Week of 1/17/22

Math: We are currently studying the operations of addition and subtraction with fractions. Before we can add or subtract fractions, students need to understand the meaning of equivalent fractions. We have also assigned specific lessons on iReady, so students can continue to practice and monitor their daily learning.

Questions to ask your child this week:

  • What is a fraction? What is an equivalent fraction?
  • What are some different ways you can show equivalent fractions?
  • How do you know you are an expert this area?

iReady Assessment: This week, students will be taking their i-Ready diagnostic assessment for mathematics. As mentioned at the beginning of the school year, this test is an adaptive assessment designed to provide teachers with actionable insight into student needs. The results also set a personalized learning path for each student, ensuring they’re working on instruction that matches their unique learning needs. Fifth grade level range expectation is (480-540).

Biztown: We are preparing for our Biztown field trip! We will be teaching lessons that include elements of community and economy, work readiness, financial literacy, and business management. Students will begin to see how understanding these concepts will help them participate in the JA BizTown simulation.This week, students learned how to endorse and deposit a paycheck, manage a checking or transaction account register, and identify different checking account items in preparation for our JA BizTown field trip.
Questions to ask your child:

  • Why should we save money?
  • How do we write and sign checks?
  • How do we make and record electronic payments?
  • How does money grow in a savings account?

Writing:  This week we are working on narrative #2. Students may choose one of the following prompts:

  1. Imagine one day you wake up and discover you are invisible. Write to describe where you go and what you do.
  2. Imagine you are any animal you want to be for a day. Write to tell where you live and what you do. Be sure to include details in your story. 

Students will plan their narrative before writing their story. Ask your child:

  • How do you begin planning a narrative? What are some important elements you need to include in your story?
  • What narrative resources will you use as you plan and draft?

Any questions, let us know!

Fifth Grade Team

Welcome Back!

We are very excited to welcome all our students back to school on Tuesday, January 11, 2022 for in-person instruction. Reminder, it is a minimum day.     

School Dismissal Times: 1st – 6th Grade 8:15am – 1:15pm

Week of 12/7/2021

Welcome to Week 18, Fifth Grade Parents!

Here’s what’s happening in fifth grade:

Writing: Students have finally finished their first narrative writing piece. This week, students will spend time reading several student narratives and provide specific feedback. Ask your child:

  • What were some “glows” (strengths) in your narrative?
  • What were some “grows” (areas to improve) in your narrative?
  • How do you know when your narrative is at a proficient fifth grade level? What does a narrative include?

Math:  This week, we are learning how to divide decimals. Check out the activity below! Work with your child to solve a real-world problem involving dividing decimals.

Social Studies: We are continuing with our American colonial life lessons. Students are learning about the key aspects of daily life in Colonial America. Ask your child:

  • What was Colonial America like? How was education in colonial America different that it is today?
  • How did people dress in Colonial America?
  • What items do we have today that did not exist in colonial times?
  • If you had lived during this time, what trade or job might have interested you most? Why?

Toy Drive: Don’t forget that Student Council is sponsoring a Toy Drive November 29 – December 9.  New toys only.  Drop off at the school office.

Have a great week!

Fifth Grade Team

Thanksgiving Break

From all of the fifth grade teachers, we wish you all a restful and safe break. We’ll see you all on Monday, November 29th!

Week of 11/15/2021

Happy Monday, Parents!

Here’s what’s happening this week in fifth grade:

Reading: We are continuing with our “Cultivating Natural Resources” and deepening our understanding on the essential question: How do we decide which resources we should develop?

Questions you may ask your child:

  • How can developing resources help us?
  • How can developing resources harm us?
  • What resources are used to build places to live? How can developing these resources lead to better homes for people?
  • What types of resources cause pollution? Why is this harmful?


This week, students are taking time to plan their narrative story. Students are using a “mountain plot” to plan their story. Below is the prompt we are currently working on:

Imagine you find an old letter tucked inside a library book. The letter reveals that there is a hidden passageway somewhere at your school. Write a story about your search for the passageway and where it leads.

Questions you may ask your child:

  • How did you introduce your setting and narrator? 
  • What are you referencing as you’re writing your narrative?
  • How will you help your reader understand the plot of your story? 
  • How will your character change in the story?

Math: We are finishing chapter 4 this week and ending with our post math test.

A reminder that for each math chapter, students will have an opportunity to complete a mid and final chapter quiz to monitor progress. Students are encouraged to use math notes during any math assessment.

Ways you can support your child at home:

  • Have your child show you his or her daily math notes. Ask: What did you learn today? What are some ways you can solve this problem?

