Dr. Shaw's Weekly Newsletter

August 10th


Thanks to all of you who were able to attend "Meet the Teacher" day! I appreciate each and every one of you taking time from your busy schedules to come in. I am excited about working with all of you and your amazing children!

If you did not bring in the supplies for your child already, we will need to have certain supplies on Monday so that we can get them organized. Folders, composition books, crayons/colored pencils, highlighters, glue sticks, Expo markers, and scissors are all needed. Each student will receive a large Ziploc bag to store their "extra" supplies in and it is up to them to manage that bag of supplies all year. More about this will be discussed on Curriculum Night.

We will hit the ground running this week with pre-assessments as well as getting right into our curriculum. There are two pre-assessments, one in math on Tuesday and one in language arts on Thursday. We want the students to do their best even though these don't "count" as official grades.

This year will be a bit different for some of us in the fifth grade. Mrs. Blankenship and I will divide our teaching responsibilities so that the students will actually spend half of their day with her and half of the day with me. She will teach all reading, writing/grammar, and word study to both her homeroom and my homeroom. I will teach math, science, and social studies to both homerooms.

So what will we be studying? Here's an overview of this upcoming week...

In math, we will begin the year with order of operations and evaluating numerical expressions. You may remember the rules of PEMDAS from your school days. PEMDAS stands for parentheses, exponents, multiplication/division, and addition/subtraction. The PEMDAS rule dictates the order that operations are performed in when there are multiple operations in an expression. We will learn about PEMDAS using whole numbers exclusively.

In social studies this year, we will cover historical events beginning with the Civil War through to the events of our post 9/11 world. We will begin the year with a review of the Bill of Rights, which the students studied in fourth grade. We will also "preview" the 12th, 13th, 14th, and 15th amendments involving elections as well as the civil freedoms guaranteed after slavery was abolished.

In science, we will review the characteristics of science inquiry and the scientific method for the next two weeks. This will include learning about the characteristics of a good scientist and the steps of the scientific method. We will do a practice lab the first week followed by a real lab that will be graded during week two.

in reading, Mrs. Blankenship will set expectations for Power Reader's Workshop. All students will need a chapter book by Wednesday for silent reading. She highly encourages all students to have a library card from the Gwinnett County Public Library.

The appropriate use of conjunctions to link simple sentences is the targeted learning skill for grammar. The students will spend a good deal of time learning about different conjunctions this year and how they can be used to create more complex sentence structures. In writing, the students will focus on personal narratives first. Finally, in word study the class will work on the Greek and Latin word roots, di, dis, and dif. These roots mean "not" or "apart."

I have not yet received any information about BYOD (bring your own device), but as soon as I do, I will pass that along to you. Until then, please keep the tablets and e-readers at home. If your child has a phone for safety reasons, they may bring those in. However, they must remain shut off and in the backpack for now. Once the BYOD release form is given to me, I will forward it on to you to be filled out. Students can use their phones and other devices in the classroom for educational/reading purposes once I have gotten the signed form from you.

I am very excited about our class this year! I hope you and your child are as well. Please feel free to email me with any questions you might have.

Have a fabulous weekend!

Dr. Shaw

Important Upcoming Events

August 21st - Fall Pictures for Fifth Grade

August 24th - Fifth Grade Curriculum Night 6:30

September 7th - Labor Day Holiday - No School