Happy fall everyone! Can you believe that we’ve already reached October? We have been working very hard the past month in 5th grade and have so many exciting things to look forward to this month. In Math, we have been working on different types of word problems and how to solve them as well as place value and different properties such as the communitive and identity properties. Students have also begun moving from addition and subtraction on their power-ups to multiplication and division. If they have not already mastered these facts (so that they can complete the entire power-up of 40 questions in under a minute) they need to be practicing fact nightly. Having quick recall on their facts will make skills later this year much easier for them. In Reading, we are on to our 4th lesson. Students have been working on theme, comparing and contrasting, suffixes, and multiple grammar skills. Please remind your student to review for their tests which are given every Wednesday. Students have a review page that we go over on Tuesdays and there are also vocabulary quizlets they can use linked to our google classroom page. In writing, we are finishing up our Narrative writing unit. Students have focused on using descriptive words to show and not tell, writing dialogue, and making sure the story is well organized. Students will submit their final draft of the one page typed narrative story on October 12th. Our 5th grade Social Studies class has been focusing on early European explorers. We have talked about who the early explorers were, where they were from, and why they traveled. We will have a test on October 11th and will then be moving into a unit on the Colonies. Our 4th grade Social Studies class is focusing on the Eastern region of the United States. We have been talking about the resources, history, and people of the Eastern Region. Students are also beginning to prepare for a quiz over the Eastern state locations, abbreviations, and capitals. In Religion, we have been focusing on the Beatitudes. Students have been looking at role models of the Beatitudes as well as talking about ways that we can live out the Beatitudes in our daily lives. Some other fun events to look forward to: October 4- Picture Day October 5- 5th grade has mass October 6- Dress Down (free) October 7- Track and Fun Day October 10, 11, 13- Conferences (please sign up for a time online) October 13, 14, 17- No School October 21- Spirit Day ($1) October 24-28- ITBS Week October 27- Dress Down for Missions ($1) October 31- Class Halloween party from 2-3pm
Welcome back to school! We have had a wonderful first few days of 5th grade and are looking forward to a fantastic rest of the year. We have already jumped right in to content and are excited to share what we are learning with you! For those who did not make it to parent night, please take a look at the parent guidebook on my website horihan5thgrade.weebly.com. While you are there feel free to look at some of the different pages and resources I have posted. Students have already been introduced to the math resource links. There are some fun games to practice facts and skills as well as sites that help students work on skills they are struggling with. Also please try to log in to thinkcentral at home and let me know if you need your password and username sent to you. ThinkCentral is a wonderful way for students to work on their reading at home. In math class we have already finished our first 5 lessons. Students have worked on sequencing, identifying even and odd, and naming numbers. I encourage students struggling with the review concepts we are working on right now to come see me for help before school, after school, or during seminar so we can give them a solid foundation for new concepts later this year. In Reading, students have loved reading our novel Sideways Stories from Wayside School. We have been using it as a means to practice many of our comprehension skills such as characterization and visualization as well as discussing irony. We will start off Journey’s lessons the Thursday after Labor Day with “A Package for Mrs. Jewls” which is an excerpt from the sequel to our current novel. In Writing, we have been spending a lot of time learning about Google Docs as well as the writing process and characteristics. The students have been doing a wonderful job with this introductory unit, and I can’t wait to see what they accomplish as we move into our narrative writing unit. Religion is starting off with a chapter on Creation. Students have been talking about what our role in creation is and what it means to be a steward. We do mini activities to go along with our chapter daily and will be adding in some bigger activities as we get going as well. It has been a blessing to see their insights on our faith in our discussions so far. Finally, in Social Studies all of our classes have started our introductory chapters. Fifth grade is busy working on Early civilizations, specifically Native Americans. This will launch us into our yearlong study of American History. We will of course be taking some breaks to talk about Biz Town and Iowa history as well. Fourth grade Social Studies has started the year learning about Geography. We have been busy learning about and discussing features of our region. This leads us into our focus for the year which will be regions of the United States and will end with a short unit on our world as a whole. Some things to look forward to this month are: Free Dress Down Day- Sept. 1 No School- September 5th Anti-Bullying Assembly- September 7th Mag Booklet Assembly- Sept. 13th Back to School Picnic- Sept. 13th at 6:30 pm Dress Down for Missions ($1)- Sept. 15th Noon Dismissal- Sept 21st Living Rosary by 3rd Grade- Sept. 27th Spirit Day ($1)- Sept. 29th Thank you for all you have done to make our start of the year so fantastic! Please feel free to contact me if you ever have any questions, comments, or concerns!
Wow! We have reached the end of our time in 5th grade. Looking back at this year I am reminded of what a veteran teacher once told me: The most exciting and saddening day of the year is the very last day of school. This could not be more true for both teachers and students alike. I am so incredibly proud of how much each 5th grader has grown. Each one has had their own personal victory and many have had more than I can count. The kiddos have all improved their comprehension skills, challenged themselve with fractions and decimals, explored research papers, and so much more! All of these skills will help them succeed in 6th grade. As we move in to summer I want to encourage you to have your child read, write, and do math (mixed in with lots and lots of play of course)! Taking even 15-30 minutes a day to work on some of the skills we have learned this year will help keep them sharp and walk in the door ready to go in August. Some ways to practice reading include having your child read outloud, asking them questions about what they are reading, and encouraging them to write down their responses in complete sentences. To work on math students can play math fact games, do flashcards, and work on problems with fractions. My website has links to sites that allow children to do many of these things online and have their answers checked. The site address is horihan5thgrade.weebly.com. To work on writing, children can keep a journal, write a review on your vacation, write directions for making something (ie. make a recipe card for a dinner they want to make for your family). Finally, as I close my final blog post of the year, I want to take the opportunity to thank you for allowing me to get to know and work with your children this school year. It has been such a blessing to listen to their stories, help them explore their questions, and help them have those light bulb moments. They are truly a wonderful group of children. I wish everyone the very best of summers! I can't wait to see all of your kiddos in the middle school wing this August!
