Fifth Grade PEAK

Mrs. Turner's December News

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Topic Study

I'm so proud of the amazing thinking the kids continue to do during our Topic Study time. We made some big changes this year and they are really paying off! As you know, students were allowed to pick their own topic- anything was fair game as long as they had a personal passion for it. They then worked hard to write essential questions and conduct their research. We even made 5 minute videos showcasing our "expert" knowledge. Now, we're ready to express what we learned through a self-selected project. We look forward to sharing these with you!

  • My Tuesday students work with Mrs. Mann's 4th grade students during topic study. We are able to have 4 adults in the room helping the students go deeper in thinking.
  • My Monday and Wednesday students have become mentors to Mrs. Overcast's second grade students. We helped the students write essential questions and set up their note taking format.

Topic Study Mentors

Curricular Areas:


  • 5th grade students are wrapping up research. We are learning how to write feature magazine articles. Students are using mentor texts as a model to help them write their very own feature magazine article about their brain topic. The writing process should span a few weeks.

Math:We are still working through the 10 Things mathematicians and scientists should know but are rarely taught. We have completed:

  • Math and Science Will Tell you the Truth
  • Counterintuitive thinking
  • Occam's Razor
  • Mistakes and Frustrations are part of learning
  • Healthy Skepticism
  • Statistics can lie
  • Keep an open mind
  • Cause and correlation
  • Ethical decision making
  • Understanding biases.


A goal of our program is to help students understand themselves (and their peers) better. Team Challenges help students develop an appreciation for their own skills and abilities, as well as those of their PEAK classmates, by requiring them to think creatively, cooperate with one another, and communicate effectively to complete a given task.

4th and 5th grade students have taken part in several Team Challenges already this year. In fact, it's one of the most requested PEAK day activities. I love that they're so excited to work together!

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Our Schedule:

Critical Thinking

We continue to learn vocabulary related to critical thinking. Students define one vocabulary word per week. We discuss what the word means and how we can apply it to our learning in out of PEAK. We watch a two minute video about the vocabulary word to reinforce the meaning. The critical thinking words we have learned thus far include:

  • Clarity
  • Accuracy
  • Precision
  • Depth
  • Breadth
  • Relevance
  • Logic
  • Significance
  • Fairness

For Parents:

Raising gifted kids can be stressful! This article has some good tips if you're feeling a little burnt out after lots of family togetherness this time of year.


Hour of Code

Besides using the programs from , we worked on programming our android robots using coding. What a blast!
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