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Welcome to Room 7!

Here's our new cozy reading area tucked in between our two bookshelves.  The lifeskills and lifelong guidelines are on the bulletin board for a friendly reminder. 
The Writing Diner may look empty now, but we'll fill it with wonderful writing strategies as we learn them throughout the year.  

The corner board is where we'll post current event articles as you present them each week. 

Here's another board that may look empty now, but just wait!  We'll fill this Reading Cafe with strategies about comprehension, awareness, fluency and  vocabulary!  There's another comfy chair and stool to curl up with a good book! 

And finally, here's the view from our classroom door.  This is the arrangement we start the year in, but if you know me at all, you know we move desks often!  You'll have plenty of opportunities to play with the SMARTboard and document camera this year!

Supply List
Click here to view the supply list for the 2012-2013 school year.  

Fifth Grade ABC's

Absences/Tardies:  Please report all absences to the school office.  Students will be marked tardy if they enter the classroom after 8:45am. 
Behavior Bingo: We have a 100 grid in our classroom called, “Behavior Bingo.”  This is our positive behavior system.  When the class gets a compliment from another teacher or is working well together, they can earn a number to cover a spot on the grid.  When we have 10 in a row (or whatever type of covering they want) we will vote on a classroom celebration. 
Birthdays: Students are allowed and encouraged to celebrate their birthdays in class by bringing in a treat to share.  We will celebrate at the end of the day.  If the treats need to come after the start of school, please leave them in the office.  
Bucket Fillers: Madison Elementary is a school of bucket fillers, not bucket dippers.  When any staff member sees a student acting respectful, responsible, or safe they are rewarded with a ticket.  This ticket goes into the classroom bucket and every Friday Mr. Pechaitis will come draw two tickets for a special prize! 
Change in Transportation: If your student will be going home in a way that is different than stated on the emergency form, please let me know via email, note, or phone call. 
Communication: Communication is the key to a successful education.  I am always available to communicate whether it is through email, phone, notes, or conferences.  Email is the fastest and preferred method.  Also continue to check this blog at least once a week to stay up to date on what’s happening in the classroom. 
Conferences: Conferences will be held twice each year- once in between each trimester.  Dates still TBD.
Current Events: Students will be required to complete a current event once each trimester.  After researching an article they will write a report about the article and then present it to the class.  Current events are worth 10 points toward their social studies grade. 
Differentiation: I believe that every child is different both in learning and personality.  I will do my best to make sure each child is learning in a way that is best for him/her.  We use the workshop approach for math, reading, and writing.  The workshop approach allows for group instruction followed by guided independent practice.  Spelling words are also differentiated by student ability. 
Early Release Days: There will be several early release days throughout the year.  These days are used for staff professional development.  Students will be released at 11:30 on these Fridays.  Dates TBD. 
Engrade: This is an online program that I use to keep grades.  At the beginning of the year, each parent will be given a username and password to log in to the program.  I encourage you to check the website weekly to stay on top of your student’s grades and assignments. 
Grading Scale: Fifth grade is based on the standard 100% grading scale. 
        A+          97  - 100
        A            94 – 96
A -          90 – 94
B+          87 – 89
B            84 – 86
B -          80 – 83
C+          77 – 79
C            74 – 76
C -          70 – 73
D+          67 – 69
D            63 – 66
D -          60 – 63
E            59 and Below
HOME Binder: Help Organize Me Everyday (HOME) Binders are a huge part of our classroom.  We will assemble these binders together in class the first week of school.  The binder should come to school every single day and go home every single day.  The binder will be organized by subject and will also have the planner that we will fill out every day together.  This binder should always be neat and organized. 
Homework: There will be homework every single day. The Everyday Math program is designed so that one study link be completed each evening however there may be additional or supplemented material/projects for homework. 

