Ms. Rachel Katula

Ms. Rachel Katula is the fifth grade teacher. She teaches 5th grade language arts, expressions, social studies, and art as well as 6th grade language arts, expressions, and social studies. This is her fourth year being a teacher at St. Brigid and she is excited to be a part of a vibrant community focused on helping students develop academically, physically, and spiritually. Ms. Katula received her Bachelors of Science in Education degree from the University of Dayton in 2016 with concentrations in early childhood education, special education and upper elementary education. While studying at the university, she was immersed in many different classrooms ranging from lower elementary to upper elementary grades.


Teaching Philosophy and Style

I am very excited to be the fifth grade teacher! I believe that all children have unique learning styles in the classroom. I am devoted to providing a safe, caring, and developmentally appropriate environment for the students. This way students feel like they are a part of a community and are not afraid to take risks in their own learning. One of my goals is to implement engaging and challenging lesson plans that meet the needs of all the learners in the classroom. The first few weeks of school, I will focus on getting to know the students as well as reviewing content learned in the previous grades. To help inform my instruction, I will implement activities and assessments to get to know each students’ learning style. In the classroom, there will be independent work, whole group, and small group instruction that allows students to develop problem solving and critical thinking skills as well as become equipped with 21st century skills. In addition, I will integrate the catholic faith into my teachings, so students are able to continue growth in their faith. Another goal of mine is to help each student be excited about learning and become a lifelong learner in their academic career. As an educator, I will be involved in your students’ learning through scaffolding or providing each student with guidance that helps them push through challenges and ultimately succeed academically. Lastly, I believe that parents play a major role in their students’ learning and I would love to work with each parent to help their child succeed in the classroom. I look forward to this upcoming year!

Fifth Grade Curriculum

This is a brief synopsis of what your student will learn during fifth grade. The curriculum follows the Graded Course of Study developed by the Archdiocese of Cincinnati and adheres to the State of Ohio Standards. (This information is also found in the “Information for Parents and Students” link above.)

Religion – Fifth grade Religion centers upon the Sacraments. The seven sacraments are studied in relation to the Church and the life of Jesus. Please join us for Mass at 8:15 a.m. on Wednesdays and 10:00 a.m. on Holy Days of Obligation. Sunday liturgy is an important part of our total faith development. Additionally, students will participate in numerous activities throughout the liturgical year. These activities include Communities and Outreach Programs. We will work on developing a positive Christ-like atmosphere in which to help one another become better Disciples of Christ.

Math – Fifth grade Math curriculum continues to use the spiral approach to learning. Students build on skills learned at an earlier time. Some areas we study are: problem solving strategies, place value, estimation, measurement, basic computation, word problems, fractions, decimals, geometry, probability and ratios. Additionally, the students use the Simple Solutions workbook which consistently reviews basic math skills. Fifth graders develop confidence in learning to communicate mathematically and in becoming problem solvers.

Social Studies – Social Studies is divided into two focal areas: Geography and Ancient History. Geography is studied during the first two quarters with an emphasis on the five themes of Geography. Although these two quarters concentrate solely upon geography, map skills and other geographical related activities will continue throughout the entire school year. During the third and fourth quarters, students will study Ancient History beginning with the Paleolithic Era and continuing through the Fall of the Roman Empire.

Science – The fifth grade Science curriculum focuses upon the following subjects: Space and Astronomy, Human Body and Nutrition, Force and Energy, Electricity, Sound, and Basic Chemistry. Hands-on experiments and labs will be conducted where students will complete basic level scientific methods. Additionally, D.A.R.E. occurs during the first and second quarters courtesy of the Xenia City Police Department.

Language Arts and Reading – The Language Arts curriculum includes reading, writing, vocabulary, spelling, and grammar. Reading includes fiction and non-fiction genres. Students are involved with individual, partner, and small group readings. A tentative reading list for classroom novels is listed. Throughout the year, Scholastic News magazine is a supplement. Students are expected to have a novel of choice at all times and will have the opportunity to complete various projects with self-selected, but teacher-approved novels. Writing encompasses multiple styles including expository, narrative, descriptive, persuasive, and poetry. Student writing is incorporated in every subject but will have a main focus of idea gathering and organization, revision, and editing. Vocabulary is from the vocabulary textbooks, with spelling from the textbook and frequently misspelled words. Grammar will include parts of speech, sentence structure, and language study with a strong incorporation into the writing curriculum. The areas of speaking and listening are addressed in Language Arts, with an opportunity for students to progress through presentations within all curricular areas.

Novel List-Fifth Grade – George Washington’s Socks, Mixed Up Files, Mouse and Motorcycle, Watson’s, Freedom Crossing, Trumpet of the Swan, Bridge to Terabithia, Because of Winn Dixie, Sounder, and Number the Stars.

Art – Elements of Art are taught once a week through many projects. The Attention to the Arts Program also includes Picture Lady sessions, the Dayton Philharmonic, and the Dayton Art Institute.

ComputersStudents will have access to computers in the classroom and in the computer lab. Weekly library time allows for computer lab access.  Please be sure to sign the Acceptable Use Policy; all students and parent volunteers are required to sign this form prior to computer use.

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