News from 5B

On Monday we had a special visit from the Tucson Boys Chorus. Next Monday all boys in Grades 3 – 6 will get more information about Tucson Boys Chorus. It was an amazing performance.

On Tuesday we had our 4th visit from Mrs. Scovil, the docent from Tucson Museum of Art and the class learned about Pablo Picasso. Stop in and see the amazing piece of artwork they created.


Important Days – February 27th and 28th

Dear Families:

Having used the Stanford standardized testing program for more than a decade, St. Michael’s has decided to implement a new suite of tests this year. After several months of researching and comparing different options, we have unanimously agreed to implement the Star 360 test from Renaissance, a company whose products are used in more than a third of schools in the United States.

The Star 360 testing works a bit differently than the classic pencil-bubbling routine of Stanford. First of all, it is conducted online, using student Chromebooks in grades 4 – 8. Second, it is a “computer-adaptive test,” meaning that each student receives a unique set of questions based on previous correct or incorrect responses. This feature allows students to be challenged by questions more precisely gauged to their skill level, and for a valid measure of their abilities to be achieved in less time. As a result, the testing for Reading will take only 30 minutes on average, and the Math portion only 20 minutes on average.

Because the testing takes so little time, we will be able to administer the test several times per year in order to assess student progress within a school year as well as between school years. Furthermore, the results are available to the staff of the school immediately. Teachers will thus have a wider array of data with which to guide reteaching and differentiation.  We will institute a second round of tests in early May, and next year we may administer three rounds. Remember, each round only takes about 50 minutes in TOTAL.

The first set of Reading and Math tests will be conducted on Wednesday and Thursday, February 27 and 28. We don’t want students to be anxious about the testing–it’s not the sort of test one can prepare for in advance–but it would be a good idea for them to be especially well rested on those days!

We are excited to undertake this new program and are optimistic that it will lead to additional insights into our students’ academic abilities–and opportunities to meet their needs as learners.


This week, students make a saturated solution by adding salt to water until no more salt will dissolve.

There will be a test on Friday, March 1.   See study guide for topics.  Students are encouraged to take their journals home to study.


Next week:  Continuing to learn about saturation and solubility, students will also make a saturated Epsom salts solution. Using a balance scale, they will compare the solubility of the two solid materials by comparing the mass of the salt and Epsom salts dissolved in the saturated solutions. Students use the property of solubility to identify an unknown material.

Info about next week; February 11th – 15th

I will be here on Monday BUT I will not be here from Tuesday – Friday. I have a huge family wedding to attend in the Dominican Republic so Julie O’Shell will be my sub.

I wanted to give you a heads up about Thursday and Friday as these are special days.

On Thursday they will have a small  Valentine celebration in class toward the end of the day.  Students may bring Valentines for just 5B or both 5A and 5B.  Please have your child bring a bag or box to collect their Valentines. This is also a relaxed dress day with a Valentine theme.  Please look at the dress code guidelines if you have any questions.

On Friday, February 15 we are having the theme of crazy socks day.  Students wear their regular school uniform with their most crazy socks.