Monday, May 21, 2018



Updates and announcements

Can you believe the year is almost over? Our students are coming up to a well-deserved summer break. It has been an honor teaching our students this year. At our end of the year party, students will get a more eloquent sending off letter from all of the 5th grade teachers.

Wednesday is the 5th grade Promotion. Students should be in the gym at 5:15 and the ceremony will start at 5:30.

Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday are half days.

Our end of the year party is Friday!

Just a reminder that I will not be at school on Thursday and Friday. I will be back in Montana for my brother’s graduation. I am so excited to bring them back to Arizona with me next week and celebrate my brother’s new adulthood, my birthday, and mourning the departure of my mid-twenties.

Our week in learning

This week, students will continue composing their myths or tall tales in class. On Tuesday, they will complete their final drafts and have the opportunity to illustrate their stories. On Wednesday and Thursday, students will share their final stories with the class. 

This week in science, students will finish their children's biography and turn it in by the end of the day on Monday. On Tuesday, science block will be a study hall, so students should come prepared with homework to complete.

Students are finishing up our last unit in History! In groups, students are writing plays based on the Russian Czars Ivan the Great, Peter the Great, Ivan the Terrible, and Catherine the Great. Students have Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday to write and rehearse their plays, then will present their plays on Thursday.

In our last week of school, students will be finishing out the year in math with a variety of fun brain teasers and group activities.


Tuesday, May 15, 2018


Updates and announcements

I can’t believe we are already in our second to last week of school! This last quarter flew by.

We heard some absolutely incredible speeches students wrote for Promotion. In fact, they were so well done, I invited Mr. Gillingham to listen and help me decide which speech would be given for Promotion. All students should be very proud of their hard work.

Just some housekeeping, I will be gone from school the last two days (next Thursday and Friday) to attend my brother’s graduation back in Montana. My last engagement with the students will be Promotion. I am so sad to miss out on the end of year celebration, but I will get to see them off to middle school during Promotion. No worries, I will be back early the following week with my siblings to take care of the classroom and I look forward to watching our students grow next year on the Prep side.

5th Grade Promotion is next Wednesday, May 23rd. Students should arrive by 5:15 to get in their places.

Our week in learning

This week in Language Arts, students will take their end-of-year grammar test and begin learning about myths, legends, and tall tales. At the end of the week, students will begin composing their own such fiction!

In Across Five Aprils, students will add finishing touches to their literature project on Tuesday to turn in on Wednesday.
  • A title
  • A summary of a Civil War battle or event (2 paragraph minimum)
  • An opinion article (see handout for prompt; must include 2 quotations; 2-3 paragraph minimum)
  • A Civil War era photograph to accompany the summary
  • An advertisement of a Civil War era product
The project will be due on May 16th.

This week in science, students will take their final unit exam of the year over the nervous system. On Tuesday, students will watch a short film about the chemist Percy Lavon Julian, and will have the opportunity to use biographical material to research his life and contributions to science. In groups of two, students will produce an illustrated children’s book about Julian’s life. They will have two full in-class days to complete this project, and should not need to work on it at home. The finished book is due next Monday.

Students are beginning their exciting unit on Native Americans: Cultures and Conflicts. Students will learn about the Indian Wars, the Battle of Little Bighorn, Custer, Wovoka, and the Battle of Wounded Knee. The study guides are due Wednesday, 5/16 and the test will be on Thursday, 5/17. On Friday, students will begin our final, short, non-tested unit on Russia.

This week, students will be assessed on their cumulative knowledge of math facts and skills from throughout the year. This will not be taken for a grade-just a check in to see where our students are after a year of hard work! We will take the assessments Monday and Tuesday in class. Students do not need to prepare or review at home. On Wednesday, we will do some fun brain teasers in math groups, and on Thursday and Friday students will have some fun, introductory lessons into ancient Babylonian and Greek mathematicians.

Monday, May 7, 2018


Updates and Announcements

We are nearing the end of the school year! Students are having so much fun learning our rich curriculum without the looming state tests. Their leisure in learning is an incredible sight to see.

This week, the Phoenix Symphony is coming to perform on Monday.

Clubs: The final day of clubs is Friday, May 11 (exception: K-1 Art).

The Prep tour will take place on Friday, May 11th.


Our week in learning

This week in language arts, students will be reviewing their grammar notes from throughout the year in preparation for their end-of-year grammar test. In addition to reviewing their classification and diagramming skills, they will review parts of speech, predicate adjectives and nominatives, direct and indirect objects, pronouns and antecedents, rules for making a word possessive, and using colons and semicolons. On Wednesday, students should take home a practice test that will serve as a study guide for the test next Tuesday, May 15th.

