Week of 1/30/2023

Reading: Welcome to our next 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 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.

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?
  • What is a numerator and a denominator?

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?

Read Aloud: We are continuing with Blood on the River and learning more about how our main character, Samuel, continues to change.

Some questions you can ask your child:

  • What have you learned about Samuel? What have you learned about Captain John Smith, Reverend Hunt, and Master Winfield?
  • What are some conflicts in the story?  How do the characters respond to the conflicts? How would you have reacted if you were Samuel?

Each chapter opens with a quotation from a primary source, which means that it was written from a person who was actually there during the historical event. Historians study primary sources and other artifacts to piece together what really happened.

Other questions you can ask your child:

  1. What might be some advantages of referring to primary sources?
  2. What problems could come with primary sources?

Science: This week, we will finish our matter unit. Students investigated the properties of matter and learned how to think, speak, and write like a scientist.  We also continued to build our knowledge using our interactive science notebooks.  By recording their thinking and observations, we hope to cultivate students to think and inquire like actual scientists! To continue the conversation at home, ask your child:

  • What is matter? How can you describe matter?
  • What are the 3 states of matter? How can you represent each state of matter?
  • Have your child share his or her science notes and explain the different examples.
  • What is the difference between a chemical and physical change? What are some indicators that show these changes?

Have a great week!

Fifth Grade Team



We will have workshops focusing on online platforms: Achieve, iReady and Smarty Ants. ELAC not only supports parents of English Learners, but ALL Camarena parents. Three of our Camarena teachers will be presenting on these topics, so you’ll get a chance to have first hand information.

We will provide coffee and snacks, and a chance to be part of a raffle to win a prize.

Don’t miss it!

Upcoming PTA Meeting

Week of 1/10/2023

Happy New Year and welcome to Quarter 3!

Welcome back.  We hope you all had a restful break and were able to spend quality time with family and friends.

Here are a few reminders and highlights for this week:

Reading: Your child will continue to 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: 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.

Read Aloud: Our read aloud for this quarter will be Blood on the River by Elisa Carbone. W are learning more about our main character, Samuel.

Some questions you can ask your child:

  • What have you learned about Samuel? What have you learned about Captain John Smith, Reverend Hunt, and Master Winfield?
  • What are some conflicts in the story?  How do the characters respond to the conflicts? How would you have reacted if you were Samuel?
  • Each chapter opens with a quotation from a primary source, which means that it was written from a person who was actually there during the historical event. Historians study primary sources and other artifacts to piece together what really happened.

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.

Writing: Writing is a process of discovery, and students don’t always produce clear ideas when they first get started.  As we continue with narrative, students will be reminded that revision is a chance to look critically at what they have written to see:

  • if it’s really worth saying,
  • if it says what you wanted to say, and
  • if a reader will understand what you’re saying.
  • Ask your fifth grader: What is run-on sentence? Why is it important to revise run-on sentences? How will revising help my audience/readers?

We are excited for Quarter 3 and can’t wait to get started!  Keep checking the blog for updates and information throughout Quarter 3!

Fifth Grade Team

Week of 12/5/2022

Dear Parents,

Happy Thursday! We can’t believe we have two more weeks left before quarter 2 ends!  Here’s what’s happening in fifth grade before we are off to winter break:

Reading: This week, students will complete the Level Set (reading test) on Achieve3000.  The purpose of this test is to establish your child’s reading level and monitor progress, so we can continue to support your student’s reading skills.  Note that this is only one measure of your child’s reading level.

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Math:  This week we are showing off our multiplication decimals skills and finishing our chapter 4 unit test! You can continue to 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? Can you show me your math notes?
  • Why is place value important when we multiply decimals?

Mentor Sentences:  Don’t forget to ask your fifth grader about mentor sentences! Mentor sentences illustrate grammar rules and/or figurative language elements. Students are continuing to make observations, identifying the parts of speech, analyzing the mentor sentence, revising it, and writing their own version. We want students to be able to manipulate language to become better writers and to understand grammar so well that they are more insightful readers.

Ask your child:

  • What is a mentor sentence? What mentor sentence did you analyze recently? What did you learn from your mentor sentence?

Social Studies: This week, we will continue to learn about Colonial America. By now, your child should be an expert in the following:

  • How did Colonists arrive to North America?
  • Why did Colonists continue to come to the new world?
  • What have you learned about the 13 colonies? How are they each unique?
  • Describe the different types of homes lived in during Colonial America.
  • How are colonial schools similar and/or different to your school?

Have a great week!

Fifth Grade Team

Week of 11/14/2022

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: This week, students will plan their mystery, using narrative elements, before starting to write the story.

Ask your fifth grader:

  • How can writers write narratives that are enjoyable to readers?
  • How do you begin planning a mystery? What are some important elements you need to include in your story?
  • What narrative resources will you use as you plan and draft your mystery?

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?

Reading: Did you know that approximately 70% of the English language is derived from Greek and Latin language? When students are given Greek and Latin roots as building blocks they will have the tools to decode new words they encounter when reading independently.

Ask your child:

  • What new root words did you learn this week?
  • What is the meaning of the root word?
  • Can you provide some examples?

Have a great week!

