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Make Homework Corner

Even if your child's bedroom is large enough for a desk, having an area specifically for homework is often a better choice for optimum productivity and learning.

Benefits of a homework corner

While you might think a desk in your child's room is the optimum homework spot, think about all the distractions that might reside there. From books and toys to video games and whatever else they have stashed under the bed, homework may never get done. Giving kids a quiet place to call their own and concentrate, whether in a small corner of the kitchen or living room, or in a spare bedroom, can make a huge difference in how much they accomplish. Not to mention, if they need your help, they don't have to feel like their private space (i.e., the bedroom) is being taken over by mom. The homework nook or corner might be dedicated to your child, but it's still a more neutral space to tackle school work together.

What you need

Choose an area that gets a lot of light (if that's not possible, invest in a good floor and/or desk lamp). Try and find a spot that doesn't get too much foot traffic (the hallway or foyer isn't the best option for this reason) and someplace you can fit a desk, chair and some kind of small storage or organizational unit. Here's a simple checklist to help you get started:

  1. Desk (small but sturdy with drawers for storage)
  2. Chair (something comfortable with back support)
  3. Floor or desk lamp for optimum light
  4. Small shelf or area for books, papers, pens and other school supplies

Make a note: Get your child to pick out or design some aspects of the homework space. Whether it's the desk lamp, neon-colored pen holders, a poster to go above the desk, let them personalize their homework corner.

Product picks

We rounded up a few fun pieces sure to please.

Desk: We love this space-saving, compact desk ($449) with a drawer and cabinet for easy storage (which can be positioned to either the right or left of the desk). Choose from white, chestnut or rich espresso.

Task lamp: Light up their workspace with this adorable lamp ($69) inspired by a gumball. We're partial to the turquoise, but it also comes in orange.

Chair: No kid will be able to resist a swivel in this funky orange desk chair easily adjustable according to height ($199). It also comes in black and white.

To-do board: Lists are a great way to stay organized, so we suggest getting one of these handy desktop dry-erase boards for your kids' homework corner ($13). The bright green color can't be beat and it's an eco-conscious way to make notes and stay organized.

Boxes: If there's room on the desk, it's a good idea to have a few options for easy organizing so the homework corner doesn't become a disaster zone. We like this set of colorful boxes, trays and folders ($19).

More back to school

How to make the first day of school easier
Get organized for back to school
School-savvy moms share back-to-school tips

                            Mrs. Wooten's Fifth Grade
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         Homework Overview for the Week:
Please see the content section blow for additional details related to the assignment. 
1. Problem of the Week (math)--due March 16
2. Math practice contract (math)--due Friday, March 16
3. Science project due--Monday, March 26
4. Make sure you are caught up on all of your science notebook entries for each investigation. Complete any unfinished entry components at home.
5. Quizlet vocabulary practice (science): 

5th Grade Math:
* Problem of the Week (select one and follow the above directions). 
* Math Practice Contract: Show all work. Be sure to organize your work and number/label all problems. 

CC 6+ Math:
Problem of the Week (select one and follow the above directions). 
Math Practice Contract: Show all work. Be sure to organize your work and number/label all problems. 

Problem of the Week (choose one). Creating a chart and using the guess and check/logical reasoning strategy works. Solving algebraically is not expected or required. However, if you enjoy this strategy, feel free to use it. :-) Making a chart and using guess and check strategies will also work. 
Reminder: The Problem of the Week is graded on EFFORT, not correct response. A VALIANT attempt should be made to solve the problem and all steps should be shown.

Reminders: TRY the Problem of the Week--it is graded on an awesome EFFORT! The "trade in" policy for a higher level POW is always in effect.

Option 1
At a movie, 1/4 of the people in the theater were men, 5/8 were women, and the rest were children. If there were 100 more women than children, what was the total number of people in the theater?

Note for all Problem of the Weeks: You may make an organzied chart and use logical reasoning/guess and check to solve the problem. Algebra is not expected. Students are expected to be able to explain THEIR solution in class. 

Option 2.
There is one option this week. :-)

Note for all Problem of the Weeks: You can make an organized chart and use logical reasoning through guess and check. Algebra is not expected. Students are expected to explain THEIR solution in class.

Math Contract REMINDER:

Math contracts provide additional practice for skills learned in class. Remember that ALL work needs to be shown to earn full credit. Math contracts submitted without work will be returned for a re-do.
Work = Credit
NO work = NO credit

* Science project proposal was due Friday, February 23. Your proposal must include the focus question, prediction, materials, and procedure.

* Make sure you are caught up on all of your science notebook entries for each motion and design investigation.

* Practice the fifth grade science vocabulary using the following Quizlet link: 
Once you go to the link, you need to click on the "Flashcards" or the "Match" activities. Spend at least 10 minutes per night (for a total of at least 40 minutes by each Friday morning). Feel free to do "Flashcards" some days and "Match" other days. 

