Our Twenty-Fifth Year - Nurturing the Seeds of Discipleship is our school’s theme for this year. Our students will be learning and practicing the ways that we can be disciples of Jesus each day through our actions and choices as we grow in our Catholic faith together in our Saint Brigid of Kildare community. 5th and 6th Grade Curriculum and Important Information Who are my child’s teachers? Mrs. Carli Saliba I grew up outside of Tampa, Florida and then moved to Fort Wayne, Indiana when I was in the 4th grade. All of my immediate family members still reside in Indiana and I visit them often. I recently became an aunt and absolutely love it. I was blessed to enjoy Catholic education my entire life, including attending the University of Dayton - Go Flyers!! I graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Middle Childhood Education with a concentration in math and science. I am currently working on my Master’s Degree in Educational Leadership from the University of Dayton. After graduation, I spent my first few years teaching 4th grade math and science in a suburb of Dayton, Ohio. Next, I was welcomed to St. Brigid and have spent the last four years teaching science, algebra, and math to the 5th, 6th, 7th, and 8th grade students. I will continue to teach math this year, but am looking forward to helping the 6th graders grow closer to Christ through teaching religion as well! I feel so blessed to be teaching here and am excited for a great school year! Mrs. Sue Kessler I am originally from Stark County, Ohio and moved to Dublin just eight years ago. I am a graduate of Walsh University in North Canton, Ohio. I have a Bachelor of Science degree in Comprehensive Science. I later returned to Walsh to obtain my middle school teaching license in language arts and science. I also hold the Ohio reading endorsement for grades K-12. My husband and I have three daughters ages 20 through 16. We are very busy following their many activities. When time permits we enjoy spending time with our families in Canton. This year I will teach fifth grade religion and science and sixth grade science. I am thrilled and feel truly blessed to share my day with your children and welcome any questions that you may have. Mrs. Jill Cecutti I am a native of the Columbus area and am a proud graduate of Capital University. In recent years, I have taken additional coursework from Ashland University and the University of Dayton. I attend professional conferences and in-services frequently throughout the year and served on the Diocesan Language Arts Course of Study Committee. I currently serve on the statewide “Choose to Read Ohio” Advisory Board dedicated to choosing reading lists, promoting reading, and spotlighting Ohio authors in schools and libraries across Ohio. I am also the Battle of the Books coach for our SBK teams in 5th –7th grades and the moderator for Power of the Pencil for grades 5 and 6. My teaching career has spanned over 24 years as a Title I teacher, a classroom teacher in grades 4—8, and as a literacy teacher in grades 3--6. In my leisure time, I enjoy spending time with my family and friends, traveling to sunny beaches to kayak in the ocean with dolphins, reading books, and taking walks with my “rescued from the pound” dog named Lilu. My position as literacy teacher provides the opportunity for me to work with all 5th and 6th grade students almost every day in a variety of ways. I collaborate with teachers to creatively plan, integrate standards, and implement units of study in all subject areas through language arts: reading, writing, speaking and viewing. I also coordinate the Accelerated Reader (AR) program for 5th and 6th grades. My most important role is to work directly with our students to support them as they explore and learn. My passion in education, besides working with children, is children’s literature and promoting life-long reading. I am blessed to be working with you and your children in our wonderful school. Please feel free to contact me with any questions or concerns you may have throughout the year. Miss Karen Partridge I grew up in Dublin, Ohio where, I am proud to say, I was a 2002 graduate of Saint Brigid of Kildare. I enjoyed my time as a student then and now I am so excited to be back. In 2006, I graduated from Bishop Watterson High School. Go Eagles! I went on to get my Bachelor’s Degree from Miami University in Middle Childhood Education, with concentrations in social studies and language arts. I have three sisters with whom I am extremely close, I am an identical triplet and have another sister who is one year older than we are. My two “triplet” sisters are living with me in a little townhome in Dublin. Mary, my older sister, lives in Dallas, Texas and I miss her every day. In my free time, you can find me eating at El Vaquero, running, or cheering on the Buckeyes, Blue Jackets, and Steelers! This will be my second year teaching at Saint Brigid School. I am teaching 5th and 6th grade social studies as well as 5th grade reading. I am so blessed to be working with such a great group of students. Every day I get excited to come to school and get to know each of your children better. I am looking forward to a great year! Mrs. Emily Latham I graduated from Ohio Dominican University in 2009 with a degree in middle childhood education. I also played tennis while in college, and I am fortunate enough to keep involved with the sport through coaching. Last year I coached Watterson’s JV team and this year I am coaching at St. Brigid. Go Wolfhounds! I live in Marysville, which is where I have lived my whole life. Nearly all of my family is within a 2 mile radius of our