5th Grade Syllabus

Mother Teresa of Calcutta Catholic School

2023-2024 School Year



            Mrs. Elizabeth Nessler                                                         Mrs. Sheila Galvis                     


Welcome to fifth grade! Our goal as fifth grade teachers is to guide the students in a faith filled journey to live in the image and likeness of God while providing a rigorous curriculum that will enhance and develop skills and concepts in all academic areas. Students will do this through a variety of activities including analysis of text, writing workshop, and hands-on learning. Please keep this syllabus to refer to with any questions throughout the year. E-mail is the best way to reach us, and we will make every attempt to respond within 24-48 hours during the school day. We are looking forward to a fabulous year with you and your child! Please note that we are all about to embark on an unchartered safari ride through an exciting jungle of learning that will look different for all of our 5th grade kids! Please be patient and understanding as our safari ride is one that we have never experienced before and there may be a lot of twists and turns along the way, but if we work together, we will all arrive at our destination as we cross the bridge to middle school.


SUBJECT: Literature & Language Arts


Textbook: Houghton Mifflin Journeys                                            

Reading Course Division

First Trimester: Sequencing events, elements of plot, character traits, setting, context clues, poetry, figurative language, compare/contrast characters, formal and informal language, story structure, irony, point of view, theme, narrative pacing, cause and effect, author’s  purpose, analyzation and evaluation, quotes and description, conclusions and generalizations, main ideas and details, domain-specific vocabulary, infer/predict, summarize, and visualize through details.


Second Trimester:  Historical Fiction, determining fact from fiction, Compare and contrast main characters, character map, theme, compare details in novel to history, character motivation, infer and make predictions, context clues, geography, investigate the historical events of the book, point of view, elements of plot, simile, personification, metaphor, symbolism, hyperbole, idiom, analogy, onomatopoeia , pun, story details, author’s purpose, text evidence,  and time period vocabulary.


Third Trimester: symbolism, character maps, plot elements, themes, quotes, analysis and evaluation, character motives, author’s purpose, cause and effect, images, compare and contrast characters, text evidence, making conclusions, map the setting, answer central questions, analyze character feelings, idioms, adages, context clues.

Additional Vocabulary

Textbook: Sadlier Vocabulary Workshop Level Blue (Consumable)

Writing and Grammar

Textbook:  Sadlier Grammar Workshop & Cursive Handwriting Practice Book (Consumable)

                    The Theory and practice of writing will be taught using the 6 + 1 Traits and Writing







English Grammar Course Division

First Trimester: Writing sentences correctly, capitalizing proper nouns and proper adjectives abbreviations, titles, commas, parts of a letter, quotations, words often misspelled, and words often misused

Kinds of sentences, complete subjects and predicates, simple subjects and predicates, subjects in imperative sentences, compound subjects, compound predicates, simple and compound sentences, complex sentences sentence fragments and run-ons


Second Trimester: Common and proper nouns, singular and plural pronouns, irregular plural nouns, possessive nouns, and appositives, action verbs, direct objects, present tense, past tense, future tense, linking verbs, verb phrases, main verbs, helping verbs, progressive forms of verbs, perfect tenses, inappropriate shifts in verb tense, irregular verbs, contractions, misused verbs


Third Trimester: adjectives, articles, demonstrative adjectives, comparing with adjectives, comparing using the words good and bad, adverbs, using good, well, real, and very, negatives, conjunctions, prepositions,  prepositional phrases, subject pronouns, object pronouns, using I and me, we and us, possessive and demonstrative pronouns, relative pronouns, relative adverbs, contractions with pronouns, writing sentences correctly



Textbook: Reader’s Notebook (Consumable)


Small Group Instruction for Reading:

Students will be placed in small group instruction for reading using  STAR Reading data combined with analyzing academic classroom performance data. The small group instruction is fluid throughout the school year so students may be moved to a different reading group based on the individual progress in the classroom. The object of small group instruction is to meet the individual needs of each of my students so that they become stronger and more independent readers who are able to analyze text and become inferential thinkers while strengthening foundational reading skills needed for middle school.


Textbook: Elevate Science (Consumable)


Science Course Division

First Trimester:  Reasons to classify, energy in food, process plants use to make their own food, ecosystems, organisms within ecosystems, changes within ecosystems, matter and energy transfer within ecosystems, inner solar system, outer solar system, the sun and the stars, Earth’s gravitational forces, Earth’s movements in space, and patterns over time


Second Trimester:  The hydrosphere, Earth’s natural resources, Earth’s energy resources, Earth’s systems, Protection of Earth’s resources and environments, biosphere, atmosphere, Interactions among Earth’s systems, water cycle, freshwater, ocean water


Third Trimester:  Properties of matter, observing matter, states of matter, physical change, chemical change, mixtures, and solutions, compounds and elements, measuring properties, finding a surface area, finding volume, conductors of heat and electricity, atomic theory, finding mass



Textbook: Sadlier Math Hard Back

                  Sadlier Workbook (Consumable)


Online Resource: Sadlier Connect (information will be given during the first full week)


Mathematics Course Division  

First Trimester: Order of operations; Division; Operations with Fractions


Second Trimester:; Operations with Fractions; Operations with Decimals


Third Trimester: Measurement including conversion of units; Volume; Geometry; Data & Statistics; Coordinate Plane; Introduction to Algebra enrichment.




