Wednesday, September 19, 2018


Good afternoon,

Thank you all for filling out the homework survey! Your comments are very helpful and are taken into consideration. The results for fifth grade were largely positive and what we hope for. Out of those who completed the survey, 83% spend less than the maximum amount of time on homework (90 minutes). Per the handbook, the maximum amount of time a student should spend on homework at the Archway is 90 minutes. In fifth grade, we aim for about 60-75 minutes of dedicated, focused homework, with no more than 90 minutes.

16.7% spend 30-45 minutes on homework.
37.5% spend 45-60 minutes on homework.
16.7% spend 60-75 minutes on homework.
12.5% spend 75-90 minutes on homework.
16.7% spend more than 90 minutes on homework.

(*percentages were rounded, so they will not add up to 100%)

If you are in the cohort whose child spends 90 minutes or more per night, please let your teacher know. Students should strive to finish a little bit of each subject if they are not able to finish everything in that 90 minutes. If homework was a struggle the night before, please make a note on the student’s paper and send the teacher an email letting them know. We will work with you to find a solution.

Please note that larger assignments and projects should fit into the allotted homework time each night. Students should complete these in small chunks each night, not saving it all for the night before it is due.

If you have any questions or would like clarification on anything, feel free to reach out.

Monday, September 17, 2018


Updates and announcements

I hope everyone had a restful weekend. We had an exciting weekend full of scorpions! After six months being scorpion free, we found two this weekend.

We have a busy week ahead of us with Picture Day on Thursday and Grandparents’ Day on Friday.
Be sure to have your child check the due dates board in the classroom. Our regularly scheduled assessments are there, as well as big assignment due dates.

Our week in learning

This week, students will learn about the idiom “Eureka”. As a routine, students will have two weeks to memorize their poems. This will be a regular rotation and the recite date will be on the “Due Dates” section of the board. “Some Opposites”, will be recited on 9/26.

Students will continue learning Greek and Latin roots, learning theos, deus, divinus, and homo. Students will have a weekly quiz over these roots next week. This is the last week of new roots. Students will start reviewing for their 25 root test at the end of the quarter.

In Literature, we will read through chapter 14 in “Voyage of the Dawn Treader”. We will focus on summaries and identifying and defining vocabulary words from the chapter. Please note that not all classes will be in the same part of the chapter every day, but should end the week on the same chapter.

In Writing and Grammar, we get to start descriptive writing. For this, we will describe a sandwich using our five senses. Students will also get to draw an imaginary creature from Narnia, write a descriptive paragraph about their character, exchange descriptive paragraphs and have another student draw their creature based off their paragraph. We will explore how the paragraphs could have been improved to make the drawings more similar.

This week in science, students will begin the Chemistry that will last until the end of the quarter. Students will discuss the concept of matter using a hands on demonstration, and then begin studying the Periodic Table. Students will then learn about atoms and how they form into molecules and compounds in preparation for an exciting lab this week. There will be a short vocabulary quiz on Friday covering the vocab learned throughout the week.

This week in History we will continue with our unit on the Renaissance. Students will learn about the cities of Florence, Rome, and Venice and their role in the Renaissance. Students will also discuss the Popes and their role during this cultural shift in the West. We will finish on Friday by studying the artist, Leonardo da Vinci. In U.S. Geography on Wednesday, students will be quizzed on the States in the regions of the Midwest and Great Plains. We will also discuss the Rocky Mountain region, covering the States of Montana, Idaho, Wyoming, Utah, and Colorado.

In math, we will finish our new unit on “More Calculations with Whole Numbers”. We will practice dividing by 2 digit numbers, complete word problems with division and multiplication, and review for their unit test, which will be on Thursday, September 20th. We will be using graph paper, so feel free to use graph paper at home to help keep students organized. Please note that we will have frequent quizzes in math. When a “b” quiz comes home for homework, that means there will likely be a quiz the next day. This means there will be frequent, low stakes math quizzes. We will continue math groups on Wednesday, 8:00-9:15.

Monday, September 10, 2018


Updates and announcements

We are already over half way through the first quarter. I hope everyone had a great weekend.

This Saturday is the Mother and Son event.

Our week in learning

This week, students will learn about the idiom “Eleventh Hour”. Students will recite “The Tyger” on Wednesday, 9/12. As a routine, students will have two weeks to memorize their poems. This will be a regular rotation and the recite date will be on the “Due Dates” section of the board. They will learn about the poem “Some Opposites”, to be recited on 9/26.

Students will continue learning Greek and Latin roots, learning arcus, circum, kyklos, and peri. Students will have a weekly quiz over these roots next week. Students should expect a similar roots quiz every Wednesday.

