5th Grade News

August 31 - September 11, 2015


Monday, September 7: Labor Day (no school)

Sunday, September 13: Rosh Hashanah begins at sundown

Sunday, September 27: Family Fun Fest

Academic Updates

Language Arts

Students are continuing to build community by sharing the novel Out of My Mind. They are using reading comprehension strategies and learning about literary elements while they read. Word Study and homework expectations will be introduced next week. Also next week, students will write a beginning-of-year benchmark narrative.

Students should continue to read self-selected texts at home. Fifth graders read on many different reading and maturity levels. Available reading material (in the classroom and the school library) is not censored. Please have a conversation at home and remind your child what kind of reading material is permitted in your family. Common Sense Media is a reliable source to check material. This website will give you very specific information about content and can help guide you and your child through your reading journey.


This week, students were introduced to the engineering and design process and they put their skills to the test by building bridges made out of mini-marshmallows and spaghetti. Students loved the opportunity to work in small groups, to share ideas, and to take risks. Over the next few days, students will continue to develop their classroom community through team-building activities and challenges.

Social Studies

This week in Social Studies, we asked and answered the big question, "Why study History?" We had a small overview of timelines and how they "work", as well as an overview of some of the big topics we will be covering this year. Next week, we will start to learn about primary vs. secondary sources and how to analyze artifacts.


For the next Science cycle, students will be rotating through the teachers to answer some "big questions" about science: What does a scientist do? What does "lab safety" look like? And what is a "system"?


Students will begin their first story in class next week using TPRS (Total Proficiency through Reading and Storytelling). The story is called El cuento del bebé malo (The Story of the Naughty Baby). This story is meant to be a little silly. The use of props, movement, and theater make it easy for the students classroom experience to be understandable, fun, and memorable. They will also be playing various games using the target vocabulary.


Students are beginning their first cycle with greeting one other in Latin and choosing Latin names. This will help them use spoken Latin in the classroom throughout the year. Students are also setting up their Latin Interactive Journals (IJs). These are well-organized notebooks that give students a variety of ways to demonstrate their knowledge and also contain almost every activity they do this year. Moving forward, students will begin learning the Latin names for the members of the family and construct their own family trees. This will help them to use Minimus (the Latin textbook) as it follows a Roman family living in ancient Roman Britain.

Let's Get Physical!

In PE, 5th Graders are grouped outside of their regular homerooms and into "PE Homeroom" groups. Students will be taught by all four PE teachers (Nichole Adams, Maria Brummer, Betsy Ross, and Chris Williams) througout the year, but will have one as their "homeroom" leader. Their first units of rotation will be archery, recreational games, volleyball, and basketball.

Math Anxiety (Partly) Explained

According to recently published research in Psychological Science, children of highly math- anxious parents learned less math and were more likely to develop math anxiety themselves, but only when their parents provided frequent help on math homework, according to a study of first­ and second­graders. Read more about that research here.