​Previous Problem of the Weeks:

From the Week of September 11:
​Option 1. 
Christopher and Garrett had the same number of Matchbox cars. After Garrett gave him 72 cars, Christopher had 3 times as many cars as Garrett. How many cars did they have altogether? 288

Option 2.
Robin is 36 years old and Raven is 11 years old. In how many years will Robin's age be twice Raven's age? 14 years

From the Week of September 18:
Option 1
The student store sells school supplies, hats, and t-shirts with "Hunter GT/AIG Magnet Elementary" printed on them. At the end of each month, an inventory is taken to find out what needs to be ordered. The person who counted the hats and t-shirts cannot remember exactly how many of each there were, but he does remember two facts:

* There were four times as many t-shirts as hats.
* There were 54 more t-shirts than hats.

"No problem!" you tell him, "With this information, I can figure out how many t-shirts and how many hats were in the store." What is the solution? 18 hats and 72 t-shirts

Option 2.
A cabinet, 4 chairs, and 2 table cost $825. The cabinet costs 3 times as much as a chair. The table costs $120 more than a chair. What is the cost of the cabinet? $195
Note: You can make an organized chart and use logical reasoning through guess and check. Algebra is not expected.

From the week of September 25:
Option 1
Mr. Macho, the great dane, ate 125 hot dogs over a five-day period. Each day, he ate seven more hot dogs than on the previous day. How many hot dogs did he eat on the first day? 11 hot dogs

Option 2.
At Irv's Cycle Rental shop, Irv rents all kinds of cycles: unicycles, tandem bikes, regular bikes, and even tricycles for little kids. He parks all the cycles in front of his shop with a helmet for each rider strapped to the cycles. This morning, Irv counted 57 helmets and 115 wheels parked in front of his store. He knows he has an equal number of unicycles and tandem bikes. He also knows that he has 32 regular bikes. How many unicycles tandem bikes, and tricycles does Irv have? 4 unicycles, 4 tandem bikes, and 13 tricycles

From the week of October 02:
Option 1
Cunning Coyote is in a race with Joe Jackrabbit. They both take the same size steps, but the coyote takes 14 steps in the time it takes the rabbit to take 9 steps. Cunning Coyote decided to let Joe get 60 steps ahead before he started to run. How many steps will each runner take (from the time the coyote started running) before the coyote catches up with the rabbit?
Cunning Coyota took 168 steps and Joe Jackrabbit took 108 steps (168-60).

Option 2.
An ancient manuscript is on display in a museum case. To what pages is the manupscript open if the product of the page numbers if 9,312? Show ALL attempts and work. 96 and 97

From the week of October 09:
Option 1
Your eccentric Aunt Isabella sends money to each niece and nephew on his or her birthday. She gives each child $10 on his or her first birthday. On each birthday thereafter, you and your cousins get $20 more than on the birthday before. How old will you be when you have received a total of $4,000 from Aunt Isabella? 20 years old

Option 2.
Johnny and Josh went apple picking. When their sister asked them how many apples they picked, they answered her with these clues:​
- If apples were counted by 2s, 3s, or 5s, there would be one apple left over each time.
- If the apples were counted by 7s, there would be nothing left over.
What is the smallest number of apples they could have picked? 91

From the week of October 16:
Option 1
Brandon's and Eric's lockers at school are side by side. The product of their locker numbers equals 812. What are the two locker numbers? How many different strategies can you use to solve the problem? 28 and 29

Option 2.
What is the least number that leaves a remainder of 3 when divided by 5, a remainder of 2 when divided by 4, a remainder of 1 when divided by 3, and a remainder of 0 when divided by 2? Show ALL attempts/work.

From the week of October 23:
Option 1
A pineapple and 4 oranges cost $8.40. The pineapple costs $5.90 more than an orange. Find the cost of the pineapple. $6.40

Option 2.
I have exactly 12 coins in my pocket worth exactly $1.00. I might have nickels, dimes, and/or quarters. What combinations of coins might I have? Find all of the possibilities. 3 ways: 4 nickels and 8 dimes; 10 nickels and 2 quarters; 7 nickels, 4 dimes, and 1 quarter.