Fifth Grade Team

Week of 11/7/2022

Happy Tuesday, Parents! Here’s our learning for the week:

Reading: Your fifth grader will read stories in which he or she will compare characters and analyze their relationships with each other. She 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?

Don’t forget to ask your child:

  • What Benchmark text are you currently reading in class?
  • Why do we value certain qualities in people?

Writing: Mysteries are a great way to hook students into writing about fictional happenings. Last week, we introduced The Mysteries of Harris Burdick, a fascinating and unusual book. In the book, there are fourteen mysterious images, each with a title and a suggestive caption. We analyzed each illustration and created our own version, trying to put a story together. This week, your child selected one of those 14 images to be inspired and write a mystery.

Ask your child:

  • What illustration did you select?
  • What is a mystery writing? What does it include?
  • How will you begin planning your mystery?

Math: We are still working on place value in decimal numbers. This week, we will take time to review this chapter. 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?

Science: Students learned about constellations and how there are different constellations visible each season. They explored the Mystery, “Why do the constellations change with the seasons?” Your child will take home a model that makes it easy for them to visualize the answer. We’ve named it the “Universe in a Box.”

Take this opportunity to have your child show you how his or her “Universe in a Box” works. Ask them: Why do we see different constellations each season? What are some constellations we will see if we go outside tonight?

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.

Have a great week!

Fifth Grade Team

Week of 10/24/2022

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?

Math: We are finishing Mid Chapter 3 this week! 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 quiz or assessment.

Read Aloud: We are continuing with our read aloud, Out of My Mind. Students are learning more about the character, Melody,  a girl with cerebral palsy who’s very intelligent but unable to express herself verbally or physically.

Some questions you may ask your child:

  • Discuss Melody’s teachers since she began going to school. What does this say about her school system, or about attitudes at her school about teaching children with special needs?
  • Describe how the introduction of Penny as a character changes the family dynamics. Analyze Melody’s complicated feelings about her little sister.
  • How does the inclusion program change Melody’s school experiences? Describe both positive and negative results of the program. Describe Melody’s deep, unrealized need for a friend.

Interested in learning more with your child? Check out the Sharon M. Draper’s official author page!

Click here!

Red Ribbon Week empowers parents to start a conversation, and make a pledge that encourages our kids to live drug free and helps them to succeed.  By wearing red and participating in community anti-drug events, young people pledge to live a drug-free life and promote the message of positive choices and lifestyles. Check out our spirit week below!

Donations and volunteer opportunity: If you are able to donate decorating icing pens for our Dia de los Muertos sugar skull activity, please send them to your child’s teacher.
Also, volunteers are needed, Thursday 27th after school to make sugar skulls. Join us in the hallway (second floor in the 300 building). Let your child’s teacher if you can help us out! 💀

Mexican Fiesta: The Camarena Community is invited to our school’s Fiesta Mexicana on Friday, November 4th starting at 3:00 to 6:00 p.m.  Stop by to enjoy tasty food from a variety of vendors, listen to great music, and enjoy performances by our students!

Have a great week!

Fifth Grade Team

Week of 10/16/2022

Biztown: This week we will finish our Biztown lessons before our big day! Now that students have been placed in their Biztown jobs, we will focus on the following concepts:

  • What Do Good Businesses Look Like?
    • Before moving into JA BizTown business teams, students will spend time brainstorming the characteristics of good businesses. What makes some teams of employees more successful than others? Why do businesses fail? How can a business achieve success?
  • Where Do We Get Money to Start a Business?
    • Students will learn about financing a business. In preparation for their experience at JA BizTown, students will work in business teams to prepare a business Loan Application and a Promissory Note to support business costs.
  • How Do We Advertise a Business?
    • Students will learn about the importance of advertising as a method of marketing the goods and/or services offered by various businesses. Working in business teams, students develop advertisements to market their JA BizTown businesses.

Reminder for field trip: Students should wear business casual clothes appropriate for their JA BizTown business position.

Writing: By now, all students are either 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 did you write about this week?

Math: Welcome to chapter 3! Throughout the next few weeks, our math class will be studying decimals. We will be naming, comparing, ordering, and rounding decimals through thousandths. We will also be adding and subtracting decimals through hundredths. Check out the resource below and ask your child what he or she knows about place value and decimals.

Science: This week we will learn the following:

Even though it looks like the Sun is moving across the sky every day, it is actually the Earth that is spinning (rotating) around its axis. In a classroom activity, students will be models of the Earth and spin around to understand how this movement is responsible for the Sun rising and setting every day. We will also discuss how the speed of the Earth’s rotation affects the length of one full day.

  • You can support learning at home. The next time you’re traveling by car or bus, you can point out that it doesn’t feel like you’re moving at all – even if you’re traveling at really high speeds! This is the same reason that even though the Earth is spinning incredibly fast, it never feels like we’re moving. Because the Earth is always spinning at a constant speed, we never feel it moving!

Have a great week!

Fifth Grade Team

Week of 10/10/2022

Happy Tuesday, Parents! We hope you had a wonderful fall break! We are so excited on what’s ahead and ready for quarter 2! 

Reminder: Don’t forget to check out Camarena’s School Blog! https://camarenarobogriffins.blog/