5th Grade Curriculum Update

May/June 2016

What a sweet bunch of students we have! As we approach our final weeks together, we want to thank you for allowing us to learn and laugh right along with them!

Reading Workshop

This week, we will finish our historical fiction unit, sadly leaving behind the Watson Family. Students did a splendid job with book clubs, so will hold another round of clubs in the coming weeks. Each night, students will apply reading strategies in order to plan and engage in thoughtful, productive discussions.

As a class, we will also be enjoying Lois Lowry's, The Giver as our read-aloud. This Newbery Award winner has the kids on the edge of their seats! Jonas lives in a world of "Sameness," where most things are controlled and choice is limited. We will discuss the pros and cons of living in a controlled society like Jonas, and I can't wait to hear the passionate discussions as to why they agree or disagree with his world. Ask your child for their thoughts; I hope it leads to a great conversation!

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Writing Workshop

May finds the students finishing their historical fiction pieces and moving on to Research-Based Argument Essays. This is their chance to consider different ideas for changes they’d like to see in the world. They will investigate and collect information about both sides of a topic. Students will then choose a side and strengthen their claims by including evidence supporting the opposing viewpoint and then offering a rebuttal. Evidence will be evaluated to ensure that their own arguments are solid and aren’t based on flawed reasoning. Quotes will be added to make their argument more potent.

I am looking forward to working with the students on these essays. This is a passionate group of kids!


Woo-hoo! Geometry is apparently here to stay! We are now studying quadrilaterals, including parallelograms, rhombuses, and trapezoids. Students are learning the properties of these shapes and how to figure out unknown angles and side lengths in figures by applying these properties. We will end this fun-filled unit with tessellation activities, which include studying artwork by M.C. Escher. Be sure to check out the artwork that will be lining the hallways soon!

We will then move onto a challenging unit on volume and displacement. The hands-on, engaging, and challenging math continues, and I love seeing students amazed by the math problems they're solving! As always, we will continue to review previously learned concepts, such as operations with fractions, decimals, and percentages, in order to keep our skills fresh and our computation sharp!

Social Studies

Hopefully, you've heard about our 3rd Annual Greek Festival! This month students will begin to research self-selected topics in order to present to the 2nd grade, 4th grade, and their families! On the morning of June 2nd, we will convert the auditorium, and part of the athletic fields, into an agora. An agora was an open air market and community area present in many ancient Greek towns and cities. Each group of students will have a booth or station where they will share their research with passers-by. Feel free to ask them questions and enjoy their hand outs and activities!

Important Dates: (Whew! There are many!)

May 2nd - 6th: Spirit Week
  • Monday: Seasons Day
  • Tuesday: Formal Wear
  • Wednesday: Look-a-Like Day
  • Thursday: Pajama Day & Breakfast-for-Lunch will be served for everyone! :)
  • Friday: Around the World Day

May 6th - 7th: Book Fair

May 7th: Family and Alumni Day

May 10th: Field Trip to UPenn

May 12th: Sneak Peek at NFS Upper School

May 27th: Field Day

May 30th: No School

June 2nd: Greek Festival & Feast (more information to follow)

June 3rd: 7th & 8th grade Musical: Shrek