From the week of November 06:
Option 1
The library in Geotown has a large room with enough tables and chairs to seat 236 people. Some of the tables are in the shape of a hexagon and seat six people each. The rest of the tables are octagonal and seat eight people each. If there are 35 tables in the room, how many are hexagons and how many are octagons? 22 hexagon tables and 13 octagon tables

Option 2.
Blake is a college student. He bought 5 books and 9 file folders. He gave the cashier $50 and received $2.05 in change. If each book cost $6.35, what was the cost of each file folder? $1.80

From the week of November 13:
Option 1
Last year, Gloria had a rectangular garden with an area of 60 square feet (remember that area of a rectangle = length x width). This year, Gloria's garden is one foot wider and three feet shorter than last year's garden, but it has the same area. What were the dimensions of the garen last year? 4x15

Option 2.
Professor Dumblesnore decided to clean out his supply closet. He found a balance and a set of 63 weights (1 gram, 2 grams, 3 grams, and all the rest, enough through 63 grams). "We don't need all of these weights," he said, "I can get rid of most of them. If I keep 1 gram and 2 grams, I can get rid of the 3-gram weight since I can weigh 3 grams using the 1-gram and 2-gram weights together." What is the fewest numer of weights the professor can keep and still be able to weigh items from 1 to 63 grams? Which ones are they? 1, 2, 4, 8, 16, 32

From the week of November 27:
Option 1
Lima beans come in 3-pound and 5-pound bags that cost $1.15 and $1.63 respectively. That is, 3-lb. bags cost $1.15 and 5-pound bags cost $1.63. How many bags of each should you buy to have at least 17 pounds of lima beans at lowest cost? one 3-lb. bag and 3 five lb. bags for $6.04

Option 2.
Two boxes of salt and a box of sugar cost $6.60. A box of salt is $1.20 less than a box of sugar. What is the cost of a box of sugar? $3.00

From the week of December 04:
Option 1
When Sara asked her grandfather how old he was, he replied, "The two digits in my age are the ages of your brother Joey and sister Annie. If you add their ages to mine, the sum is 83." How young is Sara's grandfather? 73

Option 2.
Two diamond rings and four silver rings cost $1,440. A diamond ring and a silver ring cost $660. How much does a silver ring cost? $60

From the week of December 11:
Option 1
You are in charge of buying soda in large bottles for the Sports Awards Banquet at the end of the semester. The athletic director, Mr. Muscle, has given you these directions:
* You must buy exactly 40 bottles.
* You may spend no more than $65.
The brand-name sodas that most kids like best sell for $1.80 a bottle. The off-brand soda that is okay, but not great, sells for $1.25 a bottle. You want to get as much of the good soda as you can and still follow Mr. Muscle's directions. How many of each kind of soda can you buy? Show ALL work.
You can buy 27 bottles of $1.80 soda and 13 bottles of $1.25 soda for $64.85.​

From the week of January 08:
Option 1
Mr. Stingy was an extremely generous person (yes, we know his name is ironic). He won a large sum of money on a game show and decided to give it all away to others. He gave half of his total winnings to his wife and $50,000 to his son. The remaining money was to be split in this way: half of what remained went to his caddy, half of what remained after that was set aside for the care of his pet iguana, and the remaining $8,000 was donated to his favorite charity. How much money did Mr. Stingy win on the game show?

From the week of January 15:
Option 1
A rope is 20.85 m long. Two pieces of 1.85 m each are cut from it and the remainder is cut into 7 equal pieces. How long is each of the 7 equal pieces of rope? Hint: Draw a picture to help you.

From the week of January 22:
Option 1
​​Max and his two brothers, Sean and Kennedy, received a sum of money. Max received three times as much as Sean. Max received $400 more than Kennedy. If Sean received $280, what was the total amount of money the three brothers received? Hint: Use a chart. Remember to show ALL attempts to solve in an ORGANIZED manner. $1560

From the week of January 29:
Option 1
A painting measures 30 in. by 20 in. The border around the painting is 3 in. wide. Find the area of the border. Hint: Draw and label a picture to help you. Remember to show ALL attempts to solve in an ORGANIZED manner. 300 square inches

From the week of February 05:
Option 1
​Takashi spent 1/3 of his money on a jacket. He spent 1/4 of the remaining money on a pair of boots. If the pair of boots cost $35 less than the jacket, how much money did he have in the beginning? Hint: Remember, if you are finding 1/3 of a number, you can divide by 3. If you are finding 1/4 of a number, you can divide by 4 or multiply by .25. :-) You can make a chart to help organize your work. EFFORT counts!

From the week of February 19:
​Brady put 1/5 of his paycheck in his savings account at the bank and spent 1/2 of the remainder on a new gaming system. He had $450 left. How much was his paycheck? 

Remember, finding 1/5 is the same as multiplying by .2. Finding 1/2 is the same as dividing by 2 or multiplying by .5.​

From the week of February 26:
Option 1
Steve has 356 pennies. Jess has 136 more pennies that Steve. Theo has twice as many pennies as Jess. How many pennies do they have altogether? 1832

From the week of March 05:
Option 1
A farmer had a total of 700 goats and sheep. If he sold 3/4 of his goats and 400 sheep, he would have an equal number of goats and sheep left. How many more sheep than goats did he have in the beginning?

Remember, finding 3/4 OF a number is 3/4 multiplied by that number.​