Welcome to Ms. Upchurch's Fifth Grade Site!
We are a Peanut-Free Classroom.
Since we do have some severe peanut allergies in our class and in the middle school, to help keep everyone safe, I ask students to not eat foods that contain peanuts in our classroom. As a precaution, I also ask that students who bring in other nuts, such as almonds, pistachios, cashews, etc. to also save those for lunch and to not eat them in the classroom due to the possibility of unknown cross contamination. I check students' snacks each day in the morning before snack time as well, and if I am not 100% sure that there are no peanuts in them, I kindly ask students to put it back in their lunch boxes and save it for the lunch room. Thank you for your cooperation and work in helping keep all of our students safe!
Week 18 Update
Hi everyone! This week has been a great week! We have had lots of things going on, and the kids have been working hard through it all. In ELA, we are finishing up our first opinion essays. The kids wrote about what book they would recommend to a friend to read, and three reasons why they would recommend that book. We are also digging deeper into our new novels that we started last week. Also, one quick note about next week's novel study: since the week is shorter, and I know many families are traveling for the long weekends, I am only requiring the Understanding the Story and Chapter Summary pages to be completed, as well as having the pages read. Students will also have the chance to complete these pages in class, but I wanted to ease some stress that comes along with this time of year. Also in ELA next Tuesday, we will be taking the STAR reading test again. Its important students come to school that morning alert and ready to do their best, so please make sure they get a good night's sleep the night before, and eat a quality breakfast that morning. In Science and Social Studies, we are continuing our studies of Native American tribes, as well as our study of the four different spheres of Earth. In Religion, we are starting our unit of study on the Sacraments. The kids did a great job today presenting their sacramental items that they brought from home! I loved hearing all the stories they had to tell about why they received them or where they had been before/who they belonged to before.
In other school news, Catholic Schools Week is coming up soon! On Thursday of that week, we will be having a talent show along with our Student of the Month assembly! If your child would like to perform in the talent show, have them submit an audition form to me to let me know they would like to participate, and auditions will be held after school on Tuesday January 22nd to determine who will be participating. Please let either myself or Mrs. Bishop know if you have any other questions.
Have a great weekend!
January 10, 2019
Happy Thursday room 13! We have had a great week this week! We finished our models of Earth in science, and we are continuing to research more about the different Native American tribes of the Southwest in social studies. We are also working on writing an opinion essay, focusing on how to persuade someone to read a book we would recommend. We also started our new novel studies in reading groups. Some groups are reading the novel Milkweed by Jerry Spinelli, while others are reading Gregor the Overlander by Suzanne Collins. The kids are already loving both books!
Catholic Schools Week is coming up soon! Our school-wide service project that week will be to pack homeless care kits, so we will be accepting donations for items to go into those kits the weeks prior. Our class is responsible for small toiletries, such as toothbrushes, toothpaste, deodorant, hand sanitizer, etc. Please have your students bring them into their homeroom teachers. We will also be having a talent show that week! If your student would like to audition to be a part of the talent show, have them ask their homeroom teacher for an audition form and then return it by January 18th. Auditions will be held after school on January 22nd.
Just a quick reminder that our class is on for mass next Wednesday the 16th.
Have a great weekend!
January 3, 2019
Welcome back everyone! I hope you all had a restful, relaxing Christmas break! We are just jumping back in to things, and we are getting started on some fun projects and activities this week. In science, we are working on making a model of Earth, and in social studies we are continuing our study of Native American tribes with a mini-unit on the Southwest Native Americans. Next week, we will be starting up our next novel studies in reading groups, as well as starting some opinion writing. Lots of fun things happening!
Missi Vaughn, one of the auction coordinators is still looking for someone to be the chair for our class auction project. This is a great way to help be involved in one of our biggest fundraisers of the year and create something special that will last a lifetime! Contact myself or Missi Vaughn at firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interested.
Also mark your calendars for Wednesday January 16th, as that is when our class is on for mass again!
Have a great weekend!
Christmas Concert Success!
December 14, 2018
What a beautiful Christmas concert we had last night! I loved seeing you all there to support our students as they told the story of Jesus' birth. It went smoothly and the students all sang beautifully. Thank you for all your support!
