Dear Families,

            Welcome to the 2019-2020 school year! We are excited and very enthusiastic about the coming year.  We have many new and exciting lessons that we are looking forward to teaching your fifth grader.


            In this parent handbook you will find the following information:


    1.   course outline

    2.   classroom rules

    3.   homework policy

    4.   make-up work policy

    5.   handy homework helpers



    We hope you and your child have a terrific year at Newtown Elementary.





                                                          Fifth Grade Teachers





            In our reading program this year, we will continue to use the Journeys reading program which utilizes whole group lessons and small guided reading groups. We will also be using the Making Meaning Program which uses read aloud books that explicitly teach comprehension strategies. It teaches students to make sense of text and to be responsible partners who can support their own opinions and appreciate and respect the ideas of others.

    During our daily Read-Aloud, the students will be reading Class Novels and will also have time during the week to read their self-selected IDR independent reading books.  They will learn strategies and comprehension skills to help them become better readers.  They will respond through written responses in both their journals and home reading logs.

    Every Friday students will be given a Home Reading Slip to be filled out and signed by the parent DAILY validating how much they have read.  The students are responsible to read 15 minutes per night, or a TOTAL of 60 minutes per week. Completed reading logs will be turned in every Friday and recorded in the teacher’s log.


    Practice Skills: Performance Assessments “PAT”


    §  Reading PATS will be handed out every other Monday and will be returned to the teacher on Friday.  

    §  When completing the PAT students must look back into the story to prove their answers. Each of these look backs must be highlighted and numbered.








    Editing Strategies


    Our writing approach teaches the students to work through the writing process: pre-write, first draft, revise, edit, and publish. The children will be learning proper use of the sentence, capitalization and punctuation, nouns, verbs, adjectives, adverbs, prepositions, and pronouns.  Editing skills will be applied in their writing.



    Revising Strategies


            The children will learn to use transitions, vary sentence lengths and starters, write expanded sentences, write vivid words, develop good leads and conclusions, and use figurative language like similes, metaphors, personification, and onomatopoeia.

              The students will write five formal pieces his year in the following genre:  expository, persuasive, personal narrative, poetry and a researched based project. Additionally, they will be writing across the curriculum in reading, science, and social studies.




    Program:  Bridges       
    It is a comprehensive curriculum for grades K-5.  Bridges is a rigorous program designed to address the new math standards in a way that is enjoyable and accessible to all learners.

    The curriculum focuses on developing in students a deep understanding of math concepts, proficiency with key skills, and the ability to solve new and complex problems.  Learning activities tap into the intelligence and strengths all students have by presenting mathematically powerful material alive with language, pictures, and movement.

    Students in a Bridges classroom talk about math, describe observations, explain methods, and ask questions.  They are encouraged to find multiple ways to solve problems and show different ways of thinking.  This is a vital way to help students build more flexible and efficient ways to solve increasingly complex problems.  Hands-on activities engage them in exploring, developing, testing, discussing, and applying mathematical concepts.







    Text:  STC Science Program

               Foss Science Program


            The following concepts will be taught:


    §  Microworlds (STC Kit)

    §  Mixtures and Solutions (Foss Kit)

    §  Ecosystems (STC Kit)

    §  Matter and Elements (CRSD Kit)


    The students will …..


    §  Take notes using 2-column note-taking

    §  Follow the scientific method while making observations as scientists

    §  Do experiments

    §  Write in their science notebook

    §  Grades will be based on how they work in class, how they complete their science notebook, and tests.





    TEXT:  Harcourt Horizons/U.S. History: Beginnings


            The following concepts will be taught:

    §  Our Country’s Geography

    §  A Time of Exploration

    §  European Settlement

    §  The New England Colonies

    §  The Middle Colonies

    §  The Southern Colonies

    §  Uniting the Colonies

    §  Pre-Revolutionary Period

    §  Revolutionary War


    The students will …..

    §  Take notes using 2-column note-taking

    §  Participate in class discussions

    §  Complete projects and classwork


    *access the program online at www.eharcourtschool.com*






    At the beginning of the school year, the students brainstorm rules that they believe will make our class a happy place to be, where everyone is respected and feels comfortable in their learning environment. Our class will follow the Knights Honor…..


    Respect, Responsibility, Cooperation and Sportsmanship


      Our rules include:

    §  Respect for ourselves

    §  Respect for others

    §  Respect for our school

    §  Have fun and learn






    If students are absent from school, it is their responsibility to have a buddy to give them their work each day. The parent may request it and pick it up in the office.  If they are absent only one day, the homework should be completed the next day.  All homework and class work is expected to be completed each day.

              If your family is planning a vacation, please fill out the Request for Approved Absence for Education Tours or Trips. Our school-wide policy is that no work will be prepared for your child prior to a planned trip. Upon your child’s return, it will be their responsibility to complete as missing class work and assignments in a timely manner.  Please check the school calendar’s website for major events and avoid planning vacations during PSSA testing.





    A parent must sign the homework planner each night and check to see if it is completed neatly and carefully. It is also important to sign the reading log each night.

              Each morning, the homework planner will be checked. If the students do not have their homework, if the directions are not followed, or it is incomplete, they will fill out a Missing Assignment Sheet (M.A.S. ) to be signed by the parent. The following day the student is expected to return BOTH the signed MAS and the missing work.


    The consequences include


    §  Stay in for recess to complete the homework

    §  Complete the homework at home

    §  Parent Conference:  Telephone or School if your child has many missing assignments








    §  Calm, clean work area  (example:  desk, kitchen table, bedroom, living room with TV off)

    §  Bring homework supplies to your work space

    §  Plan for homework time, break time, snack time

    §  Check homework folder daily and empty each night

    §  Talk to your family about your homework



    §  All homework should be completed in pencil only

    §  All work must be labeled with your name, date and number

    §  Your work should be neatly and carefully written so that it is easy to read

    §  Paper should not be torn from a notebook and should not have jagged edges

    §  Keep your homework clean and unwrinkled

    §  Be sure to check over and edit your work

    §  When writing, be sure to use your own words

    §  Always review and study each night

    §  Read your IDR book each night.  Remember, a parent signature is required DAILY!!!!


    MINIMUM OF 60 minutes EACH WEEK