Classroom Newsletter for the Week of September 23, 2019

What a week!  We finished our fall MAP testing.  On Monday, students who were absent or did not finish their tests will have an opportunity to do so.

Many thanks to Jermaine who brought in a whole box full of food for Hope House!  We’ll add that to the food that Taylor, Genevieve, and Ngansi brought in.  Thank you for feeding our brothers and sisters in our community!

Other than MAP testing, students worked on…

Religion: We went to the church to practice for our mass.  What a great job the fifth graders did!  Some of the students shared their sacramentals from home.   Students cherish their rosaries, Bibles, prayer cards, saint coins, and crucifixes.   This is because those items are reminders of ways in which they can grow closer to God.

Food Educator: We had our first class in the school garden.  Students did a fun activity making an advertisement for a food they saw in the garden.  They also did a food survey.

STEAM: We began a discussion about our airplane flights and variables in our science experiment from last week. We then watched a video of an astronaut dropping a feather and a hammer on the moon.  Which one fell to the surface first?  Do heavier objects reach the ground sooner?  We’ll explore more of this next week.

A teacher stands on a ladder to drop paper in order to prove a point in physics.  There has to be a better way…

Math: Students learned about the Distributive Property and how to solve division problems using it.  They also worked on some very difficult story problems.  Their method for working on the story problems is to first underline the important information, cross out the information that is not necessary, circle the question, decide on their operations (+, -, x, /), and use whatever method they prefer to solve it (e.g., trial & error, charts, equations, pictures, et cetera).

Writing: Much of our time was taken up with MAP testing, but some students were able to rewrite their “My Gifts” papers.

Social Studies: Students worked in groups to draw a rough draft of their Makah, Creek, Mississippian, and Anasazi posters.

Literacy: Students answering literal and inferential questions about their readings.  Mr. Baldwin, a retired teacher who taught for forty-two years, comes to class daily to work with small groups of students.  He is a wonderful volunteer who has many tools in his teaching kit!  Students are required to take notes as they read.

ELA: Students reviewed basic proofreading rules and learned about interjections.  Alas!  Students are learning about interjections.  My goodness!  How smart they are.


Art: Students are adding details to a landscape in warm and cool colors.

For information on what other specialists are doing in their classes, please click on their links.


October 4th- Blessing of the Animals, no school Mass today (Bring your pet or a picture of your pet.  It will be blessed by Fr. Moore.  After the blessing, critters must go home right away.  Sorry, Fido!)

October 7th- Pizza Lunch 

October 9th- General PTC Meeting- all parents welcome!  7:00 in the ACS Library 

October 11th- NO SCHOOL, Columbus Day observed 

October 22nd-25th– Holy Hoops 4-on-4 Basketball Tournament for all students in grades 5-8 (no basketball experience necessary).  There will be no homework for Holy Hoop participants.

October 26th– Trunk or Treat (times TBD) (pre-Halloween festivities at Church of the Assumption) 

What a great assembly we had on Friday!  We had an opportunity to see many of the ACS athletes.  Assumption offers lacrosse, tennis, basketball, and archery this season.


Newsletter for the Week of September 16, 2019

I hope that you all had a great week!

Here’s what we learned in 5th grade…

Math: Students reviewed estimating and rounding, reviewed two-digit multiplication, and used the Distributive Property to find the quotient of a division problem (this prepares them for middle school algebra).

IXL sections that students can be working on this week: C.3, C.6, C.8, C.12, E.3, E.4, or B.6.

Students took a three minute, seventy-two problem times table test this week.  Mastery is reached when students accurately answer at least eighty-six percent of the questions within three minutes.  As of this week, fifteen out of twenty-five students have reached mastery.  Yay!  A few more are very close (within the high 70th % range).  Please continue to have them practice at home daily.  Good number sense will take them very far in all 5th grade math skills and beyond.

STEAM: Students worked on finding the average of Plane A and Plane B’s flight lengths in centimeters, revisiting the scientific method to see if our hypotheses were correct about which plane would go farther, and discussed variables to see what may have impacted the results of our trials.

Thank you to Aiden and his mom who donated really great STEAM kits!  The students really enjoyed them.

Social Studies: Students researched the Makah, Mississippians, Creek, and Anasazi to see what these nations were like before colonists or settlers came.  They are in the planning period of how to present the models of these cultures.  Next week they will create these models and the week after we will see how colonization changed these nations.

Spelling/ELA: Students worked on words with long i and long o.  We did planks ON our desks, we stood BEHIND our desks, we stood BETWEEN our chairs and desks, and we got UNDER our desks to talk about PREPOSITIONS.  They like doing grammar with their bodies!  We played a grammar BINGO game.

Writing: Students turned in their final drafts of their “My Gifts” papers.  Then they did a critique of one thing they enjoyed about another student’s paper and one thing they would add or change.  This is part of the editing process.  If a student did not earn a 3 on his/her paper, he/she is welcome to take it home this weekend and rewrite it according to the rubric.  They can revise their papers for a higher grade.

