Allee/Vroom Team News

On Wednesday, June 8th, please join us for the Spring Arts Night Celebration. 5th Grade Music class will be playing Marimbas and Percussion instruments. This will be a great event in the gymnasium at 6:30 pm.

On Thursday, June 9th fifth grade teachers will open classrooms to students and their families for A Celebration of Learning. Please drop by your child’s homeroom class any time between 6:30 PM and 7:30 PM to celebrate students’ accomplishments. This is an opportunity for your child to showcase all of their hard work throughout the year. Every classroom will have student work available to review and take home. We look forward to seeing you on June 9th!  Please note, Ms. Vroom will not be able to attend because of an important family event, but Ms. Allee will be in our classrooms with the walls open. Make sure to stop by to collect your student’s work and visit the classroom.

Week of May 31- June 3rd

It was another exciting week with two great assemblies: The first was by FAA pilot Kevin Greene about flight and the second one was Living Voices “Our Revolution”. The students are working hard on their combined LA/Science last project where they are learning to research and writing a 5 paragraph opinion essay about an environmental issue that matters to them. In science classes we also set up an experiment to learn about salinity and range of tolerance for brine shrimp. In mathematics we are enjoying our exploration of measurement and learning to make conversions between standard units.

Thank you to the kids and parents who showed up early on Thursday morning to help release chum salmon and clean the tank before school. There are only a few salmon left for parents to see on Thursday evening at the “Celebration of Learning”.

Week of May 16-20

        What a special week this was! We had the Whale Tales Assembly with Jeff Hogan and learned about how he became so involved with whale research as well as how to help identify and protect Orca Whales. We also had an entertaining assembly “Ride and Glide” on Friday in conjunction with Bike to School day. We were excited to have over 220 students who rode bikes to school!

        In Math classes we finished up Chapter 10 on Multiplying and Dividing fractions (test next week) and started exploring measurement. Students were engaged with partner measurement scavenger hunts. Science found us learning more about our watershed and working on an integrated project with language arts which will be on display outside our classrooms next week and ready to take home after our open house on Thursday, June 9th. 

Week of May 9-13

        We are all happy to have this week’s testing behind us! The students were very focused and worked super hard on their writing. Many of the kids wished they could take their drafts home to share with you because they had put their best effort into the piece.  With the testing and a guest speaker (poet Vicky Edmonds), our schedule was a bit topsy-turvy, but we still managed to have some time for math and science. Students completed realistic scientific drawings of isopods and learned they are not related to the Tenebrio as they are crustaceans as opposed to insects and have 7 pairs of legs. We tested preferred environments for the Tenebrio and came to the conclusion they prefer a shadier and drier location (under things if possible). Next week students will design their own tests to see what isopods prefer.

Link to a video of our Salmon Release and Stream Research

Week of May 2-6

        What a full week. The testing schedule was different for all of us, new seats and lots of quiet reading time if we finished before our classmates. The students worked super hard this week and focused fully on the tasks presented in the testing. We unwound with time for some crafts and poetry writing one afternoon. In science we finished our final graphing activity using data we gathered from our terrarium experiments. The students have shown a great growth in their bar graphing skills this year. We also took a look at some interesting insects: Darkling Beetles and Isopods. We will be conducting some observations to see what types of environments these creatures prefer.

Darkling beetle is the common name of the large family of beetles, Tenebrionidae. The number of species in the Tenebrionidae is estimated at more than 20,000 and the family is cosmopolitan. (Wikipedia)

Week of April 25-29

        This week was busy with a balance of interesting activity: Perseverance was our COHO theme, poetry writing, stream research during science classes and multiplying fractions in mathematics along with lots of review. The band performances success were a reflection of hard work to learn instruments. Make sure you check out  students’ beautiful poems which are on display for all to enjoy outside of our classrooms.

        Please make sure your student has headphones or ear buds (in a plastic baggie with their name) for upcoming testing.

* Important dates to note in your calendar:

April 20

        Language Arts students are working hard this week finishing up a SS project where they write a five-paragraph essay/letter about Williamsburg in the 1700s, using research from their SS book and their SS workbook.  Also, they are finishing a final draft of a piece of their choice selected from three essays they wrote earlier.  They are expanding and enriching their first draft, using additional details and more descriptive language in their writing.  Our students are becoming greatly improved writers and researchers, and we are especially proud of them for their hard work and perseverance.  

It is important that each student brings in a pair of ear buds for the testing  These should be put in a ziploc bag and marked with their name for the duration of testing.  We do not have enough headphones in the building to accommodate students.  

