Fifth Grade Newsletter

February 2016

Reading/Language Arts

Mrs. Tascillo's class has completed their novel study of Westing Game, which has further enhanced students' abilities to understand character traits, plot development, and the genre of mystery. Ms. Casale's class has just begun reading the novel and we are very eager to act as detectives and decipher the author's clues! Next on the novel study list for Mrs. Tascillo's class is Phantom Tollbooth, filled with idioms, puns, homonyms, and other fun literary devices.

We are continuing to enhance our reading abilities through the study of writing traits. Students are learning how to better organize their writing, add more description through appropriate word choice, improve readability with sentence fluency, and more!


Our next unit in mathematics involves geometry and volume. Students are now able to identify and classify polygons, triangles, and three-dimensional figures. We are currently working on calculating volume of rectangular prisms. Next, we will be working on converting measurement units, which can be applied to real-world situations involving weight, height, and other measurements.

We finished our multiplying decimals unit last month with a shopping spree project!


Students began our most recent unit by learning about the basic building block of life: cells. We then learned how cells work together to form tissues, organs, and systems. In 5th grade, we study the nervous, muscular, skeletal, respiratory, circulatory, digestive, and excretory systems. Students are fascinated by how all of the systems interact to perform all of our life functions!

Social Studies

Biztown has been our focus recently and students have been working on basic financial literacy skills, including writing checks and making deposits. They have developed an understanding of various types of banks and how to monitor their finances. Students just received their assignments for jobs and businesses and will be completing various activities to prepare for their culminating field trip to Biztown on February 25th.

Parents, we are still in need of volunteers for our Biztown field trip! Please contact us if you are able to help out!


This month our students will focus mainly on strengthening their Hebrew writing skills. As they continue working on their movie project the students are required to use the Hebrew vocabulary in the book they read, in order to create a movie plot, similar to the one they read in their reading book. The narrative they write will include a class problem, an analysis of the problem from different perspectives (i.e. by using different “thinking caps”), possible solutions and an understanding of the class’ morals and values. Writing the scripts allows the students to experience how to convert the Hebrew knowledge they gained so far into a conversational style of Hebrew. It also strengthens their writing abilities because they are expected to be aware of their letter formation, spelling, punctuation, tenses and other grammar rules.

The students will also be required to continue practicing their reading skills (i.e. fluency, accuracy and comprehension) by reading new pages in their reading book and recording them in class.

Chodesh Tov!

Students enjoyed creating their edible arrangements for Tu b'shvat!


Our Torah class continues to work on their group project on Parashot Beshalach and Bo, focusing on the Ten Plagues. Each group is studying their assigned plague; exploring, and analyzing several sources in the Chumash, commentaries and Midrash. The students are very excited about the project. They love the integration of Torah and technology, and it is lovely to see how they put together a group symbol representing their group members and their Torah subject. In addition to Chumash Study, the students continue to write a D’var Torah on the Weekly Parasha. For each Parasha they write their reflection on the Mitzvah of the week in connection to the parasha. Sign the Parasha Ring and remind your child to bring it back to school on Monday. The students get credit for sharing and signing their work, so please continue to encourage your children to share their D’var Torah with you on Shabbat.


Fifth grade will rotate this month in their modules. This allows for students to experience new adventure in learning that include garbology and rock and resources. Students will investigate and recognize that there are a variety of different landforms on Earth's surface such as coastlines, dunes, rivers, mountains, glaciers, deltas, and lakes and relate these landforms as they apply to Florida. Students will identify the patterns within the rock cycle and relate them to surface events (weathering and erosion) and sub-surface events (plate tectonics and mountain building).


Fifth grade students are learning about the Color Theory and the concept of "Monochromatic." They are practicing their skills in mixing colors, creating new and exiting tints and shades.


In January, we created a special project for Grandparents’ Day to share with families. We will resume our unit about comidas y bebidas (food and drink) by studying words for items eaten at breakfast, lunch, dinner, and dessert. Students will be naming and labeling them correctly, answering simple questions, and matching pictures with the appropriate words. To conclude the unit, we will have a “class food party." Close to that event, you will be receiving an email from me requesting your son/daughter to bring in an item of food. Thank you in advance for your cooperation to make this “learning party” a success.


This month we will learn about the Chinese New Year, which is on February 8th, and it is the year of the monkey. We will learn about vocabulary related to Chinese New Year, including "Happy New Year" and New Year’s blessings. Using a PowerPoint, they will also learn how to sing a Chinese New Year song, as well as play interactive games related to the celebration of the New Year. The PowerPoint will also include Chinese New Year’s traditions and cuisine. Students are learning about the 12 Chinese zodiac animals and their stories, and they will find out what zodiac animal corresponds with their birth year.

Physical Education

We have finished learning how to dribble, pass, defend and shoot a basketball and are now practicing these skills in game play. At the end of the month, we will use the same skills, but with a hockey stick in our hockey unit. Our hand eye coordination, speed, and core strength are improving with each sport that we learn.

Thank you parents for helping to make our Boosterthon and Fun Run successful!