Fall: Roll a Story and “Let us Vote!”

This week in language arts, fifth graders have been working on a creative writing activity called, “Fall: Roll a Story.” Students rolled a set of dice to determine the character, setting, and plot of their stories. After that, it was up to them to brainstorm a creative way to piece the given story elements together. It has been so much fun and entertaining to hear what they have come up with. Please ask your student to share their ideas with you. I’m sure you will enjoy their stories as well! 

Fifth graders have enjoyed reading, “Let us Vote!” by Spencer Kayden. This is a play from our October StoryWorks magazine that contains perfect opportunities to discuss language arts and history. Specifically, students participated in class discussions on women’s rights, Woodrow Wilson, abolitionists, Ida B. Wells, character conflict, plot, and character development. Today, we assigned parts and read the play together in class. It was a lot of fun to see each student portray the role of their chosen character. 

A couple of friendly reminders: 

It’s getting cooler!

Going outside offers us time for fresh air, active play, and a break from our masks. Though temperatures may be dropping, we are still going to go out as much as possible (as long as it is safe to do so). If the weather requires, please remind your student to bring warm apparel for outdoor play: mittens, gloves, warm coats, ear muffs, etc. 

Thank you and please let me know if you have any questions! 

This Friday (October 23rd) is an early release at 1:00 p.m.

Regular carline procedures will begin at 1:00 p.m. Fun Zone will be available from 1:00-3:00 p.m. Fun Zone will NOT be available after 3:00 p.m. All students will need to be picked up by 3:00 p.m. on Friday 10/23. Please use this link to sign up for Fun Zone.

After carline, Mr. Mike will be moving furniture from the lower school annex to our outdoor storage unit. If you are available to help, we would love some extra hands! Just email administration at frontdesk@thesummitprep.org to let us know if you’ll be staying to help on Friday afternoon.

Fraction Action and The Mystery of the Cactus Arm

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This was a short week in fifth grade, but it was still full of excitement and learning.

In math, students worked on using models to find equivalent fractions, drawing pictures to prove their hypothesis, generating equivalent fractions, solving missing values, and working with word problems that contain fractions. They also worked on several fraction problems involving their pizzeria business plans. Students participated in class discussions about the many ways fractions are used in everyday life. 

Students continued to work on their pizzeria projects this week as well. Before creating their own menus, they researched and analyzed several articles including: “The Real Life Inventor of Pizza”, “The History of Pizza in Italy”, and “Must Have Menu” examples. Students really impressed me with their critical thinking and creativity!

In language arts, students read, “The Mystery of the Cactus Arm” by Dusti Bowling. After that, we all participated in a class discussion through “small fires.” As students moved around the room in small groups, they discussed inference, character conflict, character motivation, setting, and author’s craft. 

I look forward to continuing many of our projects next week; have a wonderful and safe weekend!

Small Fires and Historic Abolitionists

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Today we will be wrapping up our unit on “The Horrors of Slavery.” Students have rotated through six stations where they have: learned about the traumatic experiences of slave auctions, the abolitionist movement to end slavery (and the roles of William Lloyd Garrison and John Brown), slave rebellions (Nat Turner, Denmark Vesey, and Gabriel Prosser), and the role and experiences of Frederick Douglass. A lot of thought stimulating questions and conversation stemmed from these topics this week. 

This year especially, we’re feeling grateful for our spacious classroom. To enhance class discussions, fifth graders have been participating in a collaborative activity called “Small Fires.” Students take their supplies, and move to an area in the room where they sit in a (distanced) circle to have meaningful discussions. It’s as if they are sitting around a campfire chatting. Tuesday, we used this activity to build on our learning in language arts. Once the students have sufficiently discussed a topic, I “stir” them and have one student from each group rotate to the next. That way, various perspectives are shared through small group learning to the whole class. 

Fifth graders have also taken advantage of the beautiful weather we’ve had by reading, practicing our PEMDAS math with chalk, and practicing measuring with yards and feet outside.

It has been a fun and engaging week with your incredible students!

Pizzeria Project and Adventures in the Big Back Yard

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Fifth graders have been working hard on a new project that challenges them to create their very own Pizzeria. In this real-world, project based learning assignment, students practice skills such as inquiry, critical thinking, cross curricular incorporation (math, social studies, ELA), economics, and marketing. So far, my favorite part of the project is when students created a specialty pizza that was unique to their establishment. There were a lot of delicious creations that made me hungry. I would visit their Pizzerias for sure! 

