Week Ahead in Fifth Grade

Beth Powell, Math
Sarah Layton,
Language Arts
Angela Fisher, 
Social Studies

Birthday Celebrations: This month, Devin (1/13) and Cashin (1/27) will be celebrating birthdays! As has been our custom, on the last Wednesday of the month, January 29th, we invite their families to join our celebration in the hangars (3-3:20) or send in celebratory treats in with their students. 

Overfishing Presentation: In the community meeting on Monday, January 27th, Harper, Henry G., Lucas, and Signe will present the first of our fifth grade marine science topics. Their presentation about overfishing will introduce the topics to come in addition to research relevant to their own. Many thanks to these brave oceanographers for being the first among our fifth grade presenters!

Homework: Monday- Friday

Independent reading: 30 minutes nightly

To meet our goal of reading a book (or ~250-300 pages) every other week, by Friday, January 24th, students should be finishing up their third books (or surpassing ~750-900 pages)  since the beginning of the trimester in early December. I want us ALL to meet these volume goals this trimester!

Vocabulary: On Friday, January 24th, we will have a quiz focused on the overfishing vocabulary that students have been exploring. Students will spell the words from dictation, write (approximated) definitions, and write sentences that provide enough context to demonstrate their understanding of each word’s meaning and the part of speech their usage reflects. For the commonly misspelled words “effect/affect,” students will read sentences to determine which spelling their contexts require. Their practices to date with this list are on hard copies and online practices in their “word work” folders in Google Drive. Overfishing Vocabulary: (over)fish(ing); (over)exploit(ed); interdepend(ence); (un)sustain(able); replenish; deple(tion); (by)catch; (aqua)culture; affect; effect.    

Math: 10 minutes nightly on Matific

Jon Polly, Science
January 20th, 2020

Our students presented to the AVS community on Friday in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday. For those who were unable to make it, you can catch part of their presentation here.  Whether you participate in a day of service, otherwise mark the celebration, or just enjoy some extra quality time with family and friends, we hope you are having a wonderful, long weekend. This short week, our students will be busy preparing for their upcoming  presentation (on January 27) on the first in a series of ocean-related topics. We will also be working on the 2nd grade engineering challenge, which asks students to create a musical instrument from materials reclaimed from the recycle or trash bins. If you have any items they could re-engineer, please consider sending them in. 



Students have been hard at work writing their reports on overfishing, focusing on writing paragraphs that follow the CLEVeR paragraph structure--they begin with a claim, state evidence to support that claim, and then provide reasoning that explains why their claim and evidence matter.  One group is preparing a presentation, rather than a written report, and will present their findings (and findings shared by other students) to the AVS community on Monday, January 27. Everyone will soon be introduced to “Timothy the Tuna” and his discoveries as he travels across the Pacific Ocean. 


What is the connection between function tables, story problems, expressions, and graphing? Students will be taking a deep dive on what it means to plug a number into an expression and how they can create expressions from story problems and graph them to find a solution. They will also continue analyzing graphs which they will use as supporting evidence in their research papers. 


Transitioning from research to drafting their papers about overfishing, students are working on structuring their paragraphs, confirming that each begins with a clearly stated claim and supporting that claim with reasoning anchored in salient evidence. Disciplining their writing to assure that each paragraph answers a specific question, clearly articulates a claim, and provides related, supportive evidence and a discussion of its significance and relevance is the important “process” work our young oceanographers are engaging as they explore overfishing. They will repeat this valuable work as they tackle upcoming marine science topics, writing similar papers about sea level rise, rising sea temperatures, pollution.dead zones, acidification, and plastics. As they will for future topics, this week, students worked on vocabulary specific to overfishing, exploring the ways in which prefixes and suffixes inform the part of speech that words assume in their writing. (Please see “announcements” for a list of their “overfishing” words.”

Social Studies

The 5th Grade did an excellent job of leading the Martin Luther King Jr. Community Meeting on Friday! Kudos to all of our singers and speakers who shared the music and history of the holiday with joy and enthusiasm.   

This week we will continue to study the Principles of Non-Violence, as developed and taught by Dr. King and other leaders. We will examine some of the changes that were brought about during the Civil Rights Era, and compare them to societal conditions today.  How do we continue the work of creating equity in our world today? Who are some of today’s leaders working to implement positive change in environmental justice, housing, education, and other societal concerns? Why do we think that some people continue block or oppose equity for all people? What can young people do to affect awareness and positive change as we look toward the future? 

 As we work on our ocean  presentations, we will examine the global human impact on issues like overfishing and plastics in the ocean, especially in underserved communities. 

Emotionally Intelligent Leadership

Last week, students learned the concept of emotional climate and explored how to define this phrase using the mood meter tool and their prior knowledge of weather patterns. This week students will reflect on both their strengths boards and what makes a positive vs. negative emotional climate. Students will begin to brainstorm a “weather report” storyline that includes specific activities that contribute to the changing emotional climate.                                                                                                                                                                                                                               

Art Elective: Design & Development

5th grade designers looked at the work of ceramic artist Richard Notkin and were inspired by his thematic sculptural teapots.  They will be choosing a topic and creating forms that mimic a spout, lid, belly, and handle out of clay.

Music Elective: Chorus

We were finally able to combine parts 1 and 2 for "There's A Little Wheel A Turnin In My Heart,” and it was amazing!  Students are really starting to sound like a pro choir. Voices blending together and all. Next week we will learn part 3 to this song, and begin the song "Imagine," by John Lennon. 

Drama Elective: Broadway Bound

This week in the Broadway Bound elective, our triple threats  move onto the next numbers we will be learning: “Do Re Mi” from Sound of Music ,  “Oklahoma” from Oklahoma, and “Schuyler Sisters” from Hamilton. Work! 

Garden Elective: Food Lab

Last week, students began watching Fermentation from Michael Pollan’s Cooked.  We will continue studying and experimenting with fermentation this week. Students will read excerpts from  Wild Fermentation and learn about the gut biome. On Tuesday, we will have a dairy fermentation day to make farm fresh cheese, yogurt, and butter that students will enjoy during Mumsa meals. The farm fresh cheese will compliment the polenta rounds, the yogurt will be added to the Tikka Masala and the butter will be used for an upcoming toast bar creation day! 



We will be finishing our basketball unit this week and focusing on IN GAME ACTION! This unit has allowed each student to improve their basketball skills while stepping out of their comfort zone. Be on the lookout for future Steph Curry’s & Elena Della Donne’s!



This week 5th grade will be learning  about regulars verbs ending in AR. Students will be learning to conjugate different verbs ending in AR with the right pronoun. They will be writing full sentences conjugating the most common verbs ending in AR and they will also be able to identify them in the body of a text. Repetition is key so feel free to practice with your child at home! 


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for curious young minds 

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