Spotlight on Specials

2nd Quarter Fifth Grade

The Exploratory Team

The teachers of these exploratory classes are committed to inspire the creative genius in all students through art, technology, library media, music, counselor and physical education.


During the second quarter, fifth grade students worked very hard to complete the following art projects:

Day of the Dead of Sculpture: During this lesson, students discussed a Mexican holiday called Day of the Dead. Student compared and contrasted this holiday to our Memorial Day. Additionally, students learned that although this holiday happens to fall on our Halloween, the two celebrations are not the same. After looking at the different crafts made for this holiday, student created a soft sculpture of a skeleton head. Student drew, painted, and stitched a design on their sculpture.

Impossible Forms Drawing: During this lesson students learned how to draw three dimensional shapes called forms and used value to make them look realistic. After drawing many different forms, students cut and rearranged the shapes to make an “impossible” block arrangement.

Physical Education

Second quarter was filled with a lot of exercise and fun! We began the quarter with a multitude of aerobic activities. Aerobic activities are activities that keep the students moving and gets their heart pumping. Fifth grade is a fun year because the students get to play games that third and fourth graders play, but they play them at a more intense level. At this time, they have done a good job with their techniques and get to use those in game-like situations. They learned about their heart rate and how they can find their own pulse. We got to play games such as Hula-hoop Relay, Capture the Flag, Gladiators, Clock Warm-Up, and many more. Students were very active and had a lot of fun while doing so! We then jumped into our throwing and catching unit. I wanted the students to really perfect their throwing technique and practice the three cues they learned, 1) step with opposite foot, 2) aim at target, and 3) follow through. After we practiced our technique, we were able to play games such as Mat Ball, Star Wars 2, Perfect Pass, and Save the Statues. The students also completed their second pacer test of the year and did absolutely fantastic! Our words for each week were energy, pulse, endurance, nutrition, aerobic, power and accountable. I look forward to the rest of the year!


In our library classes this quarter we discussed characteristics and genres of fiction and nonfiction books. We reviewed the Dewey Decimal Classification System and the impact Melvil Dewey had on libraries around the world. We discussed whole numbers and decimal points and how they are used in the Nonfiction section. Students practiced locating nonfiction titles using call numbers with a partner or independently. By the end of fifth grade, students should be comfortable using call numbers to locate books in our Everyone, Fiction, Biography, and Nonfiction sections, and should be able to transfer those skills to a public library setting. We reviewed features of our Destiny electronic catalog and explored using this system on laptops and iPads. Students can also look up books from home with this link: . The William Allen White program is in full swing, and students are busy reading the nominees. If the reading log that was sent home earlier this year has been misplaced, a copy can be found on my website at


During the second quarter, 5th grade classes started working on some movement activities for our 5th Grade Extravaganza, which will be on March 8th! We have some very creative students this year and they have some wonderful ideas about their program! Students learned about the composer J. S. Bach and did some close listening to his music. They filled out a SQUILT (Super Quiet Un-Interrupted Listening Time) journal about his music. We also began our unit on Tinikling. This Philippine folk dance has been a favorite tradition here are Riverview for many years. Students have done a wonderful job of learning the first steps, the poling rhythm and technique involved with this dance. I am impressed with their teamwork during this unit – there have been lots of encouraging words for one another and classmates helping each other to perfect the steps! In January, students will have the opportunity to audition for the Tinikling performance team for our program. This is optional, and will be held outside of regular school hours. All students will have a test on Tinikling in January – I will be looking for effort and knowledge more than ability with this dance. To finish off this quarter, we spent some time learning Winter Holiday songs for the school-wide sing-a-long!


The kids had a great time testing out their egg drop projects. Several projects took me by surprise! Many of them survived the fall from the top of Riverview. This quarter we finalized our egg drop flow chart and published our findings using Inspiration software. We continue to have fun taping announcements. Students in fifth grade are given the option to use their free time to create a special report for announcements. Quite a few have used their free study hall time to organize a segment and grab an iPad to tape it. This quarter we got a chance to run through a little bit of iMovie. Now students can create their own segment start to finish for announcements. Towards the end of the quarter we were able to get an introduction in computer coding through a series of interactive tutorials. Students participated in The Hour of Code a program sponsored by Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg and many other technology innovators to get kids excited about programming.


The second quarter of school has flown by and we have been busy learning about The Zones of Regulation. The Zones of Regulation is a cognitive behavior approach that teaches students self-regulation. The Zones of Regulation incorporates Social Thinking concepts and visuals to teach students how to identify their feelings and understand how their behavior impacts those around them, and learn what tools they can use to manage their feelings. We spent several weeks reviewing and learning about feelings and what events produce certain feelings. We learned that there are four zones; Blue, Green, Yellow and Red. The Blue zone describes when one feels sad, tired, sick or bored. The Green zones describes a person feeling happy, focused, and ready to learn. This is the zone where optimal learning occurs. In the Yellow zone a person may be feeling frustration, stress, anxiety, excitement, or even the wiggles. The Red zone describes a person who is experiencing anger and explosive behavior. We learned several tools to help us move and maintain in the green zone. The strategies we learned were lazy eight breathing, six sides of breathing and a calming visual chart. The students were given a copy of these strategies to use if needed throughout the school day. When we return we will be learning how to identify a problem and individual triggers we have that can impact our day.

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