In Literature, we will read through chapter 12 in “Voyage of the Dawn Treader”. We will focus on summaries and identifying and defining vocabulary words from the chapter. Please note that not all classes will be in the same part of the chapter every day, but should end the week on the same chapter.

In Writing and Grammar, students have a short test on classifying and diagramming sentences on Wednesday. This will include subject nouns, verbs, adjectives, adverbs, prepositions, and objects of the preposition. We will spend all Monday and Tuesday reviewing. At the end of the week, we will work on unscrambling sentences.

This week in science, students will review for their scientific inquiry test, which will be Friday, September 14th. The test will cover the definitions in their notebook, as well as applying their skills to analyze hypothetical experiments. In class, we will make a foldable that contains all the steps of the scientific method as well as examples from all of our in class experiments. The foldable will be finished Tuesday and be turned in for a grade when they take the test, and can be used to study. The following week, we will jump into our chemistry unit. 
This week in History students will take their test for Unit 2: The Maya, Aztec, and Inca Civilizations, on Tuesday, after a review day on Monday. On Thursday we will carry on with Unit 3: Renaissance, discussing the change from the Medieval Period during the Renaissance, including the invention of the printing press. On Wednesday for U.S. Geography we will be discussing the States in the Great Plains: North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas, and Oklahoma.

In math, we will continue our new unit on “More Calculations with Whole Numbers”. We will look at multiplying and dividing by 2-digit numbers and greater. We will be using graph paper, so feel free to use graph paper at home to help keep students organized. Please note that we will have frequent quizzes in math. When a “b” quiz comes home for homework, that means there will likely be a quiz the next day. This means there will be frequent, low stakes math quizzes. We will continue math groups on Wednesday, 8:00-9:15.

Tuesday, September 4, 2018


Updates and announcements

I hope everyone had a wonderful three day weekend. We got to relax at home and I started a new crochet project.

Be sure to check the “Important Dates” section for new information.

Our week in learning

This week, students will learn about the idiom “Eat Crow”. Students will recite “The Tyger” on Wednesday, 9/12. As a routine, students will have two weeks to memorize their poems. This will be a regular rotation and the recite date will be on the “Due Dates” section of the board.

Students will continue learning Greek and Latin roots, learning eu, malus, ex, and archos. Students will have a weekly quiz over these roots next week. Students should expect a similar roots quiz every Wednesday.

In spalding, we will finally start our normal words! Our spalding tests are usually scheduled for Thursdays, but due to the 4 day week, we will have our test on Friday instead.

In Literature, we will read through chapter 10 in “Voyage of the Dawn Treader”. We will focus on summaries and identifying and defining vocabulary words from the chapter. Please note that not all classes will be in the same part of the chapter every day, but should end the week on the same chapter.

In Writing and Grammar, students will review prepositions and objects of the preposition. There will be a short quiz over these on Friday.

For science, students will continue practicing their knowledge of the scientific method through the Bubble Gum Experiment. As a class, we will test what happens when bubble gum is chewed for different lengths of time-we suspect it will lose more of its mass the longer it is chewed! We will practice finding averages and analyzing data class as we finish the experiment later this week, and students will be able to practice making a display board and best practices for communicating their data.

This week in history we will finish the instruction for Unit 2, though the Unit 2 test will not be until next Tuesday, September 11th, following a review day on Monday, September 10th. This is to prevent the test from being on a Monday, but means we will begin Unit 3: Renaissance on Friday, discussing Renaissance Italy. For U.S. Geography on Wednesday, we will learn about the States in the Midwest.

In math, we will continue our new unit on “More Calculations with Whole Numbers”. We will look at the word problems and bar models. Please note that we will have frequent quizzes in math. When a “b” quiz comes home for homework, that means there will likely be a quiz the next day. This means there will be frequent, low stakes math quizzes. We will continue math groups on Wednesday, 8:00-9:15.

Monday, August 27, 2018


Updates and announcements

We are entering our fourth week of school already! As we are getting settled in here at Arete, I am also settling into my college courses. This year, I get to pursue my Elementary Education certification through Rio Salado college while teaching. While I hold a Music Education certification, I am so excited to learn more and become certified in Elementary Education.  

I’d like to invite everyone to our Curriculum Night this Wednesday, August 29th, 6:00-7:30. Please note this is a parent-only event. There is limited seating in the classroom.

Here is our schedule for Curriculum Night:

       6:30-6:45: Classroom procedures, routines, homework expectations
       6:45-6:50: Lead teachers rotate through each classroom
       6:50-7:25: Curriculum and Demo Lessons (10 minute grammar lesson; 10 minute Spalding lesson; 15 minute Singapore lesson)
       7:25-7:30: Q&A

Our MAP testing was postponed to this Friday due to computer updates. Students will take the test on the computers. Please make sure students go to bed early on Thursday and have a good breakfast Friday morning.

