5th Grade Newsletter - November 9, 2012

5th Grade Newsletter -Field School--resend
5th Gr Adventure BannerField
Fifth Grade Newsletter
5th grade is a journey, how will you travel? 

Contact Us
Mary Hill

Teresa Fernandez
(Social Studies)

Susan McNaughton
(Language Arts)

Mark Usem 
Other 5th Grade

Terry Mazig

Ruth LeMay

Jonathan Doten




Other 5th Grade
B.E.S.T. teachers: 

Rick Feuling 
(Math BEST)



Tim Jungwirth

(Reading BEST)





Field School Site Council

5th Grade Parent Reps


Marjorie Grevious




Rich Flint




** Site Council meetings are held the 1st Wednesday of the month from 4:00 - 5:30 and are open to anyone wishing to attend.  If you have a topic to discuss you must be on the agenda prior to the meeting.  Please contact your grade rep. to be added to the agenda.



Field Community School
4645 Fourth Avenue S
Minneapolis, MN 55419


Click HERE for the FIELD SCHOOL Webpage



Click HERE for Mr. Usem's Webpage


A few pictures from 
our Fort Snelling 
Environmental Field Trip! 
Fort Snelling Entrance Fort Snelling Lake Fort Snelling Crayfish Fort Snelling Canoe Fort Snelling Circle
5th Grade Rocks
November 9, 2012  

Things are buzzing along as we begin quarter 2.  It is time to ponder goals set in quarter 1 and set new goals for quarter 2.  We hope that family goals include checking planners nightly, and carrying instruments home every day.


Grades will be sent by U.S. Mail in the next couple of weeks.


Cold weather is here- and really cold is coming.  We are still seeing students in shorts, tee shirts and without jackets.  Every student goes out for recess, and they need to be outfitted for the weather. 


We will be screening students for vision on Monday, November 12.  


Fifth Grade 101:

At the start of the year, students came with packs of pencils, crayons, color pencils, note cards and paper.  Does your child still have what they need to succeed?  Please check to make sure that your child has enough pencils and other school supplies.  Unfortunately, some students have lost or used up their initial supply.

The Fifth Grade Team
Language Arts


It was a long haul to get grades done.  Major assignments came close to the end of the quarter this time. During the rest of the year, they will be more spread out.  Final grades, however, looked good overall.  Some students' grades were brought down from a low reading log score.  Hopefully, they will develop a better routine in Quarter 2.  Reading at home is very important to reading and other learning skills.

It felt good to find our way into our first unit of Quarter 2, Number the Stars.  Students were engaged and thoughtful in the discussion of the question: Is it our duty as human beings to take responsibility for others in need?  We will revisit this question throughout the unit, as well as learning about historical fiction, plot and elements of literature.  Students who have been or will be absent can check out a copy of the novel from the Media Center to use at home. 

Besides the test on the novel, performance assessments will be a poetry assignment and an expository essay this quarter.

Remind your child about reading at home.  A new reading log for quarter 2 started today! 
November 9, 2012

Science Promotes Academic Mastery! (Also known as SPAM!)  

Welcome to the world of Science!  We are Microscopehaving a great year!


What is a controlled variable?  How do we construct a fair experiment?  What is the only variable that changed the number of swings in 15 seconds?  We have answered these and many more exciting questions.  Next week it is anchor's away as we construct life boats and determine their capacity. An Abe Lincoln look-alike cruise is about to hit rough waters!  Can we save them all? Stay tuned for the latest news!

This week's homework is a response sheet for comparing variables used with the swinger.  Period 6 students did not get the homework due to Climb Theater and needing to complete a pretest for an upcoming unit.  They will get their homework on Monday and will be due on Thursday.  For all other classes, the homework is due Monday.

Math Logo 1

Nov 9, 2012 


On Wednesday this week we took the Test for Unit #1. Some students needed a second day for the test, and completed it on Thursday. The test was designed as a "less than one period" test in length, so I am a bit concerned about the few students who need up to 2 periods to complete the test. The test included all material we've studied since the beginning of the year, including: factors, multiples, factorization, and especially including multi-digit multiplication and division strategies.

  Long Division

While much of the material had been assessed in quizzes earlier this year, this was the only time that students were assessed on the "long-division" algorithm. Some seemed to do very well, but a number of students still seem to be struggling with their division skills. I will be getting this test back to the students next week.


We are a bit behind our ideal pacing schedule, but with the relative importance of students needing to acquire good multiplication and division skills, I did not want to rush through that material. I am hoping to begin to pick up the pacing with this new unit. 

3D Shapes

We are now working on our new Unit #2 - Prisms & Pyramids... a study of 3-dimensional geometry, measurement, and volume. Students are seeming to have a good time in class as we are beginning by building different shapes and boxes using colorful cubes.


Grades for 1st quarter should be coming out to parents soon.  If you have any questions about your child's math grades and progress, please feel free to contact me. Remember that your child's grades in my B.E.S.T. classes (both Teal and Black) are based in total on participation and effort, in sharp contrast to regular math-class grades that are based in large part on mastery of the 5th-grade math standards. 


- Mr. Usem

~  ~  ~

To access my personal teacher webpage... with resources for students and parents!

Click HERE for Mr. Usem's Webpage

  The webpage lists what classwork we've done in class each day and references students' homework assignments.

Social StudiesSocial Studies


 November 9      History Alive! America's Past.  We are in Chapter 4.  Check out the chapter review at  (www.historyalive.com)  


This week's vocabulary words are:  New World, Age of Exploration, Explorers, plus: archeologists, ore, cash crop.  


   Remember planner signature for Social Studies.  Review class notes nightly 5-10 minutes or 40 minutes on the weekend.  Sign planner  once a week.   


Chapter 3 test  taught me a lot.  I will grade and return them, but it will not affect the students' grade.



Ms Fernandez   


Watch this space for upcoming events!
Send in more glue sticks.  We have gone through the more than 2 dozen I had at the beginning of the year.  So, please send more to Ms Fernandez.

 Ms Hill needs antibacterial wipes- preferably with bleach.  We make a lot of mess in the science room!







Dates to RememberDates to Remember:
  • November 15 - Book orders due  
  • Monday, November 12- Phillips eye center vision screening
  • Thur-Fri, Nov 22-23:  NO SCHOOL - Thanksgiving Break
  • Dec 24- Jan 1:  NO SCHOOL - Winter recess
This email was sent to seth.leavitt@mpls.k12.mn.us by mary.hill@mpls.k12.mn.us |  
Field School | 4645 Fourth Avenue South | Field PTA | Minneapolis | MN | 55419