Happy New Year and welcome to quarter 3! Here’s what’s happening this week:
Reading: Welcome to our current unit of study, “Recognizing Author’s Point of View. In this unit, we will read and compare the different perspectives in selections to analyze point of view. Students will read selections in a variety of genres, including poetry, journal entries, historical fiction, biography, and humor. This unit will spark some lively discussion at home as we examine how understanding someone else’s perspective can help us to evaluate and understand the world.
Math: We are currently working on Module 4 where students are learning to multiply fractions and decimal fractions as well as working with fraction division. Equal sharing with area models provides students with an opportunity to understand division of whole numbers with answers in the form of fractions or mixed numbers (e.g., seven brownies shared by three girls, three pizzas shared by four people). Students will learn that tape diagrams provide a linear model of these problems. Check out the examples below or click here for another parent resource.
Science: A variety of online videos, strategies of think–pair-share, model drawings, and writing pieces will help students understand the following essential questions:
- How can matter be described and identified?
- How do physical and chemical changes affect matter?
As we begin our matter unit, your child will learn that matter is made up of particles too small to be seen, but we can prove it exists. We will learn that the amount of matter is conserved when it changes form. They will also identify matter based on properties which can be measured and observed.
During this unit of study, students will observe, measure, and identify materials based on their properties and begin to get a conceptual understanding of the particle nature of matter (i.e., all matter is made of particles too small to be seen). In the first portion of the unit, students will focus on describing a variety of physical properties. These observations and measurements will be used to produce data that will serve as the basis for evidence that will be used to identify materials.
Read Aloud: This week we will start our new read aloud, Chains. It is a book that talks about the Revolutionary War. One of characters students will be learning is thirteen-year-old Isabel who wages her own fight… for freedom. Promised freedom upon the death of their owner, she and her sister, Ruth, in a cruel twist of fate become the property of a malicious New York
City couple, the Locktons, who have no sympathy for the American Revolution and even less for Ruth and Isabel. When Isabel meets Curzon, a slave with ties to the Patriots, he encourages her to spy on her owners, who know details of British plans for invasion. She is reluctant at first, but when the unthinkable happens to Ruth, Isabel realizes her loyalty is available to the bidder who can provide her with freedom.
Some questions you may ask your child:
- Describe the life of slaves in the American colonies in the 1700s.
- Isabel and Ruth Finch are slaves. How are their lives similar to those of other slaves you’ve read about? How are they different from th
Click here to check out the book trailer!
Students learned about this year’s speech contest. The Chula Vista Elementary School District Speech Contest has changed its name. The event is now titled “CVESDTALKS.” Over the years, we have showcased student’s abilities to give amazing presentations with the focus of developing public speaking skills. This year’s theme is “Looking Forward.”
The theme for CVESDTALKS references the year 2020. Our theme allows students to look towards their future. Students can choose to speak on anything that addresses the theme, “Looking Forward.” Students can consider some of the following areas:
• Technology • Education • Relationships • Science • Social Justice • History • Global or Local Issues
As we work on our speeches, students will also work on the following different categories:
Click here to view some of our past Student TEDx talk.
Sanford Harmony Social-Emotional Learning Program:
Your child is learning about Diversity and Inclusion in the Sanford Harmony Social-Emotional Learning Program. The ideas below will reinforce what we are learning in school— there are activities to play, topics to discuss, and behaviors to role-model. These are all designed to fit into your daily routine and provide opportunities to further connect with your child.
● Your child’s classmates are getting to know one another better by sharing items that are important to them. Ask your child to discuss the items that were shared in class that he or she enjoyed learning about.
● Students are getting to know what they have in common and how they are different from their classroom Buddies. Ask your child to describe what he or she was surprised to learn about their Buddy.
● Challenge your child to find out something they have in common with someone who is seemingly completely different from him or her. This could be a relative, friend, or neighbor.
● Ask your child about favorite things he or she enjoys doing and could teach a family member how to do (hobbies, crafts, games, sports, math problems). Alternatively, seek out opportunities for your child to learn something new from those in your family or community.
● Select a meaningful item to share with your child, explaining why it is important to you and what it says about you.
● Collaborate as a family to create a name and motto. Work as a team to brainstorm a variety of ideas and then decide what best represents who you are as a family.
An important part of this program is for students to continue discussing and practicing concepts outside the classroom. Thank you for your involvement in reinforcing at home what we are learning in class.
For more resources to help your child and family build healthy relationships, please visit
Any questions? Please let us know! Have great week, parents!
Fifth Grade Team