Happy May! Many of the students are already eagerly counting down the days to summer and middle school. They have all been working very hard, and I look forward to watching them continue to grow in these last few weeks of 5th grade. These last few weeks are packed with a lot of very exciting activities as well as (of course) important learning opportunities. Please encourage your student to stay up to date on their work and keep focused! We’re not done quite yet. In Math, we have some new concepts we will be covering in the last few weeks that we have been working up to during the month of April. This last month is when we really start perfecting our work with fractions and decimals. We will also be covering using formulas in math, specifically the formula for Volume. Students will continue to have nightly math homework. All of these skills are an essential foundation for success in 6th grade math. We will also be taking our Saxon Benchmarking test in early May. In Reading, all students are assigned to one of the following novels: Hatchet, A View from Saturday, Pictures of Hollis Woods, and Connect the Stars. Students were assigned a novel based upon several components, notably reading level and interest level in the content of the text. Students will have nightly assignments to go along with their novel, but in most cases will be given in class work time for them. My goal is to keep the homework level down as the weather gets nicer, but some work outside of class will be needed. Students will be benchmarking in Reading in the second to last week of school! In Religion, we will be covering a few final chapters as well as taking a closer look at the liturgical calendar. Fourth graders will be finishing our study on the categorization of the 10 commandments. We will then take a look at the sacraments before finishing with a project where they will be making their own liturgical calendar instead of having a test over the content. 3rd graders will be finishing up our study of the teaching authority of the Church and our calling as Christians before going into a study of the categories of the sacraments. They will finish up the year with a sacraments project. 5th grade will also be preparing for the May Crowing and taking their Apostle’s Creed test. Having the creed memorized is a Diocesan standard for 5th grade. We will also be studying the sacraments to draw our year to a close in 5th grade. In Writing, we have a few final projects left. Students are just wrapping up their research projects, and it has been so wonderful to see their growth since our last research paper! They will be finishing the year with a final narrative piece and a friendly letter that will be given to next year’s 5th graders! Finally, we have so many fantastic events to look forward to in May. 5th grade has the May Crowning Prayer Service, Track and Field Day, 3 more field trips, and the school wide talent show! Please be on the lookout for permission forms for our trips to the Waterworks Festival, Love that Dog, and San Jose Taiko in the very near future. The forms for the Waterworks Festival and San Jose Taiko will be coming home the same day and will both be due May 10th. I will also be sending Dojo reminders about these. Thank you for all you do to support your student! Let’s have a wonderful wrap up to the year! As always, please let me know if you have any questions or concerns at any time!
I hope everyone enjoyed our breaks as well as the Easter celebration. Students did such a wonderful job with our Lenten lessons in Religion class and had great insights and questions about the events surrounding Jesus’ suffer death, and resurrection. We are now entering the part of the year where the weather is getting nicer and everyone starts to get a little bit of “Spring Fever”. It is still extremely important that students stay focused and up to date on their assignments though. We have a lot of great and important concepts that we will be covering in the coming weeks! In Math, we have been doing a lot of work with fractions including multiplying fractions, adding and subtracting fractions, and creating equivalent fractions. These will continue to be important skills for us in the reminder of the year as well as in 6th grade math. Students have also begun working on quickly turning improper fractions into mixed numbers. Students who are not proficient in their fact recall need to be practicing math facts nightly to help them with fraction work. In Reading, we are finishing up our final unit in Journey’s and preparing to start our novel study which will take us through the end of the year. Students will be reading a variety of books based on their reading levels, but all books will allow us to focus on common comprehension skills and have similar themes. Students are looking forward to beginning this portion of the year. We will still have weekly vocab quizzes and spelling tests as well as biweekly comprehension and grammar tests, but the format of our reading class will be a bit different. In Writing, we have been working on journal entries, autobiographies, and responses to literature. In the coming weeks we will be focusing on responding to specific essay prompts and revisiting research papers. Revisiting research papers will allow students to continue to work on their abilities to locate and cite information as well as other key writing skills that will set them up for success in middle school writing next year. In Religion, all classes have been learning about the leadership of our church. We will also take a look at Pentecost during the month of April in preparation for its celebration. Also, 5th grade students will take the ACRE test, which assesses their understanding of key information in the Catholic faith, in April. Please continue to have conversations with your child about their faith. It is always so exciting when they can share a new insight they had at home with our class and helps instill a deeper love of their faith. We have several events to look forward to in April. These include: April 7- Free Dress Down April 8 and 9- Middle School Play April 11- Field Trip to “Live Wire” April 15- No School April 21- Dress Down for Missions April 29- Dress Down for Spirit Day Thank you for all that you do to help support your student. I’m looking forward to a wonderful end of the year. Please let me know if you have any questions or concerns.
