New Beginnings in Fifth Grade

Dear Fifth Grade Parents,

Whew! What an exciting week we had in Fifth Grade! I enjoyed hearing about everyone’s summer adventures, and helping our kids settle in. This was a week of many many new experiences and faces in our classroom family. We spent a lot of time organizing and unpacking, too. Here’s some of the highlights…


Students organized their binders, and received three of their texts for the history course. We are starting by taking a look at the shift from nomadic life to agriculture known as the agricultural revolution. This will segue into an exploration of Mesopotamia. On the first day of school, we followed clues around the campus that lead us to dig up a can of items that hinted at some of the civilizations we would study. We discussed the role that archaeology plays in helping us understand more about the past. Later in the week, each student shared a timeline on Friday with elements of personal history, as well as artifacts that related.  

Writer’s Workshop

I shared with students the technique of linking experiences with a single person in order to generate a topic for a personal narrative. Students are currently in various stages of the writing process in crafting their own true narratives. They are learning about the format of Writer’s Workshop, and the goals and expectations of writers during this time. 


Our class enjoyed a lively discussion around the summer read, The View from Saturday. I also presented the Passport to Reading program to the students which is our independent reading program in Fifth Grade. Students will be selecting their books for the first project at the end of next week. I will be explaining this program in-depth at Back-to-School Night on Wednesday. Students will receive spelling words tomorrow and have a spelling test on Friday. 


This week, we began by reviewing the ways in which data can be depicted including bar graphs, line graphs, line plots and stem-and-leaf plots. Students work in rotating math stations where they practiced these review topics and also tried out some new math games designed to encourage a growth mindset. 


Our weekly advisory sessions often focus on life skills. This week, we leaned the proper format and etiquette to email a teacher at BCD. A cheat sheet is in your child’s planner which he/she can use at any point during the year. Please encourage your child to email a teacher for help or for question rather than doing it yourself! This will help not only to strengthen the relationship that teacher and students have, but also to foster independence and accountability.

We have also discussed the crucial role that the planner plays in staying organized in Fifth Grade. Please remember to sign the planner each night. I will also review this on Wednesday and be able to answer questions. 

The Brain Game

This year, our class will be working on a long-term project to better understand the concept of neuroplasticity, and our capacity to develop a growth mindset that we can use not only at school, but at home as well. During our first session, we took a small quiz about the brain, and watched a short video on youtube about the brain’s ability to develop new connections through learning and practice. 


  • Back-To-School Night is this Wednesday at 5:30. I will be handing out information about all of the subjects I teach, as well as copies of books for home use, and the trip information for our 4-day trip to Rhode Island next month. I will share expectations and goals for the students in terms of academic and social emotional/executive functioning skills, and there will be opportunities to ask lots of questions! A copy of the homework calendar will be provided. Please make every effort to have one parent attend this evening. This is an adult-only event.
  • In the front pocket of the planner, you should find a form that needs to be signed that shows you have read the BCD handbook. This form needs to come back to me tomorrow. 
  • For changes in dismissal plans, please make sure you call the office and speak with Melissa. Sometimes I do not check my email when I am teaching several hours straight.
  • Thank you for encouraging your child to enter Peterson Hall on his/her own. I know for some families, this is a big step, but please know, that the kids are ALL entering homeroom with smiles and positive energy. I would like the students to enter homeroom at 7:55 so there is enough time to get everyone organized for the day. Students are marked late at 8:05. 
  • Please check in with your student each night to make sure homework is done, and then please sign the planner next to where I have signed it. (You do not need to check the homework for accuracy.) 
  • If you have not subscribed to the BCD calendar, and the fifth grade blog, please see the BCD website.  This way you can see the homework that is due in every subject every night as it is assigned.

I’m looking forward to spending another week with my amazing class, and seeing all of you on Wednesday night. 



By | 2017-09-11T16:39:30+00:00 September 10th, 2017|

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