Welcome to 5th grade!

Hello parents, and welcome to the new school year 2023-2024! My name is Nara Olivas and I am thrilled to be your child’s teacher this year. I was born and raised in NM to Mexican parents. My education is in Spanish, Psychology and Bilingual Elementary Education. I have seven years of experience working with elementary and secondary students, one year of which I spent working in Spain as an English teacher. I enjoy hiking, reading, and spending time with friends and family. In this letter, I would like to share information about class rules and expectations as well as general information about the IB (International Baccalaureate) program.

The class and school rules are: make good decisions, solve problems and show respect. The students are also expected to know the elements of an IB learner profile, which include being open minded, being reflective, caring, principled, a risk taker, balanced and communicative. As part of this school community, students will be recognized and evaluated for displaying these qualities. 

This year we will be using many online resources to support our work done in the classroom. The students will have their own Google Classroom account where many of their assignments will be posted. We will also use Khan Academy, Kids A-Z, Mystery Science among others. Please download the app called Class Dojo as I will be using this online platform to award students and groups with points as part of our classroom management. I will also use it as the primary mode of communication this year. I post announcements, send messages and sometimes share photos of the students at work in the classroom.

As a fifth grade student, your child will continue to build on their knowledge of reading and writing by writing different types of essays and reading longer stories. They will also do novel studies and read poems, plays, and stories with more complex and figurative language. In Math, they will see fractions, ratios and percentages, geometry, probability and place value. In Science they will learn about food webs, the solar system, properties of matter and renewable vs nonrenewable resources. In Social Studies, they will learn about the American Revolution, the Civil War, the Pueblo Revolt, the Bill of Rights and the Branches of the Government. As an IB student, your child is part of a global community of learners that aim for students to be compassionate, knowledgeable and caring citizens. Our year will be organized around six units, each of which addresses a central idea. I have included the tentative start and end dates for each unit as well.

The units are:

Who we are (July 31- September 15) 
An inquiry into the nature of the self; beliefs and values; personal, physical, mental, social and spiritual health; human relationships including families, friends, communities, and cultures; rights and responsibilities; what it means to be human.

How we express ourselves (September 18- October 27)
An inquiry into the ways in which we discover and express ideas, feelings, nature, culture, beliefs and values; the ways in which we reflect on, extend and enjoy our creativity; our appreciation of
the aesthetic.

How the world works (October 30- December 21)
An inquiry into the natural world and its laws; the interaction between the natural world (physical and biological) and human societies; how humans use their understanding of scientific principles; the impact of scientific and technological advances on society and on the environment.

Where we are in place and time (January 8- February 16)
An inquiry into orientation in place and time; personal histories; homes and journeys; the discoveries, explorations and migrations of humankind; the relationships between and the interconnectedness of individuals and civilizations, from local and global perspectives.

Sharing the planet (February 19- April 12)
An inquiry into rights and responsibilities in the struggle to share finite resources with other people and with other living things; communities and the relationships within and between them; access to equal opportunities; peace and conflict resolution.

How we organize ourselves (April 15- May 24)
An inquiry into the interconnectedness of human-made systems and communities; the structure and function of organizations; societal decision-making; economic activities and their impact on humankind and the environment.

Your child will also be expected to complete an end of year group project called Exhibition. As the year progresses, I will share more details about what it entails. There will also be an International Day in May where we will present a class project about a country. This is just a snapshot of our year and I expect we will stay busy! If at any time you have questions about an assignment, resources to use at home, etc., please let me know. 

My email address is

Thank you!

For more information:


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