We had a strong start to announcements this week! We will rotate every week through the three classes.

Our week in learning

This week, students will learn about the idiom “Count your blessings”. Students will recite “The Eagle” on Wednesday, 8/29. As a routine, students will have two weeks to memorize their poems. This will be a regular rotation and the recite date will be on the “Due Dates” section of the board. We will learn about the poem “The Tyger”.

Students will continue learning Greek and Latin roots, learning grex,omnis, amphi, and ambi. Students will have a weekly quiz over these roots next week. Students should expect a similar roots quiz every Wednesday.

In spalding, we will continue to work through the rule pages. They will continue spalding homework using the words from these rule pages. Our spalding tests are usually scheduled for Thursdays.

In Literature, we will read through the fifth chapter in “Voyage of the Dawn Treader”. We will focus on summaries and identifying and defining vocabulary words from the chapter. Students will read through chapter 8 by the end of the week and learn about round, dynamic, and static characters. Please note that not all classes will be in the same part of the chapter every day, but should end the week on the same chapter.

In Writing and Grammar, students will review parts of speech, types of sentences, and sentence diagramming. We will have our first grammar test on Thursday, August 30th. The “Practice Quiz” homework should serve as a study guide for students.

Students will continue their study of the scientific method this week and begin learning different methods of presenting their data. They will practice making bar graphs to analyze the results from last week’s Sticky Tape Experiment, and begin learning how to make a materials list and procedure for an experiment they have already done. On Thursday, students will perform the Wet Penny experiment in small groups and practice graphing and analyzing data.

We will begin this week in history by playing the game pok-ta-pok, a game that was played in Mayan civilizations where students will have to work on small teams to get a ball in a basket without using their hands or feet. We will then shift our focus to the Aztec civilizations and end on Friday beginning to study the Inca civilizations. For U.S. Geography on Wednesday we will learn about the States in the South.

In math, we will continue our new unit on “More Calculations with Whole Numbers”. We will look at the distributive property, and mental math. Please note that we will have frequent quizzes in math. When a “b” quiz comes home for homework, that means there will likely be a quiz the next day. This means there will be frequent, low stakes math quizzes. We will continue math groups on Wednesday, 8:00-9:15.

Monday, August 20, 2018


Updates and announcements

What a great week we had! Students started a new “reward” type procedure where they get the opportunity to earn letters to spell out our virtue of the month. If students spell it out by Thursday, they get a “Free-Choice Friday” during bell-work. Students can bring in a quiet game to play between 7:20 and 7:50.

Students will start doing the announcements this week, starting on Tuesday with our French Phrase of the Week. Everyone in class will get the opportunity to do the announcements at least once this year.

Curriculum and Math/Phonics nights are combined this year. This parent-only event will be on Wednesday, August 29th. More information to come next week.

Our week in learning

This week, students will learn about the idiom “Chip on your shoulder”. Students will recite “The Eagle” on Wednesday, 8/29. As a routine, students will have two weeks to memorize their poems. This will be a regular rotation and the recite date will be on the “Due Dates” section of the board.

Students will continue learning Greek and Latin roots, learning porcus, ornis, and avis. Students will have a weekly quiz over these roots next week. Students should expect a similar roots quiz every Wednesday.

In spalding, we will continue to work through the rule pages. They will continue spalding homework using the words from these rule pages. Our spalding tests are usually scheduled for Thursdays.

In Literature, we will read through the fifth chapter in “Voyage of the Dawn Treader”. We will focus on summaries and identifying and defining vocabulary words from the chapter. Students will work in groups to write a condensed summary of chapters 1-5 and compare/contrast Eustace with a character of their choosing. Please note that not all classes will be in the same part of the chapter every day, but should end the week on the same chapter.

In Writing and Grammar, students learn about nouns, subject nouns, verbs, adjectives, and adverbs. We will have a grammar test next Thursday. Students will continue “Outlining Wednesdays”, focusing on using their outline to write a summary.

This week in science, students will finally get to test the paper gliders they made last week and see if their changes resulted in planes flying further. They will also practice analyzing results as they examine how far their airplanes flew. We’ll continue our study of the scientific method by exploring independent and dependent variables, with a short quiz on Friday. Students will continue practicing their practical, hands on skills as we test different kinds of tape in the Sticky Tape experiment later in the week.

