The following is an overview of fifth grade that is presented at Back to
School Night. Most general subject questions can be answered here. :-)
- How will communications between school and home be handled?
- What are the homework expectations and grading system in fifth grade?
- How can I help at home?
- What is the Language Arts program like in fifth grade?
- What is the social studies program like in fifth grade?
- What is the math program like in fifth grade?
- What is the science program like in fifth grade?
- What should I know about P.E., art, music, computer lab, and library in fifth grade?
How will communications between school and home be handled?
COMMUNICATION BETWEEN SCHOOL AND HOME
Parent/teacher/student communication is very important. There
are many ways that we will notify you, and several ways you can
To contact us: please use the information on the attached
We strongly encourage you and your student to check the website
daily for homework and announcements.
-If your child goes to another fifth grade teacher for RTI
(Response to Instruction) reading, you may contact me or the
subject teacher directly. We meet as a grade level team weekly
to discuss student progress.
-Feel free to send in an old-fashioned note with your child if
one of the above methods doesn’t suit you.
-We will keep in touch with you:
-Through the weekly Thursday Communication folder. This folder
should be emptied, signed and returned to school on Friday.
Please take a few moments to look at your child’s recent
work/grades and other school communications sent home each week.
-Through the Student Organizer. We will write down all of the
homework together daily.
-Through the website. We will post daily and upcoming homework
assignments, as well as classroom and school announcements and
the school’s calendar and classroom schedule.
-By requesting parent signatures on ALL graded tests, major
assignments (such as reports), late homework slips, field trip
permission slips, etc. There is a lot to sign in fifth grade.
This is to insure that you are always aware of your child’s
progress and that there are no “surprises” at report card time.
Parent signatures also remind students that teachers and parents
are communicating and have the same high standards for
achievement in the classroom. Late homework notes will be sent
home if a student does not get a required test/paper signed.
This will count as a missed/late assignment and is part of our
responsibility program in fifth grade.
-We will email you or phone you if we need to discuss a problem
that comes up during class.
-Late notes are sent home when a student does not complete/turn
in a homework assignment on time. These must be returned signed
and stapled to the completed assignment the day after they are
-Students receiving 5 late notes in a six week period will be
unable to attend Mall of America for that period and will attend
Study Hall instead. A separate study assignment is required from
students in study hall.
What are the homework expectations and grading system in fifth grade?
Fifth Grade Homework Policy:
Homework is assigned to review, reinforce, and practice skills learned in the classroom. Homework should be meaningful; enabling the students to become independent and responsible.
• We feel reading is essential to practice daily. This includes individual practice as well as good modeling of fluency and pacing by adult example.
• Daily math practice is important to practice new concepts and review past lessons. New concepts will not be assigned as homework unless taught in class. Homework will be started in class to be used as examples at home.
• Spelling pretests and assignments will be done in class. Individual weekly tests are to be completed at home on Thursdays.
• All other homework is unfinished class work with the exception of a few large projects which will be worked on in class as well.
• No new assignments will be assigned to be completed over weekends or holidays.
• Parents should provide an appropriate place and time for students to complete homework.
• Parents should be available to read to or with students, and discuss books being read at home and at school.
• Parents should encourage students to complete assignments to the best of their ability and on time.
• Parents should check for completion of homework each day, and check the grade level website for accuracy.
• Parents should be available to ask for and sign all communications sent home from the fifth grade classroom.
• Parents should not complete homework for or with the student.
• Parents should not have to teach new concepts when homework is sent home.
How Parents Will Be Informed of Homework:
• Student Organizer (sign or check each night)
• Website online-homework updated daily
When Homework Demands are Excessive or Not Excessive Enough:
• When too excessive, discuss with the classroom teacher for modification
• When not excessive enough, visit “links” on class website for independent activities and discuss options with the classroom teacher
Homework and Absences
• Students are expected to complete all classwork and homework they miss within a week of returning to class. If the absence is lengthy, more time will be given.
• If you know your student will be absent in advance, please see teacher for Independent Study contract.
We keep a separate grade sheet for each subject. The grade sheets
are always available to students and parents to help monitor
progress. Each term a new grade sheet is started. Since grades
are not cumulative, the student has a chance to begin anew each
term. Academic grades are based on a combination of: the
percentage grade earned on daily work, tests, special study unit
activities and extra credit assignments. Class participation,
small group involvement, and homework completion also contribute
to the final grade point average. Music and science lab teachers
maintain the grades and assign final report card grades in those
subjects. RTI (reading) and math teachers maintain part or all of
the grade and assign report card grades in those subjects.
