5th Grade Flyer

Graden Elementary 2019-2020

News from Graden's 5th Grade Teachers

This flyer serves as a weekly update regarding information from the grade level as well as from each classroom teacher. It will automatically be sent to the guardian email listed in Infinite Campus for each Graden 5th grader.


At Graden, the 5th grade teachers departmentalize for reading, writing, math, and science. Each teacher teaches social studies. What does this mean? Students receive instruction from their homeroom teacher for three content areas and then they receive instruction from the other partnered teacher for the remaining two subjects.

Mrs. Brown and Mrs. Vernon are partner teachers and Dr. Ivy and Mrs. Thorson are partner teachers.

Mrs. Brown teaches reading and writing for her students and Mrs. Vernon's students.

Mrs. Vernon teaches math and science for her students and Mrs. Brown's students.

Dr. Ivy teaches reading and writing for her students and Mrs. Thorson's students.

Mrs. Thorson teaches math and science for her students and Dr. Ivy's students.

Important Dates

Monday, October 14 No School (Teacher Work Day)

Tuesday, October 15...Start of 2nd quarter, new trackers, new planners!!

Thursday, October 17...5th Grade Musical 9:00 school performance, 6:30 evening performance (students should be in classrooms at 6:15)

Friday, October 18...Report Cards go home in backpacks

Roles/Parts for the Musical

This week Mrs. Smith distributed information regarding the roles/parts for the 5th grade musical. Please be sure to read her information page and check with your child about any necessary items s/he may need for the musical. If you are unable to find items or need help getting items/costumes, please be sure you or your child let's us know ahead of time. We are happy to assist any child in having the necessary items for the musical.

We've heard the students rehearsing and they sound amazing! This last elementary musical is sure to be fantastic!!

Correction to Mrs. Smith's email!

If you emailed Mrs. Smith and have not received any communication in return, please email again. Her email address was incorrect in the message below. Our apologies!

Her correct email is smithm@parkhill.k12.mo.us

Important News from Mrs. Smith!!

Hello Parent!

The fifth grade program is October 17th! There are some things I would like to find for the show. If you have any of the following that we could have/use/borrow please let me know!!

· A drum set

· White karate pants

· White jackets or shirts I can glue colored gems on for an Elvis costume

· Plain red scarves (for Elvis)

· Elvis wigs

· Beatles wigs

· Skinny black ties

· Elvis glasses

· Electric guitar

· Pink Cadillac (cardboard cutout!)

· Sparkly gloves for Michael Jackson

· 4 blue tablecloths from the dollar store

· Saxophone

· Trombone

· Large gilded picture frames

I could also use a little help making props. If you are interested would you email me? I would love help with gluing, hanging tablecloths, typing programs and a few other odd jobs.

Thank you everyone!!

Mrs. Smith


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October Spirit Days

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Parent Teacher Conference Sign-Ups

Here are the links for the your child's classroom. Please sign-up for a conference time that's convenient for you.

These conferences are for the parents and teacher. Student-led conferences will be in the spring.

Mrs. Brown


Dr. Ivy


Mrs. Thorson


Mrs. Vernon


Mrs. Thorson & Mrs. Vernon's Announcements 10/11/19

During the week of 10/15-10/18, we will be transitioning from Topic 3 and into Topic 4. Students will be reviewing their progress with multiplying multi-digit numbers in Topic 3 and setting goals for progress with multiplying decimals in Topic 4. Next week’s homework assignments will be designed for continued practice with multi-digit multiplication because these skills are built upon as we move ahead to multiplying decimals. Therefore, students who scored below an M on their Topic 3 Post-Test will have a required assignment, while the assignment will be optional for students with a Topic 3 score of M or higher.

In science, we will begin “Matter is Everywhere”. Our essential question is, “Does matter exist if it can’t be seen?” We will focus on the structure and properties of matter. Students will learn the matter of any type can be subdivided into particles that are too small to see, but even then the matter still exists and can be detected by other means. We will conduct a contaminated water activity that will prove matter can exist even if it cannot be seen. Testing on this scope will be the week of October 21st; a more specific date will be given next Friday, October 18th.

