Afternoon Class Schedule
Thank you to all parents who have reached out, spoken to me and met with me thus far. I truly appreciate your welcoming nature and seeing how much you care about your student’s learning. My name is Jessica Jones and I have been working with the fifth grade students for the last month. I began teaching Social Studies, three days a week, in the afternoons. As of this month, I will be taking over all of the fifth grade afternoon classes. I will be teaching your students Science, Social Studies and Religion. In order to maintain consistency and help students develop a deeper understanding of concepts, we will be alternating between units of Social Studies and units of Science. For the remainder of October, we will be wrapping up our Social Studies unit on early explorers of the Americas. When we conclude this unit, we will begin our first Science unit in early November. We will continue having religion classes every week.
You may have noticed that your student did not have a Science grade on the most recent progress report. Because of the change in teachers, class structure, and curriculum, Mrs. Davis and I decided that it would be best not to include any grades given to students prior to this switch. When we begin our new Science curriculum in November, this will count as your student’s first set of Science grades. Because this trimester ends during the first week of November, students will not have a Science grade on their first report card. Moving forward, students will have at least one unit of Science and one unit of Social Studies each trimester.
In fifth grade this year, we will be using the Studies Weekly newspapers as the primary source for our curriculum materials. This is a newspaper that presents students with information on Science and Social Studies topics aligned with our Archdiocesan standards. In order to help students prepare for middle school, we will be focusing our lessons on learning how to read and understand informational texts then respond to them in writing. Your student’s grade will be comprised of four sections.
This category includes quizzes and tests. On Science and Social Studies assessments, students will be given passages to read relating to the material we have discussed in class. They will work on summarizing, determining the main idea, and answering text dependent questions. In addition to this, they will be assessed on key vocabulary and facts that relate to our units.
Reader’s Response: 25%
This category refers to our articles. In class, students will read articles from our Studies Weekly Science and Social Studies curriculum and other student news sites. Each week, we will focus on a new reading strategy for students to use while reading their text. Students will be graded on their ability to answer text dependent questions and utilize the week’s strategy to gain meaning from the text.
We will be using a workshop model in class. Because the fifth grade class is such a large group with many needs, some student instruction will take place in small groups based on student needs. When a student is not in a small group lesson, they will be working to practice the skills learned through independent, partner and group work. This practice is based on completion and effort. Classwork is collected from students each Friday in their afternoon folder. Moving forward, I will contact parents if any student is showing a pattern of not completing this portion of their work.
Homework will be given once a week for Religion. Homework will be given two to three times a week for Science or Social Studies. Homework in these subjects will typically be an informational text or article with questions relating to the skill we are covering in class. Homework may occasionally include vocabulary practice.
At this time, I will accept late work for partial credit if it is returned within the week. Students are allowed to ask for extra copies of work if they misplaced them. Students whose work is late due to absence will not be penalized when work is returned.
We will be following the behavior policy of the morning fifth grade classes. Students who have received three or more behavior reminders during the afternoon will be sent home with a yellow note.
In the afternoons, we use a point system where students are recognized for their work ethic, positive attitude, rule following. Groups can earn points when they make good choices in class. They also have the opportunity to earn Panther Paws. At the end of each month, they can use their Panther Paws in the school wide prize cart. Groups with the most points in our afternoon groups have the opportunity to choose a reward for their table group to be used in class.
About Mrs. Jones
Again, I would like to thank the St. Margaret community for welcoming me as we transitioned this school year. This is my fifth year teaching and my fourth year working with fifth graders. I am so excited to be working with you and your students.
I am a graduate of the University of Notre Dame. There I completed my undergraduate degree and my Master’s degree in Elementary Education. After completing my Master’s, I began working for Notre Dame’s Alliance for Catholic Education, working with new teachers, mentors and principals. I continue working for the Alliance recruiting new teachers for Catholic Schools in Chicago, building curriculum, assisting with online coursework.
I am so happy to be continuing my teaching career at St. Margaret of Scotland. The family atmosphere, academic values, and Christian spirit are truly present here and I am excited about the work we are going to do this year. Working with you and your students is such a blessing. If you would like to schedule a meeting with me, I am available in the afternoons after students are dismissed. Please feel free to email or send messages using the Bloomz website.