In class this week, we have been finishing up some projects that we have been working on throughout the month of December. We were working on putting together totem poles to represent our personalities, and we built 3-D paper snowflakes to help decorate the classroom and ring in the Christmas season. We have been writing about Christmas traditions from around the world, and the kids have been having a great time researching all the unique ways people from different places celebrate the holiday season. We have also been learning all about Angels, and how each of us has a guardian angel. Students wrote beautiful prayers to their guardian angels this week on their homework!
Just a reminder that next Wednesday is a half day, and there will be no lunch or after school care that day. It will also be a non-uniform day! Students should dress in their best Christmas Cheer, but please no Christmas pajamas, as we will still be going to mass that morning. We will also be having a Christmas party that day! We will be doing a white elephant gift exchange, eating holiday snacks/treats, and watching a Christmas movie! If your child would like to participate in the gift exchange, please have them bring a wrapped gift that either a boy or girl would enjoy receiving. And if you would like to bring in treats to share, please let me know in advance, so I know how much food to expect that day. Please also remember to keep them peanut-free. I'm looking forward to celebrating Christmas as a class next week!
Missi Vaughn, one of our wonderful auction chairs is looking for someone to be our classroom project coordinator for our auction item, and she has asked me to pass the message along. This is a wonderful way to help support the auction, as the class projects are often some of the biggest fundraising items at the auction. Please email her at email@example.com if you are interested.
Have a great weekend!
Spirit Flag Winners!
Our class won the spirit award this month for being respectful to authority figures! Which means as a reward, we will be watching the film adaptation of the book Holes which we read as a read aloud earlier this year. Remember to get those permission slips in! We will also be eating donut holes to go along with the theme of the movie!
Next Thursday is the Christmas concert! Be sure to meet in the classroom no later than 6:15 dressed in your Christmas best. Non-uniform guidelines will need to be followed. The concert will begin at 6:30 and go for about an hour. The following Monday December 17th there will be a caroling in the neighborhood event followed by cider and cookies in the cafeteria. Meet in the choir room at 5 pm.
Info about our Christmas party and White Elephant gift exchange went home in homework folders this week. If your child would like to participate, please bring a wrapped gift that either a boy or girl would enjoy to school on Wednesday December 19th. That day is also a non uniform day! Come dressed in your Christmas Crazy, but please no Christmas pajamas as we still have mass that morning. After the gift exchange, we will be sharing Christmas treats and watching a Christmas movie. If you would like to bring some treats to share with the class, feel free, but please remember to keep it peanut-free. I am so excited to celebrate Christmas as a classroom community!
Have a great weekend, everyone!
Hi everyone, I hope you all had a blessed, relaxing Thanksgiving weekend surrounded by family and friends! Due to Thanksgiving weekend, I did not assign a choice board for this week to give everyone a restful weekend free of homework. I will be sending one home tomorrow that will be due next Friday, the 7th of December.
Also just a reminder that the Green Sale is happening this weekend! The fifth graders made beautiful snowflake Christmas ornaments. Mass Choir will be singing tomorrow evening from 5:15 - 5:45.
The Christmas Concert is coming up soon as well. It will be taking place in the church this year on the evening of Thursday December 13th. Students will need to be in the classroom by 6 pm, and the concert will start in the church at 6:30. If you have a battery-powered candle, please bring it to the concert, as the last song will be sung by candlelight. Have students wear their Christmas Best.
Other December reminders:
- Student of the Month assembly Monday December 3rd at 2:20 in the gym.
- On the evening of Monday December 17th, Mrs. Davis is hosting an evening of caroling around the neighborhood! It goes from 5-7 pm, followed by hot cocoa and cookies in the cafeteria.
- Wednesday December 19th is a half day. After mass, we will be having a Christmas party and a White Elephant gift exchange! Details will be sent home with your child next week. It is also a non-uniform day. Wear your most spirited Christmas attire, but please no Christmas pajamas.
- No School December 20th - January 1st. Christmas Break
Have a great weekend!
Week 11 Update
I hope everyone had a relaxing long weekend last weekend! Here's what we are working on in class this week:
ELA: We are continuing to research for our class newspaper articles. We will begin writing our articles next week. We will also be finishing up our first novel study books this week! Since it is a short week, don't worry about finishing the work in the novel study booklets - just finish reading the book you were assigned.
