5th Grade Explorers

"Education without values, as useful as it is, seems rather to make man a more clever devil." --C.S. Lewis

9/21/17 Happy Birthday!!!

Tomorrow (Friday, Sep. 22) is our FIELD TRIP!

  1. Wear your P.E. Uniform
  2. Bring a small backpack with:
  • Health card
  • waterbottle
  • snack
  • small towel (for wiping your sweaty face!)
  • extra shirt
  • Optional: Money for snacks or souvenirs.

**Note: Lunch boxes are being provided by the school, since students already paid for lunch!

9/21/17 Today we celebrated one of our friends' birthdays during ECA with delicious cake and some fun games!


  • SCIENCE & Reading: Read pages 580-585 and fill in the blanks.
  • ELA: Share your ELA Narrative draft with Ms.Overland!
  • MATH: See your green assignment book.
  • Parent Teacher Conference Form: Show it to your parents and bring it in tomorrow if you can!!!

9/20/17 Fire Department Day!

**Parent Teacher Conference letter went home today! A modified version is also located in the "Parent Information/Notes" tab on this blog! Please reply ASAP!**

Today the students learned about CPR, tried on a firefighter uniform, and sprayed a fire hose!


  • SOCIAL STUDIES: Look up TWO FACTS about the Indigenous People of Taiwan (we are going to the Indigenous People of Taiwan Culture Park on Friday).
  • MATH: (see your green assignment book)
  • FIELD TRIP FRIDAY: Remember to bring a small backpack to carry your water bottle! And don't forget Health Cards!



  • ELA: Finish your Narrative Outline (Minimum: 1 introductory paragraph, 2 paragraphs in the body, and a conclusion paragraph).
  • SCIENCE: Go around your house and find 3 Solutions and 3 Mixtures. List them in your Science Notebook (or other paper and you can adhere them to your Science Notebook later). We will share them in class!
  • MATH: P. 85-86 and IXL
  • REMINDERS: Wear red, orange or yellow for our Fire Department visit tomorrow! Casual clothes are fine, as long as you're participating :-).
  • FIELD TRIP: Friday is our field trip to Indigenous Peoples of Taiwan! It's all day. Lunch boxes will be provided. Just bring a small backpack to carry your own water bottle.

Look below for a link to the song we're singing at assembly on Monday!

9/18/17 5th Grade Loves Science!

Today we explored density, mass and volume further through sinking and floating experiments. The 5th graders are amazing, thoughtful scientists that came up with many extensions to the planned lab.

In Maniac Magee on page 59 we read: "It was so hot, if you stood still too long in the vacant lot, the sun bouncing off a chunk of broken glass or metal could fry a patch on your hide." This lead to an interesting conversation on how the sun can cause things to burn...and then...

During Social Studies, we explored "Life in the Stone Age." With all this talk about fire, we decided to see if we could make some! We used a magnifying glass and took turns trying to make fire. The boys were very engaged and did a great job taking turns.


  • SCIENCE: Review your science vocabulary.
  • SOCIAL STUDIES: Write a one-paragraph description about "A Day in the Life of a Hunter-Gatherer." You can use your notes, textbook or do your own additional research. Make sure you include details such as: What do you do? What do you eat? What do you wear? Where do you sleep?
  • MATH: P.81 (odd or even), P.82, and IXL

9/15/17 Little Buddies Begins!

Today we started our "Little Buddies" reading program with Ms.Ng's K1 class. Each 5th grader has one or two little buddies that he will read to twice a month. This program will enable the 5th graders to increase their fluency and personal understanding of literacy basics as they share their knowledge with the younger kids. It is my hope that the 5th graders will use this program to further develop themselves as leaders in our school community.

It's FRIDAY! Here's the weekend homework:

  • M.A.T.H: P. 77-78 (odd) , plus master IXL D.3 and D.4. (remember, your students' individual math homework may vary)
  • ELA: Personal Narrative first draft due on Monday! Minimum of 3 paragraphs (beginning, middle, and end paragraphs). Make sure your writing is legible so your classmates can read it during proof reading!
  • SCIENCE: Complete the Home Density Lab worksheet. This should be a fun, easy investigation! Choose 5 objects (waterproof!) and predict whether they will sink or float in water. Then, test your predictions by dropping them 5 times each (remember, reliability is in repeated results!) and fill out your conclusion box.

