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Mrs. Mikkelsen » Welcome to 5th Grade

Welcome to 5th Grade

                                                       BULLDOGS PAWS!                          

                   ☺Practice Self-Control  ☺Achieve Goals ☺Will be Respectful ☺Stay on Task


Welcome to 5th grade!  Please be sure to attend Back-to-School Night  to learn about our school and class expectations as well as our plans for the year.

Greenfield Union School District continues to use the Common Core Standards to guide our teaching. We adopted a new English Language Arts program, McGraw Hill Wonders. Our primary writing program will be Write From the Beginning & Beyond which incorporates the use of Thinking Maps which our district began implementing two years ago.  For mathematics, we will continue to utilize the enVision Math series. For Science, we are beginning to incorporate the Next Generation Science Standards which includes learning science and engineering through discovery and hands-on experiences. Although the basic subjects are still the same, using common core strategies is just a different approach to curriculum that includes more rigor and challenges students to think more in depth. In addition, students learn to problem solve and prove what they have learned by citing evidence from what they have read.

Here is a brief overview of our 5th grade curriculum:

Language Arts: reading comprehension and fluency, discussing, analyzing and responding to literature and informational texts, vocabulary development, grammar, and writing. Students have the option of participating in the Battle of the Books as well as Oral Language Festival.

Math:  place value with whole numbers and decimals, adding and subtracting decimals, multiplying whole numbers, dividing by 1 and 2-digits, multiplying and dividing decimals, numerical expressions and relationships, adding and subtracting fractions and whole numbers, multiplying and dividing fractions and whole numbers, units of measure, volume of solids, classifying plane figures, data and coordinate geometry. ADDITION, SUBTRACTION, MULTIPLICATION AND DIVISION FACT FLUENCY ARE NECESSARY FOR 5th GRADE MATH SUCCESS!

History: U.S. History including Native Americans, Settling the Colonies, the American Revolution, Governing the New Nation.

Science Concepts: Physical Science: Matter & Its Interactions, Motion & Stability, Energy. Life Science: Molecules & Organisms, Ecosystems & Energy. Earth Science: Earth’s Place in the Universe, Earth’s Systems, Earth & Human Activity. Engineering Design.    All students must complete a science project (November/December)


Grading Policy:

            A = 90%-100%

            B = 80%-89%

            C = 70%-79%

            D = 60%-69%

            F = 59% and below

            All work that is not turned in on time will be given an F unless a student has an excused absence.  If a student is absent, their missed work must be made up in the same number of school days as they were absent. Class work and other graded assignments will be reviewed and returned as soon as possible. Assignments or tests that receive a D or an F will be sent home for parent signature and must be returned the following day.



            Students will have math homework every day unless it is a test day. Math homework must be completed and turned in daily. Language Arts homework: Students are required to read every night for a minimum of 30 minutes, and complete a weekly reading log as well as practice fluency passages. There may be additional homework as well as certain projects that students may have to complete.  Please check your child’s planner daily!  Every day students must have their homework in their backpack. Homework is an important part of your child’s independent practice; therefore students who don’t return homework will have consequences including losing recess to get their work done.


At Palla Elementary we have a discipline and behavior plan called PAWS.  In order to maintain a positive and productive learning environment, I expect students to learn the PAWS system which we will practice inside and outside our classroom.  This program focuses on teaching and reinforcing positive behaviors; however, students that do not follow the rules will have consequences. In 5th grade learning starts the first day and continues every day. Please make sure to review and discuss the school and classroom rules and consequences with your child.

Classroom rules:                                 Classroom consequences:

Be an active listener.                             1st offense         Warning – Think about it.

Respect others and school property        2nd offense        2nd warning – Make better choices

Work quietly./Stay in your seat.              3rd offense         Removal from class to a buddy teacher/ lunch detention.         

Follow directions.                                   4th offense        Referral to SIF, parent contact & lunch detention or for                

                                                                                         serious offenses suspension.


Students who become defiant and/or harm themselves or others will be sent to the office IMMEDIATELY. Most of the time negative behaviors are handled in the class. If I have to contact you, please consider the matter a serious one.



            I use CLASS DOJO which is a computer and phone app that I can use to enforce rules, but also to reward positive behavior with points.  Please see the attached ClassDojo letter with your child’s individual code. Students will be rewarded in several ways: PAWS tickets, individual points (DOJO), play days, classroom & school wide privileges.  Students will be rewarded for knowing and following the PAWS behavior system. Please take a look at the banners throughout our school and become familiar with PAWS.  As adults we need to model the proper behavior if we are to expect it.  Please ask your students to teach you the hand signal, the motto as well as what PAWS stand for.  Students who have earned 10 tickets can trade them for a reward at lunch.



The school and I provide all the materials that your child needs in the classroom except for a homework folder (no prongs) and a backpack. The folders can be plain or decorated as long they are school-appropriate. Students should have a work box (a shoe box is fine) at home with several pencils, a pencil sharpener, crayons, scissors and a glue stick for homework.  They may also bring a chapter book to school to read.  Students should NOT bring toys, electronics, binders, work boxes, markers or anything else that I don’t specify to school. 


If you would like to help by donating needed items to our classroom, I would greatly appreciate the following items:

  • Tissue (Kleenex) - Anti-bacterial wipes (Lysol)
  • Paper Towels - Hand Sanitizer


Please also be aware that I allow students to bring a water bottle daily & have specific times when they can refill them. I have provided all students with the first one, but that should be replaced soon. A reusable water bottle is ideal, but disposable ones are fine as long as they aren’t reused for too long.  Please don’t send juice, Gatorade or soda with your student as I will have to take it away.         

I am confident that with your cooperation, your student will have a rewarding, successful 5th grade year. Please feel free to contact me:  email me at, send me a message on ClassDojo, send a note with your child or leave a message with the office or on voicemail.


                                                Thank You,

                                                Mrs. Mikkelsen

                                                5th grade, room 40 



Signature Page

Please sign all areas on this page and return as soon as possible.


Homework Policy

I have read the homework policy, and I understand that I am responsible for turning all assigned work in on time.  If I chose not to turn in my homework, I know that I may have to go to ZAP/or complete work during recess time.


Parent Signature: ______________________________ 
Student Signature: _____________________________ 




Behavior Expectations

I have read and understand the expectations for behavior while at school.  I understand that misbehaving will have consequences.


Student Signature: _____________________________ 

Parent Signature: ______________________________ 



PG Movies

As a class, we will have the opportunity to watch movies throughout the school year.  One of our class rewards results in a movie type party.  Movies are usually the follow up to a story that I have read to the class during our read aloud time.  Please advise me that your student has permission to view a PG movie in our class. 


_____ Yes, my student has permission to watch PG movies at school.


_____ No, my student does not have permission to watch PG movies at school.


Parent Signature: ______________________________