March 2020


Social Studies

Students in Social Studies classes are continuing their exciting studies of Europe and Ancient Greece.  In addition to investigating the geography and government of Ancient Greece, time will be dedicated for groups to create their own unique Olympic event. 



Students in on-level math are working on multiplying and dividing decimals.  Soon students will be organizing and graphing data in a variety of formats. Correct calculations are necessary when solving math problems, so please remind your child to study his/her basic facts—addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division!


In above level math classes, students have been working with algebraic expressions and equations along with graphing linear solutions to inequalities. We then move into plotting points on a coordinate plane, calculating lengths of line segments and analyzing the relationship between a dependent and an independent variable through graphing.



In March, students will work to refine their ability to make inferences and continue to explore poetry.  Numerous activities will take place to support students in the construction of a text dependent analysis (TDA) in English classes.  Nonfiction reading is also taking place in classes as a continued emphasis on using effective comprehension strategies is important to successful readers.  Please note that during all PSSA testing in April, students must arrive at their testing session with an SSR/IRP book!  This is a great time to pick up an extra book or two at the library or Barnes & Noble so that your child can be engaged with a book.


Congratulations are in order for TEMS fifth grade readers!  These generous readers shared their book love and donated a record-smashing 5,172 books to help restore and reopen the Moffat Elementary School library in the school district of Philadelphia.  Additionally, one parent, who is on a board of a local foundation, agreed to match the 5,172 by 50 cents a book.  A generous check will be going to Moffat as well to help them attain the necessary materials, supplies, and technologies needed to reopen their library.



Students will continue their year-long focus on the writing process. Students have been working on fine tuning their skills.  In particular, classes are working on a writing piece that takes them through the steps of the writing process. Along with the writing, students will continue with grammar units. They are working on infusing the parts of speech into their writing as we emphasize the use of descriptive language as a way to enhance writing pieces.



Fifth graders will conclude their Life Science studies with an examination of the characteristics of the Phylum Chordata. Learning what distinguishes the five classes of vertebrates from one another is one of this unit’s primary learning objectives. From there, Physical Science (Light and Sound) will take center stage, as students move first to explore wave motion, wavelength, frequency, and the properties of sound, and then learn to apply those principles to the properties of light. It’s an illuminating subject, so look for the Sound and Light Interactive Science textbook to start appearing in bookbags in the not too distant future.



5th Grade General Music classes with Mr. Stefano highlighted some artists for Black History Month. Students listened to various artists including Nat King Cole, Ella Fitzgerald, and Stevie Wonder, and discussed their contributions to American music.

Students are beginning a unit on ukulele. They learned a brief history of the instrument and are learning some basic chords. They will learn C, F, A minor, and G. They will learn songs to play along with and sing along with.

Mrs. Gyza’s 5th grade music students will continue decoding, reading and writing eighth note and quarter note rhythms in 6/8 time signatures.  Students will also be exploring composition in the program, Garage Band, On the Mac laptops.


Miss Daniel’s 5th grade music classes are continuing to learn about instruments, instrument families, and the symphony orchestra. Students are able to identify instruments by sight and sound. Each student invented and designed a new instrument and categorized them into one or more of the instrument families. As we continue, students will learn about the role of a conductor.



5th grade artists continue to learn about animals in ancient art. Currently, we are discussing the work of Australia’s indigenous people. Students are learning that Australian Aborigines used a variety of painting techniques when portraying animals in their art. 5th grade artists are designing warm and cool compositions which employ the x-ray and dot method found in Aboriginal paintings.  Similarly, students have included “tracks,” which illustrate an animal’s movement across the Earth’s surface.



In Mrs. Flint’s class, students are continuing their “Portraits of the Past” unit.  We have been looking at portraits from many cultures (Mayans, Egyptians, Easter Isle Colossal Heads, Mesoamerican Olmec heads, Greek Mosaic portraits, Roman busts, & more). Currently, students are drawing from observation and studying the mathematical proportions of their own faces. Next, we will look at the iconography found on the Egyptian Burial Masks.


Physical Education

5th, 6th, 7th, and 8th grade students will participate in a team handball tournament this month. Students will be put on a team and play several rounds against teams from all classes.  This tournament will help students work on their team building, cooperation, strategy, and individual skills.



5th grade students will begin a unit about digestion. Information will include: location and description of the various body parts associated with this system and the path of food through the body.

World Languages:

FLEX-5 Spanish

In 5th grade Spanish we are learning about the school and classroom objects.  Students will be designing an advertisement for a school supply store as well as writing and presenting a conversation about what school supplies, they need.


FLEX-5 French

5th grade French students have finished a unit on colors and shapes.  They also did some research on the Internet about Montreal.  They will now begin a unit on adjectives and will be able to describe themselves and others.







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