Mrs. Brown & Dr. Ivy's Announcements 10/11/19

In reading, we've focused on how the point of view of a writing, story, or book impacts the overall message. We shared how if the same story was told from a different point of view, it would greatly impact the message. We are nearing the end of our Book Clubs. Students are eager to finish our books!

Coordinator Sign-Up for Room Parents

Dear Parents,

All classrooms at Graden will have 3 class parties this school year. Each of these parties will need a party coordinator. Party coordinators are in charge of:

  • Planning the activities, games, and snacks for the party
  • Creating a Sign Up Genius to ask for donations and volunteers
  • Overseeing/carrying out the party

The dates/times of our classroom parties are:

  • Halloween - Thursday, 10/31/19, 2:30-3:15 (Setup at 2:00, Parade at 2:15)
  • Winter - Friday, 12/20/19, 10:30-11:15 (Setup at 10:15)
  • Valentine - Friday, 2/14/20, 2:30-3:15 (Setup at 2:15)

If you are interested in planning one of the parties for your child's classroom, please sign up below. This sign-up includes all teachers for your grade level, so be sure to sign up for the correct classroom!

Please ONLY sign up if you are willing to be in charge of planning the party. This is not a sign-up for those wanting to send in supplies or help out at the party. Those sign-ups will come out at a later date, once the party coordinator has planned the party knows what they are in need of.


If you have any questions, please contact Lindsay Ramon, PTA Room Party Organizer, at lindsay.ramon@gmail.com

Thanks so much!!!

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Habit Home Connections

We have been working hard to set leadership and academic goals here at Graden. Now it is your family’s turn to utilize Habit 2: Begin With the End in Mind and create a family goal. We look forward to learning more about who you are as a family!

Habit 2: Begin with the End in Mind

Research has shown that the simple act of writing a goal greatly increases the chances of accomplishing the goal. If the goal is broken down into action steps and the action steps are tracked, goals have an even greater percentage of success.

At school, your child writes his or her academic and personal goals in a Leadership Notebook. You will gain a lot of information on how your child is doing if you ask your child to tell you about his or her goals. The goals chosen are meaningful to your child so be sure to practice Habit 5: Seek First to Understand, Then to Be Understood.

The Leadership Notebook idea can also be used in your home. Create goals such as reading together, eating dinner at the table, or doing an activity together. Involve everyone in the family in choosing a meaningful goal and action steps. Post the goal and the action steps in a visible place and be sure to track and celebrate progress.

Supplies are shown below for 5th grade students. The items on the left are considered "essential" and the items on the right are considered "optional", but greatly appreciated. Lists for all grades can be found on the Park Hill School District's web page.
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Mrs. Brown & Dr. Ivy's Announcements 10/4/19

In writing, we began the process of revising and editing our drafts. They started by self-editing their own drafts and identifying the specific structure (leads, transition words, ending), development (use of strong verbs, adjectives, and figurative language), and conventions (spelling and punctuation). Students used a Narrative Writing Checklist to ensure the components were added to their drafts. The final step before typing will be editing the draft of a peer using the same Narrative Writing Checklist. The students will be typing their final papers on Google Classroom, so you can always ask your child to show you their progress on their computers!

We are still working on our Book Clubs. It is important for students to understand how to make inferences based on context clues and text based evidence. Please be sure your child is on schedule with their reading assignments.

Determining theme is a skill we've worked on throughout the quarter and will continue to focus on in the next few weeks. Students are asked to determine the main message or broad idea of a piece of writing. When possible, ask your child the theme of popular stories they've read in the past. The discussion of themes from various sources strengthens the students' skills. Discussing the themes of movies and songs is another way to support this particular learning standard at home.

Our students did well with the months of the year, days of the week, and address assessment. We will continue to assess these topics for mastery. You can ask your child to write these at home for you as a home assessment for extra practice!

Mrs. Thorson & Mrs. Vernon's Announcements 10/4/19


We will be testing over Topic 3: “ Basic Needs” next Wednesday, October 9th or Thursday, October 10th. Students will have review notes in their Science Composition Notebooks and/or review sheets to help them prepare. Also, there is Picture Vocabulary, Concept Review Game, and STEMscopes online to help them review. Our next scope is “Matter is Everywhere”. Students are expected to develop a model to describe that matter is made of particles too small to be seen. We will be focusing on our essential question, “Does matter exist if it can’t be seen?” This scope has awesome hands-on activities, and we look forward to these experiences for the students.