Science: We are continuing our study of Earth's water systems by learning about the water cycle! We reviewed all the stages of the water cycle, and will be doing a lab related to the water cycle after we return from Thanksgiving break.
Social Studies: We started our next unit of study with a fun interactive Chromebook lesson about the history of Thanksgiving!
Religion: We presented our Google Slides presentations about organizations that help protect God's Creation. We will be picking readers, greeters, and gift bearers next week, as we are on for mass again on November 28th. Hope to see you all there!
Have a great weekend!
No School Monday
November 8, 2018
Happy Thursday! Here's an overview of all the things we are working on in class this week:
ELA: We started working on our next writing assignment, a class newspaper about things happening in the month of November, and many articles relating to them! Look out for it when we publish at the end of the month!
Science: We have started a new unit in science, and we kicked it off today by starting a Mystery Science unit on where our water in the earth comes from. We will continue that into a unit of study on Earth's Systems and ecosystems.
Social Studies: We voted this week in Oregon's Kid Governor election. We will be starting our unit of study on Native American tribes next week. We should also hear about who the winner of the Kid Governor election was very soon!
Religion: We finished reading the chapter in our books about Creation, and so to remind our kids that we need to protect God's creation, we are doing research on a nonprofit organization that helps protect the environment. We will be presenting them in class next week. We are still continuing to practice the Act of Faith. Students will need to have it memorized by the end of the month.
The office has asked me to remind you that if you would like to continue to volunteer at school in any capacity, you MUST finish your 2 required online trainings by December 1st! There is no longer an option to volunteer 4 times or less, and not do the trainings. If you are not sure whether or not you completed your trainings, the office has a list of who has and who has not completed them. Here is the link to the website for more info: https://www.regisstmary.org/parents/#volunteer
Also a quick reminder to put November 28th on your calendars, as that is the next time our class is on for mass.
Have a great 3-day weekend!
Happy All Saint's Day
November 1, 2018
Hi room 13 families! I hope everyone had a safe, happy Halloween yesterday! Thank you to everyone who brought in treats for our class to share during our in-class Halloween celebration last week. The kids LOVED going through the carnival with their kindergarten prayer partners!
Exciting news: Lily from our class was chosen to be a finalist in the Oregon's Kid Governor election! We will be voting in class on Tuesday, which is election day for adults as well, for who we want to be Oregon's next Kid Governor! We wish Lily the best of luck in the race for governor.
This past year the Archdiocese has changed the religion standards that are to be taught throughout the grade levels. With that change came some new prayers for fifth graders to know. I passed out a half sheet of paper today with the first of the four prayers that we will need to know by the end of the year. The first one is the Act of Faith. I ask students to pray this prayer at least once a day for the month of November, and to have it memorized by the end of the month. If you would like to see the other prayers that we will need to know by the end of the year, scroll down to the end of the page on the Fifth Grade Prayers to Know page. The last four prayers are the ones we will learn this year.
Since we are into a new month, I just wanted to give you a heads up about some dates of things happening this month.
- November 12 - Veteran's Day Observed - No School
- November 21 - Half Day; Noon Dismissal
- November 22-23 - Thanksgiving Break; No School
- November 28 - Our class on for school mass
- November 30-December 2 - Saint Mary Green Sale
Have a great weekend!
Kid Governor Update!
October 26, 2018
My apologies that this update is a day late, we've had a lot going on this week! We had a great trip to Starker Forests on Tuesday. The kids and adults all had fun learning about the forests and how we can work to help them grow sustainably for many years to come. We spent the morning on their interactive educational trail learning all about the different parts of the forest and what forests look like during different stages of their lifetimes. Then in the afternoon, we went on a hike and learned about how to identify animal tracks and identify moss from lichen. It was so nice to spend an entire day outside in God's creation!
Another big thing that happened this week was we filmed our Kid Governor campaign video! The kids worked together to do all the work on the video, from planning it, to filming it, and editing the final product! The next step is to submit the video to the Oregon's Kid Governor team and they will decide who gets to be the final seven candidates to go on to the statewide election. We will be voting in that election the first week of November, the same time the national elections will be taking place. We wish our candidate luck going forward!