In Across Five Aprils, students will finish the book and begin their final literature project: creating a newspaper page which contains:
  • A title
  • A summary of a Civil War battle or event (2 paragraph minimum)
  • An opinion article (see handout for prompt; must include 2 quotations; 2-3 paragraph minimum)
  • A Civil War era photograph to accompany the summary
  • An advertisement of a Civil War era product
The project will be due on May 16th. Students will be given some time in class throughout the week, but this project should be largely completed at home.

This week in science, students will finish learning about the nervous system by learning about the lobes of the brain and their functions. The study guide is due on Friday, and a review game will take place in class on Thursday. This will allow students to correct and clarify questions on their study guides before they are due. The nervous system unit test will be on Monday, May 14.

Students are beginning their exciting unit on Native Americans: Cultures and Conflicts. Students were separated into groups on Friday to read chapters about specific regions of Native Americans. In these groups, students will prepare a short 15-minute lesson with notes about their chapter. Presentations will take place on Wednesday. We will also learn about relations between Indians and European settlers before the American Revolution, revisit the Louisiana Purchase, and the Trail of Tears. Students will also learn about the effects of European diseases on the Indian population, and the Sand Creek Massacre. Students already have their study guides for this short unit. The study guides are due Wednesday, 5/16 and the test will be on Thursday, 5/17.

Students will be completing their study of angles this week by studying the properties of quadrilaterals, as well as getting in some protractor practice by teaching each other how to draw quadrilaterals. To help review for the Friday test, students will be reviewing Thursday in class as well as creating a geometry toolkit  with all of our important concepts from this unit.


Monday, April 30, 2018


Updates and announcements

How is it already May! Students are persevering to the end of the year.

On Friday, students will get to tour the Prep building. This tour will be led by Prep staff.

We are looking forward to honoring our fifth-grade scholars promotion to sixth grade at on Wednesday, May 23rd at 5:30 pm. Students should wear semi-formal clothes of their choice to this event. Boys should wear trousers, a collared shirt, and dress shoes, and girls may wear an outfit appropriate for a religious service or wedding, such as a nice dress. Students’ clothing should cover the same amount as their uniform polos and shorts. If ladies would like to wear a strapless or spaghetti strap dress, they should wear a cover as well. Students should arrive by 5:15 and will be directed to sit with their class.  We will have a ceremony for the students and the PSO will have refreshments to enjoy after it is over. Please let me know if you have any questions or if you know your child will not be able to attend. We are excited to celebrate with you!

Our week in learning

In language arts this week, students will learn about the appropriate use of semicolons and colons. They will be reviewing the parts of speech and previous grammar material in preparation for a quiz on Friday. Students should spend a few minutes every night ensuring that they are familiar with the parts of speech. They will continue Spalding as usual, and will continue working through Across Five Aprils with the expectation of finishing the novel next week.

Students will have their 25 roots test will be on Wednesday, May 9th.

This week in science, students will take the endocrine system unit test on Monday and will begin learning about the nervous system on Tuesday. The study guide will be handed out early this unit so that students will have the opportunity to work on it nightly. The nervous system unit test is scheduled for Monday, May 14.

Students have almost finished their study of westward expansion! Their study guides are due on Tuesday, and the unit test is on Wednesday. They will also have the chance to showcase their knowledge while working on an advertisement for westward settlers in small groups this week in class. This should be an entirely in-class project, and students will have the chance to present on Thursday.

This week in history, students will continue their study of angles, diving into studying different types of triangles as well as angles in a quadrilateral. There will be a brief quiz on Thursday that we will review for in math groups, so students should be well prepared.

Tuesday, April 24, 2018


Updates and announcements

AZMERIT TESTING IS OVER!! Our students have worked so hard preparing. We can now turn our attention back to our rich curriculum and steer away from test preparations.

If you do NOT want your child participating in our Human Growth and Development classes, please return their permission slip by Thursday morning. The classes will take place on Thursday and Friday this week.

Next Friday, May 4th, our students get to tour the Prep side! Students will tour the classrooms lead by the Prep teachers and get to eat lunch their as well.

Our week in learning

In language arts this week, students will review the basics of grammar and sentence diagramming in preparation for the end-of-year grammar test.

Spalding lessons begin again this week!

