• English Class




    We will be following the New York State Common Core Learning Standards and the 5th grade

    Curriculum Modules for English Language Arts.



    In English, students will have a combination of writing, spelling and grammar lessons with the greatest emphasis being placed on writing.  Regular homework will be assigned.  Please check your child's planner nightly to confirm what assignment(s) need to be completed.  Homework will be posted on a homework board in the front of the classroom.  If homework is not turned in by the due date, students may only receive partial credit for an assignment.   Your child may also stay after school for ELT (Extended Learning Time) for help or to make up an assignment.

    Spelling    In order to better fulfill the requirements of the New York State Common Core Learning Standards (CCLS), the 5th grade team has made a few changes to our English Language Arts program for the upcoming school year.

    An even greater amount of time will be devoted to writing and grammar than in the past.  As a result, we have chosen lessons that directly correlate with the CCLS.  We feel this approach will benefit the students in allowing us to dedicate more time toward developing writing skills. 

    Our Spelling program will run on a 5-day cycle with each unit being introduced on a Monday and the Spelling test on Friday of that same week.  Test dates will be clearly posted on the homework board in my classroom.  Each student will receive a complete packet of Spelling lists for the year during the first week of school.

    I will also do my best to mark the Spelling test date on my teacher website classroom calendar. Below is a list of the 5th Grade Spelling Lessons we will cover this school year:


    Spelling Unit



    8, 11


    15, 16


    19, 23


    25, 26, 27


    31, 33, 34, 35


    A complete list of the Spelling lessons, including the challenge words, is posted on my website in pdf form.  In addition, there is a link to the Spelling City website, which is an excellent, enjoyable way to review and practice for Spelling tests.  Please access Spelling City via my teacher webpage.  You do NOT need a username or password.  Students can choose from a variety of Spelling and vocabulary games to test their skills or quiz them on their knowledge.  In addition, I have links to two word search and crossword puzzle makers.  I hope your children enjoy using these websites!


    Writing      We will be doing a lot of writing this year.  In the past, I’ve taught writing at a writing camp sponsored by Canisius College and the Western New York Writing Project.  Several summers ago I also attended the National Writing Project’s month-long workshop at Canisius College.  I came away from both filled with lots of great ideas! 

    We will be utilizing the East Aurora Writing Rubrics that are posted on my webpage under Writing Rubrics.  These rubrics incorporate the principles of both Step Up to Writing and the 6 Traits of Writing.  


    "If writing were an act of fairytale magic or a matter of wishing, the word process would never apply to what people do when they write." (Vicki Spandel - author of Creating Writers Through 6-Trait Writing Assessment and Instruction)


    Writers understand that writing is a process involving multiple steps and plenty of time.  An understanding of the process of writing is an important foundation for all young writers.

    The Writing Process

    We will begin our study and practice in the art of writing by learning basic sentence structure and basic paragraph development using elements from the Step Up to Writing Program.   We will follow the traditional writing process:

    Prewriting: Finding a topic, narrowing it down, and mapping out a plan.

    Drafting:  Writer's ideas begin to come to life.  Sentences and paragraphs begin to take shape.

    Revising: Topics and ideas come into focus.  Adding or subtracting single words, phrases or paragraphs.

    Editing:  Making a piece of writing more accessible to readers.  Focus on punctuation, capitalization, grammar usage, paragraphing and spelling.

    Publishing/Sharing:  Not every piece of writing will reach this stage.  This is reserved for selected writing that has been carefully worked on in each step of the process.


    Using Six Traits in the Writing Process

    "The six-trait approach is meant to enhance and enrich a process-based approach to writing.  Along with a wide set of options for revising, it gives students a language for talking and thinking like writers." 


    Ideas: Writing original thoughts about a specific topic and staying focused on the main idea.  Through the use of clear descriptions, the writer paints a picture for the audience.

    Organization:  The logical and effective presentation of key ideas and details.  Good organization keeps a piece of writing together and makes it easy to follow.

    Voice:  Sometimes called the "fingerprints of the writer on the page.” 

    Word Choice: Refers to the language a writer chooses to express his or her ideas.  Effective words are both clear and colorful.

    Sentence Fluency:  The rhythm and flow of language, variety of sentence length and structure.  Fluent writing is a pleasure to read aloud.

    Conventions:  Textual conventions cover anything an editor would deal with: spelling, punctuation, grammar and usage, capitalization and paragraphing.