The Halloween Carnival is happening today! We will be having a small class celebration before the carnival, so if you would like to bring treats to share with the class, you may do so for the afternoon. Please remember they need to be peanut free. Thank you! '
Have a great weekend!
Here's our completed Kid Governor campaign video!
Field Trip Next Week!
October 18, 2018
Hi Room 13 families! I have a couple of reminders about things that are happening in class this week and next week. We selected our Kid Governor candidate this week, and we will be filming their campaign video next week. If your child would like to be in the video, I will need a signed permission slip saying you give permission for them to be in the video itself. This does not mean they can't help out with making the video, it just means that they cannot be seen in the video if they do not turn in a permission slip. When we are done with the video, I will send the private Youtube link out to everyone so that you can see what we have been doing!
Also coming up next week is our field trip to Starker Forests! We will be gone all day - leaving school at 8:15, and we will be returning to school around 2:45, shortly before the end of the day. We will also be outside all day, so please have your child dress for Oregon weather, meaning rain jackets, rain pants, rain boots, umbrellas, etc. Also, we will be eating lunch in an enclosed space that day, so please avoid packing anything with peanuts in your child's lunches. We will not have a good place to store lunch boxes after lunch, so please have your child pack their lunch in something that can be thrown away, like a plastic or paper grocery bag. Pray for clear skies and more beautiful weather that day!
Have a great weekend!
October 11, 2018
I have loved meeting with all of you this week during conferences! Our conversations have been productive and full of positives about the year so far. If you were unable to come this week, I am more than willing to find an alternative time for us to meet and do your child's conference. I hope you all enjoy your lovely our day weekend!
Coming up next week is our Kid Governor primary day and election day! Candidates in the race will be delivering their speeches on Wednesday afternoon, and we will be voting on one student to be our class' candidate to enter the statewide election for Oregon's Kid Governor. I will be sending home a video release form because we will be making a campaign video for our general election candidate, and if your child would like to be in the video, I will need a signed consent form. The kids are so excited by this project! I hope to keep this excitement up as we progress through the project!
Just as a note, I have had some concerns expressed to me about the amount of homework that is being sent home this year. The only thing that is truly meant to be homework is the choice board that goes home every week. Anything else that is being brought home is work that was not finished in class. If they have finished all their other class work, then they may work on their choice boards at school, but that, and reading, are the only 2 things that are truly meant to be done at home. I have also been asked if it is acceptable that they read their reading group book for their 20 minutes of reading, and that is absolutely 100% acceptable! They do not have to be reading more than one book at a time if they do not want to. I hope this helps clarify any confusion about what is to be expected in regards to homework this year. Please feel free to reach out if you have any other, more specific concerns.
Week 5 Update
October 4, 2018
October is here, which means we have a new Just Like Jesus focus for this month! We will be working on being prepared for class, which means that students will need to work on having all their materials ready for all their classes throughout the day. This will include things like remembering all their materials when they come into class in the morning, taking the correct materials to Mrs. Bailey's class or Mrs. Schott's class, not being late to class, not having to go back to the homeroom when they forget something, etc. Starting next week, as encouragement for students to be more prepared for class, if they have to return to their homeroom because they forgot something or to switch out a book, then they will have to go to the office to get a tardy slip. If they get more than 3 tardy slips in a week, they will lose half of their morning recess the following Monday. This is in an effort to reduce the amount of class time wasted due to students not being prepared for class time. Hopefully we will nip these bad habits in the bud before middle school next year.
This coming Wednesday and Thursday are conferences! If you have not scheduled a conference with me already, please do so ASAP. I am really looking forward to meeting with you and sharing with you all the progress your students are making in fifth grade. Another reminder, Thursday October 11th is a half day with dismissal at noon, and Friday and the following Monday is no school for students for staff development.
Our Starker Forests field trip is coming up soon on the 23rd of October! I am still in need of 3 more chaperones to join us on the bus, so please consider coming and enjoying a day in the forests with us!
Have a great weekend!
