Newsletter for the Week of October 22, 2018

Math: Students are continuing to work on long division using estimation and interpreting the remainder.

Spelling: Because of Holy Hoops, A.K.A. “no homework week” there is no spelling list this week.

Literacy: Students are reading their literacy books at school because there is no homework this week.  We are discussing the readings in class the next day.  I have graded all of the seatwork and have returned the literacy folders to each student to show him or her what to work on or improve upon.  If students are not completing the seatwork in school, it should be done at home as we will be getting into brand new books in about a week.  (That’s homework.  Sorry, Holy Hoops!)

Writing: Students are working on a five paragraph position paper with an introduction, three supportive paragraphs that each have a fact to support the position, and a concluding paragraph.  This paper will be graded using the 6+1 Traits of Writing: idea organization, voice, word choice, sentence fluency, conventions, and presentation.

Grammar: Students beat me at a game to see who could come up with the most homonyms.  They won and earned five minutes of extra recess.  Grammar is fun.  We divided the list of homonyms into homophones and homographs.

Religion: Students are finishing their saint reports.  Many are now at the editing stage or they are writing the bibliography.  If students have not done the work in class, they will be working on it at home.  They are to work on this independently and use their own words.

We will be leading the November 1 All Saints’ Day mass.  Students who do not have a reading in this mass will be invited to be a reader for the other fifth grade masses throughout the year.

Science: Students have defined biosphere, geosphere, atmosphere, and hydrosphere.  They have created a 4-square picture of each sphere and they will be explaining how the spheres interact.  We will follow up with a question about the ways that God wants us to take care of His gift of creation.

Social Studies: Students are beginning Chapter 3 in their “America Will Be” text.  We read about how history is interpreted and we discussed groups of people who are not usually represented in history.


Spanish: This week the students learned to make paper flowers to decorate our Day of the Dead altar next week. We also decorated Calaveras (skulls) to put on our altar. Students up through fifth grade worked on adjectives.

****Please do not forget to bring photo “recuerdos” –memories– of a loved one and a piece of fruit, candle. flowers-especially marigolds! Thank you.

Art: Fifth grade artists are learning about repeated patterning in math art.

P.E.: In physical education students have reviewed the rules and will begin playing games to demonstrate knowledge and skill of Flag football.  Sportsmanship and humility are encouraged as we start playing games. SLE 4. A person of integrity who consistently: C. makes moral choices that preserve the sacredness of the human person.

Music: This week in elementary music class, grades 4-5 are going to be playing rhythms using half notes/rests on classroom instruments. They will be using classroom glockenspiels and xylophones to play a harmony background to an autumn themed song they have been learning. They are also getting introduced to dynamics (piano and forte).


  • October 23rd to 26th– Holy Hoops tournament every day from 3:15 to 6 pm
  • October 25 – Individual Picture Retakes
  • October 26th –– Preschool/Pre-Kindergarten Parent Coffee in the School Library beginning at 8:15 am
  • October 31st – Early Release (11:45 am)Orange and Black Day (Follow guidelines in Parent Student Handbook)
  • October 31st – “Trunk” or Treat, 6 pm in Traffic Loop
  • November 1st – All Saints Day Mass, 10:30 am, Dress Uniform (Note:  No school mass on Friday, Nov. 2nd)
  • November 8th– Early Release Day- Parent/Teacher Conferences 12:30 to 7 pm
  • November 9th– No School for students– Parent/Teacher Conferences 8 am to 3 pm

Newsletter for the week of October 15, 2018

5th Grade Newsletter 

Week of October 15, 2018 

A reminder from the principal… 

Note: Students have been allowed in the past to wear non-uniform sweatshirts. In 2018-19, only non-uniform winter coats and jackets will be permitted. Please purchase the ¼-zip sweatshirt with emblem, hoodies for middle school, and dress uniform sweaters. Assumption athletics sweatshirts for middle school may also be worn.  

Please read the uniform policy for 2018-2019.   

