Fifth graders have learned a new irregular verb in Latin, “ire,” which means “to go”. This verb is important because just as in English, we use the word “go” often in Latin and especially when explaining movement. Students must apply the verbs to three different verb tenses and begin using them with the prepositions that they have already learned. It takes reinforcement to learn new verb tenses, so students have been practicing in multiple ways-- through whiteboards, flyswatter vocabulary review, and kinesthetic role play. Reviewing through a variety of differentiated methods helps all learners. This way, fifth graders “ibunt” (will go) the distance in Latin!



Escape with Decimals

Fifth grade has been studying decimal operations in math. They used their knowledge of adding and subtracting decimals to complete a BreakoutEDU escape game. They had to add menu prices, read latitude and longitude from a map, and solve many other multilayer clues to open a series of locks. It took a tremendous amount of teamwork and focus, but they successfully completed the challenge with one minute to spare!


Katelyn Gunter



We have been building “boomilevers” in science with the help of Mrs. Denise. A boomilever is an architectural structure that is supported on one side only, a combination of a boom and a cantilever. We applied our knowledge of force and leverage in attempts to create the strongest, lightest, most efficient structure. Next we will complete the engineering design process by returning to the drawing board to see how we can improve what we made.


“My favorite thing this week was making the boomilevers. I really liked doing this because it was a really great learning experience for me to learn. I also really liked it because I have never done something like this before and it was really fun and exciting.” ~Morgan


Fifth graders are learning the value of close reading. We have initiated the practice of reading a passage multiple times over the course of a few days in an effort to deepen comprehension. The students are engaging with the text well--interesting fiction and non-fiction passages make the reading more pleasurable. Working as a whole class and in small groups, students must think not only about characters, theme, and point of view, but they must also determine word meanings in context and cite evidence directly from the text. This process not only requires more analysis, but it also helps students to practice paraphrasing for writing essays.  I am seeing the benefits of close reading in the students’ enthusiasm and their well-constructed responses.

Next week, we will apply this skill to our thirteen colonies unit in history. I look forward to witnessing how much students absorb in these future readings because the information and knowledge they will learn is essential to our Colonial Living History project in December.


Katelyn Gunter


Fifth grade has just landed in America as English colonists!  We are imagining ourselves in the shoes of those brave people who founded the first successful English settlement. So far, we “gentlemen” have voyaged from England to the shores of Virginia and met the Powhatan Indians. We wrote day-in-the-life journal entries from the point of view of a Woodland Indian. Now we are wondering whether we can survive without much training in agriculture or experience in manual labor. Will Chief Powhatan and his tribe help us?  

When we are not exploring the New World, we are drafting essays about women’s suffrage for the annual Daughters of the American Revolution essay contest in our Language Arts class. This year’s topic focuses on the 19th Amendment and its impact on America. For some students, like H.W., this is the best part of Language Arts-- imagining that we get to live in 1919! What excitement 5th grade is experiencing as we time travel between 1607, 1919, and 2018!  




Will it sink or will it float? Why? Fifth grade students investigated the physical property of density in a collaborative research assignment with Grade Six. Topics included mass, volume, density, and concentration, as well as more complex concepts such as ideal gas laws and Archimedes principle.  Students shared their findings with one another and then applied their knowledge and skills in hands-on lab practical. In the laboratory, students calculated the density of air and compared it to a known standard and found the “number density” of Skittles. They formed and tested hypotheses regarding which brand of soap would float, and why. They also formed and tested hypotheses about the densities of various liquids. We had a great time getting our hands wet and the tables sticky!

“My favorite learning experiment was this week was in science. I got to learn about volume and density. I also got to learn about why a certain soap floated and the other two sunk to the bottom.” ~Addison

“I really enjoyed the density lab in science. One of the things I really liked about it was that there was a lot of teamwork involved. Also it was very fun and exciting to be in the lab with my friends having fun.” ~Morgan

Katelyn Gunter

This year, blog posts will be written by students so that they can reflect on their learning. Please read on from M.Y.:


This week in History 5th grade did a history-about-me sheet and filled out a map of the 50 states. We also worked on other maps. In Latin we reviewed the verb charts and played flyswatter. In Language Arts we started making lightbulbs about this year to show the things we want to do, think, and create. Also, we had to write a paragraph about a brownie before we ate the brownie sitting in front of us. Last, but not least, we read a book called The Mysteries of Harris Burdick and then found a picture and caption from the book and wrote our own story about that picture and caption.



Katelyn Gunter
Roman Carnival

To cap off our year of studying Latin, middle school students hosted our annual Roman carnival. Fifth and sixth graders chose Roman deities to represent, researched them, and completed mini projects about their characters. Students were grouped by common traits of the deities, or by family members, and were then tasked to create a game based off their gods' skills. With the  help of fourth grade assistants, students set up game booths and entertained the rest of campus. We had everything from Jupiter and Juno's "Knock Down" to Vesta and Ceres' bread toss, Mars, Mercury, Janus, and Hercules' obstacle course to Minerva and Fortuna's "Test your Knowledge", Apollo and Faunus' musical chairs to Venus, Flora, and Cupid's hair and beauty salon plus many more gods and games. Samson, Mrs. Joyce's gentle dog, helped guard the underworld. We hope that the lower school and preschool students had as much fun as the middle schoolers did!  What a great way to end standardized testing week!

Jennifer Jordan