Fifth Grade Update


Our third and final science unit of this year is called The Earth System.  During this unit students are in the role of water resource engineers and they are introduced to a fictional scenario—the cities of East Ferris and West Ferris are two cities on mountainous Ferris Island. East Ferris is experiencing a water shortage while West Ferris is not. They investigate what makes East Ferris, a city on one side of the fictional Ferris Island, prone to water shortages while a city on the other side is not. Investigating what determines how much water is available for human use leads students to explore how parts of the Earth system interact.

Science Fair Dates

Written Report (think of this as the rough draft of the report, no results or conclusion but most of the report) should be submitted via Google Classroom my Friday.

The next step is the Full Report (think of this as the final draft, WITH the results and conclusion etc) are due via Google Classroom on Friday, May 31st (if you need more time, June 7th is also fine).

5A (Claudia’s Homeroom) will present their projects on Wednesday, June 12th (boards need to be completed on or before 6/12).

5B (Laura’s Homeroom) will present their projects on Thursday, June 13th boards need to be completed on or before 6/13).

In the past, fifth graders have expressed interest in creating 60-90 second iMovies to support their presentations, this is allowed but not required.

National Science League:

Thank you for your support with this year’s NSL Competition.  Each week, the classes researched, read and discussed (agreeing and disagreeing) every topic in “that green book”!

Special congratulations goes to: Noa Berger, Julius Berg-Mueller, Kavya Khandelwal, Jack Landa, Abigail Chen, Liv Doruk-Olsen, Carson Henry, Maxwell Kirschner, Brett Stillman, Veronica Kushnir, Tamar Levanon and Katie Moore for their high achievements on this year’s National Science League competition.


Our final math topics of the year include growing patterns, algebra, positive and negative integers, statistics and and data. We will be completing projects in class that showcase the work that we’ve done throughout the year and give some opportunities to explore other topics of interest.

One of the math centers this month is to read The Number Devil by Hans Magnus Enzensberger, a fictional story about a boy who is visited by a number devil each night.  The book creatively introduces many mathematical concepts and inspires many conversations and wonderings about a variety of math topics.  

ELA and Social Studies

With the (hopefully for good this time) advent of sunny spring days and the end of state testing, your fifth graders are doing a deep dive into the American civil rights movement. We’ve been immersed in this work in reading, writing, and social studies as we push ourselves to collect and sort through important facts and consider ways to layer our own thinking over them. The first cycle of this work involved reading across myriad texts on the subject and organizing what we learn into subtopics, then flash drafting across all of these subtopics in a research report structure.

This week, your fifth graders have specialized into specific subtopics, examples of which include “famous civil rights leaders,” “the role of students in the civil rights movement,” and “landmark Supreme Court cases.” Students are targeting their research in order to write and publish individual research reports on a single subtopic of choice. Our big revision work will take the form of doing targeted research into primary source documents as well as using strategies like noticing patterns, developing theories, and building empathy in our readers.We can’t wait to share this work with you when you visit for the Science Fair!

Our work in social studies will also support our immersion in civil rights research. An upcoming mini-unit entitled “Kids Who Resist” will introduce students to the Greensboro 4 and the idea of peaceful protest. Students will get creative by designing their own flyers to advertise sit ins at the Woolworth’s Lunch Counter in 1960. Upcoming topics include Ruby Bridges and the Birmingham Children’s Crusade!

Please continue to chase down any books from our classroom library and return them to school! You’ll probably hear about our library renovation soon (if not already), and we need books returned to our library so other students can read them ASAP. Thank you in advance for your help!

A few dates:

  • Fifth Grade Olympics: May 8
  • Rocking Horse Ranch Overnight: May 21-May 22
  • June 14: Awards Ceremony (If your child is receiving an award you are invited to attend.  If you’re not sure, email me and I will let you know.)