Our expectation is that homework will be consistently turned in on
time. A late note is sent home to parents each time homework is
late and is returned with the parent’s signature and the
completed late assignment the next day. We acknowledge that
children can occasionally leave an assignment at home so we have
provided each student with one late work pass, entitled “The Dog
Ate My Homework.” If a family emergency arises please notify the
teacher by note, email, or voicemail informing us why the
homework was not completed. If your child fails to turn in the
signed late note or has consecutive late assignments, you will
receive an email or phone call regarding the missing
assignments. Homework is an extension of our daily learning and
is critical to the education of your child. The email/phone call
will be to alert you that your child is struggling to meet
*This year the fifth grade will continue to have The Mall of
America as an incentive to students who have handed in work on
time and maintained good behavior. Fifth graders are rewarded
with Yankee Doodle Dollars for excellent citizenship and work
habits. Please ask your child how he/she will spend his/her
dollars at the Mall of America.*
*Mall of America is held approximately every six weeks. Students
who receive less than 5 late notes will be able to attend. Those
who receive five or more late notes will be in study hall, and
will have an additional required assignment. Students might also
miss the opportunity to attend Mall of America for behavioral
infractions, not following classroom rules or expectations, or
receiving "strikes" or discipline notices.
The Greentree staff uses the following percentage scale:
90-100% =A (Excellent)
80-89% =B (Good)
70-79% =C (Satisfactory)
60-69% =D (Needs Improvement)
59% and Below=F (Unsatisfactory)
In nearly every subject opportunities for small group assignments
are provided. Leadership opportunities abound in these
situations. Learning to balance strengths and weaknesses of team
members is essential. A sense of responsibility to complete the
task develops. Individual creativity contributes to brainstorming
sessions producing fascinating results. These group-process
skills will continue to serve students well as they fine tune
their socialization skills in years to come.
How can I help at home?
TEAM EFFORT: HELP AT HOME
The following are some tips that we’ve learned from my parent
groups during my teaching career:
1.Positive expectations for good behavior are necessary at
school and at home. Remind your child of our school motto, “S.O.A.R." Stop, Think, Solve,
Own Your Own Actions, Act With Integrity, Respectful Behavior.
By following the guidelines of our class
and school matrix, behavior problems should not
be an issue. When we do need to intervene to redirect your
child’s behavior, the follow-through by the parent after being
informed of the misbehavior is critical. This follow–through may
be in the form of a stern discussion of appropriate school
conduct. It does make a difference! Letting the child know we
truly believe that they can and will behave appropriately is a
message that needs to be consistent at home and at school.
2.Please provide time for your child’s health needs. A
consistent and early bedtime and a good breakfast help keep them
alert. A nutritional snack provided for recess time at school is
a helpful boost during the day. We strongly discourage family
vacations during the school week. Doctor and dentist
appointments scheduled during the core subjects also interrupt
the learning process. Absences must be followed with a note or
phone call to the office describing the illness. Excuses from
P.E. must be in writing as well. Excessive absences inhibit the
steady acquisition of skills.
3.Please make sure your child arrives at school on time (no
earlier than 7:45 a.m.) and leaves immediately following the
close of school, unless other arrangements have been made with me.
4.Parental support of your child’s teachers and
instructional program in the presence of your child is
essential! If you do have a concern, let’s discuss it
immediately. Please don’t place your child in the position of
choosing between the parents and teacher. There are problems
that should be discussed with only the adults present.
What is the Language Arts program like in fifth grade?
*RTI (reading) will be taught by Mrs. Eaton and Mrs. Berg, as
well as some support instructors. Students will be specifically
placed for reading instruction.
You can tell from the length of curriculum notes that reading is
the subject at the forefront of our focus at Greentree. In fact,
much of our homework expectations will revolve around reading
practice. Reading is the one subject that students must practice daily,
regardless of skill level. It is not possible to “cram” for a
reading test. Compare reading skill and comprehension
acquisition to sports or music skill acquisition: if your child
wishes to improve he/she must practice daily build “strength” and
Reading level is directly correlated to the number of words read
daily/weekly/annually. Above grade level readers typically read
40 minutes (or more) every day. The result is more words learned
in one month than struggling readers learn in one year! We count
on parents to encourage our policy of a minimum of 30 minutes read
at home each night. Shared reading can be included in this
number—fifth graders are not too old to benefit from this type of
reading! Hearing high level, fluent reading improves vocabulary
and helps build stronger readers.
We have a language arts program that rigorously meets/exceeds all
California state standards. The Houghton Mifflin series contains
rich sources of literature with contemporary and historical
themes. It is a well-balanced program, including comprehension,
grammar, writing, spelling, and vocabulary skills. Language Arts
is taught in two segments during the day. In homeroom we will
cover writing, grammar, and spelling, and vocabulary. Reading
skills, (more) vocabulary and comprehension will be taught during
•One portion of each reading grade is met by
reading two novels at home per trimester. Students
demonstrate completion and understanding of the novels
by taking and PASSING a Scholastic “Reading Counts” quiz
at school on the computer, OR by completing a "Book Interview"
with an adult interviewer. Students and parents can
monitor growth by watching
the ‘Reading Counts’ bulletin board in the classroom.
