XCEL School Education Program

We are starting to learn about natural resources. Xcel Energy sent us Take Action Kits that will be sent home. They are free. Please work with your child by installing the energy efficient products and completing the short Home Energy Worksheet that your child will return to school. This worksheet is due by Monday, December 18th. You may also complete this worksheet online. Enjoy the free kit and saving money as the students learn about conserving resources.

Stress Putty

Due to the distraction from learning that “stress putty” has been causing in the fifth grade, we are asking students to bring their putty home this weekend.  We will suggest to students that they use deep breathing, shoulder rolls, or briefly closed eyes to ease stress or anxiety in the classroom.  Please contact your child’s homeroom teacher if you have any questions.  Thank you for your help in this matter!

Lesson 15

  1. mildew
  2. guitar
  3. gloomy
  4. cruise
  5. guilty
  6. curfew
  7. pewter
  8. juicy
  9. smoother
  10. bruised
  11. quilted
  12. building
  13. fruitful
  14. shampoo
  15. soothing
  16. suitable
  17. pursued
  18. biscuit
  19. circuit
  20. nuisance

December LA Overview

During the month of December, students will begin reading Little Women by Louisa May Alcott. We will explore the themes of the societal expectations of women at that time, the importance of living a virtuous life, and the relationship between money and happiness. These themes will eventually be the basis of our next formal writing assignment.

Book Week

The School of Grammar will again be celebrating Nova Book Week this year! Nova’s Book Week will take place the week of January 16-19. We moved the event from December to January so that it coincides with National Book Month and the Battle of the Books, a competition for 3rd – 5th graders. We will be highlighting favorite books and celebrating all the wonderful things our students read. We will end the week by having students who choose to, dress up as their favorite book characters on Friday, January 19. Please choose characters originally from books, not cartoon, movie or television characters (or actors) made into books. We will have assemblies that day in celebration of the characters represented and the joy of reading. More information about the times of the assemblies will be forthcoming.

Phoenicia and Persia

The fifth grade will begin studying Phoenicia, followed by the Persian Empire, on Thursday, Dec. 7th.  Students will continue to give lectures for their homework assignments.

Chapter 4 science test – Monday, December 11th

Students are finishing up learning about Earth’s dynamic surface in chapter 4 during science. We will be reviewing during class at the end of the week and testing on Monday, December 11th. Any additional review at home will be beneficial. I will send home the study guide on Thursday, December 7th. This study guide relays what will be on the test and what students need to study to be prepared to test.

Lesson 14

  1. brawny
  2. laundry
  3. taught
  4. paused
  5. autumn
  6. awning
  7. awesome
  8. launched
  9. astronauts
  10. squawking
  11. drawback
  12. exhausted
  13. saucepan
  14. automatically
  15. dinosaur
  16. authentic
  17. withdrawal
  18. thesaurus
  19. precautions
  20. applause

History Letter to Parents Reviewing the Lecture Homework Assignments

Fifth grade students will resume giving lectures to a parent for history homework this week.  You will recall that this homework system was used early in the year when we covered Early Man and Mesopotamia.  The lecture topic for the next few days will be the Indus and Saraswati River Valleys.  Below, you will find the original letter from September that describes how the homework assignment should be completed.


Dear Fifth Grade Parents and Guardians,

The fifth grade has entered the Stone Age.  Parents and guardians often ask how they can help their children realize the most productive academic year.  Starting this week, you will have a specific role to play in your son or daughter’s history homework.  During each day’s history class, all students will receive an outline of the material I cover in a lecture from the history textbook, Oxford First Ancient History.  The students should use the outline to present a “lecture” on the material to you.  The purpose of this exercise is to allow students to learn the subject in a variety of ways (listening to me, reviewing the outline, reading the material from the book, and presenting the history verbally to you).  The goal is for students to achieve the highest possible retention.

Feel free to listen to your fifth grade lecturer in any location convenient for you-the car, family room or dining room table are only a few of the possibilities that might work for your family.  As long as you consistently spend five to ten minutes listening, your child will gain the greatest benefit from the history lesson.  Please sign and date the outline immediately after hearing the lecture, so that it is clear to me that your child has completed the history assignment.  The outline should return to the (green) history pocket folder that goes home almost every day to hold history assignments and vocab lists.  By the way, this system should also address the chronic parental frustration that results from asking about the student’s school day, only to hear, “I don’t know.”   

Finally, if you need to contact me, please use e-mail rather than voice mail.  My email address is kmclarn@novaclassical.org.  As you probably know, our phones are located in our classrooms, so privacy is difficult.  During the school day, telephones are off to prevent outside calls from disturbing the class too.  As a result, it is more efficient for teachers to check e-mail, rather than attempting to access voice mail.  I regularly check my e-mail throughout the school day, so it is possible to respond to messages quickly when necessary.  Thank you!



Kathleen McLarn (5A)

Ancient Pakistan

The fifth grade will begin the study of Ancient Pakistan on Tuesday, Nov. 28.  It is a short unit of seven days, with the quiz scheduled for Wednesday, Dec. 6.