Week 8 Updates and Information

Hello All, 

OTA Announcements:

  • This Friday, January 18th is FREE DRESS DAY! The entire school earned a free dress day by bringing in socks for the Sock Drive in December! Yay!
  • Monday, January 21= NO SCHOOL

Star of India

Please read the informational page regarding our upcoming field trip. Once again, if you would like to chaperone, please email me! This form, along with all permission slips will be coming home on Friday.

This Week in 5th Grade:

Winter MAP testing- It’s that time of year again! We will be completing the Math and Reading MAP test this week. 

Math- Adding and Subtracting Fractions and Mixed Numbers! 

  • 7-6
  • 7-7
  • 7-8
  • 7-9
  • IXL 


  • Reading Part 2 of Don Quixote in a shorten summarized version
  • Comprehension Check- workbook pages pg. 131-134
  • Grammar Focus- Nouns (abstract, concrete, proper, common)
  • Idiom of the Week (this is new!)- Hold your horses and needle in a haystack! 
    • Try to include these phrases in your conversations this week!


  • Geography Expert Report
  • England Notes 
  • PBL groups and research 

Q2 Week 7 Information

Hello Everyone!

OTA Announcements:

  • No School on Monday, January 21- Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday 

Star of India Field trip

The famous OTA 5th Grade field trip, The Star of India, is about a month away! Our field trip is on February 6th – 7th. We will be participating in a living history experience and pretending we are sailors aboard an emigrant ship in the 1800s. Our students and chaperones will become part of the story and experience life aboard a ship. This is an overnight field trip! Students will need to be picked up the morning of the 7th.

**The program does not allow any students to come late or leave early. As this will disrupt the narrative/flow of the storyline.**

More information coming! 

I am in need of chaperones! If you would like to volunteer on this exciting voyage, please email me ASAP to secure your spot. I have a specific number of chaperones that are allowed to come. So, let me know! 

This Week in 5th Grade


  • We started Topic 7 this week! We will be focusing on FRACTIONS for awhile! πŸ™‚ 
  • 7-1
  • 7-2
  • 7-3
  • 7-4
  • 7-5
  • IXL 


  • Wrapping up Don Quixote 
  • Strategy/Skill Focus: Compare & Contrast different elements of the story, characters, events, scenes, etc.
  • Vocabulary Prefix inter- and para- packet due
  • Vocabulary Test on Friday 
  • Grammar Focus: Nouns (common, proper, abstract, and concrete) 
  • Character Focus Activity on Don Quixote and Sancho


  • Notes on Spanish Exploration
  • Continue our Columbus Analyzation/discussion- Hero or villain? 
  • Geography State Expert Report 

Happy New Year and Welcome Back to School

Hello 5th Grade Families, 

Happy New Year! I hope you all had a wonderful holiday break. I am looking forward to seeing all my students smiling faces tomorrow! Just a couple of reminders before we get our week started. 

Traffic Duty

5th Grade has traffic duty this week! I understand this is late notice, but here is the sign up for your child. Please ask them if they will volunteer for a job this week. 

5th Graders- sign up here. 

Star of India 

Mark your calendars!! Our field trip date: Wednesday, February 6-7th.  More information will be coming shortly. Please email me if you would like to volunteer to join us on this exciting journey! 

Book Talks

Reminder: Book talks start this week!!! Your child signed up for a presentation date in the first week of December. This is a presentation about a book they have read this quarter and should be completed and practiced at home. Your child has a bright pink paper with all the information and directions. Also- see all the information and the calendar of presentation dates HERE 

Week 6 Information and Reminders

Hello 5th Grade Families! 

With the holidays right around the corner, we have been wrapping things up here in 5th grade! We finished Topic 6 (dividing decimals) today and we also completed our FINAL DRAFTS of our first (super awesome) essay. 

These past 2 weeks, we have been writing our hearts out every day. We looked at examples, analyzed what should be in each paragraph, and worked hard on our opinion essays. 

The ultimate question that students had to answer in their essay:

Do Don Quixote’s good intentions justify his actions? 

The writing that I have been witnessing the past 3 weeks is AMAZING!! We truly have a class of writers who can prove their opinion with reasons, support their reasons with evidence, and explain their thoughts!! I cannot wait for you to see these! Ask your child to pull their final draft up on Google Classroom and take a look! 