March 25        

I am especially proud of our students this week.  Most students did an excellent job on their slavery research essay and their class book summaries.  They are learning to work quite well in groups, and were extremely productive this week.  Cheers to the Allee/Vroom team!!!

In science we built paper models of watersheds and learned some vocabulary. Students enjoyed playing a food chain game which we will revisit again in the coming week. We also had a great time visiting the stream and releasing some of our salmon. We hope to release more next week on Wednesday, so remember those boots if you have them!

March 14 - 18

        Our field trip to Seattle Children’s Theater is actually going to happen on Friday. We will be leaving by school bus  at 9:00 am for the 9:40 ferry to the theater. Students need to bring a sack lunch, snack and something to drink. No electronics please and no spending money.

Science - our new unit is underway. Here is a link to our Bainbridge Island Watershed Map. Which Watershed you live in? How many watersheds are on Bainbridge Island?

        Math - Students are adding and subtracting fractions with proficiency! We are playing a great game this week called Fraction Freeze which practices the skill of adding fractions with the goal of getting as close to one as possible. Using two twelve sided dice or two sets of cards 1-12 you can teach your parents or older siblings this game and practice at home for some extra math fun!

March 7-11

It was fun seeing some of the students dressed in the 50’s day style. Too bad our field trip to see Brooklyn Bridge at the Seattle Children’s Theater was canceled due to the storm. Luck for us they have enough room to squeeze us in on next Friday, March 18th. This week in Science we started learning about birds of the Pacific Northwest. The students were introduced to a program called “NatureMapping” where citizens help perform research to learn more about the types of flora and fauna in a given region. In two weeks we will be releasing our Chum Salmon Fry into the stream behind Sakai. We are looking forward to our study of ecology and the environment.

In math we are now in Chapter 9 and working to extend our knowledge of Fractions to the next level. Today Mr. Rabinowitz shared the following website...and I think it is a great resource for learning about fractions. Try working on Thinking Blocks website for a bit this weekend, there is a lot of great Fraction practice there:

Make sure to start with a video tutorial before trying each of the following areas:

  1. "Add fractions with Like Denominators"
  2. "Add fractions with unlike denominators"
  3. "Model Fractions"

February 22-26

Tuesday's field trip to see the National Geographic Live seminar with photographer Bob Poole was fantastic. Thank you to the wonderful parents who volunteered their time to join us. It would not have been possible without your help.


In Seattle on the way to the FerryIMG_1780.JPG

Bob Poole and our classes after the presentation:


We were very fortunate to have a few minutes with the presenter after the show and several students got his autograph and we all had a picture taken with him which I will share once I get a copy. It was really exciting for us to meet and personally speak with him. Here are a few links in case you or your students would like to explore some more about Bob's films:  Look at the "demos" page as there are several great short film clips with Bob. The best ones are the very first at the top and the lower two.

This was a wonderful way to kick start our next unit in science about "Environments".

What a great day!

Friday we had a guest speaker, local author of over 150 non-fiction children’s books, Jim Whiting. He shared a couple of presentations with the students about the origin of words and printing as well as information about musicians and their interesting stories. It was really interesting and fun.

In science this week students learned about and explored non-Newtonian fluids. Remember, if experimenting at home, do not rinse down the drain as these non-Newtonian fluids can really clog your plumbing!

February 8-12

Hello Dear Families,

Several students have asked about Valentine's Day. Here is the plan:

If your student wishes to bring a valentine card for everyone in their homeroom, that is just fine. If they just want to gift a card to one or two friends, that needs to happen outside of the classroom (on the bus, at break, lunchtime or recess). At Sakai many students choose not to do Valentine's cards for the class. Our plan is to have the last hour of the day, after the break, to exchange cards and enjoy a snack together. There will be some games and craft activities. If your student would like to bring a snack to share with the class, that would be great. Please think of somewhat healthy and smaller snacks.

        In mathematics we are just finishing Chapter 7 about the Coordinate Plane and Order of Operations. The chapter test is this Thursday-Friday. In Science we continue to explore chemical reactions. This week we worked with reactions in a Ziplock baggie and learned about “reactants”. Some of the vocabulary words from this unit are: reactants, chemical reaction, solvent, mixture, solution, precipitate, matter.

January 11-15

        Another busy week. The kids were  very focused in their mathematics rotations with many finishing a day early which gave them more time for an extra game of “Exponents War” or ST Math work. We are getting to review our long division skills as we apply them to learning to divide with decimals! Next week we will finish up this chapter on decimals and have an assessment on Monday, January 25th.

