Mrs. Stillman's 5th Grade Blog-March 1, 2019


Iowa Standardized testing will take place during the next two weeks. All four Intermediate teachers will be administering some sections of the test. Homework will be limited. The students are allowed to bring in gum or candy to help ease tensions. They will need to have a book available to read for when they finish early. Please limit absences to a minimum if possible. There will be make up days scheduled the week of March 18 for those who miss school. Please contact us if you have any questions or concerns.

Reminder: This Friday is an 11:30 dismissal as teachers begin to prepare report cards. This also marks the end of the second trimester. Report cards will be sent home on Friday, March 15.


Reading Logs due Monday! A few students are struggling with being responsible with their reading log. Considering this is the majority of students’ reading homework, and is graded, I am now lowering the grade a small percentage each day the log is handed in late, after Tuesday. My goal is to have all students take more responsibility with filling it out properly and turning it in on time. They always have the added day of Monday as a reminder. The only way I can encourage reading at home, a necessary way to increase fluency and reading skills, is to give my students the responsibility of documenting and estimating their reading times, ensuring they take the time out of their day to find new books and to read for enjoyment!

This week we will begin a new novel The Cay, by Theodore Taylor. The novel is set in Willemstad, on the island of Curacao, the largest of the Dutch islands just off the coast of Venezuela. The story takes place during WWII. The majority of the story, however takes place on the small island the main characters are shipwrecked on. The main themes of this story are survival, racism, and friendship. We will read the majority of the novel in class together and occasionally listen to a chapter on audio; discussing important points along the way.

March 6th Book Report work in class. Book must be read by then to fulfill requirements. We will work on the rough drafts while simultaneously continuing our reading of The Cay. Some final draft work may be homework. Kids can choose to write or type their final pieces.


The class has looked at animals from the different phylum in a country of choice. Next week they will create a food chain using a number of different phyla while doing some research on different animals.

Social Studies

We are finished with our study of the Native Americans!! Students will be working on a compare/contrast chart looking at the five main areas of tribes that we have learned about. As a culminating project, students will be choosing the tribe that they would most like to live with. Using the chart as well as their notebooks, students will create a booklet that demonstrates their knowledge about the types of homes, transportation, food, weapons and customs/beliefs of that tribe. They will also write a paragraph as to why they chose that particular tribe. These will be due on Friday, March 8th, just in time for the end of the 2nd trimester. We’re on to Explorers next!


This week we will begin the unit on percentages, fractions, decimals, and ratios. We will begin by converting Percents to Decimals, Percents to Fractions, and vice versa. Next, we will evaluate percents of a number.

Language Arts/Writing

Grammar/Vocabulary: We will not be having vocabulary or grammar this week due to Iowa testing.

In writing, we continue to explore the Beatitudes. The students have chosen one of the Beatitudes and are in the process of completing their paragraphs. Paragraphs will be due on Wednesday.


Having fun with our Buddies!


This week is Ash Wednesday. Please join us for Mass if you can.

Throughout Lent, we will be reciting a decade of the Rosary once a week. This week we will gather in the church with the Intermediate classes and pray the first decade.

We will be reading the Sunday Gospel in the Venture magazine: Jesus faces temptation.

St. Monica School