Welcome to 5th Grade!

Get to Know Ms. Vest

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About the Teacher:

Hello fabulous fifth graders and families! I am so excited to get to know you this year. This is my sixth year teaching fifth grade. Before coming to Midtown, I taught fifth grade at Rainbow Elementary. I've also worked for a church in children's ministry and taught third and fourth grade in Madison City schools.

I was lucky enough to grow up in Madison, and my family still lives here. I went to Madison City schools and run into my old teachers all the time. Mrs. Walden was my fifth grade teacher! My bachelor's degree is in collaborative education and Spanish from Birmingham-Southern College. I also have a masters from the University of West Alabama with a focus on school counseling.

I love learning, both in school and out! Technology, when used wisely, has provided a way for us to always pursue learning and satisfy our curiosity. We will explore that this year in fifth grade and try to prepare you for the expectations of middle school.

When I'm not teaching or preparing great things for us to do, I enjoy being outside (gardening, kayaking, hiking), reading a great book, working out, cooking or eating, traveling, or spending time with my family and friends or our very over-grown puppy. My soon-to-be husband (in October) and I have a 95 pound lab/dane rescue who thinks he is the center of our world, and he's probably right!

The Basics:

Communication To/From School

Planners - Homework, assignments, and study materials carried home every day!

Daily Take Home Folders - PTA news, graded papers, school wide publications, etc.

Class Dojo - Text reminders 2-3 times each week.

Schoology - Sign up as a parent to see your child's work and progress on Google assignments.

Fifth Grade Festivities

Camp McDowell field trip: April 6-8

Liberty Legacy field trip: Jan/Feb and April

Chattanooga Field Trip: TBD

5th Grade Awards Day: May

BYOD - Do they really need it?

Yes, your child can bring a technology device to school (tablet, phone, etc.)
Yes, it is YOUR CHILD's responsibility!
Yes, they can use it in class for academic purposes.

**Students using it for other purposes will be told to put them away or turn the device into the office for the day. Devices may not be used in the hallways (no texting and walking), nor other transition times. Social media may NOT be used at school by students under any circumstances.
No, your child does NOT have to bring a device to school to be successful. We have laptops in the classroom available for student use.

Beliefs that Guide my Teaching

All people are unique and gifted differently. This influences how we learn best (group work, insolation, with music, quiet space, hands-on). Students will be given choices and opportunities to explore, through trial and error, how they best learn in my classroom.

Fair is NOT always equal. I will do what's best for each child as they need it.

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There is a difference between "I can't" and "I can't YET." Alongside reading and language, I teach students to have a growth mindset. We may be frustrated and take breaks, but we NEVER give up.

Don't fear failure! We will all fail, but it our choice as to whether we quit. Failure is a tool we can use to learn and grow. It is uncomfortable and hard, but how we respond to it determines whether it will stretch us or destroy us.

Fifth grade is often a productive struggle, during which students really desire to know the "WHY" behind learning. They seek to connect meaning. Encourage, explain, and try to communicate real world examples to your child.

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The Mystery of Grading...

System-Required Grading Policies (per subject)
*Updated 8/6/19


30% Language/Grammar/Vocabulary/Writing

70% Reading (Comprehension, Tests, Passages)

Deciphering Graded Papers:

"SG" - Practice pages usually on colored paper completed with teacher in small group, ungraded assignment that can be kept and reviewed at home to prepare for tests.

"NC" - Item that was not counted against any child due to less than 50% mastery by the entire class. Standard will be retaught and retested.

Redo Slip (pictured to the left) - Important concept/lesson that received a failing grade. Student can earn up to half credit back by completing redo for homework and turning in again.

"Test Correction" points - In some instances (reading/unit tests), students are given the opportunity IN CLASS to recognize errors and make a second/better choice for their answer. By doing so, students can earn up to half credit back on their original grade.

Missing - If you see "Missing" in PowerSchool, your child is missing an assignment. A list of displayed assignments that can still be made up is posted in the classroom. If your child's missing work is outside of this make-up time allowance, the "Missing" will remain in the gradebook and average in as a zero.

Incomplete - If you see "Incomplete in PowerSchool, your child's work is incomplete due to absence, pullout, etc. Your student will check with Ms. Vest for makeup work.

*Subject to change per Central Office.

What is Flexible Seating?

Flexible seating is based upon the idea that every student has a different learning style. Along with encouraging each child to own their own learning, I want to empower each student to choose a seat in our classroom best meets their learning needs. Students have a variety of seating options throughout the week, provided on a rotating schedule. Our seating options include stools, carpets, cushions, yoga balls, and even work at standing workspace. Desks are still an option for those who prefer them, but they are unassigned.

This "non-traditional" seating option requires cooperation and understanding of the expectations. In order for all students to succeed in this endeavor, the class is expected to abide by these five flexible seating guidelines:

1) Choose a "working seat" that helps you do your best WORK!
2) Use your spot safely and correctly.
3) If your spot is not working, MOVE!!
4) Take care of the community supplies at your chosen seat.
5) Ms. Vest may move ANYONE at ANYTIME if he/she is not working!

Your child will receive a flexible seating contract outlining these guidelines. Please let me know if you have any questions.

Stay in Touch!

Contact me anytime with questions or concerns about your child.

Sign up for Class Dojo to receive text messages: https://www.classdojo.com/invite/?c=CALGD6Q