  • What the above statement means is that if students are wearing sweatshirts to school, the sweatshirts should only be ACS uniform sweatshirts.  Other than that, they can wear coats or jackets to keep warm.  
  • Please see that students wear the white polo shirts with or without the logos and the blue polo shirts with the logos.   
  • Also, the crew neck sweatshirts are no longer part of the uniform.  For fifth grade, only the ¼ zip sweatshirts are allowed.   
  • During mass days the navy blue sweater with the ACS logo is allowed, no sweatshirts.  

 If it is very cold or slightly rainy outside and a student only has a polo shirt to wear, he or she will stay inside the school.  For students who often forget their coats or jackets, they may want to place a coat or jacket on top of their backpacks or shoes so they don’t forget them the next day.   

 What’s Up? 


Students are working on different methods of division, including subtraction of partial quotients (or what fifth graders refer to as, “Santi’s Way”).  Some prefer the old-fashioned way that most of us learned as children…and that’s fine.  The method is not as important as the understanding of what to do and why they are doing it that way. 


Students are diving into their new literacy books and for some, recalling details from the text can be challenging.  It is important that those who do not remember the details write them down or discuss the readings with you.  Have your child read a page or a chapter to you and talk about what happens in the story.  Talk about what the characters are doing and why they are doing those things.  See if details from the text are mentioned.  Ask your child to make a prediction as to what may happen in the next chapter.  If he or she can do these things, then you can tell if he or she understands the book and can contribute to literacy circle discussions. 


Students reviewed complete and simple subjects and predicates.  Students are researching facts for their position paper (A.K.A. argumentative essay).  They will be writing their paragraphs in class.  We are studying Unit 8 in our spelling book.  The bonus words are: influence, hallowed, clement, advocate, and atmosphere.   


Students have finished the first paragraph of their saint research paper.  They are writing it in the first person.  They will only be taking this paper home to work on as homework if they are not using their time wisely in class.  Other than that, they should be doing it solely in class.  Students went to the library last Thursday to check out a book on their saint.  They must have at least one book on their saint as they will not be doing this research paper based only on online resources.  All resources must be included in their bibliography. 

Social Studies: 

Students are completing Chapter 2 about maps this week.  They will have a study day to review Chapter 2.  I offered 3×5 cards to students who want to take their text book home this weekend to study for the test.  Whatever they can fit onto the 3×5 cards can be used on the test.   


Students went to the school garden to learn about the four components of compost: air, water, browns and greens.   

Students are continuing to work on gravitational and magnetic forces, the solar system, the moon’s gravitational pull, geospheres, biospheres, hydrospheres, and atmospheres.  We will be working on this for quite some time as it is a lot to cover.  


5th graders are learning how to improvise within given parameters on percussion instruments. They are also exploring pitch notation on the music staff and learning about half notes. 

In Physical Education the students will be able to identify their current fitness level.  They will review the curl up and push up tests.  SLE 2. A life-long learner who is self-motivated  

Fifth grade artists are learning about pattern in math art.  

Spanish: This week we worked on creating and labeling our “calaveras”–skeletons. We also reviewed masculine and feminine nouns and looked at how to make nouns plural.  

A Letter from Common Threads:

516 E. North Street, Bellingham, WA 98225
Dear Families,
Common Threads’ team of AmeriCorps Food Educators garden with your students in thespring and fall and cook with your students in the winter.
Of course, student safety is our first priority. As we transition to cooking,
we ask  that you make sure to let your child’s teacher know of any life
threatening food allergies or other dietary restrictions, before cooking begins on October 31st.
In general, the recipes Common Threads will be preparing do not include any of the eight most common food allergens (milk, eggs, peanuts, tree nuts, shellfish, fish, wheat, or soy).
Food educators in classrooms teach about and model good food safety and hygiene, including proper hand-washing prior to each cooking lesson. Food Educators also demonstrate safe use of kitchen tools and help students learn how to use each item properly. To prevent the spread of germs, please let your child’s teacher know if your child has had a fever, vomiting, or diarrhea in the 48-hours before cooking.  Your child’s class will participate in one cooking lesson each month November through March. This winter students will be cooking and tasting the following recipes:
Kale Salad
(November): Kale and other
leafy greens, carrots, radishes, dried
cranberries, chives, mustard, olive oil, honey, salt, pepper
(December/January): Apples, cardamom, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger
(January/February): Beets, onion, carrots, green cabbage, garlic, chives,
olive oil, lemon juice, salt, pepper
Three Sisters Stew
(February/March): Butternut squash, onion, canned
tomatoes, black beans, frozen corn, garlic, cumin, oregano, olive oil, salt, pepper
If you are interested in getting involved and would like to assist with cooking classes in your child’s classroom or at your school, please contact
If you have any questions or concerns about the cooking program, please don’t hesitate to contact either of us for more information.
Laura Plaut
Executive Director

