5th Grade Superstar Weekly

September 19, 2016 | Week 5 | Trimester 1


Don't forget to order your C.L. Smith gear. Not only do the funds raised help support our PTA and the wonderful programs they support, but it gives students something to wear once we start our Spirit Fridays. If you need another order form, please let me know ASAP.

Also, please don't forget to support our amazing PTA. Memberships are just $10 and do a lot to support many of the programs and fun events for our wonderful school including: 6th grade science camp, field trips, and assemblies.


Reading Logs are now due (through Google Classroom) every Friday. So, please encourage your students to read at least 30 minutes at home each night, then fill out their Reading Logs (found in their red folders, or on Google Classroom). Students should be reading about 90 minutes per day (including class time) to help them develop as strong readers this year. Another way you can help your student to become a better reader is to ask them about what they read as well as the theories they are developing about the content of the book. Then have them support their theories with text evidence (details from the book).

Each week, I am sending home an "All About Me" newspaper poster. If it is your student's week to be Star of the Week, please work with them to fill it out, so I can post it on our wall.


As we continue to read both Home of the Brave and students dive deeper into their own books, they are continuing to think analytically about what they are reading in an effort to write well about their reading in their journals. Students are continuing to develop theories, ideas, predictions, and relatable moments to their own lives. They are jotting these down then expanding upon their notes with details from the stories they are reading. Students are realizing that writing well about reading means not only responding to the text, but supporting their ideas with evidence from the story. To help students get started with their entries, they can choose from a number of topics or sentence starters we've developed as a class that are posted at the front of the room (pictured).

I can't help but brag about the high quality of responses students are making in their journals. I am also hearing things like, "I'd rather read than do art today." Wow! I can't even begin to describe how satisfied that makes me feel about our reading program.


This past week has been all about revising our writing to make it the best it can be. Students revisited their narrative piece looking for elements of story structure (introduction of characters, problem and resolution), elaborating on the most important parts of their story, and determining what their story is really about and keeping the message consistent throughout the story. Students are given a short mini lesson on the goal of each day's revisions, and are then given about 30 minutes to work toward that goal. After, students are called up to share their revisions, deletions, and additions to their story. With the structure of our writing class, I feel as though we are all working in a little newsroom. Students are supporting each other, giving constructive feedback, and acting as each other's grammatical editors. It is such a great thing to be a part of.


This past week, we looked again at Brad's Baseballs and determined the most cost-effective size box to package the 24 baseballs in. To do this, we found the surface area of all 6 possible boxes! We discussed how in a business, it is important to complete these multiple equations because the #1 goal in running a business is to make sure it's financially successful. Students evaluated each of the surface areas to determine if the box was a good choice or a bad choice for packaging by comparing the results to those of the other boxes. The goal was to find the box with the smallest surface area.

Coming up next week, we will examine a variety of multiplication strategies. We have been talking a lot about how there are different approaches to each problem, each with the same goal and outcome.


Our great discussions about Food Chains and Food Webs has sparked inspiration between Miss Ulrich (our student teacher) and me! Together, we have developed a project-based lesson that students will be working on over the next couple of weeks. The research project entails:

  • Researching an invasive species or endangered animal, present in California: students selected their top three choices from a list Miss Ulrich put together, and were put into groups of 4 based on interest
  • Collaborating on a Google Slides presentation with the following information: introduction of the invasive species or endangered animal, reasons for the invasion or endangered status, impact the invasive species or endangered status is having on the food web they are a part of
  • Creating a model of what the Food Web looked like before the introduction of the invasive species or the animal became endangered
  • Creating a Wanted poster for the invasive species or a Missing poster for the endangered animal, both highlighting reasons and details in regards to the food web

We are hoping to display students' work around campus and/or invite all of you to come participate in a gallery walk and forum for their projects. I will keep you posted as these projects progress.

Upcoming Events

  • September 21st: Chipotle Fundraiser
  • September 30th: Chili & Pozole Cook-Off

Student Highlights

Students have been so flexible this week with all of the construction going on around our classroom. Even amidst the noise and distraction, they have all done such good work this past week. On Thursday, we spontaneously packed up our essentials and moved to the Science Lab to do Reader's Workshop. Mrs. Campbell (a 6th grade teacher and Instructional Coach), and Mrs. Groff (an Instructional Aide) both complimented the class on how quiet and hard-working they all were. All students earned a Galactic Credit for their perseverance that day!