sent home with students last week. You can also print the attachment if you lost it.
  • Each student needs to read and log at least 800 minutes of reading during the summer. See the attached “Bee A Reader Program Resources page for ideas. (pre-school students going into kindergarten have their own special reading log to complete). All students will bring home a reading log, but you can also print one off here or from the district Fusion page.
  • First through fifth grade students also need to complete the journal pages on the reading log.
  • Return the completed reading log (and journal pages) to your new classroom teacher during the first week of school.

There will be a special celebrationin the fall for every student that completes the project and returns the reading log.

If you forget to turn in your contract this spring, don’t worry about it. As long as your child returns the completed log in September they will be invited to the celebration.

For our littlest readers, 800 minutes can be a lot. It is okay to count the time that these students are being read to.

Copied from the reading teacher and sent by Mrs McComas


technology information

Band Concert information

Visit Mr. Rodgerson’s beginning band website at: www.bpsbeginningband.weebly.com

Check out the Pierce “We are the World Blog”

Pierce Ski club Thursdays in Jan


Science Olympiad information- Forms due Jan Practices start Jan March

This is the information from last year. We are excited about having many of the scientists from 4th grade be part of Science Olympiad again.


Book reports due
Jan 23

Report card information Standards based grading information

The Literature and Informational Text areas of reading on the report raced are linked to Standards. Some of the assessed assignments are from more formal reading tests and some are from short assignments like sticky note reflections.
Our hope is to build reading strategies appropriate to each student’s level and to stretch reading skills into student’s own reading for pleasure as well as their reading in the content area.

For this fall we were reading as well as testing with nonfiction text. The readers were asked to read nonfiction text in school. They were allowed to look back into the story for answers. We developed details and new vocabulary reading about Nature’s Fury and Scholastic News articles. We also read nonfiction text for testing about animals, a high speed train, the Internet and many other topics. Retelling these details makes students stronger readers. Hopefully the techniques we are using with reading lessons in class are making students more aware of how to build their reading vocabulary and comprehension.

Reading Foundations
The standards under this category match to the Fountas and Pinnell F&P reading test teachers have been using for the past few years for one-one reading testing.
We listen to a reader for about 2 minutes recording their oral reading. We are listening for fluency and expression and word decoding. Students who have strong fluency are aware of punctuation and parts of the story where expression will make the reading more meaningful. We are also recording their reading rate WPM. Words per minute. Speed is not as important as a smooth and easy to understand rate.

After the student has finished reading the remaining 3-5 minutes of the story, they discuss the story with the teacher. Authors purpose, detailed facts from the story, predictions, connections to the text,text features such as tables, graphs, vocabulary meaning and a general understanding of the story or passage are all part of this discussion and questioning time. Many students enjoy this one-one time to share their knowledge with a teacher with no interruptions.
The F & P test gives students a range for reading. Independent scores mean this a level where understanding will take place without help. Instructional reading levels usually are where more difficult vocabulary has made the comprehension come with adult, partner or more careful reading or re reading.
A-Q level are considered below standards for 5th grade
R & S level are working towards
T Meets most
U and above are considered Mastery at this point in the school year.

Mastery of 5th grade reading standards and reading strategies is our goal as well as a lifelong appreciation/love of reading.

Writing standards marked this time were:

Write routinely over extended time frames (a single setting or a day or two for a range of specific tasks, purposes and audience.

With guidance and support from peers and adults, develop and strengthen writing as needed by planning, revising,editing,rewriting, or trying a new approach.

Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development and organization are appropriate to task, purpose and audience.

Writer's workshop in class and Thursday night homework were used to assess this as well as the Mystery Book report and reading reflections.

Language Standards

Conventions of Standard English grammar and usage in writing Conventions of Standard English in capitalization, punctuation and spelling in writing
Spelling word list scores
Vocabulary word test

Math grades recorded for the standards
The Math print out will show quiz & test scores some will have points added for corrections and parent signature Review work and homework are given points for turning them in and completion

Homework will be discussed at conferences.
Students have different homework strategies. Some work independently and use homework time as practice. Others need parent or tutors to research the homework. This can take longer. Our hope is that students do not need to spend an excessive amount of time just to finish a page of homework. If parents need help monitoring this time we can have that as a conference discussion. Forgotten homework or lack of organization to get the homework done may also be an issue. Hopefully e mailing the answer sheet to the homework packet has helped parents. We are also hoping to find other resources for parents with the Math expressions program.

In class we will spend 10 minutes to demonstrate and develop understanding on some of the new concepts. Then students will often work with a partner or small group to practice or research the strategies. When homework is difficult, bringing in the tricky homework to share strategies is a productive teaching technique. When a student comes and teaches another student they help others as well as firm up their own understanding.

The Compass Learning math site is an excellent way for math work tailored for students math level. Students get math practice at their level as well as math remedial and challenge work chosen by their math instructor. Students who are working with the Math Lab program have remedial math help in a fun way both at school and at home by going on to Compass Learning.

Science for this report card we focused on the Standards for Sun, moon and earth. We did not have enough hands on experiments to evaluate the scientific process. We worked more on research and finding information, team work and looking and understanding patterns. After a short unit on Force and Motion, we will be dive into our Chemistry unit called Mixtures and Solutions.

I hope this helps explain the new report cards. I look forward to sharing at conference time.
Please excuse the long e mail which may have many editing errors. Camp and report cards have taken it’s toll on my time for accuracy.

Diana McComas
5th grade-Pierce Elementary School