Students are encouraged to aim beyond the minimum of two
books per trimester.
•We strongly encourage all students to reach beyond the
minimum requirements to earn an excellent grade. Additional
incentives to read books and write stories are offered to
motivate our readers and writers.
Writing is an integral portion of every curricular area, and a
good deal of time is devoted to writing in the form of note-
taking, journaling, and formal writing.
•A successful writing program is ensured by having parents
assist their son/daughter with editing and revising written work.
•Students will receive a weekly direct writing lesson.
The lesson will be designed to address a particular skill and
meet a specific writing standard. All final copies are required
to be turned in typed.
Students will a pre-test every Monday. The spelling list will
always be 20 words with 5 challenge words (the challenge words
must also be studied). The final test is given AT HOME on the
yellow "At Home" test paper. There is no post test given at
The contract is the same every week: students must: 1.)Complete
the four practice book pages that are begun in class 2.) Complete
the "At Home" spelling test and follow all directions carefully
3.) Complete OPTIONAL extra credit
We will complete other spelling practice work in the classroom as
part of the regular weekly lesson.
Spelling grades will be derived not only from the review test,
but also from spelling accuracy on daily assignments. Students
will be held accountable for correctly spelling the basic core
words assigned to their grade level, and those preceding, after
they have been provided with multiple practice opportunities.
What is the social studies program like in fifth grade?
Our social studies adoption is a program called “Reflections” by
publisher Harcourt Brace. We spend most of the year learning
the curriculum through the weekly USA Studies weekly newspapers.
Students will be responsible for the completed newspaper and a
quiz each week in class.
The fifth grade social studies curriculum revolves around
colonialism and the American Revolution. Each student will
complete an individual research report on a “Historical American
Leader.” (HAL report) The students will then work in cooperative
groups to coordinate a presentation in costume with props to the
entire fifth grade (parents are welcome!)
What is the math program like in fifth grade?
*Students will see Mrs. Eaton, Mrs. Dayton,or Mrs. Berg for math.
We have a math adoption called “Math Expressions” at grade
levels K-5. It involves some new methods of introducing math
instruction to students.
Math “Expressions” is based on the ideas of building number sense
through research-based part/whole thinking, focus on place value,
systematic development of basic facts fluency, academic
vocabulary and discourse, and a very strong focus on word
problems and their connections to algebra. You will notice that
algebra, measurement, and geometry are integrated into various
units throughout the year.
The students have received a soft-cover textbook and a floppy
homework book. They are able to write in both. A “consumable”
textbook allows the students to work out the problems directly on
the pages of the book itself.
What is the science program like in fifth grade?
Our science specialist this year is Mrs. Allison Garza. This year Mrs.
Garza will teach science twice a week- on Thursdyas and Fridays -
for lab investigations, and the classroom teacher will teach a third lesson
to both classes that is directed from the textbook and
•We use an adoption published by McGraw Hill, which
includes a textbook and interactive workbook, as well as many
other supplementary materials. These will add a great deal to
our science program.
•You can find the textbook and other support materials
online by visiting our websites and clicking on the “links” icon.
•Science has become part of the yearly state (STAR)
testing for fifth grade students.
What should I know about P.E., art, music, computer lab, and library in fifth grade?
*All fifth graders meet together for P.E. with both Mrs. Eaton
and Mrs. Berg.
Our program encourages students to be lifelong physical fitness
enthusiasts. We emphasize calisthenics and practice specific
sports skills. In the spring, all fifth grade students will be
participating in the National Physical Fitness Tests. We work
all year to develop the skills, strength and endurance to excel
at this test. Good sportsmanship plays an integral part in the
All students are given the opportunity to participate in either
vocal or instrumental music with a Music Specialist. You may
contact the vocal music instructor, Mrs. Gwen Morones, at:
firstname.lastname@example.org , the strings instructor, Mrs. Dianna Gray,
at: email@example.com and the band instructor, Mrs. Rebecca Venlet
at firstname.lastname@example.org Music teachers provide the entire music
effort and achievement grade for upper grade students.
This year, six highly elaborate art lessons will be provided by
our district art teacher, Mrs. Linda Kayiran. I will be
integrating art in other academic areas throughout the year.
We have access to IBM computers in our Pod lab and in a larger
school lab for our weekly computer lessons in which the students
are taught word processing skills.
•Many lessons are expected to be turned in typed and we
encourage students to type most assignments except math.
•Fifth graders participate in a district-wide typing
test. Our school average is 26 WPM by April of each school year.
•Students also have time to complete research for various
reports and projects in our IBM labs; however having the internet
accessible at home is extremely helpful to upper grade students.
•Many tests in upper grade are given on-line in the
computer lab for various subjects such as math, language arts,
health, and science. You will receive a print-out detailing your
child’s success after each test is taken.
The students have the opportunity to go to the library to check
out books for both academic and leisure reading once a week.