October News

Hello everyone!

We are already in October and I could NOT be more excited about the fun things we have coming up this month! I'm looking forward to a BOOtiful month of learning!


The first week of the month, we will be reading an informational article about teams that work to protect endangered animals. The following week, we will have another in-class mini-project in which students will choose an animal from the endangered species list to research and present about on Friday. The third (and final FULL week) week of October we will be reading an adapted version of Mary Shelley's Frankenstein in class.


Research and writing for the Saint Museum continues! I hope your students are enjoying learning about their chosen saints. Please refer to the original info sheet for due dates.


We will begin the Pronouns unit in class this week. Many of the concepts that were learned in the Nouns unit will be reviewed. Please expect daily assignments.


The Maya-Inca-Aztec test will be on Friday October 9th. The following Monday we will begin the next unit about European Explorers. Much of this unit will be in-class discussion so if your child is absent they will need to see me ASAP to be able to get caught up quickly.

September 2015 News

I hope everyone has had a wonderful first few weeks of school! I'm so excited to be starting my 10th year of teaching 5th grade at Magdalen - it's so unbelievable to me that I have been blessed to be a part of this wonderful school for 10 years. The time really has flown by, but I guess that is what happens when you are having fun - and we certainly have a LOT of fun in 5th grade!

At the beginning of each month, I usually post a brief overview of the topics/units we will be covering in Language Arts and Social Studies. The agenda will have more detailed information, such as homework assignments and test dates, so please also watch the agenda for more specific info.

Please do not hesitate to contact me if you ever have any questions or concerns. I am really enjoying getting to know so many new faces and personalities - this is going to be a fantastic year!


We will begin the year with the Journeys text book, following this basic format: introduction and Spelling homework on Mondays, fluency and focus skill practice on Tuesdays, Comprehension paragraph writing on Wednesdays, skill practice and review on Thursdays, and an open book Comprehension test on Fridays. Spelling and Vocabulary tests (closed book) will also be on Fridays each week - the 10 Spelling/Vocab words will come from the week's story.

At certain times, such as will be the case the week following Labor Day, we use a story to inspire an in-class 'Mini-Project'. A rubric will come home at the beginning of the week detailing the work students will be completing IN CLASS that week and presenting at the end of the week. The mini projects generally require very little (if any) work to be completed at home.


We are well into our Nouns unit and will continue working through the lessons with daily assignments through most of September. A Nouns Unit test will most likely be in late September. The test will be open book, open note, and will follow several days of in-class review. Please watch the agenda for more specific dates.



Beginning September 1st, the focus of the lessons in Writing will be on teaching the 5 Paragraph Essay format. I introduce this style of paper with a silly fictional topic which allows students to understand the organizational structure without having to do research immediately. By late September, more information on the Saint Museum Project will be sent home - this project will require the students to each choose a saint. They will write a 5 paragraph essay and short speech over their chosen saint and then present the speech, in costume, to the school on the morning of November 4th. It is truly one of my favorite days of the year - a wonderful celebration of faith, academic excellence, and hard work!



The focus of 5th grade Social Studies is American History from around 900 a.d. - 1789. We have begun with the study of the different native peoples of North America. Currently we are using the text book, but by mid-September the classes will become more focused on interactive discussions and lecture (with LOTS of pictures to supplement) as we discuss the Maya, Inca, and Aztec people of Central and South America. This is usually a FAVORITE topic in 5th grade and I'm looking forward to sharing the stories of these civilizations with the classes!

Welcome Back To School!

Welcome to 5th grade! I am so excited to start this new school year, and I hope you are too! We are going to do some really fun, new, and exciting things this year, and I can't wait to get to know everyone.

Mrs. Holding

Saint Report Research Websites