5th Grade News

January 20, 2015

Mrs. Crenshaw's and Mrs. Lillich's Class News

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Congratulations to Andrew Lematua for being an Explorer of Excellence!

Andrew Lematua exemplifies the the Explorer Code of Perseverance and Responsibility on a daily basis by doing his best, never giving up, and having a positive attitude when facing challenges! He is a true role model and we are proud to have him here at Westlake Charter School! Way to go, Andrew!

Check Out our Academic Vocabulary Skits Below!

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Important Dates

1/21 - Westminster Woods Parent Meeting at 5:00 p.m followed by WCMS Parent Info Night from 6:00-7:00 p.m- Jefferson Multipurpose Room

1/23 - Progress Reports go home

2/3 NWEA Reading Testing (8:00-10:00 a.m.)

2/5 NWEA Math Testing (8:00-10:00 a.m.)

2/6 NWEA Language Arts Testing (8:00-10:00 a.m.)

3/13/15 2nd Trimester Ends (63 days)

3/16 - 20 2nd Parent Teacher Conferences

(4th–8th early dismissal)

2/16/15 - 2/20/15 PRESIDENTS’ WEEK - No School

3/30/15 - 4/10/15 SPRING BREAK - No School


6/8-11 Westminster Woods Science Field Lesson

Field Trip Donations - Westminster Woods

Our Westminster Woods trip has been confirmed for June 8-11. We are planning a meeting to discuss details of this trip after the first of the year.

You can make a complete or incremental donations to support this trip. Below is a short video that will lead you through the steps necessary to easily make those donations.

Please click on the following URL or paste it in the URL line at the top of your screen and hit enter to proceed to the video:


Crenshaw's Homeroom/Language Arts/ Social Studies News


Students continue to practice their keyboarding skills and are getting closer to reaching their goal of typing 25 words per minute with no more than two mistakes! Some students are already typing 30+ words per minute! Way to use those "home row keys!"


Students should be working toward reaching their 2nd Trimester AR reading goal. Please check in with your student to make sure they are reading a minimum of 30 minutes per night, filling out their reading log, and taking and passing the corresponding quizzes.

We have also started an Interactive Reading Notebook aligned with 5th Grade ELA Common Core State Standards. We are focusing on Reading for Literature and delving deeper into understanding how authors reveal character traits and go about developing plots and subplots.

Writing (Focus on Non-Fiction)

Students finished writing a compare and contrast essay after reading the Sign of the Beaver and watching the movie. They have also completed their first persuasive letter to the Editor of Time for Kids (TFK) Magazine regarding the debate, "Should Everyone Receive a Prize?" First students discussed and debated the issue verbally. Then using a template, they completed their letter which included

1) a purpose for writing the letter to the TFK Editor,

2) a clear statement of their opinion or position

3) three reasons for their opinion along with relevant examples or evidence

4) a counter-argument and rebuttal

5) a strong closing

Since practice makes perfect, students will be writing another persuasive letter. This time it will be a letter addressed to you, their parent!

Language Arts

I'm proud of students owning their academic vocabulary words and demonstrating their knowledge and understanding of the words by performing fun, creative skits!

Students are starting their study of roots, prefixes, and suffixes. There will be a Prefix, Suffix, and Root Word of the Week in addition to the Academic Vocabulary List Words.

Students continue to work with and recognize similes, metaphors, root words, hyperboles, idioms, personification, irregular verbs, homophones, antonyms and synonyms.

Grammar lessons will focus on direct objects and indirect objects, adjectives, and adverbs.

Social Studies

Students worked in groups, chose one of the 13 colonies, and created colonial posters to persuade people to move to their colony based on the geography, natural resources, political environment, and economy. They included catchy, clever jingles as well as special incentives for people to move to their colony! Great job, Colonists!

Students also took a quiz on the location of the 13 colonies.

Students are now learning about the choices West Africans had to make to survive being enslaved and brought to the Americas. Student will analyze and respond to the dilemmas faced by Africans during enslavement: trading slaves for guns, surviving the Middle Passage, and living as a slave in the colonies.

