Reading/LA/SS Updates

September 19, 2016

5th Grade Reading

We sure are flying through this first marking period! Today marks the start of the fifth week of school. See the list below of reminders for this week.



  • Reading Closely - This week you should have planned for the Reading Nonfiction lesson for Extreme or Absolute Language. How are you doing keeping pace with these lessons? If you're having trouble keeping up, stop by and I can help you plan for these important lessons.
  • Small Groups - Are you keeping up with your small group binder? Remember, small group should be happening daily with well planned lessons and documentation. I'm currently working on a small group checklist/observation form that I'll share with you soon.
  • Vocabulary - The vocabulary focus for the next two weeks is 5.2E (TLW use a dictionary, or a thesaurus (printed or electronic) to determine the meanings, syllabication, pronunciations, alternate word choices, and parts of speech of words.). Also, check out the Word Math bulletin board in the 5th grade hallway for some Greek and Latin root practice. I'll be changing out the equations and adding more roots and affixes as we move through the year.
  • CFA (Motivation Reading pg. 152) - How did your students do on this common formative assessment? Are you able to see areas of strength and areas that need improvement? Remember, common formative assessments are for you to better plan to meet the needs of your learners.
  • CCA #1 - September 29th, the date for our first CCA is just around the corner. This test will cover expository and persuasive texts. We'll be using Motivation Reading units 9 and 16 for this CCA. The test will be given during your 90 minute reading block. Students who are pulled for testing will test from 9:05-10:35, so you'll have to be flexible with the schedule for these kiddos on this day.

5th Grade Language Arts

It's so nice to see some writing up on your walls and in the hallways already. There is lots of evidence of Response to Text and content area writing for Social Studies! Keep up the great work with this! I hope everyone has started on the expository essay for this marking period. This is a piece of writing that we'll want to make sure students take through the whole writing process. If you recall from the beginning of the year, writing is one of the district's priorities for Language Arts. We should be leading our students in lessons that allow them to write authentically about topics that matter to them. We have several resources available to help you plan mini-lessons to improve student writing. Check out the YB Language Arts Resource Guide for ideas! Be on the lookout for my first 'Grammar Lab with Mrs. Rachu' schedule. This will be my version of a Science lab, with a focus on grammar. I'll be utilizing lessons from Jeff Anderson's Everyday Editing for these labs.

5th Grade Social Studies

I hope you found my reformulation of the unit 1 curriculum documents to be helpful with your planning. My intention was to make expectations a little more clear. I've completed writing the Exploration & Colonization assessment. As soon as the social studies lead teachers review the test, I'll make it available for everyone to preview. This assessment is scheduled to be administered on Friday, September 30th. I am in the process of creating unit 2 documents. If you have any suggestions for making these documents easier to navigate, please let me know!


Thank you for participating in all of last week's events for Freedom Week! There is some great thinking up around the school about what freedom means to our students.

GT Screening

The window is open for GT screening. Please see the email sent on 9/19 regarding the procedures for nominating students for screening. Don't forget to check out the bulletin board outside the workroom, too. Nomination forms are due Wednesday, September 28th.

A Few Good Reads

Looking for some good middle grade books to read or recommend to students?


Check these out!


The War That Saved My Life by Kimberly Brubaker Bradley


A Fish in a Tree by Linda Mullaly Hunt

Have a Great Week!!!