• Mid-February

    Posted by Joseph Kerney on 2/16/2020

    On February 28, your student will present their SS/ELA presentation that they have been working on.  Times for each student’s presentation will be sent home (morning time). Students need to dress like someone would in the 1600-1800 era on this day. You are welcome to join the class that your student is presenting in and watch.  Parents are also welcome to watch the dance from 2:15-2:45 on February 28th in the gym.  This is a big day for 5th grade and we are excited and working hard to bring everything together. 

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  • January Newsletter

    Posted by Joseph Kerney on 1/13/2020

    Hello Families,

                We are off with a nice start to the new year.  The kiddos came back from break and have surprised me with their skills and behavior.  We are submersed in a text rich environment learning about Superheroes and the Age of Exploration. Soon we will be learning about colonial life in Social Studies and we will end that unit with Colonial Day at Russell.  In groups, students will create a presentation about a colonial topic that will be presented at the end of February.  Groups dress up in theme coordinating with their presentation.  Presentations will be given to other classes on Colonial Day.  In the next few weeks more information will be given about Colonial Days.

                The class has wrapped up multiplying, adding, subtracting, and dividing fractions and we are efficient solving 5th grade fraction problems.  In the next couple of weeks we will learn how to multiply decimals.

                For the next 16 weeks our class has a guest teacher candidate from the University, Ms. Donahue.  Ms. Donahue will assist with classroom tasks and is an asset to our learning environment.  The next few months will be fun.  We also host the Wax Museum closer to the end of the year and after we get through Colonial Days I will update you with more information about the museum.  Next week we have Monday off! 

                I appreciate your support at home and as always if you have any questions please contact me. 


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  • School Starts January 6

    Posted by Joseph Kerney on 12/29/2019

    I wish you a wonderful rest of your break.  Before we left for the break each student set a reading goal and has a math packet to help them keep their brain going over the break.  It will be marvelous to start the new year with each student reaching or exceeding their goal over break.  Can you please remind your student to keep their brain strong with the work they have during this next week?  See you in 2020.  Thank you for your support!

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  • 3 Weeks Left

    Posted by Joseph Kerney on 12/1/2019

    December is here and this time of year is wonderful.  We have 3 weeks left this calendar year.  In Math we are practicing dividing fractions and will complete the fraction units in the next few weeks.  Novels are being read fast and I appreciate all the parent support.  There is a lot of things gong on the next few weeks and it is important to continue to work hard and build stamina.  In ELA we are working on writing opinion pieces, summarizing text, and finding and using text evidence to compare and contrast.  All elements of PAX have been implanted and the students are able to play the Good Behavior Game.  Each student is a member of one of four teams.  PAX helps us practice self-regulation, leadership skills, and promotes a strong community culture. 

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  • 11/27-12/01 Break

    Posted by Joseph Kerney on 11/26/2019

    School starts back up on December 2nd.  

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  • Happy Thanksgiving

    Posted by Joseph Kerney on 11/1/2019

    Happy Fall & Thanksgiving to all.  Students are working hard towards reaching their goals and have collected enough paperclips from compliments that the chain if paperclips is reaching from the top of the whiteboard to the floor.  We are becoming proficient adding, subtracting, and multiplying fractions and decimals.  Many students are participating in Battle of the Books and are doing a good job voraciously reading.  Lady Griz Day is November 4th, and we will be going to the Adams Center for the game, wear your Griz apparel. 

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  • October Time

    Posted by Joseph Kerney on 10/18/2019

    This week for PAX Good Behavior Game we learned PAX Leader and PAX Hands and Feet. Your student was taught every child is a PAX Leader and they learn to identify themselves as PAX Leader. This teaches them to connect their prosocial behavior with who they are, not just with what they do. PAX Leader will help your child meet and exceed high expectations and promote teamwork. 

    We also learned about PAX Hands and Feet. PAX Hands always help and never hurt. PAX Hands and Feet increase your child’s sense of safety and help make the classroom a more nurturing place. 