        In Science we have been continuing our exploration of Chemistry focusing on Matter. Students practiced sharing and reflecting on their data from our Matters Changing States lab by making bar graphs. We are also building our knowledge by watching several Brainpop videos and writing virtual notes about what we find interesting (students are doing this in Google Classroom). Vroom’s class completed a lab measuring the mass of Sweet tea to see if mass is conserved when mixing several ingredients. Students are improving in their skills with triple beam balances.

        On Friday we all enjoyed a day of school in our Pajamas. Hot chocolate was served at lunch and everyone was in a great mood!

Have a wonderful 3 day weekend!

January 4-8

        This week we will be studying Linking Verbs, reading about wild wolves and domesticated dogs, getting a new spelling list, and doing several short “quick writes.”  We will also be finishing up Ch. 5 in Social Studies, about the early explorers of the New World, including a chapter test on Friday and finishing the workbook pages.  In geography, we will be identifying Confederate States and learning about a few other states and information about them, with a packet due on Friday.  

        In science we have been learning about Matter and the changing states of matter. Students learned to use triple beam balances to measure and record the mass of 4 substances before and after melting and then cooling. They are discovering that mass is conserved when substances go through a physical phase change )Solid-liquid-gas), but not when there is a chemical change.

        In mathematics we are exploring multiplication of decimals and how to represent problems with models of the numbers. The students took a Check my Progress for Chapter 6 (this is a mid-chapter quiz to check for understanding) on Friday.

        The beginning of the week it seemed everyone was tired, but we settled in by mid-week and vacation has begun to fade into the background. We heard lots of entertaining holiday stories!  Welcome to the New Year!!!

December 14-18

        It was a busy and wonderful week with the kids.  The goal for ST Math is 40% by the time we return in January, if your child has exceeded that goal and hits the challenge, get them a Khan academy account using their frogrock address.

We enjoyed ourselves immensely celebrating the end of the year with a book exchange and then a barter/trade fair and time for games in the afternoon. The students earned the fun of a pajama party after getting enough compliments for quick transitions to fill a vase with colorful puff balls. The result was we all took a math test over Chapter 5 rounding, addition and subtraction of decimals in our pajamas on Friday morning!

        We wish your families a time of relaxation, celebration and joy together over the holidays. Please encourage your children to read and practice their math facts.


December 7-11

        This week we are continuing our work in Social Studies with Ch. 5, learning about a variety of explorers and their routes to the New World.  We will also have a new spelling list on Wednesday, with the test the following Wednesday, 12/16.  In Language Arts, we will continue reading in our anthology and finishing up the explorer journal entry.  We will also be writing about an explorer, using additional research to complement our textbook knowledge.  As you can see, Language Arts and Social Studies lend themselves well to interdisciplinary learning.  Writing in 5th grade has a heavy emphasis on evidence-based writing, which Social Studies fits into nicely.

        In Science students are wrapping up their procedures for filtering contaminated water and observing the results. We also learned about a fruit many of us had never seen called Buddha’s Hand. A fun observation activity for all of us. In mathematics we are now working with adding and subtracting decimal numbers as well as reviewing place value introduced in chapter 1.

November 30-December 4th

We had such a great trip to the Poulsbo Marine Science Center. Students were able to learn all about Echinoderms by acting like a sea star or sea cucumber, drawing, touching and observing Echinoderms. On the Floating Lab we enjoyed a variety of laboratory experiences:

The students also had a brief time to explore the indoor touch tide pools in the Marine Science Center. This trip was fantastic!

Back in class, our scientists are busy exploring the concept of matter. They have come up with the idea that matter is anything that takes up space and has mass and comes in forms of Solid, Liquid, Gas, and Plasma. Students are currently designing a test to determine which of 3 water samples is contaminated.

In mathematics we are at the end of chapters 3-4 on division. The students are mostly done with their chapter assessments, we will finish up early next week and move into more rounding, but this time with decimals to the thousandths place. A handy skill to have!

November 16-20

Another busy, fun filled week. The storm was all consuming for the kids at the start of the week, and energy remained high. We finished up our unit on Variables in science by experimenting with “Whirly Birds” or paper helicopters and will soon be beginning our study of properties of matter through a unit called “Mixtures and Solutions”. We are preparing as well for our Marine Science field trip to Poulsbo Marine Science Center on Thursday, December 3rd. If you have not sent in your child’s permission slip and $4 for the bus, please do.

