Self-Defense Class

Dear Fifth Grade Families:

One of our parents has generously offered to sponsor a self-defense class for 5th and 6th graders on Saturday, May 12 from 9:00-10:30 in the Student Center.  There is not a cost for this invaluable class.  See office for additional information.

Ms. Patti Garcia

A Quick Note

Dear Fifth Grade Families:

This is just a quick heads-up that we will be having our last “Sophia’s War” vocabulary and people quiz on Friday, May 11.  This gives your child time to either make flash cards or put all of the vocabulary on one sheet of paper for easier studying.  I have encouraged them to study for a short time each night and learn three to four words a night.  This prevents them trying to “cram” the night before which does not result in a good grade.  Thanks for encouraging them to study nightly!

Ms. Patti Garcia


¡Hola! The fifth graders are starting a new chapter focusing on ways to describe ourselves and others. We will be learning adjective agreement and using the verb “ser”. We will be writing poems in Spanish using what we have learned.  Have a great week!

¡Hasta luego!

Sra. Van Straalen

Another Busy Week!

Dear Fifth Grade Families:

I have a few reminders for you.  Your child has an informational sheet that I passed out today for “everything you need to know about our Phoenix field trip.”  Please make sure that you have your child here by 7:45.  We will board the bus at 7:55 and must be on the road by 8:00 to make sure we meet our guide at the scheduled time.  They will not need to bring their backpacks to school.  They only need their bag with their electronics and whatever else they are taking with them on the bus.  They will also need their lunch and water bottles.  Money for the gift shops is entirely optional.  They must wear their red and khaki uniforms.

Wednesday we will be having a Chapter 8 Social Studies test.  I hope you have seen your child studying for it.  They should also be studying for their Qwest #2 vocabulary words for Sophia’s War.  They were supposed to have it this week but because of our disrupted schedule on Tuesday, I think it would be wise to delay the vocabulary test until Monday, April 23.

We had Mrs. Scoville from the Tucson Museum of Art come in today and teach us about Kandinsky’s art.  The students then did their own interpretation of his artwork.  We will have one more session with her next month.  We feel so fortunate to have this extra art presentation.

The members of Girls on the Run are doing a service project which will help PACC.  Pima Animal Care Center is dedicated to caring for pets who have been abandoned.  They are collecting anything that PACC would find useful including treats, toys, towels, beds, etc.

Stop in to see me if you have any questions.

Ms. Patti Garcia



Week of April 9

Dear Fifth Grade Families:

With standardized testing over, it is time to get back to work.  We will be having our Qwest #2 on Sophia’s War tomorrow.  Students should have been studying the vocabulary words from Chapters 21-28 and the people listed in their study guide from Chapters 1-28.

We will also be having a Chapter 8, Lessons 1-5 Social Studies test next Wednesday the 18th.  Students should reread and discuss these chapters.  We have answered the questions at the end of each Lesson.  They can use these for additional studying.  They should also be familiar with the vocabulary in these 5 lessons as well as the people.  Sometimes it helps them to have a “study buddy.”

Our guest speaker last week was Mrs. Giordano from the Daughers of the American Revolution.  She read the story of George Washington crossing the Delaware River for a surprise attack on the Hessian soldiers at the Battle of Trenton.  She also showed us some reproductions of items that would have been used back then as well as games and clothes that children would have used.  The kids asked great questions.  As always, she is always impressed by the information these students have about the Revolutionary War.

I was very proud of all of our students who recited their poems.  I give them much credit for memorizing and saying them so eloquently.  They seemed pleased with our new way to present the poems which is only to the other class.  I saw them being more eager to memorize and recite their poems without the anxiety that comes from having to recite it in front of other classes, parents, grandparents, friends, etc.  Kudos to Chris, Asa, and Chloe for reciting their poems again on Friday in front of 6-8th grade students.  They all did a fantastic job!

We are looking forward to our class field trip next week to the Capital in Phoenix and then a visit to the Science Museum.  Most information went home on their field trip permission slip.  It is a really fun and informative day.  We always look forward to this trip every year.

If you have any questions, feel free to email me or stop in.

Ms. Patti Garcia

Week of April 2

Dear Fifth Grade Families:

I hope everyone had a relaxing Easter break!

There are just a couple of reminders for this week.  Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday we will continue with testing.  We took just a couple of short ones today as tomorrow is very busy.

A speaker from the Daughters of the American Revolution will be coming to visit in the morning.  She always brings valuable information as well as two trunkfuls of period-type items.  The kids are then free to go through the trunks at our leisure.  It should be very enjoyable for them.

The children will then recite their poems tomorrow afternoon.  Again, we are limiting it to just the two fifth grades in the hopes that their focus will be on the poems instead of performing in front of several hundred people.  It might be helpful to them to recite their poem to you tonight as one final way to practice.

Our Qwest #2 for Chapters 21-28 vocabulary will be on Tuesday, April 10.  We are just asking them to memorize the definitions without the part of speech and without having to use the word in a sentence.  They should know any historical people who are mentioned in Chapters 1-28.  They were to write a sentence about each of these people.  This information is on their Chapter questions/vocabulary guide.  It is much easier if they start learning these words a few at a time instead of waiting until the night before.

Because of our testing schedule this week, we will only have 20 spelling words (no bonus words).  Students will have one Spelling page a night.  In addition, they should start learning their vocabulary for the Chapters 21-28 vocabulary test next week.  They also need to be aware of what is due on their Heritage Project time frame and due dates list.  They each have a copy, and they need to make sure of each due date.

Please see me if you have any questions.

Ms. Patti Garcia

Vocabulary Test on Tuesday!

Dear Fifth Grade Families:

This is just a reminder that we are having a vocabulary test on Tuesday, March 27th.  Your child should be studying this weekend.  They are also working on memorizing their poems.  The deadline for that is April 2.

They will be talking with you about their heritage this weekend.  They are to choose a country where their ancestors have come from.  We will then begin work on our Heritage Project.  More details will go home next week.

Have a great weekend!

Ms. Patti Garcia

Week of March 19

Dear Fifth Grade Families:

I have just a couple of things to share with you.

  1.  Don’t forget the Star Party for 5th and 6th graders is on Friday night.  It starts at 7:00 in the park behind the school.  Children must be supervised by parents.
  2. If you have any free time during the day, playground volunteers are badly needed.  That time slot would be from 11:30-12:35.  In addition to Miss Jodie, there is always a teacher on playground duty.  We also like to have additional parents to help oversee the children.
  3. We will be having a vocabulary test on Sections 1 and 2 from” Sophia’s War” on Tuesday, March 27.  Your child should be spending 10-15 minutes a night reviewing these words.
  4. Please remember that if your child is leaving school with another parent I need to have either a quick email or a face-to-face conversation with you.

If you have any questions, please email me.

Ms. Patti Garcia



March 12 – 16

This week students made three mixtures of solid materials (salt, gravel, and diatomaceous earth) and water. After they observed the mixtures, they attempted to separate them with screens and filters. They discovered that water and salt make a special kind of mixture—a solution—that cannot be separated with a filter.

Students also added a measured amount of salt to a measured amount of water to make a solution. They compared the total mass of a mixture to the mass of its parts to infer that the invisible salt is still present. Students evaporated the salt solution to reclaim the salt as crystals.
Students will be give a dry mixture (gravel, powder, and salt) to separate. The mixture includes a new mystery material, magnetite. Students separate the mixture by using magnets, screens, filters, and evaporation.