month-of-may-butterflies (1)

Looking Back On April~
Reading/Writing/Social Studies

Students have enjoyed working in their research clubs. They have
approached their Westward Expansion topics are true historians.

Looking Forward To May~
Social Studies  ~ Westward Expansion

In the final bend of the unit, students will look across multiple texts in order to read critically, examining different author’s perspectives.Students are largely comparing and contrasting information across texts. Towards the end of the bend, readers will turn their attention to author’s craft, such as language choices, structural decisions, or text features, as a way to consider point of view. As we complete this unit, students will revise and edit their writing. To augment their informational writing, students will use their creativity to construct a box that expresses their topic.
Included in their box will be:

  • The big ideas surrounding the topic
  • Artifacts, content specific vocabulary, and figures that portray the topic
  • The message they want to convey
  • Visual display-The importance of the historical event, people etc.

Reading~   Fantasy Book Clubs: The Magic of Themes and Symbols

We are ready to wrap-up the year with joy, energy and the deep thinking that a unit on reading fantasy calls readers to do. One of the primary goals of this unit is to pump up the volume and passion for reading that might be lost on the way towards the end of the school year. Another goal, and perhaps the most overarching one, is for students to learn how to read expecting to deeply interpret texts, all texts, by learning to identify and understand some of the hallmarks of the literary canon, using seemingly frivolous fantasy books as their jumping off point. The work we will do in this unit will perfectly set up the children for the demands of middle school reading and lay foundations that they will build upon throughout the rest of their academic careers.

Writing~  Shaping Texts: From Essay and Narrative to Memoir

As a springboard to memoir writing, students are creating a memoir shadow box. It will include a memory; a visual representation of an event
from the past.

Shaping Texts: From Essay and Narrative to Memoir, is a unit in which students draw on their knowledge of expository and narrative writing in order to craft memoirs about their lives. Learning to tell their own stories with grace and power will empower our writers, because, in fact, many people will care about their lives if they know how to make their lives meaningful. In this unit, students will strive towards ambitious goals—discerning meaning, conveying events and experiences precisely, and logically linking opinions and evidence. This genre brings together the art of memoir and the art of personal essay. Memoir also demands innovative structure, because the writer moves from storytelling to explication.

Reading fantasy and writing memoir are a perfect match because at their core both units are about interpretation as a means to getting to the truth.

In memoir writing, students will be interpreting the real moments and themes in their lives to draw deep conclusions and universal truths. In fantasy reading, students will be reading fantasy texts about unbelievable creatures and settings and interpreting them in order to draw deep conclusions and discern universal truths.These two units, taught in tandem, will lift the level of students’ interpretative thinking overall.


Students continue their ten week intensive with The Leadership Program, which works to build strong leaders in classrooms and communities. The fifth graders are learning content specific vocabulary, debate protocol and developing their stance to deliver the most succinct and powerful arguments.

Lower Lab Values ~ May is Creativity!

May’s core value is Creativity. We are embracing this through our creative box projects that will display the fifth grader’s ability to “think outside the box” both literally and figuratively.

Here are a couple of quotes we will be discussing as a class:

“Imagination is more important than knowledge.” ~ Albert Einstein

“You can’t use up creativity. The more you use, the more you have.”  ~ Maya Angelou

Our Senior Trip Is On The Horizon!

Rocking Horse Ranch Overnight is scheduled for May 17-18.