The McMorrow Times

News and Updates from the McGowan/Morrow Team

Holiday Party

Our fifth grade Holiday Party will be Friday. We are planning a time for our team to come together to have some treats and watch a fun holiday movie. Please click on the link below to sign-up if you would like to bring in cupcakes and/or juice boxes.

News from Mrs. McGowan


I have seen such growth in reading logs and these skills transfer to students’ work in class. Thank you for your support at home and setting high expectations for your child so they develop good work habits and come to school ready to learn.

In reading, students continue to work on analyzing text through careful rereading to find evidence that supports their answers. I am seeing the evidence of their hard work in their weekly reading responses that include text evidence using language such as, “according to the text on page_, it states…” I tell students that reading is an open book test, but you must go back and find the answer and sometimes that requires putting together more than 1 piece of text-evidence to support their thinking. This is a critical skill to prepare them as independent readers for all the complex reading they will need to do throughout life.

Students have had informational articles with questions instead of the reading log for a couple of weeks. This is to vary the homework and to practice informational reading skills.

We also are beginning to work on Caesar’s English, Latin stems. This will be an introduction to Latin roots and how they build our vocabulary. I will also be reassessing students’ spelling level to prepare for next semester.

Some Recent Reads:

Shutting Out the Sky, about an immigrant’s experience during the early 1900s.

Passage to Freedom, a biography about a Japanese diplomat’s leadership during the Holocaust.

King Midas and the Golden Touch, a Greek Myth

Next week we will be studying the Christmas Truce during WW1 through primary documents, videos, and articles.

It is so important that students read a variety of genres to build different skills, vocabulary, and background knowledge.


Students are currently working on opinion essays. They are building their essays using research and planning that includes understanding the opposite opinion for their topic so they can better explain why their opinion is the right choice (Counter-argument). Our completion date is before the winter break.

In January, after we are 1:1, students will begin working on informational multi-media books using their new computers. We are very excited!

Students continue to work on Leadership skills and have created their own mission statement.

As a class, students are sharing their extra change to buy a class gift to contribute to Eblen’s Teen Toy Drive.

Students are Encouraged to participate in the Winter Break Reading Challenge.

They will bring home a packet and the directions are also on my homework page of my website.

Thank you for all you do to support us and our students, it is appreciated more than words can express. Please check with your child and replenish any needed consumable supplies (pencils, paper, etc.).

We look forward to starting off the New Year with your children. It will be very exciting to begin our new year with new computers.

Wishing you a wonderful Winter Holiday full of new memories!

Best Regards,

Nancy McGowan

News from Mrs. Morrow

Our students have been hard at work in math class! We are well into our big fraction unit. So far, we have covered the following:

  • percent/fraction equivalents
  • comparing fractions
  • finding equivalent fractions
  • adding fractions using rectangular models
  • adding fractions using "clock fractions"
  • adding and subtracting fractions using the "Butterfly Method"

At some point at the end of the week, we will have an assessment on adding and subtracting fractions. When we return from break, we will begin multiplying and dividing with fractions.

In science, we are finishing up our weather unit. I will wait until we return from break to prepare everyone for the big weather test and will plan on taking the test on Thursday, January 7th. I will send home a study guide on Tuesday, January 5th.

Please be advised that unit tests are weighted more than the other quizzes and assignments in the grade book. It is imperative that students are taking their time and using their best test taking skills. Before every unit test, whether it be in math or science, we will take the time to prepare and review for the test. Students will have the opportunity to practice with similar questions before the real test. When we do this in class, it is in the best interest of each student to pay close attention and be fully engaged during this class time.

As our year progresses, please consider donating the following to our class:

  • pencils
  • colored pencils
  • markers
  • glue sticks

Please visit the following link for Math and Science assignments, learning targets, and daily agenda. I also post tutorial videos and or websites which can be helpful for studying or homework reinforcement.

I am so excited for our school which will be going 1:1 in January! Each student will have their own laptop to use. I can't think of a better way to start the new year! I wish everyone a very happy and special holiday season!