During the week of 10/7-10/11, we will be wrapping up our studies of multi-digit multiplication. We will have learned about multiplying 2-, 3-, and 4-digit numbers by 1-digit numbers, about multiplying 2-digit numbers by 2-digit numbers, and about multiplying 3-digit numbers by 2-digit numbers. In class, we have been working to solve simple equations in these formats, as well as solving word problems that involve multi-digit multiplication. Students should be prepared to see both types (simple equations and word problems) on the Topic 3 Post-Test. That test will be given late next week – either Thursday, 10/10 or Friday, 10/11. The homework assignment for next week is Quick Check 3-7, which is an online assignment. Students will need to show their work for each problem in their Math Homework spiral and submit their answers online.

Mrs. Brown & Dr. Ivy's Announcements 9/27/19

In writing, we are finishing up our narrative writing drafts and will begin the process of revising and editing. The narrative writing rubric, resources for powerful leads, transitional phrases, strong verbs, and excellent endings are just a few writing expectations the we have discussed and implemented so far this week. These resources have been added to ELA Google Classroom so students can utilize them as they continue to draft. We also created Parts of Speech “flip book” and then added Types of Sentences, including declarative, interrogative, imperative, and exclamatory sentences. This is just another resource to set students up for success! As we finish up the Narrative Writing Unit, students will type and print their masterpieces!

Book Clubs are going well and students are delving deeper into character analysis, theme, and inferences. In class, we are discussing the characters and what we know about them. Please ask your child about his/her book club book and what they know about the characters. Part of our work is to identify characteristics which are explicitly stated (right there) and which ones are inferred. All year we work on developing our skill of inferring based on text based evidence. Whenever possible, you can support this development by working on inferences at home during your daily routine.

In the coming week, students will be assessed on the days of the week, months of year, and their address. Correct spelling and capitalization are required. Extra practice at home will ensure mastery!

Mrs. Thorson & Mrs. Vernon's Announcements 9/27/19

During the week of 9/30-10/4, we will be learning about multi-digit multiplication as part of Topic 3. We will be starting with smaller problems (two- and three-digit by one-digit) and progressing toward larger problems (two-digit and three-digit by two-digit). Success in Topic 3 is helped immensely by a solid command of basic multiplication facts (0-10). Working with your child at home for even a few minutes each night on these basic facts will greatly increase their levels of success with multiplying larger numbers. In addition to review of basic facts, students will have a new paper/pencil homework assignment due next Friday, 10/4 at 9:00 am. Students will be bringing that assignment home today.

We completed our Energy Transfer and Food Webs assessment on Friday, so we will discuss that on Monday, September 30th. Students have the opportunity to take the re-take or enrichment portion for this scope on Tuesday, October 1st.

We will then move on to our next scope, Basic Needs. The essential question for this scope is “How does forest destruction impact humans and animals?” Students will be expected to develop a model to describe the movement of matter among plants, animal, decomposers, and the environment. Students should understand that every living organism has basic needs but that organisms meet these needs differently depending on their environment. We will identify producers, consumers, herbivores, and carnivores while thinking about how they depend on one another to meet their basic needs.

Mrs. Brown & Dr. Ivy's Announcements 9/20/19

New book clubs are starting! Please check in with your child regarding what book he or she is reading for book clubs. All students will be in book clubs starting Monday. We are focusing on making inferences and determining theme. Most of reading will take place at school.

Students should also have a free reading book of their choice, on their reading level. This is a book they should spend about 20 minutes reading each night. We'd like this book to come to school as well so your child has it when we have free reading time in the classroom.

In writing, we will be focusing on following the 5th Grade Narrative Writing Checklist as we begin to draft, revise, and edit. We spent several lessons using mentor text to pull out powerful words/phrases, transitions, types of sentences, and other words for “said”. All of the prior mini lessons will help students as they begin to draft next week. Another focus we have for 5th grade writers is to start narratives with a powerful lead and wrap it up with a conclusion that ties the writing together. We will also be reviewing metaphors and idioms so students can incorporate figurative language into their writing pieces.