In mathematics we continue to work on long division and problem solving. The kids are really starting to get the hang of long division. However those who do not have their math fact fluency down need more support to complete longer, multiple step problems.

A highlight of this week was the Living Voices production called La Causa.

Here is a link to an Animoto slide show of October and November highlights in class, please watch it with your only takes 4 minutes.

Happy Sunday!

November 2-6

        What a great week! Students were charged up about Science and we tested our PPPSS (Propeller Powered Popsicle Stick Systems) in science classes. Several students decided to come in at lunch time and continue their tests to see the effect of slope, mass, number of rubber bands. On Thursday and Friday, Mr. Rabinowitz and Ms. Vroom switched classes so Vroom and Allee’s homerooms could get to know another teacher and continue learning about variables with Sphero. They will be working with Mr. Rabinowitz for 4 days on this curriculum with programming and variables while Ms. Vroom meets and teaches his classes about the PPPSS systems. Students seemed charged up and excited about this exchange.

        In mathematics we have been focusing on learning and trying out strategies for dividing. We also completed our second full week of rotations and the students are getting the hang of the system. We have had math docents in both classes and it is wonderful to have them working with our students. If you are interested in being a math docent, please contact Ms. Vroom and she will plan you into the schedule. The students love this invaluable support.


October 26-30

        In LA/SS this week, we are working on finishing our personal narratives, reading stories, and working on a Native American regional project.  We also begin our Native American poems later in the week.  We will be listening to the BHS band on Friday, as well as celebrating Halloween and having pizza, as part of our school-wide Math-a-thon reward.  Students are welcome to bring in Halloween treats to share also.

In Mathematics this week I would like your student to join in the Greg Tang Halloween Mathematics Challenge. We are having chapter 2 test on

Multiplication strategies on Tuesday and will be starting our new chapter on division with a one digit divisor this week in class.

        In Science we are starting to take a look at the variables of flight. We will be making various types of airplanes to experiment with in class. There is a take home airplane assignment as well, so be looking for that this week Wednesday.

Costumes at Sakai On Friday, October 30, students will be allowed to change into their costumes during lunch or after lunch. We do not do the whole day in costumes. When students do change into their costumes, we ask that they do “almost a full-dress rehearsal”, but not quite their whole costume. We want them to save their full costume for outside of school activities. And since we do not have school on October 31, this is especially appropriate this year. “Not quite the whole costume” looks like this at Sakai:

- No make-up or hair spray

- No fake blood

- No fake weapons or look-alikes

- No vulgarity

- No revealing costumes

- Masks are okay (but at anytime we can ask that they are removed)

- Costumes should be relatively easy to put on and take off since we are changing at school. These are our rules each year and students are usually very respectful and tasteful even with scarier themed costumes.

October 19-23

        A short week!  Conferences will be held Thursday and Friday. On Wednesday, Vroom’s class teamed with Watson won their rounders final and were very excited. It was fun seeing the kids out there playing in their hats and sunglasses while wearing orange for Unity Day. We all enjoyed our Unity Day fortune cookies containing 35 fortunes written by Sakai students. Hearing students get excited when their fortune was actually chosen to be printed in a cookie was a rewarding experience.

        In science we did some fun demonstrations with water and air pressure. Ask your kids about the egg and the bottle as well as how to turn a glass upside down with only a postcard to keep the water in the glass. Students should be sharing their Chapter 2 math vocabulary flip charts at home and we are taking a chapter 2 test next Tuesday. ST Math progress is advised to be around 21% by next week.

October 12-16

        The week flew by. In mathematics students were introduced to rotating math stations in small groups and by the end of the week they were doing a great job of working more independently and meeting with Ms. Vroom in small groups. This 20 minute rotation time is followed by a whole group lesson where we review the previous day’s homework and introduce the new math lesson. We had a “Checking my progress” toward the end of the week which made it clear that we need to spend a bit more time on Prime Factorization before the chapter test...Please allow your  student to follow the link to watch a Kahn Academy video about prime factorization and practice problems. Students worked on estimating before multiplying two digit numbers in our small groups this week.

        In science we are finishing up our lifeboat capacity laboratory and learning now to make graphs in a google classroom document. We are focusing on the idea of variables and how to create experiments with controlled variables. On Tuesday we had a visit from Ben Franklin Live (check out the link to learn more).

October 5-9

        This week in Language Arts we are working on getting close to the end of Schooled, learning about metaphors and similes, identifying compound subjects and predicates, and writing more short journal entries.  We are also continuing our work in Social Studies about Native Americans, particularly how they adapted to the land in the Americas and the different cultural regions that they formed.  We will also be taking the Ch. 2 Test on Thursday or Friday.

