Adventure Program and our first Field Trips

Next Friday, September 29, we will spend the day at Morse Hill as part of a launch of our Adventure Program journey!  We will do group problem solving activities, orienteering skills, games, and a pond challenge.  Kids should come dressed to get wet!

We will continue to do Adventure Program activities once a month, and there will be no fees for the program.  We will go Monday afternoons and plan to eat lunch at Morse Hill. Students may buy school lunch those days. We will be spending three hours on Monday afternoons in the fall and spring and two hours in the winter.


Our culminating trip will be a canoe trip in June. We raise funds at the Harvest Festival by selling burritos and cider (hot and cold).


Look for a permission slip to come home soon for a hike up Brushy Mountain too! We will aim for peak leaf time. Parents are welcome to join us on the October hike and the June paddle!

Welcome Back to LES!

We are off to a strong start, with students working hard, getting to know one another and the new routines, and welcoming new students.

We have also convened a Constitutional Convention and written a Grade 5 Constitution for 2017-2018:


Fifth Graders will

Take care of materials

-pick up after yourself

Be respectful to others:

-be kind

-listen to others

-include others as best you can

-be trustworthy

-be responsible for your own behavior (with fidgets, etc.) take responsibility

Focus: Do your best:  100% effort

-ask for help if you need it: you are responsible for your own learning

-be trustworthy

Follow the Spirit as well as the letter of the law (don’t look for loopholes)


What we need from teachers:

-Help us learn

-Listen to all sides

-Guide us

Remind us of rules and expectations

-Challenge us (help us but not too much)


Our total reading minutes for the 2016-2017 year?

104,432 minutes or 1,740 hours, 32 minutes, or 72 and half days of total reading outside of school!!!


Total pages?


That’s a small library of books!


Have a great summer filled with adventure and great books!

Brook Trout Stock Out

Grade 5 stocked out 52 healthy brook trout fry into the Saw Mill River in Montague this week!

The habitat looks to be healthy and perhaps even safe for swimming???

Country Websites!

An eleventh-hour publishing feat was completed today when the final two country websites were published!
The Fifth Grade is proud to present:
Madagascar, Australia, Portugal, Israel, and Chile!  The country sites are from a dropdown menu on each continent:

Endangered Species Publication

We have successfully published our endangered species books. We gave TED-style talks in the school library about the animals we studied and presented the animals and the threats facing them with a slide show and Q and A.

The book form of our reports are finished and each student designed a cover for his/her report. 


We are now writing persuasive pieces to submit to the Daily Hampshire Gazette to convince others to act to preserve the species we studied.  (Submission to the paper is optional.)


Our brook trout are getting big! We plan to stock them out in June if we can keep the ammonia levels down. We are changing out the water about twice a week.

May 15 we have been invited to participate in a program with the UMass fish biologists to help do field research on a local stream!

Keeping Warm with Blubber

In our continuing Life Science exploration, and as a segue to our unit on Endangered Species, we did a little experiment about keeping warm with fatty insulation!

First up: Pack a 5-gallon container with snow. Estimate how much water it will now hold (in addition to the snow). Then add water till it is 3/4 full with icy/snowy water. Our estimates ranged from 6-50 cups of water. The average was about 35 cups to an already packed bucket! Snow holds a lot of air!

Next we put one hand into a nitrile glove and immersed it in vegetable shortening (in a gallon zip-lock bag). We placed both hands, one bare and one immersed in a fatty later, into the ice water and reported how it felt three times: initially, after 30 seconds, and after one minute. There was much grimacing but no frostbite and the bare hands got very cold, red, tingly, burning, and stiff. The blubbery hands were cozy warm and comfortable.

That’s how polar bears, whales, seals, manatees, snow leopards, tigers, and many other animals keep warm!

A Fair to Remember!

Our Ancient Cultures Fair was a huge success! We had over a hundred student visitors and scores of adults come visit our celebration of Incan, Mayan, and Aztec cultures. There were games to play, number systems to learn, foods to sample, art to create and view. There was information about mountains, temples, calendars, gods, astronomy, hunting, record keeping, money, trade, cities, food, drink, religion, fishing, markets, gold, writing, gambling, warriors, empire, cities, and more!

Thanks to all our visitors who arrived with curiosity and open minds!

Hats off to the Fifth and Sixth Grade classes who hosted this amazing event! The Cultural Fair was the culmination of six weeks of hard work: reading, searching web sites, note taking, writing, preparations at home and in school, and then an enormous effort welcoming, entertaining, feeding, and informing visitors on the day of the event!  In preparation, each student wrote a written report, selected or created visual aids to accompany it, and then presented their findings formally to the other 5th/6th Grade classes.  The next day, we hosted the Cultural Fair for all the students in Grades Pre-K to 4 plus parents, staff, and the community! According to the knots tied on the quipu of our record keeper in the Incan Empire, we had 107 visitors to that site alone!