Tuesday, September 1st, 2015

Windows and Mirrors

open-window Today in reading workshop we asked the big question: How can books be windows and mirrors? We had some wonderful discussion and I was so impressed by your thoughtfulness!

I would like to keep the conversation going in the space below. Can you think of a specific book you read that acted like a window or mirror? How so?

Challenge: Take this one step further. What else can a book act like? Think of a new metaphor and explain your thinking! I look forward to reading what you create!

Tuesday, September 1st, 2015

Fifth Grade Rocks!

5th grade rocks
We have been busy in 5M getting to know one another and becoming a part of a strong classroom community. How has your first few days of fifth grade gone? What are your favorite parts of school?

Friday, November 7th, 2014

Science Models


Last week we created a relative size model of the planets.  Yesterday we created a scaled down model of the Earth and moon.  Describe our models. What did you learn?  What was most shocking to you as we looked at the relative size between the planets and the moon and Earth?

Thursday, September 18th, 2014

Day and Night?

After studying day and night in science, how would you describe what causes day and night to occur?sun+moon+earth

Wednesday, September 17th, 2014

Good Citizens of Room 126

2014 Class picWelcome to fifth grade!  How is your year going so far?  How are you being a good citizen in room 126?

Friday, September 20th, 2013

Kindness… are you spreading it?

photo(27)A couple of weeks ago, we collected books to send to a school that lost all of their books. We worked together to spread kindness as a class.

I am wondering what you think about kindness. Have you seen acts of kindness? How do you try to spread kindness? Any ideas on simple ways to be kind? Share your tips and ideas!

Happy Friday!

Thursday, August 29th, 2013

Welcome to the 2013-2014 School Year!

5th_Grade_RocksYou are 5th graders…  the head of the school and just one year off from middle school!  We have now been in school for a full week.  How is it going?  So far, what has been the best part of 5th grade?

Monday, November 26th, 2012

Thanksgiving Break

How was your Thanksgiving break? What did you do?  What was your favorite part?



Tuesday, November 6th, 2012


We know that next week we are receiving i-pads.  The teachers have been busy getting acquainted with them.  Your parents are attending a meeting tomorrow night.  But, I want to know how you feel.  I know we are all excited, but why?  What benefits do you see in having i-pads to use in our classroom and at home?  How comfortable do you feel using the i-pad?  What ideas do you have for using them effectively in our classroom?

I want your response to be thoughtful and not just talk about how excited you are.  Tell me your thoughts and ideas and let me know if there are any unanswered questions.

Sunday, October 28th, 2012

Be Informed 2012… Electoral College

For the past few weeks we’ve been studying about the candidates for the upcoming election.  We’ve learned about Paul Ryan and Joe Biden, Barack Obama and Mitt Romney, and how they feel about certain issues.  With voting only a couple weeks away, it’s time to learn about the actual election process.  On November 6th, citizens from all over the United States will go to their designated voting location and fill out a ballot saying which candidate they would like to be president.   Though we do vote indirectly for our president, they are actually elected through something called an electoral college.  Read the following article and listen to the song to find out more information.

What is electoral college? How has the election process changed since our nation was created?  Why do you think we have electoral college?  What might happen if we didn’t have electoral college?

Friday, October 19th, 2012

Vote for Obama, Or Vote for Romney!

Voting is a right that many people take for granted. A lot of you have realized and mentioned that in your previous weeks’ blog posts. It might seem weird to us, but many people over the age of 18 do not vote in elections even though they are able to do so.

People say that it is our civic right to vote. You might notice that the word “civic” looks a lot like the word “citizenship.” Those words go hand-in-hand. Civic duty also has a lot to do with responsibility.

4th grade students from Harlem Prep Elementary School in New York felt so strongly about voting that they created a parody of the well-known song “Call Me Maybe” that they titled “Vote For Somebody.” In the song, they mention that it’s our civic right to vote. What do you think they mean by this? Based on all the information you’ve read about the candidates and the election, why do you think it is so important for people to exercise their right to vote? Share your ideas below after watching the video.

If you’re feeling exceptionally creative, write a song verse to “Call Me Maybe” using information you’ve learned about the election over the past few weeks.

Friday, October 19th, 2012

Ask an Astronomer!

Today all 5th graders at Wescott had a great opportunity  to Skype with the Head of Astronomy (officially the Director of  Astrophysics), for NASA!  Dr. Paul Hertz also happens to be the uncle of one of our own, Peyton Bernstein.  We learned a lot in a short time.  He taught us that there are thousands of items in space that are similar to Pluto.  He told us about stars that he discovered.  He even said that the first person that will go to Mars is probably in elementary school right now!  We now know that in order to become a scientist you need to take as many math and science classes that you can.  But, when scientists discover something, they need to write about it to teach other scientists about what they found.  So, you also need to have strong language arts skills!  It was a very interesting and informative session!

What was most interesting to you about our discussion with an astronomer?

Here’s the link for Dr. Hertz’s webpage

If you didn’t get your question answered, or you’re interested in learning more, check out the link below.  Here you can read other answers to questions that people have asked or even ask your own!


Sunday, October 14th, 2012

Be Informed- Election 2012- Health Care

At one point or another, we have all gone to see a doctor.  Whether we go for a routine annual checkup or a more serious condition, someone has to pay for the time and expertise of the doctor(s), equipment used, and tests done.  And with the rising cost of health care in our country, Americans are concerned about how they will be able to receive and pay for these services.  This is where healthcare insurance comes in, and it is a topic of great interest to voters in this election.

This is an area in which the presidential candidates, Obama and Romney, have very different views.

