Volunteers Wanted

The 6th grade is looking for volunteers to help out at the 6th Grade Dance. They would like to begin the tradition of 5th grade parents helping out. If you are able to help, please contact Ms. Edwards at Orna.Edwards@cvesd.org. Thank you!



Week of 4/17/19

Happy Wednesday, Fifth Grade Parents!

Here’s what’s been happening in fifth grade:

Reading: Welcome to our next unit of study, “Conflicts That Shaped a Nation.”  In this unit, we will read and compare texts about the American Revolution, the Civil War, and the military to understand how conflict shapes a society.  We will be reading a variety of genres, including a diary entry, two letters, informational texts, and a historical fiction piece.  This unit will allow you and your child to examine important events of our country’s history and discuss how conflict shaped our nation into what it is today.

Math: We are currently working on our Volume unit, Module 5.  Students began by reasoning about and working with three – dimensional shapes.  They explored cubic units and move toward calculations of volumes of rectangular prisms. Students also extended their two – dimensional work with area to figures with fractional side lengths.  
Click here for a great volume parent resource!
In the next couple of days, we will continue to work on the following math goals:
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To get a better understanding and see more math examples, click here for another parent resource!

Science:  We currently working on our unit about Earth’s systems, specifically the hydrosphere and the Earth’s fresh water as a natural resource. One of our lessons was called, “How much water is in the world?” We learned how surprisingly little fresh water there is on earth, at least compared to the total amount of water, and discussed how salt water, even though it is common, is not actually something we can drink to survive.You can encourage your child’s curiosity at home! Salt water is okay to drink in small quantities, so here is something fun you can do together: invite your child to mix a tablespoon of salt into a glass of water and try tasting it, to simulate what ocean water tastes like.

Testing Dates:  Earlier this week, your child received important information regarding testing.  Below are the important dates to add to your calendar!


Apex Fun Run:  The Apex Fun Run is back and will last for 2 weeks!  Please look for your child’s Pledge Kit that they received.  Please feel free to visit www.apexfunrun.com to hear about this interactive program that helps schools all over the country raise money, while promoting leadership and fitness in the classroom.
Any questions, please let us know!
Fifth Grade Team


State and Local Testing Dates

CSA: 4/30-5/1 (DI classes only)

Level Set: 5/8 English (all classes)

Level Set: 5/9 Spanish (DI classes only)

CAASPP: 5/13-5/17 (all classes)

Science: 5/21-5/23 (all classes)

Entrepreneur Fair

Ent Fair

Poster Contest

Click here for the Otay Water Poster Contest Packet

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Week of 3/11/2019

Happy Monday, Fifth Grade Parents!

Here’s what’s happening this upcoming week:

Reading: We are currently working on our unit of study, “Up Against the Wild.”  In this unit, we will read and compare selections about characters who are up against the wild and analyze how different genres approach similar themes. We will be reading a variety of genres, including a fable, drama, folktale, realistic fiction, historical fiction, and informational text. This unit will allow you and your child to consider what drives a character to survive, despite being up against terrible odds.


We are towards the end of Module 4! Students are currently exploring the meaning of division with fractions and decimal fractions.
Below are some key vocabulary students are learning:
  • Unit Fraction – a fraction with a numerator of
  • Decimal Fraction – a fraction whose denominator is a power o f 10               (Examples      0.7         0.23         4.12)
  • Decimal Divisor – the number that divides th e dividend (whole ) and has units of tenths, hundredths, thousandths, etc.

Below is an example when dividing a whole number by a unit fraction:Screen Shot 2019-03-10 at 10.51.36 PMScreen Shot 2019-03-10 at 10.51.56 PM

Below is an example when dividing a unit fraction by a whole number:Screen Shot 2019-03-10 at 10.52.07 PM

If you would like more information on this module, please click here

Science:This past week we learned about food chains: how every animal has something it eats, and for many animals, also some predator it’s eaten by! Your child learned that by asking the two food chain questions: “What does it eat?” and “What is it eaten by?,” you can find surprising animals living near you. Hopefully your child came home curious to flip over a log and look for creatures living nearby!You can support your child’s curiosity by increasing the odds of them finding some new and interesting creature. If possible, take them to the closest nature preserve, especially anywhere with fallen logs.

We will continue to work on standards related to the transfer of energy and matter between organisms in an ecosystem.  We will be identifying what solar energy is and what two forms of energy solar energy provides life on Earth.  Students will learn that energy in animals’ food (used for body repair, growth, motion, and to maintain body warmth) was once energy from the sun.  We build on this knowledge throughout the unit in other lessons related to photosynthesis and how animals use the energy they get from food.  Students will continue to read, take notes, watch informational videos and engage in classroom conversations as we work on this unit.

Writing: We are currently working on the process of opinion writing.  But before students can write proficient fifth grade writing pieces, students need to have a clear understanding of proficiency.  Here’s the success criteria we will be using which will guide students as they write their opinion pieces.