We will also be continuing to identify parts of speech including nouns, pronouns, verbs, adjectives, articles, adverbs, preposition, conjunctions, and interjections.

Mrs. Thorson & Mrs. Vernon's Announcements 9/20/19

During the week of 9/23-9/27 in math, we will be transitioning between Topics 2 and 3. Early in the week, we will be reviewing our learning about adding and subtracting decimals and taking our Topic 2 Post-Test. We will be taking that test on either Tuesday, 9/24 or Wednesday, 9/25. Later in the week, we will be taking our pre-test for Topic 3, and then beginning our learning about multiplying multi-digit whole numbers and decimals. There will be a new, paper/pencil homework assignment that is a review of what we have learned so far in fifth grade math. As usual, this paper/pencil homework assignment will be due by 9:00 am on Friday, 9/27.

In science next week, we will continue to develop a model to describe the movement of matter among plants, animals, decomposers and the environment. We will then review Energy Transfer and Food Webs in preparation for our test. The science test will be either Thursday, September 26th or Friday 27th. Students can study their notes in their composition notebooks, any handouts, picture vocabulary (online), concept review game (online), reread STEMscopes (online) and review sheet. It’s great to see the creativity in the models the students are preparing in class!

Mrs. Brown & Dr. Ivy's Announcements 9/13/19

In writing, we will gather all of our Quick Writes and choose a focus topic for our 1st quarter narrative writing piece. We will work to elaborate and add details using mentor texts such as the short story “Eleven” by Sharon Cisneros and the book Knucklehead by Jon Scieszka. We will also be reading published narrative pieces from our very own former Hornets to use as mentor text all while reiterating that writers read great stories in order to write great stories! We will be using the mentor text specifically to note powerful phrases the author used to bring their stories to life. We encourage students to share their Writer’s Notebooks with an adult at home weekly! Often times, their special moments include experiences you have shared with them! We are focusing on the importance of putting themselves inside the skin of the main character and telling the story through their very own lens….exactly the way they experienced it!

We will also be reviewing and identifying parts of speech including nouns, pronouns, verbs, adjectives, articles, adverbs, preposition, conjunctions, and interjections.

In reading, understanding details of a character based on explicit and inferred information is a skill we work on with our read aloud books and our book club books. Helping students understand the implied characterization of a situation or character is a higher order thinking skill we will practice all year. Reading for understanding is central to our work and as our reading level progresses, implied meanings, as well as understanding tone and mood, are needed to comprehend more challenging text. We encourage to students to ask questions regarding references or figurative language they may not understand because of lack of background knowledge. Due to growing up digitally, there are often references regarding print resources (encyclopedia sets, Webster's dictionaries, etc.) that are unfamiliar to our students. Pointing out these types of differences can help them understand more of the text they read, especially realistic fiction.

Mrs. Thorson & Mrs. Vernon's Announcements 9/13/19

In science, we will be exploring the essential question: How is energy transferred among producers, consumer, and decomposers? Students are expected to develop a model to describe the movement of matter among plants, animals, decomposers, and the environment. Students will also be expected to generate and compare multiple solutions to a problem based on how well each is likely to meet the criteria and constraints of the problem. The Energy Transfer/Food Web assessment should be the week of September 23rd.

Next week, 9/16-9/20, we will be continuing to work on adding and subtracting decimals with models and strategies. Topic 2 is a short one, so we will be ready for our Topic 2 Post-Test by Tuesday, 9/24 or Wednesday, 9/25. Ask your child about the action plan steps he/she has put into place to meet their improvement goal for adding and subtracting decimals. Discuss which steps are being carried out at school, and which action plan steps involve additional work at home. Next week, we will also continue with our digital homework assignments online through students’ Pearson accounts. Quick Check 2-4 and 2-5 will be due on Friday, 9/20 at 9:00 am.