Textbook: Pearson Social Studies My World Grade 5-Building Our Country (Consumable)


Social Studies Course Division

First Trimester:  Geography and Map Skills, The First Americans, Age of Exploration, Settling the Colonies

Second Trimester:  Life in the Colonies, The American Revolution, A New Nation


Third Trimester:  Life in the Young Republic, Westward Expansion, Civil War and Reconstruction



Textbook: We Believe


Christian Formation Division

First Trimester:  Mission of the Church, Living as prayerful people, Baptism


Second Trimester: Reconciliation, Eucharist, Advent, Anointing of the Sick


Third Trimester: Holy Orders, Matrimony, Family Life



Homework & Grading


  • Will be given Monday-Thursday
  • Will consist of practice sheets/pages, reading or studying for upcoming assessments
  • Student’s responsibility to record it in the planner every morning from Teams and/or board and make any potential changes that may occur during the day
  • Will be checked regularly but will be recorded as an ATL in the absence of it



Formative & Summative Assessments




  • Account for 30% of the grade
  • Examples, but not limited to, include:
      • Quizzes
      • Entrance and/or Exit Tickets
      • Class Assignments
  • Study guides for Spelling quizzes



  • Accounts for 70% of the grade
  • Students will receive test dates and study guides in Social Studies, Science, Religion and Vocab at least a week in advance notice of the summative. Dates will be posted on the Parent Portal in RenWeb and on Educator Pages.

Retake Policy:

  * Students who score lower than an 80% on a summative assessment, may retake that assessment.

  *The highest grade possible that a child can receive on a retake is an 80%.

  * Student can only take a total of 3 retakes per trimester.

  *Students will complete their Retakes afterschool on the designated day. Student athletes may complete their retakes in the morning.


Online Platforms


Microsoft 365

  • Access through
  • Student email is their first initial*last name24
  • Student passwords were created during the first week of school
  • Students are able to access:
    • Email
    • One Drive
    • One Note
    • Teams
  • Students are only able to email internally


Sadlier Connect

  • Access through
  • Student username is the username underneath their name on the label on the front of their planner
  • Student password: MTC
  • Students will use this platform for:
    • Math
    • Religion
    • Vocabulary Workshop, as needed
    • Grammar Workshop, as needed



  • Access via
  • Students username: 1mtcusername!
  • Student Password:  Password1
  • Will be able to access their Social Studies and Science book through the site as well as assignments and assessments




Intermediate Discipline Policy

Indicators of conduct and approaches to learning (ATL) are in the table below. When a student does not meet an expectation, an indication will be recorded in RenWeb and communication will be sent to the parents via email.



Approaches to Learning

1. Has a good attitude

2. Is respectful to adults and peers in speech and action

3. Maintains positive peer relationships

4. Respectful of personal, peer, and school property

5. Exhibits self-control

6. Follows rules and directions and does not need constant reminders

7. Socializes only at appropriate times

8. Takes ownership for behavior

9. Follows the uniform policy

1. Prepared for class

2. Homework completed

3. Classwork completed

4. Punctual with assignments

5. Participates in Class

6. Attentive and engaged during instruction

7. Demonstrates helpfulness and teamwork

8. Seeks help when needed (from teachers or peers)

9. Open to teacher help and correction

10. Makes effort to improve behavior/performance

11. Produces quality work

12. Makes time for personal study and improvement



Intermediate Discipline Policy



  • Discipline will be used as a consequence for negative behavior with the purpose of the discipline being to change the negative behavior to a positive behavior.


  • There will be at least two teacher interventions prior to a child receiving a detention as a consequence for negative behavior.


  • Teacher interventions for behavior will be communicated to parents through the RenWeb Behavior Management System.


  • Using the RenWeb Behavior Management System, parents access their child’s behavior history for all classes in a single location.


Conduct Reporting for Report Cards

  • 0 – 4 Notifications = 4
  • 5 -10 Notifications = 3
  • 11 - 16 Notifications = 2
  • Greater than 17 notifications = 1


Intermediate ATL Reporting


ATLs are academic behaviors expected during the school day from the student as noted in the chart above. When a student neglects to exhibit the expected academic behavior in the classroom, a notification is made.

  • ATL’s can be tracked by subject on RenWeb and on the form in the back of the student's planner.
  • All students will begin with a four and the grade will be reduced as infractions occur during the trimester.

ATL Reporting for Report Cards

  • 0 – 4 Notifications = 4
  • 5 - 10 Notifications = 3
  • 11 - 16 Notifications = 2
  • Greater than 17 Notifications = 1





Make-Up of Academic Work during Absence

Students who are absent are required to make up work missed in each class. If a student is out for only one or two days, upon return to school, the student should meet with the teacher about the work missed. The student will be given a deadline by the teacher to complete and turn in these assignments. It is the responsibility of the student to see that the work is completed. The student may log on to the portal to check the homework missed.  If work is not made up by the deadline specified by the teacher, the grade for work missed will be recorded as a 0. If the work is turned in after the deadline partial credit of 50% will be given.

In the case of prolonged absence, three or more days, parents should call the office before 8:30 a.m. for missed class work and homework so that the work can be prepared and be ready for pickup at dismissal time or sent via e-mail. Based on the number of days absent and the amount of work missed, a reasonable amount of time will be allowed for its completion.

Homework assignments for extended absences should be arranged with the teacher. Parents may pick up textbooks, if necessary, at the end of the school day but should email the teacher by 9 am to arrange this.  Requests for homework should be made by contacting the classroom/subject teacher. Due to teaching schedules requests may take up to twenty-four hours to be completed.

Make-Up of a Scheduled Summative Assessment during Absence

Any student who is absent on the day of a scheduled summative assessment will be expected to make it up upon his/her return to school.  For every day a student is absent, he/she has that number of days to make up the summative assessment (Ex. 1 day missed = 1 day for summative assessment.)  It is the student’s responsibility to speak with his/her teacher regarding missed assessments. In the event of multiple-day absences, the teacher will determine when all assessments will be taken.