Grade 5


October 2020

Happy October! I am so proud of the effort that the Fifth Graders are putting into their work!  We recently finished up our study of The Hundred Penny Box and the students did a fantastic job writing possible endings.  If you haven’t already, check out their work as a class on our Google Classroom page.

We have settled into a routine and now it is full speed ahead!  In October, students will continue to work on place values and decimals in Math.  In Religion, students are learning about the Four Evangelists and the Gospels. 

We continue our novel study of Making Friends with Billy Wong, a wonderful story set in the 1950’s, about a timid girl who is sent to stay with her grandmother for the summer.  Azalea must care for her recently injured grandmother and tend to her garden, tasks that are a little awkward since she hardly knows her grandmother!  Shy Azalea has no choice but to interact with people in this tight-knit, small town, and it is here that she meets Billy Wong, a Chinese-American boy, and several other characters- including the town bully!  Making Friends with Billy Wong touches upon many themes including immigration, racism, bullying, speaking up for others, and friendship.  We are also exploring these themes in other ways in our class. 

In Science, we are learning about different types of scientists and what they do, and about the scientific method and different tools and techniques used by scientists and students alike! 

Tying together our science lessons and our study of immigration, we are nearing the completion of our first Biographical Study: Albert Einstein.  The students will present their projects in the first week of October, and we will end the study in a Zoom meeting with a guest speaker, Dr. Daniel MacIssac, Physics professor from Buffalo State College, who will answer questions from the students about science, scientists, and our new friend, Albert! 

Our next Biographical Study also ties together immigration and perseverance, and a different type of science!  Students will also dive deeper into the subject of immigration from a more personal perspective toward the end of the month.

Please feel free to contact me through email:

Or during Zoom office hours:  

Wednesdays 11:00 am -12:00 pm

Link on Google Classroom!

Mrs. Nicole Wagner - Grade 5

Attendance:  Several students are failing to join live classes on a regular basis.  Please note that I take attendance every Zoom session and report this to the school office.  Live classes are not optional, and if students miss them, they will miss important instruction and will be unable to complete or understand their online assignments.  If I am doing a read-aloud, there is no way of "catching up" later.  If I am demonstrating math concepts, students who miss it may be confused.  Please attend every live class, and if something prevents you from doing so, you must email me as to why you are absent just like on a normal school day.

The links for live classes are permanently on Google Classroom, and are set at 8:30 every morning.  There will be occasional afternoon meetings for which there is also a link, but students will be informed as to whether there is an afternoon session.  More often than not, there will only be a Morning Live Class.  

Contacting Me:  I have been receiving hundreds of emails from students throughout the week, and it is impossible to keep up with them and not have one get lost in the shuffle!  Going forward, I ask that students use the Comment feature on Google Classroom for Daily Check-Ins and casual remarks, and if there are more serious questions about assignments or for private matters, I ask that students email me directly.

Online Rules: We are beginning to see distracting activities occur during live classes by our students learning from home.  Please remind your child that they must follow the online rules.  There should not be distractions such as younger siblings joining the class or being on screen with your child, and if a virtual background must be used, they should just set it to one solid color- no pictures!  It is also important for the students to be on camera if possible so I can see that they are engaged in learning and in attendance.  If this is not possible, please email me as to why not.  Students must use their actual name on the screen.  I understand if they are using a parent's iPad and that name is shown instead, but slang and silly names are not acceptable as they are distracting to other students.  Lastly, students should be prepared for class and have their books and supplies ready.   

Homework/Online Assignments:  Most students are doing a great job keeping up with assignments, but they must check Google Classroom to make sure they are not overlooking assignments.  I am still waiting on several assignments/quizzes from students.  Please check if they have not completed something and have them submit it soon, even if it appears as "late."  Some of this work is for a grade.  Also, students should remember that if they complete an assignment in their workbooks at home, they should rip out those pages, place them in their folder in their backpack and hand it in on the day they return.  Fully virtual students should email me pictures of the work. 

Thank you for your cooperation, and please know that overall, the fifth graders are doing a wonderful job so far!  Check out the newsletter to see what we are up to, and never hesitate to reach out to me! 


I am thrilled to have the opportunity to teach your fifth grader this year.  My teaching philosophy is that EVERY STUDENT can learn, EVERY STUDENT has unique talents, and EVERY STUDENT can grow.  It is my job to give students the tools they need to succeed!  This is important now, more than ever, with the transition to hybrid instruction. 

The hybrid model offers students many advantages.  Students learning at home will join our class during different times of the day for “real-time” instruction and important collaborative sessions, such as morning meeting.  Students working at home remotely will have opportunities to get extra practice with concepts they are struggling with and be able to dive deeper into what they are learning for advanced enrichment.  Meanwhile, students in the classroom will benefit from the small class sizes by getting more one-on-one attention.

This year, your fifth grader will master the “4 C’s”:  Creativity, Collaboration, Communication, and Critical Thinking.  Students will be taught to use these skills in every subject, which will enhance their learning experience and set them up for success in my classroom and beyond.

Our theme this year is “You Can Do Great Things!”  We will spend a lot of time learning about different people, those of different cultures and abilities, and learn about perseverance and acceptance.  This theme will overlap every subject- Reading and ELA, Social Studies, Science, and Math, as students learn the content required by the New York State Standards.  An emphasis will be placed on writing, again in every subject- even Math!  Your student will be given opportunities to complete creative and meaningful projects and will learn to take control of their own learning.  Our class will also learn about giving back to our community and will take part in projects that are important to them.

Please check back here often and read the class newsletters for updates.  Since much of your student’s work will be online, please also ask your student to show you their Google Classroom to see their work and what we are doing together as a class.

I look forward to working with you and your child to make this a very successful year!

Mrs. Nicole Wagner              








Mrs. Nicole Wagner - Grade 5