This week in history we will continue studying Unit 2: Maya, Inca, and Aztec Civilizations, focusing on the Mayan civilization. Discussion will include the major theories of what caused the Mayan disappearance, culminating with a Socratic discussion on this topic on Friday. Students will also begin a journal, imagining themselves to be part of these ancient civilizations on a near-daily basis. Our Wednesday lessons on U.S. Geography will this week be focused on the Mid-Atlantic region.

In math, we will continue our unit on whole numbers. Students work on dividing a number by tens, hundreds, and thousands, and take their first unit test on Thursday. Our first math groups will take place on Wednesday, 8:00-9:15. Please note that we will have frequent quizzes in math. When a “b” quiz comes home for homework, that means there will likely be a quiz the next day. This means there will be frequent, low stakes math quizzes.

Monday, August 13, 2018


Updates and announcements

One week down, 37 left to go! Our scholars started the school year strong. We are still going to be reviewing and practicing our procedures, but now with more of our rich curriculum added in.

Last Friday, I led a short lesson with our class on how to use Quizlet. This year, I will not make a Quizlet for each unit, however, students are encouraged to make one using their study guide. It is free to sign up, however students should get your permission as it does require an email address. https://quizlet.com/

Please note the Birthday Treat policy below. We holding to this policy quite strictly this year. Here is the excerpt from the family handbook:

Birthday Treat Policy

Celebrating birthdays is a good way to show the students in our school that they are special and loved.  There are many different ways to mark the occasion, but we want to be careful about students eating too many sugary, processed snacks.  If each child were to bring in cake or donuts for his/her birthday, that would mean 30 unhealthy lunchtime desserts every year.  Some parents would rather their child not eat this type of food and the effects of these sugary snacks can disrupt the learning environment.  In fact, we strongly suggest a non-food item if parents wish to mark the occasion. Pencils, books, or other souvenirs can be just as special, don't require clean-up, and won't affect whatever diet parents wish for their children.  Some teachers may allow a healthy snack for their classes as an exception (to be eaten in the lunchroom), but please reach out to the lead teacher for details.  Make note that sugary treats will not be served to students, and will be sent home with the child that brought them in.

The academy suggests non-food items or healthy snacks for birthdays. Please see your child’s teacher for acceptable treat options, as well as alternatives to food items.
  • Food must be in its original packaging with the ingredients listed.  Fresh fruit is the exception.
  • No peanuts or other nuts
  • No cupcakes, cakes, cookies or other treats with frosting
No pop-culture references

Our week in learning

This week, students will learn about the idiom “Bite the hand that feeds you” and begin their first poem, “The Eagle”. Students will recite the poem on Wednesday, 8/29. As a routine, students will have two weeks to memorize their poems. This will be a regular rotation and the recite date will be on the “Due Dates” section of the board.

Students will continue learning Greek and Latin roots, learning equus, caballus, and hippos. Students will have a weekly quiz over these roots next week. Students should expect a similar roots quiz every Wednesday.

In spalding, we will work through the rule pages. They will start spalding homework using the words from these rule pages. We will have our first spelling test on Thursday using a selection of these words from the rule pages.

In Literature, we will read through the third chapter in “Voyage of the Dawn Treader”. We will focus on summaries and identifying and defining vocabulary words from the chapter. Students will also get to identify character traits in Eustace as a class, then a character of their choosing for homework. Please note that not all classes will be in the same part of the chapter every day, but should end the week on the same chapter.

In Writing and Grammar, students learn about analogies and the rules for punctuation. There will be a short quiz on capitalization, punctuation, and analogies on Friday. Students will continue “Outlining Wednesdays”, focusing on expanding their one level outline to a two level outline.

In week 2, students will continue learning about the scientific method and how to apply it to their own experiments. On Monday, students will be introduced to experimental and control variables and their importance to an experiment. We will go through several “dry runs” of different experiments as a class as we prepare for hands on experiments in the coming weeks. On Friday, students will take a short quiz over what constitutes a good hypothesis and the point of an experimental variable and a control variable. Students should use the vocabulary in their notebooks to help them study for this quiz. Students will also begin designing a paper glider, along with modifications, to practice designing independent variables.

This week in history students will finish their first unit, on world lakes. They will have a quiz on Tuesday on the location of the lakes of Eurasia. The Unit 1: World Lakes test will occur on Thursday (students were given a study guide the previous Thursday). On Wednesdays going forward we will be studying U.S. Geography, this week covering New England. On Friday we will begin Unit 2: The Maya, Aztec, and Inca Civilizations.

In math, we will continue our unit on whole numbers. Students will continue work on estimation, and review factors, multiples, prime factorization, exponents, and multiplying by powers of 10. Please note that we will have frequent quizzes in math. When a “b” quiz comes home for homework, that means there will likely be a quiz the next day. This means there will be frequent, low stakes math quizzes.