Keeping the End in Sight: By the end of Fifth Grade, students will be able to work independently and collaboratively with their peers. Students will be responsible for their materials and will establish positive study habits. Students will be able to model our SLE’s (School-Wide Learning Expectations) and be positive stewards of our faith. Students will be academically and socially prepared for middle school, and will have developed a strong toolkit for success in middle school.
Students can expect homework most nights, though the amount of homework varies day to day. Homework is based on classwork and is typically a continuation of what we are working on. Unless specified, homework is always due the next day and is turned in every morning. Homework is graded on completion and effort (neat, organized, all problems attempted, all work shown). Homework is written in Student Planners every night and will require a parent signature if homework is frequently forgotten or late. It is our goal to teach students to be responsible & independent. Students are expected to come to school prepared and ready to learn each day. Homework is worth 3 points per assignment. While it may not seem like a lot, it adds up!
Planners are new for 5th graders. They are the same planners that the middle school students use, and it does take time for students to adjust to having to write down all of their homework. To help with the process, here is how it works in the 5th grade. Homework is written daily on our homework board, after the completion of each subject. The homework is written in the same place every day, and is not erased/ added to until the following day, or until the assignment is due. While homework packets are great, it will not help to prepare 5th graders for middle school. This is one easy way to help them to learn responsibility and to hold themselves more accountable.
September: Students will spend the last 15 minutes of class copying the assignments on the board into their identical planners. I will be copying it into my planner on the document camera.
October: Students will be expected to copy the homework from the homework board, without modeling on the document camera.
September – October: Students must have the teacher sign their planners every afternoon before they may go home. Parents, check to see that your children have had their planners signed.
November – June: Students no longer have their planners signed, and are expected to have their homework, tests, and assignments written down. If an assignment is late/ not turned in, planners must be signed again, and the parents must also sign this time. Length of time depends on student’s response and rate of reliability and responsibility.
Classwork, Quizzes, Tests, and Projects
Classwork: A great deal of classwork in Fifth Grade is done in subject notebooks, hands-on activities, discussion, and group work. Students take notes in every subject area and are responsible for their student notebooks that are periodically checked throughout the trimester. Students are expected to keep their notebooks organized, neat and up to date (including table of contents). If a student is absent, they are required to get the notes from their peers. Students will receive 1 point per day for preparedness in each subject area simply by completing their classwork and bringing them to class each day. Frequently, notebooks are allowed to be used on tests and quizzes, especially in ELA. Students are encouraged to take their notebooks home to help on assignments and studying.
Quizzes: Students can expect to have quizzes in all subject areas nearly every week. Quizzes range from 2 to 15 points, depending on the subject area. Pop Quizzes are occasionally given when required reading has been assigned in ELA, Religion, Social Studies or Science. These quizzes are typically just a few points and evaluate the completion of independent reading homework, and independent comprehension level without discussion or collaboration in class prior to the mini-assessment.
Tests: Tests occur in all subject areas, and vary in point value. They occur at the end of a unit and will assess comprehension of the material. In class, reviews occur before every test, and review or practice tests will be sent home to help students prepare. Students will have prior knowledge of all tests and will know ahead of time when they will be assessed. Occasionally, students will be allowed their notebooks, or a notecard for tests, depending on the subject area and content of the unit.
Projects and Presentations: Projects occur periodically throughout the year in most subject areas and may, from time to time, serve as a replacement for a written or oral test as a formal assessment. All projects vary point value. All projects are graded on a rubric and will be given specific guidelines ahead of time. All projects will be given plenty of time for completion, and due dates are expected to be upheld as they will be communicated in advance. Formal and informal presentations are often done for the projects and frequently throughout the school year in all subject areas.
Parent/ Sibling Attendance for Presentations: Due to the limited space in our classroom, and the frequency of which students will be presenting in fifth grade and in middle school, parents are asked to only attend the Colonial America Presentations that take place in the spring, to which a schedule will be provided when the project is assigned. This will allow parents to see how much their students have grown and also help with the transition to middle school, where parents seldom attend presentations. Out of respect for other teachers and students, we ask that siblings do not miss class to attend presentations, unless specifically invited by the teacher. Please encourage your children to practice presentations at home for a family viewing opportunity, and realistic rehearsal!
Rules and Covenant Classroom Expectations
Students are expected to always do their best, and be positive role models for their peers and other students. Students are held to their Classroom Covenant that they developed as a class, and to the Three Basic Rules of Fifth Grade: Honesty, Respect, and Kindness. Together as a team, the class brainstormed what the rules entailed and meant to them, and have all had buy-in to what we stand or and want as a class this school year.
Fifth Grade Incentives and Consequences:
Incentives: Fifth-graders have the opportunity to receive tickets when they demonstrate positive behavior, follow the classroom rules and live by our covenant. A raffle is done at the end of each trimester.
Consequences: Students are held to the OLG Behavior policy in addition to our own classroom covenant, rules and expectations. In fifth-grade, students are given ample opportunities to make positive choices and make better choices if and when the student chooses a less positive behavioral choice. Students are always given a warning, unless a severe infraction of personal or peer safety is at play, prior to receiving a more severe consequence. Unlike lower grades, where there are card turns, etc. the fifth-grade consequences consist of a five-step regime, as follows:
- First: Warning
- Second: One on one meeting with the teacher discussing more positive choices, apologies if necessary, or further explanation of the situation.
- Third: May vary depending on the circumstance but may entail:
- Loss of partial/ full recess
- Cleaning of the school environment (ex. If you throw food in the lunch room, you will be asked to sweep up the area, and other areas)
- If caught cheating: receive a zero on an assignment or test.
- Fourth: Meeting with the student and Mr. Kramer
- Fifth: Meeting with a parent, the student, School Principal and/or *Steps 4 and 5 may alternate depending on the incident and circumstance.
THINK SHEET LETTERS: In the unlikely event that a student fails to respond to positive choice options listed second, students will be required to complete a Think Sheet Letter that will be sent home to be signed by the parents and returned the following day. Failure to return the signed Think Sheet will result in continued loss of recess until it is returned. Depending on the severity of the incident or behavioral choice, steps 1-3 may be bypassed directly if deemed necessary or in need of immediate response by the teacher, staff, or supervising adult. Parents will be contacted via email or on the phone if an incident occurs during the school day that leads to any consequence requiring a Think Sheet Letter.
Cell Phones: Please review the cell phone policy with your students in the Student Handbook. This is new to Pre-K-5, no longer limited to middle school. This will be enforced at all grade levels and by all staff and faculty members.