September/October News

What an amazing start to the school year! I have really enjoyed getting to know your children and couldn't be prouder of them for showing such perseverance and grit in this new way of learning! Sorry I haven't gotten an update out sooner...I have been also trying to show perseverance and grit while getting to know this new way of teaching! Below you will find information about what we have been learning and where we will be going over the course of the next month.

Important Dates/Information

9/28-10/2 : Legend/GRE Spirit Week

Monday: Twin Day

Tuesday: Pajama Day

Wednesday: Sports Gear Day

Thursday: Super Hero Day (no super hero masks...just regularly required face masks)

10/1: Virtual SAC meeting @ 4:00-5:00 PM

10/12-10/16: Fall Break

Library - Cohort A & B schedule

Cohort A - Monday, September 28

Cohort B - Tuesday, October 6

Parent Resources for Tech Troubleshooting with Google

The above linked resource can help you troubleshoot at home with our Google Suite Apps. Please utilize this if you have any tech questions.


We have taken on realistic fiction book clubs and many students have finished their first book. We are learning how important it is to write about our reading and how important it is to our Reading Life! We have been sharpening up our reading and thinking skills by reading great stories, studying skills and strategies of interpretation, and by writing and talking about literature.

Once we have learned to identify and discuss themes actively with in our book clubs, we will compare and contrast the ways in which themes are developed across texts. We will then be studying the way in which a theme can be develop differently in different texts.

Students will be working from the following learning progressions to help elevate their reading to new levels this year. The rubric includes responding to reading, looking at story elements at a deeper level, looking at the story whole and how the parts contribute to that, developing the idea of a theme or multiple themes, studying the author's craft, and analyzing perspective. At home, you can help your child by talking to them at a deeper level of what they are reading. Instead of asking them the basic questions of who are the characters, what is the setting, etc, talk to them about how their thinking may have changed as they were reading the story.


We have been generating personal narratives and setting goals using a checklist to assess our growth and set new goals.

We are currently moving through the writing process by drafting, revising and editing our personal narratives. We will continue learning throughout October and moving on to study mentor texts to develop our "writer's eye."


We have finished our first and second unit in math. The first unit was on decimals to the thousandths. In this unit, we covered the idea that the value of a digit depends on its place in a number—for whole numbers to hundred millions and decimals to thousandths. He or she is learning that a digit in any place has 10 times the value it would have in the place to its right and 1 10 the value it would have in the place to its left. For example, in the number 105,558, the value of the 5 in the hundreds place is 1 10 the value of the 5 in the thousands place and 10 times the value of the 5 in the tens place. Your child will also learn to use whole-number exponents to write powers of 10. You can expect to see work that provides practice in place value with whole numbers and decimals. Here is an activity you can do with your child.

In Unit 2, we learned about adding and subtracting decimals. In this topic, your student developed proficiency with adding and subtracting decimals. These skills will enable your student to solve mathematical and real-world problems efficiently. These skills will also help your student estimate sums and differences in order to determine the reasonableness of solutions. Here is an activity that you can complete together to help your student practice estimating and calculating sums and differences of decimals to hundredths.

Rolling Decimals Materials: 1 number cube (labeled 1–6)

Step 1) Roll a number cube five times. Use the digits rolled to write two decimal numbers, such as 2.3 and 42.5.

Step 2) Write an addition sentence and a subtraction sentence using the two decimal numbers. For example, 2.3 + 42.5 and 42.5 - 2.3. Subtract the lesser decimal from the greater decimal. Step 3) Estimate the answer to each problem. For example, you might round 42.5 to 43 and 2.3 to 2, and then perform the operations. Use a calculator or paper and pencil to find the actual answer for each problem. Compare the actual answers with your estimates.

Step 4) Take turns creating numbers and estimating the sum and difference of the numbers. Then, play this game together: Choose an estimation goal, such as 100 or 25.5. Write an addition sentence or a subtraction sentence with two decimal numbers that will result in a number as close to the estimate as possible.

In Unit 3, which we will begin next week, your student will be learning how to fluently multiply multi-digit whole numbers. Students will understand multiplying by powers of 10, by 1-digit numbers, and by 2-digit numbers. This will eventually lead us to multiplying decimals. Students will learn through the area-model (partial-products) and the traditional method for multiplication.

