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Marcella Anderson ("Ms. A" or "Ms. Anderson") teaches fifth grade, and is assisted by Jennifer Konicke, classroom aide. The class meets from 8:30 a.m. to 3:10 p.m. except on Wednesdays, when students are dismissed at 1:10 p.m. Independent study students attend school on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays only, while five-day students attend Monday through Friday. After School Recreation is available Monday-Friday.
Marcella Anderson Letter of Introduction
Fifth Grade Welcome Letter 2022-23
Fifth Grade Curriculum
History Using our the TCI curriculum, we will study US History starting with the indigenous cultures of the Americas and ending with the ratification of the US Constitution. Along the way, we will learn about explorers, settlers, colonies, slavery, democracy, revolution, migration, and the fifty states.
Science Our science curriculum includes a blend of field-based and laboratory studies. Using the newly updated FOSS curriculum, we will be focusing on Earth Science, including local and state-wide study sites such as San Vicente Creek, Davenport Beach, Waddell Creek and Beach, Big Sur, Lassen Volcano National Park, etc. For example, we will participate in the LIMPETS program, in which students collect data, which is used by research scientists, on sand crab populations at Davenport Beach. In addition, the Coastal Watershed Council will guest teach the class about the ecosystem and environmental issues pertaining to San Vicente Creek. Groundswell Coastal Ecology will also lead a multi-week unit on native plant restoration on the school grounds and at local beach sites.
Engineering Our studies of Engineering will be project and problem based with the overarching theme of making a positive impact on our society and world. Student projects will follow the engineering and design process in its entirety while also integrating as many subject areas as possible through STEAM to guide student inquiry, dialogue, and critical thinking for future-focused learning. Engineering will be taught in collaboration with Ms. Milette, our Tech and GATE teacher.
English Our English studies will include the four language arts domains: Reading, Writing, Speaking, and Listening. We will incorporate literary classics, informational texts, poetry, creative writing, and grammar instruction into our studies of all topics. Students will read, analyze, and respond to texts, cite from texts, write in various styles, and work both independently and collaboratively on projects and presentations. Respectful listening, tolerance of differing opinions, and peaceful coexistence will be practiced.
Math The main 5th Grade math topics include calculating with fractions and decimals using the four basic processes (+/−/×/÷) and developing an understanding of volume. 5th Graders will also continue to build their understanding of place value, algebraic thinking, geometry, systems of measurement, and use of data.
Honors Math Students are evaluated and placed in leveled math groups as appropriate. Because of Pacific School's coordinated math instruction schedule, student who have the appropriate skills can join the sixth grade class for math or honors math. Previous graduating 6th grade honors math students have placed in Mission Hill's Accelerated Math Program at 8th and 9th grade levels (which can lead into Santa Cruz High School's Math Academy Program).
Language Ambassadors This county-wide program encourages students to become multilingual. Each student will have the option to choose a language to study. They practice interacting, creating, and presenting in their chosen language and can earn their certificate of recognition from the county. They can also choose to participate in the Santa Cruz County Language Ambassadors Student Expo.
This list acknowledges the accomplishments of the 2019-20 Language Ambassadors.
Drama With the support of WEST Performing Arts, the fifth grade class produces a theatrical production each year. Scripts are chosen to build on student interests and/or curricular content. Shows are made possible by the work of students and volunteers, and often incorporate technology and fiber arts in set and costume design. All students are engaged in working together for the success of the production.
Homework will be assigned Monday through Thursday and will be planned to involve one hour of study. Occasional projects or writing assignments may require weekend attention. Creative and academic endeavors will be offered, in which students may elect to invest more time according to their personal inclinations.
Media Literacy and GATE
All students participate in weekly media literacy classes, and students meeting appropriate criteria participate in weekly GATE (Gifted and Talented Education) classes. Both classes are taught by our expert instructor, Wendy Milette.
Students in fifth and sixth grade participate in our award-winning FoodLab program. FoodLab is a weekly class in which students participate in the planning, preparing, and serving of school lunches as part of the integrated school lunch program headed by Emelia Miguel, Food Services Director. Students learn about nutrition and food science and practice math skills such as fractions and ratios while developing expertise and confidence in a commercial kitchen.
Other Subjects and Activities
Students also receive instruction in art and PE. They visit the school library weekly to check out books that are of interest to them and/or support their studies. Every year, students are encouraged to make a short film for Pacific School's annual Student Film Festival.
Our student community is made closer through our Reading Buddies program, in which each fifth grader is paired with a first grader and they read aloud to each other.
In 2022-23, we hope to resume instruction in music.
I believe in a deep rooted family and school connection, and will be sending out newsletters frequently to keep you all updated on what we are exploring in the classroom. I always welcome you to reach out with any questions or concerns you may have throughout the school year, and encourage you to let me know if there is anything I may not already know about your student. If you are interested in volunteering in the classroom, please let me know!
Emails: manderson @ pacificesd.org | jkonicke @ pacificesd.org
"FoodLab is better than recess."
- Fifth grader