        This week in Mathematics we began with the Essential Question “What strategies can be used to multiply whole numbers?” We have been working on number puzzles and prime factorization throughout the week. We also focused on the strategy of working backwards to solve certain types of mathematical problems.

        In science we have been floating and sinking lifeboats (paper cups). Students have been collecting data to continue graphing and exploring relationships between the capacity and number of passengers a paper boat can carry.

         We are very proud of our hard workers and hope all our students are stepping up more at home to be responsible and independent with homework.

September 28-October 2

        In Language Arts this week we are working on Schooled, our class novel, finishing up our predicate papers, doing daily journal writes, and having our spelling test on Thursday.  Ms. Vroom’s homeroom has Library Bootcamp on Tuesday, and Ms. Allee’s homeroom has it on Wednesday, where we learn about the library and related topics, especially technology.  We are also beginning Type To Learn on Mondays for 30 minutes.  We highly encourage everyone to work on this at home, so keyboarding skills continue to grow.  We are beginning Ch. 2 in Social Studies, about the Native Americans and how they first came to inhabit North America.  We will also begin learning the states and where they are located on a map.  Eventually, we will include state capitals.  

In Mathematics we plan to have the Chapter 1 Place Value test this Friday. Overall, the students did well on this assessment. Results to be shared in class next week. It is a good idea for the students to review their chapter vocabulary before this assessment. Please continue to collect for Math-a-thon - envelopes will be collected next Monday, October 5.  We are so impressed with how hard-working and cooperative our students are this year.  Thank you to all of our supportive parents!


September 21-25, 2015

        In mathematics Monday we learned how to log into Xtra Math accounts to practice our fact fluency. There were lots of groans of disappointment! I hope you will encourage your student to stay sharp on their facts and Xtra Math is one way to practice, but definitely not the only way. Flash cards, ST Math, and many other math games (even songs) are out there to build fact fluency as well. What Xtra Math does well is allows your student to see which facts are slowing them down. Ask your child to show you how it works if you have not seen it before. The kids need to go to Xtra Math and put in my email address: and their own first name and 4 digit pin that they wrote down in their planners.

        It was a busy week with a lot of mathematics, yet less science than we would have liked. Next week we plan to even out the balance a bit. We are studying Variables in science and experimenting with pendulums. Feel free to log into this website called PHET and let your student experiment with a virtual pendulum this weekend. On Friday we took our mid chapter 1 “Checking my Progress” for the place value chapter. All the students also practiced logging into their on line math books to find a game called “Fact Dash” and now have SumDog accounts.


September 14 - 18, 2015

        This week will be an introduction to the actual 5th grade homework workload. Please remain in contact with us if your student is struggling to get the homework completed. The guideline we use is 30 minutes per subject teacher (Mathematics/Science and Language Arts/Social Studies). Whatever time students have left after completing their daily mathematics assignment should be used to practice fact fluency and/or ST Math. Students are expected to read 30 minutes a day. If your student is focused for 30 minutes and is finding difficulty completing the work assigned, please get in contact with the teacher.

        School pictures are on Friday, Sept. 18th. A form was sent home on Monday with your student. Quality School Pictures code SAKA9 (in case your student is still learning to get organized!)

September 8-11, 2015

        It was great seeing so many of our parents at the Sakai Open house on Tuesday night. We are off to a great start. This week the students started working on more academics as we continue collaborating, team building, and learning routines as well as getting to know our school. Both classes have now been outside to visit our amazing outdoor classroom, the trail and stream behind Sakai, on the way we chatted about invasive species of plants we noticed. Ms. Allee had all students take the Star Reading level assessment and we had an orientation in the library. We also had visits from both counselors in our classes, Ms. Hebert and Ms. Browning. It was a busy week!

First Week, Sept. 2-4

Welcome to 5th grade! We spent the first three days of school getting to know each other, and what a wonderful team we have! The first two days were spent in our homeroom classes learning names and getting to know our classmates. We also switched briefly and the students were able to meet their other teacher.

The students have been working hard on their “all about me” projects which will be showcased at parent night on 9/8 at 6:30 p.m., we hope to see you all there! Students are also becoming more familiar with specialist schedules and Sakai expectations, we will begin COHO time on Monday 9/14 so please ask your child to explain what happened on that day. :)

We are looking forward to an exciting year, welcome to Sakai!