Field Trip Permission Slips:  We are getting ready for our next field trip, Biztown! What is Biztown? JA BizTown includes important elements of community and economy, work readiness, financial literacy, and business management. The program supports critical thinking skills and in-class learning with a visit to an interactive, simulated community. Look for your child’s permission slip packet for all the details!

Have a wonderful week!

-Fifth Grade Team

Week of 11/1/2021

Reading: Welcome to our next unit of study, “Cultivating Natural Resources.” We are excited to begin our third unit in the Benchmark program. In this unit, your child will read and compare selections about cultivating food in the past and today to understand how we develop our natural resources. They will explore the big business of farming as well as how to grow corn in your own neighborhood. They will look especially at the history of corn as a food resource in North America, and follow its development into the big industry it is today. The selections in this unit feature a variety of genres, including informational texts, opinion essays, tall tales, folktales, and editorials. This unit is sure to inspire deeper interest in where our food comes from, and it provides good opportunities for out-of-the-classroom learning.

Math: Welcome to Chapter 4! This week we will start multiplying decimals by using different models, as well as learning the standard algorithm. You can support your child at home by asking:

  • How do you multiply a whole number by a decimal?
  • How do know your answer is correct?
  • What models can we use to multiply decimals?
  • Why is place value important when we multiply decimals?

Writing: Our next text type will be narrative!  Your child will begin to write real or imagined experiences or events using effective techniques, descriptive details, and clear event sequences.  But before they can begin writing stories, we will work together to analyze the elements or essential parts of the writing and create a plot mountain.  Ask your child:

  • What is a plot mountain?
  • What are some important elements in a narrative story?

Click on the following link to see a sample of how a “plot mountain” is used in movie clips.

Social Studies: We started our Colonial America unit!  We will examine the motivations, attitudes, individuals, and circumstances involved in the colonization of what is now the United States, as well as the effects of that colonization on people of the past and present.  Questions you may ask your child throughout the unit

  • How did conflict/cooperation among different groups of people affect the development of the United States?
  • In what ways was interdependence in Colonial America essential to survival?
  • How did all the different roles people had in a colonial village help people survive?

Have a great week, parents!

Fifth Grade Team

Week of 10/11/2021

Reading: Students are learning how story events and dialogue between characters can shed light on the characters themselves. We will continue to compare and contrast the characters and draw conclusions about them based on story events and dialogue. Some questions you may ask your child:

  •  How do you know what a character is like from reading?
  • What do you value about the characters? Why?
  • How do people in real life or in stories show who they really are?

Math: We are still working on place value in decimal numbers. This week, we will take time to review the first couple of lessons. Please continue to support your child at home by asking:

  • What are the different ways you can represent a decimal? (For example, 3.56 can be written in standard form, word form and expanded form.)
  • How can you compare decimals? What is a strategy you learned in class?
  • What models can we use to add or subtract decimals?
  • What is rounding? How do you round 2.56?

Writing: Students will have more opportunities to practice how to effectively respond to a prompt using the “RACER” strategy. In the meantime, continue to ask:

  • What are your writing about this week?
  • What resources (“Do/What chart and “RACER” strategy) will you use to help you complete your writing?

Science: This week, students will learn about constellations and how there are different constellations visible each season. They will explore the Mystery, “Why do the constellations change with the seasons?” Your child will eventually build a model that makes it easy for them to visualize the answer.

Also, there are many apps out there, one specifically called “SkyGuide” which brings the wonders of the night sky down to earth and puts them right into the palm of your hands.  It lets you point your phone at any part of the sky and it will then show you what constellation you’re seeing.

Other resources:

The NASA Starchild website tells four stories from different cultures inspired by constellations.

You can find Native American myths related to stars on the Native Languages of the Americas website. A list of books that tell a Native American and African star myths is here.

A list of constellations that the ancient Greeks saw can be found here. You can search these constellations alphabetically or by season for more information.

Have a great week!

Fifth Grade Team

Week of 10/4/2021

Welcome to Quarter 2!

Reading: Welcome to our next unit of study, “Developing Characters’ Relationships.” We are beginning our second unit in the Benchmark Advance program. In this unit, your child will read stories in which he or she compares characters and analyzes their relationships with each other. We will read several excerpts from Mark Twain’s The Adventures of Tom Sawyer. This will help students get an idea of how different characters interact with each other, and it will also help them understand what makes some characters more likable than others. In addition to this classic example of realistic fiction, the unit also includes some letters, as well as a biography. It will be fun to discover how they make connections between the characters in the stories and people in real life. And what better way to do it than through reading an important piece of American literature?