Analyze the Prompt and Plan

  • Read and analyze the Prompt by creating a do/what chart
  • Think about the text structure, genre, and audience
  • Gather evidence to support your opinion about the topic
  • Group and organize information with a particular reason to support your opinion 


  • Write an introduction that has a HIT (I- introduce your topic AND state your opinion)
  • Group key reasons into body paragraphs
  • Support our ideas with: facts, definitions, concrete details and quotes from the text
  • Explain how the details in each paragraph support your opinion
  • Include text features when needed
  • Use transitions to connect ideas
  • Use accurate vocabulary words that are specific, and include words related to the topic
  • Use a voice that is appropriate for the genre and audience
  • Write a conclusion that summarizes the topic, your opinion, and key reasons

Last but not least, our read aloud:

Chains by Laurie Halse Anderson is a historical fiction novel based around the time of the American Revolution. Chains is unique in its portrayal of the revolution, as it is told from the point of view of a slave.  Chains examines what happens to those people who did not receive freedom during the revolution. Although the novel is fictional, the story delves into events that historically took place.

The novel follows the life of Isabel, a thirteen-year-old slave, who is the property of Miss Mary Finch. Miss Finch has just passed away. Isabel and her sister, Ruth, were promised by Miss Finch they would be set free upon her death. Miss Finch said she would put it in her will. Miss Finch was kind to the girls and taught them how to read and write. Unfortunately, Miss Finch’s brother does not believe Isabel. Also, Miss Finch’s lawyer is stuck in Boston, where a certain uprising has begun over the colonies’ desire for independence. Therefore, Miss Finch’s brother decides to sell the girls to Loyalists in New York, the Locktons.

Some questions you may ask your child:

  • What are some characteristics of Isabel?
  • What challenges does Isabel face and how do they change her?
  • What are 5 things you know about Ruth?  Explain how Isabel feels about Ruth.  How do you know?

Any questions, please let us know!

Have a great week, parents!

Fifth Grade Team


Read Across America

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Free Engineering Event


Week of 2/4/2019

Happy Wednesday, Parents!

Here’s what’s happening this week:

Reading:  We are finishing strong with our week 1 unit of study, “Technology’s Impact on Society.” In this unit, students will continue to read and compare literary and nonfiction selections about the role that technology has played in people’s lives. We began our unit with reading the poems, “Technology and The Lowell Mill Girls”
You can start some dialogue with your child by asking:
  • Discuss how life might have changed for many young women as they left the country and moved to cities to work in factories.

Our fifth graders also read the article “Eli Whitney’s Cotton Gin”

You can continue the conversation by asking:

  • What problem did Whitney hope to solve with the cotton gin?
  • Along with the cotton gin, what other factors allowed for the growth of the cotton industry?

Other questions you may ask:  What new technologies have changed people’s lives in recent years? How did technology help people in the past?

Math:  We are half way through this module!  Students will have an opportunity to show their understanding by taking the Mid Module 4 test.  Below are two examples students have been working on.  For more examples click here to view further explanation on this topic.

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Tape Diagram









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Converting Units 

Social Studies:  Students have learned that the American Revolution was a time when the British colonists in America rebelled against the rule of Great Britain. There were many battles fought and the colonies gained their freedom and became the independent country of the United States.  So far, we have read a variety of passages, watched videos and discussed the causes and effect of these battles.  Check out below our “poetry battle” between the British and Patriots.  Ask your child:

  • Based on this poem, how do the British feel?
  • How do the Patriots respond?
  • Who’s battle would you be part of?  Why?

    Screen Shot 2019-02-06 at 10.23.22 PM

Physical Education:  Reminder: Our fifth graders will participate in the California Physical Fitness Test (PFT). The FITNESSGRAM is the required annual PFT for students in grades five, seven, and nine in California public schools. This health-related fitness test is intended to help students acquire lasting habits of regular physical activity. Please click on the following link to find out more information.

English Letter:pft parent notification letter_english

Spanish Letter: pft parent notification letter_spanish

During PE instruction, we have been practicing the 6 Fitness areas students will be tested on. Screen Shot 2019-02-06 at 10.38.12 PM.png Your child can continue to practice at home by clicking here!  You will find videos of the all the fitness areas your child will be tested on.  Enjoy the exercise!

Again, if you have any questions please let us know.

Fifth Grade Team

Pennies for Patients

It’s that time of year again! We are collecting coins and other donations for the annual Pennies for Patients (aka Pasta for Pennies) fundraiser in support of the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.

How it Works: Students collect spare change. The change (or dollars!) can come from friends, relatives, or underneath the couch cushions. What’s important is that the change is collected and turned into classroom boxes. Students can also donate online!

New This Year: When students raise $5, parents fill out the prize coupon for a power ring.  Students will continue to earn prizes through their ONLINE FUNDRAISING PAGE. Students do not receive prizes based on the coin box, only their online fundraising page. See the flyer below for more details. However, the most important thing is raise money to help research into this devastating disease.

2019 Dear Parent Letter (1)