February has just flown by. It was wonderful to meet with many of you at conferences. I think it helped set a great tone for our goals in this last part of the year! In 5th grade math we have been working several key skills. Our most recent math sections have discussed probability, adding and subtracting fractions, measurement conversions, working with decimals, and continued practice with long division and multiple digit multiplication. I strongly encourage students to practice their math facts for multiplication and division at home regularly. We work on these in class daily, but fact fluency makes all of the concepts we are working much easier. The more practice students can get the better! In Reading students have enjoyed finishing our unit on historical fiction texts focused mainly on the American Revolution, reading some Science Fiction passages, and most recently Biographies and Autobiographies. These stories have allowed us to continue practicing our ability to identify theme, main idea, and fact and opinion. Most recently we have been working on identifying Author’s Purpose with the story Darnell Rock Reporting. Our most recent vocabulary skill is using Greek and Latin roots to help determine the meaning of words. In Language 5th grade recently wrapped up our opinion writing unit. Grades for the final Opinion Essay will be posted on Power School and you can expect to see the graded assignment coming home in the Red Folder in the first 2 weeks of March. Our newest writing project is creating a Character Description. In this writing project students will write 1-2 paragraphs on someone’s character and support it with evidence from their words and actions. We will be focusing on continuing to use transition words, using strong descriptive words, as well as using dialogue among other skills. In Religion all grades have just completed their Paschal Mystery projects. 3rd graders created a Stations of the Cross book. 4th grade created a poster or other approved project showing the parts of the Paschal Mystery, how the Paschal Mystery made life everlasting possible and used Bible verses from the New Testament to show the parts of the Paschal Mystery as well. 5th grade’s project was to create a book to teach a younger student about either the Corporal or Spiritual Works of Mercy. All of these projects have given us a greater appreciation for what the season of Lent is about and how we can best serve others in our daily lives. Our next topic in Religion will be the teaching authority of the Church. If you have any questions or concerns please let me know! Events to look forward to in March: March 3: Free Dress Down Day March 5: County Fair March 11: No School for Professional Development March 14-18: No School for Spring Break March 21: Return to Classes March 22: Spirit Day March 24: Living Last Supper March 25: Lenten Retreat and Living Stations March 28: No School (Easter Monday) March 31: Missions Dress Down Day
We’re looking forward to a busy month in 5th grade this December. As a school we will be participating in the Advent Program on December 13th and having class Christmas parties on December 18th. There are also 3 dress down days this month. December 3rd is a free dress down. December 11th and December 17th cost $1. In Religion all class are talking about Advent and how it helps us reflect on our lives as we prepare to welcome Jesus at Christmas. This ties in nicely to our chapters on choosing to love and making good choices. Math is preparing for our 7th test over lessons 30-35. We are also talking about fractions and mixed numbers, division strategies, classifying more shapes, and lots more arithmetic and geometry to bring us to a pause before Christmas break. Students have been doing lots of hard work so far and should be proud of what they have learned. In Reading we will finish 2 more lessons before break. We will take all tests over Lesson 11 on December 11th. Then, we will take vocab and spelling tests over Lesson 12 the week of December 14th. Students will be focusing on Reference materials, cause and effect, fact and opinion, and using text evidence to support inferences in these lessons. In writing our primary focus is our research papers. These will be due on Dec. 17th. Since this is the first time students are doing internal citations, bibliographies, and doing the full research writing process we will be breaking it into several check points. A sheet with all due dates and requirements was handed out to students already and should be recorded in their planner as well. Please continue to practice math facts and encourage your student to read regularly. As always let me know if you have any questions or concerns!
5TH grade is wrapping up another wonderful month and is busy as usual! Students did a wonderful job wrapping up our first unit in Journey’s. They have learned about theme, sequence of events, cause and effect, and writing our own narratives. They have also begun moving into the new content for Math, and many students are beginning to notice that they need a little extra review before assessments. (So make sure you are using those study guides at home)! In Religion, all classes have wrapped up our first unit and 3rd and 4th grade have done great work leading our school in prayer services. All classes have begun working on Chapter for and can expect their next test within the first two weeks of November. We also have a lot to look forward to in the coming month: November 4th- Field Trip to See the Soweto Gospel Choir November 5th- Dress Down Day (no cost) November 13th- Spirit Day (costs $1) November 19th- Missions Day (need $1 donation) November 25th-27th- No School (Thanksgiving) November 30th – Scholastic Orders Due (orders can be submitted online or on paper to me) Finally I have some quick reminders to help us have another successful month! First, remember to go over homework with your student nightly and sign their planner. Second, continue to encourage your student to read aloud and talk about what they are reading regularly! Please let me know if you have any questions or concerns, and let's have another great month in 5th grade!
The school year has been quickly picking up pace and we have moved into our second month of school already! The students have been hard at work and have so much hard work to be proud of. In reading we have finished lesson 3 and are on track to finish our first big unit in early October. Students are also getting ready to apply all of the narrative writing skills we have been working on in their "big" narrative project. This narrative will take us two weeks to complete since the first week will be spent planning out what we want to write. I can't wait to see all of the creative stories they come up with! Our math students in 5th grade will be finishing lesson 20 which means an assessment in the very near future. The students are already excited about the investigation that they will work on the day following the assessment. They love being able to explore concepts on their own that we will cover in more depth later in the year. Finally, our religion students have been busy bees. We have completed our first chapter and a saint investigation in all grades. Third grade led the school in the first prayer service of the year, the Joyful Mysteries of the Rosary. Fourth grade will begin preparing for their All Saints Day prayer service very soon (so be sure to look for Dojo messages home with more details). The 4th graders last year had a blast developing their costumes for the prayer service. Important Dates to be aware of for the month of October are: *Tutoring is available for 5th grade Math and Reading on Thursdays when we are in school *Oct. 1 - Dress Down Day (free) *Week of Oct. 5- Conferences (Please be sure to schedule a conference with all of your students teachers not just their homeroom teacher.) * Oct, 7- 5th grade class mass * Oct. 8 & 9 No school *Week of Oct. 12- Iowa Testing (look for dojo reminder in the near future) * Oct. 13- Picture Day *Oct. 19- No School * Oct. 22- Missions Day (dress down for a dollar) *Oct. 25- Parish and School Halloween Party *Oct. 27- Spirit Day *Oct. 30- Clas Halloween Party!( students may bring an appropriate costume to change into for the halloween party) As always thank you for your continued support, and please be sure to let me know if you have any questions or concerns! Let's have a wonderful October.

