Thursday, January 31, 2019

Homework: This is a change! Just watch the 2 video links below. They do not provide as much detail as I will in class, but are a good review. We started borrowing and regrouping with fractions and mixed numbers today in class but did not get as far as I had hoped. This is a new skill for 5th graders so it is important that they understand how to approach these problems. It can be very tricky and there are lot’s of opportunities to make careless mistakes if they are not paying attentio to the details.

Tuesday, January 29, 2019

All afternoon activities have been cancelled due to potentially bad weather conditions in Caroline County later today.  >>>The BETA meeting scheduled for tomorrow at 7:30 will at 9:30 if there is a weather delay.  If school is cancelled , then so is the meeting.  

Homework: Finish(if needed) Page #1 AND Page #2 “Reducing Fractions To Lowest Terms” worksheet. Some students are done but most are not and are falling behind in classwork. Remember! Some of the fractions are proper, and some are improper fractions. This assignment is due Thursday 1/31. All work must be numbered and attached so I can easily help them correct mistakes if needed. For proper fractions? Find the GCF(list or tree method) and divide to write it in lowest terms. THE GCF MUST BE 1 TO BE IN SIMPLEST FORM! For improper fractions? Divide to convert to a mixed number first, then find the GCF to write the fraction in lowest terms.

***If there is a delay or cancellation tomorrow, students need to complete Wednesday’s Math Review problems before coming to school. They were instructed to take notebooks/mth review home.

2nd 9 Weeks Math YTD Test. I decided today was the day to make up the 2nd 9 week YTD Math Test(before we lose anymore class time to the weather). If they did not finish, they will need to finish during their 9:40-10:10 study hall. Ask them about the test and if they finished or not. If not, remind them to come to my room to finish tomorrow. This is a big grade so I hope they take it seriously, show all and double check their work before submitting the test for scoring. Due to all the weather related lost class time, I made a point to review daily the last couple of weeks to prepare them for this test.

Canned food drive: SCA is asking each grade level to donate food for the local food bank. 5th Gradeers are being asked to donate canned soups and cans of Chef Boyardee no later than 2/22/19.

Monday, January 28, 2019

Homework: Add/Subtract fractions #1-4 copied from board(and written below). Number and neatly show all work on lined paper. Refer to all of the completed examples in your notebook if you get stuck. NO REASON TO GUESS!  ALL answers must be in SIMPLEST FORM!

  1. 3/9 + 1/12 + 2/6 = ?
  2. 8/10 – 2/4 = ?
  3. 3 and 1/12 + 4 and 1/3 + 1/12 = ?
  4. 9 and 6/8 – 4 and 2/4 = ?

Tonight(1/28) is the LCES PTA McDonald’s Spirit Night from 5-8. Please come out for dinner with the kids and show support for the school. We get a $ portion of each purchase.

Friday the 28th: 1. Last chance to send in Kids Heart Challenge $$$. Make sure the envelope has been filled in completely before sending in to school. 2. Donuts for Dad. 3. Wear Super Bowl Jersey. 4. 100th Day of School.

Monday 2/4: Caroline Middle School Tour. Permission due this Friday 2/1!

Thursday February 7th: 3rd 9 week interims go home.

If you are sending Valentines in, please be sure to send enough for each student in our homeroom(22).

Thursday, January 24, 2019

Homework: Finish the “Reducing Fractions” worksheet #’s 11-20. You MUST show how you found the GCF (list or factor tree) and divide to get full creidt for your answers. That means your work must be numbered and NEAT so I can see that work.

Remind/Verizon UPDATE below:

At this point there is still no resolution to the remind/Verizon snag. With that said, I have added a widget to my blog (top right column) that allows you to sign up to recieve an email notification everytime I update my blog. This will eliminate the need for the mobile app (if you don’t want to do that). So for my verizon parents that need another option, you get an email notification that will take you to my blog. I hope this helps. Let me know if you have questions.

Wednesday, January 23, 2019

Homework: “Reducing Fractions” sheet #’s 6-10 only. DO NOT WORK AHEAD. Show work as instructed.