Today, we walked through the big back yard to begin the process of a large garden project. Fifth graders will be responsible for measuring the garden space, creating an accurate scale, calculating area and perimeter for each garden bed, and deciding what should be planted. It’s going to be an exciting project. Please stay tuned!

Civilization Projects & Plate Tectonic Challenge

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Fifth grade has been busy building, creating, and presenting this week.  

In social studies, students listened to the story Weslandia by Paul Fleischman where the main character, Wesley, created his own “world.” Just like Wesley from the story, fifth graders also brainstormed their own societies and then had the opportunity to physically create them. Each student-created civilization included elements such as: unique setting, staple food crop, characters, language, alphabet, sports/games, one problem, and a solution to their problem. Students had the opportunity to present their Civilization Projects throughout the week and it was very interesting to see their creative designs and element descriptions. 

In math this week, students practiced their PEMDAS (parenthesis, exponents, multiplication, division, addition, subtraction) skills by participating in a classroom scavenger hunt. There were problems posted on the walls, halls, and kitchen area for students to find, solve, and practice. After practicing individually, students worked with classmates to check and correct their work on their marker board desktops. We all enjoyed moving around the room and working together during this activity. 

One of my favorite projects this week was the class demonstrating tectonic plate movements using graham crackers and icing. The students were given the materials and then  had the freedom to demonstrate visuals of divergent, convergent, and transform plate boundaries. They came up with some really neat ideas (pictures included)!

Message from Head of School

Greetings Summit Community,

I want to thank everyone for their diligence, cooperation, and open communication as we navigate this new school year together. I continue to be amazed and impressed by the resilience of our students, faculty, parents, and greater community. We have made it to our sixth week of seated instruction. This is an incredible accomplishment, and it could not be possible without the vigilance of our parent community. 

As we enter cold and flu season, please continue to inform administration of any absences due to illness, and, as always, if your child or anyone in your household is not feeling well, please stay home. We are happy to connect any families with our Hybrid Learning Coordinator, so we can all continue learning safely, wherever we are.

Thank you for your continued support of The Summit. I am so grateful for our tight-knit community, and your dedication to health, wellness, and safety on our campus, so we can all continue learning together!

With much appreciation,

Dr. Katie Heet

Mystery at Math Mansion and Virtual Escape Room

Over the last few days, students have been working on two cumulative project based learning activities. The first one was, “Mystery at Math Mansion” where students were challenged to solve a mystery using their order of operations skills. Students did a fantastic job of using PEMDAS (parenthesis, exponents, multiplication, division, addition, subtraction) to narrow down the suspect list, investigate further, and figure out who the cupcake thief culprit was! 

Last week, students also participated in a virtual escape room, “The Missing Ice Cream.” They worked in teams to solve the food truck mystery using communication, problem solving, collaboration, and math. We had a lot of fun “unlocking” each puzzle to figure out what the missing ice-cream was. All teams successfully solved the mystery before time ran out!

Support The Summit

Check out these great opportunities to support The Summit:

Summit Face Masks: $15/mask

Click here to order face masks. Quantities are limited and sizes vary. All proceeds support SPO and their activities for the year.

Summit Umbrellas: $30/umbrella

Click here to order Summit umbrellas. Show off your Summit pride with our brand new umbrellas! Quantities are limited so be sure to order yours today! 

Fall Mums: $12/mum

Click here to purchase mum vouchers from Wheeler Gardens. Friday, October 2nd is your last day to purchase a mum voucher and support SPO! Each $12 voucher is good for one (1) 2-gallon jumbo hardy mum from Wheeler Gardens.


Scrip is a great way for families to earn rebates that go towards their Summit Growth Fund! The first Thankscriping Day is coming up on Thursday, September 17th. Families can earn up to 20% with 85+ bonuses on eGift cards and money added to reloadable gift cards on this day. Questions? Email Summit Scrip Coordinator & Parent, Phil Isley at scrip@thesummitprep.org.

Pre-Order the 2020-2021 Yearbook

Click here to pre-order the 20/21 Yearbook. Designed by The Summit High School, don’t miss out on this year’s memories. Pre-order your copy before September 30th to save 10%. 


AmazonSmile is a website operated by Amazon with the same products, prices, and shopping features as Amazon.com. The difference is that when you shop on AmazonSmile, the AmazonSmile Foundation will donate 0.5% of the purchase price of eligible products to the charitable organization of your choice, The Summit Prep. You must go through smile.amazon.com (not amazon.com) to log into your Amazon account for the benefits to be applied.