Newsletter for the Week of October 8, 2018

5th Grade Newsletter

Math: Students have begun the second chapter in their “Go Math!” textbook with a focus on long division.  This is quite a challenge for some, but we are working hard to remember all of the steps.  Nature and Garrett worked hard on their long division today.  Their enthusiasm for learning was inspiring!  Santi has a very interesting way to do long division.  So great!  Maddox, Ava, and Rhys are our resident long division experts…in case anyone needs help!  Vocabulary: quotient, divisor, dividend, estimate

Literacy: Students have finished their first literacy books and have switched groups.  They are still reading The Wolves of Willoughby Chase, The Sign of the Beaver, and Hatchet.  They should take notes as they read at home since it is difficult to recall details.

Spelling/ELA/Writing:  Students are working on Unit 7 in their spelling book.  It has a list of words that have vowel sound changes as the related words have suffixes added to them.  We reviewed basic grammar and had an introduction to compound and simple subjects and predicates.  Ava and Amelia were expert subject and predicate detectives today!

Students completed the Student Learning Expectations posters.  They rewrote the SLE’s in their own words to better understand them.

Students have begun writing their position papers (persuasive essay).  In this paper, they will use logic, research and influential language to persuade their readers to side with them.  This will be an ongoing writing assignment as all of the writing will be done in class.

Religion: Students are working on their saint research papers.  They began with an outline and a list of approved websites.  If you would like your child to look at other websites at home to add information to their research paper, please make sure that your child includes that website in his/her bibliography.  P.S. Wikipedia is not a legitimate source and cannot be used in research papers.

This paper will be written in class, not at home.  Additional research can be done at home, but the writing will be done in class.

Students are taking Laudato Si very seriously and composting their banana peels, cleaning their yogurt cups and recycling them, and separating their other recyclable materials from the waste that must go in the garbage cans.  There is a tremendous difference in how little there is in our garbage cans compared to the days when we did not have a compost bin or a plastic recycling bin on the second floor!  Rhys, Garrett, Jazmyn, Christina and Mary are great stewards of the Earth because they consistently compost and recycle after lunch and they help others do so as well!

Thank you to Aiden and Alden for also being great stewards of our neighbors as they brought in more food for Hope House!

Science: Students worked in groups to do research on gravitational force and magnetic force.  We played with magnets and compasses and discovered why magnets repel if they have the same poles and why they attract if they have opposite poles.  We discussed why some metals are attracted to magnets and why some are not.  We discussed why gravity pulls us down.  Next week we will look at gravity and how it not only impacts what happens on Earth, but in the solar system as well.

There was a bit of a mind blow when we went from thinking about God creating tiny atoms and molecules to making giant planets and the entire solar system.

Mary worked on “Anti-Gravity Maglev” from the “Enrichment Box” today.  The “Enrichment Box” was inspired by Mr. Anderson.  We have a variety of options that students can choose from when they finish their math or science assignments early.  All things in the “Enrichment Box” are STEAM related.

Social Studies: Students have been studying maps.  We learned why there are longitudinal lines and latitudinal lines and how they are measured in relation to the Prime Meridian and to the Equator.  We used rulers to find the distance from one city to another using different scales on a globe, a small map, and a large wall map.  Jack is very excited about this as he is our classroom map expert!