Also, If you did not finish the 3 adding and subtracting mixed number word problems in your notebook, please finish them as homework. The answers must be in simplest form.

Tuesday, January 22, 2018


1. Complete the Martin Luther King Jr “Prime and Composite” number worksheet and turn in no later than Friday 1/25.

2. Complete #’s 1-5 only on the the new “Reducing Fraction” worksheet. *You must use a Prime Factor Tree to find the GCF for #’s 1-3. *For #’s 4 and 5, choose a method for finding the CGF.

3. Correct Monday and Tuesday math review(if needed) and come to see me in the morning before encore to check coreections.

Friday, January 18, 2019

No homework over the weekend BUT…due to lost instructional time this week and next for MLK Day, I sent home next week’s math review today. They need to complete Monday’s problems prior to coming to school Tuesday. If they want to work ahead for next week? Go for it!

Below is a link to the math review if needed.

Notebooks should also be coming home because we have still not had the time to complete the YTD Math Test. I have put that on the back burner but will find time to assess over the coming weeks. It will probably be spread out over a few days in order to keep moving with new content being presented for the 3rd 9 weeks.


If you are a Verizon customer, you will no longer be able to recieve my updates via text messages beginning 1/28/19 unless you choose one of the following options:

  1. Sign up for email notifictions
  2. Download the mobile app
  3. Log into my blog daily at to see homework assigned and any other updates.

Next Friday 1-25: BETA Induction at 9:00, Honors Assembly at 9:30. It is also School Spirit Day.

Thursday, January 17, 2019

Homework: Finish #1-8 only on the “Reduce Fractions To Lowest Terms” worksheet using the Prime Factor Tree method to identify the GCF.

Today we dug a little deeper into our fraction unit beginning with writing fractions in lowest terms, also known as simplest form. Most students were taught to use the letter “F” as a reminder to list the Factors for both the numerator(top number) and denominator(bottom number) in order to identify the Greatest Common Factor(GCF). Unfortunately, many still do not know ALL of their facts so they omit factors from their list. And often times the factor they forget is the GCF. That’s not good.

So…today I taught them a new method for identifying the GCF using a Prime Factor Tree. This method can be a safety net for those kids that can’t recall all of the factors because they do NOT have to recall ALL of the factors, just one pair! That’s a good thing!

**PLEASE follow my directions for homework and neatly number and show each prime factor tree on lined paper(provided). Give yourself room to draw each factor tree. DO NOT SQUEEZE THE WORK TOGTHER!

**We completed lots of examples in class for you to refer to if needed.  

We will begin adding and subtracting fractions and mixed numbers next week so it is extremely important that they have a reliable method for finding the GCF so they can write their final answers in simplest form!

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Homework: Prime and Composite Quiz Review sheet. I handed back a prime/composite number assignment from last week for them to correct. There were lots of mistakes because they are guessing. They must think about the divisibility rules and the prime/composite “exceptions” to those rules to be sure a number has exactly 2 factors(prime) or more than 2 factors(composite). They can’t just guess!

Other Reminders:

BETA $35 dues and permission(if you were eligible) due tomorrow.

Friday is Twin Day AND is a half day for students!

Next Monday there is no school for Martin Luther King Day.

BETA Club Reminders

If you were found eligible and were invited to join the BETA Club last week, the $35 Membership dues along with the permisson slip with parent contact information and t-shirt size(adult) are due no later than this Thursday 1/17/19.

**Please turn the $ and permission slip in to Mrs Zirkle prior to announcements on Thursday 1/17 so she can reciept and turn all monies in to the school book keeper on time.

The BETA Club Induction Ceremony will take place on the 25th at 9:00 am prior to the 5th Grade Honors Assembly.

DON’T FORGET! The essay and recommendation letters(2) are due no later than the 1st club meeting on 1/30/2019. Please drop your child off at the 5th grade entrance, not the front school entrance for all meetings. Members, please drop your bookbag off in your homeroom and then come directly to Mr Sparico’s room with your agenda and a pencil.