Fifth Grade Newsletter

   Fifth Grade Newsletter • September 2020

“Community is at the heart of Christian education not simply as a concept to be taught but as a reality to be lived” – “To Teach as Jesus Did”

A Pastoral Message on Catholic Education

Dear Family,

I would like to officially welcome you to a new school year! I am so delighted to experience fifth grade with your student.

During the first weeks of school, the fifth graders are reminded of the key components of the Workshop Way® philosophy. We review all the Truth Signs with an emphasis on the all-encompassing rule to “Respect the Rights of Others.” This philosophy ensures that everyone is treated with respect and dignity and that each learning experience enhances the growth and development of the individual.

As a class, we discuss how each student is an individual and that everyone has their own timing and way of learning. Additionally, the students follow the guidelines according to our Schoolwide Learning Expectations (SLEs). These statements indicate what a student should know, understand and be able to do as they progress through the grades here at St. Martin of Tours Academy.

 We continue to discuss the importance of taking risks. By taking risks in a respectful and intellectually safe environment, students build their self-confidence and self esteem. Risk taking is not considered grandiose or dramatic; it can be in the form of trying a new math problem, volunteering an answer or successfully managing the required class materials.

Thank you for your support of your student’s learning style whether at home, hybrid or full-time. I’m looking forward to a wonderful year together, despite the challenges we may be facing at this time.

Nan Soto, M. Ed.

Current Curriculum . . .


This month we have focused on the Nicene Creed – the students’ have engaged in group projects as they work on developing a presentation. In addition, we will begin the study of the seven sacraments, which are the liturgical focus for the year (NSBECS 2.1).

We will consistently prepare for the Sunday Liturgy and study the Gospel for the week. Therefore, your child will be familiar with the Gospel when you attend Mass on Sunday. Each week we have a class meeting. This meeting, creates a safe and open forum in which the students express ideas related to the agenda items. Students develop critical life skills as they discuss solutions and resolve issues. (SLE 1a, 1b, 1d)

Language Arts/Reading:

The Workshop Way® schedule intrinsically supports, develops and enhances language arts skills. The daily schedule includes: reading comprehension, which meets the Common Core Standards for Literacy (CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.5.1), spelling, vocabulary, grammar and writing. The self-directed tasks appeal to the different learning styles for each student while building self-confidence and critical thinking skills.

In addition, a daily language arts lesson is taught from the Open Court® series by McGraw-Hill. As a class, we are consistently reading a variety of literature genres each week from the textbook. We further examine the reading selection with in-class discussions followed up with a reading assignment every week. (CCSS.ELA.LITERACY.RL.5.5)

Reading comprehension tests are given every week on Friday. Concurrently, students engage in whole class reading and silent reading on a daily basis. (SLE 2b, c, 4b, c)


Starting out this year, your student learned and applied Place Value, Addition Properties and Subtraction Rules to evaluate numerical expressions (CCSS.MATH.CONTENT.5.NBT.A.1). We will be utilizing an accompanying math workbook to apply and reinforce the concepts. In fifth grade, math homework will be assigned consistently to support and reinforce the concepts.

Parent tip: Please encourage your student to follow through with math each day – consider applying “real life” math opportunities such as budgeting, baking, spending, and saving. (SLE 5-b, 4-d).

Social Studies:

As we apply our Common Core aligned Social Studies series, students will engage rich social studies content, powerful analysis skills, and essential ELA skills and strategies into all lessons. Students have the opportunity to think historically, civically, spatially and economically. We have just finished our current unit on the Lives of Native Cultures of the North American continent. The students are now working on a culminating project (HSS-Research, Evidence, and Point of View) to represent their knowledge of a specific native culture they have chosen as a subject area. (SLE 2a, d)


We have launched into science with great enthusiasm. The students’ have already begun their culminating project on the Human Body Systems. They are working in small groups to create a presentation of their choice to represent a specific body system such as the respiratory system, immune system, pulmonary system and the brain.(5-LS1-1) We will continue to explore all the disciplines of science throughout the year. (SLE 2a, b)

Model Kindness

Excerpted from the book UnSelfie – by Michelle Borba, Ed.D.

“Kindness is one of the easiest habits to cultivate in kids. The best way is through modeling acts of kindness. When practicing kindness, make it a natural part of your family routine so your children see it, copy it, and want to adopt it. The more kids witness and experience what it feels like to be a kindness giver, the more likely they will incorporate the trait as part of their character.”










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