Fifth Grade PEAK

Mrs. Turner's January News


The kids had a great first week back. I loved chatting with them about their winter breaks. It sounds like you all enjoyed time with family and friends.

I had an exciting break in that I became a Grandma! Isla (silent s) Sage was born on December 31 at 8 pounds 11 ounces. I had fun sharing a few pictures with the kids this week!

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Topic Study

  • We are in the process of wrapping up Topic Study Projects and Reflections. We are also working on using technology to pull all our projects/notes/videos together into one electronic portfolio.

Curricular Areas:


  • Student spent a few weeks analyzing feature magazine mentor texts and have started the writing process. Students will use their research to write a well organized feature article. As we write we will focus on leads, transitions, voice, sentence fluency, and writing conventions.
  • Students are also looking for a way to incorporate an authentic piece of research into the article. This could be a quote from an expert they have interviewed, a survey they designed and analyze, etc.


  • Students completed "10 Things mathematicians and scientists should know but are rarely taught." Each child wrote a reflection about the math and science concepts learned first semester.
  • Math and Science Will Tell you the Truth
  • Counterintuitive thinking
  • Occam's Razor
  • Mistakes and Frustrations are part of learning
  • Healthy Skepticism
  • Statistics can lie
  • Keep an open mind
  • Cause and correlation
  • Ethical decision making
  • Understanding biases

We will continue to solve a variety of math problems throughout second semester.


  • Student took a science pretest and reviewed the scientific method.We will begin experiments that answer the essential question: How can I use the scientific method to design and conduct qualitative experiments on the brain? This is a brand new science unit we wrote over Christmas Vacation!

Critical Thinking

  • Students took a posttest on critical thinking vocabulary words.
  • Each student is designing his/her own method to best learn the meanings of the critical thinking vocabulary words. Some kids wrote songs, some made memory concentration games, other made good old fashion flash cards. Students will study the words using his/her method 10 - 15 minutes each week at the beginning of class.
  • We are working on applying the words across the disciplines (math, science, research)

Vocabulary Words:

  • Clarity
  • Accuracy
  • Precision
  • Depth
  • Breadth
  • Relevance
  • Logic
  • Significance
  • Fairness
Students also work on critical thinking packets that require them to think out side the box!


A goal of our program is to help students understand themselves (and their peers) better. Team Challenges help students develop an appreciation for their own skills and abilities, as well as those of their PEAK classmates, by requiring them to think creatively, cooperate with one another, and communicate effectively to complete a given task.

4th and 5th grade students have taken part in several Team Challenges already this year. In fact, it's one of the most requested PEAK day activities. I love that they're so excited to work together!

For Parents:

This quick article from the National Association for Gifted Students has tips for parenting creatively gifted children. Click Here


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