Students will continue reading and journaling through Across Five Aprils chapter 8.

This week in science, students will review for the endocrine system unit test, which will take place next Monday, April 30. On Thursday and Friday, students will participate in human growth and development lessons. There is no homework for these lessons, but it is important that students study for the endocrine unit test during this time to keep the concepts fresh in their minds.

This week in history, students will continue their study of westward expansion after the civil war, and will learn what life was like for homesteaders, cowboys and miners. They will receive their study guide this Wednesday that they may start working on in advance of the test on 5/2.

In math this week, students will begin their study of angles. They will review types of angles, the use of a protractor, and begin a study of vertically opposite angles and angles in a triangle. This will lay a great foundation for geometry classes in the future! Please ensure that your student has a protractor to use at school. We will have math groups this week on Wednesday 8:45-9:45.

Monday, April 16, 2018


Updates and announcements

The AZMerit is finally upon us! Students have worked so hard this whole year and I am excited for them to demonstrate their knowledge to our state government. Our tests are on Tuesday and Thursday this week. Please be sure students get a good night’s rest and eat a healthy breakfast on the day of the test.

We have some important dates coming up. Check the “Important Dates” section for our special events for the rest of the school year.

Next week, we will be teaching Human Growth and Development. If you do NOT want your child to participate in the lesson, please sign and return the appropriate portion of the letter.

Our week in learning

This week, students will continue to prepare for the AZMerit, which will happen on Tuesday and Thursday. They will review identifying main ideas and supporting details. On Friday, students will dust off their sentence diagramming skills with a diagramming game. In literature, students will read through chapter six. Next week, students will begin regular Spalding homework again.

This week in science, students will read about some endocrine diseases: hyperthyroidism, hypothyroidism, and diabetes. They will be expected to take two-column notes independently on these diseases. Some of the information will be on the endocrine system test on 4/30. Students will receive their endocrine system study guides at the end of this week. 

This week in history, students will review for the Civil War test.. Please note that when students have a summary paragraph for homework, that should serve as their notes for that chapter. Study guides are due today, Monday, April 16th. Students will have their Civil War test on Wednesday, April 18th. Because this is in the middle of our two AZMerit test days, we are taking 2 ½ days to review for their test IN CLASS. Students will also have the opportunity to work on their foldables in class. These will be due on Wednesday, April 18th.

In math this week, we will continue AZMerit practice on Monday and Wednesday. Students will take the AZMerit math portions one and two on Tuesday and Thursday this week. We will have math groups this week on Wednesday 8:00-9:15. On Friday, students will partake in some much-deserved math games.

Monday, April 9, 2018


Updates and announcements

Our students worked so hard on the AZMerit Writing portion last Friday! I hope they all got some well-deserved ice cream over the weekend.

We have 5th grade promotion coming up on Wednesday, May 23rd. At the ceremony, students will receive a free 5th grade promotion t-shirt. Please fill out this form with your child’s name and size by Friday, April 13th so we can get them ordered in time. 

Be on the lookout for a letter coming home today about our upcoming Human Growth and Development class. During this unit, we will discuss puberty with the boys and girls in separate classrooms. This is an opt-out lesson. More specific information is in the letter going home today.

Our week in learning

Next week, students will take the AZ Merit English Language Arts and Mathematics tests. This week in language arts, students will review figurative language, using context clues, finding the main idea of a passage, and summarizing an event.

In literature, students will continue reading Across Five Aprils.

Students will recite “Battle Hymn of the Republic” this Wednesday.

This week in science, students will begin their study of the endocrine system. We will discuss the major functions of the endocrine system and its most important glands, such as the pineal, the hypothalamus, and the adrenal gland.

This week in history, students will continue learning about the Civil War. Students will be learning about the South after the war, the phases of reconstruction, Jim Crow laws, and the racism against African Americans after reconstruction. Please note that when students have a summary paragraph for homework, that should serve as their notes for that chapter. Study guides went home last Friday to give students extra time to work on them. Study guides are due Monday, April 16th. Students will have their Civil War test on Wednesday, April 18th. Because this is in the middle of our two AZMerit test days, we are taking 2 ½ days to review for their test IN CLASS.

In math this week, we will continue a brief unit on Average and Rate. There will be no unit test for this unit. We will continue daily AZMerit practice until we take our tests on 4/17 and 4/19. You may see some practice worksheets coming home to serve both as a review and a guide to see what kinds of questions will be on the test. We will have math groups this week on Wednesday 8:00-9:15.