It is with great pleasure that I welcome you and your child to fifth grade at St. John LaLande. I have put together a brief itinerary of our daily curriculum for each subject area. I hope it will help you to understand what is expected.
Religion: The text is entitled Christ Our Life. It provides a balance between doctrine, scripture and the liturgical year. The sacraments are studied throughout the year.
First through eighth grade will attend Mass on Thursdays, unless there is a holy day of obligation during the week. If there is, the Mass is on that day instead. The fifth graders will have the opportunity to read at several of the Masses this year. I will let you know in the Friday Newsletter when that will occur. We are prayer buddies with the first graders. We will sit with them at Mass and do occasional activities with them.
Spelling (Ms. Corbin): Each week a spelling list of the following week’s words will be sent home in the Friday folder and through e-mail. A mid-week test will be given on Wednesday. If they receive 100% on the Wednesday test, they will not need to take a final test. The final test is the last day of the week, usually Friday. Please encourage your child to study a little each night.
Language Arts (Ms. Corbin): We start the year with types of sentences, subject and predicate. We will cover all parts of speech. The students will have tests per chapter. Parents will be notified by newsletter of an upcoming test.
Writing (Ms. Corbin): We will do something with writing every day. We will work on six trait writing skills concentrating on the writing process, especially paragraph writing and the essential parts of a paragraph. We will write personal narratives, comparative, persuasive, exclamatory papers and story writing.
Reading (Ms. Corbin): We will read from the Reading textbook. We will focus on comprehension strategies and skills.
Reading Homework: Fifth graders should read at least 25 minutes a night, and they should keep a reading log. (There is a separate handout given out with detailed directions) This is in place of the projects that have been done in past grades. Most fifth graders should be able to get through two books a month, but some will not. The book should be on the fifth grade reading level. If there is ever a question about the level of a book, please send it in, and I will check it out for you. The reading log is graded so make sure your child is keeping up with their nightly reading.
Math (Mrs. Monrian): Fifth grade uses the textbook Saxon math. Constant review and practice is spiraled throughout the year. Timed fact tests are given every day. We will review the concepts of addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, time and money. We will do many problem solving activities. We will also cover decimals, fractions, measurement, and geometry.
When helping your child in math, please check the book first. Sometimes the method you learned is not the method taught in class, and it makes it very confusing for your child. He or She should be able to tell you the page we worked from. When in doubt, drop me a note or e-mail, and I can help him/her the next day.
Science (Mr. Nolen): The four Sciences are studied: Life, Earth, Physical, and Space and Technology. Labs are generally conducted once a week. Tests are usually at the end of each chapter covered. Students should study from worksheets, vocab., notes, and /or study guide.
Fifth graders participate in Science Family Fun Day working in teams to complete projects.
Social Studies (Mrs. Scott): The fifth grade course is designed to introduce American History from the earliest Native American tribes through the Civil War using the text United States History. Students will study topics such as settling the Americas, colonization, the American Revolution, early American leaders, westward expansion, slavery, and the Civil War. We will start the year with an emphasis on geography.
Most work will be done in class including reading and completing chapter vocabulary packets. Study guides will be given for each chapter test and most work will be done in class. Homework is an extension of what is done in class or an assignment designed to enhance comprehension of the text. Homework may also consist of work required to complete projects.
Students will begin each day with a 10-minute current events video from CNN Student News which covers timely events occurring around the world and in our country. They will also participate in a weekly News Bowl activity which is an interactive Jeopardy-style current events game.
Grades will be based on lesson quizzes, chapter tests, News Bowl participation, chapter worksheets and projects. Grades are not weighted and are based on total points.
Graded papers: Graded Papers will be sent home on Fridays or as they are graded.
Homework: There will be some homework assignments, but generally the students will be given time to do it each day during class. The assignment will be due the next day. If they do not finish the assignment in class, it is their responsibility to take it home and have it completed by class time the next day. The books and assignments do need to be here everyday. They should plan to study their spelling list nightly.
Occasionally, homework that they have not worked on in school is sent home.
As stated before for Reading, a reading log is to be kept at home. The fourth graders are expected to read 15 minutes each night, four nights a week. The log is due at the end of each month. Each night is worth 5 points, so the total scores vary from month to month.
Homework, as stated above, is mostly unfinished work. The children are given ample time to finish most of it in school. If your child has excessive homework, more than an hour, please let me know. I will try to investigate to see why, and then work with you and your child to fix whatever needs to be fixed.
Please continue to sign the planner as you did in third grade. To start the year I will check to see if it is signed and let up as the year goes on. If a student continually chooses not to do assignments, it will be required that the book is signed nightly for the rest of the year after the work is check off with a parent. If a student is absent, he or she will have one extra day for each day missed to make up the assignments.
If there is a legitimate reason why the student is unable to finish a homework assignment, a parent must send a note on the day the homework is due stating the reason it is not finished. The note must be signed and dated by the parent.
I feel that the parents are the key to making homework a positive experience for their children. Therefore, I ask that parents make homework a top priority by providing necessary homework supplies and a quiet environment in which to study. I recommend that parents set aside a specific time each day for homework to be completed. Parents should provide praise and support for all homework efforts, but should not allow children to avoid homework.
Parents should help with homework only after their child has tried his or her best to do the assignment independently. Under no circumstances should parents do homework for their children.
Homework should be done neatly and completely and turned in on time. Assignments not turned in by the second missed day will be a zero in the grade book. Look for a red “no assignment” stamp in their assignment book to see if they are not turning in work.
Accountability Cards: Accountability Cards are used to monitor organization and behavior. Please review it on pages 13-14 of the student handbook.
Academics and Sports: Your children have the opportunity to play interscholastic sports in the Diocese. There are guidelines for grade requirements in the student handbook on page 8-9. Please familiarize yourself with the policy.
DARE: The fifth graders will participate in DARE. It is a program to teach them about drug awareness and resistance. It runs from August – January. A graduation ceremony is scheduled in January.
Thanks for sharing your children’s lives with me. I am pleased to be given the opportunity to work with every child. If you need to reach me, please call the office, e-mail or send a note with your child. I will make every effort to get back to you quickly. Like you, I want the best for your child. Let’s work together to help him/her achieve all that he/she can!