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5th Grade

children in circle looking down at the camera

Welcome to fifth grade!  Fifth grade is broken into two cores. Half of the students will see Rachel Challman for social studies and literacy and Kiki Castle for math and science. Felicia Evans, our English Language Development teacher will be co-teaching with Rachel Challman during literacy. The other half of fifth graders will see Danielle Andrews for social studies and literacy and Barbara Meis for math and science. In focusing on setting your student up for success as a future sixth grader, we strongly believe in the power of communication, if you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact us. As educators we will make sure we are meeting the needs of your student(s) and serving them to the best of our abilities.   ​

Contact Information:

Rachel Challman 

Felicia Evans

Kiki Castle

Barbara Meis
720- 972- 7072

Danielle Andrews

Letter to Families

August 14, 2017
Dear STEM Launch 5th Grade Families, 

Hello and welcome to the 2017-2018 school year!  We are so excited to work with you and your child this year!  In fifth grade, we believe in teamwork, which requires active participation from all of us.  No one knows your child better than you, and we highly value the home-school connection as an integral part of your child’s success in the classroom. 
How do we achieve success? At STEM Launch success cannot happen unless we are all willing to take risks and make mistakes.  Collaboration is also essential to success.  This year, we will spend time improving our communication skills, embracing our mistakes as learning opportunities, and working to understand our own personal learning styles in order to foster an honest, supportive, risk-taking classroom community.
How do we learn?  Gone are the days of teachers as the sole givers of knowledge.  As you already know, your child is getting smarter every day.  As teachers, our main goal is to facilitate learning through student exploration, solving authentic problems, making and learning from mistakes, and taking risks.
What does our behavior/academic plan look like?  We expect all students to practice composure, compassion, communication, and contribution.   We believe in supporting students in a positive way, focusing on positive behavior whenever displayed.  If a student has a pattern of behaviors that are taking away from academic success or when academic success is not being achieved, we will ask the student to reflect on their behavior via a refocus form.  The teacher will contact the parents/guardians with an attachment of the refocus form and a copy will be sent to Assistant Principal Jim Palmer to keep a running record.  
How do we prepare for fifth grade?  There are four fifth grade teachers and one English Language Development teacher in 5th grade. Danielle Andrews and Rachel Challman will be teaching literacy and social studies, Kiki Castle and Barbara Meis will be teaching math and science, and Felicia Evans will be teaching English language development in Rachel Challman and Kiki Castle’s classes.  Your student has a homeroom teacher but will switch to the cooperating teacher of the opposing subject halfway through their school day.  

What will literacy homework look like?   It is very important that your child is reading a minimum of 30 minutes at least 6 nights a week.  There are many ways to read. Students can choose to read to you, to themselves, or with a sibling or other family member.  They can also benefit from listening to books online or some other digital format. They can choose to read an article on the Internet, work on the program Reading Plus, or read a variety of materials such as: newspaper articles, recipes, sales fliers, poetry books, novels, maps, etc.  If you are wondering what is and what isn’t reading, please feel free to ask.
What will math homework look like?  Math homework will generally be sent home as a hardcopy. Students should spend about 20 minutes (Monday-Thursday) on their homework. If hard copy is not sent home, or the student misplaces it, they will be required to complete Think Through Math (TTM). TTM is an online, individualized, math support system that STEM Launch has purchased for all students.  Students are always welcome to complete TTM in addition to their assigned homework and will be rewarded accordingly. The expectation is that your child is successfully completing and/or practicing their math skills for at least 80 minutes per week.
What do we need from you? First and foremost, we need open communication.  If something great is going on at home or in your child’s lives, we want to know.  Conversely, if there is an issue or concern, we really need to know about it.  From us, you can expect the same open, honest communication.  The best way you can communicate with us is via email and phone calls.  Please give us 48 hours to respond to an email or phone message.
We will work hard to keep our website up to date with current links to important information and various displays of student work and learning.  Feel free to visit our site at  
We also would love for you to see what your child is doing to grow their brain in the classroom!  Setting up a time to come into the classroom and observe, volunteer, and support learning is always welcomed from us.  Please feel free to call or email us to set this up.

Thank you!