    Look for ways your child is a PAX Leader or uses PAX Hands and Feet and praise them. You may want to ask your child how they were a PAX Leader today!

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    Posted by Joseph Kerney on 10/12/2019

    No School on Thursday and Friday the 17th and 18th. 

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  • Happy Fall

    Posted by Joseph Kerney on 9/30/2019


    This year, I am implementing the PAX Good Behavior Game to teach students self regulation and social cooperation. These skills will help your child for their lifetime as they move through school and enter the workforce. The PAX Good Behavior Game is the culmination of more than thirty years of scientific study and has been shown to reduce classroom disruptions and aggression and increase academic achievement and graduation rates. There is also evidence that students who play the PAX Game are less likely to develop mental illness or use alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs later in life.

    The PAX Good Behavior game is a set of strategies called Kernels that help teachers manage classroom behavior by teaching students how to self-regulate and “do the right thing” regardless of who is watching. The Kernels are woven into instruction and taught throughout the school day.

    Once the children are able to self-regulate and show “PAX behaviors” they are placed on teams chosen by the teacher. About three times per day, the teacher sets a timer. While the timer is ticking, the teacher will conduct the class just like normal. If a child does something that gets in the way of the vision of the “wonderful school,” then the child’s team gets a foul—which the children call a “Spleem.” When the timer rings, the teacher counts up the number of Spleems. If a team has three or fewer Spleems, it wins the game and all teams can win. Simple prizes are awarded to each winning team.

    The PAX Game helps children exercise the portion of the brain that controls impulsivity. During the game, the children learn to support one another rather than make fun of each other. All of this helps to reduce inattention and disruptions, which, in turn, enhances learning.

    This week we worked on the Kernels called PAX Vision and PAX Quiet. PAX Vision is a collaborative process between teachers and students. Students and teachers define what they would hear, see, feel, and do more and less of to create the most wonderful classroom. Behaviors that we want to see less of are called Spleems. We learn that everyone “spleems” so it is important to learn how to fix it and move on. Using the PAX vision strengthens your child’s ability to self-monitor and avoid errors in behavior.

    With PAX Quiet we learn to stop and listen to the teacher when they hear the harmonica. It teaches students how to fluently use their “brake pedal” to stop and listen when their teacher has something important to say. 

    If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me. 

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  • Class Update

    Posted by Joseph Kerney on 9/24/2019

    Our first field trip is planned for October 4th. We are headed to the river to collect samples. Please dress appropriately for fall conditions. It could snow, rain, or tsunami and we will still be collecting samples, so please dress appropriately. We are scheduled to attend Lady Griz day the first week in November and more information will be provided in the next newsletter.

    Pax behavior games will be implemented in to the class routine soon. I will send home more information on how Pax works. Our Daily 5 routine is going well and our stamina is building quickly. We are successfully completing Work on Writing, Word Work, and Read to Self. The 2 other rounds will be gradually implemented into our routine in the coming weeks. We just finished our second 5th grade novel. We are working on the foundations of narrative writing and in the coming weeks will produce a short story performing our writing skills. It is so cool to see all the hard work in class. Thank you for your support at home, it pays off during the day at school.

    We are learning how to add and subtract fractions in math. Knowing your multiplication up to 12 really helps at this level of math. It would benefit many students to go over their multiplication at home every night. Feel free to have multiplication races at home. Ask them how to play, you just might enjoy the game. The practice will help students feel success faster.

    We are studying ecology right now in science. Over the next couple of weeks CFWEP will come in and give 4 lessons on the Clarkfork Watershed. We conclude with our field trip on October 4th. We will be building food chains and understanding how energy is transferred in ecosystems.

    I only send minimal homework home. I appreciate the support I have received with students completing homework on time. Turning in homework on time is crucial for students to understand what is happening in class the next day. We try to fill out a planner each day with what we learned and homework that needs to be completed for the next day. It is a good reference to check to see if we have any homework due the next day.

    We have such an awesome class!

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