5W World News

Volume 35 Issue 1

“Inspire, inquire, and innovate!”

August 5, 2016

An Awesome Year Ahead!

Welcome to the fifth grade!  I am very eager to begin working with you!  

Each day there will be Reading and Writing Workshop.  We will spend time learning important reading and writing strategies, reading books at our “just right” level, analyzing author’s craft, and writing.

In math we will focus on division, fractions, and decimals.  Mr. Wilson and I will work together to provide extra math assistance for everyone during “Math Extensions” several times a week.

Topics we will explore in

Social Studies are geography, history of early America, current events, and civics.  

Finally, for Science we will participate in Starbase, a program that incorporates skills in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM)... more about that later!  We will also learn about cells and different ecosystems.

As you may know we use technology a lot in the fifth grade.  Our Chromebooks enhance and extend our learning in every subject area!  

In science and social studies we will use them for research and to publish our learning in many interesting ways.  We’ll use Google Docs to write and publish our work during Reading and Writing Workshop.  

We will use Chromebooks to deepen our understanding of math concepts and to help us

practice our math facts.  There is a really nifty  

program we use to practice and learn our multiplication facts!

The computers will also help you to meet the challenges of the problem-based units our class will take on this year!

I love learning!  To me, learning is a joyful thing and I hope that you too will come to love learning this year as we work together to inspire each other, inquire (or ask questions) and innovate (do things in new ways).

Earn Extra Credit!

Important Notes

This is your chance to earn some extra credit before school starts!

All you have to do is write me a letter and mail it so that I receive it before school begins.  If you start right now you will have time to do this.

Use your neatest handwriting, indent your paragraphs, and use complete sentences.

In this newsletter I have told you a bit about myself and now I’d like to get to know you!

Tell me about yourself.  What are your hobbies and favorite sports?

What subjects do you like and why?  What subjects do you find challenging and why?  What do you hope to learn or do in the fifth grade?

Each year I ask my new students to do this activity and I always look forward to receiving your letters.

Remember though... I must receive your letter through the mail before school begins on Wednesday, August 31, 2016.

Mail your letter to:

Mrs. Joanne Williamson

2378 East Pittsford Road

Rutland, VT   05701

Cape Cod

We will be going to Cape Cod at the end of May.  We will let you know the dates soon after the school year begins so that families can plan ahead for the trip.

First Day

On the first day please bring a book for silent reading.  It’s important that this book be at your “just right” reading level and that it is a book that interests you.  We want you to start increasing your reading stamina right away!

Peanut/Tree Nut Safe School

Please remember that Barstow is a “Peanut/Tree Nut Safe” school.  This means that we strongly recommend that parents and guardians choose not to send foods containing peanut butter, tree nut butter, or nuts.  It is also important for your safety and the safety of others that eating on the bus and sharing food in the cafeteria or at snack is not allowed.  We all eat differently and some students need to avoid certain foods because they are allergic and certain foods can make them very sick.  

Meet Mrs. W. 

This will be my twenty-second year of teaching at Barstow.  Before that I taught for several years in Plymouth, Vermont and elsewhere.

My husband and I have two grown children.  We have two dogs, Westies, named Tavin McKenzie and Gregor McDougal.  I have a lot of interests and hobbies.  I love to read, play the harp, paint with watercolor, spin yarn on my spinning wheel, and knit.  I love plants and gardening.  You will start to see plenty of plants in our classroom as the weather grows colder.  I also love music of all kinds and sing in my church choir.

Although it isn’t really a hobby, I do love teaching and learning about all kinds of new and interesting things.  I especially enjoy creating learning activities and projects to help my students.

Please write and tell me about yourself, your family and your interests!  I look forward to hearing from you soon.

This is my spinning wheel!

School Supplies

This list is optional; no child is required to buy supplies.  The school will provide general classroom supplies such as pens, pencils, erasers, scissors, rulers, paper, glue, markers, and colored pencils.  You are welcome to bring in your own personal supplies if you wish.

school supplies.jpeg

  • 2” - 3” binder
  • An assignment book with holes so that it will fit into your binder
  • 3 - 100 page Marble Composition books with lined paper (not spiral bound)
  • A  LOT of 3”x3” sticky notes for Reading Workshop
  • Pencil box or pouch
  • Flash drive
  • Earbuds
  • Optional locker organizer

Classroom Wish List

  • Duct tape
  • 3”x3” sticky notes for Readers’ Workshop
  • 3” x 5” AND 6” x 4” sticky notes for Anchor Charts
  • Bean Bag “chairs” for our Reading Nook



Joanne D. Williamson

2378 East Pittsford Road

Rutland, VT   05701