Week 4 Update
September 27, 2018
Hi Room 13 families! We have had a great week this week! Thank you for getting in those Kid Governor permission slip forms. We have started that unit of study this week and the kids are loving it! We have also been building models of an atom in science this week. Thank you to Arielle Hernandez and Jenna Etzel for coming in and helping hot glue those protons and neutrons together. As for language arts, we are just finishing up our first writing piece - a personal narrative. We went through the entire writing process, starting with brainstorming topics, writing a rough draft, editing it, and typing up a final draft. The final draft is due tomorrow, September 28th.
Going home with the kids tomorrow will be an information sheet and a permission slip for our upcoming field trip to Starker Forests! The trip itself will take place on October 23rd, so its still a little ways out, but I'm sending it out early just to stay on top of things. Please fill it out and send it back with your child by Tuesday October 9th.
Have a great weekend, everyone!
September 20, 2018
I loved seeing so many of our classroom parents and family members at Parent Night on Tuesday! I hope I answered all of your questions and got you excited for all the great things to come in fifth grade this year. If you were unable to be there Tuesday night, you can find my slides presentation below with all the info that we discussed on it. Please feel free to reach out if you have any other clarifying questions. If you are unable to see the presentation below, you can click on this link to access it: https://docs.google.com/presentation/d/1Z_JHNVg5_YnyABTkzpF8yG15Hac9v31_1LdbVrnodb0/edit?usp=sharing
The only other thing I want to mention is that we are starting our Kid Governor unit in Social Studies this upcoming week! I sent home a permission slip for you to sign about whether or not you want your child to run as a candidate in the Kid Governor election. This form is only for me to know whether or not I have your permission, should your child decide to run in the election when the time to decide our candidates comes. It is not about whether your child has permission to participate in the lessons in class - its only about whether you are comfortable with your child running in the election if they would like to. Please sign this form, and have your child bring it back to school ASAP. They are due no later than Wednesday September 26th.
I also want to start keeping you updated on our learning targets! I will try and post them at the end of my weekly website updates, so that you know what standards and content we are focusing on in class.
ELA: I can write a story, real or imagined, with a clear beginning, middle, and end.
Math: I can recognize a digit's place value based on whether or not it is to the right or left of the decimal. I can identify the place value of digits to the thousandths place.
Social Studies: I can explain the differences between the 3 branches of government.
Science: I can make observations about different types of matter based on their properties.
Religion: I can identify our Catholic beliefs stated in the Apostle's Creed. I can recognize and explain the differences between faith and Faith.
Have a great weekend, everyone!
First Two Weeks!
September 13, 2018
Wow, its already been almost two full weeks back at school! I have had a great time getting to know this new group of fifth graders and figuring out how we are going to have a fun, successful year in fifth grade. We have not taken any STAR tests yet this year, as the window for STAR testing opens next week, so I have been slowly easing into the curriculum and getting the kids used to the new classroom routines.
Thank you to parents for signing your child's planners each night! It really helps kids stay accountable for their homework and schoolwork if you look over what was written in their planners at school and ask them about it at home. I have also had some parents ask about the reading homework that is assigned each night. I ask kids to read 20 minutes each day for homework, and it is okay if they read some of that at school, but I would still prefer they do at least part of that reading at school.
Just a reminder that Parent Night is now this Tuesday, September 18th instead of Thursday the 20th. I will be going over PowerSchool, grading, homework policies, field trips, etc. If you are unable to make it, I will be posting the slides presentation here for you to see. Have a great weekend!
August 31, 2018
Greetings Room 13 families! I am so excited to be back at Regis St. Mary this year teaching fifth grade again! I am looking forward to a great year filled with exciting events and lots of learning! This year, I will be posting weekly updates here on my website informing you as to what we are working on at school, as well as any other announcements pertaining to our class or the school as a whole. I will also do periodic email blasts with updates as well.
I am hoping that my website will be a great resource for everyone in class to easily access information about what's going on in class, as well as a place where you can download copies of important forms to fill out or homework that may have been left at school or lost that you can print out at home. I will also post links to websites that you can log into from home to practice skills that we have been working on in class. There is also a section devoted to book orders. I have posted the link to the Scholastic website that you can use to order books and earn points for free books for our class library! Our unique class code to include is also located on that page.
If you have any other questions or concerns, feel free to shoot me an email, and I will get back to you as quick as I can. I hope you are as excited for the 2018/2019 school year as I am! Enjoy your 3-day weekend! (: