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.

Declamation Day

Dear Parents:

    With Declamation Day fast approaching, we have decided to make some changes to this event for 4th and 5th Grades.  In the past we have invited 3rd, 4th, and 5th grades as well as parents, grandparents, and friends thus having as many as 250 people watching the poems being recited.  This has caused unneeded stress and anxiety for many of the children.

    So with the children in mind, we have decided that it is in their best interest to have them recite their poems for just their grade level class.  We will put more focus on poetry and types of poems.

    Our main goal has always been to give them exposure to public speaking. We are hoping this change will help in promoting this goal in a healthy way.  It will give them a chance to focus on their poem rather than on the apprehension of the day itself.

    We will still choose several students from each grade to perform at the schoolwide Declamation Day on April 6th.  

    With these small changes, we feel that every child will be successful. This is really what Declamation Day should be about.


Thank you for your support!

Dear Fifth Grade Families:

We had a great Love of Reading week.  Not only did we have extra outside reading time, we had Mrs. Fenstermacher in as our “guest reader.”  We had an author speak with us about his newest book.  We had a very successful book exchange.  We collected many books for our project of giving books to needy children.  It was a very busy week!

This week should be a little more calm.  We are continuing our research for our thirteen colonies reports.  We will probably begin our posters sometime this week.

I did not send out the Eagle Express last week as there was almost nothing to send home.  There were no announcements from the office.  But expect it this week.  Please make sure that you review papers with your child, and then send the envelope back.  We have had a few that seem to get “lost” weekly.

Look for news about the up and coming “Star Party” in your EE this week.

Thanks for all you do.

Ms. Patti Garcia


Mathathon Free Dress Friday


I forgot to remind students of free dress tomorrow due to their excellent participation in the Mathathon. There will also be free Eegees out in front of the school tomorrow after dismissal.

The last day of the Book Fair is tomorrow.

Love of Reading Week

Dear Fifth Grade Families:

We have so much going on this week!  We are celebrating Love of Reading week and began our week with Monday morning chapel celebrating books.  We will spend extra time reading this week.  On our Wednesday half day, we will be exchanging teachers within our courtyard to have a picture book storytime.  We will also have a book exchange for the fifth graders.  If they would like to they can bring in “gently read” books and exchange them for another book.  We are also celebrating with hosting the Book Fair.  It will be in the Smith Parish Center until Friday.  On Friday we are having a guest author come to talk with us about the process of writing a book.  In addition, we are collecting for the Pajama/Book Project.  We have a box outside of our classroom where you can contribute books for any age level.  These books are then given out with a pair of pajamas to needy children.

We are beginning our Thirteen Colonies Social Studies project.  We are researching information on the colonies and will then create a poster  Research began last week.

Our new book Sophia’s War will have a tie-in with the Revolutionary War.  We began that yesterday and should be working on it for several weeks.

The Tucson Festival of Books at the U of A is also going on this weekend.  The choir will be singing on Saturday at 1 p.m. at the Science City Food Court stage.  If your child is in choir, they have received a handout with all pertinent information.

So it is a busy, but fun, week.  I encourage extra reading time at home to celebrate books!

Ms. Patti Garcia


5th graders will have a test this coming Wednesday, March 7 on The Sun, Moon, and Planets module we are completing.   A study guide went home today and students were encouraged to take home their science journals for further review.  We went over the study guide today and will continue to do so on Monday, March 5 as well as get an introduction to our next unit of study:  Mixtures and Solutions.

Please help remind your student to bring their journals back for science class on Monday.


COMING UP!    March 23 will be Star Night.  Members of the Tucson Astronomy Club will be here that evening for a peak at the heavens.  Look for details soon!


We are off to a great start this trimester! The fifth graders will be diving into the world of infinitives! We will be learning various verbs that end in “ar”, “er” and “ir”. We will also be learning how to talk about activities that we like and dislike.

Have a wonderful week!

Sra. Van Straalen

Week of Feb. 26

Dear Fifth Grade Families:

I hope everyone had a great break and all are returning full of energy!

I just have a couple of reminders.  Report cards will be going home on Friday.  This is a good time to set some new goals for the last trimester.  Next Wednesday is an early dismissal day with students going home at noon.  Next week is also Love of Reading week.  There will be various activities planned.

We will be starting to work on our 13 colonies poster.  Students will receive the information tomorrow.  It is a project that will be done in class only.  We will also be starting a new novel this week.  “Sophia’s War” takes place during the Revolutionary War so it will have a tie-in with what we are studying in Social Studies.

If you have any questions, please stop in or email me.

Ms. Patti Garcia

Week of February 12

Dear Fifth Grade Families:

We have a terribly busy week.  So I will recap from last week’s blog.

Tuesday – Mardi Gras – free  pancake & sausage lunch provided by the school, steel drum band

Wednesday – We will be on a Thursday schedule all day so that we can receive ashes for Ash Wednesday.  It is also Valentine’s Day, and we will be exchanging Valentines.

Thursday – We will be on a Wednesday schedule all day.  STEM night will be in the evening.

Frdiay – Will be a free dress day for cowboys and cowgirls only.  It is a day for wearing western-type clothing.

The school will be closed all next week for Rodeo break.  Have a restfull break!

Ms. Patti Garcia