5th Grade ~ 2016 January Update

Happy 2016, 5th Grade Families!

Welcome Back, Friends!

How wonderful it is to be back into the daily grind with your sweet kiddos!!!! We look forward to picking up right where we left off, but we so appreciate the renewed energy and enthusiasm that we all have towards learning and growing together. We're looking forward to a great month ahead!

Reading Workshop

It was so lovely for us to hear about all the good books students read over winter break! We have a bunch of enthusiastic readers on our hands, and their love of reading is contagious. There's nothing better than snuggling up with a good book (and hot chocolate) on a cold winter's day!

5th graders will be reading and enjoying short stories as a whole class, in partnerships, and independently during the month of January. We will use these stories to analyze motivations of our characters and to determine the author's larger lesson that is being presented. Close reading of these texts will allow students to think critically about what they're reading, as well as develop and support their own theories about the books. Students will use these same short stories in Writing Workshop in order to develop their Literary Essays

Students may also continue to read their own independent novels, as well. Through daily IR (Independent Reading) checks, students share what they're currently reading with each other, and we are generating lots of enthusiasm around our book choices! If you need a book recommendation, ask your child! (wink, wink!)

Writing Workshop

Students will begin their unit on Literary Essays. These essays really empower students to think deeply about what they're reading and EXPRESS those thoughts in writing. Students will use the same short stories that we're using in Reading Workshop to develop these essays. While we focused on peer editing in our previous units, students will primarily conference with Mrs. Mahoney and Courtney this month.

We will also continue our study of grammar. This month we will finish our unit on nouns and begin a unit on verbs that includes linking verbs, direct objects and the progressive forms of verbs. Students will have an assessment on both of these units this month.


Students will ring in 2016 by having tremendous fun with angles! Students will not only measure angles with a protractor, but will also find unknown angles using what they know about properties of lines, complementary angles, supplementary angles, and vertically opposite angles. This unit is fun and hands-on, and just what we need to keep us happy during this cold January!

Students will also be taking a mid-year assessment towards the end of January (more information to follow in the Friday Folder). It is important for your children to review previously learned material by going through their math binders and workbooks.

Social Studies

This month we will focus on the development of civilization in Sumer from approximately 3500 to 1800 B.C.E. Students will first learn how Sumerian city-states evolved as ancient Mesopotamians invented irrigation systems and developed complex political and military structures to maintain and protect them. Students will also learn about important Sumerian achievements, such as the wheel and sailboat, to understand why Sumer is considered one of the world's first civilizations. Finally, by tracing the development of cuneiform, students will discover how the creation of a writing system had a significant impact on Sumerian culture.


Monday, January 18th: No School ~ Martin Luther King, Jr. Day

Tuesday-Friday, January 19th-22nd: Education Week ~ details are on the website and were sent out in this week's Tuesday Update.

Thursday, January 28th ~ 5th grade field trip to UPenn (more information to folllow)