May is here, and is sure to be a busy month for 5th grade!  We have a lot of fun events to look forward to and a lot more learning to accomplish.  

We have 2 more big field trips scheduled for the year.  We're off to the Water Works Festival on May 14th.  Forms are due Tuesday, May 12th!  Then, we are going to the Living History Farms on May 28th.  Forms for that will go home shortly and will be due back by May 26th!  

In Reading, we just wrapped up our Frindle unit.  Students did a great job with Lit Circle discussion and analyzing themes, main ideas, and character conflicts in the book.  Grades for the Frindle tests, including our first essay response for reading are posted on Power School.  We will start our next novel study this week and it will take us through the end of the year.  

In Math, we just finished lesson 100.  The content we are learning is essential for 6th grade math.  Students will continue to have 30 problems of math almost every night.  Please make sure you continue to check in with your student about how they are doing on homework and encourage them to practice their facts nightly using flashcards, online math games, or I would be happy to find practice sheets to send home as well.  

In Religion, all grades are moving in to one of their last units.  4th grade is working on a liturgical year unit that will be wrapping up the last week with the creation of their own liturgical calendar!  3rd grade is finishing up one of their last chapter out of the book with a test on May 13th.  They will be starting a bible study shortly after.  Students will be learning about the parts of the bible, how to find verses in the bible, and several other important skills that we will be building on next year.  5th grade is also wrapping up a chapter with a test on May 13th.  They will be doing a short look at the liturgical year with a project where they will become experts on a season to share with their classmates!  

In Writing, 5th grade has been focusing on responding to essay prompts.  This is a skill that will become very important as they move into middle school next year.  We will be doing a final wrap up on this topic before moving into a final research project!  Students will also have a grammar test and a spelling test each week for the remainder of the school year.  Make sure to check in with your student on the schedule for these tests.   

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