house which I love. My brother is the only one who is not; he is stationed in Boise, Idaho as a fire fighter in the Air Force. I am a very proud older sister! I just got married this summer so I am still getting used to being called “Mrs. Latham” For the past two years I taught 5th grade at St. Michael School in Worthington, Ohio. I am excited to be at St. Brigid of Kildare and I want to thank everyone for making me feel so welcomed. I am looking forward to an awesome school year! How do I communicate with my child’s teachers? Communication, communication, communication… we can’t stress it enough… Communication is an essential component in your child’s education. If you need to speak to us or schedule a conference during the year, call us at school (718-5825). Please leave a message with the school secretary. We also welcome notes from home and will answer them as needed. If you wish to email us, we will do our best to answer you at our earliest convenience. Our email addresses are: firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org Wednesday Folders Any school communication will be sent home on Wednesdays only. Please read all the information, sign the back of the folder, and return it with your child on Thursday. Friday Folders Every Friday your child will bring home the work that he/she completed. Please take some time to review these papers with your child. This is a great opportunity to review your child’s progress and to notice both areas of strength and weakness. Please sign and return the folder with the papers inside on the next school day. All papers with be returned to you at the end of each quarter. We keep the papers to refer to for growth over time. What is homework? How does my child find out about homework? Assignments We believe that every assignment has value and importance. In an effort to help your child stay organized and on track, we will be using the student planner daily. Assignments are reviewed at the end of each day. A missing assignment notice (yellow form) is used as a form of communication to alert you to a missed assignment. This slip will indicate what assignment was missed and the teacher of the class it was assigned in. Every time a slip is given, the teacher will talk with your child and make a plan to help prevent any more missed assignments. An academic detention will be served upon three missing assignments per quarter. Academic detentions are different than behavioral detentions and will be served on Tuesdays from 3:00- 3:30pm in one of the fifth or sixth grade classrooms. Organization and responsibility are crucial life skills that will continue to benefit the students in the future. Our number one goal is to help your child be responsible and achieve success this school year. Edmodo All middle school teachers will be using Edmodo this year as their class homework site. Edmodo is a free and secure learning network for teachers, students, and schools. It provides a safe way for students and teachers to access homework and receive class information. Edmodo is accessible online and through any mobile device with Internet capabilities – including free apps for iPhone, iPad, iPod touch and Android devices. Students can access their accounts from any mobile device or computer. Students are currently being trained on the use of this program. What time does my child eat lunch? Nutritious Snacks and Lunch Fifth and sixth graders have the very last lunch period at 12:30pm each day. Thus a nutritious snack may be brought to eat mid-morning. We encourage you to help your child make healthy choices that would be easy to eat in our classroom. Due to food allergies, we cannot have peanut or nut products in the classrooms. Thank you for your help with this. Staying hydrated is also important for growing bodies and thinking minds. Water bottles, filled with only regular unflavored water, are permitted as long as they are not a distraction. What is the curriculum in my child’s academic classes? 5th Grade Religion Fifth grade religion will focus on Jesus, his life and teachings, his many miracles and accomplishments, and his involvement in Sacred Scripture. We will also discuss, at great length, the seven sacraments. We will look closely at their meanings, signs, and symbols. Prayer is another topic that will be covered this year. We will examine the types of prayer and take time to participate in daily prayer opportunities. We attend Mass every Thursday at 9:00am and we welcome you to join us as your schedule permits. We sit near the baptismal font and you may sit with our class or you may take your child from us at that location to sit with you elsewhere in church. In class, we will take time to look closely at the Mass and study each part so we gain more understanding of the Liturgy. 6th Grade Religion The sixth graders will be focusing their studies on the Old Testament. We will largely examine how God shares Himself with us by exploring the ways He revealed himself to the people, prophets, and kings that helped shape our faith in the Old Testament. We will spend time studying the Bible, the Liturgical Year, and various forms of prayer through projects, presentations, and a variety of individual and group activities. Our school theme this year is ‘Nurturing the Seeds of Discipleship’ on which we will be focusing in several ways throughout the year as we grow to understand how to learn more about and how to grow closer to Christ and one another. 