November 3, 2016

November 3, 2016


Dear Fifth Grade Parents,


Our 5th and 6th grade department would like to thank the 30 families who provided us feedback for our homework survey this last week.  We had just less than 1/3 of our parents respond, but felt the insight we’ve gained was helpful to our discussion surrounding our homework policy.  It is our intention that as a fifth grade student, a child should spend no more than 50 minutes-one hour a night on homework.  This does not include independent reading or additional studying for pending tests.  If you feel like your child is consistently exceeding this time each night, please contact me so we can work together to find a solution that works for you and your child.

***Please sign up for Conferences on the Holy Rosary Web-Site!


New online learning resource (


We are very fortunate to have purchased this online learning system for all of our 5th – 8th grade students for this school year. is an online learning system that is built from the Common Core standards and uses the same standards and topics as our current curriculum.  It uses adaptive questioning to quickly and accurately determine what a student knows and does not know.  Each student will take an initial knowledge check at the beginning of the year, and an individualized curriculum will be created for that student.  The student will work through his/her program and will periodically be re-assessed over the course of the year.  We are very excited about the increased and deeper learning that this program will provide.  (Ms. Semandiris’ math class with be introduced to ALEKS next week.)


How will we use


  • Students will have a class period every few weeks to work on their individualized ALEKS plan in school.
  • Students are encouraged to do try some at home!  This is not graded.



11/4 – Ch. 3 L. 12, Interpret the Remainder

11/7 – Ch. 3 L. 13, Problem Solving: Extra or Missing info

11/8 – Chapter Review 3

11/9 – Chapter Test

11/10 – Intro to ALEKS!!!!!



We will continue to learn about the Sacraments of Initiation in Chapter 14 this week. We are learning about the RCIA process, which the students find quite interesting. We will be working on our “My Baptism Collages on 11/9. Please have your child bring in 20 cut out pictures from old magazines that have to do with the signs and symbols of Baptism. I will be explaining this all to the students in class. Students can also bring in magazines for class! We will be assembling out collages on 11/9. Looking ahead, the test for this chapter will be on 11/16.




This week, 5th graders enjoyed a non-fiction, scientific adventure about tracking the elusive Matschie’s tree kangaroo. While reading this informational text, students focused on tracing relationships between causes and effects. Next week we will be reading the historical fiction story, Old Yeller, using text evidence to examine characters’ actions and traits. We will focus part of our time next week practicing oral reading fluency, using intonation to add suspense and excitement to the story.


Language Arts

This week students reviewed what we have learned about using transitions in their writing. We began a procedural writing piece, where our focus is specifically on using transitions and writing a strong introduction. In grammar students learned about action and helping verbs this week. The focus for spelling was words with vowel + /r/ sounds.



Students will learn how scientists classify all living things into five groups called kingdoms: Moneran, Protist, Fungus, Plant, and Animal. Students will then discover how scientists divide the organisms in a kingdom into smaller groups (genus and species).


Social Studies

We are currently working of Chapter 5, Routes of Exploration to the New World. Students have been assigned to become an “Expert” on one of the 8 explorers. We have completed a large matrix with facts about each explorer. Now students are reading and completing the “Interactive Reading Notes” for each of the explorers in class. The test for this Chapter will be on 11/10. The study guide will be sent home on 11/3.




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