Bienvenue! добро пожаловать! ¡Bienvenido! Welcome to the AAS Grade Five Blog!

Author: Melissa Pellerin (Page 1 of 8)

Welcome to the Grade 5 Blog!

We are so happy you found your way to our blog.  In an effort to facilitate communications between school and home, we will use this blog as our primary vehicle for getting information to you about your child’s life and learning in Grade 5.

We have subscribed you to our site.  You will automatically get an email to let you know each time new information is posted here. If you wish to receive these on another email, you can subscribe with that email on the right.  If you do not wish to continue receiving updates by post, you can simply click on “unsubscribe” at the bottom of the email.

We look forward to sharing this important year in your child’s life with you!

It’s Summertime!

We hope you have already started relaxing and enjoying the summer holiday!  Teachers finished up this afternoon and we are each off on our own summer adventure in the next few hours/days.

Here is the link to the video of our Moving-Up Ceremony.  You may want to share this occasion with family and friends.

We hope you and your children will enjoy lots of playtime this summer.  In addition, we hope that all students will maintain a daily reading habit. You might also consider a family read aloud to share and discuss. You child’s Overdrive account through the school library page allows for summer reading with ebooks and audiobooks.

Student IXL accounts will be available throughout the summer for continued math practice. Math games, too, are a great way to maintain fluency and flexibility in math. Strategy games develop problem solving skills. In addition these allow for family time together.

Again, we wish you all a fabulous and safe summer holiday and look forward to seeing most of you back in August!

Math Practices

As described in previous posts, the Math Practices are the backbone of what it means to work as a mathematician. The practice standards outline the habits that we try to develop in our math learners to support the development of conceptual understandings across the domains. Whether are students are working in number sense, operations, algebraic thinking, geometry, measurement, data, or integrating these, the habits used to successfully make sense of problems, think mathematically and communicate understanding are critical to developing our students as mathematicians.

In each unit, we have focused on a few of these, so that all practices are developed throughout the school year. In unit 4, we focused on the last 3 of the 8 Practice Standards, numbers 2, 4, and 6.  Each are described in more detail below.

Reason abstractly and quantitatively:  Mathematically proficient students make sense of quantities and their relationships in problem situations. They bring two complementary abilities to bear on problems involving quantitative relationships: the ability to decontextualize—to abstract a given situation and represent it symbolically and manipulate the representing symbols as if they have a life of their own, without necessarily attending to their referents—and the ability to contextualize, to pause as needed during the manipulation process in order to probe into the referents for the symbols involved.

Quantitative reasoning entails habits of creating a coherent representation of the problem at hand; considering the units involved; attending to the meaning of quantities, not just how to compute them; and knowing and flexibly using different properties of operations and objects.

More generally, Mathematical Practice #2 asks students to be able to translate a problem situation into a number sentence (with or without blanks) and, after they solve the arithmetic part (any way), to be able to recognize the connection between all the elements of the sentence and the original problem. It involves making sure that the units (objects!) in problems make sense.

Model with mathematics: Mathematically proficient students can apply the mathematics they know to solve problems arising in everyday life, society, and the workplace. In early grades, this might be as simple as writing an addition equation to describe a situation. In middle grades, a student might apply proportional reasoning to plan a school event or analyze a problem in the community. By high school, a student might use geometry to solve a design problem or use a function to describe how one quantity of interest depends on another.

Mathematically proficient students who can apply what they know are comfortable making assumptions and approximations to simplify a complicated situation, realizing that these may need revision later. They are able to identify important quantities in a practical situation and map their relationships using such tools as diagrams, two-way tables, graphs, flowcharts and formulas.

Mathematically proficient students can analyze those relationships mathematically to draw conclusions. They routinely interpret their mathematical results in the context of the situation and reflect on whether the results make sense, possibly improving the model if it has not served its purpose.

Attend to precision: Mathematically proficient students try to communicate precisely to others. They try to use clear definitions in discussion with others and in their own reasoning. They state the meaning of the symbols they choose, including using the equal sign consistently and appropriately. They are careful about specifying units of measure, and labeling axes to clarify the correspondence with quantities in a problem.

They calculate accurately and efficiently, express numerical answers with a degree of precision appropriate for the problem context. In the elementary grades, students give carefully formulated explanations to each other. By the time they reach high school they have learned to examine claims and make explicit use of definitions.

~Common Core State Standards

As you work with your child in math, consider how you can show your own practices in thinking mathematically, and help them to communicate their practices clearly to you. As you review math assessments with your child, notice how they have shown these practices and how they might continue to grow their habits of thinking and communicating as mathematicians.

We are continuing to experiment with tools for assessing and communicating your child’s growth and practices in math with you and with them.  Taking time to review your child’s work with them and discussing these practices can only support the work we are doing here at school.  This support is certainly appreciated!

MAP Testing

Dear Parents, 

Grade 5 students will be involved in MAP testing over the next 2 weeks.  Our schedule is as follows:

  • Math:  Monday morning, May 15
  • Reading:  Wednesday afternoon, May 17
  • Language Usage:  Monday morning, May 22
  • Extra time, as needed:  Friday morning, May 19, Thursday, May 25, and Friday, May 26

Please ensure that your child has a good night’s rest and a healthy breakfast on these days.

Details for this Week’s Exhibition

Dear Parents,

The Grade 5 PYP Exhibition is just around the corner. Students have been finalizing pieces to present to you and the rest of our school community. Here are some details that you need to know about the event.  