With strong writing, we need to learn how to become editors of our work as well. On Thursday we started learning how to appropriately edit our essays. We started with an editing checklist, where students had to color code certain things, circle transition words, fix punctuation, capitalization, etc. After this first step, we reflected on what surprised us about our writing after. Students responded with many answers, but many stated that they were surprised some of their sentences didn’t make sense when they re-read it. This is a huge conclusion for 5th graders to understand! This allowed us to talk about the importance of RE-READING our work and taking time to make sure everything makes sense. πŸ™‚

After our self editing, we then moved onto Peer Editing. Once again, I provided the students with a ‘checklist’ to look for and had them carefully edit each essay. They did this without knowing whose essay they were reading. Students took their job seriously and I had students really analyzing text evidence and questioning- does this quote really support their reason? I was blown away. 

Today, we took the edits our peers completed and completed our final drafts. We talked a lot about how at the end of the day, this is your essay and the final decision is yours. Students conversed with the editors and asked for clarification about things. Conversations were good. And editing and final drafts were completed! 

So proud of our 5th graders and the work they have completed!! 

Reminders for this week:

  • Sock Drive ends tomorrow!! Last day to bring in socks is tomorrow!! 
  • Tomorrow is a HALF DAY- pick up your child at 12pm. 
  • Tomorrow is UGLY SWEATER day!! πŸ™‚ 
  • WINTER BREAK begins tomorrow at 12 πŸ™‚ Thursday 12/20-Friday, 1/4
  • School Begins Monday, January 7th- SEE YOU THEN!
  • Movie Permission slips were sent home today! Please sign the permission slip if you allow your child to watch Coraline, a PG movie in class tomorrow. 

Assignments Due TOMORROW:

  • Topic 6 Online Assessment
  • Math IXL
  • Don Quixote Essay
  • Dear Diary, Love Columbus Project  

I hope your family has a WONDERFUL winter break!

Week 5 in 5th Grade

Welcome to the half way point for Quarter 2! πŸ™‚ 

OTA Announcements:

  • Wednesday- 12/19 HALF DAY dismissal (12pm). It is also Spirit Day- Ugly Sweater Day! Students have a chance to win prizes for the best ugly sweater!
    • We will also have a winter celebration on this day, more information will be coming soon. 
  • 12/20-1/4 Winter Break
  • 1/7 School Resumes πŸ™‚ 

Sock Drive 12/10-12/19

Every year during the holiday season, OTA sponsors a sock drive for the homeless kids at the SUFK center here in San Diego. We are asking our OTA families to be generous in helping these kids whose homes are the streets of San Diego. Every year OTA has delivered hundreds of pairs of socks to the SUFK center to be distributed to the homeless kids. These kids depend on us to help them and to make the holidays special. The kids not only use the socks for their feet. They also use them around their necks to stay warm, around their heads to cover their ears. They are a very basic, versatile item for them.

Please bring in packages of new athletic socks throughout the sock drive. Our principal’s advisory committee students are in charge of the sock drive. Every class that collects 100 pairs of socks or more will receive a free dress day. Get into the spirit of giving this holiday season and help OTA make a difference in the lives of these kids. Thank you for helping OTA make the holidays special for the homeless kids at the Standup for Kids Center.

This Week in 5th Grade: 

Math- Dividing Decimals 

  • 6-4
  • 6-5
  • 6-6
  • 6-7
  • 6-8
  • IXL Due Next Wednesday 


  • Vocabulary Week 5/6- Prefix Focus: Inter- and para- 
  • Vocabulary Packet and test due next Wednesday πŸ™‚ 
  • Don Quixote Reading 
  • Skill focus: Comparing and contrasting different parts of the story, characters, settings, etc. 
  • Essay Writing– We will finish our first draft of our opinion essay!! 
  • Editing– Self Editing Checklist and Peer Editing
  • Grammar Focus: Nouns- proper, common, abstract, concrete


  • Geography State Expert Reports- we are all researching a state from the Midwest/Southwest region! 
  • Christopher Columbus Notes
  • Columbus Log Project- Directions on History Page on blog 
  • Explorer Trading Cards 


Quarter 2 Week 4

Hello 5th Grade! 