Social Studies

We are underway in our Geography unit. Students are learning what geography is and how they will go about studying it this year. I encourage students to get to know the 50 states and capitals, not just the region that they are studying. Here are some fun games and songs to help them learn those 50 states and capitals:

Find the US States

USA Geography - capitals, states, and landscapes

USA puzzle map

Fill in the States - states and capitals

Name the state (you can pick it or spell it)

Tour the States Song

September 3, 2020

It was so great to see many of you last night at Back to School night! I think our first Virtual night was a success. Here is the presentation that I gave. The biggest take-aways for parents are:

1) In 5th Grade we foster independence at school and at home learning to prepare them for a successful career as a Middle Schooler and beyond.

2) Attendance on at home learning days is taken through completed assignments in Google Classroom. All learning done on at-home learning day should be marked as done in Google Classroom in order for the child to be counted as present.

Please let me know if you have any other questions!

Welcome Back!!


Dear Families,

Hello and welcome back!! I am so excited to see you all! My name is Kelly Broecker (pronounced Breker) and I am so excited that I am going to be your child’s teacher for the 2020-2021 school year at Gold Rush. I cannot wait for this year to begin so that we can get to know one another and have a fun, successful year of learning!

Growing up in Colorado, I always knew I wanted to be a teacher. 20 years ago I stepped into my first classroom and haven’t looked back. Education is my passion and watching your children grow to be strong, independent critical thinkers is why I teach. I have a BA in History from Colorado State University, my Elementary Educators license from Metropolitan State College of Denver and my Masters in Curriculum, Assessment, and Instruction. I’ve taught both 4th and 5th grades over the past 20 years as well as one of those years as an instructional coach. This will be my fourth year at Gold Rush and I couldn’t have asked for a better community and school to be a part of.

My family and I live right here in Parker. I love teaching in the community where I live. It allows me to stay connected to my children and the entire Parker community. I am married to my husband of 20 years, and we have two wonderful daughters. Emily, 17, is a Senior at Chaparral High School, and Abby, 14, is a Sophomore at Chaparral High School. Both of our girls play soccer. As a family we enjoy watching soccer, walking our dog Izzy, and hanging out together during any free time we have! My own hobbies include reading, rooting for CSU Ram Football, exercising, walking to enjoy our beautiful weather and scenery, and of course, watching my girls play soccer.

As we enter this year, I recognize that our classroom and school procedures will look different than previous years. Please rest assured that my number one priority is to keep everyone safe. As we experience this new adventure together, you can support our classroom by encouraging your student to maintain good hand hygiene and a positive, flexible attitude. I am here to support you and your family in all ways possible. Working together as a cohesive team will ensure that your child has a successful year as they prepare for middle school. Communication is very important to me and to the success of your child. E-mail is typically the best way to reach me. During the school year I will be working with our students during school hours, so if I am not able to respond immediately, I will do my best to respond after school or the following morning. I look forward to working with you and your child. This is their last year of elementary school and I want it to be a memorable and fun learning experience, despite the unique challenges we face. I can't wait for them to experience all of the fun and exciting lessons and activities that I have planned!

I am looking forward to meeting you and your student at our Meet the Teacher. Please CLICK HERE to sign up for a day and time. If you are not able to attend, or feel more comfortable meeting remotely, I am more than happy to chat via Google Meet. There are time slots allotted for virtual meetings only. If we need more of these time slots, please sign up closer to that 10:30 slot. It is supposed to be super hot that day and I would like to protect us all from the heat. Thank you for helping me out with this! Please remember that all family members MUST wear a mask while on school grounds and social distancing (6ft) from other families and all teachers is required at all times. Additionally, supplies should not be brought to the Meet the Teacher this year since we are not meeting in our classroom. If you could please also fill out this form (also found on my website) to help me get to know your child, I would appreciate it! We will talk at Meet the Teacher, but this will help give me information prior to meeting your child/children and you. If there is anything personal about your child that you do not want to share with other families around, please make sure to fill out the form so that I can learn more about your child. I've included a few pictures of our classroom so you are able to see where your child will be spending his/her day.

Have a great rest of your summer and I can’t wait to see you when Orientation Week starts August 17th! If you want me to add another email for you, please let me know.

Best regards,

Mrs. Broecker

Me with my favorite flower!!

My family and I near Salzburg, Austria in 2019.