Fifth grade students should be reading at least 30 minutes five nights a week.  This reading will be kept in a reading log and turned in at the end of each month.  
Spelling homework will be sent home every other Monday to be turned in every other Friday.  You will have two weeks to complete the worksheet and related activities. 
There may be additional homework during the week and if students don’t complete work in class, that will be homework too.   
Illness: If your student is sick, please keep them home until he/she is healthy again.  Students should stay home for 24 hours after a fever has broken or after vomiting.  If you have questions, please contact the school nurse. 
Lunch: Lunch is $2.00 for students.  Lunch is at TBD.
Math: We use the Everyday Math program.  The program is considered a spiral curriculum that builds off what students already know.  The curriculum teaches why and how instead of simply memorizing formulas.  This year we will supplement with a Rocket Math.  Students will move through levels of timed tests on multiplication and division daily. 
PATT: Parents and Teachers Together (PATT) is a great organization that helps unite parents and teachers in your student’s education.  PATT meets monthly.  Please take the time to attend at least one meeting. 
Reading: Our 90 minute Literacy Block will consist of the following parts: read aloud, word work, a mini-lesson on fluency or comprehension, guided reading groups, and reader’s response.  This year we will also be focusing on writing summaries, comparing and contrasting, and forming an opinion. 
Report Cards: Report cards will go home at the end of each trimester.  Students will be given a letter grade in the core subjects and specials classes and will also be evaluated on behavior.  Progress reports will go home half-way through each trimester. 
Science:  Fifth grade science focuses on the following areas:  Life Sciences (body systems), Earth Sciences, Forces and Motion, and Heredity. 
Snack: We will have a break for snack every morning.  This snack needs to be healthy and quick!  Good snacks include: fruit, vegetables, crackers, cheese, or fruit bars.  You will need to supply your own silverware. 
Social Studies: Social Studies will start with Native Americans and moves through the American Revolution.  We will discuss European Explorers, early colonists, and slave trade as well. 
Spelling: Students are put into spelling groups based on their needs.  Each group focuses on their own word sort for the two weeks.  Every student completes the same homework assignment using their own words.  Spelling tests are every other week. 
Tests: Test corrections can be completed on any test that receives a score less than a 70%.  Test corrections should be completed on a separate piece of paper and have a parent signature. 
Visitors: If you plan to visit our building during the day, please stop by the office first to get a visitor’s pass. 
Water Bottles: I encourage students to bring a water bottle to leave on their desk.  Water bottles should go home every Friday to be washed.  (Plain water only, please.)
Writing: We will be working on how to perfect a narrative piece of writing including a beginning, strong middle, and an ending.  We’ll also learn how to write research papers, persuasive papers, and integrate writing into other subjects, such as Social Studies and Science.
Zz Zz Zz: It is very important that students get enough sleep every night.  Please make sure your student is going to bed early during the school year and getting lots of rest! 

Fifth Grade Curriculum

The state has certain benchmarks they require every teacher to teach at each grade level.  These are called Grade Level Content Expectations (GLCEs).  You can find all the specific GLCEs for fifth grade, or any other grade, at the Michigan Department of Education website or click here.  Below you will find a brief description of what we teach in fifth grade.

Language Arts (Reading, Writing, Speaking and Listening/Viewing):
Word Recognition
Narrative Text
Information Text

Narrative, Poetry, Persuasive and Research Pieces
Writing Process
Personal Style



Numbers and Operation:
Multiply and Divide of whole numbers
Prime Factorization
Decimals, Fractions and Percentages
Multiply/Divide Fractions
Add/Subtract Fractions
Powers of 10

Metric Conversions
Area and Volume of geometric shapes

Geometric Shapes

Data and Probability:
Construct and Interpret Line Graphs
Mean and Mode

Inquiry Process:
Generating Questions
Develop Soluutions

Forces and Motion:
Force Interactions
Magnitude and Direction
Speed and Position

Life Science:
Animal Systems
Inherited/Acquired Traits
Relationships among Organisms

Earth Science:
Solar System (Model)
Solar System Motion (Gravity)

Social Studies:
Beginning to 1620:
American Indian Life
European Exploration
African Life
Three World Interactions

Colonization and Settlement:
European Struggle for Control
European Slave Trade
Slavery in America
Life in Colonial America

Revolution and the New Nation:
Causes of the American Revolution
American Revolution and Consequences
Creating a New Government
New Constitution

Public Discourse, Decision Making and Citizen Involvement:
Identifying and Analyzing Public Issues
Persuasive Communication
Citizen Involvement


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