*READING: Scholastic list of books with order form was given to students. You can send in the order form, or click this link to order online. https://world-shop.scholastic.co.uk/schools/dominican-school. Detailed instructions were included in the parent letter. Please turn in paper orders THIS MONDAY, Sep. 18th! Online orders can be turned in up to September 21st.

Our Friend Gets Baptised!

9/14/17: Big Day in 5th Grade: We participated in a mass where one of our young men was baptised!!!

The highlight of our day was watching our friend, plus one of the teachers' babies, get baptised :-) The rest of the class did a wonderful job during mass and the photo shoots afterward.


  • MATH: p. 75-76 and IXL D.3. I meet with each student individually every day during M.A.T.H Workshop. The homework I post on this blog is the classroom's 5th grade pace. Meeting with each student allows me to personalize my instruction and help them with concepts that they don't understand. Therefore, some students have different homework than what is on this blog. Please follow what is written in their green assignment books and let me know if you ever have questions!
  • ELA: We are starting our first Personal Narrative of the year. Monday we brainstormed topics, Tuesday we narrowed our topic, and today we are writing an outline of the "Beginning, Middle and End" of our narrative. I am excited to start our rough draft process tomorrow!

**I sincerely apologize that it is 7:30pm as I write this blog post! Unforseeable circumstances caused the delay, and I promise I work VERY hard to be prompt and get the blog up by 4:30pm everyday!


Here is today's homework, and below that are pictures from yesterday's St. Peter of Verona skit!


  • READING: PREDICT what you think will happen next, based on the following quote on page 56 of Maniac Magee: "But everything did not love him back." Make sure you use 2-4 complete sentences!
  • ELA: Choose a topic for your autobiography narrative (from the 10 topics you brainstormed in class today).
  • MATH: 2.2 pages 67, 68, and go online to IXL and master D.1 (and D.2-D.4 OPTIONAL)
  • SCIENCE: In your science journal, answer the question: "How are solids, liquids, and gases different?"


Our day started off with our school-wide assembly where we presented our "St. Peter of Verona" skit. Great job, 5th graders! :-) I will post pictures after I have time to upload them.

Classroom Behavior: Today we spent a lot of time reinforcing classroom expectations, especially in transitions and independent work. I will continue to hone in on behavioral expectations, so you may see extra notes home or DOJO reports detailing what students need to work on.


  • Math: Lesson 2.1 pages 59-64. We started our M.A.T.H workshops today. During M.A.T.H, we rotated through four stations: M(Math Facts), A(At Your Desk), T (Teacher Choice), and H (Hands-On). The workshop model allows me to better meet students' individual needs. In general, we will go through one lesson per day. If a student is struggling, I will give him extra enrichment on that topic and he will not move on until he has mastered the concepts. Also, if a student is ready to move faster through lessons, he may do so under this model!

I am tracking levels individually and checking homework daily for every student. Please note that the homework listed on the blog is the general class homework, and your student's homework may differ depending on his abilities.

  • SOCIAL STUDIES: Vocabulary and Questions

Define these Vocabulary Words:

1) prehistory:


3) ancestor:


5)Paleolithic Era:

6) society:

7) hunter-gatherers:

Answer these questions:

A)What can ancient bones tell us about human ancestors?

B)How did tools improve during the Old Stone Age?


Good Afternoon,

I am posting homework today since Mrs. O is resting. Today we all practiced our St Peter skit - it is a lot of fun. I look forward to seeing the final performance at the Monday Assembly!

Homework: Practice your skit parts.

Math: Log on to IXL - just like we did in the library today. Try out (3) different 5th grade units. (Don't spend more than 20 total minutes on it this weekend.)

Social Studies: Correct your Social Studies Quiz,have parents sign it, and turn it in on Monday.

Science: Correct your Science Quiz, have parents sign it, and turn it in on Monday.

REMINDER: No school on Friday! Enjoy Fall Break!!! :-)



  • Math: Make corrections on the Chapter 1 test, have parents sign it, and turn it in tomorrow!
  • Social Studies: Study the guide! Quiz tomorrow! Today's math test took longer than anticipated, so we did not have enough time for the quiz.
  • Science: Study your science vocabulary words and notes for Chapters 1-3 for your quiz tomorrow!
  • ELA: Correct your POV Quiz, have parents sign it, and turn it in tomorrow!

