Fifth Grade News

Centerville Elementary School

There is an exciting year ahead for us! During 5th grade, students will learn many new things, establish independence, and build confidence. We will also have a lot of fun along the way! As the oldest grade level in the building we have a large amount of responsibility to be good role models for the little eyes that look up to us as we move through the school. We have high expectations for fifth graders but there are also special privileges awarded to 5th graders who show responsibility. Some of these privileges include peer tutors, safety patrols, TV studio tech crew, peer mentors, school store clerks and specials helpers.

Fifth grade students take two state assessments this year in Reading, Math, and Science. We expect to take the Maryland Integrated Science Assessment in March. Language Arts and Math PARCC assessments will occur in May. The PARCC assessments asks questions of students based on fifth grade math and ELA curriculum so all students will be instructed first on grade level material and then enriched or re-taught accordingly. The fifth grade curriculum is rigorous and PARCC will expect students to clearly explain their thinking through selected response and written response questions.

This year will go quickly and along the way the teachers will work hard to prepare the students for entering the world of middle school. The fifth grade teachers are eager to see what these energetic new fifth graders can do! If you have questions or concerns as we enter this second half of the first term, please do not hesitate to contact your child’s teacher. The term ends on November 9th.

What to Expect for Homework

Fifth graders are expected to complete up to forty-five minutes of homework each night.

Each night students should:

  • Read for 30 minutes

  • Review math skills (Tenmarks or Xtramath)

  • Review vocabulary and/or spelling words

Other assignments may be assigned as needed and will be written in student planners. Please review your child’s planners with them each night to be aware of upcoming assessments and events.

Upcoming Dates & Events

10/5- 2 hour early dismissal

10/12- Fun Run

10/29- Fall Party* & Book Character Day

11/2- End of Term 1

11/5- No School: Teacher Work Day

11/6- No School: Election Day

11/7, 11/8, 11/9- School Conferences*

*Each teacher will send out sign-ups via email for Fall Parties and Parent-Teacher Conferences within the coming weeks- be on the lookout!

Language Arts

This month, we’ve been taking a close look at the processes and strategies we use when reading fiction and nonfiction texts. We have been practicing “close reading”, which is really just reading a text carefully and stopping to think and write down reactions, questions, connections, clarifications and predictions. We will also refine our summarizing skills this month.

In fifth grade, we put an emphasis on independent reading and responding to our reading. Students should come to class prepared to read every day with an appropriate book and their reading notebook. We also ask that students read nightly for at least 30 minutes. This will help them meet our 40 Book Challenge by the end of the school year!

In writing, students have been very busy building up their writer’s notebooks. We have been talking about memories, making observations and filling our notebooks with many, many ideas that we will use to write personal narratives. If you haven’t seen your child’s notebook yet, ask to see it! We think you will be quite impressed! In October, students will select one personal narrative from their notebook to take through the writing process to a final draft. We are eager to see the fantastic writing that will come out of this process!


The first term of fifth grade will be all science. We have been learning about Earth Systems in which students are thinking about how they personally impact the environment. Students have explored Earth’s surface to provide an understanding of how much of Earth’s water (a resource) is available for human consumption, were introduced to four major Earth Systems (Geosphere, Hydrosphere, Atmosphere, and Biosphere) and learned about how those Earth Systems interact with one another. Students are using that knowledge to help them survive a simulation in which they are stranded on a deserted island.


We are right in the middle of our first math unit on multiplication and division. Students are working to fluently multiply multi-digit whole numbers using the standard algorithm. Students are also working to find whole-number quotients with up to four-digit dividends and two-digit divisors using strategies based on place value, the properties of operations, and/or the relationship between multiplication and division. Students will illustrate and explain their calculations using equations, rectangular arrays, and/or area models.

During the month of October, we will be working with place value of whole numbers and decimals in unit 2. Click on the button below for examples of skills and helpful links.