Student Learning Expectation of the Week: A Servant Leader of Assumption Catholic School is an engaged, active, life-long learner who works collaboratively.  Students of the Week: Rhys, Cooper, Mary, Ava, Estela, Alden, Christina, Amelia, Sophia, Santiago, Jazmyn, and Jack.



Art: Fifth graders are in the last week of the map unit. (Social studies class is done in collaboration with art class this week!)

This week in elementary music class, 5th grade is learning about oral tradition and folk songs. They are also learning how to sing sol, mi and la patterns in solfege.

In physical education students continue working on flag football skills and rules. Skill development continues: catching the hike, lateral, and forward pass, pulling flags and kicking (place kick and drop kick. Vocabulary – Scrimmage line, downs, quarter back, center, kick off, interception, and end zone. Watching some football games (High school, College or Pro) will help them understand the game.  Sportsmanship and humility are encouraged as we start playing games.  SLE 2. A life-long learner works collaboratively.

Spanish: 5th grade looked at identifying nouns as masculine or feminine in Spanish.



Upcoming Calendar Items: 

Remember that September 30th was the last day students could wear uniform shorts and skorts until March 1st. Please refer to the Uniform Policy on the website for any clarification of this expectation.

October 10th- PTC General Meeting begins at 6:45 pm TONIGHT in the school library with a principal’s update followed by information on FACTS Tuition Management at 7 pm. Students receive FREE DRESS on Thursday, Oct. 11th IF a parent attends!

October 12th No School. Teachers and staff will be participating in their annual retreat.

October 13th– Sacred Heart Parish will be offering the Protecting God’s Children class (required to volunteer at school in any capacity) on Saturday, Oct 13 at 9:30 am. Please sign up at:

October 23rd– Changing the Game author, John O’Sullivan is speaking at Whatcom Middle School 7:15 pm about competitive sports and coaching norms

October 26th– Preschool/Pre-Kindergarten Parent Coffee in the School Library beginning at 8:15 am

Newsletter Week of October 1, 2018

Math: Students have finished Chapter 1 and will be tested on the properties, inverse operations, ten times and 1/10 of a number, the value of the power of ten with exponents, estimating and finding a product, evaluating numerical expressions, and finding important information in story problems.

We will be studying long division soon.  Please make sure that your child has quick recall of the times tables since that is a necessity for long division.

Literacy: Students have finished the first round of literacy circle books and are working on their pamphlets and book reports.  They are focusing on summarizing the beginning, middle, and end of the book as well as writing about the evolution of the main character.

Religion: Students have studied about saints in their Blest Are We text book.  We prayed the Litany of the Saints, read about St. John Bosco, discussed the Communion of Saints, how to become a saint, and why we pray for souls in Purgatory.

Please go to the first floor hallway and look at the bulletin board that the fifth graders worked on.  This month’s theme is HOPE.

Science: All of the science projects have been presented.  Our next science unit will be on gravitational force exerted by Earth.  We will be studying the Earth’s core, using magnets and learning about magnetic force, and playing with compasses!

Students went to the garden this week and learned about composting.

Social Studies: Students located countries when given latitudinal and longitudinal points on a map.

Since we are now done with MAP testing, next week we will resume our regular homework load with math, spelling, and reading homework.

Many students benefit from reading aloud to their parents and discussing their readings.  It helps them to process what they’ve read rather than simply reading the words.  If you have time, have your child read a paragraph or a page from his or her new literacy book next week and ask him or her to tell you about the characters and why certain events are happening.  After reading the assigned chapters, ask your child to make a prediction about what may happen in the next chapter.

Art: Fifth graders drawing maps as artists.

Spanish: Fifth grades did an activity on Day of the Dead.

Physical Education: In physical education students continue working on flag football skills and rules. Skill development continues: catching the hike, lateral, and forward pass, pulling flags and kicking (place kick and drop kick. Vocabulary – Scrimmage line, downs, quarter back, center, kick off, interception, and end zone. Watching some football games (High school, College or Pro) will help them understand the game.    4. A person of integrity who consistently: B. makes moral choices that preserve the sacredness of the human person.

Music: 5th graders are composing their own unique rhythms and performing them for the class on classroom percussion instruments.