Survival Handbook

Surfin’ to Success Survival Handbook

In this booklet, I hope to give you the information that will help you understand the goals and procedures of the classroom, and how we can work together to help your child have a successful school year. I feel as though communication between the parent, child and teacher are key to promoting an educational climate that is conducive to learning.

Every Minute Counts

We have so much to do, and little time accomplish it in, so we try to make every minute count. Getting plenty of sleep, eating a good breakfast, being on time and being prepared for school will help in making every minute count. The bell rings at 8:00 and your child needs to be in line and in the gym for our daily rise and shine. It is crucial that your child gets to school on time. We begin each day with important learning activities and responsibilities. If your child is consistently tardy he/she will miss important learning opportunities.


When a child is sick or running a fever, please keep them at home. It is for your child’s benefit as well as the other student’s and myself. I will keep their class work and homework together to give them upon returning to school. If you know your child will be absent for a period of time, I will be glad to prepare work for home. Additionally, if you are picking your child up early, please send a note so I can have the student prepared. Notify the office when your child is absent and send any doctors notes when they return. Attendance is crucial to being a successful student!

Classroom environment

I believe that all children can learn. Our classroom is arranged to meet the learning modalities of each child. I will also provide a threat free, comfortable, friendly environment in which your child will be able to excel academically. I like to make a Snack Mix of some salty and sweet treats, students will be asked to donate items for this purpose. During the school year I will be sending home a note with a list of items for you to choose from that I would like to use in the mix.


As a way to promote positive choices and student responsibility, I will use two types of discipline systems.

Individual C.H.A.M.P.S

“C” is for classroom behavior, “H” is for homework, “A” is for accepting responsibility, “M” is for mealtime interaction, “P” is for playground behavior, “S” is for showing respect for oneself, peers, and adults.

Individual goals are represented by letters. Offenses are described below:

  • First offense results in a warning with student
  • Second offense, time-out in a designated area within the classroom or a personal interaction with the teacher
  • Third offense, the student must complete a behavior plan that must be signed by the parent.
  • Fourth offense, a call home to the parent and or adult in the home. The principal will also be consulted.

If a situation should arise, the student will take home a C.H.A.M.P.S. sheet with a synopsis of the behavior. It must be returned the following day.


Whole Class

The second is an incentive reward system. Students will earn an opportunity to receive a “reward token” to put in the class token bucket by exhibiting positive behavior and being responsible students. In our class we are “bucket fillers” and model the highest expectations for future living both socially and academically. Such actions may include bringing homework, passing A.R tests, making 100’s on tests, clean desks, making good choices, serving as a good example, valuing others, etc. Students will have opportunities weekly. I will draw two names from the bucket for students to be able to pick a reward card to use the following week. Some rewards included are, desk bump, ten minutes free choice on the computer, job swap, wear a hat for the day, homework pass, etc.

I am also implementing a SHINING student each week; the sun represents our star student in our class. The SHINING student will have a large oversized sun shining above their desk when they arrive at school. This student will be chosen based on his/her actions and attitudes shining above the rest. This is an individually earned reward, if your child has earned this privilege, it is something to be celebrated!


 Your child will receive a grade every nine weeks in Math, Language (including spelling), Science, and Social Studies. I will take several grades each nine weeks in these subjects.  Progress reports will be sent home at the end of every fifth week. Please take time to look over your child’s grades and do not hesitate to contact me if you have any concerns. Report cards will be sent home at the end of each nine weeks. The following grading scale will be used:

                                  100%-90%   A

                                  89%-80%     B

                                  79%-70%     C

                                  69%-60%     D

                                  59%-below   F


Reading in fifth grade focuses on determining what the text says explicitly, making inferences, understanding the central ideas or themes of the text and analyze their development, summarize supporting details and ideas, and analyzing how and why individuals, events and ideas develop and interact over the course of a text. We will use our current reading series as well as independent reading books, Language to Literacy Charts, accelerated reader and skills sheets to reinforce the skills taught in class. Additionally your child will be working on improving their oral fluency. We will be doing this by utilizing a “traveling word wave”, creating and using a figurative language flip chart, and poetry journals. Your child will analyze the structure of texts and assess points of view.

Math with Ms. Toops

Students will be using a combination of the math textbook and our supplemental interactive math composition book. We will be learning mathematics with a hands-on, real world approach. We will utilize manipulatives, written lessons and the composition book to introduce and reinforce new concepts.

Additionally, students will be learning how to write and interpret numerical expressions, analyze patterns and relationships, understand the place value system, use equivalent fractions, add and subtract fractions, divide fractions, interpret data and measurement, understand concepts of volume, and solve real world problems.


All spelling tests are to be completed in cursiveJ. The students will take the spelling tests on and will also write them in cursive so that they are using different modalities. Each week I will introduce a new list of spelling words. We will practice these words all week with various activities to help your child learn the new words but, students are required to study spelling at home as well. I will also assign a weekly spelling contract which allows the student’s an opportunity to receive bonus points and helps to make spelling fun and creative.


This year we will focus on improving our writing skills, learning more about language and how to use it correctly. We will be writing opinion pieces, informative/explanatory, and narrative. To develop and strengthen writing we will plan, revise, edit, rewrite, and type our essays. We will also conduct a short research paper later in the year. We will produce clear and coherent writing with organization, structure and lots of practice. We will also be using our reading series textbook, weekly writing lessons and journaling. The writing process starts out small but we will build on it all year long. We will incorporate Language to Literacy Charts, poems, chapter books, and whole class discussions. Hopefully, your child’s writing will continue to grow and flourish through the whole year.

Science with Mrs. Wilhite

Mrs. Wilhite will be the facilitator for all fifth grade science. The fifth grade curriculum promotes high expectations in promoting scientific literacy, and a successful student achievement in both scientific and technical skills. Students will be utilizing the textbook and successfully develop an interactive science notebook that correlates with student experiences and all learned concepts. The student will be given opportunities to engage in the study of science and develop a deeper understanding and knowledge of earth/space, life, and physical sciences. Science instruction will incorporate inquiry skills, experimenting, interpreting, and communicating by nurturing in the students a lifelong fascination with the natural world.


Social Studies with Mrs.McQueen

 During fifth grade social studies, students will begin learning about the creation of the United States and its foundation, formation and transformation of the American Nation, 1607-1806. The students will begin with the British settlement of Virginia at Jamestown 1607 and finish with the Louisiana Purchase. Students will also take a hands-on and interactive approach to learning social studies to ensure successful learning.

Tuesday Portfolio

The Tuesday Portfolio is designed to help organize your child’s schoolwork from the previous week and send it home to document the progress your child is making in our class. Parents, or adult in the home, please review your child’s work in this folder with him/her. Then, sign your name on the appropriate line that you have reviewed the work, and send this folder back to school with your child on Wednesday.


Your child will be recording all assignments and homework daily in class on our “Daily Student Agenda Sheet”. Any work not completed during the regular school day will be coming home as homework. The student agenda will go home every night, so there are no homework surprises. Please ask to review your child’s agenda each night. Along with any assigned homework, every student needs to be reading a minimum of 20 minutes every night.

Student Survival Handbook
Website by SchoolMessenger Presence. © 2018 West Corporation. All rights reserved.