Exciting Projects Ahead

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Fifth grade has been working on lots of exciting activities!

Over the past few days, students worked on two cumulative project based learning assignments. The first one was “Run your own Pet Shelter” where students were challenged to create a successful shelter using: multiplication skills, repeated addition, arrays, charting, data collection, graph interpretation, and economics. Some of the project tasks included: collecting donations, shelter supply inventory, calculating measurements for the outdoor dog runs, managing the fluctuation of vet visit costs, and overseeing the number of pets that arrive and depart. 

This week, students participated in a plate tectonic STEM project where they were challenged to create an earthquake resistant bridge. As they worked, students collected and recorded data during each of three separate trials. After each trial, I would act as the earthquake and shake the base of their bridges (the red plastic cups). Next, students rebuilt their “bridges” based on what they learned from the previous trial . This activity was a lot of fun and a great introduction to plate tectonics! 

Another exciting project that we’re working on challenges students to create their own civilizations. After listening to the story “Weslandia,” students had the opportunity to think outside the box and create their own worlds. Elements included in this project are: a unique setting, staple food crop, character (style, fashion, trends), language/alphabet, sports/games, and a problem with a solution. We are presenting these projects at the end of the week and I’m excited to see the creativity that the students come up with!

Fun in Fifth!

We have had a fantastic second week back to school! One of my favorite parts of the week was the Flipgrid videos that the students came up with to explain the scientific method. It was a lot of fun to see their creativity and personalities while teaching their classmates the scientific steps of an experiment. 

This week, students have explored new platforms and resources to enhance their learning. As we learned about the earth’s layers, we participated in a “Journey to the Core” using a platform called Merge Cube. Merge Cube is a program that allows you to “hold” 3D objects in your hand. Essentially, we were able to view the earth at our fingertips, and explore the layers virtually! We all had a lot of fun building our cubes, learning the new platform, and incorporating the 3D images into our learning. 

In math, each student created a personal number using their birthdays. For example, March 23, 2009 would translate to 3,232,009 and then, students would use their personal number to figure out standard, word, and expanded form. This was a really great activity to refresh their memories on place value. 

This week, we also began a new collaborative Google Slideshow Project. Students were assigned a location, and instructed to practice researching the five themes of geography: location, place, region, human interaction, and movement. Students did an excellent job locating latitude/longitude while also learning about new cultures.

We are making really great progress and cannot wait to begin week 3!



Welcome Back!


What an eventful first week back to school! I have thoroughly enjoyed meeting all of my new fifth graders and their families. They have such fun, unique personalities and I cannot wait to get to know them more over the school year. 

This week, we’ve spent some time getting to know each other by playing icebreaker games through a platform called Nearpod. Students participated in a “Would you rather” game, and got to know each other better in a friendly game of virtual BINGO! It was interesting to see who would rather be a giant hamster or a tiny rhinoceros – the questions were a lot of fun. 

On the first day of school, students completed a time capsule activity that included documenting their height, favorites (food, shows, hobbies, etc.), pictures of each student, and individual goals for the school year. Students also drafted a typed “Letter to Mrs. James” and created a hand-written copy to be included in their time capsules. The students and I cannot wait to open our time capsules on the last day of school to see how much we have changed and grown as learners.

As we close out the first week of school, we are going to dive right into an authentic “real world” project called “Build Your Garden.” This project includes a review of area, perimeter, and budgeting. Students will use these skills, along with online resources to generate ideas for their own garden. They will then bring their garden ideas to life by creating and drawing them on a grid. I cannot wait to see what they come up with! 

We are all happy to be back to school, and look forward to a great year in fifth grade!

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The Final Stretch

We are down to the final two weeks of school, and what a year it’s been!  The fifth grade students have taken everything in stride and adapted to our online format much more easily than their teacher!

This week, we are sharing our Science Fair projects during our class meetings.  We have learned which laundry detergent is best for getting stains out, which Lego car and paper airplane designs travel the farthest, and what substance melts ice the fastest, among other things. The students chose their method of sharing their results, and created informative slide presentations and display boards.  I hope to see the display boards in person when we return to  school next year.

We have continued with our Book Club meetings over Zoom, and the discussion leaders have risen to the task.  The class has continued to read the books and have thoughtful discussions, even though we are not together in person.

This Friday will be Culture Day.  We will be celebrating our Spanish program with a large selection of activities for our students to choose from.  I encourage everyone to participate, as they all look like a lot of fun!

The Summit Preparatory School