Dear Parents!

Happy 2019! It is great to be back at school. We are off to a busy and exciting start. We welcome new student Danny and his parents, Elise and Jim,  to Fifth Grade. Hopefully, you will all have a chance to meet the family at Ski Fridays.

Here’s an update on all of our adventures!

History: We have left Egypt in the dust, so to speak, and have moved east to the Indus Valley. Here we are learning about the origins of the Harrapan civilization and the birth of Hinduism. Students have been taking a closer look at the geography of this region along with how archeologists have been excavating the ancient cities of Mohenjo-Daro and Harappa which are located in modern-day Pakistan. This week we examined the Harrapan writing (still not deciphered), as well as the mystery surrounding the demise of the Indus Valley cities. Students were asked to read independently on a topic using a BBC website and write a summary of the facts in their own words. They also had a quiz on the geography of the region. We will be learning about Hinduism and its origins next.

English: Our newest novel is Linda Sue Park’s Newbery-Award-winning novel, A Single Shard. Set in 12th century Korea, this book ties in directly with our upcoming study of Buddhism and the class’ current arts offering, ceramics. Students will be doing more reading and writing on their own this term, using this book as the point of departure. Our weekly spelling tests have resumed. Please remind your student that parts of speech and meanings are also required. I have been encouraging everyone to use Monday nights to make flashcards for this reason.  In Grammar, we are working on the concepts of direct objects and categories of verbs.

Writer’s Workshop: We now honing on the trait of VOICE in writing. Last week, we shared Sharon Teague’s humorous and lively story, Dear Mrs. LaRue. This led to a discussion of the strategies that can be used to convey a range of literary voices. Students had the opportunity to participate in 3 different creative writing activities to showcase voice in writing:

Math: Last week was our introduction to double-digit divisor long division. Students will be practicing this skill, as well as learning to divide with money this week. In addition, they have begun the Math Mall project. Each student will be creating a “store” in a virtual mall with items to sell and a set of math questions. This project is meant not only to be a creative and engaging way to develop math skills, but it also serves to allow the student to be in the role of teacher by crafting math problems and an answer key. If you would like to child to review, we are in Chapter 5. There will be a test next week on this chapter.

Some students are still quite rusty on their 12s and 11s. Before the break, I asked everyone to brush up on these facts. These should be automated. On Tuesday, I gave a timed short quiz. Students that have not yet mastered their facts will be asked to stay on top of this, and I will requiz again next week.

Advisory: We used our first advisory of the year to reflect on our report cards, and set some personal goals for the next trimester (academic and social). And this week, we took an opportunity during advisory to get to know our newest member of the Fifth Grade Family, Danny!

Helpful Hints:

  • PTR is due February 7.
  • Please try and have your child here at 7:55 each day. Our homeroom opens at 7:50 and the students need time to get organized.
  • Some students have been forgetting to print their papers at home. Please help them by making sure that you have toner/paper ready to go.
  • Students need boots and snow pants in order to play in the snow at recess, so please send these in.


Thank you for all that you do to support your student. I really appreciate it.

Let me know if you have any questions!