5th Grade Social Studies This year, the fifth grade social studies course will focus on learning about the history of the United States. It will begin with a very exciting geography unit. Students will learn about various landforms and features that shape the five regions of the United States. With much practice and a little help from the new map on the playground, students will learn about our fifty states and capitals. Fifth graders will learn about the early settlers in America including the famous Christopher Columbus. Students will be responsible for creating their own European explorer’s scrapbook while becoming familiar with the difference between a primary and secondary source. With the presidential election quickly approaching, the fifth grade will study the branches of the government and how they are formed. Students will be encouraged to keep their eyes and ears open at home as the current political events and media coverage escalate. At the conclusion of our economics unit, we will take an exciting field trip to JA Biztown in December. (This was a highlight for our classes last year.) At JA Biztown, students will be assigned a specific job and will participate in a simulation that portrays the economy of an actual business in a community. Please be on the lookout for details regarding this unit. In the spring, fifth graders will continue with their study of U.S. history and will learn about the Revolutionary War. Last year, it was wonderful to see how students loved learning about how the United States became a free, independent country. Learning about the history of the United States will have a tremendous impact on our students. I am looking forward to motivating them to realize how important it is and how history continues to play a role in their lives. 6th Grade Social Studies Sixth grade social studies will focus on learning about Ancient History and Western Civilization. Students will be going back in time to discover many facets about the history of civilizations all around the world. These civilizations will include Ancient Egypt, Ancient Greece, Ancient China, Ancient, India, Roman Civilization, Islamic Civilization and the Middle Ages. For each civilization, we will take the time to explore and learn about the different ways of life, focusing on geography, government, economics and culture. As students learn about these different civilizations, they will be expected to be able to compare and contrast the civilizations. Each area we will study will be so unique and different from the other. Students will use graphic organizers to organize their ideas and present the information that they learn. Studying ancient civilization is an exciting piece of history that allows students to investigate and learn why things are the way they are today. They will understand how contributions from people who lived during these ancient times have impacted our lives. I am looking forward to seeing all of the sixth graders travel back in time to explore the ancient civilizations. 5th and 6th Grade Science and Health After a review of science process skills and science vocabulary, we will move our way through the science curriculum that includes life science, physical science, and earth and space science. A textbook will be distributed when needed to provide background knowledge and enhance our learning. Most learning will be achieved through an active (hands on) approach, in a cooperative learning setting. Health will be divided into various units covering social, physical, and mental/emotional health. We will also learn about goal setting and decision-making processes. We also have health textbooks to use when needed while in class. 5th and 6th Grade Language Arts The language arts curriculum is made up of standards in the areas of reading, writing, speaking, listening, and viewing. Mrs. Latham, Miss Partridge, and Mrs. Cecutti will work closely to provide an integrated approach to reading and writing. Reading instruction will occur in the context of novels, short stories, poetry, informational text, Internet sources, research materials, magazines, newspapers, and other authentic sources of text. Reading will be a combination of guided, interactive, individualized, and independent formats. Individualized reading and selection of appropriate reading material is the cornerstone of our reading program, but we will also participate in shared book experiences of many types. A type of shared reading we will incorporate into reading class this year is literature circles. “Literature circles” are a type of flexible grouping that changes by book choice or the standards being learned and used. The “circles” are focused on actively using reading strategies, continuing vocabulary development, writing and discussing reader responses, using higher level questioning skills, and participating in small group discussions and activities. Whole class literature selections will be integrated with other subject areas. For instance, when studying “mental and emotional health” in 6th grade health class, we will read the novel On My Honor, a Newbery winning novel that deals with a friendship and some difficult choices a boy must make. In 5th grade, we will use historical fiction novels such as Number the Stars, another Newbery winner with a WWII setting and a theme of friendship, to learn about historical events and the people during those time periods. Learning from and enjoying quality children’s literature through practice of daily independent reading is vital to our reading curriculum. Our goal is for each of our students to become a lifelong reader to enhance his/her future education, career, and personal life. There are many “purposes” for reading: enjoying the story and characters, sharing common feelings and experiences, gaining background knowledge, using authors’ styles as examples for our