OTA Announcements:

  • Coffee with the Principal 12/7 at 8:!5
  • Wednesday, December 19th is a HALF DAY! 
  • Winter Break 12/20-1/4
    • School Begins again on January 7th πŸ™‚

Book Talk 

Book Talks are approaching! Last week your child received a bright pink informational form describing this new project! 

Book Talks are a 2-4 minute advertisement for a book they read during Quarter 1 or Quarter 2. This presentation is comprised of a hook, content, and a cliff hanger. Basically, your child is summarizing the book for the class. The purpose is for students to hear about a variety of books and see what they want to read next! Also this puts a purpose to reading everyday at home. We will do more Book Talks throughout the year to continue motivating students to continue reading nightly at home. 

Encourage your child to get creative! Use the characters or storyline to enhance your book talk. For example, your child can pretend to be a character from the story and talk from first person perspective. Or if the book has an important item that is apart of the story- your child can bring it and use it in their presentation. 

Students should practice ahead of time and have a written copy they can refer to while presenting. These presentations will happen in January and your child has already signed up for a presentation date. You can go to the BOOK TALK tab on the blog to see the calendar, my example, and any extra tips for your child. 


I’m so excited to see these in January πŸ™‚ 

This Week in 5th Grade


  • Topic 5 Online Assessment 
  • TOPIC 5 MATH TEST on Tuesday – Students should study TONIGHT by finishing their Topic 5 Reteach and their reviewing the Online Assessment on pearsonrealize.com
  • 6-1
  • 6-2
  • IXL Due Friday 


  • Don Quixote Vocabulary Week 3/4 Due Friday 
  • Vocabulary Test on Friday 
  • Skill focus: Comparing and Contrasting different parts of Don Quixote.
  • Double Bubble Thinking Map 
  • Drawing Conclusions based on analyzing the text 
  • Opinion Essay- Intro paragraph and Body Paragraphs!! 
  • Read CH. 7-10 of Don Quixote 


  • Notes on Portuguese Exploration
  • Activity: Portuguese Explorer Award 

Week 3 Updates and Information

Hello everyone!

I hope you all had a wonderful week off school. As I reflected about this year, I kept thinking how incredibly thankful I am for this class and each student I get the pleasure of being with each day. We will make the most of these 3.5 weeks before Winter Break!! The time will fly…but we have lots to do!! Thank you for supporting your child at home in these crazy holiday months. 

This Week in 5th Grade:

  • 5-5
  • 5-6
  • 5-7
  • 5-8
  • Topic 5 Reteach 
  • IXL Due next Friday
  • Grammar Focus: Sentences, Fragments, and Run Ons
  • ELA IXL AA.4, AA.5, AA.6
  • Reading Focus: Don Quixote with reading activities in class
    • workbook pages 39, 40, 69, and 70
  • Writing Focus: What makes up a persuasive/opinion essay?
    • Writing a strong claim 
  • Strategy Focus: Identifying Fact and Opinion
  • Students should be reading at least 20 minutes each night!
  • Vocabulary Week 3 & 4 Activities (Due next Friday)
  • Writing Responses for Week 3
  • We will finish our explorer ships this week!- These summarize the reasons explorers explored during the Age of Exploration!
  • Navigational Tools Activity/Lesson 

Before our break we had a really busy week with OTA’s annual CPR Awareness Day and our Ice Cream Party from the Halloween door contest! Enjoy some photos! πŸ™‚ 


5th Grade Honor Roll for Quarter 1!

We love ice cream!! 


Need Drivers for Tuesday!


K-5 has been invited to see Alice in Wonderland. This play is put on by the students in the after school theatre program. The performance is on THIS Tuesday, November 13th from 1:00-2pm. We need drivers to get our 5th graders 1.3 miles down the street to Mission Hills United Church of Christ. 

Right now we only have a 1 car (holding 3 5th graders) committed to driving to this event! Are you available to help drive 5th graders there, attend the play, and drive 5th graders back to school after it’s over? 

Email me ASAP. Thank you! 

Also- just a reminder there is no school on Monday (11/12). Have a nice, long weekend! 

Welcome to Quarter 2 Week 1!

Hello 5th Grade Families, 

Welcome to Quarter 2! Quarter 1 flew by- it was filled with community building, deep learning of the Renaissance, and of course lots of fun! Thanks for a great quarter. I am confident as we move forward to Quarter 2, it will only get better. We will continue to work hard, work collaboratively, and create a learning environment that promotes individuality and critical thinking. Let’s go 5th grade! 

