September 30, 2010

September 30, 2010

Dear Fifth Grade Parents and Students,

Please sign up for a conference time ASAP!! It was communicated to you through the EFC a few weeks ago. For your convenience I have included a sign up form in the Boomerang.

Please sign up for Powerschool. Mr. Barker has put the information for this in the EFC last week and I put it on my letter. I am including it again today in my letter for your convenience. If you have any questions about signing up please contact Mr. Barker via email.

PowerSchool Parent Portal Access (Grades 5-8)
PowerSchool Parent Portal Access is available for parents of students grades 5-8. You are required to have a separate username/password for each child in grades 5-8. PowerSchool Parent Portal gives parents and students access to real-time information including attendance, grades, and detailed assignment descriptions and teacher comments. Students can stay on top of assignments, parents are able to participate in their student’s progress, and teachers can share information with parents and students.

You are highly encouraged to set up an account for your child if you do not already have one. Please send an email to ‘’ with the following information:

· Child’s first and last name ex: Jenny Smith
· Grade ex: 5
· Requested Username ex: jensmith
· Requested Password ex: 2010r0$arY

Usernames should be at least six characters and passwords should be at least six characters with upper and lower case letters, and numbers. Please save this information as it cannot be recovered. If your password is forgotten or lost, it will have to be reset.

When you receive your confirmation email stating that the account is activated, visit: and log in with your username and password to view your child’s information.

Email ‘’ if you have any problems.

Please note: PowerSchool now offers Parent Single Sign On. This allows parents to log in with one username and view all of their children (grades 5-8) whom they have added to their account. This feature will be enabled in the near future; however, for now you will need to create an account for each of your children grades 5-8 for whom you do not have an account.

Here is a brief curriculum update for the following week of 10/1/10-10/8/10

Monday: Lesson 20 Three Ways to Show Division
Tuesday: Test #3
Wednesday: Investigation: Fractions, Halves, Fourths, and Tenths
Thursday: Lesson 21, Problems About Equal Groups

FYI: Mrs. Rangel has her own website for her 5th and 6th grade math students to use. Please check her postings for the most updated and accurate homework assignments as well as upcoming events. Thank you.

We have begun Chapter 2, Worshipping God. Today students will receive the study Guide for this Chapter. We will be working on it during class. The test for this Chapter will be next Friday 10/8.

Social Studies
The fifth graders took the Lesson 2 test today. Tomorrow we will begin Lesson 3 Native American Cultural Regions. We will be learning about the 7 cultural regions into which scholars often divide Native Americans. We will be identifying selected environmental factors that promoted cultural diversity among Native American groups. Finally we will be describing selected examples of cultural adaptations made by the Kwakiutl, Pomo, Hopi, Yakima, Sioux, and Seminole Tribes. This lesson will be very interesting and we will be doing some great partner work in class to complete our Interactive Notebook. In my experience this lesson tends to be a bit more challenging for the students. They will need to review their notes each night and put extra time in to memorize the Regions, Tribes and the Artifacts that belong to each.

For the next two weeks students have been asked to make a daily record of their observation of the moon on a recording sheet. Students will use these observations to begin to develop an understanding of the sequence of lunar phases and to understand that we always see the same moon features from earth. If the moon is not visible on a given night, we will discuss in class what is looked like that evening.
In Chapter 4, Lesson 1 of the Science text, students will discover how models of the solar system have changed; what planets and other objects in the solar system are like; and how objects in the solar system affect Earth.

5th graders will be setting the Scott Foresman text aside for awhile and launch into the novel Hatchet. This realistic fiction story of survival can be intense at times as the main character, Brian Robeson, comes face to face with challenges ranging from finding food in the wilderness to fending off wild animal attacks. We will discuss the various themes, and continue to employ the Target Skills to develop reading comprehension. Homework will most often be reading out of the book, both silently and orally, paired with a written activity. Please feel free to enjoy reading this book with your child at home and discuss the events with him or her. Your involvement in the story will enhance your child’s reading experience!

Language Arts
Students have finished their iMovie ads and they really turned out great! We’ll have the children save copies to their flashdrives to bring home next week so you can see them! What a fun project and a great way to practice our adjectives! In class, the fifth graders have been reviewing common nouns, proper nouns, adjectives and verbs. We’ve tried to use a variety of techniques–music, movement, games, and lots of practice– to help us learn these abstract grammar concepts. Students will take a quiz on basic parts of speech next Thursday, October 7th. A study guide will be sent out today and posted on my webpage. I encourage students to also use the extra practice sheets that I am posting on my webpage to help them prepare. You can print out as many as you’d like at home. These will not be collected, but really do provide a good resource for studying. You’ll notice some links to other webpages that present grammar games and activities to help students review, as well. Studying a little bit every night for the next week is far more preferable than waiting until one or two nights before a test! I gave students their spelling homework a day earlier this week to give them more time to complete it. Spelling homework is due on Monday; our spelling test is on Monday, too.

Have a great week!

Ms. Semandiris