January 4, 2018

January 4, 2018


Dear Fifth Grade Parents,

Happy New Year! I hope you had a wonderful vacation with your family!

For the month of January, students will participate in a special STEM class Titled “Germs, Germs Everywhere.” This course developed by Project Lead the Way will engage students to collaborate to solve a real-world problem.

In this module students are presented with a problem where a large number of students at a school are sick. Students learn about transmission of disease through a simulation and compare communicable and non-communicable diseases. Students design, run, and analyze data from an experiment related to preventing the spread of germs. Student groups present ways to prevent the spread of infection using evidence from their experiments. Students investigate how the body protects us from these germs to keep us healthy. Bacteria and viruses are introduced as agents of disease, and students use information learned and patient symptoms to identify the disease agent causing a simulated disease outbreak. Using epidemiology practices, students deduce a likely source of an infection that is spreading through a fictional school.

Students will not have Math class on Thursdays and Fridays during January in order to complete this STEM class. Students will be required to complete 15 minutes of ALEKS at home on Thursday and Friday evening to bolster missed math instruction time.



Jan 12 – Noon Dismissal!


Math: Semandiris

Chapter 6, Multiply and Divide Decimals

Jan 8 – L. 5, Multiply Decimals

Jan 9 – Check My Progress Quiz

Jan 10 – L. 6 Multiply Decimals by Powers of Ten

Jan 11 – 15 minutes of ALEKS Homework!

Jan 12 – 15 minutes of ALEKS Homework!

(Thursday and Friday there will be no math class as we are doing a STEM Project for during the first two class periods!)


Math: Mr. Schreck

Chapter 6, Multiply & Divide Decimals

Friday: Biomedicine Lesson

Monday: Lesson 11, Divide Decimals by Whole Numbers

Tuesday: Lesson 13, Divide Decimals

Wednesday: Lesson 14, Divide Decimals by Powers of Ten

Thursday: Biomedicine Lesson


Math: Mrs. Heuer

Next week we will continue our first chapter of the sixth grade curriculum: rates and ratios.  Students will be gaining familiarity with how the book is set up.  Each lesson has four pages of homework that includes skills practice, standardized test practice, HOT (higher order thinking) problems, and spiral review.  Each night, I choose problems from each of these areas to ensure plenty of practice with the new skill, application of the skill to story problems, and review of concepts from earlier this year and prior years.  At the end of each chapter, we will typically spend two days reviewing the concepts prior to the chapter test.  Happy learning!


Social Studies

In Ch. 7, Comparing the Colonies, students will be working in groups to make a billboard advertisement and presentation to convince Europeans to move to their colony. Students will be working in class to complete their Interactive Notebook “Reading Notes” as well. The test for this chapter will be on 1/18/18. A study guide will be pushed out one week prior to the test on Google Classroom.

Students will be able to:

  • Distinguish among New England, Middle, and Southern Colonies
  • Work collaboratively to create a billboard to promotes-and present an ad campaign
  • List key features of the colonies of Massachusetts, Rhode Island, New York, Pennsylvania, Maryland, and Georgia.



Students will be participating in a special kind of science fair called the Invention Convention. The mission of the Invention Convention is to inspire curiosity, critical thinking and creative problem-solving skills in our students.

Students will invent a new product or develop a new method for doing something. Instructions and a grading rubric have been handed out in class. A copy is also available on the 5B website (http://5b.holyrosaryws.org). Inventions are due Friday, January 26th. They will be displayed in the hallway for Catholic Schools Week.


Students are looking at microbes (volvox, blepharisma, and vinegar eels) under the microscope. They will learn the characteristics of each.

Students will take a quiz on these organisms based on the notes they have taken in class on Friday, January 19th.


Language Arts

Your fifth graders are settling nicely back into their normal Language Arts routine. This week we have been working on spelling compound words. This tends to be a challenging unit for students, but these classes caught on quickly! Even as an adult, I tend to still get tripped up on when compound words are one word (wildlife), two words (ice cream), or written with a  hyphen (up-to-date). Next week we will continue on in our spelling, grammar, writing curriculum and we will begin preparations for the Catholic Schools Week Spelling Bee!



Happy New Year! To kick off the new year, 5th graders have begun a new novel: Number the Stars. This is a high-interest, Historical Fiction story which takes place in Denmark during World War II. We follow a book club format to give students the opportunity to read and discuss a good book with classmates. Please encourage your child to visit the SparkNotes website to delve more deeply into the characters, themes and chapter details of this book.


SparkNotes:  http://www.sparknotes.com/lit/numberthestars/


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