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Article from the 5th Grade Newsletter, The Phoenix

Article from the 5th Grade Newsletter, The Phoenix
Posted on 11/05/2018
Before School Activities
by Marco N.
As you may already know, there are a lot of optional activities that a fifth grader can do, like STEM, Math Olympiad, and Mr. Gladu's 5th Grade Only Morning Gym.

STEM Club
STEM prefers that kids arrive at the library from 8 - 8:05AM in the morning. If you come after the directions, there won't be enough parents there to explain everything again. Last Wednesday, we made balloons full of rice, stuck a cork in the opening, and held the cork in place with a rubber band. Then we stuck a syringe through the cork and pushed the rice balloon down on a pencil. When you pulled the syringe back, it picked up the pencil like a suction cup. When you pushed the syringe down, it released the pencil.

In STEM, we do this kind of thing all year, from building bristlebots to collecting DNA from a strawberry. STEM is really fun and you should encourage your child to try it.

Math Olympiad
In Math Olympiad, we do more complicated, logic-like math problems. Every Monday morning from 8 to 8:45AM, we talk about different problems, and practice different math tactics. After each class, Ms. Lynch or Ms. Curry will hand out a homework assignment. It'll basically be about five word problems. One thing that makes Math Olympiad homework challenging -and fun- is that each problem has many different levels.

In March, Ms. Lynch will run a math session during lunch where a number of kids who want to complete in the Middlesex Math Madness tournament come to the Hawaii room in the basement of the school. While eating their lunch they'll go over the homework and talk a little about other problems. I did the group last year and it's very fun.

The competition happens in May or June, so you don't need to worry about it now. You should get your 5th grader to try Math Olympiad. It helps a lot in math, the teachers are really helpful and nice, and above all, it's fun!

5th-Grade -Only Morning Gym
Mr. Gladu runs a private, 5th-grade-only morning gym on Friday mornings, at the same time as all the other activities. he encourages 5th graders to participate.

"I need enough people to come each Friday, or I'll have to invite other grades" he said. "I want this to be just a 5th grade thing." (Editor's note: Mr. Gladu reports that more than half our fifth grade student attend!)

In this activity, we vote on what to do. If it's nice, we'll go outside. But we can also say in the gym. Lately, we've been playing ultimate frisbee or capture the flag. We also did a relay race. It's fun that it's only for 5th grade because we know everybody. It's also good because you get all your energy out so you're not jumpy and energetic during school.

Above all, these activities should be fun. They are optional, but 5th grade should try them!