Mrs. Lillich's Homeroom - Reading, Language Arts, and Technology

Accelerated Reading - Independent Reading: Students should be reading 10-20 minutes a day in class and 20-30 minutes each evening. We are half way through the trimester and students should have earned 17 out of their 35 points so far to meet their Trimester 2 contract reading goal. Students should be logging their reading in their AR folder every day. Students should be completing a book at least every 2 weeks and taking an AR quiz.

Reading for Literature - We are in the process examining Literary Elements. So far we have covered Theme, Setting, and Characters. We are learning about PLOT now by reading short stories and completing some Plot Diagrams. Students will ultimately have a Literary Elements Booklet with notes and examples to use to study.

Reading for Information - We are reading our Time for Kids magazines learning about non-fiction text features for Reading for Information. Good Reading for Information Strategies include: Reading everything twice, Reading everything on the page including picture captions, titles, diagrams, and charts, Understanding vocabulary associated with the concept before answering questions, and using clues in the text to formulate answers. We also work on some Reading for Information passages in class.

Spelling and Vocabulary - We are up to list 14 vocabulary and spelling words. Students should complete the word work associated with each word list and study a few minutes each day, mastering a few words each day to aid their success.

Technology and Project Based Learning and

GOOGLE CLASSROOM - Students should practice Typing as much as possible to work toward typing 25-30 words per minute.

Lillich's Math and Science News

Math - We have been working on Percents learning how to calculate 10 percent of a number, 1% of a number and so on. These grade go in Number Sense in Engradepro. We are also working on Geometry concepts and have recently covered Congruence, Measuring Angles with a Protractor, Learning about Angles, Triangles, and Parallelograms. We have also covered how to calculate perimeter and area of shapes and complex shapes. We will be moving on to how to calculate Volume this week. Look for Geometry grades under Geometry in EnGradePro.

We have an extensive amount of material to still cover in math before our test in May. The amount of in class work and homework will fluxuate somewhat depending on the concept and level of difficulty. We have been practicing some of the geometry using Accelerated Math on-line assignments. This is one way to begin preparing the students for the test which will be online.

One side note: The information in math written on the nightly agenda is the Assignment for the Day. Students often have 10-30 minutes in class to work on the assignment. What is not finished in class is homework. If students are working diligently in class and know their math facts, the left over time for the homework should still be less than 30 minutes of work.

At this point in the year, very little parent help should be needed when it comes to the math homework. Students have time in class to ask questions about problems when we grade the assignments the next day.

Science - We have learned all about the Circulatory System and we had a fun lab day to experiment with concepts. This week on Thursday we will have a quiz covering the Respiratory, Digestive, and Excretory Systems. Next, we are studying about transport systems in Plants and learning all about Photosynthesis and Cellular Respiration. When we conclude with Life Science, we will learn about 5th grade Earth Science. We have our CST Test in Science in May that covers all of the 4th and 5th grade Science standards. Helping your student master vocabulary for each concept is one great way to help them as well as helping them study for their quizzes.

EnGradePro - Online Grading for your Student

Your student has a user name and password in their agenda to check their grades on-line at any time. A good rule of thumb is to check in with your student weekly and check grades together so that they can communicate information about assignments, grades, how they did, and find associated graded papers to share with you. Please do not wait until the trimester ends to begin to check grades. Checking EnGradePro daily will create more questions than answers and we do not recommend it. We do not usually enter grades every day. Check backpacks for graded work and go over it with your student, that is often much more productive.

A few bits of information to know about EnGradePro and Grading:

- There are some grade categories that have no grades and may not have any for the first trimester because we have not yet covered those standards.

- An “M” means a missing assignment. Your student did not turn in their assignment and this counts as a zero. Have your student check the “NO Name” bin in their classroom as a first way to problem solve this or perhaps check their backpack to see if they forgot to turn the paper in. Most of the time we would take their paper and grade it for a few points off.

- An empty spot in the grade book can mean we just have not gotten to grade a particular paper.

- Be sure when your child is absent to encourage them to complete and return all work so that it can be graded and entered in the grade book. Many times when students are absent they forget to return their work.

Thank You

Thank you for the wonderful gifts. I am in the process of making thank you notes but wanted to say thank you to parents and students. We had a wonderful holiday party before Winter Break. I cannot believe it is already January 20th of the New Year. Wishing you all peace and blessings in 2015. Mrs. Lillich