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Debbie McGovern Locker

Debbie McGovern

Debbie McGovern Locker
Current Assignments

Sept. Oct News

October News

Dates to Remember:

Tues., Oct. 2nd: Gate Meeting 3:15

Thurs., Oct. 4th: Min. Day

Fri., Oct. 5th: No School

Fri. Oct 5th-Fri., Oct. 12th: Conference Week (Min. Days M-F)

Sat., Oct. 20th: Carnival

Wed., Oct. 31st: Halloween-minimum day

Sat., Nov., 3rd: CogAt Test (new 5th graders only)


Our class is really beginning to feel like a family.  We’ve all made some new friends, and it is fun to see the kids support and care for one another.  I sure am enjoying your kids and I hope they are loving 5th Grade.  We are working hard on building organizational skills, managing our assignments, and building stamina to stay focused and do our best work.


Thank you for being diligent in checking your child’s homework and signing the planner and reading log every night.  If you aren’t already, please take the time to quickly check over your child’s homework each night to make sure it meets your standards.


A question has come up about math homework.

1) Should my child stop after 20 minutes? I tell the students that they may stop working on their math homework after they have given it 20 FOCUSED minutes.  This is a guideline for you as a parent.  Use your judgment. If your child needs extra practice and is not overly frustrated maybe he or she can work a little longer with your support.  It is always better to do a few problems from each section, so students will get practice with each different type of problem. If your child is zipping through it, make sure he or she does all the problems, checks their work, and/or starts with the last problem first. Please let me know if there are any problems.


Student Body Elections

I want to congratulate all our students who ran for Student Body. You showed leadership by running.  You are all “WINNERS” in my book!


Goal Setting Conferences


The focus of the first conference is to create goals for your student.  Students do attend their conference. Conferences are scheduled in 20-minute increments.  Please be on time and I will do my best to run on time. Conference confirmation notes have been sent home.  I look forward to meeting with you all.


Prior to your child’s conference please take the time to reflect on your child’s academic and social skills. Think and possibly jot down 2 or 3 goals you have for your child.  Your child and I will be doing the same in class. Doing this pre-work, will help your child’s conference be more productive.


Studying for Tests and Quizlet


Besides spelling and math tests, this may be the first year that your child actually has to study for tests as part of their homework. Geography tests and vocabulary tests require some memorization as well as understanding of concepts. Help your child study 10 minutes per night the day I send home information about an upcoming test. Teaching students how to prepare ahead of time for tests is for me just as important or more important than the content on these tests. If after the first test your child is putting in a best effort and is struggling, please email me so we can make some accommodations.


Many of our tests have practice activities available at  Try searching VGROOM202 on Quizlet and you will find study sets/stacks.  Also in their Vocabulary book in the front cover, it will give you step by step directions on how to get fun learning activities and games based on their vocabulary words for the week. You can also make or have your child make their own Quizlet stacks to use on the website.


Fall Carnival  


I love Fall Carnival and it is coming up fast on Saturday, October 20th.  Mark your calendar for this family-fun event.  Please, sign up for a time to work our classroom booth. We need your help.



On Wednesday, October 31st, the Halloween Parade will start @ 8:45am. We will have a class party immediately following the parade. Our party parents will be planning a breakfast party for the kids to enjoy. We are asking all children to come to school in their costume and bring regular clothes to change into later in the day if they will be uncomfortable or distracted. Please note this is a minimum day.  Students will be dismissed at noon.



Our goal is to get a 100% on-time return rate of all library books each week.  We earn a star from Mrs. Wiseman every Tuesday that we have all library books returned. Thank you for helping your kids get their library books to school by Monday!

Library Books due every Monday.

Library Time is Tuesday at 2:30 with Mrs. Wiseman.

5 Stars = a treat from Mrs. Wiseman


In the Classroom


Reading: We have been working hard to build our reading stamina and volume of reading.  5th grade has been an easy transition because many students were required to track their reading and write about their ideas last year.  5th grade reading is all about thinking deeper about what we read.  We call it reading with a “writerly wide awakenness.” This means read like you will be writing about your reading.  Aim to see small details that you would otherwise have passed on by. Students are asked to jot down their inferences and theories about story elements and to back their ideas with evidence found in the text.  What does that look like for now? Well, for now students are required to write at least 2 Post Its per day. No big deal for most students. For some students you’d think it was the worst torture imaginable…LOL, but they are getting used to it.  Ask your child to share some of their best Post Its with you. If you don’t see them reading at home with their reading tools out, remind them to read with their pencil, reading log, Post It stack and blue bookmark out. The blue bookmarks have ideas on how to start their writing.


Our read aloud book is Home of the Brave by Kristina Applegate.  It is an incredible story about a 5th grade boy who comes to the United States after living in a refugee camp in Africa. It is an excellent book to read to teach character traits, plot elements, conflict, theme, and other story elements.


Writing: Much of September has been dedicated to working in our Writer’s Notebooks. Students were asked to personalize their notebooks with pictures and quotes that are meaningful and may spark ideas for writing. They have been learning various brainstorming techniques and discussing the difference between a “Watermelon Idea” and a “Seed Idea”. Over the next couple weeks students will pick their topic for their Personal Narrative and write it in class. Along with writing narratives, they are also learning how to conduct “Peer Conferences” as well as fine tuning their editing skills.


Math: In module 1 students are working on place value and adding, subtracting, multiplying, and dividing decimals. The math pace is fast. Your child will benefit greatly if you take the time to look over the math homework with him/her each night that way you can offer immediate one-on-one support to your child. If your child is sick or absent, email me or call a friend for the assignment. The assignment is most likely the next lesson in the book.  If the lesson does not make any sense to you, try watching the coordinating video on YouTube with Duane Habeker.


Social Studies: The students have completed a Native American Wheel in which they chose a specific region and were asked to research topics such as: Technology, Food, Shelter, Clothing, etc. We have now begun our unit on Explorers. We are reading in our Social Studies books first, then we will bring an explorer to life. They will research several explorers than choose ONE to research more completely. Lastly, they will “become” that explorer and present a speech to the class. More information to follow.


Project EmpowHer/Guy’d 2 Greatness:

Starting October 2nd,  fifth grade students will be taking part in a program facilitated by the Discovery Counseling Center.  This program helps students face everyday challenges and stresses especially with peer relationships. Boys and girls are separated for this program.  If you’d like more information on this program contact Jennifer Zink at


As always thank you for sharing your sweet children with me. I feel so lucky to be working with them and doing what I love to do. Contact me if you have any questions or concerns. Email is the quickest way to get a response. I look forward to meeting with each of you in person during Conference Week.



Mrs. McGovern, Mrs. Neary and Mrs. Englert



Current Assignments