Welcome to 5th Grade

The first days of school are always exciting but can be a little scary too. The purpose of this message is to answer some of the basic questions about expectation and curriculum you may have, concerning your 5th grade team. We are excited to have each of you in the fifth grade this year. Come prepared to learn and work every day; you may be surprised at how much fun you’ll have too!

Our team meets regularly to plan curriculum and special activities. Coordinated curriculum includes the  Math curriculum, English/Language Arts, Social Studies and Science. Each of the classes will do similar field trips and special learning activities including favorites of prior years: Early American Activities, special writing projects, Science Fair, and others. You will learn more about your teacher’s specific schedule as the year progresses. All students will have physical education, music, Spanish, or reading, and art on a  rotation. In addition there will be Band, Math Masters, and gifted educational opportunities.

Integrated English, writing, listening, speaking and viewing are all important aspects of language arts. We will be reading many types of literature; class trade books in a variety of genres, such as historical fiction, novels, biographies and other nonfiction, will be used together with book reports. We encourage all students to read a wide variety of books. Writing is used throughout the curriculum, and will be highlighted by special writing projects.  Listening and speaking activities include group discussions and presentations to classmates. Read-ins . read-alouds, drama, multicultural literature, skills work, and study skills are also included in the integrated language arts curriculum.

MATH      In addition to  excellent problem solving and thinking skills offered in our program, we supplement instruction in computational skills. Expect regular math homework to reinforce computation skills and concepts.Students will practice three modes of calculation: mental math, paper and pencil, and calculators. Compasses, protractors, and metric/standard rulers will also be used. Math Masters, a regional problem solving competition, will be offered as an enrichment activity for qualifying interested students.

SOCIAL STUDIES The fifth grade curriculum concentrates on the history of the United States from the age of early exploration through the Westward Movement. We will be using a textbook this year for discussion, historical fiction, projects, movies, speakers, field trips, and integrated art activities to help grasp not only the basic facts, but also some of the excitement of the history of our land. Enrichment, goal setting strategies, and extra credit activities will be offered. We encourage the students to use their curiosity and creativity to research and produce a variety of media.

SCIENCE   During the year we will cover the following units:
*Levers and Pulleys
*Animal Kingdom
*Prairie and
*Body Systems
*Science related careers
Opportunities will include hands-on activities, speakers, visual aids, special projects, and note taking.

SPECIAL EVENTS. All of our field trips are not yet set, as each year brings its own opportunities. We are looking forward to the school musical, spelling bee, community service day, as well as writing and drawing contests sponsored by various groups. We will visit the Zumbro Bend Rendezvous, which will elaborately re-create early life in Minnesota. Special classroom activities as well as fieldtrips will present many opportunities for parent involvement in the classrooms.

ORGANIZATION AND STUDY SKILLS. Everyone is expected to have a planner. All notices, papers to be signed, and homework assignments are to go between school and home in the planner. THE PLANNER IS VERY IMPORTANT and should be reviewed each night by parents or guardians. The first few weeks are so important for your child’s success in fifth grade. Please ask to see your child’s planner each night

HOMEWORK. You will have homework most days. To help keep track of assignments, students and teachers will review the planner daily. EACH NIGHT parents should check the planner for daily and long term assignments, sign or initial the planner and return it to school with the student the next day. Once again, it is so important to get into this regular routine each night. At school we will help by having the children fill out the homework areas daily, and organize their materials to put into backpacks. Please ask children about each item listed, and check it’s completion.

INDEPENDENT READING. Your teacher expects you to be reading each week in addition to reading time in school. Sometimes you will be reading for a book report, an assignment in a trade book novel, or sometimes just for your own pleasure. Magazines and newspapers count, as does reading aloud to younger siblings, and listening to other readers, as long as you are following along with the printed words.

GRADING. Fifth grade students receive letter grades in academic subjects. To communicate to parents how things are going, a midquarter report will be sent home so that parents and students an evaluate student progress to that date.

KMMS is a fun and safe place with a positive school climate.

We want our classrooms to be safe places to explore new ideas, share questions and opinions, and to be neat and clean. We want to work at becoming the best citizens we can be by respecting all individuals right to learn. Students raise hands instead of speaking out and interrupting others. Mistakes are opportunities for learning. Students are expected to accept responsibility for their decisions and actions. We periodically clean out desks and classrooms to make for a better learning environment. Backpacks are kept in lockers so no one trips in the classroom. Toys, trinkets, and gadgets should also be left at home.

Cooperative learning and social skills necessary to work together will be stressed. Stealing, lying, and hurting one another physically or emotionally will not be tolerated.

ABSENCES. When you are going to be late or absent, please call the school and leave a message, knowing that you are safe is important to us. If you come into the school after the bell, please check in with the school secretary before you come to your advisory or homeroom. It is of course difficult for students to keep up with the class when they are absent. During the class period, assignments can be explained in detail and questions can be answered. Please inform us in writing a week in advance of planned absences. We will do our best to provide assignments which are comparable to class work, but it is impossible to replicate the classroom experience outside of school. It is the responsibility of the student to approach the teacher or review the classroom assignment chart for work/information that may have been missed during an absence. This includes absence related to alternative class scheduling such as band lessons.

CONTINUOUS PROGRESS. C.P. is for you if you would like a little extra teacher help with homework, need a quiet place to work, or would like to work together in a structured way with friends before or after school. Mondays and Thurs. 3-4 PM.

DISTRICT TESTING. Fifth graders will have Minnesota Comprehensive Assessments (MCA’s) in reading, math, and science.Watch for more information when dates have been finalized.

VOLUNTEERS. Parents, grandparents and other adults are encouraged to volunteer in our classroom, either on a regular weekly basis or for special occasions and projects. Parent participation is what keeps many of our special projects happening. Some of the events extra hands are needed for include: fieldtrips, end of the quarter parties, maple syruping, pancake breakfast, Hunger Hike, soap making, ice cream making, snowshoeing.

COMMUNICATION. If your child has a question about a specific assignment, first call a friend in class. If you have a concern, comment, or question, please contact us at school. By phone you can contact us at 634-4030. Our email addresses are: d.johnson@komets.k12.mn.us     ;                    
We’re glad you’re here!!


Contact: Dawn Johnson