5th Grade News

November Newsletter

November Thoughts...

It’s hard to believe we are nearly through the first quarter! Based on what we’ve seen so far, it is going to be a fabulous school year. Students are working hard and developing independence that will serve them well for the rest of 5th grade and beyond.


A few years ago, Mary Cay Ricci, the author of MINDSETS FOR PARENTS, presented a seminar at Centerville. She helped us stretch our way of thinking about how children learn and the types of feedback that lead to lifelong learners. This is the type of feedback we try to use in our classrooms and thought it would be helpful for you to see an example. She presented the following scenario and asked us to think about how we would respond:


Your child comes home with a less-than-desirable grade on a paper, you say:

a. You should have spent more time studying.

b. Your teacher grades too hard.

c. How did you go about working on this assignment? What could you do differently next time?


If we want our children to grow as learners, we need to nurture a mindset that helps them see themselves as capable, persistent individuals who take on challenges! We try daily to praise your child’s effort and risk-taking and each day we try to focus on the process of learning rather than the outcome. It has been wonderful to see this “shift” in mindset happen in our classrooms.

For more information about growth mindsets and how to support your child in becoming a reflective learner, visit https://www.mindsetkit.org/growth-mindset-parents

Upcoming Dates & Events

11/8 No School- End of the first term.

11/27-29 School Closed- Thanksgiving Break

What to Expect for Homework

As we discussed at Back to School Night, fifth grade will be gradually increasing homework throughout the year. Expect to see homework starting in the second quarter, starting on November 11th. More details will be shared soon.

What We Are Reading

We are wrapping up our October focus on literature with a round of book clubs. During book clubs, small groups of students read and discuss a novel. Students are excited for their book club meetings and the discussions are rich with their theories about the book. Please take a minute to ask your child about their novel!


As students read their novels, they will continue to develop their reading notebooks. These notebooks are a wonderful resource for students to reference their reading strategies. They also are a place for each student to reflect deeper thinking regarding their texts.


By the end of the month, we will turn our focus to reading short informational texts in order to identify and analyze text structures, as well as to practice summarizing and noting key information..


We'd like to encourage our fifth grade stars to continue to read nightly. Happy reading!

November Science

We are continuing with our unit titled Matter and Energy, where our goal is for students to develop a deep understanding of a healthy and self-sustaining ecosystem and the biotic and abiotic factors that are involved. This unit is always a favorite because we get our “class pets” for a few weeks as we create our very own ecosystem in our classroom! We will be studying Space Systems up next. See the links below for additional home resources:


Crash Course Kids YouTube Channel

What is an Ecosystem?

Kids Discover: Ecosystems

What We Are Writing

Students have been working on writing fictional stories or personal narratives and will spend the upcoming weeks honing their writing skills by writing short, focused narratives that extend their thinking about short stories they’ve read. Later this month we will begin our informational writing unit. We will gather several resources on our topics and utilize note-taking strategies. We will explain different aspects of our topic and include a variety of information such as examples, details, dates, and quotes. We will organize our writing into a sequence of separate sections, using headings and subheadings. We will use key vocabulary and explain important terms. Our conclusions will restate the main points.

Math This Month

This month, students will use their knowledge of conversions to support their understanding of our base ten system for solving multiplication and division problems. Students will recognize that in any multi-digit number, a digit in one place represents 10 times as much as it represents in the place to its right and 1/10 of what it represents in the place to its left. Students will explain patterns in the number of zeros of the product when multiplying a number by powers of 10, and explain patterns in the placement of the decimal point when a decimal is multiplied or divided by a power of 10. Students will fluently multiply multi-digit whole numbers using the standard algorithm. Students will also multiply decimals to hundredths.


The skills we are working on in November require students to be fluent with their addition, subtraction and multiplication math facts. Please continue to have your child practice facts on Xtramath or another fact app/website!


Helpful Math Resources

Click here for examples of our upcoming math skills and helpful resources.