own writing, developing vocabulary, strengthening reading strategies, increasing and using questioning abilities, and increasing reading endurance. Emphasis will be placed on reading a “variety” of authors and genres; however there is NOT an assigned monthly genre. Instead, we use our “genre checklist” as a resource to read one or more books in each genre this year. We will assist our students in monitoring their reading and book choices for this. We will visit our school’s library regularly to work on library skills and choose books, although a wide variety of books are always available in our classrooms and beach reading room. The Accelerated Reading program, which is also referred to as the Always Read program in 5th and 6th grades, is one of the tools we use to monitor independent reading, literal comprehension, and vocabulary development. An average of twenty to thirty minutes of independent reading is assigned daily for homework. Usually students will have time each day to read in class, but reading at home can provide a comfortable setting for additional reading practice and enjoyment. Just as practice is essential to improving skills as an athlete or musician, so is reading practice. The more a student reads, the stronger the skills become and the confidence and enjoyment increases. Hopefully, this pattern will lead to life-long readers! Vocabulary standards include prefixes, suffixes, word parts, synonyms, antonyms, Greek and Latin roots, denotation/connotation, and etymology of words. The study will be bi-weekly, rotated with a spelling study. Each student will also have an individualized vocabulary list based on his/her independent reading selections. Students will be provided with lists of words from their independent reading books so that they can look for the word as they are reading and determine the meaning and use of the word in context. The words will be assessed once the student finishes reading the book. Writing in 5th and 6th grades includes crafting pieces such as narrative, persuasive, short fiction story, letter formats, research papers, essays, short non-fiction articles, reviews, summaries, and more. Writing skills such as sentence structure, paragraph development, revision and editing skills, and grammar usage will be explicitly taught for use in writing pieces and in writing work in content areas such as social studies, science, and math. For most writing assignments, students will use the writing process: prewriting, drafting, revising, editing, and publishing. Lessons and assignments will focus on a particular type of writing and the specific skills and standards needed to be a proficient writer. The targeted skills will be taught, reviewed, practiced, and re-taught as necessary, and then assessed. Students are expected to continue using and applying mastered skills in all writing assignments throughout the year. Composing “free choice” writing pieces of any type will also be encouraged and can be shared and displayed in the classroom if the student wishes. We want to encourage writing outside of our assigned pieces since the more students write, the more comfortable they become with the craft of writing. Students will free-write in a ‘writer’s notebook’ in which practicing and experimenting with writing can take place. Writing prompts will be available if desired. This format of free writing serves as a place for students to express themselves and to begin new ideas for crafting future writing. Most writing will be started in class so that we can encourage and help students in getting started. Multiple days in class are provided for writing assignments so that we can conference with and assist writers. However, we encourage students to write while at home, too, since a comfortable, familiar setting can inspire creativity and aid organization of ideas. Another opportunity this year will be entering writing contests of all types as well as emailing authors about the books we read. Some of these opportunities will be optional and some will be mandatory and used for a writing assessment. An example of this is the Letters About Literature Contest that we will begin in November. This is a contest sponsored by the Library of Congress and is one of the most valuable integrated reading and writing opportunities available for middle grades. We will teach and learn many standards through this reading and writing contest prompt, but students do NOT have to send their finished product to the contest if they do not wish to do so. However, the writing will be used as an assessment, so must be completed. A permission form will come home in the Wednesday folder that will need to be signed by a parent and returned to school in order for us to allow your child’s writing of any kind to be released outside of the school. We NEVER give personal information such as home address, phone number, family names, or other information to outside sources. Sometimes we have the opportunity to communicate with students at other schools about our reading and writing. Any response or correspondence with a student from outside sources will ALWAYS come through a teacher at school first. If you choose not to allow your child’s work to be released for contests or outside publication, the assignment will still be assigned and completed for class use and assessment. 