  • Tuesday (April 25): Students should wear their regular school uniform to school and bring their formal uniforms (including tie, belt and nice black shoes). Formal presentations will begin after lunch for the school community.
  • Wednesday (April 26): Students should wear their PE uniforms and bring their formal school uniform. A second formal shirt is also recommended to look fresh for the evening performance.  Formal presentations will continue in the afternoon for the school community.  
  • Wednesday after school:  Grade 5 Students are expected to remain at school to relax and prepare for the evening parent presentation.  
    • 3:30-4:00 – Students with after-school activities may attend these.  Students with no activities will be supervised for outdoor play.
    • 4:00-4:30- Students will go to the South cafeteria for a light dinner (Thank you, PTA sponsors!!). Pizza and juice will be served. (Note: If your child is likely to need more than this, please pack an additional snack, as students will not have the option of going to the North Cafeteria.)
    • 4:30-4:45 – Students will return to classrooms to change back into formal uniforms and prepare for the evening.
    • 4:50 – Students will line up for readiness to go on stage.  
  • Wednesday evening 5:00 p.m.: A special presentation especially for Grade 5 families and friends kicks off in the Bolshoi. Please come to the Bolshoi first. After this short opening ceremony, you’ll have time to peruse all 27 of the team Exhibitions and view student individual and small group presentations.  We’ll wrap things up and dismiss students for the evening at 7:00.
    • You are welcome to bring visitors (grandparents, aunts and uncles and involved family friends) to this evening celebration, however please note that anyone without an AAS badge needs to get security approval in advance. This can be requested online through this link. “Visitors/Guests not approved in advance by your division (Elementary) and Security may be denied access.”  

We appreciate all the support and encouragement students have received from home during this process and we know you are excited to see the products of all this effort.  Please let us know if you have any additional questions about this fabulous 2-day event.  We look forward to seeing you all on Wednesday evening.  

Best wishes and thanks,

The Grade 5 Teachers

Access for Exhibition Guests

Exhibition is just around the corner and there is mounting excitement in the grade 5 hallway as the students prepare.

As you know, parent evening is on Wednesday, April 26th starting at 5:00pm.  It is possible that you may wish to invite family or friends who are not AAS badge holders.  In order for non- badge-holders to gain access to the school compound it is necessary for a badge holder to submit an access request (for each individual).

If you wish to invite a guest, please complete the access request form in the link .  Failure to do so may result in refusal of entry to the compound.  We recommend you submit all access requests by Monday, April 24th.

Math Module 4: Multiplying and Dividing with Fractions

In our fourth unit this year, students will learn to multiply by fractions and begin work with fraction division.  This unit will also incorporate some work with measurement and data, including line plots with fractions and conversion in customary units of measure.

Students will use these skills to solve problems and develop greater fluency working with fractions. Students will understand multiplication as comparison and scaling, as well as gain deeper understanding that fractions are a divisional relationship. Again, students will be asked to represent their understanding with models and to explain their reasoning.

Guiding questions for this unit include:

  • What role do fractions play in measurement?
  • What is the significance of precision?
  • How do models help illustrate fractions and measurement data?
  • How do operations affect numbers?
  • How does the size of the factors affect the product?
  • How is multiplication of fractions the same and different than multiplication of whole numbers?

Please see the following links for information and parent tips on the unit (Each topic has it’s own link!). These sheets also include examples, models, and practice problems from the work being done in class and may help you, if you as you support your child’s math work at home.

Unit overview:

What Fun! Thanks!

Grades 4 and 5 just enjoyed a wonderful afternoon of fun recreation.  A big thanks to the class parents and PTO and all the parents who sent in yummy snacks and/or volunteered to help supervise.  The Grade 4 teachers did a fabulous job planning awesome activities that the kids really enjoyed.  172 of the 191 4th and 5th graders attended and really had a blast!

Big thanks to all who helped make this a super cool afternoon of fun!  

Math Module 3: Adding and Subtracting Fractions

In our third unit in Math, students understanding of addition and subtraction of fractions extends from earlier work with fraction equivalence and decimals.  We’ve begun the unit reviewing the foundational standards addressing equivalent fractions and various representations of these.

Students then use their understanding of equivalence to work with unlike denominators. Students will learn various models to represent fractions and use these to apply understanding of operations.  As always, students will use concepts and procedures learned to solve multi-term problems and assess the reasonableness of their solutions to equations and word problems with fractional units. 

Guiding Questions for this unit include:

  • How do we add and subtract fractions with unlike denominators?
  • How can real life problems involving addition and subtraction of fractions be solved?
  • What strategies can be used to determine if answers are reasonable?

Please see the following links for information and parent tips on the unit (Each topic has it’s own link!). These sheets also include examples, models, and practice problems from the work being done in class and may help you, if you as you support your child’s math work at home.


On another note, the ES Parents’ discussion of the YouCubed course on Math and Mindset was very engaging.  If you missed this first discussion, you can still join us for Part II on January 31 at 8:45 in the Conference Room.  If you are interested please sign up for the course at this link. Please contact Jeff Hinton with questions.

Math and Mindset

At our ES Parent meeting in October we talked about math for the 21st Century. Several parents showed an interest in participating in conversations centered on math and student mind-set. We would like to invite you to join us for these conversations.


Below is information about a free online course, which consists of 6 sessions, through Stanford University that was designed for students and parents. Each session is between 10 and 20 minutes. We will meet twice to discuss what we have learned through the course.

  • January 17th 9:30 (after the PTO meeting)  We will discuss Part 1 (sessions 1-3)
  • January 31st 8:45 – We will discuss Part 2 (sessions 4-6)

If you are interested please sign up for the course at this link. Please contact Jeff Hinton with questions.

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