News from Room 208

Miss Young's Fifth Grade Homeroom Class

For the week of September 14-18

I know this newsletter is extremely long. I wanted to update you on how the year started and what lies ahead. I promise they will not be this long in the future.

Important Information for Everyone


Lockers, the most dreaded and exciting part of fifth grade, have been conquered. At this point everyone is self-sufficient. It has been a big adjustment, but we have been working hard to keep our materials organized and taken to the correct classes. Most days we can all celebrates success, but many students are still struggling to remember to have the necessary items for each set of rotations. This week we added a reminder list to all lockers so they can be sure to have all materials. Beginning Monday, September 14, students will not be permitted to go back to their lockers for missing items and will be unprepared for class. Please remind your child to use their lists in order to be prepared each day.


Each day over the last few weeks we have been watching quick videos to learn best practices for using iPads. We have talked about some of the following topics in class:

  • Using the camera- Pictures are not allowed to be taken unless permission is given by the teacher. No pictures are permitted to be taken and then posted to social media.
  • Sending and receiving text messages- Students are not permitted to send or receive text messages from home or other students. If you need to get information to your child, please call the front office. They will be sure your child gets the message. Thank you for your understanding and help with this.
  • iPad routines- Please be sure your child is charging their iPad each day and bringing it to school. One of the videos suggested students create a "charging station". This spot is where iPads will be charged each night. Experts suggest the spot not be in students' rooms to avoid being on electronics throughout the night. One student in our class had the great idea of having her charging station right beside where she puts her backpack each night. This way so won't forget to bring it to school. :)


This week students will visit the library on Tuesday. Please be sure they remember to bring back their books.

Scholastic Reading Clubs

Encouraging reading is one of the most important things we can do to help your child succeed. It can be tough finding the right books to keep them interested, which is why I am so excited that my classes will be participating in Scholastic Reading Club this school year.

With Scholastic Reading Club:

  • Every book you buy earns FREE Books for our classroom library
  • You can choose from handpicked, grade- and reading-level-specific books for your child
  • You'll find the best values on a variety of formats

Each month, your child will bring home Reading Club flyers. Together you can choose from books hand-selected by teachers and experts. These books are typically some of the top selling books for fifth graders and above.

This month's magazine has a temendous number of great books including

  • Tom Sawyer
  • The BFG
  • The One and Olny Ivan
  • The Secret Garden
  • Among the Hidden
  • Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard
  • Plus so much more.

If you are interested please follow the directions below to place your order. Orders are due this Friday, September 18th.

  • ENTER the one-time Class Activation Code: GZB9D
  • SHOP from a carefully curated selection of the best books and value packs
  • SUBMIT your order and earn FREE Books for our classroom
  • All book orders will be shipped to our classroom so we can celebrate the joy of reading together!

Information for my Homeroom

Related Arts

PE- Please make sure students wear tennis shoes to school each day. They can not participate in sandals and flip flops. Participation is part of their PE grade. September 16th and 18th students will be part of THE health talk all fifth graders receive.

Passion Projects/ Genius Hour

During the last few weeks students have begun working on passion projects during Genius Hour. Genius Hour allows students to explore their own passions and encourages creativity in the classroom. It provides students a choice in what they learn during a set period of time during school. Students began by brainstorming topics they were interested in and then narrowed them down a specific driving question that would allow them to TEACH, PERSUADE, or CHANGE something.

It's been amazing to see the wide variety of topics. Here are just a few of the topics we are learning about:

  • Teaching other about stop motion animation and creating movies to share.
  • Studying the impact of bullying on girls and boys then comparing the results in order to stop bullying in our school and beyond.
  • Studying how football equipment changed over the last 100 years and how can it be made even more safe for players in the future.
  • Persuading others to be more interested in riding horse. This includes creating a survey, researching why people may not be interested and then finding solutions that might allow them to overcome their fears.
  • Changing the relationship between cats and their owners- How can understanding more about how cats communicate make for a better relationship?

Once students complete their research they will create some sort of tool to help them present their findings. This might be a poster, PowerPoint presentation, a movie, a news telecast, and so much more. The sky is the limit for their presentations. Many have plans to send letters to people beyond our community to help make them aware of their findings.



Students have been focuing on learning and understanding the Signposts found in fiction text. (Notice and Note- Beers and Probst) These srategies help us dig deeper into what we are reading. The students have been introduced to the six different Signposts, each one causes students to ask a different question in order to gain key understanding in the text. These signposts include

  • Aha Moments
  • Tough Questions
  • Contrasts and Contradictions
  • Memory Moments
  • Words of the Wise
  • Again and Again

For more information be sure to ask your child about the signpost, its question, and how the signpost helps you understand the story. There is also lots of information on our BlackBoard page.


We have been working on tbe writing technique known as "Show Not Tell". technique often used in different kinds of texts to enable the reader to experience the story through action, words, thoughts, senses, and feelings rather than through the author's direct words. For example, "We lost the game. I was sad." becomes "I walked slowly along, my head down, my hands in my pockets, dragging my feet along the ground. It had been an epic battle, but my team had come up short."

Students are currently working on a piece using this technique that will be publish and graded. Be looking for the assingment paramaters and rubric soon.

Social Studies

We are beginning our year long study of the United States by focusing on the major landforms in the US. We will use this information as we learn about the different regions throughout the country, their cultures, major cities, etc.

Our first test will be over the landforms. Students will be asked to locate and lable these landforms on a map. For the last week, we have been labeling our own maps and learning about major rivers, mountain chains, plains, and large bodies of water throughout the US. This map is on BlackBoard in the Content-Social Studies-US Geography- Chapter One Folder. It is Map D. It will also be the map used for the test. The second sheet in the file contains questions similar to what will be on the test. (Code for that's what I'm using for the test.)

Word Study Debacle

I want to apologize for the confusion of last week's word study- spelling/ vocabulary. I thought I would try allowing student to pick their own words, from several differet sources, to study and learn for the week. We looked up the definitions of the words, wrote sentences, etc. Let's just say we will not be doing that again. Students will get a similar list of words containing certain prefixes, suffixes, etc. To this basic list students will be able to choose a few words from different sources (see BlackBoard- Word Study Folder). The word lists are different depending on which Humanities class you are in. I will be lessening the "weight" of last week's test so it will not have as much impact on their grade at the end of the quarter.


As you know, much of the beginning of the year is spent learning new routines, procedures, expectations, etc.. I have taken grades on several assingments, but we have not had any large summative tests. Because of this there are not a lot of grades in Skyward. You can find several in BlackBoard, but those are assigments have given me formative data, or progress, rather than an end of a unit grade. You will begin to see these types of assignments and tests starting next week with the Social Studies map test, an upcoming writing assignment, and test over the Notice and Note Signposts. You will get plenty of notice and infomation about each of these, but I wanted to make sure you knew they were on the way and Skyward grades would be changing.

Other School News

School Fundraiser

Our school fundraiser is still going on. Students can continue to sell items throughout the weekend. All forms and money are due on September 14.

Picture Retakes

Picture retakes are September 25.