5th Grade Math Welcome to Common Core Mathematics! The fifth grade math curriculum includes 3 critical focus areas. The focus of this year shifts to allow computational skills to improve as students will quickly move on in 6th grade to more complex concepts and ideas. This is the last year for these skills, so mastery and total comprehension is a must. Math of this level allows for exciting opportunities and activities where the students truly see just how integral math has become in our everyday lives. Your child can expect to be introduced to, to delve further into, or to master the following: Interpreting algebraic expression Analyzing patterns and relationships Understand and perform operations within the Base Ten System (decimals included) Determine equivalent fractions to help with adding, subtracting, multiplying and dividing fractions Represent and interpret data Understand concepts of volume and relate volume to multiplication and addition Graphing points on the coordinate plane and classifying polygons according to their attributes Along with the new 5th grade standards, a huge emphasis will be placed on practicing and mastering the Common Core Mathematical Practices. These consist of 8 processes and proficiencies that educators will help develop within each student. They include: Make sense of problems and persevere in solving them. Reason abstractly and quantitatively. Construct viable arguments and critique the reasoning of others. Model with mathematics. Use appropriate tools strategically. Look for and make use of structure. Look for and express regularity in repeated reasoning. 6th Grade Math Welcome to Common Core Mathematics! Sixth grade math curriculum is an exciting step. This year the focus shifts to applying computational skills to more complex situations rather than simple computation work. However, we will continue to revisit our fundamental skills throughout the year. Math of this level allows for exciting opportunities and activities where the students truly see just how integral math has become in our everyday lives. Your child can expect to be introduced to, to delve further into, or to master the following: Ratios and proportional relationships Rational Numbers and Integers Statistical variability Evaluating Expressions, equations, and inequalities Analyzing the quantitative relationships between dependent and independent variables. Surface area, volume and geometric attributes Along with the new 6th grade standards, a huge emphasis will be placed on practicing and mastering the Common Core Mathematical Practices. These consist of 8 processes and proficiencies that educators will help students develop. They include: Make sense of problems and persevere in solving them. Reason abstractly and quantitatively. Construct viable arguments and critique the reasoning of others. Model with mathematics. Use appropriate tools strategically. Look for and make use of structure. Look for and express regularity in repeated reasoning. Integrated Study Skills Unit Currently and for the next couple of weeks, all 5th and 6th graders are participating in an integrated study skills unit in each of their core classes. Even though our students have learned and used study skills in the past, we believe that study skills need to be explicitly taught, reviewed, and used frequently in order to master and use effectively. We also recognize that each student’s learning style and study needs are unique and often change based on the material being learned. With that in mind, we are providing in-depth and comprehensive lessons on “how to study” and how to use the tools, such as the various graphic organizers, books such as the Write Source, Reader’s Handbook, Math on Hand or Math on Call and parts of textbooks, to make learning easier in each class. In each content area, study methods and tools that are best suited for that particular subject will be presented and practiced so that students can then choose the study methods and tools that work best. As a result, our students will have a better understanding and ability to use effective study tips and tools in class and at home as they prepare for assessments and projects this year. How can I help my child at home? A way that you can support our efforts is to help your child set up a quiet area of your home in which to study and read. Also, we recognize that many families have very busy evening and weekend schedules. Please help your child find an appropriate and productive time to work on any school-related responsibilities on those busy evenings. Thank you! What is standards-based grading? Assessment Overview… St. Brigid of Kildare School of the Diocese of Columbus uses a standards based grading system. This means that as a student demonstrates learning at a mastery level, he/she has met the standard. If a student has less than a mastery level of learning the standard, intervention and reassessment will take place in a variety of ways. Students may meet the standard at the time the standard is initially taught and assessed, or at a different time during the year after explicit teaching, practice, assessment, interventions, and reassessment has occurred. Thus a student’s grade for the standard in a particular subject area can be fluctuating and changing as the student becomes more and more able to master, use, and apply the standards. An application level of a standard is often considered exceeding the standard since a student demonstrates a deeper understanding and ability to apply the standard in an extraordinary manner. Assessment means the measuring of student’s ability and achievement with specific learning goals or content standards. Each area of study, such as religion, mathematics, language arts, social studies, science, art, music, physical education, and Spanish, have a Diocesan Course of Study with specific content standards required for each grade level. The content standards are where teachers begin when planning lessons and units of