Mrs. Brown & Dr. Ivy's Announcements 9/6/19

In writing, we will put all of our brainstorming ideas and Quick Writes to good use as we begin to pay special attention to elaboration of our experiences through details and descriptions. We will focus on uncovering internal details of our personal stories by reenacting our experiences with specific details. Students will be begin to push thing thinking as writers and become part of their stories…writing from the inside out. Students will write big details about a small idea or event! We will continue to use mentor texts and the work of published authors as a guide for our own writing.

Our reading book clubs will be in full force next week as we continue to read our first books. Students will be examining character details and predicting future events. We will also begin discussing the theme of poems and books. This skill will be developed throughout the school year. Our reading stamina is a focus next week as we will be in a routine with our lessons and home reading. Students should be reading 15-20 minutes each night. This "practice" strengthens the skills of readers at all levels.

Mrs. Thorson & Mrs. Vernon's Announcements 9/6/19

Math: During the week of 9/9-9/13, we will be transitioning out of Topic 1 and into Topic 2: Adding and Subtracting Decimals. We will start the week by reflecting on progress made in Topic 1, setting goals and action plans, and pre-testing to get baseline data on our skills related to adding and subtracting decimals. By the middle and end of the week, we will be learning about mental math strategies for calculations with decimals, estimating sums and differences of decimal numbers, and then beginning to use models to support true addition and subtraction of decimals. Now that laptops are traveling back and forth from school to home, we will begin assigning digital homework assignments to students. For next week, these assignments will be Quick Check 2-1 and Quick Check 2-2. Students access these digital assignments in their online Pearson account (accessible only through the Student Portal, available on the Graden website), and show their work in their Math Homework spiral. Completed homework (submitted digitally with work shown in Math Homework spiral notebook) is due by Friday, 9/13 at 9:00 am. As always, homework is assigned for completion as an additional practice of key skills. Please feel free to support your child as needed with problems that they find challenging. Students are also able to check with their teacher for assistance each morning at the start of our school day.

The next scope in science is Topic 1: Energy Transfer. Students will be expected to use models to describe that energy in animals’ food (used for body repair, growth, motion, and to maintain body warmth) was once energy from the sun. We will be discussing transfer of energy among organisms and the effects of too few energy resources. In addition to that, students should be able identify the relationship between producers and consumers and support a discussion explaining energy transfer with evidence.

Mrs. Brown & Dr. Ivy's Announcements 8/30/19

We are continuing our Book Club Boot Camp. Students are learning the various aspects of book clubs as we continue responding to our reading and finding new vocabulary. Text features are important for helping us comprehend and as we've been reading we are looking for these elements. Please highlight text features such as captions, titles, font features (bold, underline, italics), block text, etc. This will help us realize these features signify an aspect to help build comprehension skills. Reading even short text aloud is a simple task to incorporate as often as possible.

This week we will take the NWEA Reading assessment on Tuesday, September 3rd for our 5th grade baseline.

In writing, we are continuing to generate seed ideas by drafting 10 minute Quick Writes (short narrative pieces) to build our writing stamina. We are building our brainstorming library in our Writer’s Notebooks using a variety of idea sparking activities such as a TOP 5 list, Time for Kids: A Look into the Future, and a spoken words poem titled “Hands”. Be sure to ask your child to share their writing thoughts and ideas with you! We will also continue to discuss the importance of revising and editing. We’ll use our favorite books and/or authors as a guide to enhance our skills as writers.

We will take the NWEA Language Arts assessment on Wednesday, September 4th.

Mrs. Thorson & Mrs. Vernon's Announcements 8/30/19

In science, we will be discussing our test results from tests taken Friday, August 30th. We will then record data and complete a reflection on our progress. The next scope in science is Topic 1: Energy Transfer. Students will be expected to use models to describe that energy in animals’ food (used for body repair, growth, motion, and to maintain body warmth) was once energy from the sun. We will be discussing transfer of energy among organisms and the effects of too few energy resources. In addition to that, students should be able identify the relationship between producers and consumers and support a discussion explaining energy transfer with evidence.

We will also be taking the NWEA Science assessment on September 6th for a fifth grade baseline score.