Math: Throughout the next few weeks, we will be exploring place value in decimal numbers. We will be naming, comparing, ordering, and rounding decimals through thousandths. Invite your child to share what he or she knows about place value by doing the following activity together:

Writing: This week, students are practicing independently how to write a short constructed response.

Ask your child:

  • What is a short constructed response and what does the response include?
  • What is the purpose of a short constructed response? Why do we have to write these types of responses in fifth grade?

Science: This week, we will begin our science unit by asking: What is a scientist? What does a scientist look like? Our fifth grade scientists will answer the question: “Why does the Sun rise and set?”

If you have the chance to watch the sunset or sunrise with your child, be sure to turn around and check out the super long shadow you both cast when the Sun is low in the sky.  For a spectacular view of the sunrise, I recommend you and your child watch this time-lapse video of Earth:click here to watch the video.  It was created by putting together photos taken from the International Space Station. You’ll see the yellow lights of human civilization, the flashing white of lightning in the clouds, and in the end, a brilliant sun rising above the curve of our planet.

Parent Volunteers: There will be a Parent Volunteer In-service Tuesday, October 5 at 6:00 pm on Zoom. Volunteering at Camarena is very much appreciated but in order to make sure that all conditions are safe, we will begin allowing volunteers on campus beginning 2nd Quarter.  

Zoom ID: 881 8583 6528

Passcode: Volunteer

Have a gret week!

Fifth Grade Team

Week of 9/6/2021

Reading:  As wise readers, we are constantly checking back on our essential question- Why do laws continue to evolve?  So far, we have read and discussed about the development of laws and about people who have fought to change unfair laws. Continue the conversation by asking your child:

  • What is a law?
  • What are some examples of laws that have changed?
  • Why do you think laws should evolve?

Math: Welcome to Chapter 2! During the next few weeks, our math class will be learning about dividing three- and four-digit whole numbers. We will also learn how to interpret remainders. Some questions you may ask as we begin to explore this new topic:

  • How can you tell where to place the first digit of a quotient without dividing?
  • How do you solve and check division problems?
  • How can you use base-ten blocks to model and understand division of whole numbers?

Writing: This week, students are practicing how to write a short constructed response.

Ask your child:

  • What is a short constructed response and what does the response include?
  • What is the purpose of a short constructed response? Why do we have to write these types of responses in fifth grade?

Social Studies: Our current unit of study is Early Explorers of North America. In the next couple of days, your child will become an expert by compiling relevant information on a specific explorer.   Students will learn about explorers who were responsible for finding the many lands we live in today.

Ask your child about his or her explorer and discuss:

What is “your” home country?

  • What explorer are you learning about?
  • What country did your explorer represent on the exploration?
  • What was your searching for during the exploration? And what did the explorer find?
  • What types of technology did your explorer use to help on the voyage?
  • What rout/s did you take on “your” exploration?
  • What obstacles did your explorer face?
  • Was your explorer successful?

Parent/Teacher Conferences:  Conferences begin this Thursday, September 9th and will continue through Thursday September 16th and dismissal time will be at 1:15. The purpose of Quarter 1 conferences is to share student progress, build relationships with families, and better understand what everyone needs to help our students be successful. If you have not yet signed up for a conference date/time, please contact your child’s teacher.

Have a great week!

-Fifth Grade Team

Week of 8/23/2021

Welcome! Check out what’s happening in fifth grade this week:

Reading: We are still working on answering the essential question: Why do laws continue to evolve? In this unit, students will discover how one of the nation’s most important documents has been shaping our lives for hundreds of years. 

To continue the conversation at home, ask the following:

  • Discuss how the United States Constitution has impacted the world.
  • Look up the Bill of Rights online and read the first ten amendments of the U.S. Constitution together. Then quiz one another on each amendment.

Math: We are finishing chapter 1 this week and ending with our post math test.

A reminder that for each math chapter, students will have an opportunity to complete a mid and final chapter quiz to monitor progress. Students are encouraged to use math notes during any math assessment.

Writing: To effectively respond to any writing prompt, students must learn how to analyze it. When students dissect the writing prompt and use it as the basis for prewriting, they’ll be on their way to writing a fifth grade level response! How will we begin? Students will learn how to create a “do/what” chart.

Ask your child to explain the process learned this week to effectively understand a writing prompt.

Social Studies:  This week, we will introduce explorers! We will focus on the following:

  • Determining the motivation and purpose of the explorer
  • Whether the explorer was successful
  • Who the explorer claimed land for and where that land was located
  • The importance of the discovery to the world
  • Whether the explorer had cooperation and/or conflict with Native Americans.

To continue the conversation at home, ask your child to share the explorer chant learned in class!

Have a great week!

Fifth Grade Team