REMINDER: No school on Friday! Enjoy Fall Break!!! :-)



  • Q1 Field Trip! Friday, Sep. 22nd, all day to the Taiwan Indigenous Peoples Cultures Park. Please send in the signed permission slip and 300NT by September 15th.
  • Friday, Sep. 8th: FALL BREAK! No school!


  • Math Test tomorrow on Chapter 1! Today we worked on a review packet during class to prepare them for the test. Half of the students used their time wisely and finished their review packets so they could correct them with me and determine what they needed to study. Those who didn't finish will need to complete them as homework, then check their answers with the answer sheets found under the "Homework Helps & Links" tab on this classroom blog!
  • Social Studies Quiz tomorrow! Yesterday we spent the entire class period going through vocabulary words and short answer questions on their Study Guides. Tonight they should continue preparing for the quiz by reviewing the same information.


  • Took POV Quiz #1. I already graded them and will return them tomorrow.
  • Played "Science Jeopardy" to review the science terms that will be on the quiz this Thursday.
  • We read a chapter in Maniac Magee and started focusing on finding "contrasts & contradictions" to help us become better readers.
  • Checked out new "Just Right" books from the school library.



  • Math: Pg.55-58 (Chapter 1 Review for the test on Wednesday!)
  • Science: 36-38 (Quiz Thurs!)
  • S.S: Study Guide (Quiz Wed!)
  • ELA: P.O.V (Point Of View) Review (Quiz Tues!)
  • Other: Practice St.Peter of Verona skit!
  • Chinese: Correct your test

In order to make things easier, the homework will now be posted on this main page (as Mr.O had been doing).

Today was a GREAT day back! I am so glad to be well enough to resume teaching these incredible young men! :-) It is the half-way point for Quarter One, so we spent today going through review sheets that cover what we have learned the past four weeks. These review sheets/study guides will prepare them to be able to do well on all of our quizzes this week.

COMMUNICATION: My email is koverland@diskg.net and I would love to be able to communicate witih all of you via email. Parents, could you please send me your email addresses? Thank you!


Today we finished our study of the 5 Elements of Geography.

Homework includes watching this video, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GtGRihw4G-c

and writing a post card as if you were at Xiao Liu Qiu Island. Please write in your Social Studies Notebook (or a different notebook). The post card should describe these five geography elements:

  • Place
  • Region
  • Human-Environment Interaction
  • Movement
  • Location

If it was not finished in class, math homework includes problems 1 - 11 on pg 53.

Thanks and have a great weekend!


Good Afternoon,

Today was a lot of fun. Ms. Parker helped us learn more about hyperbole during reading time. We also continued paper plane trials. After the trials we calculated mode, median, mean and range.

Math Homework Includes:

  • Pg 49 - Order of Operations, Numbers 1-11. (Not 12,13,14)
  • Pg 50, #16

That is it for homework.


Good Afternoon. Wednesday was a lot of fun. Homeroom activities included ELA and math section 1.10.

Homework - Read on your own 20 minutes. Mrs. O will be logging reading time, starting next week.

Go Math Homework - pgs' 45,46, Section 1.10: #'s1-13, #17, and #18.

Note - #13 - Students must actually answer these numerical expressions:

  • 3x(15-6)
  • 15-6
  • 25-(10+8)
  • (25-10)+8


Today we practiced building paper air planes. We are collecting data and are learning constant, variable, dependent and independent variables.

We also continued learning about 1st, 2nd and 3rd person pro nouns.

In math we learned a new way to solve division problems. It is called the Small Group Method. It is explained on page 39.

Homework includes reading for 20 minutes.

Also math homework includes these problems in section 1.9:

  • Practice problems on pages 39 and 40.
  • Choose two or three division problems on page 41. Please show two (2) different methods to solve the division problems. Show both the Distributive Division (described on pg 36) Method and the Small Group Division Method (described on pg 39). That is it.
  • If you want to do more work, you can complete any of the math problems on page 42.


Today we learned elements of geography, the distributive division, and continued practicing the St. Peter of Verona skit. Also, we were given the results of the 2018 Dominican Student Body Government. Congratulations to Nathan Chen - he was voted to be this year's 5th Grade Explorer Class Leader!

Homework is below: (Note - we used class time to complete most of this homework. Please let me know if this homework is taking too long. Thanks.)