Religion: Students read chapter 2 in “Blest Are We” and studied the Seven Sacraments: baptism, confirmation, Eucharist, penance and reconciliation, anointing of the sick, holy orders, and matrimony.  Deacon Kheriaty came in for the first time to introduce himself and allow students to ask him questions.  We went to the church to do our first practice for the mass that 5th graders will lead on September 27.  Archbishop Etienne visited our classroom and answered questions that students posed.  Love is one of the Fruits of the Spirit and is this month’s theme.  Students discussed what they think love is.  Thank you to Genevieve, Taylor, and Ngansi for bring in food for Hope House!  You are truly living the Lord’s way when you feed our brothers and sisters who are hungry.

Literacy: Students worked in their first small literacy groups with me.  Various students are reading “Hatchet,” “The Sign of the Beaver,” “Holes,” and “Indian Captive.”  The skills we worked on were how to give a concise, three-sentence summary of the chapter, how to identify the setting (time and place), and how to answer inferential and literal questions (they recalled the details, referenced notes, or looked in the book).

On my homepage, you can click on the links to the specialists’ pages to see what students are doing in physical education, art, Spanish, and music or Math Olympiad.


September 21th– Spaghetti Dinner… Two seatings at 5 pm and 6 pm. Outside supervision for the kids provided! 

September 23rd– Girls on the Run begins today for girls in grades 3-5 

September 23rd– October 11th– MAP (Measure of Academic Progress) for grades 2-8  (NO HOMEWORK THIS WEEK)

September 25th– Hot Lunch 

October 4th- Blessing of the Animals, no school Mass today (bring your pet or a picture of your pet, have it blessed, and take it home)

October 7th- Pizza Lunch 

October 11th- NO SCHOOL, Columbus Day (A.K.A. Indigenous Peoples’ Day) observed 

October 22nd-25th– Holy Hoops 4-on-4 Basketball Tournament for all students in grades 5-8.  (NO HOMEWORK for students participating in the basketball games)

Week at at Glance Schedule

Time Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday



Math Story Problems





Mad Minutes/



Reading Comprehension


Cursive Bible Verse




SLE/Fruits of the Spirit


SLE/Fruits of the Spirit


SLE/Fruits of the Spirit


SLE/Fruits of the Spirit


SLE/Fruits of the Spirit





Math Math Phys.Ed.


Math Math




STEAM Phys.Ed. Math Math


9:45-10:00 Recess



(Recess DUTY)

Recess Recess Recess
10:00-10:45 STEAM STEAM Spanish Religion Electives

(choir, orchestra, Math Olympiad)






Spanish Religion

(Deacon K)

Religion Electives

(choir, orchestra, Math Olympiad)

Religion (Mass)
























Social Studies Social Studies


Social Studies Art Religion




Literacy Literacy Literacy Literacy Literacy








Writing Writing Writing Spelling Test


HR 2:45-3:00 1.       5th grade Prayers &

ACRE vocab

2.       Agenda

3.       Clean

1.       5th grade Prayers &

ACRE vocab

2.       Agenda

3.       Clean

1.     5th grade

Prayers &

ACRE vocab

2.    Agenda

3.    Clean

1.       5th grade Prayers & ACRE vocab

2.       Agenda

3.       Clean

1.   5th grade

Prayers & ACRE


2.   Agenda

3.   Clean

Newsletter for the Week of September 9, 2019

God bless America!  God bless those who died in the 9/11 attacks, those who were injured, those who have suffered as a result of the recovery efforts, and all of their friends and family members.

I want to thank all of you who were able to make it to Curriculum Night.  It’s hard to come to school at dinner time in the middle of the week, so if you were not able to make it, please click on the link to the 5th grade curriculum on my homepage.

Thank you for the fraction tiles!

Math: Students are working on their algebra skills with the Commutative Property, Distributive Property, Associative Property, and Identity Properties of Addition and Multiplication.  Students are learning about the powers of ten: 10x10x10 is 1,000 or 10³.

Students played, “Race to 100.”  It is a math game about regrouping.

Reading: Students are finishing their first literacy circle book, “Call it Courage.”  We did this book as a whole class, but next week we will begin working in four groups and students will be reading their literacy books at home (not in class as we’ve been doing with “Call it Courage”).  They will come to school and discuss what they’ve read every day.

Spelling: Chapter 1: long a and long e

Writing: Students are finishing their “My Gifts” paper.  Final drafts are due on 9/13/19.

Religion: Beatitudes, ch. 3.  Students discussed how they interpret the Beatitudes and how they live them out in their lives.

Social Studies: Students looked at different types of maps and worked in groups to learn about the Makah, Mississippian, Anasazi, and Creek peoples.

STEAM: Students threw paper airplanes to test out their hypotheses and learn about the scientific method.