You may find that understanding the details of the candidates’ plans is challenging, as there are a lot of ideas and terms involved with which you may not all be familiar.  Here is a list of vocabulary terms that might be helpful to know as you read the Time for Kids article below entitled, “Election 2012: Health Care.”

Health Care Terms:


A person who purchases goods and services for personal use


an amount or thing supplied or provided


A federal system of health insurance for people over 65 years of age and for certain younger people with disabilities

Preexisting conditions

A medical condition existing at a time when new insurance is applied for, for which treatment is not covered by the insurance


to formally withdraw, or to take something back (such as a law)


the act of voluntarily giving up rights or privileges, usually through a written statement


Make changes in (something, typically a social, political, or economic institution or practice) in order to improve it

As you read and reflect on this important issue, please respond by following the Blogpost Guidelines we have discussed.  What grabs your attention?  Why?  What questions do you still have about this issue.

Health Care Article

*Remember, we do not want you to tell us whom you are voting for.  We are trying to become more educated about our presidential candidates and where they stand on different issues.  Although you may have knowledge about this issue, please focus your comments on what you learned from this article.

Only 24 more days to the election!  The countdown is on!!

Image Credit

Friday, October 5th, 2012

Be Informed- Election 2012- Education

Over the past couple of weeks, we have spent time learning and blogging about Barack Obama, Mitt Romney, Joe Biden, and Paul Ryan.  One thing that we can all agree on is that they all have led very interesting lives.  All the men seemed very qualified to be in charge of our country. And, I think we learned some interesting facts along the way!

Now, it’s time to get to the important topics.  This week we are going to read about Obama and Romney’s views on the education system.  We are all very lucky to be at Wescott, but there are other children out there that are not as lucky as we are. Both candidates want to help improve schools for those students.

Read the following article and choose to blog about anything that stands out to you.  What are the ideas that you agree/disagree with?  Why?

*Remember, we do not want you to tell us who you are voting for.  We are trying to become more educated about our presidential candidates.

Election 2012: Education


Image Credit

Wednesday, October 3rd, 2012

Come to our colony!

Over the past two weeks, we have have been working hard to learn all about the original colonies. Students learned that in order to have a successful colony, you needed many people to help make it work. Each group was in charge of creating a sign and presentation to persuade new settlers to come to their colony. They did a great job creating catchy slogans and pictures to highlight the important features of their colony. Watch the videos, where would you decide to settle?

Friday, September 28th, 2012

Be Informed… Election 2012! Meet the VP!

The vice president of the United States plays an important role in governing our country.  They are indirectly elected by the people, as it is up to the presidential candidate to chose a vice president to run with.  Should the president die, resign or be removed from office, the vice president would take over.  It is essential to be knowledgeable about the vice president’s background and view points in order to make an informed decision come time to vote.  Our current vice president is Joe Biden, and running against him with Mitt Romney is Paul Ryan.

Please read the following articles about our vice presidential candidates.  Respond to each article in a thoughtful paragraph by stating anything you found particularly interesting about the candidates.  What did you learn?  Why is it important to have a vice president?

Friday, September 21st, 2012

Be Informed… Election 2012!

2012 marks an important time in our country. As you know, we have a democratic form of government which means every 4 years we elect a president. On November 6, 2012, many of your parents and other people over the age of 18 will be rushing to their polling center to vote.

The two main candidates in this year’s election are Barack Obama and Mitt Romney. In fifth grade we are going to be talking about both candidates and gathering knowledge about each to make a more informed vote on November 6th. Even though none of you are old enough to vote in the actual election, it doesn’t mean your voice can’t be heard. We’ll be hosting our own mock election right here at Wescott. From now until then, we’ll post articles with more information about the candidates.

Take time this week to get to know the candidates in more depth. Please write a thoughtful paragraph about each article. What surprised you about each candidate? Do you have anything in common with either man?

Remember, just like we don’t share grades, who you vote for is a private decision. We’re not looking to know who you’re planning on voting for on November 6th, but we would love to hear your thoughts about the election process and the information presented in the articles.

Meet Mitt Romney

Meet Barack Obama


Image Credit

Tuesday, September 18th, 2012

The Lost Settlement

Throughout the past week, we’ve been learning about the early English settlements.  Explorers landed on an island off of present-day North Carolina.  They named the island Roanoke after the American Indians who lived there.  Years later, Captain John White went back to England for supplies.  When he returned 3 years later, there was no sign of the settlers.  The only thing he could find was the word CROATOAN carved into a tree.

Last week many of you were making predictions about what happened to those settlers.  So, what do you think happened to the settlers of Roanoke?

*If you find any good information online, include a link to the website.

Friday, August 31st, 2012

And, They’re Off!

We’ve started this year with a bang in fifth grade! There have been so many successes already! We demonstrated we’re the leaders of the school, built a strong classroom community, and have learned our classroom rules and procedures. Our classroom is a wonderful place to be because of all of you great students! Congratulations on a great first week! What has been your favorite part of school so far?

Image Credit

Saturday, August 11th, 2012

Ready… Set… 5th Grade!

Welcome to 5th grade!  I am so excited to be your teacher through this exciting year!   Hopefully you are all enjoying your last days of summer, because I definitely am! I cannot wait to meet all of you, get to know you, and hear all about your summer!

Being a fifth grader means this is your last year at Wescott.  You are the leaders of the school!  Our school theme this year is “Character Connects Us”.  Through your years at Wescott, you have heard and learned all about the pillars of character: respect, responsibility, trustworthiness, fairness, caring, and citizenship.  Being a leader means that you model our school theme.

So, what does the theme “Character Connects Us” mean to you?

Feel free to comment before school starts!  I can’t wait to hear all of your wonderful ideas!

-Mrs. Murnick