Chapter 5 Social Studies Test

Dear Fifth Grade Families:

This is just a reminder that we will be having our Chapter 5 Social Studies test on Friday.  The students have notes, their practice book, and their text book from which to review.  I have encouraged them to spend a few minutes each day looking over these materials.  It is way too much material if they leave it for the night before the test.  They can also use “Quizlet” which is a website that allows them to take mini-tests as well as practice their vocabulary.

We will have our first vocabulary test on “Rules” on Monday, January 22.  They have all of the vocabulary and definitions as well as the part of speech on note cards.  Again, it is easier to learn a couple of words a day rather than wait until the night before the test.

If you still need to set up a conference time with me, please email me and I am sure we can come up with a time that will work with your schedule.

Ms. Patti Garcia

¡Feliz Año Nuevo!

Happy New Year!  This week the fifth graders started working out of a new book “Para Empezar”. They will continue to work through this book in their sixth grade year. The book starts out with a mid-year review of  greetings, time, weather, numbers, the calendar and the Spanish alphabet. The students will be performing in skits relating to these various topics. This will help them not only review their vocabulary but with pronunciation as well. Have a great week!

¡Hasta luego!

Sra. Van Straalen

Request from the Art Room

Donate to the Art Room – please donate empty soda pop bottles, 20 oz. preferred, to the art room. We would like bottles with lobed bottoms, such as Coke or Pepsi products. We will return them to you in the form of adorable ceramic sea urchins! Thanks, Elisabeth Monsma

Happy 2018!

Dear Fifth Grade Families:

Thank you for the wonderful gift from the class as well as all of your thoughtful Christmas presents.  I appreciate all of them and was very touched.

I hope everyone’s break was restful as well as filled with family and celebrations.  As we return to school, we have much to accomplish.  I will begin having Parent Conferences on Thursday of this week.  The sign-up sheet is in my room.  Please stop in to find a time that will work for you.  At the conference we will go over your child’s Progress Report and perhaps set some additional goals.  It is a good time to look at the first half of the year and decide what we still need to accomplish.  If you have any problems with sign-up times, please let me know.  We will figure something out.

We will be starting a new literature book this week.  “Rules” will be our new book.  My guess is that some students have read it already, but we read it in an entirely different way paying attention to vocabulary, characters, messages, as well as figurative language.  I think everyone will enjoy it.

Our Spelling Bee is this Friday at 8:10.  Delaney Reuter and Griffin Birkenbine will be our represenatives.  Good luck, Delaney and Griffin!!  There will also be a Coffee Corner out in fron of the school on Friday.  Stop by for a hot cup of coffee.

I will look forward to meeting with each family over the next week and a half.

Ms. Patti Garcia

Week of December 18

Dear Fifth Grade Families:

We have a lot going on this week!

Tuesday we have our special art class with the Tucson Museum of Art teacher.  We also have our “Hatchet” Qwest #3 quiz.

Wednesday the choir is going to sing at Atria Gardens from 12:30-2:30.

Thursday we have the Geography Bee at 8:10 (congrats to Virginia!).  We also have a traditional Mexican lunch while we listen to the mariachis.  Las Posadas (Delaney is our shepherd)  starts at 1:40 followed by Lessons and Carols in the church at 2:00.

There is no Aftercare on Thursday.  Students will be dismissed as soon as the Advent service is over.

Thank you again for all you do to support me and all of our activities!

Ms. Patti Garcia


The Power of Words

In Computer Class today Fifth graders discussed some differences between communicating in person and communicating online after watching the video The Power of Words:

Some of the students had a lot of questions about what to do in various online situations; while we touched briefly on possible solutions I emphasized that the most important thing they should do is talk to their parents about what they are doing and experiencing online.

A hot topic that comes up often at this age is when to give students a cell phone with internet access.  Some parents have begun a movement called “Wait Until 8th” due to concerns over what students experience online. Here is that information:

Here are 10 facts from the Pew Research Center about positive uses of SmartPhones to balance out the question:

It is never easy to know when the best time is to provide a child a cell phone with access to the internet or how to talk to them about their online lives. I encourage parents to communicate regularly and often with their children about their digital lives because they demonstrated in class today their eagerness for guidance and advice. I was impressed by their thoughtful approach to a complicated subject!

~Ms. Hawes

Thank you!

Dear Fifth Grade Families:

Thank you to everyone for your generosity in sending in both Christmas boxes for our gift giving project as well as the hard boiled eggs for Casa Maria.  Our holiday gift giving program ends on Friday, the 15th.  Your children are making a difference in the lives of others.  I love seeing their excitement as our stack of boxes grows and grows!

We have a Qwest #2 vocabulary test for “Hatchet” tomorrow as well as a a Social Studies Chapter 4 test on Friday.  I have seen tremendous improvement in their study skills.  Let’s hope we can stay focused during this exciting, busy season!

Friday we have our Lady of Guadalupe chapel service at 9:42.  It is one of the special chapels we have and all are invited to attend.

Thank you for all you do!

Ms. Patti Garcia



We are starting our new unit, Sun, Moon and Planets.   We will first learn about the sun and its position in the sky.   The out-of-the-classroom activities are engaging and fun for the 5th graders.

Students will trace their shadows in the morning and afternoon. They use this information to monitor the position of the Sun as it moves across the sky. After using a compass to orient a Sun tracker, students make hourly records of the position of the shadow cast by a golf tee. Back in the classroom, students use flashlights to reproduce the shadow movements. Students imagine an observer on Earth (their head) and position themselves around a lamp to observe day and night. They discover that rotation of Earth produces day and night.