  • Please remember that I will be teaching a class about Touching Safety.  If you would like your child to opt out of this class, please email me.
  • Also, we will soon be walking to the reunification site so if there is an emergency, students will know where to go.  The reunification site is The First Congregational Church, a light blue building on Cornwall, just north of the toddler park. If you’d like to walk with us to that church, email me.  Mr. Blas, a Seattle firefighter and EMT, will be walking with us for safety sake.  Safety his thing.  🙂


Pictures from choir class with Mr. Mabalot

Pictures from Math Olympiad with Mrs. Ernest

Math Olympians working with fraction exponents

Pictures from orchestra


Upcoming Calendar Items:   

  • September 17th– Preschool – 8th grade Individual Photo Day (Free Dress) 
  • September 18th– Early Release Day. Casual Dress (t-shirt with logo and jeans or shorts)  
  • September 21th– Spaghetti Dinner… Two seatings at 5 pm and 6 pm. Childcare provided for preschool and up! 
  • September 23rd– Girls on the Run begins today for girls in grades 3-5 
  • September 25th– Hot Lunch 
  • October 22nd-25th– Holy Hoops 4-on-4 Basketball Tournament for all students in grades 5-8. Information will be in the Wednesday Parent News starting on September 18th. 

Week of September 3, 2019

Weekly News

5th Grade Service Learning Project:

The fifth grade service learning project is based on Matthew 25:35 “For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in:

I would like fifth graders to do a chore around the house (perhaps once a week)  and be ‘paid’ in canned or boxed food (no glass containers, please).  We will then take the food to Hope House to help feed the hungry in our community.

The entire school does a human food chain every November, but the food is gone by January!  That is why the fifth grade service project goes on throughout the school year.  It’s a great way to teach students the value of work and that their chores go toward a good cause.  This is a voluntary service learning project.  If you would like an alternative one for your child, please email me.


Math: Students are working on Lesson 1.1, 1.2, and 1.3 in Go Math!: place value and properties.  They  will have homework nearly every night in math except for Fridays.

I strongly encourage students who have not mastered the times tables to do so because it makes math so much easier in the long run.

Literacy: We are reading a book entitled, “Call it Courage.”  Students are answering inferential and literal questions.  They are doing written responses to the work.  Students who do not finish the work in class will take it home this week to finish it as additional homework.

ELA: Students worked on identifying conjunctions (and, if, but, for).  Just for fun, you can bring up “School House Rocks” on Youtube and play, “Conjunction Junction.”  They will LOVE that, right class?!?  🙂

Writing: Students have finished the prewrite for their “My Gift” papers.  They are in the beginning stages of the writing process having finished their prewrite, working on a rough draft, and some of them have begun to edit their papers.

Social Studies: Students looked at various types of maps and learned the “Continental Chant.”  They discussed what they think an American is.  Some have volunteered to research how one becomes an American if he/she is not born in the U.S.  We discussed the difference between ethnicity and nationality.

STEAM: Students received their IXL passwords and tried them.  Google Chrome is good.  Students compared two websites to do the Currency-Reliability-Authority-Point of View test which determines whether or not a website is legitimate enough for research sake.  Students were warned that video games will NEVER be played in the 5th grade classroom under any circumstances.  Nor will they have an opportunity to do an online search without asking permission (and having guidance).  Normally, I will preview websites and send a link to a  legitimate website in an email to students.

Religion: Students read Chapter 1 in “Blest Are We” and discussed the Holy Trinity, being good stewards of creation, and Father Damien of Molokai.  They will be tested on Ch. 1 on Friday.  They are doing a GREAT job of practicing the Act of Faith prayer.

If your child is overwhelmed by homework, please feel free to modify the lesson (e.g., do odd numbers only) and sign it.  I am perfectly fine with that.  If you have any other concerns or questions, please email me.

This class is large and full of energy.  I see emerging servant leaders who try hard to pay attention and make good choices.  They are learning that their behavior impacts everyone in the class and they are trying to be considerate of that.  Lots of hands are raised so many are enthusiastic about taking risks and participating in class.  Many are helpful to one another.  They are even using kind language with one another by saying, “Please don’t do that” rather than, “Stop it!”  And most are responding in a very positive way.  I am trying to establish a culture of kindness in the classroom and it’s easy to do since they all are so sweet.  Thank you for choosing ACS.


Upcoming Calendar Items:   

September 9th– Pizza lunch today 

September 11th– Curriculum Night at 6:30 pm beginning in the gym. 

Curriculum Night is for parents to learn about what we will be teaching in each grade.  It is not a time to talk about individual students.  Please arrange for a conference if you have any specific questions or comments about your wonderful child!!!

September 16th– Pre-Kindergarten Individual Photo Day (Free Dress) 

September 17th– Preschool – 8th grade Individual Photo Day (Free Dress) 

September 18th– Early Release Day. Casual Dress (t-shirt with logo and jeans or shorts)  

September 21th– Spaghetti Dinner… Two seatings at 5 pm and 6 pm. Childcare provided for preschool and up! 

September 25th– Hot Lunch 


Please visit these sites to see what your child is learning in the specialists’ classes:

Music Newsletter Link

Physical Education link:

Spanish Newsletter Link

Art Weekly Newsletter Link