study. Rubrics, checklists, and “I Can” statements are used to communicate with students regarding the level of performance needed to demonstrate mastery, or the need for intervention or more practice to improve to the mastery level. It is possible for mastery level to change as the year progresses with standards that span the entire year, such as in language arts. For example, as new punctuation rules are taught and learned, the mastery level for that particular standard would increase since a student would need to be able to correctly use additional rules in punctuation as the year progressed When “exceeding the standard” is an option, it will be demonstrated by mastery of the standard and beyond by demonstrating application of the standard and an exceptional depth of understanding. There are some standards that cannot be exceeded due to their nature, such as computation in mathematics or capitalizing proper nouns. Doing “more” does not equal “exceeding.” We will assess previous learning and where the students are in relation to the standards before beginning most units of study; this is referred to as pre-assessment. A pre-assessment can be written, oral, or even observational according to the standard being assessed. As the unit of study begins, students will have various formative assessments, which will be checkpoints to measure learning. The formative assessments are similar to a roadmap that lets students and teachers know what direction to go with further learning. Near the conclusion of a unit of study, students will participate in a summative assessment, which will determine the level of understanding of the content standards in the unit. The summative assessment could be in the form of a written or oral test, a multi-faceted project, a PowerPoint presentation, or other more complex or detailed representations of student learning. Students will often self-reflect on their learning during and at the end of a unit of study since the impact of learning is more evident when voiced by the learner and connections are made to how the new learning could be used in the future. In standards based grading we are most concerned with “progress over time.” Since most standards are revisited, retaught, and practiced either immediately after initial instruction or later in the quarter or year, possibly in a different manner, standards based grading allows a student to learn as he or she is developmentally ready and at a pace that is conducive to mastery learning. For our sports fans, learning and assessment can be compared to a sporting event such as soccer… The new coach wants to develop a team who can use soccer skills, play together, and win a game. Coach first puts the players on the practice field to see what they can do. He puts them through a couple of drills and some short-sided games with each other. This would be his pre- assessment, just as a teacher will pre-assess students at the beginning of most units of study. After observing and talking to the players, the coach knows that the players need more instruction on passing. A passing lesson is given and then Coach has the players do passing drills which would be the additional instruction and practice we provide students after the initial instruction of a standard. Some players need to practice more at home and even more the next day at practice, so Coach provides further assistance, possibly in a different manner. Other players have mastered the passing and now are working on longer passes or more complex passing patterns. In the classroom, the same could happen with a content standard; some are still working to master it while others are using it in a different way or more complex manner. Next, Coach wants to put his team in a game situation to see how they do, so he sets up some scrimmages. In school, these would be formative assessments and may happen multiple times in different ways to serve as checkpoints for the student and teacher to direct further learning. Although the scrimmages give the coach information about the players, it wouldn’t be fair to judge them yet since they are still developing, just as teachers give students multiple opportunities and ways to demonstrate their understanding of a standard. After the scrimmages, the soccer team learns some new plays and also works to strengthen their weak areas with Coach’s help. This would be additional instruction and intervention in the classroom with individuals or groups of students. Finally, after many practices and scrimmages, it’s time for the big game. This is when all the skills and strategies of the soccer players come into play. The players go onto the field and use all of their skills to win. This would be the summative assessment in the classroom and would showcase the learning goals and achievement of the student in relation to the specific content standards. The summative assessment might be a paper-pencil test, an oral debate or presentation, a research project, an invention or original piece of writing or artwork, an audio-visual product, or many other forms of showcasing student learning and mastery and application of content standards. The goal is to demonstrate an understanding of the standard that is strong enough to be recalled and used in future learning, just as Coach knows his players will continue to improve and use what they have learned in the next big game. Assessment article written by Jill Cecutti Literacy Team Teacher Grades 5 and 6 St. Brigid of Kildare School Curriculum Packet, September 2012 We are looking forward to a successful year as a team… students, parents, and teachers!
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