I love the beginning of a new quarter. I like to reflect on the last quarter and see ways that we can improve in the upcoming 9 weeks. It is refreshing! It’s SUPER important to not get behind early on in the quarter. Students should start strong!! 

November is a very busy time, please see the important dates below. 

OTA Announcements:

  •  This Wednesday- Friday (11/7-11/9) are parent conferences! Students are dismissed at 12pm all 3 days. Please pick your child up on time. All conferences will start promptly at your assigned time. I will do my best to stay on schedule, so please be on time! Make sure you have signed up for a conference by TOMORROW (Tuesday). CLICK HERE for the sign up. 
  • Monday, November 12th – Veteran’s Day – No school! 
  • Tuesday, November 13th– K-5th Grade has been invited to see Alice in Wonderland. This performance includes a group of students, who are in the after school theatre program. The performance begins at 1:00pm. I need parent drivers to drive us 1.3 miles down the street to Mission Hills United Church of Christ. The performance is about 1 hour long and we will return to OTA at about 2pm. If you are available to drive us, please email me and let me know how many students you can hold in your car! THANK YOU!
  • Thursday, November 15th- CPR Awareness Day!– This day will be very similar to years past. Students will learn CPR, AED procedure, and water safety. 
  • Monday, November 19th- Friday, November 23rd = NO SCHOOL! Thanksgiving Holiday. 


Students will receive their log in information for the grade book so that they can log in at home and at school. Parents, please get in the habit of checking the grade book regularly so that you and your child stay up to date with their grades, turning in work, and how they are doing. The grade book is updated weekly. 

Quarter 2 Snapshot

We have PE this quarter on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday! Students must wear their PE uniforms on PE days.

NO EXTENDED LEARNING for Q2. OTA has put a school wide hold on extended learning as we evaluate it. Our teachers will be discussing extended learning and updating it for future quarters. For this quarter, students must work hard on all in class assignments in order to get an A! Don’t worry, extended learning will be back. 

Language Arts– We have started the novel, Don Quixote! We will do all reading of the book in class. Students will be completing many activities along the way, focusing on many different standards connected to reading literature. While reading the novel, we will be writing our first essay! 

Math– This quarter we will be focusing on- multiplying decimals, dividing whole numbers and decimal numbers, and adding.subtracting fractions! IXL will be due every few weeks but this is something students should be working on weekly. 

History– Our focus this quarter is on European Exploration! We will study and learn about how, where, and why different European countries explored during the Age of Exploration.

Geography– State Expert Report #2 on a Midwest state! Students will work on this in class and will research their state individually. 

Book Talks- Students will be presenting a “Book Talk” on a book they are currently reading (or read last quarter). More information to come soon. But it is SUPER important, students are reading a novel each night! 

This Week in 5th Grade:


  • 4-9
  • 4-10
  • Topic 4 Reteach 
  • Topic 4 Online Review
  • Topic 4 Test on FRIDAY (students should be studying all week at home!)
  • IXL I Skills due Friday (these were really due last week, but I am letting students submit these skills by this Friday for partial credit)


  • Don Quixote Reading- We will be reading the first couple chapters in class together
  • Character Chart on DQ and Sancho
  • Don Quixote Writing Response 
  • Grammar Focus: Independent & dependent clauses
    • ELA IXL Skill AA.7
  • Vocabulary Week 1/2 due next week
  • Nonfiction Week 1/2 due next week 


  • Reasons for Exploring Notes
  • Reason for Exploring Ship project 

5th Grade is #1!

This year we participated in a school wide Halloween door decoration competition and 5th grade DOMINATED! 

Together, we brainstormed different ideas and came up with this below. Mrs. Cook “cooking” her students, Sally’s (our imaginary classmate) gravestone in the corner, my dogs transformed into evil bats in the right hand corner ready to eat the stew, and spiders and rats! We worked together making every part- students were in charge of different aspects. 

We are so proud of our creation! GREAT JOB 5th graders! And thank you to Erin Parente and Maya Houry for getting the supplies we needed! 


Just a quick reminder: Tomorrow is a half day- with 12pm dismissal! And also it’s crazy hair day!