Fifth Grade Times

News for You

From the Teachers

What a great month it has been! We are so fortunate to have each and every child in our classes. We are on our way to creating a Learning Story that is fantastic! We are proud to be Wildcats! The Fun Run was a great success!

In Class this Month:

Literacy: Students are getting to know themselves better as readers and writers. We are collecting some beginning of the year data so we can reflect on our learning stories later in the year. The first unit that we are working on is personal narrative. Please look for a sample rubric to come home with the progress report (Begin with the end in mind). Encourage your child to read every night (20-30 min) and record it.

Math: We are learning about each other through numbers. This month we will be learning more about place value with large numbers and decimals. We also are starting to learn about fractions this month. Continue to practice multiplication facts at home EVERY night.

Science: Students are learning about the scientific process and how we must synergize to make science a success. We have started the Systems of the Body unit. Ask your child to name a few of the bones.

Social Studies: We are finishing up studying the government, Constitution, and the Bill of Rights. We’ll have a quiz soon, then go back in time to discover the Three Worlds and what happened when they met.

Important Dates and Upcoming Events:

  • Friday, October 23 - Monster Mash Dance (6:00 PM)
  • Wednesday, October 28 - Late Start (9:05 AM)
  • Friday, October 30- Classroom parties (2:30 PM)


Remember to read each night for 20 to 30 minutes. Record these minutes each night!

Guide to Growth at Home


Beginning — Read together EVERY NIGHT - 30 minutes - discuss what you have read

Developing — Read nightly for 30 minutes

Secure — KEEP on reading!


Beginning — Before bed, have your child tell you about one thing they did that day - with details

Developing — Have your child tell you about one thing they did each day - including a beginning, middle, and end

Secure — Encourage your child to start keeping a journal at home about their lives


Beginning — Practice multiplication math facts (flashcards,

Developing — Continue practicing multiplication facts

Secure — Practice skills using Khan Academy

From Superintendent Dr. Rock


It is my intention to make sure that every person who enters the doors of a Clarkston Community School feels a sense of belonging, challenge, support, and safety. Whether a child, educator, or family member has been in our schools for a few minutes or several years, they belong here, and they can expect excellence from all of us.

I ask that our community--parents, students, educators, volunteers, guests--takes extra time to truly listen to the voice of every child so that it is known and kids feel believed in. Each child is uniquely different, and individual growth over time is what we seek to document, measure, and communicate. Comparisons between school systems on standardized tests have a place, and the most important thing is the individual child and his or her experience in our schools.

Real learning, as in mental connections made in our brains, requires contemplating or encountering new information. When we review things we already know, our brains do not grow. Thus, making mistakes and experiencing life beyond what is familiar to us are important in growing our brains.

In support of these facts, Harvard University researcher and author, Ron Ritchhart wrote, “We learn a lot from making mistakes, pushing ourselves out of our comfort zone, and taking risks to try new things. Regularly encountering challenges, mistakes, and failure builds a growth mindset and develops intellectual resilience.”

It is important that we as educators and parents help our students/children encounter “productive struggles” (Adam Scher, Way Elementary, Bloomfield Hills) as part of their daily living and learning. We want students to engage in learning in a range or zone that is challenging for them. We want our children to play, think, read, and converse in areas that stretch their thinking.

Ritchhart goes on to say, “When your child encounters difficulties, don’t jump in to solve the problem and rescue him/her. Instead, ask questions that will help him/her to think through the problem, identify, and choose a course of action for moving forward.” A response as simple as, “What makes you say that?” can do the trick. In so doing, we help build confidence, courage, and neural networks in our children. And, we know that the challenging of the mind does not stop at the end of childhood, it continues through life. So, learning new things is also essential for adults of all ages.

Thanks for thinking with me,

Rod Rock, Ed.D.

Superintendent, Clarkston Community Schools