Little Tor Elementary School
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  Little Tor Elementary 
Clarkstown Central School District
Clarkstown Central  
 School District
56 Gregory Streeet
New City, NY 10956
(914) 639-6365
     Principal: Patricia Holbert
     Secretary: Eileen Savage

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fifth grade

Ms. Susan Larkin & Ms. Leigh Ann Zeller
& Ms. Mary Ellen Blauman, Science

Language Arts

In Mrs. Larkin's room, a "Special Valentine" Bret's valentinewas a recent theme. Each student chose a poem, typed it and made Valentine's cards, such as the one on the left by Brett, for nursing home residents. This was a rewarding activity in two ways: we were exposed to beautiful poetry and, hopefully, brought sunshine to the residents.
Another on-going activity is the writing of our original tall tales. The subject for these could be a family member, relative or even family pet. We've had fun making our characters larger than live and using the literary elements of metaphor, simile, and personification. Including caricatures has added to the humor of our tales.
We are polishing our computer skills by writing a "Kids Classified" book. We are each making our own "yellow page" ad by writing an advertisement describing a particular talent to share with our classmates. We have piano lessons, babysitting, dog training - who knows what other hidden talents are waiting to be discovered?
Congratulations to our 5-L classmate, Brendan, for winning the DAR Essay Contest in Rockland County. His essay, on early American naval heroes, was forwarded to the state competition. Thank you, Brendan, for the honor you have brought to your family, school, and yourself!
In Mrs. Zeller's room, students have started their Birthday Books! A Birthday Book is a research and creative project that is centered around the child's birth date. We have researched and creatively presented our family tree, drew character webs, written a creative autobiography from the character web, and researched famous people that share our birthday. The students are in the process of doing a mini-biography on one of the celebrities born on their birthday. We will continue with a cinquain of their astrological sign and follow with an interview of people's impressions of them the day they were born. The books should be complete and published by spring and we will celebrate with a big BIRTHDAY BASH to which all of the parents will be invited.
We have finally begun our research papers on a topic of choice. The source cards are written and note cards will begin the third week in February. Some of the topics that students have chosen to research include: the Great Wall of China, the Olympics, Medieval foods, The Challenger, Roller Coasters, The Statue of Liberty, and The Grand Canyon. The reports and projects should be complete by the end of April and ready for presentation.
Childen continue to read and keep their reading records. Their fourth book report, which is to be about an animal, is due February 25.


Pattern Blocks

February is Fraction Month. The students have been using pattern blocks to explore the relationships between fractions. We have learned about equivalent fractions, adding and subtracting fractions, least common mulitples, and greatest common factors. We will continue learning and exploring fractions through the month of February.


We recently completed our studies of Invertebrates/Vertebrates. The children "created their own." These were invertebrates that they discovered and brought to life through clay, paint, playdough, etc. We are now on "The Voyage of the Mimi" where we are learning about oceanography. The children are very excited about this expedition!


Social Studies


Land of Law
Law of the Land by Cassie, Kaitlyn, and Vanessa
Steps to the White House by David, Jordan, and Mark
Students completed the study of the Constitution by creating their own board games. We made our own layouts, rules, props, and box design. Questions were gathered from each of the seven Articles and Amendments of the Constitution. All the students had an opportunity to play each other's games. We had a great time!
Constitopoly by Brendan, Nate, and Mitch
Taylor's Family Tree
Taylor's Family Tree

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