We are beginning to feel more confident with our understanding of place value from the billions all the way down to the thousandths. We are continuing to develop our understanding of how digit values are related (increasing by ten times each digit place as we move left in a place value chart, and decreasing by ten times each digit place we move to the right). Next week, we will be wrapping up our work in Topic 1 by learning about comparing decimals. We are also looking ahead to our first math test taking place next Friday, 9/6. Though there will not be a formal homework assignment in math next week, students should be spending time at home reviewing and preparing for that test using their notebooks, workbook pages that have come home, and online resources in Pearson (accessible through students’ Park Hill Portal).

We will also be taking the NWEA Math assessment on September 5th for a fifth grade baseline score.

Mrs. Brown & Dr. Ivy's Announcements 8/23/19

In writing, students are learning how to author their writing lives by becoming a classroom community of writers. We will be generating many seed ideas and drafting Quick Writes (short Narrative pieces) to start the year and build stamina around writing. Our goal as writers is to have a wealth of leads to fall back on during our next Unit: Narrative Craft. Students are learning the power of brainstorming how it serves as the fuel behind all strong writing. We will also be discussing the importance of revising, editing, and how to use reading and favorite books or authors to use as a guide and continue to develop our skills as writers.

In reading, we are launching our Book Club Boot Camp! During the boot camp, we model the assignments, discussions, and protocols which are expected in the future student book clubs. An important aspect of this beginning unit is learning more about our reading lives and setting goals for ourselves related to reading. Students are expected to read for 20 minutes a day outside of class. This practice helps our students become stronger readers. If your child can read to younger children at home, we highly encourage it! Not only does this build the confidence of the 5th grader, but it also promotes reading to the younger children by having an older sibling modeling reading behaviors. Furthermore, reading together and discussing books emphasizes that reading is both a personal and social experience. Students are building their “Ideal Bookshelf” in their reader’s notebooks. Please share your ideal bookshelf and retell memories of reading with your child. We appreciate your support as we continue to grow strong readers!

Mrs. Thorson & Mrs. Vernon's Announcements 8/23/19

Looking ahead to next week in math, we will be continuing our studies of place value in Topic 1. We have already learned about exponents, powers of ten, and whole number place value up through the billions place. This will help us as we learn more about decimal place value (tenths, hundredths, and thousandths) next week. To support this learning, please work with your child to create a homework routine that will provide a space and time conducive to good work (review, reinforcement of skills learned in the classroom) this week as you see math assignments begin to come home. We appreciate your support!

In science, we have been learning that plants get materials they need for growth chiefly from air and water. Students created multiple solutions with criteria and constraints for plants growing in the Arctic successfully. They presented their finding in a group presentation, and they were quite insightful. This upcoming week, we will continue with Topic 2: Matter and Energy in Plants. We plan to review components from this scope mid-week and test on Thursday or Friday. Please check with your child for information on the Planner in the Hornet Binder. Students will have their notes in their composition notebooks and worksheets in the science folders to help them study. We will do a thorough review here at school as well. We will begin the scope, Energy Transfer, after reviewing our assessment on Matter and Energy in Plants.

MAP Results Sent Home on Monday, August 19th

If your child was a student at Graden last year, they have their 4th grade MAP results in their Hornet Binder. Each student is to give this paperwork to the adult at home.

If your child was a student in Park Hill last year, but not at Graden, we should receive the paperwork in the near future.

Laptops Coming Home

Students received their protective sleeves for the laptops today, Wednesday, August 28th. All laptops should be in the protective sleeve when traveling to and from school, as well as when traveling around the building. Laptops should NEVER be taken out of the sleeve while on the bus, at the bus stop, while waiting before school starts, etc. The only time laptops should be out is when students are in a safe work area as directed by the classroom teacher or while at home at a table or desk.

Laptops must be charged each night. This is a grade level expectation and is checked each morning. If laptops are not being charged at night, students will receive a redirection. In the event of an usual circumstance (the power goes out), then the classroom teacher will work with the student.

Students should not use their school computer for watching random YouTube videos. The school laptop is for school assignments and practice in specific content areas. Students know they are to do homework first before doing practice math games. Habit #3...Put First Things First!

We are excited for the students to have this experience and to build a strong foundation in being responsible digital citizens. Should you have specific questions, feel free to contact your child's homeroom teacher.