  • Geography - memorize the 1st word of these five elements of geography.
    • Location: Position on the Earth's Surface (Absolute/Relative). ...
    • Place: Physical and Human Characteristics. ...
    • Human/Environment Interactions: Shaping the Landscape. ...
    • Movement: Humans Interacting on the Earth. ...
    • Regions: How They Form and Change
  • Write in your Geography notebook "How these three people below use geography:" (Possible answers include, "This person needs to use location to know how to travel." Or... "This person needs to learn or teach about people groups."
  • People:
    • Post Office Employee
    • Real Estate Agent
    • Park Ranger
  • Math pg 37 and 38, problems 1,2,3,4,5, 11,13,15. Show NEAT distributive work in the journal. (Answers do not need to be in the Go Math Book - just the journal. Show answers using the distributive method. The distributive method is described on page 36.


Today we continued learning about "Hypothesis." We tested our hypothesis to see how to make the longest paper chain.

1 ) Homework - After researching, write a hypothesis to answer the four worksheet questions. (Possible research includes:

- Scientific Magazines

- Wiki how, Wikipedia (comparitive, unreliable research)

- You Tube (comparitive, unreliable research)

The hypothesis should be testable and educated.

2) Go Math - Answer all math problems on pages 27 - 34. (NOT PG 30). Sections 1.6 and 1.7. If you want to do more, complete pgs 35 - 38.

3) Reading - Answer the (2) Maniac Magee worksheet questions. Citations should include these 4 items:

  • Page #
  • Author
  • Title of the Book
  • Quoted text.

Here is an example:

Page 23 in Maniac Magee, by John Spinelli, says, "McNab was loving it..." McNab's bias was that he loved throwing faster than anyone else.


Today we looked at different kinds of scientific method research. Here are some types of research: Documentaries, museums, Science magazines, Edited, published books, Website research ending in ....ORG (not profit), ....EDU , ....GOV (be aware of bias and agenda).

Homework 1) Complete the Research worksheet. With parents, answer "WHY" a research source is RELIABLE, UNRELIABLE, PRIMARY, or SECONDARY.

Homework 2) Finish Go Math pages 25 and 26. Optional math homework - look ahead to pages 27 and 28.

Homework 3) Read Maniac McGee pages 14 - 27. Be ready to answer to questions on pages 14 - 27.

*** Parents please these 3 homework assignments and initial the Assignment book.


Today we continued studying the scientific method.

We asked the question "How can we make the strongest bridge with three pieces of paper?"

Homework will include memorizing the scientific method steps:


  • Question
  • Research
  • Hypothesis
  • Procedure
  • Experiment
  • Data
  • Observations
  • Conclusion.

2) Homework: Focus on the first scientific method step, "QUESTION". Write five questions that can be tested in nature. Write these questions in the science journal. Please focus on punctuation and penmanship. Here are examples of these questions:

  • Why is there smoke in this area?
  • Why don't plants grow in that certain area?
  • Which liquid freezes the fastest?
  • Which objects are magnetic?
  • Which surface is the smoothest?

3) Homework: Complete Go Math Pages 21, 22, and 24.


Don't forget the PARENT- TEACHER ORIENTATION this Saturday, August 19th! 8:45am-11am. Refreshments provided starting at 8am!

Log into all your online accounts! Read the hints in the email I sent, it will help you if you're having problems logging in. I tried ALL of your log-ins for each subject and they ALL work! :-)

8/15/17 in the 5th Grade:

I just added a new page to the blog that has links for all of the online textbooks. Your password and username is in two places:

1) Your green assignment book

2) I just sent an email to each student with all of the online textbook information.

On another note, we started our DOJO points today! I sent home online access in both Chinese and English, for the parents AND for the students. Students need to add our class to their DOJO account! There have been issues on the DOJO website, but hopefully it will work well for us!


Today was a great day! We continued our work on inferring and observing in Language Arts and Reading, and it also pertained to our Social Studies topic of primary and secondary sources. During Math I introduced our M.A.T.H Workshops, and in Science we conducted the "Water Drops on a Penny" experiment (which required some predicting and observing, of course!). See the pictures below of our science investigation:

Friday, August 11th, 2017:

The past four days we've been working on building our classroom community, especially because we welcomed two new students to the group. It's been a fun week together and I look forward to coming alongside these young men as they learn and grow!

Please note that there is a "Homework" page on this blog that is updated DAILY by a student. This coming weekend, the only homework is in Social Studies to read pages 6-11 and bring in 4 items that represent you or something you like/enjoy. You can also email me a picture of the item if it's too large, breakable, or precious to bring to school.

Today, we discussed making inferences and observations in both Reading and Science. Below are some pictures of the students as they observe our classroom pet turtles. Don't worry, we always wash our hands after handling the turtles!

Have a wonderful weekend, everyone!

P.S. Classroom DOJO invites will go home on Monday! :-)

The After School Program Begins Monday, August 14th!

Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday from 3:30-4:25

**NO Wednesday Program due to Staff meetings**

Each 5th grader brought home a sign-up sheet with the following options for grades 4-8:

  • Monday & Friday: Yearbook, Yoga/Movement, Study Hall
  • Tuesday & Thursday: Martial Arts, Spanish Language, Study Hall
  • NOTE: ALL students will need to be picked up at 3:30 on Wednesdays. Students who are not in the After School Program should be picked up at 3:30pm everyday.

Dear Parents and Students,

Welcome to 5th Grade! My name is Ms.Overland , and I am very excited to be teaching 5th grade this year. Here’s a little bit about me: I grew up in Washington State in the USA and visited Taiwan three times before we moved here last January. My family includes my husband, David, and our two children that also attend DISK. I’m passionate about teaching kids how to be lifelong learners that will use their knowledge to make the world a better place. My own educational journey includes my teaching credentials and Masters in Education from the University of Washington. As for teaching experience, I’ve had the privilege of teaching at both public and private schools in a variety of grades...and 5th grade has always been one of my favorite grades to teach! I look forward to getting to know all of you this coming year!

Now, for some information about the upcoming year:

This blog will be used for schedules, information, updates, as well as homework and assignments. I will also use the blog for posting photographs of class activities and as a general way of keeping you informed and up-to-date about school life. Parents, please do your best to check here often.

In order to facilitate classroom learning, there are some supplies that I am asking each student to bring in. Please bring them in as no later than Tuesday, August 15th.

Here is the list of supplies for use in our classroom:

  • pencil case with pencils, erasers, and pencil sharpener
  • colored pencils/markers
  • long ruler, scissors, tape, and 2 glue sticks
  • folder (at least 6 pockets)
  • pack of post-it notes
  • Four (4), A4 sized lined notebooks that are SPIRAL BOUND
  • Pens: 1 black or blue writing pen, 1 red or dark green correcting pen, 1 black dry erase marker, and 1 black permanent pen for labeling items
  • 4 Highlighters (yellow, blue, green and one color of choice)
  • water bottle and healthy snack everyday (no junk food, soft drinks or chocolate, etc.)
  • Also, per our school policy, each student should bring in $5,000 NT for the class fund. This money will be used for class yearbooks, costumes, school magazines, Sports Day shirts, etc.

Supplies for Minor Subjects:

  • headphones (for computer lab)
  • A4 sized sketchbook (for Art)
  • extra P.E. shirt to change into on P.E. days (Mondays & Wednesday)


The last page of the student handbook must be signed by both parents and student and returned to school as soon as possible. Some key things to remember are:

✦ Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday (plus Mass Celebration days) students are to come to school in formal uniforms. DISK will be enforcing a much stricter dress code this year and as such students are expected to arrive at school in clean and tidy uniforms that are worn properly throughout the day.

✦Wednesdays students may come to school in their P.E. uniforms and on Fridays they may wear their Sports Day shirts with P.E. bottoms. If Mass or another special celebration day is on Wednesday or Friday student should come to school in their formal uniforms. They will be allowed to change into their sport uniform after the celebration is complete.

✦Grade 5 students will have P.E. class on Wednesday and Friday each week. Students will need to come to school wearing their P.E. uniforms and have an extra P.E. shirt to change into after class. It is also beneficial for students to bring a small towel to dry off after exercising.

✦On the second Friday of each month students may wear personal clothing as long as it is in good taste and does not show any inappropriate images. Students who are deemed as dressing inappropriately will be given a P.E. uniform to change into and sent home with a corresponding bill.

✦ Students must be inside their classrooms and ready for the first class to begin at 8:05 sharp.

✦ Students will be dismissed at 3:30 pm every day. The after school program will take place from 3:40-4:25 everyday (except Wednesdays, there is no after school program on Wednesdays).

Please don’t hesitate to contact me via email if you have any questions or concerns!


Kathe Overland


"Education without values, as useful as it is, seems rather to make man a more clever devil." --C.S. Lewis